Something I read this week about Graf and the stabbing of Seles!

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muddlehead

Professional
In the 4 majors leading up to that fateful April 1993, Seles won 3 and was runner up in the 4th. Is it necessary to add anything else?
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.
 

Chico

Banned
In the 4 majors leading up to that fateful April 1993, Seles won 3 and was runner up in the 4th. Is it necessary to add anything else?

To correct you. In the 9 slams leading up to that, Seles won 7 and skipped 1 and was runner up in the 9th. Is it necessary to add anything else? Oh yes it was. She was 19 years old in April 1993.

BTW people please keep Graf threads out of this section. There is a Former Pro Player section where these threads belong.
 

Chico

Banned
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.

H2H advantage was due to Graf beating 15-16 years old baby Seles 3 times.
 

insideguy

G.O.A.T.
To correct you. In the 9 slams leading up to that, Seles won 7 and skipped 1 and was runner up in the 9th. Is it necessary to add anything else? Oh yes it was. She was 19 years old in April 1993.

BTW people please keep Graf threads out of this section. There is a Former Pro Player section where these threads belong.

I think seles won 7 or 9 and was on her way to dominating even more before stabbing cause it was a weak era:)
 

Chico

Banned
I think seles won 7 or 9 and was on her way to dominating even more before stabbing cause it was a weak era:)

Sure it was weak era, there were only Graf and Seles. That is why Graf was able to dominate before Seles was 16 and after Seles was stabbed.
 

Tiger8

Semi-Pro
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.

She was 19 when the stabbing took place, the head to head is misrepresented. If the incident had not taken place, she would have had loads of chances to face Graf, including when she would enter her prime.
 

Tiger8

Semi-Pro
The article is pretty biased, the author uses the majors after the Seles stabbing to use as majors "banked" for Graf, when it's pretty clear that Seles would have been a completely different player if the incident had not happened. Remember, for that, Seles was 19, and she had 8 Slam wins, and one runner-up finish. At the same time period, Graf had 11 Slam wins, and 7 runner ups, at the age of 24. I think it's safe to say that history likely would have turned out quite differently if the stabbing had not taken place.
 

Gonzalito17

Banned
Seles could have won Wimbledon, she made the final. She could have beaten Graf in the final but the media uproar about her grunting forced her to play silent in the final and it killed her game and her intensity. Seles absolutely could have won Wimbledon.
 

Chico

Banned
Seles could have won Wimbledon, she made the final. She could have beaten Graf in the final but the media uproar about her grunting forced her to play silent in the final and it killed her game and her intensity. Seles absolutely could have won Wimbledon.

Clearly Seles would have won Wimbledon 1994. That one is certain. She was better than Conchita Martinez on grass for sure.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
The problem with the article (I only scan read it, sorry) is that it fails to mention that before the stabbing, Seles had won 7 (seven) of the last 9 (nine -- seven of the last nine!!!) Grand Slam titles!


7 out of 9.

That's one RIDICULOUS stretch of momentum to have stabbed short.


She was crushing the tour! Forget the H2H, look at the results against the field! You telling me Seles wouldn't have carried on winning a truckload of Slams?
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.

A dominant Graf beat a 15 year old Seles 3 times in 1989.

Seles did dominate Graf in the early 1990s in terms of the big 4 majors, and the 5th biggest tournament at the WTA Championships. Bolded are the tournaments where Seles did better.

Look at the results:

1990 French Open
Steffi Graf loses in the final to Monica Seles
Monica Seles defeats Steffi Graf in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles


1990 Wimbledon
Steffi Graf loses in the semi finals to Zina Garrison
Monica Seles loses in the quarter finals to Zina Garrison

Better tournament: Steffi Graf

1990 US Open
Steffi Graf loses in the final to Gabriela Sabatini
Monica Seles loses in the R32 to Linda Ferrando

Better tournament: Steffi Graf

1990 WTA Championships
Steffi Graf loses in the semi finals to Gabriela Sabatini
Monica Seles defeats Gabriela Sabatini in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1991 Australian Open
Steffi Graf loses in the quarter finals to Jana Novotna
Monica Seles defeats Jana Novotna in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1991 French Open
Steffi Graf loses in the semi finals to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
Monica Seles defeats Aranxta Sanchez Vicario in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles


1991 Wimbledon
Steffi Graf defeats Gabriela Sabatini in the final
Monica Seles unable to play Wimbledon due to shin splints injury.

Better tournament: Steffi Graf

1991 US Open
Steffi Graf loses in the semi finals to Martina Navratilova
Monica Seles defeats Martina Navratilova in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1991 WTA Championships
Steffi Graf loses in the quarter finals to Jana Novotna
Monica Seles defeats Martina Navratilova (Novotna's conquerer) in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1992 Australian Open
Steffi Graf unable to play Australian Open due to German measles
Monica Seles defeats Mary Joe Fernandez in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1992 French Open
Steffi Graf loses in the final to Monica Seles
Monica Seles defeats Steffi Graf in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles


1992 Wimbledon
Steffi Graf defeats Monica Seles in the final.
Monica Seles loses in the final to Steffi Graf.

Better tournament: Steffi Graf

1992 US Open
Steffi Graf loses in the quarter finals to Aranxta Sanchez Vicario
Monica Seles defeats Aranxta Sanchez Vicario in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1992 WTA Championships
Steffi Graf loses in the R16 to Lori McNeil
Monica Seles defeats Martina Navratilova (McNeil's conquerer) in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles

1993 Australian Open
Steffi Graf loses in the final to Monica Seles
Monica Seles defeats Steffi Graf in the final.

Better tournament: Monica Seles


Before the next big tournament, Seles was stabbed, and Graf went on to win the next 4 majors and also the 1993 WTA Championships.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Monica was crushing the tour, absolutely crushing the tour.

Then stabba dabba dooooooooo...

Monica Seles, where are you?

images
 
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The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
^^Ok, so she was doing much better vs the field than Graf. Winning 7 out of 9 GS, and also the 2 WTA championships, is ridiculous. Who knows what would of happened?
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
It's illustrative of how getting hung up over H2H stats can make one lose sight of the forest for the trees and miss the bigger picture.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
^^Ok, so she was doing much better vs the field than Graf. Winning 7 out of 9 GS, and also the 2 WTA championships, is ridiculous. Who knows what would of happened?

3 WTA Championships (1990, 1991, 1992).

The point is, Monica Seles was dominating the tour, and was taken out by a crazed Steffi Graf fan, Gunther Parche, whose very aim was to put Monica Seles out of tennis at the very least. He should never have been allowed to do that, which altered the course of women's tennis history. Parche's dislike of Seles goes back to the 1990 Berlin final (which he was at), when Graf was on a huge winning streak, and Seles beat Graf in straight sets. Parche was incensed. He later saw Seles overtaking Graf. Just before the stabbing in Hamburg in April 1993, Parche was a familiar face that Seles had seen around, and he wore an Arthur Ashe baseball cap. Her father, Karolj, even spoke to him at one point, but Parche didn't respond.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Mustard, just interested to know if you had to guess how the course of history would have most likely been different had this never happened, what do you estimate the achievements of Seles and Graf would have been?
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Mustard, just interested to know if you had to guess how the course of history would have most likely been different had this never happened, what do you estimate the achievements of Seles and Graf would have been?

Is it worth speculating? We can't possibly know for sure how different things would have been, but that attack changed Seles as a person at a time when she had been dominating the biggest tournaments.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Is it worth speculating? We can't possibly know for sure how different things would have been, but that attack changed Seles as a person at a time when she had been dominating the biggest tournaments.

Yes, it's interesting. Who do you think would have been the more accomplished player? Would it have been close? What do your instincts allied with your knowledge of their games and tennis history tell you?
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Stabbing or no stabbing, Seles was never going to win the Grand Slam like Graf. Seles was a disaster at Wimbledon.
This is a very strong assumption. First of all, she did reach the final (lost to Graf) when she was less 19 years old. Second, the idea that "what we had is exactly what will have" does not always work: Seles was very young at that stage and had enough time to improve her game on grass to win Wimbledon. I mean, she won 8 majors before the age of 20 (which is also before the stabbing) and only 1 after! You got to believe that she had few more, including Wimbledon.

Also, it took Nadal multiple attempts to win Wimbledon, but he finally did it. It took Sharapova multiple attempts to win the FO, but she finally did it... and so on. Seles would probably have figured out a way to do it, but this something we would never know for sure.

And, I say this as someone who always liked Graf more than Seles. But, the truth is that her career was damaged a lot by that incident.
 
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mistik

Hall of Fame
I am watching tennis for many years. To be honest ı never felt any time like Seles is for Graf what Rafa for Roger never. Even 1991 a year Seles dominated the tour Seles lost all the matches that she played with Graf. Graf after 89 begins to lose the players she dominated before her problem wasnt only Seles. She begins to have huge difficulty with Sabatini and old Martina.She didnt even reach some of the GS finals she supposed to reach. Graf did have personal problems in her life after 89.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
This is a very strong assumption. First of all, she did reach the final (lost to Graf) when she was less 19 years old. Second, the idea that "what we had is exactly what will have" does not always work: Seles was very young at that stage and had enough time to improve her game on grass to win Wimbledon. I mean, she won 8 majors before the age of 20 (which is also before the stabbing) and only 1 after! You got to believe that she had few more, including Wimbledon.

Also, it took Nadal multiple attempts to win Wimbledon, but he finally did it. It took Sharapova multiple attempts to win the FO, but she finally did it... and so on. Seles would probably have figured out a way to do it, but this something we would never know for sure.

And, I say this as someone who always liked Graf more than Seles.

OK, but grass was still probably going to be the Slam where she would find it hardest to perform championship winning tennis and so the year/years in which she would occasionally win it would've had to coincide with her also winning the other three. It seems unlikely.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
I am watching tennis for many years. To be honest ı never felt any time like Seles is what Rafa for Roger never. Even 1991 where Seles dominated the tour he lost all the matches that she played with Graf. Graf after 89 begins to lose the players she dominated her problem wasnt only Seles. She begins to have huge difficulty with Sabatini and old Martina. Graf did have personal problems in her life after 89.

She did, and eventually she addressed her problems and was able to figure out once again how to dominate the field consistently post stabbing. It would have been fascinating to watch the rivalry carry on out without the stabbing, with Graf once again figuring out the tour, and facing Seles in many more championship matches (rather than being taken out by Sabatini in semi-finals and whatnot).
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Yes, it's interesting. Who do you think would have been the more accomplished player? Would it have been close? What do your instincts allied with your knowledge of their games and tennis history tell you?

It depends on how Seles would have responded to her dad getting diagnosed with prostate cancer in early May 1993, which would have had an effect on her, even if the stabbing had never happened. Her dad was her coach and closest confidant. Karolj wasn't at that match where Monica was stabbed because he was feeling ill, so stayed back at the hotel in bed.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
OK, but grass was still probably going to be the Slam where she would find it hardest to perform championship winning tennis and so the year/years in which she would occasionally win it would've had to coincide with her also winning the other three. It seems unlikely.
Let's say that she would win Wimbledon only once had she not been stabbed.

Now, she won 3 in 1991, 3 in 1992 and the first major of 1993 before that incident. Let's say that she would win only ONE slam each year, on average, by the age of 30. How many titles would she end up with? I say on average because there might be years with multiple slams and years with none (say, later in her career).

She had the potential to easily reach 18-20 slams.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
It depends on how Seles would have responded to her dad getting diagnosed with prostate cancer in early May 1993, which would have had an effect on her, even if the stabbing had never happened. Her dad was her coach and closest confidant. Karolj wasn't at that match where Monica was stabbed because he was feeling ill, so stayed back at the hotel in bed.

Yes, and her reaction to that might have been quite different had she not been stabbed in the first place.

I'll put it to you another way. In terms of talent and tennis ability, how do you rate the likes of Graf and Seles? Do you think one was a better player than the other (so not talking about overall accomplishments here)?
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Let's say that she would win Wimbledon only once had she not been stabbed.

Now, she won 3 in 1991, 3 in 1992 and the first major of 1993 before that incident. Let's say that she would win only ONE slam each year, on average, by the age of 30. How many titles would she end up with? I say on average because there might be years with multiple slams and years with none (say, later in her career).

She had the potential to easily reach 18-20 slams.

Maybe, though I wonder how she would have kept up her crazy levels of intensity and focus uninterrupted for several more straight years. It's possible that Graf would have weathered her storm and had greater results before and after the prime of Seles, even though Seles arrived on the scene later. It's all speculation, though.

All I'm fairly sure about is that if Seles wasn't stabbed, she would have won many more titles than she did including several Majors. I still think Graf would have won a tremendous amount of Majors, and there'd have been even less for the rest. This is not to say that Seles wouldn't have had other problems to deal with just as Graf did and wouldn't have had a lean period of success anyway... but she was K'O'd from the tour for three years and everything hit her like a tonne of bricks at once.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
Yes, and her reaction to that might have been quite different had she not been stabbed in the first place.

I'll put it to you another way. In terms of talent and tennis ability, how do you rate the likes of Graf and Seles? Do you think one was a better player than the other (so not talking about overall accomplishments here)?

Maybe you didnt ask to me but my response to this that Seles was great striker off the ball mentally very strong player as well but she wasnt a great athlete even before the stabbing.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Maybe you didnt ask to me but my response to this that Seles was great striker off the ball mentally very strong player as well but she wasnt a great athlete even before the stabbing.

Yeah, where as Graf was a world class athlete with wonderful footwork and quickness.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Yes, and her reaction to that might have been quite different had she not been stabbed in the first place.

Yes, that's very true. As she had just been stabbed, it was another huge blow that took her to a new low. If there hadn't have been the stabbing, she may have had the mental strength to carry on as normal with some regular encouragement from her dad to not let it get in the way of her tennis.

I'll put it to you another way. In terms of talent and tennis ability, how do you rate the likes of Graf and Seles? Do you think one was a better player than the other (so not talking about overall accomplishments here)?

That can be answered in many ways. I rate them both very highly in tennis history. Graf was certainly the better athlete, and she was raised to be a great tennis player. Seles, on the other hand, had an incredible love and enthusiasm for tennis in the core of her being, and for chasing balls with relentless determination. A young Seles was even dragging her dad out to play tennis in the mornings. She did lose the enthusiasm for a while when she went out to Bollettieri's academy in Florida and was told to drop the two-handed strokes on both sides. Her performances declined. When her dad went out there, he reinstated the two-handed strokes on both sides, saying that it was natural for his daughter, because that's how she hit balls with the racquet from when she first played.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Classic story of letting a talented individual find their own way. The greats are often the mavericks with very individual and sometimes even peculiar idiosyncrasies.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Maybe, though I wonder how she would have kept up her crazy levels of intensity and focus uninterrupted for several more straight years. It's possible that Graf would have weathered her storm and had greater results before and after the prime of Seles, even though Seles arrived on the scene later. It's all speculation, though.

When Seles lost to Graf in the 1992 Wimbledon final, having stayed mute throughout the match and failing to deal well with rain delays, she was a bit depressed, annoyed that so many people in the media were complaining about her grunting all of a sudden. A talk with Arthur Ashe cheered her up. He told her not to take any notice of the critics, who would always find something to criticise you with, no matter what you do. If anything, she became even more mentally tough from that point, because that grunting controversy did affect her during 1992 Wimbledon, especially when Martina Navratilova joined in the criticism as well. It was the first time that Seles had shown a chink in her mental armour.

How long could Seles have kept this big enthusiasm for tennis? Who can say? What we can say is that in April 1993, she still had big enthusiasm. It's often forgotten that 1993 Hamburg was her comeback tournament, after being out through exhaustion and illness for well over a month. She nearly entered into 1993 Barcelona instead of 1993 Hamburg. Had she gone to Barcelona, Parche said that he would have targetted her at the French Open.

All I'm fairly sure about is that if Seles wasn't stabbed, she would have won many more titles than she did including several Majors. I still think Graf would have won a tremendous amount of Majors, and there'd have been even less for the rest. This is not to say that Seles wouldn't have had other problems to deal with just as Graf did and wouldn't have had a lean period of success anyway... but she was K'O'd from the tour for three years and everything hit her like a tonne of bricks at once.

The annoying thing is that we cannot know the objective truth. Parche took that from us.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Excellent and concise recollections as per usual Mustard, thanks.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
With all said and done. Seles stabbing was one of saddest thing ever happened in sport. Seles Graf rivalry could have been as legendary as Martina and Chris if not more.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
With all said and done. Seles stabbing was one of saddest thing ever happened in sport. Seles Graf rivalry could have been as legendary as Martina and Chris if not more.

That's the first thing that comes to my mind, the amount of incredible sporting drama we were likely robbed of. Borg retiring, although it was his own decision of course, was also quite sad and left a bit of a sudden void in the men's game. I can't quite imagine that happening today. It would be like if Nadal suddenly decided to retire - although he's played out a longer career, it would be shocking and leave a void in the men's game.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
... Graf was certainly the better athlete, and she was raised to be a great tennis player. Seles, on the other hand, had an incredible love and enthusiasm for tennis in the core of her being, and for chasing balls with relentless determination...

Agree that Graf was probably the better overall athlete. Her footwork was truly amazing/outstanding. OTOH, Seles' unflagging determination enabled her to run down a lot of balls even tho' her movement/footwork was not the best. Graf probably had the best FH of her time with a BH slice that could be deadly in it own right even tho' she used it quite a bit to set herself up for her big weapon -- her killer FH.

Seles was very strong and very aggressive on both wings -- no real weakness here. Her serve, however, was not a huge weapon. As a lefty, she should have had something of an advantage with her serve -- but it could have been better. Seles did not appear to have the touch or the versatility in her game that Graf did. Seles basically overpowered her opponents with her aggressive shots. She was also very good at hitting angles.

It seemed that Seles really only had one shot speed = very fast. I recall an incident where Jim Courier had asked Monica to warm up with him. She started of with guns blazing -- hitting as hard as she could from the onset. Courier stopped the warmup after a fairly brief time -- she was hitting so hard that he could not get a decent rhythm to get the warmup he needed.
 

conway

Banned
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.

Exactly. This was Seles vs Graf during her 2.2 years of dominance:

1991 U.S womens hard court final (hard courts)- Graf wins 6-4, 6-3
1991 Hamburg final (clay)- Graf wins 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 (after choking away 5-2 2nd set lead)
1992 French Open (clay)- Seles wins 6-2, 3-6, 10-8
1992 Wimbledon (grass)- Graf wins 6-2, 6-1
1992 Australian Open (hard courts)- Seles wins 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

So even during her dominance Seles did not dominate Graf, and in fact was generally beaten in the matchup, with a losing record, taking a loss on every surface, being hopeless vs Graf on grass and never beating her on a surface faster than clay, and never winning easily while losing sometimes quite easily. Fortunately for Seles, Graf was not dominant vs the field like she usually is this period and Seles barely even had to play Graf in finals.
 

conway

Banned
I'll put it to you another way. In terms of talent and tennis ability, how do you rate the likes of Graf and Seles? Do you think one was a better player than the other (so not talking about overall accomplishments here)?

Graf better for sure. Just look at the stats of each of their best years of tennis. Graf's best 4 years of tennis- 1988, 1989, 1995, and 1996, she was losing about 2 matches per year, and won 13 of 14 slams she played, losing 7-5 in the 3rd set of the one she didn't. Seles's 2 best years of tennis- 1991 and 1992, she was losing about 6 matches per year, and did not win Wimbledon either year. I would be happy to post a more extensive breakdown if you would like to get a clearer picture. I believe someone posted a stat sometime that Graf had a higher win percentage over a 10 year period (87-96) than Seles did over her best ever 3 year period (May 1990-April 1993).

Graf was also further past her prime by 98-99 than Seles, and was still more competitive with the top players than the much younger Seles was, reaching slam finals back to back, winning a slam, and splitting her matches evenly with Venus, Serena, Davenport, and Hingis (all things Seles never did after early 96).
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I didn't know that Graf still had the HTH advantage before the stabbing took place. You always hear how Seles was dominating Graf beforehand, which isn't the case at all.

Yeah, I think people remember her as "dominating" for a couple of reasons. First, not many people were competitive, much less beating Graf, at all. Monica was both. No, she wasn't beating her all the time, but she was legitimately beating her and troubling on occasion as no other player was.

Second, Monica did beat Graf in 3! Slam finals in a fairly short period of time which even to this day is a great accomplishment. What other players ever beat Graf in 3 finals (Navratilova?).

Clearly, they would have played more from 1993-1995 if Seles was playing. Too bad, because most of those matches (except on grass) would have been great no matter who won.

So, her performance from 1990 or 1991 until 1993 vs. Graf was just miles ahead of anyone else and was really the only player for whom Graf's aura didn't overwhelm the matchup. A completely legitimate threat to Graf (except on grass), and for a short while even her equal (except on grass), but no, not "dominating".
 
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Camilio Pascual

Hall of Fame
Seles is responsible for her reaction to media complaints of her grunting.
If she let it affect her game, then that is completely her fault.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Agree that Graf was probably the better overall athlete. Her footwork was truly amazing/outstanding. OTOH, Seles' unflagging determination enabled her to run down a lot of balls even tho' her movement/footwork was not the best. Graf probably had the best FH of her time with a BH slice that could be deadly in it own right even tho' she used it quite a bit to set herself up for her big weapon -- her killer FH.

Seles was very strong and very aggressive on both wings -- no real weakness here. Her serve, however, was not a huge weapon. As a lefty, she should have had something of an advantage with her serve -- but it could have been better. Seles did not appear to have the touch or the versatility in her game that Graf did. Seles basically overpowered her opponents with her aggressive shots. She was also very good at hitting angles.

It seemed that Seles really only had one shot speed = very fast. I recall an incident where Jim Courier had asked Monica to warm up with him. She started of with guns blazing -- hitting as hard as she could from the onset. Courier stopped the warmup after a fairly brief time -- she was hitting so hard that he could not get a decent rhythm to get the warmup he needed.

That's how I remembered Seles. But, I actually went back and watched some of her matches. She actually hit a lot of rally shots that where far from her hardest. My image of her was that she just teed off on anythig and everything. But, she actually did have to wait for opportunities and work for position.
 
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Mustard

Bionic Poster
Agree that Graf was probably the better overall athlete. Her footwork was truly amazing/outstanding. OTOH, Seles' unflagging determination enabled her to run down a lot of balls even tho' her movement/footwork was not the best. Graf probably had the best FH of her time with a BH slice that could be deadly in it own right even tho' she used it quite a bit to set herself up for her big weapon -- her killer FH.

Seles was very strong and very aggressive on both wings -- no real weakness here. Her serve, however, was not a huge weapon. As a lefty, she should have had something of an advantage with her serve -- but it could have been better. Seles did not appear to have the touch or the versatility in her game that Graf did. Seles basically overpowered her opponents with her aggressive shots. She was also very good at hitting angles.

Seles was improving her serve in late 1992 and early 1993. Her serve looked better than it ever had before at the 1993 Australian Open. That was a very tough and determined Graf that Seles beat in the 1993 Australian Open final.

I recall an incident where Jim Courier had asked Monica to warm up with him. She started of with guns blazing -- hitting as hard as she could from the onset. Courier stopped the warmup after a fairly brief time -- she was hitting so hard that he could not get a decent rhythm to get the warmup he needed.

Yes, I remember reading about that. Nick Bollettieri asked Jim Courier to hit with Monica Seles, and Seles ran Courier all over the court, with power shots and crazy angles. Courier then shouted at Bollettieri "Don't ever make me hit with her, again!". Courier was already feeling underappreciated, due to Bollettieri's preference for Agassi. They all laughed about it in the years afterwards.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.

Key point of the article:

In discussions online and offline a popular pastime among tennis fans and observers is to undertake some fictional re-assessment and revised slam counts for both players based on the What if… theory. Typically, these discussions can attract wild assessments – often revising Graf’s major count down significantly and awarding Monica hypothetical titles she never won on court.

...such as Wimbledon, where Seles--almost inarguably at the height of her ability--was swiftly blown off court in straight sets by...you guessed it...Graf.

Seles was no shoe-in to win phantom majors played in the wake of her stabbing, and all of the bitter, Graf-hating venom spewed by certain TW members (not meaning you, Fed881981) will not make little dreams become an accepted reality.

Another key point in the article:

So let’s take a look at each of Graf’s major successes and see if the count bears merit…

Steffi Graf had already won 11 grand slam titles before the stabbing including a golden grand slam (all 4 majors and the Olympic title) in 1988.

The 1988 Grand Slam had already catapulted Graf to GOAT consideration/commentary, and just tossing the Olympics on top sets a record far beyond Seles' skills--as we witnessed at the zenith of her game.

There's no history to be rewritten that suddenly lifts Seles to Graf's level.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
...such as Wimbledon, where Seles--almost inarguably at the height of her ability--was swiftly blown off court in straight sets by...you guessed it...Graf.

Seles was 18 years old, and the whole grunting controversy was ridiculous to say the least. She never got another shot at Wimbledon, prior to the stabbing.

Seles was no shoe-in to win phantom majors played in the wake of her stabbing, and all of the bitter, Graf-hating venom spewed by certain TW members (not meaning you, Fed881981) will not make little dreams become an accepted reality.

What matters is that Seles was taken out by a crazed Graf fan, who later admitted that he aimed to take Seles out of tennis.

The 1988 Grand Slam had already catapulted Graf to GOAT consideration/commentary, and just tossing the Olympics on top sets a record far beyond Seles' skills--as we witnessed at the zenith of her game.

There's no history to be rewritten that suddenly lifts Seles to Graf's level.

I think you need to check the historical facts. Seles didn't compete at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, due to the fact that Yugoslavia were banned from those Olympics.
 

BTURNER

Legend
That's how I remembered Seles. But, I actually went back and watched some of her matches. She actually hit a lot of rally shots that where far from her hardest. My image of her was that she just teed off on anythig and everything. But, she actually did have to wait for opportunities and work for position.

Monica worked hard, even from the beginning, to throw off speed junk and variety into her game. she threw in slices, heavy topspin moonballs, dropshots, soft angles, hard flat angles, and plenty of swing volleys. She doesn't get credit for them, because those cannonball groundies could come from any part of the court, and in the most awkward moments. Until Serena arrived, I never saw a baseliner move so well from total defensive in a point, to crushing offense. Seles did it in with one stroke from either wing, from way outside the court, and on the dead run. and you never knew when the lightening was striking. Monica had such incredible ball control and angle with those wrists, and such power coming from her whole body.

what was most frustrating to opponents was that her grunt was exactly the same whether she was going for a soft sweet angle, a bullet or a high bouncing moonball.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Seles was 18 years old, and the whole grunting controversy was ridiculous to say the least. She never got another shot at Wimbledon, prior to the stabbing.

Take a look at her entire Wimbledon placement history, which is not stellar at all; it is not like she was the equivalent of Jana Novotna, who had a natural game for the event, reached a couple of finals before finally winning. There was expectation in Novotna's case. With Seles, she reached one final pre-stabbing, so she was in shape, at the height of her ability, but she could not defeat the one who truly understood that surface.

What matters is that Seles was taken out by a crazed Graf fan, who later admitted that he aimed to take Seles out of tennis.

Whether she was stabbed or not, awarding phantom majors to someone for no substantiated reason is as much fantasy as any "what if" exercise, and is--at best--counterproductive, and at worst, fueling undeserved attacks on Graf for the actions of others.

I think you need to check the historical facts. Seles didn't compete at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, due to the fact that Yugoslavia were banned from those Olympics.

I was not claiming Seles was a participant at all; the Olympics reference merely reiterated Graf's accomplishment.
 
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scootad.

Semi-Pro
Take a look at her entire Wimbledon placement history, which is not stellar at all; it is not like she was the equivalent of Jana Novotna, who had a natural game for the event, reached a couple of finals before finally winning. There was expectation in Novotna's case. With Seles, she reached one final pre-stabbing, so she was in shape, at the height of her ability, but she could not defeat the one who truly understood that surface. I was not claiming Seles was a participant at all; the Olympics reference merely reiterated Graf's accomplishment.

If you are going to use Novotna as an example at least get your facts straight. Jana Novotna herself, as brilliant and natural of a grass court player as she was, didn't reach the finals of Wimbledon until age 24 (in 1993).

Seles reached Wimbledon finals at age 18 (in 1992).

Those two facts, combined with the notion that many pros simply don't feel comfortable playing on grass until a few years into their careers, make it a not at all far fetched idea that Seles would end up bagging at least one if not a couple of Wimbedon titles in her career, had she not been brutally attacked in Phase 1 of her career and had her natural mental and physical trajectory as a player not been completely altered.
 
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