Weakest Womens # 1 before 2008

Who is the weakest womens #1 before 2008

  • Clijsters

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • Mauresmo

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • Capriati

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • Hingis

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sanchez-Vicario

    Votes: 4 16.0%
  • Goolagong-Cawley

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • Austin

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • other (please state)

    Votes: 1 4.0%

  • Total voters
    25

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Since we have a poll going for the Weakest mens number 1, I figured this was appropriate. I chose the stipulation because if I included recent times I think Safina, Jankovic and Ivanovic would dominate the poll and since we have all given our views on them it would not be a very interesting discussion. Again we are talking 2007 and earlier here.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Now a little about the poll options

Mauresmo- Captured the top spot without every winning a major, has a history of mental lapses and gags, especially at her home slam . Won 2 majors, and played horribly in the defense of both

Clijsters- First ever Women number 1 without a slam, which she would not win for another 2 year, and she would only ever win one. Called to nice to ever win one by some

Hingis- A teen phenom whom dominated a very weak year on the tour and gagged horribly at the chance of winning the french on several occassions. Never really improved in some peoples eyes and called a tennis brat by some

Capriati- Only won 3 titles the year she became number 1. However she won 2 majors and had the best record at the slams that year. Was it luck or skill?

Vicario-compared to Steffi Graf, her main rival, her time at number 1 can be attributed to some bad luck for Graf and in 1995 didn't look as strong as in the previous year

Goolagong- Only number 1 for two weeks and not discovered for 30 years. A strong played, but dominated by all previous holders of the top spot she played before her, such as Evert, King and Court

Austin- Another teen phenom, strong, but in some eyes may not have looked as dominant on the tour as Evert and Navratilova. Had the potential but was she number 1 before she was really ready or deserving of it?

Other- in case I left anyone out.
 
This is an excellent poll, thanks for making it. Thanks for leaving out the 3 obvious options to make it more interesting. I voted for Capriati and my reasons for the following are:

1. I genuinely believe she is the weakest player out of these 7, regardless that she has more slams than Mauresmo and Clijsters, and while that is not entirely the same thing as weakest #1 it is a factor in my choice.

2. She spent very little time at #1, more than Goolagong, but I think possibly less than anyone else (admit would need to check on that one). Also while maybe it shouldnt matter as those were the days before computerized rankings which would bring many more years into plays, but Goolagong IMO was the clear #1 of 1971 when there wasnt computer rankings.

3. In her brief time as #1 late in 2001 and 2002 she was the holder of 2 slam titles but never more than 3 tournaments, only 1 other tournament outside her 2 slams. She won one tournament in the spring on clay in 2001 outside her 2 slams, and no tournaments in 2002 outside her AO defense. Venus who at all those times was also holding 2 slam titles in the last 12 months had always many more tournament wins in the last 12 months that make up the ranking, and while it doesnt go into points dominated Jennifer head to head that whole time, making it harder to see Jennifer the true #1.
 

scootad.

Semi-Pro
Although I don't have the numbers to back me up, on a qualitative level I voted for ASV. She became #1 at one of the most opportune (and weakest) eras. Seles (a player who owned her & an absolutely solid #1) had been stabbed. Graf's back had given out on her. Pierce was her usual hot and cold self. Sabatini was already in decline.
 
Although I don't have the numbers to back me up, on a qualitative level I voted for ASV. She became #1 at one of the most opportune (and weakest) eras. Seles (a player who owned her & an absolutely solid #1) had been stabbed. Graf's back had given out on her. Pierce was her usual hot and cold self. Sabatini was already in decline.
So beating Graf 3 out of 5 times in a year is "weak". Of course she was lucky Seles was out with the stabbing, as Seles was always a worse matchup for her game wise and mentally than Graf. However beating Graf that many times is hardly weak or default way to reach #1. Pierce was really good in 1994, it was probably one of Pierce's best years ever and included wins over all the best including twice over Graf. As much as she is mocked on this forum Conchita Martinez was a big force this year as well. Novotna was also a very strong contender in 1994. Date was a very tough player starting in 1994, consistently in late rounds and a threat to beat anyone ona given day. Sabatini was a bit past her prime but was still formidable as her WTA Championship title (1 of the 3 biggest titles of her whole career) proves, and the extremely hard hitting Davenport though young and out of shape was a force that year as well.

I dont see that as a weak field. Pierce, Novotna, Martinez, Date, even Sabatini and Davenport of 94 would whip the collection of talentless Serbs and Russians that make up the remainder of the top 10 outside the Williams today.
 
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CEvertFan

Hall of Fame
Arantxa earned that #1 ranking by stepping up after the Seles incident - you can't fault her for that.

I voted for Clijsters - she only won one Slam title and choked away the rest of her major finals and didn't wind up winning a major until 2 years after getting the #1 ranking. Close 2nd and 3rd would be Capriati and Mauresmo.

Austin and Goolagong are both way better players than Capriati, Mauresmo or Clijsters.
 
Clijsters is a huge underachiever. She had a real shot of winning the 01 French and 02 Australian Open, but choked away a ton of chances to close out the 01 French final vs Capriati, and the first set of the 02 Australian semis with Capriati (she won the 2nd it turned out). In 2003 she had a shot of possibly winning all 4 slams or atleast reaching all 4 finals and winning maybe 2 of them. Instead she chokes badly a big lead in the AO semis vs Serena, plays an awful FO final vs Henin, chokes a big lead vs an injured Venus in the Wimbledon semis, then chokes away the final vs a hobbling Henin who had 50% legs after the Capriati semi according to J-Mac (and evident when she had to move) in the U.S Open final. 2004 AO final was a chokefest between Henin and Clijsters where Henin choked a bit less and won. OK so she had really tough competition that year with Serena still at her peak until her injury after Wimbledon 2003, Venus at her peak, and Henin emerging, but she still wasted all these opportunities by being a mental midget in semis and finals. I used to think Kim was very unlucky to miss the remaining 2004 slams with injury which were won by seemingly inferior players maybe she could have won multiple slams and dominated 2004 but given her history who is to say she wouldnt have choked even vs the likes of Myskina and Kuznetsova. The bigger the opening the harder Kim falls it seems. Then in 2005 after choking away a shot at the FO title when after cruising through the 1st set she fell apart vs Davenport (who she had owned for awhile even on hard courts at that point) on her worst surface by far in the round of 16, she finally gets that U.S Open after a dominant summer. Then in 2006-early 2007 back to typical Kim losing 4 straight slam semis with mostly meek efforts, then retiring at 23. A definite major underachiever.

I even rate Capriati over her since as overrated as Capriati may be, and while it seemed like Kim was much more often a real contender, Jen atleast took her chances, some of those vs a choking Clijsters, while Clijsters blew them.
 
Arantxa earned that #1 ranking by stepping up after the Seles incident - you can't fault her for that.

I voted for Clijsters - she only won one Slam title and choked away the rest of her major finals and didn't wind up winning a major until 2 years after getting the #1 ranking. Close 2nd and 3rd would be Capriati and Mauresmo.

Austin and Goolagong are both way better players than Capriati, Mauresmo or Clijsters.
We havent always agreed in the past but I agree with all you said here pretty much. I honestly believe Clijsters is a better player than Capriati with both in their primes, but then again it is hard to argue with 3 slams vs 1, and Capriati is by far a better competitor in clutch moments which is part of becoming a champion in this sport.

I think people who are younger and dont study the history of the game much probably undervalue Austin due to her 2 slam titles which for a host of reasons is not at all indicative of her abilities as a player. The fact she briefly overtook Evert and Navratilova both as World #1 at only 17 already speaks to her abilities, as that is something Capriati, Mauresmo, or Clijsters would have never managed. Goolagong's 7 slams IMO is inflated by the Australian Open status somewhat but she is still in another league from Capriati, Mauresmo, or perennial finals chokers and Henintard Clijsters. ASV and Hingis are true champions as well, even if ASV's game style isnt to everyones pleasing and even if Hingis ended her career with a whimper.
 

thalivest

Banned
Although I don't have the numbers to back me up, on a qualitative level I voted for ASV. She became #1 at one of the most opportune (and weakest) eras. Seles (a player who owned her & an absolutely solid #1) had been stabbed. Graf's back had given out on her. Pierce was her usual hot and cold self. Sabatini was already in decline.
I am not surprised by your choice. I remember you well from CNNSI tennis from 98-2002 and ASV was always pretty close to your least favorite top player. :twisted: Pierce was never a favorite of yours either.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
For me its really between 3 of them: Capriati, Mauresmo and Clijsters.

Capriati, NadalandFedererFan summed her up quite succintly and properly, and I echo those words. Clijsters, while she was consistant when she got the top spot, having made the semi's or better of every tournament she had played that year, her mental shortcomings came out on bigger stages and held her back throughout her career, with many believing she lacked the killer instinct and champions fortitude to actually win. Mauresmo was to a mentally inconsistant player, her performances at her home major are riddled with terrible loses and gags to players who at the time she really shouldn't have lost to what-so-ever. When she first got the top spot it was marred with poor performances thereafter, especially the 2004 US Open...which in my opinion should have really been hers. Than fastforward to 2006 when she won2 majors and was hailed as the best, then the following year lost in her two slam defenses to Safarova and Vaidisova...neither of whom have since amounted to anything spectacular. In the end...I went with Mauresmo.
 
I find having Goolagong-Cawley even in the poll is terrible, sorry. She is a great player who played in a super tough decade with Navratilova, Evert, Court, King, and Wade. She still managed 7 slams vs that field, and atleast 2 of her 4 Aussies were legit as she bageled Evert in the 3rd set to win one, and trounced a young Navratilova in the final of another with Navratilova knocking out Court to get here. Her 2 Wimbledon were most impressive fashion, straight setting King and Court back to back to win one, and well past her prime knocking off a prime Austin and a prime Evert in big upsets to win the second. Her never winning the U.S Open is a travesty and a sign how tough the field was that decade, combined with some bad luck. She put on some scintillating performances there, an amazing final with Court in 73, a great performance to knock off Evert in the semis then a thrilling final with King in 74, a great final on clay with Evert in 75. She really was unlucky to not win atleast 1 of those if not more.

Plus she was the true #1 for the year 1971 anyway for all practical purposes as well when she won both the French and Wimbledon events.

Yes she was considered a bigtime underachiever still given her talent, but I think that causes some to diminish what she was, somewhat like Safin for some people (although Safin is nowhere near as accomplished as her obviously). Even based entirely on what she was, not on what she could or should have been, she still is the cream of the people on this poll.
 
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