Pat Cash: Steffi Graf comeback

settolove

Rookie
I'd like to see Steffi play again. I think she could possibly go deep in a slam. I watched her at the Wimbledon roof closing event, if she hadn't started messing around I think she would have beaten Kim. Which would not have been good.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
She is old. Why anyone even vomits this fantasy is beyond reason. Appreciate her accomplishments, but her active years are long gone; she cannot be a factor again.
 

drwood

Professional
She is old. Why anyone even vomits this fantasy is beyond reason. Appreciate her accomplishments, but her active years are long gone; she cannot be a factor again.
Steffi Graf could make the Wimbledon SF if she came back -- remember that she played Clijsters last year in their exhibition and their set was closer than nearly any set Clijsters had at the US Open.

Graf has remained in great shape, and she had plenty in the tank when she retired 10 years ago. There are very few players even today who could consistently beat her. That being said, its not like she'd win slams all of a sudden...she's 40 years old.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
She is old. Why anyone even vomits this fantasy is beyond reason. Appreciate her accomplishments, but her active years are long gone; she cannot be a factor again.

Considering the state of women's tennis today, I wouldn't put it past Graf to come back and win a slam.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Considering the state of women's tennis today, I wouldn't put it past Graf to come back and win a slam.
She's old, and suffered back problems. Many of the top women are stronger than she was in her prime, and you must know that she will not have the speed of her active years. Combine the aforementioned items, and she would have no chance of winning a slam
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
She's old, and suffered back problems. Many of the top women are stronger than she was in her prime, and you must know that she will not have the speed of her active years. Combine the aforementioned items, and she would have no chance of winning a slam


Didn't people say Clijsters had no chance of a good comeback when she announced hers? Really?



Steffi Graf could probably win a slam based on sheer determination. Most of the WTA are a bunch of headcases anyways, so I wouldn't count her out really. Old champions always have a trick up their sleeve.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Didn't people say Clijsters had no chance of a good comeback when she announced hers? Really?
Clijsters still is in active years; the window is closing, but she certainly not 40--long past the average retirement age.


Steffi Graf could probably win a slam based on sheer determination. Most of the WTA are a bunch of headcases anyways, so I wouldn't count her out really. Old champions always have a trick up their sleeve.
Just to entertain this notion a bit, imagine Graf facing the most likely finalists at the most physcially forgiving surface slam--Wimbledon. The Williams sisters--even as they grow old--would make short work of her. Remember, this would be a real match, where people play on a different level to win (unlike exhibitions, etc.).
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Clijsters still is in active years; the window is closing, but she certainly not 40--long past the average retirement age.




Just to entertain this notion a bit, imagine Graf facing the most likely finalists at the most physcially forgiving surface slam--Wimbledon. The Williams sisters--even as they grow old--would make short work of her. Remember, this would be a real match, where people play on a different level to win (unlike exhibitions, etc.).



Who says the Williams Sisters would crush her? You? I highly doubt that they would crush her. It would be a competitive match IMO. Graf is a far superior tennis player overall than those two. What they have over Graf is athleticism and youth. However, Graf is a better ball striker, a better tactician, and most importantly, is as mentally strong if not stronger than both the sisters.




Your logic says that Agassi should have been blown out against Federer from 2004-2005 in his elderly years, yet Agassi gave Federer a tough time in both matches at the USO.
 

Baikalic

Semi-Pro
Who says the Williams Sisters would crush her? You? I highly doubt that they would crush her. It would be a competitive match IMO. Graf is a far superior tennis player overall than those two. What they have over Graf is athleticism and youth. However, Graf is a better ball striker, a better tactician, and most importantly, is as mentally strong if not stronger than both the sisters.




Your logic says that Agassi should have been blown out against Federer from 2004-2005 in his elderly years, yet Agassi gave Federer a tough time in both matches at the USO.
To be fair, Agassi was 34-35 in those two years. Steffi Graf at current is 5 years older, and that makes a huge physiological difference.

Personally I still think she could be successful, but I have a hard time believing she would have chances to win Grand Slams.
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
She's old, and suffered back problems. Many of the top women are stronger than she was in her prime, and you must know that she will not have the speed of her active years. Combine the aforementioned items, and she would have no chance of winning a slam
Tell that to Agassi and Connors. To be honest when Graf played the prime was better.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Tell that to Agassi and Connors. To be honest when Graf played the prime was better.
Yes, and during Connors' famed USO run in '91, what happened? Jim Courier defeated the aging Connors just as certain top women would do the same to Graf--who has not played professionally in a considerable amount of time, and is not accustomed to the notable differences in the game since she retired. Even Connors--a man still active in the years leading to his '91 USO, had faced the next generation of players, yet even with that experience, he could not win another slam. Graf's position is not as favorable by any stretch of the imagination.
 

Mick

Legend
She is old. Why anyone even vomits this fantasy is beyond reason. Appreciate her accomplishments, but her active years are long gone; she cannot be a factor again.
martina navratilova said that your body stops moving the way you want it to move after the age of 29 and graf is a lot older than 29 :)

(the context for this comment was she was saying venus should hurry up if she wanted to break her (martina's) wimbledon record)
 

flying24

Banned
Many of the top women are stronger than she was in her prime
The rest of what you are saying makes some sense but this partcular comment is laughable. Who pray tell are the "many top women" of the current laughing stock WTA tour that are stronger than Graf was in her prime.
 

JeMar

Legend
Who says the Williams Sisters would crush her? You? I highly doubt that they would crush her. It would be a competitive match IMO. Graf is a far superior tennis player overall than those two. What they have over Graf is athleticism and youth. However, Graf is a better ball striker, a better tactician, and most importantly, is as mentally strong if not stronger than both the sisters.




Your logic says that Agassi should have been blown out against Federer from 2004-2005 in his elderly years, yet Agassi gave Federer a tough time in both matches at the USO.
That's quite the leap there. Agassi hadn't been retired for 10 years. And 33-34 is much different from 40.
 
That's quite the leap there. Agassi hadn't been retired for 10 years. And 33-34 is much different from 40.
Agassi isnt a male Graf. He was never a dominant champion to anywhere near the extent of Graf. Besides the current freak show of a WTA tour easily makes up another 6-7 years on its own.
 

JeMar

Legend
Agassi isnt a male Graf. He was never a dominant champion to anywhere near the extent of Graf. Besides the current freak show of a WTA tour easily makes up another 6-7 years on its own.
In terms of ballstriking ability, I would argue that Agassi was above Graf. Agassi's problem was that there were many years in which he couldn't get out of his own way, that's why his game held up so well in his later years.

Graf's game was much more about pure athleticism, and that's what deteriorates the fastest as you get older.
 
In terms of ballstriking ability, I would argue that Agassi was above Graf. Agassi's problem was that there were many years in which he couldn't get out of his own way, that's why his game held up so well in his later years.

Graf's game was much more about pure athleticism, and that's what deteriorates the fastest as you get older.
While I agree Agassi probably was the overall more power striker (even per gender) Agassi never had a shot that was head and shoulders above the men the way Graf's forehand was above the other women. You could argue the return of serve but even the best returns will be overpowered by the best serves, especialy in the mens game. Graf also has a much more dominant serve for a women than Agassi had for a man. Graf also volleys better for a women than Agassi does for a man so can shorten points more easily and efficiently, and is mentally tougher than even good Agassi. It feels funny comparing a man to a women but you get what I am saying. There is a reason Agassi was never a dominant player amongst his own gender like Graf was for so long amongst the women, not just athletic ability (although I agree that is a huge difference amongst their own genders when comparing them and yes an advantage most negated by age).
 
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Navratilova nearly won Wimbledon at 37 and the womens game today is much weaker than it was back then. So I also could see Graf winning a slam or two if she returned fully commited, though she wouldnt ever dominate again of course (only due to her age, in her prime she would go on a 300 match winning streak vs the current field atleast before the Belgian girls had returned).
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Navratilova nearly won Wimbledon at 37 and the womens game today is much weaker than it was back then. So I also could see Graf winning a slam or two if she returned fully commited, though she wouldnt ever dominate again of course (only due to her age, in her prime she would go on a 300 match winning streak vs the current field atleast before the Belgian girls had returned).
I would agree with that. If you take what Date is doing now, pushing girls to 3 sets who are in the top 50, beating them now, at small tournaments, and make comparisons between Date and Graf in their primes, it would make it possible for Graf to come back do something. Even if she never won a slam, I could see her winning some titles, beating current top 10 players (none of whom except the Williams would likely be even top 30 during Graf's era) and making a few runs at slams. Winning..it would depend on what Graf wanted and how the rest of the field responded to her. Outside of the Williams, Clijsters, and the now returning Henin would be the only ones who really might give even the near 40 year old Graf severe beatings in matches.
 

Baikalic

Semi-Pro
In terms of ballstriking ability, I would argue that Agassi was above Graf. Agassi's problem was that there were many years in which he couldn't get out of his own way, that's why his game held up so well in his later years.

Graf's game was much more about pure athleticism, and that's what deteriorates the fastest as you get older.
Yes. Agassi was able to elongate his time on tour because of his lack of taking charge of his talents and fully exploiting his body earlier in his career.
 

lawrence

Hall of Fame
thats kind of like saying sampras would go deep in a slam too

although i guess there is the difference in the sense that the WTA sucks right now whereas the ATP has a strong field
 
thats kind of like saying sampras would go deep in a slam too

although i guess there is the difference in the sense that the WTA sucks right now whereas the ATP has a strong field
I think that is the whole point. It is another thinly veiled taunt on the current womens game.
 

World Beater

Hall of Fame
a steffi graf comeback is totally dependent on how today's players are able to handle her slice, and her own movement.

the slice if effective will neutralize most of her harder hitting opponents and her movement will eventually win her pts due to her fh being a technically excellent shot. But those are two big
IFS.
 
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srinrajesh

Guest
Navratilova nearly won Wimbledon at 37 and the womens game today is much weaker than it was back then. So I also could see Graf winning a slam or two if she returned fully commited, though she wouldnt ever dominate again of course (only due to her age, in her prime she would go on a 300 match winning streak vs the current field atleast before the Belgian girls had returned).
I wouldnt say this was a right comparison as navratilova was a far superior player at 37 than Graf would be at 40 at wimbledon as it suits her serve and volley style to a T. I would assume that Graf -twice mom, she would be good enough to make a grand slam QTF / SF rarely but not good enough to win one currently..
 

jones101

Hall of Fame
I think Graf, as a healthy 40 year old, would be able to win some smaller tourneys and go deep in some otherone's and possible make a QF at a major (USO or Wimby IMO).

She would be a lot more prone to injury at 40 and would not be able to play a lot of tourneys in a season, to be at her best at the main ones.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
steffi

she has been out of competitive play for what? 10 years? I think she would need to get into top physical shape/condition first, maybe play some doubles and ease into singles. Could she challenge? Maybe...the women at the top are a little fragile (Safina) or inconsistent (Clistjers)..I don't know about a slam, but could she win some tourneys? Probably? Davenport had a kid, came back and won a few....now Kim has won the USO....

But, being away so long and coming back in is very different from playing all that time thru your 30's (like Andre & Jimmy)...
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
That's quite the leap there. Agassi hadn't been retired for 10 years. And 33-34 is much different from 40.

A. An 18 year old flat out willed 3 of the top women's players. She didn't out play them at all. All she did was outsteady them and she won.

B. A former player who isn't anywhere near as good as Graf is retired for about 3 years, came back, and won a slam within 3 tournaments.

C. The current's women's field is WEAK beyond comparison. Not even the ATP's 97-2003 era was this weak.

D. Graf is arguably one of the top 3 greatest of all time female players. She is a far superior tennis player than anyone on the WTA right now short of Justine Henin in terms of technical skills.

E. Contrary to popular opinion, the slower conditions of the tour today would play right into Stefi Graf's hands. She is a baseliner who maneuvered the ball around the court very well.




It's really not that big of a leap when you account for those factors.
 

Blinkism

Legend
^^ don't forget to mention that Kimiko Date, who is basically Graf's age, just won a tournament in her second tourney since her comeback.

And that's Kimiko Date, a nobody compared to Graf.

Also, Graf only retired in 2000 or something, right? She's played the William Sisters before and there are some players still playing from before Graf retired.

It's not a giant leap of faith to say that if Graf returns to the tour she'd break the top 30.

Winning a slam? It's not reasonable to say she will, but it's quite possible she COULD.
 

veroniquem

Bionic Poster
I would love to see Steffi back (even though the one I miss the most is Seles). I'm convinced that nowadays age is not as much of an issue as it used to be. People can stay in great shape longer than before.
 

Baikalic

Semi-Pro
on second thought: I just saw a youtube vid of Graf playing at the Wimbledon Roof opening ceremony, and she's by far the fittest 40 year old woman I've seen besides Dara Torres.
 
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boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
^^ don't forget to mention that Kimiko Date, who is basically Graf's age, just won a tournament in her second tourney since her comeback.

And that's Kimiko Date, a nobody compared to Graf.


Actually that was Date's like...9th tour event since her comback, I think she was like 0-8 at tour events going into that tournament, having lost a few 3 set matches to people like Wozniacki, Medina Garrigues and Knapp.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
The rest of what you are saying makes some sense but this partcular comment is laughable. Who pray tell are the "many top women" of the current laughing stock WTA tour that are stronger than Graf was in her prime.
Bigger, stronger women. Nevermind the usual reference to a Williams sister--take the rest: many may be hacks, but Safina, Vaidisova, Kuznetsova, et al are not physically weak, and recieve training superior to that of Graf's time. Let's not confuse perceptions of talent with physical power.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Bigger, stronger women. Nevermind the usual reference to a Williams sister--take the rest: many may be hacks, but Safina, Vaidisova, Kuznetsova, et al are not physically weak, and recieve training superior to that of Graf's time. Let's not confuse perceptions of talent with physical power.


LOL Safina, Vaidisova (who has done nothing), and mental case Kuznetsova beating Graf?



Safina got blown out by an out of prime Venus Williams who didn't even look like she was trying. You really think she could take Steffi Graf, arguably one of the greatest women's tennis players of ALL TIME?
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
LOL Safina, Vaidisova (who has done nothing), and mental case Kuznetsova beating Graf?
You are doing exactly what I already admonished: confusing talent with strength. All of the pure talent in the world will not help you if someone has greater strength, endurance and training resources--then pit that against advancing age, probable back issues (the latter based on her history), etc.

Graf would not last long for the reasons stated yesterday and today. Her past is not her present state to any degree.



Safina got blown out by an out of prime Venus Williams who didn't even look like she was trying
Mentioning Venus beating Safina was no revelation. Why? Venus remains (without question) a pound-for-pound player with superior abilities--and depsite nagging injuries, she's still a superior physical specimen overall than Safina, hence the Wimbledon semifinal result you refer to.
 

flying24

Banned
Bigger, stronger women. Nevermind the usual reference to a Williams sister--take the rest: many may be hacks, but Safina, Vaidisova, Kuznetsova, et al are not physically weak, and recieve training superior to that of Graf's time. Let's not confuse perceptions of talent with physical power.
Graf was an incredibly strong, athletic, and physically fit women. Moreso than those you mentioned by far. Vaidisova isnt even on the main tour anymore BTW so she is irrelevant personified. Kimiko Date who is not only nearly the player Graf is but actually is physically weak and small by nature is even able to beat 3 top 30 players and win a tournament, and take a current top 10 player and slam finalist this year to 3 sets at Wimbledon.
 
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1970CRBase

Guest
Graf lives for her family, her husband, her children, and her charity works. Her tennis career was one stage of her life; it's long over and in the past and she has long, long since moved on. Why should she go back there? She isn't some self obssessed narcissist who constantly obsseses over her own records and broods over this or that stat.

Pat Cash is just trying to get some attention for himself using Graf's name.
 

Bloodshed

Professional
As ridiculous as it is for Graf to make a comeback right now while being 40 years old, I would bet anything she would make deep runs with the current status of the WTA right now.

But then again she should of made her move since 2 years ago because now with the Belgiums back in the mix, it's almost impossible for Graf to win a Slam.

I would do anything to see Graf play in the WTA right now but I'm not holding my breath.

It's like if we would ask Pete Sampras to come back despite beating Fed in Exo matches.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Graf was an incredibly strong, athletic, and physically fit women.
"was." Remember that. "was." That is not the here and now, nor is it an aid to her present, aged body and reflexes.


Moreso than those you mentioned by far. Vaidisova isnt even on the main tour anymore BTW so she is irrelevant personified[/qoute]

She a valid reference because her physicality, training and strength are state of the art. This is not about her abilities, as i've already pointed out.

Date: unless you are going to tell me that Date has incurred the same amount of wear and tear as someone who was consistently going deep and/or winning events--particularly the slams--over the course of a career (like Graf), then she's not exactly a great example, as she has not suffered as much as SG, thus her comeback (for as long or short as it will be) cannot be used to bolster Graf's chances.
 

LDVTennis

Professional
"was." Remember that. "was." That is not the here and now, nor is it an aid to her present, aged body and reflexes.

She [Vaidisova is] a valid reference because her physicality, training and strength are state of the art. This is not about her abilities, as i've already pointed out.

Date: unless you are going to tell me that Date has incurred the same amount of wear and tear as someone who was consistently going deep and/or winning events--particularly the slams--over the course of a career (like Graf), then she's not exactly a great example, as she has not suffered as much as SG, thus her comeback (for as long or short as it will be) cannot be used to bolster Graf's chances.
Why are you so adamant about this? What have you got to lose, I wonder?

Graf isn't coming back. She made her mark and moved on. Pat Cash opined that she should come back because he has no respect for the level of play or the fitness level of today's top female players.

Wait. That's it, isn't it? The idea that Graf could come back upsets your view that today's players are as athletic and talented as you think they are.

Well, if that's your problem, then you are arguing with the wrong people. Find Pat Cash and try to convince him to shut up about Steffi Graf and everything else he's said about how bad women's tennis is today.

Because as long as he and his kind keep saying so and so should comeback and/or keep wondering how fit or unfit Serena and company are, you're going to have this problem and it's not our fault.
 
Move on people. Pat Cash is just trying to draw attention to himself by using Graf's name as another poster indicated. He is clever enough to know nobody gives a toot what he has to say on its own anymore, but people will be interested to hear something about Steffi Graf. Graf has given no even tiny hints she is at all interested in returning. She has been living the next stage of her life for 10 years. She has absolutely nothing to prove and no reason to want to come back at 40 anyway. She is already firmly established as one of top few greatest women players in history, a serious female GOAT candidate if you will, and she now has a settled and happy new life she has embarked on for a full decade now. It is just crazy to even be discussing this.
 
Agreed, but it is rather odd that some actually fantasize about Graf returning and winning slams, when all conceivable data suggests the opposite. Pro-level abilities of the past remain in the past.
Some are probably basing that on Martina reaching a Wimbledon final at 37. Which is ridiculous because:

1. 40 is even older than 37 obviously. When you get that old each year is a huge difference.

2. Not to take anything away from Martina's making the Wimbledon final at 37 which was an amazing feat but it was also a bit flukish just as Martinez's Wimbledon title that years. Graf's once in a million years like 1st round loss, Seles absent during her post stabbing layoff, Pierce skipping Wimbledon because there was buzz her abusive father made it onto grounds, Sanchez Vicario and Novotna also losing early. Her last slam final should have been in 1991 at age 34 really. Given that she couldnt even beat Martinez, a great clay courter who never even won the French and the worst grass courter to win Wimbledon in the events history, it is safe to say it was pretty much impossible for her to win a slam at that point.

3. Martina is by far the latest blooming great player ever. Here is the current female GOAT to some, yet at the time of her 25th birthday she had only 2 slams, less than Davenport had at her 25th birthday. So naturally much more likely for her to excel into a more advanced age than anyone else due to her unusual development path.

4. Martina was playing full time tennis, both singles and doubles, for years well into her 30s. Graf has barely played any serious tennis in over 10 years.

5. Martina played an attacking game with mostly all short points. Less hard on the older body, and less testing of the reduced speed and durability, than predominantly a baseline game like Steffi's.
 
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