Was Graf "slumping" during Seles' supremacy?

IMO Graf's best years of tennis were clearly and without questions 88-89 and 95-96. She was no better in 90, 93, 94 than she was in 91 and 92. That is how I would sum it up.

Were 91-92 her all time peak years with or without Seles? Definitely not. However not necessarily a slump either, as they were no worse than the tennis she played that whole 5 year period.
 

Arafel

Professional
oohh, "anyone who knows anything about tennis"?

This isn't about knowing tennis (or trolling for that matter)… It's about a 16 year old girl defeating the undisputed long standing WTA #1, delivering the entire world a fresh, unique and brilliant form of sporting entertainment.

Seles handed Graf a dethroning.

Graf was not slumping. She was not distracted. She was just overtaken by youthful exuberance, unswerving belief and the most impressive skills since Steffi herself burst onto the scene.

It's frustrating we never saw "that" Seles peak.

Just as frustrating as posts trying to defend the #2 player in the world at the time.

Steffi tried, and tried, and tried to claw back enough points to become #1 again… she just could'nt do it until well after the '93 AO.
Except Steffi wasn't losing to Monica, she was losing to the other players.

I've posted this before, but it bears repeating.

Steffi won the AO in 1990 in convincing fashion, and then was rocked by her father's tax evasion scandal, something that actually reduced her to tears at the 1990 Wimbledon press conference. After Peter Graf's scandal came out, here is what happened:

1990
French: Graf loses to Seles (F)
Wimbledon: Graf loses to Zina Garrison (SF)
U.S. Open: Graf loses to Sabatini (F)

1991:
AO: Graf loses to Jana Novotna (QF)
French: loses to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (SF, one of the worst defeats of her career)
Wimbledon: Winner (defeats Sabatini in final)
U.S. Open: loses to Martina Navratilova (SF)

1992:
AO: missed due to illness
French: loses to Seles (F, 10-8 in third)
Wimbledon: Winner (defeats Seles in final)
U.S. Open: loses to Sanchez Vicario (SF)

1993:
AO: loses to Seles (F)

Seles went 3-1 against Graf at the majors during this time, but Graf was struggling with a lot of different issues. However, from Seles' first win over Graf in a Slam at the 90 French, the two went 3-3 overall before Seles was stabbed, so it's not like Graf was getting dominated in the head-to-head.
 
I agree with you, but my point is how was 1993 and 1994 any better.

1993- yes she won 3 slams after the Seles stabbing, which she would have failed to do in 90, 91, or 92 even without Seles. However she needed a huge choke by Jana Novotna to win Wimbledon, and almost lost the French Open final to Mary Joe Fernandez of all people. She lost a set to Manuela Maleeva in the U.S Open semis. She lost badly in a final on fast carpet to Conchita Martinez, and lost to Nicole Bradke in Fed Cup. She lost finals to Sanchez Vicario on both hard courts and clay. She lost to 36 year Navratilova in straight sets in Chicago, before Martina would lose to Seles in the finals. It could be argued her best tennis of the year was at the Australian Open when she lost to Seles.

1994- She started off 1994 playing amazing the first 3 months, then it was all downhill and she won only 1 slam even without Seles, and was outshone by Sanchez.

So her level of tennis made no progress in 93 and 94, and her fortunes vs Seles likely would not have as well.
 

haecceitas

Rookie
However, from Seles' first win over Graf in a Slam at the 90 French, the two went 3-3 overall before Seles was stabbed, so it's not like Graf was getting dominated in the head-to-head.
Who cares about head to head stats?
In 1990-1993 years Seles won 8 out of the 11 GS tournaments she played and 3 WTA championshio out of 3.
Basically she won everything except Wimbledon (where she played only in 90 and 92).

Seles did not dominate Graf. She dominated the entire world of female tennis.
 

Arafel

Professional
Who cares about head to head stats?
In 1990-1993 years Seles won 8 out of the 11 GS tournaments she played and 3 WTA championshio out of 3.
Basically she won everything except Wimbledon (where she played only in 90 and 92).

Seles did not dominate Graf. She dominated the entire world of female tennis.
Um, because it wasn't Monica that Steffi was losing to? Look at who she lost to in that time. Steffi was off from her top form plain and simple. I get tired of the whole "Monica ended Steffi's time" argument. When you look at who Steffi lost to in those 2.5 years, it wasn't like she kept running into Monica at the Slams and getting crushed.
 

Thetouch

Semi-Pro
Except Steffi wasn't losing to Monica, she was losing to the other players.

I've posted this before, but it bears repeating.

Steffi won the AO in 1990 in convincing fashion, and then was rocked by her father's tax evasion scandal, something that actually reduced her to tears at the 1990 Wimbledon press conference. After Peter Graf's scandal came out, here is what happened:

1990
French: Graf loses to Seles (F)
Wimbledon: Graf loses to Zina Garrison (SF)
U.S. Open: Graf loses to Sabatini (F)

1991:
AO: Graf loses to Jana Novotna (QF)
French: loses to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (SF, one of the worst defeats of her career)
Wimbledon: Winner (defeats Sabatini in final)
U.S. Open: loses to Martina Navratilova (SF)

1992:
AO: missed due to illness
French: loses to Seles (F, 10-8 in third)
Wimbledon: Winner (defeats Seles in final)
U.S. Open: loses to Sanchez Vicario (SF)

1993:
AO: loses to Seles (F)

Seles went 3-1 against Graf at the majors during this time, but Graf was struggling with a lot of different issues. However, from Seles' first win over Graf in a Slam at the 90 French, the two went 3-3 overall before Seles was stabbed, so it's not like Graf was getting dominated in the head-to-head.
So? You basicly contradict yourself, because if Graf was affected by daddy Graf´s scandals she would have lost like any time she faced Seles. It sounds like a ton of bad excuses you make, just because daddy Graf was screwing around. You are making excuses for almost 4 years when Graf was losing to different players, that´s ridiculous. Graf was still winning Wimbledon, which indicates she wasn´t that crushed by daddy´s scandals. The reality is more like this: Seles and other opponents were getting better too and grass was the only surface she still could beat and dominate them.
 

haecceitas

Rookie
Monica peaked at Wimbledon in 1992, making it to her one and only final, being handed the worst defeat given to a number 1 seed, 6-2, 6-1 by Steffi.
Monica made the final at third attempt, while Graf made it at fourth attempt. Unfortunately, Seles career ended abruptly, while Graf had many years and chances to improve her skills and win at Wimbledon.

If we take into account just the three first attempts for each of the two players (the only fair comparison), Seles record is much better than Graf. Not opinions, just reality check.

Graf: LQ, 4T, 4T
Seles: 4T, QF, F

Even if you want to skip 1983 attempt, Seles record still would be slightly better: 4T, 4T, F vs 4T, QF, F
 

AngieB

Banned
Monica made the final at third attempt, while Graf made it at fourth attempt. Unfortunately, Seles career ended abruptly, while Graf had many years and chances to improve her skills and win at Wimbledon.

If we take into account just the three first attempts for each of the two players (the only fair comparison), Seles record is much better than Graf. Not opinions, just reality check.

Graf: LQ, 4T, 4T
Seles: 4T, QF, F

Even if you want to skip 1983 attempt, Seles record still would be slightly better: 4T, 4T, F vs 4T, QF, F
If we checked reality, it would tell us Monica never won Wimbledon and Steffi won it (7) times. Anything beyond that is cow patties. Monica was too overweight and lacked the grass acumen to ever win on grass. #GirlBye

#GrannyIlluminati
 

haecceitas

Rookie
It seems you are not managing to grasp the main point: Monica career ended when she was 19. Period.

Seles post Parche is a whole different player and woman, struggling with insecurity, eating disorder, fear, and still, at 40, fighting her demons.
 
I agree with you, but my point is how was 1993 and 1994 any better.

It could be argued her best tennis of the year was at the Australian Open when she lost to Seles.

1994- She started off 1994 playing amazing the first 3 months, then it was all downhill and she won only 1 slam even without Seles, and was outshone by Sanchez.

So her level of tennis made no progress in 93 and 94, and her fortunes vs Seles likely would not have as well.
Good points above. One could argue that Seles made all the other players lift their game, think more about tactics and develop on-court mental strength... as a result, the former Queen (Graf) just started to get found out.

Monica made the final at third attempt, while Graf made it at fourth attempt. Unfortunately, Seles career ended abruptly, while Graf had many years and chances to improve her skills and win at Wimbledon.

If we take into account just the three first attempts for each of the two players (the only fair comparison), Seles record is much better than Graf. Not opinions, just reality check.

Even if you want to skip 1983 attempt, Seles record still would be slightly better: 4T, 4T, F vs 4T, QF, F
I agree very much. In science you look at patterns. For Monica at Wimbledon, the pattern clears goes as follows:

1989 - Fourth Round
1990 - Quarter Final
1991 - Miss (insert Semi-Final)
1992 - Runner-up
1993 - Miss (insert Champion)

It's a clear progression, and if anyone would like to review the actual 1993 final, they would see this theory may very well have developed into being...

If we checked reality, it would tell us Monica never won Wimbledon and Steffi won it (7) times. Anything beyond that is cow patties. Monica was too overweight and lacked the grass acumen to ever win on grass. #GirlBye
It is contuinual comments like the above which contributes to females the world over having body image issues, eating disorders, relationship issues and general degradation within uncaring, insensitive and quite dangerous societies... to continually comment on a females weight, body shape or type is unfair, juvenile and does not consider different peoples personal, psychological and/or medical issues. Grow up.
 
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AngieB

Banned
If we checked reality, it would tell us Monica never won Wimbledon and Steffi won it (7) times. Anything beyond that is cow patties. Monica was too overweight and lacked the grass acumen to ever win on grass. #GirlBye

#GrannyIlluminati
It is contuinual comments like the above which contributes to females the world over having body image issues, eating disorders, relationship issues and general degradation within uncaring, insensitive and quite dangerous societies... to continually comment on a females weight, body shape or type is unfair, juvenile and does not consider different peoples personal, psychological and/or medical issues. Grow up.

Myriam Casanova (Not winning Wimbledon)




Monica Seles (Not winning Wimbledon)

Please name the last obese player to win Wimbledon and include their pic. Inquiring minds...

#GrannyIlluminati
 
Last edited:
Good points above. One could argue that Seles made all the other players lift their game, think more about tactics and develop on-court mental strength... as a result, the former Queen (Graf) just started to get found out.
Yes, and I do think players like Sabatini, Navratilova (relative to her late career self, not her peak self which she was too old for her of course), Sanchez, Capriati raised their games as a result too. This is another reason Steffi was struggling with lots of players, not just Seles. At the time of the Seles stabbing, not only did that occur, but alot of players fell off for various reasons- Sabatini, Capriati, Navratilova, making Graf's march back to dominance relatively easy. It was not her suddenly unsurpassable play, as anyone who watched the 93 Roland Garros and 93 Wimbledon finals would know.
 
Yes, and I do think players like Sabatini, Navratilova (relative to her late career self, not her peak self which she was too old for her of course), Sanchez, Capriati raised their games as a result too. This is another reason Steffi was struggling with lots of players, not just Seles. At the time of the Seles stabbing, not only did that occur, but alot of players fell off for various reasons- Sabatini, Capriati, Navratilova, making Graf's march back to dominance relatively easy. It was not her suddenly unsurpassable play, as anyone who watched the 93 Roland Garros and 93 Wimbledon finals would know.
Your words speak truth...

Out that crop you mentioned, many would think it was Capriati who was about to shine.

Capriati's performances at Wimby & USO '91, also Olympics '92... even AO '93, she was looking good.

Unfortunately she had a mini burn-out and took 4 years off.

I was never overly impressed by Graf's form from FO '93 to FO '95... but she still seemed to win a few Slams despite this.

I agree with the sentiment that Graf was playing very well at the AO '93, and really pushed Monica in the first 2 sets of their great final.

It was clean tennis, with every ball landing within 12 inches of the baseline... every dang shot! It was one of the cleanest GS finals in memory.
 
Yes Graf fell off a bit in the 3rd, but I think most of that was relentless pressure from Seles's game and intensity, and knowing she was playing well and still starting to get outplayed so she pushed even more. It was an excellent match.

I think Capriati had been frusterated she was taking so long to win the big title, and even though the Seles stabbing occured and created a potential opening she was still already frusterated with taking longer and all the pressure on her. She also got unlucky again in 93. 3 straight slams drawing Graf in the quarters, and at the French and Wimbledon Graf ended playing really well against her as opposed to the rubbish she played like (despite winning) in the finals. Had Graf played against Capriati like she did in the finals, Jennifer would have advanced and possibly won those events, but that didnt happen. I think that, along with the rising to adolescence, her crazy dad, it all got to be too much.

Then Sabatini, I think she already had a bit of a downfall from not closing out that 91 wimbledon final vs Graf, a bit more of one from not closing out the 92 French semi vs Seles, and was already not the player she had been in 91 by mid 93, but blowing that huge lead in the French Open quarters vs Fernandez devastated her, and she could never recover emotionally and her confidence from that. So that was more or less the end of her as a potential slam winner, despite hanging in mostly the bottom of the top 10 until retiring at the end of 93.

So really the dominoes were falling all around Graf.

Fernandez showed her best ever level tennis at the 93 French, then was befell by injuries and could never get back to that point due to never being healthy more than a few months in ar ow.
 
Why so many peoples are being "banned" from this great site?

Just because Monica Seles was a very great player with struggling tragedy and off-court issues, she will always be regarded as one of the very best.

The '92 French and the '93 Australian Open finals were some of the greatest tennis matched of all time in history!

Check out the vibes of these terrific memories from this timeframe: remember the styles and rivalries often forgotten...






Peace Out,
Oh Definitely.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Martina Navratilova was clearly the number one player in 1986 and kept that ranking well into 1987. Graf's emergence to challenge Martina in the grand slam events started at the 1987 French Open finals, of which she won. Martina went on to win Wimbledon and the US Open in 1987. There was a lot of controversy about Steffi overtaking Martina in the rankings, given Martina held two GS titles that year and Steffi only one. Steffi made it to the finals of almost every event she played in 1987 which helped her overtake Martina in the rankings. Steffi continued on to dominate 1988-1989.

It is not uncommon for aged GOAT's to defeat their successors late in their career. I don't think it was a bad loss for Steffi to lose to a 34 year old Martina, because Martina was still playing great tennis and at that time won more grand slam singles titles than Steffi. Experience goes a long way. Similarly, I don't think Martina's losses to 12-time grand slam winner Billie Jean were bad either, because Martina hadn't yet established her dominance in grand slam singles play at that time.

Monica's defeat of Martina at Wimbledon would have been more historically significant had she been able to actually WIN Wimbledon at ANY time during her career.

Now that Martina, Monica and Steffi's grand slam singles careers are over, it is very evident that Steffi was the greatest overall singles champion in grand slam events of the three with Martina (exceptional at Wimbledon) close behind. The standard set by Steffi has not since been replicated or surpassed. No double standards there, just her legendary play speaks for itself. Monica shouldn't even be discussed alongside Steffi and Martina in context to GOAT discussions. She wasn't even close.

AngieB
Incredibly biased last sentence. Had Seles not been stabbed, chances are she would have continued to win some slams, possibly even Wimbledon, the years she was off the tour. Being away from the game all that time interrupted her possible improvement and caused her body to lose its strength. Also, the year she lost the Wimbledon final it was not only the Navratilova inspired ban on her grunting that affected Monica's game but also death threats she was getting from the anti Serbs during the Yugoslav civil war that was going on at that time. Before the stabbing Seles beat Graf in 3 of the 4 slam finals they played. After her comeback, Monica lost the 2 slam finals they played.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
I couldn't stand Monica Seles, but she was a great player. To say that Steffi Graf did not benefit from the stabbing of Seles is ludicrous. As to what the future would have held, it is all speculation. As someone who watched tennis at the time, though, Seles was to Graf what Rafa was to Fed. IMHO, those slower court losses were adding up...
 

mjwtpro1

Rookie
Thought about this recently and am a fan of both. However...pre and post stabbing Seles are day and night different players. Pre stabbing Seles got better and more focused the tighter the match got and she could also move relatively well. Also lets be honest, she was dominating Graf in finals where it counted the most. Post stabbing she did not have the same fire and concentration in big moments and really slowed down. Steffi was beginning to catch up as evidenced by their fantastic last final pre stabbing in Australia 93. If both had continued on a trajectory close to where they were, with Seles growing and developing a powerful serve and Graf switching to a more modern frame they likely would be splitting slams into multiple seasons with the edge to Seles on slower surfaces and to Graf on faster. Truly a loss for everyone who loves tennis as that was shaping up to be an all time rivalry not only in tennis but in sports in general. :(
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Thought about this recently and am a fan of both. However...pre and post stabbing Seles are day and night different players. Pre stabbing Seles got better and more focused the tighter the match got and she could also move relatively well. Also lets be honest, she was dominating Graf in finals where it counted the most. Post stabbing she did not have the same fire and concentration in big moments and really slowed down. Steffi was beginning to catch up as evidenced by their fantastic last final pre stabbing in Australia 93. If both had continued on a trajectory close to where they were, with Seles growing and developing a powerful serve and Graf switching to a more modern frame they likely would be splitting slams into multiple seasons with the edge to Seles on slower surfaces and to Graf on faster. Truly a loss for everyone who loves tennis as that was shaping up to be an all time rivalry not only in tennis but in sports in general. :(
Good Post, accurate and well put!
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
now that it´s been brought up...I always enjoyed the intringuing and so inner rich relationship among top women.

I talked about Hingis and Kourni.
Going backwards, sabatini was a strange case of being close to both Graf and Seles ( a bit like Vitas for the men), but she and ASV politely hated each other.Same for ASV and Conchita
Hana and Andrea, the two outsiders had a special feeling for each other, and I don´t think Mandlikova and Navratilova were that much harsh between themselves as the press liked to portray
But, the condo of interests and experiences Martina and Evert shared made a special friendship among them.Austin, of course, was never close to anybody, not even Shriver who was her junior rival.
Pam, of course, was good friends with Navy and not bad with Chris.

King and Court were polar opposites; but there was respect although it was not similar to what happened with Court andBueno; a firece rivalry but both geniunely liked the other.

Wade didn´t have too many friends on tour, something of her personality just didn´t fit.Goolagong, of course, was different and everybody, even Evert liked her.And King and Evert disliked each other even if King was a great friend of Navratilova who, in turn, had always a close relationship with Chris.
Wade was different in that she was/is extremely intelligent and academically probably head and shoulders above most of her contemporaries.
She also didn't suffer fools .
That said, her interviews with said peers always seem warm and genuine.
And she clearly has the utmost respect for Evert.
 
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Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.

Myriam Casanova (Not winning Wimbledon)




Monica Seles (Not winning Wimbledon)

Please name the last obese player to win Wimbledon and include their pic. Inquiring minds...

#GrannyIlluminati
Nonsense. Monica Seles was never obese. Further, Bartoli and Kvitova won Wimbledon when they were more overweight than Seles ever was.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Incredibly biased last sentence. Had Seles not been stabbed, chances are she would have continued to win some slams, possibly even Wimbledon, the years she was off the tour. Being away from the game all that time interrupted her possible improvement and caused her body to lose its strength. Also, the year she lost the Wimbledon final it was not only the Navratilova inspired ban on her grunting that affected Monica's game but also death threats she was getting from the anti Serbs during the Yugoslav civil war that was going on at that time. Before the stabbing Seles beat Graf in 3 of the 4 slam finals they played. After her comeback, Monica lost the 2 slam finals they played.
She has also mentioned the psychological damage she suffered in her book I believe.
 

mjwtpro1

Rookie
As to Monica's conditioning....While not "obese" by any means, Monica's fitness really suffered post-stabbing due to her BED. As a player with two hands off both sides, her ability to move to the ball laterally was super important and she never moved well up. I got to watch her play Steffi at MSG when I lived in NYC which was definitely one of their barn burners and I happened to be filling the seats of our current "Grand Cheetoh" until he arrived late for the third set. o_O Monica destroyed her in the first set on supreme....however as the match wore on Steffi very wisely worked Monica's forehand over with her slice backhand with Monica's forehand landing shorter and shorter. I was impressed with how quickly both moved, but Graf was supremely athletic and was super speedy all over the court. They had MSG rocking! In those later matches it was basically essential for Seles to win the first set. I've often wondered what would have happened if Monica's serve had been called an ace in the first set of the 95' Open.....Often wished she had won one more Grand Slam besides Australia 96. She deserved it. On another funny note Heidi Graf tossed me a bottle of water from court side before the match began as Heinz Gundhart didn't want one. She was a trip. Was interesting to sit with the families as a "filler" for Chase Bank. Amazing memory.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
As to Monica's conditioning....While not "obese" by any means, Monica's fitness really suffered post-stabbing due to her BED. As a player with two hands off both sides, her ability to move to the ball laterally was super important and she never moved well up. I got to watch her play Steffi at MSG when I lived in NYC which was definitely one of their barn burners and I happened to be filling the seats of our current "Grand Cheetoh" until he arrived late for the third set. o_O Monica destroyed her in the first set on supreme....however as the match wore on Steffi very wisely worked Monica's forehand over with her slice backhand with Monica's forehand landing shorter and shorter. I was impressed with how quickly both moved, but Graf was supremely athletic and was super speedy all over the court. They had MSG rocking! In those later matches it was basically essential for Seles to win the first set. I've often wondered what would have happened if Monica's serve had been called an ace in the first set of the 95' Open.....Often wished she had won one more Grand Slam besides Australia 96. She deserved it. On another funny note Heidi Graf tossed me a bottle of water from court side before the match began as Heinz Gundhart didn't want one. She was a trip. Was interesting to sit with the families as a "filler" for Chase Bank. Amazing memory.
I think Monica was robbed of an Ace in that 95 USO final, as she was so sure the ball was in. She won the second set at 6-0, so probably would have won that match had she won that first set. The Seles stabbing was one of the worst things that happened in the history of tennis, as it nearly ruined the game of the top player at that time. It certainly contributed to Steffi's slam count.
 

pat200

Semi-Pro
I think Monica was robbed of an Ace in that 95 USO final, as she was so sure the ball was in. She won the second set at 6-0, so probably would have won that match had she won that first set. The Seles stabbing was one of the worst things that happened in the history of tennis, as it nearly ruined the game of the top player at that time. It certainly contributed to Steffi's slam count.
How was she robbed when the serve was obviously out, and all the repeats consolidate that?
 

mjwtpro1

Rookie
How was she robbed when the serve was obviously out, and all the repeats consolidate that?
Watched this morning. There was one replay of a serve down the tee that did not show the ball contacting the court. The replay did not "consolidate" that.
 

pat200

Semi-Pro
Watched this morning. There was one replay of a serve down the tee that did not show the ball contacting the court. The replay did not "consolidate" that.

i do not know which replay you saw but when i watched it in 1995 live on tv, the replay clearly was out.

you can also see graf surprised that seles even thought it was in because as soon as the ball made contact, graf went back to the receiving position. also the umpire called it out instantly.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Seles' run from 1991-1993 was absolutely insane. During that time frame, Seles went 55-1 in slam play, which includes an outrageous 16-1 vs the top 10. Her lone loss was to the WTA GOAT of grass. But remember, Seles was only 18 in that match. She was barely 19 when she was stabbed. Very few people peak at this age. My gut is that she eventually would have gotten good enough on grass to sneak in a few Wimbledons too. Unfortunately, we will never know.

At the time Seles was stabbled, she trailed Steffi 11-8 in the slam count. However, Seles was 4 1/2 years younger than Steffi at that time. This could have ended up being the greatest rivalry in tennis history if it weren't for the stabbing. But we will never know.

Here are some of her records.

Most slam titles won as a teenager(8)
won 3 consecutive FO titles(tied with Henin)
Simultaneous holder of 3 consecutive AO and FO titles
Won Australian Open the first time she played the tourney(tied with Virginia Wade).
won 3 consecutive AO titles(tied with 4 others)
Youngest FO champion ever
100% winning pct in slam tournaments for a year(tied with 5 others)
reached all 4 grand slam finals in 1 calendar year(tied with 6 years)

Seles' resume by the time she was 19 1/4 was already legendary.

She was without a question the greatest teenage player. It's not even close. The biggest question is how much more could she have improved?

And lastly, here are some quotes about Seles:

In a 2013 interview, Martina Navratilova theorized that if Seles had not been stabbed, "We'd be talking about Monica with the most Grand Slam titles [ahead of] Margaret Court or Steffi Graf."[6] Mary Joe Fernandez declared that Seles would have at least doubled her Grand Slam championship tally, had she not been attacked.[6] Tim Adams of The Guardian stated that Seles would have become "the greatest female tennis player ever to pick up a racket."[5]

Seles to me is the biggest tragedy in the history of the WTA. An innocent teenager got stabbed on a court. I cannot even fathom that.
 

KG1965

Legend
In a 2013 interview, Martina Navratilova theorized that if Seles had not been stabbed, "We'd be talking about Monica with the most Grand Slam titles [ahead of] Margaret Court or Steffi Graf."[6] Mary Joe Fernandez declared that Seles would have at least doubled her Grand Slam championship tally, had she not been attacked.[6] Tim Adams of The Guardian stated that Seles would have become "the greatest female tennis player ever to pick up a racket."[5]
Only Evert would have won + slam.;)
And Little Mo.
 

mjwtpro1

Rookie
i do not know which replay you saw but when i watched it in 1995 live on tv, the replay clearly was out.

you can also see graf surprised that seles even thought it was in because as soon as the ball made contact, graf went back to the receiving position. also the umpire called it out instantly.
Watch it again. I very much watched it live as well and did not miss a match of theirs from the 89 French semi-final on. There are three different commentaries online of the CBS feed on Youtube. The umpire did not call it out, the lines person did and he backed them up. As to Graf....so what? Both players were always testy with line calls in their matches. It's pointless to argue this as what's done is done. In reality, everyone gets hooked on a line call, part of tennis.
 

pat200

Semi-Pro
it was a tragedy having that incident. she is my second favorite ever. life unfortunate
Watch it again. I very much watched it live as well and did not miss a match of theirs from the 89 French semi-final on. There are three different commentaries online of the CBS feed on Youtube. The umpire did not call it out, the lines person did and he backed them up. As to Graf....so what? Both players were always testy with line calls in their matches. It's pointless to argue this as what's done is done. In reality, everyone gets hooked on a line call, part of tennis.

i have watched the video multiple times and the ball makes contact with the court and it looks just out. A quick search on youtube shows this video where you can see the ball not hitting the white line at all (minute 38.19):

 
Monica looked so fit and healthy at that tournament in 1995. Can you imagine her nerves, excitement and adrenalin during that 1st set tie break after everything she went through from April '93 to August '95? No wonder she saw the serve as in!!!
 

pat200

Semi-Pro
Monica looked so fit and healthy at that tournament in 1995. Can you imagine her nerves, excitement and adrenalin during that 1st set tie break after everything she went through from April '93 to August '95? No wonder she saw the serve as in!!!
i will admit i was rooting for her to win. she is after all my second favorite player after graf and seeing her play in that tournament was quite the emotions for me!
 

pat200

Semi-Pro
Monica looked so fit and healthy at that tournament in 1995. Can you imagine her nerves, excitement and adrenalin during that 1st set tie break after everything she went through from April '93 to August '95? No wonder she saw the serve as in!!!
i will admit i was rooting for her to win. she is after all my second favorite player after graf and seeing her play in that tournament was quite the emotions for me!
 

70後

Hall of Fame
When Graf's game wasn’t under pressure because she was able to overwhelm the other player with physicality, she of course could play it any way she wanted. So it seemed effective and spectacular. That is how she usually beat ASV for instance by sheer overwhelming physicality, speed and power. What if the other person wasn’t physically dominated or mentally intimidated? What if Graf couldn’t push them around once they got stronger, like Seles did? The pic of Seles and Graf prematch Australian Open 93 final together told a remarkable picture, of Seles whose frame had filled out and she was taller, sturdier, beefier than Graf, instead of the scrawny little 15 year old 89 RG semifinal kid who, though being way superior in tennis, was just unable to keep up at the very end. Seles was growing physically very quickly. Just a year after that 89 RG, Steffi Graf already wasn’t able to physically dominate Seles by her usual speed and power athletic combination game anymore

I suggest that Graf never “slumped”. People saw through her. Nor did she “come out” of her “slump”. After the Seles assassination, the others became afraid.

It is one of the absolutely crucial parts of the Graf party narrative that Parche was of course “just a crazy guy who stabbed Seles”. As if it were “just” an accident. He was an ill man, a confused man, who didn’t deserve to be in prison. This confused man needed medical treatment. So in other words, it was Seles who for reasons of her own, perhaps to binge on eating, stayed away from tennis?

Arantxa Sanchez herself was threatened by Parche. This is not part of the Graf party narrative. Neither is it ever up for discussion. The Seles assassination court decision was widely condemned by all quarters including by WTA for sending the wrong message. Who wanted to beat Graf and take her rightful number one, goat for life, after that? So most conveniently, Graf then suddenly came out of her “slump”, another axiom of the Graf party line about why she stopped losing. ASV talked about the pressure playing at time, of the threats she got from him, of knowing this somebody was around, “who wants to take you out”.

I don’t suggest ASV or anyone else didn’t do her best against Graf, she did, despite the threats. What isn’t remarked on is the fear, the demoralising cascade effect of, shall we call it tennis social justice, on anyone who may wrongfully take over being number one, as opposed to the rightful number one Graf, who was the moral number one anyway and lost the number one spot due to bad luck like injuries and illnesses. It wasn’t a level playing field, what with Graf’s injuries, and illnesses,,, and injuries and illnesses,,,and dad scandals and what not. It wasn’t fair that opponents would take advantage of Graf’s slump, and injuries and illnesses, …..to unfairly take away her number one for life, president for life, goat forever, …….

We even had a (little) sex scandal to further explain why Graf was “playing so poorly”, so Graf could have yet another alibi for losing at the time. If there is any doubt at all about how much this affected Graf’s performance, and in case anybody missed the whole point; “Peter Graf confessed for the first time he had a brief affair with a topless model and said: "Without this whole story, Steffi would still be No. 1 in the world.””

Now let us look at it from Parche’s perspective. Not only did Parche right the wrongs done to Graf by Seles and others wrongfully taking advantage of Graf’s illnesses, injuries and Peter’s scandals, and he did remove the wrongful usurper Monica and reinstall the rightful moral number one Graf by his act of tennis social justice, he also issued a warning to Sanchez and deterred all other wrongful usurpers from wrongfully taking Graf’s rightful position by taking unfair advantage of Graf’s illnesses, injuries and Peter’s scandals and whatever else the Graf camp could come up with. The WTA went from chaos and uncertainty of 4 people winning slams in 1990 to the Graf Golden Era of ultra consistency and stability and Graf consistently winning slams.

It is really quite weird now to consider how the authorities then were so very quick to label him crazy, and most deliciously : “confused”, “disturbed”, most of all, a “sick man”. He was an ill man. He needed to be in a hospital surrounded by medical attention. Seles should have just saved it and not sued the tennis federation of that country. She should have known both the inevitable outcome of the Parche trial and the lawsuit, instead she was herself in effect fined.

If you are going to call Parche names, be my guest, but at least call him by a name he is, not by a name that he isn’t. I would call him a political assassin. Parche did it all for Graf. He sacrificed himself for “his Steffi”. It was very strange, his raving about “her eyes! her hair!” (It was equally strange that a certain Romanian tournament director referred to a 50 year old woman as a “girl” whom he “loved”. A 50 year old woman is a girl?) Parche gave up his health, his good name, his freedom, his health, his happiness, his liberty, everything all for Graf. It was all worth it. Suffering for “his Steffi”. He sacrificed himself for her. He is called sick and deluded. He is called a lunatic. This guy Parche was so rational, so realistic that he himself apparently “expected to spend 10 to 15 years in jail” and he got - no sentence at all (for the same act in the USA, he would have gotten 7 years). This is the price he expected and was prepared to pay for tennis social justice in order to restore Graf to her rightful position as number one. And people, most particularly Graf fans, call him sick and deluded? Who is sick, deluded, lunatic now? In that case, who are actually the strongest, most fervent, ardent defenders of Parche if not the Graf party who fervently insist the man was sick, crazy, deluded, lunatic, deranged. Even more sick, deranged and lunatic is how Seles did sue the German tennis federation and lost, having to post a percentage of the sum she was suing for under German law, and had to pay the legal cost of the proceedings too. So it was Seles, and not Parche, who was effectively fined by the German court. And when she appealed his non sentence, she lost again.

Then he started making threats at Sanchez too.
 
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^^^ See, this is where you lose credibility when you go off the deep end into conspiracy theories. Graf had a fairly miserable 1994 right after completing a (non calendar year) grand slam yet again. Lost to Pierce in straight sets but at least Pierce played brilliant tennis that day. The loss to Lori McNeil was embarrassingly bad (though the less talked about '92 YEC one was even more so with Graf shanking backhands wildly). Graf even made heavy weather of beating Zvereva at Lipton that year. Her excuse in an interview to Bud Collins was that she lost more weight than usual and as a result started to tire out sooner in matches. But I don't think it had anything to do with that and more with the fact that after 1988 and large parts of 89, Graf could not consistently stay in a clutch zone ever. Unlike Graf fans, I don't make the peak Graf excuse to let her off the hook. If she supposedly did not play as well as she could have, it's on her. But Graf basically started to choke in pressure situations or just get tight (which made her hit even later on her forehand). A good example of the second type of Graf match is the 1990 AO final against Mary Joe Fernandez. The scorecard would have you think it was a one sided romp but Fernandez had her chances and more importantly, Graf was playing a lot less freely than in the 1989 AO final (or the USO final the same year for that matter). This was the start of monotonous, grinding Graf who would only hit topspin backhands when players approached the net. Vintage Graf would reappear intermittently but she often struggled to maintain that form even for an entire match, let alone a few tournaments in a row. AO 93 is a great example of it. She played far more confidently in the first set than the second and third ones.

Graf was kinda like Zverev in her approach to the game. She just wanted to stay in her preferred backhand corner position and keep hitting forehands and slices until she either produced a winner or induced an error. She COULD play another way but she didn't want to. Much like Zverev using all his talent to just stand way behind the baseline and hit monotonous groundies all day. When you strip Graf's game of the romantic illusions placed on it over the years by commentators, it was a game built around physically overpowering opponents rather than outthinking them. She lost AO 93 because Seles adjusted and began to take the ball early from inside the baseline. Graf did not adjust to being rushed. Instead, she began to spray errors and grew increasingly frustrated by the end. I know she has 22 slams and all but she was not a great problem solver. She won all this because she was such a great athlete vis a vis her competition. Now THAT did not change post Seles stabbing, OTOH it only made it easier for her. So there is no surprise as to why Graf was able to capitalise on Seles' stabbing. It wasn't that only Seles used to stop her but her absence just gave Graf more opportunities to win slams. I think an almost equally crucial event was Novotna choking away the Wimbledon final in 93. Had she not done so, Graf would have retreated once more into the shell she was in through the first half of the year and lost her self belief. But that gift of a win seemed to have the effect of Graf rediscovering the champion within her and she played great tennis in the next two slams. As I have said above, she was susceptible still to losing that mentality but in 95-96, seemed determined not to let such lapses deter her and won every slam she competed in. Again, the competition remaining curiously stagnant through the entire period from Seles stabbing to 96 USO helped her. Hypothetically, had Williams sisters, Davenport peaked earlier (almost impossible for that to have been the case for the Williams sisters), Graf would have had an uphill battle in 95-96. But it was just good ol' Arantxa Sanchez. And a heavier Seles and a very precocious Hingis (who was no match, again, for the physical specimen that was Graf).
 
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BringBackWood

Professional
Seles whose frame had filled out
She had a bit more filling out to do as we saw, or did Parche come round and stuff her with crisps at knifepoint? Yes pretty hurtful isn't it? Now think how Graf would feel about your absurd insinuations below.


We even had a (little) sex scandal to further explain why Graf was “playing so poorly”, so Graf could have yet another alibi for losing at the time. If there is any doubt at all about how much this affected Graf’s performance, and in case anybody missed the whole point; “Peter Graf confessed for the first time he had a brief affair with a topless model and said: "Without this whole story, Steffi would still be No. 1 in the world.””
Right, so only Seles is allowed an alibi for her only winning one slam post 93.


If you are going to call Parche names, be my guest, but at least call him by a name he is, not by a name that he isn’t. I would call him a political assassin.
Political assasins are hired, so once again you are insinuating some kind of blame/complicity on Graf.
 
@BringBackWood He doesn't just insinuate it, him and another poster who doesn't post here anymore used to outright accuse Graf of having used Parche to get rid of Seles. The most bizarre overreaction to what was undeniably one of the most terrible tragedies to have taken place on a tennis court.
 
Graf was somewhat adjusting to seles before the stabbing (graf won 3 out of their last 5 encounters before the stabbing) but still seles would have been her biggest challenger and have cost her at least 4-5 slams if not more
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Graf was somewhat adjusting to seles before the stabbing (graf won 3 out of their last 5 encounters before the stabbing) but still seles would have been her biggest challenger and have cost her at least 4-5 slams if not more
-Graf was 3-0 against 15 year-old Seles in 1989 (including a win at Wimbledon);​
-16 year-old Seles was then 2-0 against Graf in 1990 (including a win at the French Open);​
-Graf was 2-0 against 17 year-old Seles in 1991 (second win in May 1991 on clay);​
-It was 1-1 in 1992, with 18 year-old Seles winning at the French and Graf winning at Wimbledon; and​
-19 year-old Seles was 1-0 against Graf in 1993, with Seles winning at the Australian Open.​

I don't really see evidence that Graf was adjusting to Seles. Indeed, Seles's win over Graf at the Australian Open months before the stabbing was Seles's first win over Graf on hard courts, and she looked to be improving pretty rapidly.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
-Graf was 3-0 against 15 year-old Seles in 1989 (including a win at Wimbledon);​
-16 year-old Seles was then 2-0 against Graf in 1990 (including a win at the French Open);​
-Graf was 2-0 against 17 year-old Seles in 1991 (second win in May 1991 on clay);​
-It was 1-1 in 1992, with 18 year-old Seles winning at the French and Graf winning at Wimbledon; and​
-19 year-old Seles was 1-0 against Graf in 1993, with Seles winning at the Australian Open.​

I don't really see evidence that Graf was adjusting to Seles. Indeed, Seles's win over Graf at the Australian Open months before the stabbing was Seles's first win over Graf on hard courts, and she looked to be improving pretty rapidly.
The sample size is too small to make a judgement either way. The burden of proof is on those saying Seles would dominate Graf, when the h2h evidence just doesn't support this. Very hard to argue that Monica would not get at least 5 more slams however. I also wonder if Graf would have been pushed to improve her game & take the net more. It would have been a fascinating rivalry no doubt.
 
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