Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by AngieB, May 2, 2013.
Point well taken, indeed. Its good.
...and thanks to Martina never winning the Grand Slam, she would never be a GOAT, hence her early hatred of Graf.
One does not have to win the Grand Slam to be GOAT.
hatred seems like a strong word. Martina certainly has a case for "best women's player" of all time, when you include her doubles career.
I think it's ok for Martina to dislike Steffi...no one ever said they had to be friends.
Yes, but Becker--while competitve with Sampras at various events--still eventually acknowledged him as the superior player while both were on tour; he did not skip over him to tap Courier, Edberg, Agassi or anyone else winning majors at the time in the way Martina did regarding Graf. Martina has a long history of depising certain players while she was on tour and in retirement.
Justin Gimelstob is great.
Navratilova has a tendancy to make things personal, even when the subject matter doesn't warrant.
Navratilova's comments regarding Graf-Seles took a much different tone when she criticized Graf's response to the stabbing. Had Navratilova kept her comments only related to how the stabbing affected Seles' tennis history, her opinion would have been better received.
While no one said they had to be friends, it says much when you have open, hostile behavior that carries only the stench of jealousy (like Hingis, Davenport, Mauresmo and Dementieva's comments about the Williams sisters), or Martina's anti-Graf, pro-Seles noise.
If Graf never won the Grand Slam, it is likely Martina would have been able to accept Graf winning a couple of majors per year, but it seems highly plausible that in Martina's mind, Graf winning the Grand Slam was the most important, untouchable achievement she was incapable of winning.
As a result, Graf was catapulted to the GOAT/legend status at such a young age, while Martina could do nothing about it--other than scramble wherever she could, and eventually select Seles as her "chosen one" to beat Graf into submission.
It was already too late for that, as she (Graf) had already won the Grand Slam, so anything else was majors gravy, and stopping her at that point would not erase the history made in 1988.
Didn't realize this - However?
But Martina was 31 and Steffi was 18 - I would say different generations.
Hope my math is right!
But the Saturday Night Clip was funny! Maybe she's just ultra competitive!
Exactly my point. Borg's opinion on Soderling is not credible and people are entitled to laugh at it, since Borg is obviously being insanely biased to a fellow Swede. That he is the great Borg is meaningless. You get this since it is you who brought it up and are realizing how stupid a thing it was to ever say.
Well the same way Navratilova has proven unable to keep her biases in check on virtually any top player, and Graf and Seles are two of the foremost where her word stands for nothing as she had spewn far too much nonsense about both already to ever be taken seriously again. I know you realize this too, and are just denying it now since it favors what you want to believe.
Well I would bet a million dollars that Nagelsen and Navratilova forced to make a bet on their life (or a million dollars) on Seles over or under 9 more slam wins (discounting the 8 pre stabbing ones) upon her return, they would have both bid over.
Do you remember in 1982 when Navratilova and Evert were publicly cutting one another? I mean, those two were by far the most caddy sports figures of their time.
Around the time Nancy Lieberman began helping Navraitlova is when Navratilova began making everything personal. Navratilova's entourage at that time enabled her.
There were also questions about Navratilova's relationship with coach, Renee Richards, who for obvious reasons had easy access to hormones and steroids. Martina's physical transformation was quite astounding during this time period. Women's athletics hadn't seen this type of athlete before.
Do you ever hear Steffi Graf making negative remarks about Martina Navratilova? No. Because Steffi Graf doesn't have an axe to grind, Martina does.
Betsy. Interesting choice.
I think its safe to say that Martina Navratilova felt the same way about Steffi Graf as Chris Evert felt about Tracy Austin.
Of course Steffi stays quiet. She knows she's lucky to come out of the situation with 22 slams.
Had Margaret Court not resided in Australia, she wouldn't even be discussed as a GOAT candidate because she wouldn't have had the motivation to play in Australia, such as many of her collegues chose to skip that tournament.
Margaret's 13 grand slam singles titles at French, Wimbledon and US Open combined hurts her women's GOAT status. Margaret's best claim would be her calendar year grand slam in 1970 which enhances her GOAT resume.
Sounds like BS to me. Link or it didn't happen.
I remember she used to draw a lot of complaints because she would enter tournaments, pull out, promise to show up, and then back out. She messed up a lot of draws in her day.
You do bring up a good political point thats rarely discussed here, the IMG influence. We need a thread on that.
Please forgive the language I'm about to use, but it is a direct quote by Ted Tinling who knew more champions than any of us will ever know. He said, "All the top women are *****es."
He loved them all (as do I even if I didn't root for some) but could still acknowledge this about them. The one exception was probably Evonne who was as lovely off the court as she was on it.
Its also an attitude that they all felt they needed to have at one time or another. They are fallible human beings after all. Each had to endure demands and pressures and it sometimes brought out the worst in them at times, yes even Chris, who was better at hiding it than the others.
But then they retire. Most leave fulfilled or find something to redirect their tremendous drive and energy. For instance, Chris embraced her new life with her kids. I get the feeling that she now understands what she used to be like (out of necessity) and is glad that she isn't any more. Of all the former champs she's probably the least concerned with her place in history. I'm happy for her. She deserves such contentment.
This might be where Martina has had a harder time than others. I don't believe that she hates Steffi and I don't think she has reason to be jealous of her. Martina, who hated being judged, comes off a bit judgemental of others. She's given to strong opinions and hyperbole when she feels strongly. You just have to filter some things she says.
One of her exes accused her of double and triple checking her official records with the WTA. If true, she needs to move on. It's not like she has anything left to prove.
Then to be fair, we can assume Graf not saying anything means she's not emotionally involved one way or another.
Graf has no obligation to comment on anyone. She is one of the most introspective, private players ever to set foot on court, and has never been the kind of active or retired player to say much about anything. Considering that, perhaps she leaves the player assessments to those who are all too willing to provide it.
Moreover, we have to be honest here--much of the post-stabbing praise of Monica is due to the fact she was stabbed. It is not her fault, but the attack was fueling most of this praise.
Do you think anyone would praise her to the degree implied if the attack never occured, but she ended up with the same number of majors--or perhaps two or three on top of that?
I doubt it, which is why the endless "What if?" Monica threads (aka as "Graf was not that great" threads) can only move in a certain direction, as Monica's pre-stabbing form did not lead to the Graf-like levels of:
EVER winning a Wimbledon title, which automatically means she would never win the ultimate--the Grand Slam.
No Grand Slam--stabbing or not--and Monica would never match or suprass Graf's historic standing.
One thing Navratilova has done here is paint a huge target on her back. Not such a smart move now that she has a young family, and we all know what the Steffi Graf fans are capable of.
I would argue that Steffi Graf fans are very capable of teaching proper nutrition and weight control.
I like both Navratilova and Graf but in my opinion Navratilova is the GOAT. 18 GS singles and 41 GS doubles is ridiculously off the charts over Graf and everybody else..I disagree with Martina that Seles would have won so many more GS titles but she would have closed the gap.
Navratilova has overcome many heartbreaks and obstacles. Her parents divorced when she was 3 .Her father committing suicide when she was 8. Seeing her country taken over. Defecting alone to the US. Overcoming weight issues and setting the stage for advanced fitness. Being taken advantage of by gold diggers and nasty divorces. A real activist who speaks out against prejudice and injustice , she lost millions in endorsements because she wouldn't "play the game"..I have nothing against Graf who is part of the Agassi money machine..His school is admirable but they both bleed entrepreneurship..Navratilova is opinionated yes, flawed yes but honest in her beliefs and someone i will always at least listen to.
An amazing amount of psycho-analysis from this. Martina has kind of a big mouth, no filter, and no sense of proportion.
From what I read in this thread, its a pretty common set of problems.
I like Martina, I like Steffi, and I like Monica, but they all have suffered from media driven images of who they were. They each occasionally put yeast in the dough themselves. Here is Martina doing it.
Court is on par with Graf because of the Grand Slam. Martina is not in that class, hence the reason she spent long years hating Graf: it was the supreme accomplishment far out of Martina's reach (essentially a brick wall her inflated ego crashed into time and again).
As noted earlier, remove the Grand Slam, and Martina would not have spent years trying to tear down Graf (and elevate the career of Seles--the Wimbledon washout).
It was a swirling debate--one helped by his utter lack of French Open success.
I've always acknowledged her GOAT status. Anyone who wins the Grand Slam are on the same level for that accomplishment, while the rest of history's various players fight for whatever level exists outside of the GOAT.
So that means without her then-questionable tactic (that's exactly how the critics were describing it at the time), she lost her one Wimbledon final. That makes her appear weak, particularly when other significant female majors winners (who just so happened to be accused of "grunting") won whether they "grunted" or not during the course of the entire match.
Either one has the talent to win the Wimbledon title or they do not.
If there was a big shock at all in that period, it was why Novotna ended up being a one-title wonder at Wimbledon, when her game was a natural to excel there. Few--if any--were saying that about Monica Seles.
Yeah, just give em a fishing knife and it's all good :-|
That brings up a good point of discussion. Do we make too big of a deal over the grand slam?
Part of me says how can you discount something so rarely achieved? Its a great accomplishment. It's like a celestial spectacle that only happens 2 or 3 times in a lifetime.
Does it qualify you for GOAT? I say not on its own. The people who have done it all have strong arguments for that honor .... but not because they completed the grand slam. Its because they achieved a high level over an extended period of time. The slam is just the crown jewel.
To be honest - never heard Steffi Graf say anything!
Rarely hear Steffi Graf say anything - maybe she only spoke to the German media - or wasn't a person looking for a lot press.
Can you make this a new thread - great topic?
I've never thought of that - but remember thinking - boy she's built almost like a man. Thought it might have been her outfit.
But I think it should be another thread!
Exactly. Winning the Grand Slam *on its own* does not make you GOAT.
History suggests it is the latter--she's just extremely private. She never needed to express the obvious about Seles (as a competitor, latter day re-assessment, etc.) or repeat the comments about her being the GOAT when she won the Grand Slam. Graf let others do most of the talking, while she let her game and privacy speak for itself.
Right. The 22 open era slams and all of Graf achievement is a reason why disgruntled Martina don't like Graf.
I think they do
I think no calendar year grand slam means no goat!
Very accurate statement. When Steffi retired from tennis, she left her career for history to judge. She hasn't attempted to revise history or try to change anything. She left it all on the court. Her focus is on family. Some could learn by her example.
This is all small petty ****, compared to the good they all do for the sport, for charity. They are not being nearly as divisive in their comments or behavior as we are 'interpreting' them for their comments or behavior.
If it were that Navratilova had only made one or two off-the-cuff remarks in regards to Steffi Graf over the years, it would be a non-issue. But quite the opposite has occured. Navratilova has went out of her way to not only attempt to degrade Steffi's athletic achievements, but attack her personally several times in the media.
Its very petty.
True, and while she was playing, she never provided her own commentary of the importance of her achievements. As noted before, when she was near-universally called the GOAT in 1988 after winning the Grand Slam, Graf was not acting as her own PR. With what we know about self-interested Navratilova, imagine if (in an alternate reality) she was talented enough to have won the GS--she would have screamed it at every generation to follow about "what it takes to be the greatest," or "take it from me, you have to put in X amount of work and MY kind of game to win..." It would have been the Martina show at every major from the Seles generation, to Hingis, to the Williams sisters to Azarenka.
About your "leaving it on court," that's quite impossible when Martina has nothing else to live for, so she has to attempt to alter history (not working) by attacking Graf and/or elevating Seles.
That's a very simplistic and one-track way of looking at things, which I think serious analysts have to avoid.
For one thing, we have to look at the opposition faced. There is no way any man in history is going to beat prime Nadal in the FO final, therefore no man stands a chance of winning the CYGS in his era. By contrast, those facing no such clay giant can have a chance to win the FO.
This is why Laver won the CYGS in 1969 and Federer did not in 2006/2007.
Furthermore, we need to take into account a player's entire career. Laver is not called GOAT by some *solely* because he won the CYGS, but because that was the crowning achievement of an already stellar career (domination in the amateurs and then pros).
Anyone who simply says "Grand Slam = GOAT, no Grand Slam = no GOAT" is either trolling or a poor analyst.
and when one has three GS? pro, am and open?
The Open Era CYGS is the only legitimate one.
However I do of course accept Laver as a GOAT candidate, but not only for his 1969 year.
It's the same thing as saying no 300+ weeks at #1 means no goat. Or a minimum of 12 years playing on the pro tour to qualify goat(that leaves out Borg).
Okay. I figured out what's happened here.
Navratilova, knowing Connors was going to make his revelation about Evert this weekend, tried diverting attention from Evert to her by making disparaging comments about Graf.
Some things never change. Its still all about you Martina.
I must say, I dislike Navratilova more with every utterance of hers.
I don't think Steffi will be losing any sleep over what Martina Navratilova has to say.
Steffi came along in 87, when Navratilova and Evert were still leading the tour, and began to wipe the floor with both of them. She then won the Golden Slam, a feat neither women achieved. For Navratilova, this would have been hard to take. Whatever we want to say about the Grand Slam, it is considered by many to be the ultimate achievement. Tennis is measured in seasons and to withstand the pressure of winning all four Majors in one season, with all that Media interest, is the mark of a GOAT. It is also highly unlikely that a Grand slammer is not going to do anything else after that achievement, as Graf's fellow Grand Slammers demonstrate.
The point is that the jealousy started then and got worse and worse as Graf's Major tally increased. And then came the stabbing and the criticism of Steffi and how she handled it and how it inflated her career achievements. And it was the perfect ammunition for Navratilova, seeing the 23 year old Graf with 11 Majors and well on her way to surpassing 18, to use to belittle Graf and argue against her being the Goat.
But really, what else was Graf supposed to have done? Retired? Crumbled under all the criticism? No wonder the already quiet Graf kept silent. All Graf could do was what she had always done: turn up and play. She did and she doubled her Major haul and sent herself to the top of at least half of the tennis analyst's GOAT list.
And as for Graf being unpopular in her time. She was enormously respected by the tennis elite who mostly approved of her letting her racket do the talking. And the crowds loved her too. I don't think there is anyone posting here who has not seen the '96 and '99 French Open finals.
Graf has those memories of her celebrated wins as well as her own private thoughts on what happened to Monica and how it affected her own career. She has every right to both of them and every right not to share them just as Martina has her right to unleash her venom, venom which will most likely go uncared for by the one whom it was directed at.
I don't ever recall a collective tennis crowd at a tennis match ever reacting negatively to Steffi for any reason. She never really gave anyone a reason to. I think even most casual of tennis observer respected Graf's respectful, calm demeanor towards her opponents. Even when Graf was crushing her opponent's on court, she never did anything demonstrative to take away their dignity. People respected that about Graf, in the same manner they respect Roger Federer.
While Steffi had ample motivation to win, she rarely publicly personalized her victories or defeats. The 1999 French Open final was the one time that Graf openly showed her disdain and the crowd loved her for revealing herself and showing the emotion she hid so well for so many years.
I felt Steffi had placed tennis in its proper persective so early in her career that she never allowed its rancor to affect her day-to-day living. Her seemingly smooth transition into retirement, marriage and motherhood seems to supports that theory. She left tennis on the court and all its struggle.
I agree. Steffi probably doesn't care about anything Navratilova has to say about anything. On some level during her youth when she overtook Navratilova and Evert, Steffi probably realized that Navratilova would always hold some animus towards her for competitive reasons and would never be
able change it. There's always going to be that one jealous "beeotch" that lurks in your shadows and tears away at everything you ever tried to build. Everyone has at least one in their life.
Graf fans dont need to prove anything. Most people regard Steffi as the female GOAT these days, while Serena is also passing Navratilova in support it seems. Navratilova is viewed as 2nd or even 3rd, and nobody considers Court the GOAT. What you happen to think means squat all.
Graf's career is greater than Court since she did far better at the real slams in singles (Australian Open in Court's day was not a real slam). She has over twice the Wimbledons and that is supposed to be Court's favorite surface, and Court has the same # or in most cases fewer in all of French Opens, Wimbledons, U.S Opens, years as #1 player. Court's only argument is her doubles career considering the 11 Australian Open stat is a joke. As for Navratilova, Graf's career in singles blows her away. Other than grass and carpet achievements, she is nowhere close. Again her only argument is doubles.
Yes if Court were an American she would have 14 slams (probably 1 Australian in her 2 or 3 attempts at most), and if King were an Australian she would probably have 20 slams (with about 9 or 10 Australian Opens vs non participating fields just like Court has now). Not saying King is better or greater than Court but just putting things into perspective. Court is really an 18 slam winner at absolute best. There is a reason she is viewed as beneath Graf, Navratilova, Serena, and Evert in most peoples GOAT lists.
Seles - Graf. both are great champions and great people.
no doubt if the stabbing had not occurred, Seles would have won more major and Graf less -plus several other major winners in that period would not have won any (ala federer-nadal-djokovic shutting out the rest from access to major championships). in this in the woulda/coulda world, Seles is my pick for GOAT right behind a more motivated Serena (33 majors) with Graf in a very close #3. in this world Maureen Connolly may well have soaked up 90% of the major titles in the'50s.
I see without the stabbing Seles winning 11 or 12 slams. I dont see anyway she keeps up a 3 slam a year pace. She just isnt that good to do that year after year. However I could see her winning about 1 slam per year for the next 4 years, so 4 or 5 slams in the 93-96 period which gives her 11 or 12 total as she had 7 before 1993 began.
Navratilova says more slams than Court. That is hilarious. Where was she going to win that many. Even to those who think she would have kept dominating over Graf and winning 2 or 3 slams every year for the next 4 years, that still only brings her to about 16 slams. Where were the next 9 or 10 going to come from. Was she going to keep winning loads of slams into the era of the Williams, Hingis, and Davenport, people she did horribly against. Especialy the Williams it is clear she was never going to cope with effectively, they are just awful matchups for her, and Navratilova presumes her dominating even into their eras and still winning most of the slams to come up with 25+. Pure nonsense and fantasy.
8 - 2
This is simple. Real, real simple. Up to the time of the stabbing, head to head titles in the prior three years, Seles won 8 majors and Graf 2. Every mention of Graf's majors success has to include this information.
Separate names with a comma.