Sanchez Vicario the biggest beneficiary of Seles stabbing

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NadalAgassi, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Many seem to think Graf is the biggest beneficiary of the Seles stabbing. I dont think she is. She definitely is a beneficiary but she "might" have done enough to still be considered the female GOAT even without it (say 19 slams, 7 Wimbledons, 4 at all the others). At worst she would be cut down to 15 or 16 slams and be #4 or #5 all time today.

    The biggest beneficiary is definitely Sanchez Vicario. Likely to have remained a 1 slam wonder forever and have a moderate # (perhaps say 5 or 6, she had 3 at the time of the stabbing) of slam finals, she now is a 4 time slam winner and compared to the likes of Mandilikova, Hingis, Davenport, and Clijsters. Defintely inflated to what her career would have been. She is also now seen as being in a much higher league than people like Sabatini and Novotna who she would otherwise probably be viewed as simply at the same level as.
  2. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    May 15, 2007
    I agree.

    Fair play to ASV, in Seles's absence she seized her window opportunity with both hands and you cannot fault for that. She was an incredibly gutsy player, and a key component of the strongest clay court era in the history of women's tennis in the early 90s.

    However it cannot be stressed just how badly Seles owned her before the stabbing (and that domination promptly continued when Seles returned). It's difficult to imagine her ever beating a non physically/emotionally wrecked Seles to win a major, let alone potentially having to beat Graf and Seles back to back to do so. Also it's very doubtful that she ever would have become world no. 1 without the stabbing.
  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    One thing about Sanchez Vicario is she was a bad matchup for Graf, and with Seles out and the WTA elite in many ways crumbling starting 1993, she ended up playing Graf an awful lot more than she would have. So alot of people seeing her great matches with Graf, combined with her 4 slam titles she ended up with after the Seles stabbing, developed a false impression she was a better player than she really was. For instance she had a much better head to head vs Graf than an aging Navratilova, post stabbing Seles, and Martina Hingis, all who are much weaker players than Graf (one could speculate on peak Navratilova or peak Seles, but that is aside the point). To have 3 years where in a weak field the only one better than her was Graf, someone who she was naturally a bad matchup for her to boot, was the ideal dream situation for her really. I think her other head to heads with top players probably give a stronger indication to her true abilities, which is not up to a typical 4 slam winner.

    Kind of similar to how Capriati's head to head with top players are shocking for a 3 slam winner, and indicate she probably overachieved to reach that, but people mostly remember her great rivalry with Serena who she was a bad matchup for her, and thus was made to look better than she really was against, and even delude some people to thinking she was better than a typical 3 slam winner. However atleast Capriati's success is pretty much unquestioned by any outside event (Seles was never going to be still winning slams in the 2000s, stabbing or not).
  4. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

    Nov 17, 2010
    I disagree with the OP Arantxa was an incredible clay court player and I believe regardless of whether Monica Seles got stabbed or not she would have WON the French Open more than once. Has the OP forgotten the 1991 French Open semifinal when Aranxta destroyed Steffi 6-0 6-2? Or how about the 1992 US OPEN women's quarterfinals Arantxa once again beat Steffi rather easily 7-6 6-3 in straight sets.
    Arantxa was a tough player she beat Graf in her first grand slam final at the tender age of seventeen in 1989 stopping Graf from winning the grand slam.

    Sanchez Vicario didn't have big weapons but she had the mental toughness and she had the heart of a champion. You had to play your best to beat Arantxa she NEVER beat herself.

    Sanchez Vicario inflicted some big losses to Graf in her career and managed to beat Steffi twice in slam finals and beat Seles in the 1998 French Open final too.
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    It is possible but it would have been difficult. From 1993-1996 she would have had to likely beat Graf and Seles back to back to win one, and Seles owned her and was a much worse opponent for her than Graf was. Either that or 1 of them and an on fire Pierce or Martinez in one of their peak years, or maybe all 3 in a row. After 1996 she was past her prime. In 1998 the draw just broke her way perfectly, most of all she avoided Hingis who she had no hope vs that point. Any change in the draw and Sanchez runs into Hingis at any point (and probably Venus as well by then, yes even on clay, or even possibly any of Pierce, Seles before the final rather than in the final, or even Kournikova who beat her numerous times that year including on clay) and she is probably toast.

    I already acknowledged Sanchez was a somewhat tough opponent for Graf, which is why the Seles stabbing was so great for her, the womens game sucked in the 93-95 period and there was nobody there other than Graf left, the only dominant player she matches up half decently with. Graf was the only one of the greats she was a somewhat tough opponent for though. She is 2-18 lifetime vs Hingis, 3-17 vs Seles, and 3-12 vs Navratilova even though Navratilova was way into her 30s for most of those.

    Graf was also in a major slump around that time, losing 7 of 8 matches to Sabatini and generally playing very poorly. Even in 1994-1996 when Sanchez played her best ever tennis she never came close to beating Graf that easily, and didnt beat her as often.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2012

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