Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Aug 3, 2014.
Great stuff, thanks.
Fair enough - so basically Lenglen would try to make Graf generate her own pace?
A friend of mine (who's knows Evert pretty well) pointed out to me that a lot of their matches were played when Chris was using an outdated wood racquet while Navratilova was using the modern technology of the time. After Evert switched to a different modern racquet, their matches not surprisingly became competitive again.
Yeah that was probably a major factor too. It does make me laugh when some Martina supporters love to rave about the amazing competition she had while posting her amazing dominance and W-L numbers of 83-84. Hana was in a huge slump, Austin and Jaeger were pretty much done, Shriver had already plateaued, Graf was on tour but like 14 years old, and the womens field sucked as far as depth and had almost no real quality players in the top 10 (even for secondary top player standards). Her only real competition with Chris who had become such an easy opponent for her, for a variety of possible reasons, she was all but a walkover for awhile. The top players of that 2-3 period were so inept that the majority of Martina's losses in 82-84 came from people like Hanika, Sukova, and Jordan, not the top 5 or so. :lol:
That isn't to take anything away from Martina who would still probably be my pick as peak play female GOAT (or maybe 2nd to Serena), but it sure as heck had nothing to do with her competition which if anything was unusually poor during the highest height of her dominance and most amazing W-L records.
More or less.
clay: Lenglen, Seles, Evert, Graf, Serena (Mary Pierce for peak play)
grass: Navratilova, Marble, Connolly, Graf, Serena, Court (except Wim)
hard: Connolly, Wills, Seles, Serena, Graf
indoor: Navratilova, Marble, Betz, Serena, Graf
Sabatini did that when she beat Graf.
Sabatini had great groundies, but lacked Lenglen´s genious.IMO, of course.
Serena on clay for anything (even peak play). Don't make me laugh. All time peak Serena (2002-early 2003) was even 1-3 on clay vs before her prime Henin, so even someone like Henin blows her away in peak play on clay.
And Venus for sure makes the list for peak play on grass, especialy as her peak level on grass is atleast equal to Serena.
Graf shouldn't be on peak play for indoors. She was very successful winning indoors, but she was never that dominant or overly impressive in an indoor tournament the way she often is on clay, grass, and medium to fast decoturf. Look at her WTA Championship titles, 5 sets with Anke Huber, 5 sets with a 15 year old Hingis who was cramping, 4 sets with with Sanchez who is a weak indoor player, tough 4 setters with aging Martina. Nothing outstanding.
Williams is lucky to not play the 90´s clay court experts.Other than Henin...who else?
Its about Peak Play, and i saw absolutely dominate a very young Serena at her first attempt the strong Sanchez at RG, before falling into some traps by the tricky Arantxa. No one did that except maybe Seles, but mostly she had some Problems with Sanchez at RG. Also some other performances by Williams on clay i rate very high.
Sanchez was way below her prime level by 1998. Patty Schnyder, Anna Kournikova, and Magui Serna all drubbed her to bits on clay that year. Her win at RG that year was the biggest fluke of her career bar none, and some kind of karma for all her tough losses in majors in 95 and 96. If she was in a different part of the draw and played Seles, Venus, or Hingis in the next round (quarters) following the Serena comeback win, Sanchez would have been gone in 50 minutes at that years RG.
Someone like Martina Hingis (who never won RG) had an incredibly easy time with post prime Sanchez at RG, losing only 8 games in 4 sets in their matches there from 97-99.
Like I said Justine Henin in 2002-early 2003 was 3-1 vs Serena on clay. This was all time PEAK Serena and non prime Henin who had not even won a slam or reached a RG final yet. Based on that we already know beyond any doubt peak Henin >>>>>>>>>> peak Serena on clay, and I am not sure if Henin would even make my list of the top 5 peak clay courters ever (I would rank Henin top 5 all time on clay, but not necessarily peak level play on clay).
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