Is this really slower than current women's tennis?


Hall of Fame
Serious question. Many say that today's women hit harder, better than women from the past. I still watch a lot of Graf matches, and I find the pace (with lesser rackets than now) still fast, but maybe because I watch a lot of old matches my vision is a bit blur.

Watch this clip and I would like to know from you guys, if you think this tennis is really slower than current women's tennis.

Seles vs Graf, (not in their prime anymore, 1998, indoor)


Hall of Fame
well i don't have an opinion on the speed of women's tennis but there's two big factors in play during this video which may lead you to believe that seles and graf are playing fast:

1. it's an indoor court. they tend to faster than anything

2. the camera angle. you rarely see camera angles at that height. most of the time you see them a decent height above the players head so the audience can see the whole court. This makes the ball seem like it's going slower than it actually is. sometimes in a match they will show the camera angle at shoulder height and switch quickly back to an overhead view and you can compare the relative speed of the ball from different angles.


Graf and Seles would dust any of todays women. The Williams sisters at their best could go toe to toe with Graf and Seles, but both Williams are mere shadows of the players they once were in their too short primes. That they still win slams and contend for #1 today inspite of being so far from what they once were is a sign of the rest of the sorry field that exists in womens tennis today. If Jankovic is always ranked #2 or #3 and making slam semis or finals, then peak Graf or Seles would romp over the current field.

The women today dont hit harder. Only the past their primes Williams and oft injured Sharapova hit that hard among who is left today. Back in the 90s Graf, Seles, Capriati, Schultz McCarthy (still hardest server ever), Pierce, Davenport, Huber, Majoli, all hit the snot out of the ball. Huber and Majoli were far down the pecking order of power hitters then, yet they hit the ball harder then Ivanovic does now who is close to the top.