Is Steffi Graf a higher GOAT than Margaret Court?

Who is the higher GOAT?

  • Margaret Court

  • Steffi Graf


Results are only viewable after voting.

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Interested by this one.

Steffi was often regarded as the women's GOAT with her calendar year golden slam (all 4 slams and the olympic gold) until Serena overtook her slam count and then people started mentioning Court as GOAT so i'm wondering. In a debate of Steffi v Margaret, who's the higher GOAT?

Some say Steffi is the current GOAT leader (myself included), others refer to Court because of her 11 Australian Open's where she mostly played 4 or 5 matches against unknown players. Others of course say Serena but that's not part of the poll. So what do you think? Steffi or Margaret?
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
For me personally, there is no such thing as a solitary GOAT. Just incredible players that were incredible in their respective eras.

However, I am going to enjoy the following:
1) Court won because of limited draws, limited competition on home soil, the AO victories don't count etc.
2) Graf profited from the Seles stabbing.
3) and then the Williams fanatics/detractors.

This'll be fun!
 

Thriller

Professional
It's an insult to Martina, Chrissie, Steffi and Serena to even have their careers compared to Margaret Court's. It is as ridiculous as thinking that Emerson is greater than Borg or Laver because he has 12 amateur slams. Actually even more ridiculous when you look more closely at the lack of depth and international players at Court's 1960s Australian Opens.
 

alexio

Hall of Fame
I don't think anyone considers Court the GOAT of singles tennis, she just has the record. It's like Emerson. Nobody considered him the greatest, but Pete still chased his record hard.
serena obviously making the same mistake now, what a fool she is
 
D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
Saying Serena, who has slugged it out until 40, is better than Graf is quite funny. You need to be pushing a ridiculous agenda to think so.

Graf retired at 30 and is ahead on all achievements bar one. Serena bottled it losing to a journey woman in Vinci to achieve the calendar slam.

Graf was incredible. Serena a slugger.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
For me personally, there is no such thing as a solitary GOAT. Just incredible players that were incredible in their respective eras.

However, I am going to enjoy the following:
1) Court won because of limited draws, limited competition on home soil, the AO victories don't count etc.
2) Graf profited from the Seles stabbing.
3) and then the Williams fanatics/detractors.

This'll be fun!
When I first started posting here in 2007, the Graf / Seles debate threads were absolutely vicious, with some crazy posters (and a large number of multiple accounts / IDs and banned users) on both sides. They make the current Federer/Nadal/Djokovic threads look absolutely tame in comparison, although those threads are tediously repetitive !
 

Graf1stClass

Semi-Pro
When I first started posting here in 2007, the Graf / Seles debate threads were absolutely vicious, with some crazy posters (and a large number of multiple accounts / IDs and banned users) on both sides. They make the current Federer/Nadal/Djokovic threads look absolutely tame in comparison, although those threads are tediously repetitive !
The funny thing is, they nearly all remain for how vitriolic they were. Nowadays, every honest discussion about Serena is deleted beyond a day or so.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
When I first started posting here in 2007, the Graf / Seles debate threads were absolutely vicious, with some crazy posters (and a large number of multiple accounts / IDs and banned users) on both sides. They make the current Federer/Nadal/Djokovic threads look absolutely tame in comparison, although those threads are tediously repetitive !
So true!
I read them long before I joined: I recall someone named 'Joe Pike'?
OMG he was vicious!
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
The funny thing is, they nearly all remain for how vitriolic they were. Nowadays, every honest discussion about Serena is deleted beyond a day or so.
This is also true: and I fail to see why? The last one was cordial in the main. And some really interesting perspectives.
It's a great pity.
Maybe that will be Williams' legacy: she's exempt from being discussed. Which is ironic given Serena Williams is Serena Williams favourite subject ;)
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
So true!
I read them long before I joined: I recall someone named 'Joe Pike'?
OMG he was vicious!
That poster was 'interesting' and took being a devoted player worshipper to a whole new level. And on the flip side some posters were devoted to their unabashed hatred of Graf. And a very notorious person from Ontario had several user accounts arguing on both sides of the Graf / Seles divide, so he had all bases covered !

A few years later many of the same people got the party started again, but through different user IDs of course !
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
That poster was 'interesting' and took being a devoted player worshipper to a whole new level. And on the flip side some posters were devoted to their unabashed hatred of Graf. And a very notorious person from Ontario had several user accounts arguing on both sides of the Graf / Seles divide, so he had all bases covered !

A few years later many of the same people got the party started again, but through different user IDs of course !
Seems like a huge effort! Scary fanatics. But we still have them.
 

Graf1stClass

Semi-Pro
That poster was 'interesting' and took being a devoted player worshipper to a whole new level. And on the flip side some posters were devoted to their unabashed hatred of Graf. And a very notorious person from Ontario had several user accounts arguing on both sides of the Graf / Seles divide, so he had all bases covered !

A few years later many of the same people got the party started again, but through different user IDs of course !
He was a reason I joined this community; everyone was supposedly one of his accounts. Watch them slandering Rhino :-D https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/best-annual-win-loss-stats-in-last-20-years-women.60804/

This is also true: and I fail to see why? The last one was cordial in the main. And some really interesting perspectives.
It's a great pity.
Maybe that will be Williams' legacy: she's exempt from being discussed. Which is ironic given Serena Williams is Serena Williams favourite subject ;)
I have some genuine comments to make on the subject of a comparison between Stefanie and Serena but fear for having this topic removed. What I will say, I do not think it's harmful to her legacy that she continues to play well past her prime. Outside of social matters, one can only add to their legacy, in my opinion. However, the amount that Stefanie accomplished in such a short amount of time is yet uncontested in the sport.
 
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pat200

Semi-Pro
While personally i think Steffi is GOAT, I do admit that her, Serena, Martina N., Chrissie and Margaret all have claims to be considered GOATS. Then you have the likes of Wills-Moody and Lenglen as well as Maureen Connolly who could be added to the mix to round out the top 8 ever. So I prefer to have Era GOATS.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Once again your use of different fonts ends this discussion.


Anyway here's the current top-5:

1. Serena
2. Graf
3. Navratilova
4. Evert
5. Osaka
And, of course, Court doesn't count, or Billie Jean King or Maria Bueno or Maureen Connolly or Evert or Navratilova....wait a minute, you've got some old timers on your list.
You do like subjectivity, right? That makes your list irrelevant.
 
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Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
And, of couorse, Court doesn't count, or Billie Jean King or Evert or Navratilova....wait a minute, you've got some old timers on your list.
You do like subjectivity, right? That makes your list irrelevant.
Everything in this forum is irrelevant, "Dan Lobb".
 
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Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
There are some objective posts with good information. Guess you do not read those.
Surely you realize that "good information" can and often is irrelevant?

Also you seem to be new here since I've never noticed you before. Stick around for a while and (hopefully) you'll soon realize the irrelevancy of it all.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Surely you realize that "good information" can and often is irrelevant?

Also you seem to be new here since I've never noticed you before. Stick around for a while and (hopefully) you'll soon realize the irrelevancy of it all.
I started posting here in 2011.
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
I never cared much for the way Graf treated Seles after the stabbing...consideing everything.
Court was the best during her time.
During her time Graff was not as good as Seles... until...
Everet and Navratilova ruled their era.
Osaka is great- let's see how it plays out.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
He was a reason I joined this community; everyone was supposedly one of his accounts. Watch them slandering Rhino :-D https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/best-annual-win-loss-stats-in-last-20-years-women.60804/


I have some genuine comments to make on the subject of a comparison between Stefanie and Serena but fear for having this topic removed. What I will say, I do not think it's harmful to her legacy that she continues to play well past her prime. Outside of social matters, one can only add to their legacy, in my opinion. However, the amount that Stefanie accomplished in such a short amount of time is yet uncontested in the sport.
In terms of her legacy l think it does diminish her over-all career in terms of stats and perceived mental toughness.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Graf is definitely the best 'all surface' player that I've seen; I would say that was even better on her weakest surface than any of the other legends were on theirs. I would rank her singles career ahead of Court's, but Court's was of course amazing as well.

The idea of judging players' careers solely based on how many majors they won and ignoring everything else is of course utterly ridiculous and not fit for purpose. However the idea banded about in recent years that Court's record has only been brought up when Serena has closed in on it is simply untrue and revisionist theory. I remember very well the talk about Graf potentially equalling / surpassing it especially in 1996 when she quickly moved from 18 to 21 in the majors count. There certainly wasn't talk about Evert and Navratilova holding the 'open era record' before Graf won her 18th major at the US Open in 1995 and 19th major at RG in 1996.

A few newspaper excerpts following her victory over ASV in that titanic 1996 RG final:

'The dramatic victory moved her into a tie with Helen Wills Moody for second place in her sport's most prestigious record book behind the Australian Margaret Court and her 24 titles.'

'It was Graf’s 19th Grand Slam tournament singles title and her fourth consecutive. That moves Graf ahead of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and ties her with Helen Wills Moody. Margaret Smith Court holds the record with 24.'

'In another milestone, Graf won her 19th Grand Slam tournament singles title to move past Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert into a second-place tie with Helen Wills Moody on the all-time list - five behind leader Margaret Smith Court.

“I think it is incredible, but I really can’t focus on that record right now,” said Graf, who also tied Smith Court with five French Open titles, two behind Evert. “The match today overwhelms the record right now.”
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Graf is definitely the best 'all surface' player that I've seen; I would say that was even better on her weakest surface than any of the other legends were on theirs. I would rank her singles career ahead of Court's, but Court's was of course amazing as well.

The idea of judging players' careers solely based on how many majors they won and ignoring everything else is of course utterly ridiculous and not fit for purpose. However the idea banded about in recent years that Court's record has only been brought up when Serena has closed in on it is simply untrue and revisionist theory. I remember very well the talk about Graf potentially equalling / surpassing it especially in 1996 when she quickly moved from 18 to 21 in the majors count. There certainly wasn't talk about Evert and Navratilova holding the 'open era record' before Graf won her 18th major at the US Open in 1995 and 19th major at RG in 1996.

A few newspaper excerpts following her victory over ASV in that titanic 1996 RG final:

'The dramatic victory moved her into a tie with Helen Wills Moody for second place in her sport's most prestigious record book behind the Australian Margaret Court and her 24 titles.'

'It was Graf’s 19th Grand Slam tournament singles title and her fourth consecutive. That moves Graf ahead of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and ties her with Helen Wills Moody. Margaret Smith Court holds the record with 24.'

'In another milestone, Graf won her 19th Grand Slam tournament singles title to move past Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert into a second-place tie with Helen Wills Moody on the all-time list - five behind leader Margaret Smith Court.

“I think it is incredible, but I really can’t focus on that record right now,” said Graf, who also tied Smith Court with five French Open titles, two behind Evert. “The match today overwhelms the record right now.”
Great post and interesting to read.
 

Graf1stClass

Semi-Pro
In terms of her legacy l think it does diminish her over-all career in terms of stats and perceived mental toughness.
Evert would be inclined to agree, as that was why she retired -- only "actual" mental toughness. Continuing would surely hurt one's win-loss record. But you can only add titles to your résumé. I can understand where you're coming from.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Evert would be inclined to agree, as that was why she retired -- only "actual" mental toughness. Continuing would surely hurt one's win-loss record. But you can only add titles to your résumé. I can understand where you're coming from.
Evert more or less got it right. There's an argument that if she had retired in 1987 her already incredible win/loss % would have been phenomenal but then her fans would have missed out on some great matches: in 1988 beating Navratilova at AO, although losing, a great match with Navratilova at Wimbledon.
1989, incredible comeback against Golarsa at Wimbledon (l was there!) and beating Seles at the USO. Plus, and people forget, her last tournament was helping the USA win the Federation Cup. So she finished on a high. And always being ranked in the Top 4. Over her whole career. That's beyond comprehension.
When I mentioned Williams losing mental strength, I was thinking about how Williams fanatics would bang on that Evert whilst reaching all those major finals lost a fair few whereas when Williams reached the latter stages she generally won the tournament because she was mentally stronger than Evert. Well, firstly that is no longer the case, and secondly Evert rarely lost before the semifinals whilst Williams has had many more early exits over her career.
 
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BumElbow

Rookie
Due to equipment and court surface changes, I believe it would be better to award GOAT status by tennis era rather than for all-time.

It was a different game on grass courts with wooden / small head racquets. Tennis has changed drastically over the years. The Continental grip players just did not hit their groundstrokes as hard today's pros do.
 

DMP

Professional
Graf is definitely the best 'all surface' player that I've seen;
Interestingly Court's RG win % (90.38) is better than Graf (89.4%) and only slightly behind Evert (92.3%). Her S/R at RG was 0.5 which is much closer to Evert (0.54) than Graf (0.375).

If you ignore the AO completely, then the career slam success rates of each are Graf (0.41), Court (0.39), Evert (0.32).
 
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