Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NadalAgassi, Oct 5, 2012.
Sorry the post above was in response to cevertfan. Apologies
Most do place Serena atleast in the top 5. Even Navratilova who hates Serena said publicly Serena was top 5 all time after Wimbledon 2009, and she has obviously achieved a ton since then. The only players a reasonable sum of people might place above her are Graf, Court, Navratilova, and Evert. Basically nobody argues people like King, Seles, Connolly, or Lenglen being above her at this point. The only other one some argue might be Wills. If you have Serena outside the top 5 though you are in the minority, not the majority.
Sorry but i was basing my comment on those who had listed their top ten in this thread, not external commentators ie navratilova. And the majority, albeit marginally, place Williams outside the top ten. I, who have not as yet, listed my personal top ten, would not put her in my top 5. But I'll compile my list and see where she falls. But i also will put Evert above navratilova. Your previous case for this has definitely influenced me
Durr ! I meant placed Williams outside top 5!
I won't unless she shows something more impressive on red clay. Its her demon, and she has to conquer her demon. More Wimbledons and Opens are icing on a cake, which is already two inches thick with buttercream.
Navratilova hates Serena? How do you know?
agree with what Mac says here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kpytW5cqDk
Navratilova hates Graf and Serena both. Graf because most people considered Graf and not her any longer the GOAT when Graf retired and since they were never friendly to begin with; and Serena since Serena is not reverentul to past greats, and since she also is annoyed by alot of the recent Serena GOAT talk as already firmly behind Graf that would bump her even further from the GOAT position she likes to see herself in.
This is how you know who Navratilova hates, and evidently why. Wow! Martina never graduated from Middle School.
Evidence for the above?
Watch her commentate matches with Graf and Serena in it, that says enough. She has even had to defend her comments on Graf (mid 90s) and Serena (early 2000s especialy) to the BBC team during Wimbledon, they created that much controversy. At Wimbledon 96 her anti Graf comments were all over the new and she had to be interviewed by BBC 3 different days to defend them, here is one:
Richard Williams also called her a racist after her kid glove remarks because they are black comment publised in a Time Magazine article in late 2001. One would think being an open lesbian at a time that wasnt exactly readily accepted would make Serena sensitive towards minority issues in tennis such as race, but apparently not. I dont think Navratilova is racist btw, but she let her blind hatred of Serena make her temporarily forget what is politically acceptable to say in todays society. On the other hand Navratilova absolute loves Seles, Sabatini, Capriati, Hingis, and cant get your tongue out of their behinds for a moment when they play. She was also immediately fired by CBS after only ONE year after the 95 U.S Open for her heavily biased pro Seles and anti Graf commentary. Because of the extreme bias of her work even today she cant hold down a decent commentary job to save her life (despite that she very actively searches, the fact she is willing to work for whatever secondary network will hire her) while lesser lights like her former doubles partner Pam Shriver and contemporary journeywomen peer of the late 70s and early 80s Mary Carillo are hugely in demand anywhere they want to go.
This post says nothing credible about who Martina may hate or what agenda she may have.
Ah Richard Williams...there's a sane and balanced individual
Considering Hingis comments on *****, it is pretty amazing:-?
serena has had an amazing career but she won 15 majors..
folk on here turn her into the new jeesus and act as if she won 25 majors
Your hatred of Navratilova is duly noted.
Just out of curiosity, what she ever do to you?
for some people pre 1990 majors or tournaments in general don't count. for that reason the 2 CYGS from laver don't count and connors gazllion tournament wins also don't count.
Court, Navratilova, Graf, Evert, King, Serena would be my top 6. Serena had a very impressive last six months of 2012 and she may deserve to go higher in any rankings. She may be above Evert and King already, but they won so many tournaments and had such great consistency (especially Chrissie) over so many years, more so than Williams, I think.
How could you possibly even consider putting her above Evert when Chris has 18 majors to Serena's 15, even if you are only basing your criteria just on majors won?? I'm not even going to go into how many years Evert was #1, how many more weeks Evert was #1, total singles titles, consistent dominance and all the other criteria that judging the very best should be based upon - it's not ALL about the majors.
Bottom line is Serena is one of the all time greats but her career isn't nearly as sterling as the best four ever of Graf, Navratilova, Evert and Court. Yes, she had a good second half of 2012 but even that wasn't enough to return her to #1 in the world, which in this very weak era of women's tennis she should have a lock on and be dominating like no other woman before her since when she's healthy no one can seem to even come close to beating her. So why hasn't she stepped up - she either can't or won't but either answer tarnishes her legacy and makes it less than it could have been.
Best ever rankings arent just based on major wins. Otherwise Court would be the GOAT, as her achievements far trump Navratilova in both singles and doubles, and even trump Graf in singles, yet most rank Court down in 3rd behind Graf and Navratilova, or these days many even 4th behind Graf, Navratilova, and Serena.
While I defended my ranking of Evert over Navratilova earlier in this thread, which I know heavily goes against the norm, I would also say there is no way Evert could be logically argued as the GOAT for the simple fact she was made to look so hopeless vs Navratilova in 83-84 and then again by Graf at the end of her career. From different angles she could be argued as being over anyone, well anyone except Court and Graf I guess, I see no arguments for Evert possibly being over either of them, even based on pure stats and nothing else, although some might feel differently. However whoever she is ranked above, she cant be ranked over everyone else and at the very top, for the simple truth of how badly she was beaten up by a couple of rivals for a significnat period of time. Yes I know she was past her prime when Graf went on that long run of dominance, but Graf started it at age 16, way before her prime as well, and Evert herself was losing several matches, including a Wimbledon semifinal, to someone like 33 year old Virginia Wade at the apex of her career (someone even baby Evert mostly dominated in Wade`s prime which shows the age detriment for an older player is way overhyped at times), so age alone cant be an excuse for her complete ineptitude against Graf from 86-89, and obviously her way too one sided for any would be GOAT dominance at the hands of peak Martina in 83-84. 3rd or 4th all time would be the absolute max ranking for Evert, regardless who is put in front of her (Graf being the only compulsory undisputed one to be over her IMO), and she could also be ranked as low as 6th or 7th for those who value peak level play, dominance, success vs biggest rivals, and equality of great play in singles and doubles.
Why would someone rank Serena over Evert. Well maybe for the simple obvious fact if they played in their mutual primes Serena would win most of the matches, and that Serena before she turns 36 atleast would never be as dominated by anyone, no matter how great they were or were playing, as Evert was by both Navratilova and Graf for a stretch of time. Even in years like 2005-2006 when she was a terrible player after the 05 AO, and in all fairness to Chris way worse a player than Chris was at any point in her career, through sheer power and weaponary and talent, would still find a way to be more competitive vs Navratilova and Graf than Chris was through those periods if she was forced to play them about 10 times. Her pride and sheer explosiveness and raw talent would find her raise her game for them to keep most matches competitive and score the odd win somehow, something Evert mostly playing excellent tennis and fully in shape still couldnt do vs peak Martina and peak Graf for quite awhile. Also people credit Court and Navratilova for their doubles careers, well atleast some do, and Serena also had a fabulous doubles career, vs Graf and Evert who had a barely existent one. Serena also has won slams over a 13 year stretch, pretty much making her already number 1 all time in longevity, as the previous longest in the post World War 11 years was 12, and she is still going strong as we speak. To add to all that Serena won many of her slams in what probably was the deepest womens field in history in 1999-2005.
Sorry, but unless I'm misreading your comments, you're unintentionally making a stronger argument for Evert over Williams: Evert won at least one slam singles title for 13 years straight. A record i suspect that will never be beaten.
Also wade played lights-out tennis against Evert in the 77 wdon semi: much like mcneil & garrison did against graf also at wdon. Difference being that wade had 2 slams to her name already. She was inconsistent but a quality player. You do her a disservice.
Whoa, stop! Hold your horses just a moment.
I think I would still give Chrissie, who was one of my fav players growing up, the edge overall over Serena, mainly for her consistency over many years (which I did mention originally too). Chrissie had the stellar clay court record as well. I know how good Chris Evert was. It's definitely not all just about the Majors but Serena definitely targets them. Serena DID have an outstanding last six months of 2012, dominating all her main rivals in the big events. She won everything she prioritized. Personally, I made Serena the no.1 for 2012 whatever the official rankings said.
Chris's 34 slam final appearances is a record that will never be broken. Just imagine a player play 17 years in the pro, and for her to tie Chris' record she has to make 2 slam finals per year for 17 staight years. That's virtuallly impossible. Also, Chris winning % on clay is 94%! As dominating as Nadal/Borg on clay, I don't think they have a winning % that high.
No doubt Chris gets overlooked, despite it's fair to say Graf/Martina is above her.
What the hell, my top 10 are:
6) wills moody
Not in that order, but the names are there.
I´d have a serious regard at Marble,Mortimer,Chambers,Bueno,Hingis and Venus Williams to complete the top 16 ever.based on records, of course.
But for a catalogue of injuries & illness bueno would be a legitimate contender for top ten. Plus she's the only one I've ever hit with, many times, & even at advanced years, she's sublime. Agree with chambers also. To include Mortimer you'd have to balance her career with Ann Jones. I'd argue the latter was marginally better
Had Bueno remained healthier, neither Court nor King would have the titles they accrued. Hepatitis took her out of '61 RG and kept her noncompetitive for the rest of the year and then some. In '65 Australian
her left knee began haunting her tennis and after surgery, it was her elbow.
Who knows where that career could have gone, but it would have been a definite factor through the beginnings of the open era.
Sorry. I meant Osborne instead of Mortimer
I think Connolly is very underrated, too
I don't rank Evert at No 1 but I am glad you ranked her there.
I think for some reason she is always unfairly pushed down GOAT lists when her record is extraordinary. Same thing as with Borg on the men's side.
Thank you. I agree re Borg also use
I am not saying Wade isnt a great player, or that even losing to 33 year old Wade at Wimbledon is a horrible loss. You are completely missing my point. My point is obviously she is a much lesser player to Evert, and even prime to prime would lose the vast majority of matches, and in fact even did in her own prime when Evert was far from hers. So that being said the very fact it is possible for Wade at 33 to still post numerous wins over prime Evert, including at a major event like Wimbledon, shows that being past your prime and "old" isnt that huge a disadvantage for an all time great still in top health and top ranking form; and even past your prime is not sufficient excuse for Evert to have done so poorly vs Graf for instance as she did, winning only 1 set in 7 matches from the time Steffi got her first win at only 16, having won 0 of her eventual 107 pro titles at that point, and Evert only 31 at that point, onwards (their final matches when Evert was 34). Her record vs Navratilova at Navratilova's peak is even more damning to her being rated as the possible GOAT, or even top 2 or 3 all time, and it might be why some even have Serena over her, as one cant imagine Serena ever doing that poorly vs a fellow all time at any period in time (which they would be right on). I agree if one values only stats Evert has Serena well beat at this point, even with Serenas vastly superior doubles record, but under a more subjective evaluation, it is easy to see how some in this thread could think Serena is a "better" player than Evert, even for their respective times.
Yeah, being 32, 33 and 34 and loosing to a player of the talent of Graf could be sufficient excuse. Like any great player, she had days and matches where the years just slipped away and vintage Evert showed up and played very close to her best, but honestly those were the lucky days. If Evert met Graf 3 times in a year, what are the chances she'd be vintage on either April 23, July 29 and Setember 6? She hung on to #3 in the world because even on her flat days, she still made the rest of the women have to earn a lot of big points and they didn't have the firepower or confidence that Navratilova, Graf and few others did.
The question when dealing with an aging player is did they play well in a specific match, and you just can't tell squat from how well they played the tournament before, or the match before or the tournament after or the match after. If inconsistency from day to day is the major symptom, then the usual criteria for establishing a player's form could not be less informative. Its more about if they woke up with feel for the ball that morning than how they played that week or month. You have to actually judge the match itself.
By the way, of all the players in that top tenish range, Wade must have the depressing record against Evert. Other than Navratilova, Wade played her far more often than anyone at 46 times. Wade winning 6 is pretty dismal. She should have done a lot better, especially indoors and on grass.
1. Your point out what a terrible record Wade has against Evert overall only helps prove what I am saying. The fact Wade at age 33 in 1977 posted 3 wins and a win at Wimbledon over Evert, a player she is a woeful 6-40 against overall, only proves being 33 is not the huge insurmountable handicapt and disadvantage it is made out to be, especialy back in the days of the far less physical game of tennis where numerous players dominated and won major titles well into their 30s. It alone does not explain away her incredibly lopsided dominance at the hands of Graf from 86-89, other than it was once against a display that for her amazing consistency and longevity in the sport, her sheer level did not stack up with some others at their best, even more demonstrated by Navratilova and her 13 match win streak vs a more prime Evert.
2. According to you older players like Evert when she was being owned by Graf still have vintage days, and the biggest difference between them then and what they used to be is consistency. This I agree with, it is the same thing with Federer today. The difference though is Evert in that phase of her career never beat Graf (and in fact never beat Graf on a day she was holding a single WTA tour title), unlike Federer and Navratilova who in old age came up with big wins in their vintage days, so obviously even Evert's "turn the clock back" or "vintage" days which in almost 4 years of matches vs Graf had to come atleast once or twice still had her always losing and being easily dismantled by Graf, as the results vs Graf never changed.
Do remember Navratilova at ages 34-36 posted 2 wins over Graf and 4 wins over Seles when Seles was at her all time peak and dominating the womens game, so Evert and her absolute ownage at the hands of 16 year or older Graf aged 31-34 is not so easily explained just by "oh she was old".
Wow almost 4 years of matches sounds very impressive. Evert met Graf 7 times in 3 years from 87-89. That's twice each year + a spare or 7 meetings in over 1000 days. Throw the dice 7 times in a 1000 tries you are bound to get snake eyes in one of those 7. I assume you've actually seen these matches you are passing judgement on. So which one was Evert in her top peak form?
Age does not explain it all. It was a primary factor. Evert was going down, Graf was going up. Chris did most things younger than Martina,including decline and the problems age presented in their games were different as their styles of play were different. Precociousness in barely pubescent baseliners is not that much of a shock Evert, Austin, Jaeger, Graf, Hingis. Old lady victories among women serve/ volleyers is also no shock Martina, Wade, King, and Court.
Graf's dominance over Evert is explained by both age and match-up. The moment Graf began to reach her adult power and speed, Evert was in big trouble. Graf was a tactical horror story to all baseliners with games like Evert. Evert ran out of time before she could figure out a solution and develop the game plan to implement it. Things were becoming more competitive as 88' moved into '89 from the wipeouts of 87. ,Graf always would have won most of the matches on most surfaces but had Evert had a year or two more, she would have solved some of the puzzle, and gotten a few isolated victories on slower surfaces and made things interesting. Its not going to happen to a baseliner at age 34, when her opponent is a stronger and faster baseliner/winner of the grand slam.
PS the best quality from both was 1988 Lipton/Key Biscayne, FL F L 6-4, 6-4. Graf wasn't as mentally erratic as she was in Australia and Boca. She had a champion's confidence that forehand would go in on the biggest points in both sets.
are you downgrading Ginny´s win over Evert at centennial Wimbledon? or I may have gotten you wrong...
wade wasnt 33yrs in 1977 wimbledon,
...she was 31yrs old.
I just checked her bio and she was about a week from turning 32 at the time of Wimbledon 77. Still older than Evert was in any of her wins over Graf (with Graf 16 or younger and a 0 time WTA tour winner at the time of any of those wins), so my point still stands, Chris should have done better than that vs Steffi, and that she didnt indicates Steffi in her peak years would probably have had a huge edge even over a prime Evert.
Anyway my main point wasnt even Steffi, but the 13 match win streak Navratilova compiled over a prime Evert, including numerous embarassingly one sided beatdowns on clay and other slow courts even. Now unlike most I dont think that automaticaly makes Navratilova better than Evert (although I know for most it does and can also understand that line of logic of course). However that is still the biggest indicator of all, with her very poor record vs a semi adult Steffi also an additional indicator, that her peak level play just doesnt rate with many of the others; hence why she cant really be considered aymore than 3rd or 4th all time at best. Definitely no case at all for her being over Graf or even Court imparticular IMO (since even her stats are inferior to theirs, in addition to her level of play), and why some who really value sheer ability per a sequence of stats would probably favor even Serena over her, and might even bump her as low as 6th or 7th behind Navratilova, Serena, Connolly, Wills, as well; hence why some in this thread have done so.
Serena at no age and even at her worst fitness level would be rendered that completely useless by both Navratilova and Graf, nor anyone, as Evert was for a significant stretch of time. Serena and Evert born in the same era, I have no doubt Serena would have a winning record as well, even with all her inconsistent and AWOL stretches. Evert would almost certainly have a winning record on clay, but Serena would win most matches between them elsewhere. In fact born at roughly the same time is there anyone in the all time top 10 Evert would have a winning record against? Court and King would be the most likely as she seemed to be matchups for both of them. Definitely not any of Navratilova, Graf, Serena, or even Seles, and highly unlikely any of Wills, Lenglen, or Connolly based on their sheer dominance of their own times at their peak which far surpassed any she ever reached, even at the height of her clearest time at #1 in the mid 70s. Her final H2H with Navratilova actually wound up alot closer than I suspect her final H2Hs with Graf, Connolly, Serena, and Lenglen especialy would have ended had she born at the same time as those.
no, your point stands when you get things right..
a few weeks from being 32 still isnt 33..in fact it isnt even 32..
its still 31..so stop adding years for cheap effect...
anyway, you could say wade defeating evert was a shock and it probably was..but you make wade out to be some old granny who got lucky that day..when wade was often in the world top 10 in the 70s and in 1977 after evert she went on to win wimby and her 3rd major after the french in 1969 i think and the australian sometime between 72-75.
also though wade was 31..(nearly 32, defo not 33) in those days physical/athletic skills wernt as important as now (those vids from the 70s and 80s its amazing how much the players dont move around the court)..check out 1960 mens final on youtube fraser vs laver and laver is lobbed and he just let it go over his head).
so glorious virginia wade got the job done on july 1st 1977..beating a defo non athletic betty stove.
dull fact of the day..wade appeared in the singles at winbledon for 24 years in a row..last time in 1985 just before turning 40.
I really enjoyed reading your post - just one thing, and not a criticism at all, just being helpful, Wade never won the French. It was the US open. I think she won the Italian which was then considered a premiere clay court event.
So Wade beat Evert on her way to her last major when she was 31 , on her best surface and Evert's worst, proving something involving a third player( Graf) and about how age shouldn't be a hindrance to success in May/ December rivalries, and by a really long extension something about Evert's peak . It carries a lot of responsibility, that match.
How old was Evert in '86 when she beat Navratilova in her last major and her next to last major final, on Evert's best surface and Martina's worse when Martina was WTA Player of the Year, ITF champion,, with 5 more majors to come. Why Evert was a grandmother on a walker at .....drumrole.......31 years old.
It can tell us a lot, with the right mind looking at it for connective tissue to something.
My point is simple, we read way too much into some flimsy stuff. Wade's late career victories for 6 months says nothing about Evert's career, peak level of play or what she should/should not have done to Graf, It says a hell of a lot about the strange turns in Wades rather unorthodox career. She truly peaked very late indeed. Finally she matured in her thirties from a workhorse with a severely compromised playing temperament into her own. Women's tennis best example of modern prefrontal lobe theory until Capriati came along. What is amazing is that she hadn't strung together those kinds of wins earlier, but she needed a sports psychologist before such existed.
Nadal agassi, I am often astonished how much I agree with the basic conclusions you draw on women's tennis only to be flabbergasted in how you get there. I absolutely agree that Evert's heights are lower than most greats, who fly closer to the sun, yet drop farther towards earth. So Yes neither Evert's best 'zone' tennis, nor her peak does not reach the altitude above the field of Serena's, Graf's, Navratilova's, even Davenport's.
which is the toughest decade for women´s play?
I´d say from 1971 till 1981 was great and so were the whole 90´s.
For earlier years, I think the competition was very good from late 40´s till late 50´s, but vanished a bit later on.
Hingis won all of her slams in the 90s.
I suppose you believe Kodes era was also very tough.
Yes, Martina is one of the best representatives of the toughest women´s era.
and Kodes is one of the best of the men´s toughest era at top level, with a top 15 that would give goosebumps to any other era.
Favorite players doesn't equate tough competitiion. I know there's a few exception like youself who believe otherwise.
To many, Kodes is a footnote of his era. His Wimbledon title was from a very weak draw. I know you're aware of it but refuses to admit.
Kodes era was so extremely tough that even a champion like him is a footnote
Even a guy winning Wimbledon against Nastase, Connors and Borg is a footnote
I wonder how many majors he may win in 2003 or 2004!!!
Kodes; 2 FO 1 W 2 USO F 1 W SF 2 IO F
Rivals: Laver, Rosewall,Nasty,Roche, Newk, Ashe,Smith,Okker,Gimeno,Tanner,Orantes,Panatta,AmritrJ,Borg,Jimbo
It's is not extremely tough when 13 of the 16 top players didn't play Wimbledon. Had that weak draw ever exist in a slam during the 90s and today, many journeyman like Santoro would have won a slam.
Kodes wouldn't win anything in 2003 and 2004. His best chance is the minor event like an ATP250.
Naming players is pointless when he doesn't have to play them. He met Roger Taylor in the semi and Alex Metreveli in the final, that's a complete joke. Kodes was very lucky to win Wimbledon.
Borg, Connors and Nastase.Much harder field than any 1970´s AO
borg was a full 3 years from his grass court prime(76 onwards) in 73 and connors was yet to hit his peak ( next year ) ... nastase bombed out ...given his inconsistent self, not that surprising ...
70 AO - had ashe,newcombe,okker,ashe,smith
71 AO - had laver,rosewall,ashe,okker,roche,emerson,newk
the other AOs were pretty weak .... its a measure of desperation that you have to compare to that standard to defend wimbledon 73 ... again weakest wimbledon by far in the open era without a shadow of doubt ....
13 out of 16 seeds missing, 81 players missing ...
Separate names with a comma.