Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by gabybackhand, Nov 14, 2013.
Which women do you consider the best tennis player ever
I didn't include Evert since only being 2nd best of her own era behind Martina, eliminates her as possibly being best ever already.
Steffi Graf is the greatest singles female player of all time. There is no dispute here.
If you were to combine doubles and mixed doubles, Navratilova's seemingly the complete tennis enthusiast, but if it was 1 on 1, Steffi's the GOAT
I think if you combine singles and doubles Court should be the GOAT. She has more singles slams and more combined singles/doubles/mixed doubles slams than Martina, more singles tournament wins than Martina, more singles/doubles/mixed doubles combined tournament wins than Martina, etc..Also even had the Australian Open been a legit and fully attended slam back then she would most likely have more than Martina's 18 slam singles titles, although probably less than Graf's 22.
Agree with every word.
I fail to see the logic in not including Evert- she was much better than Navratilova during the 70s and their rivalry only became truly competitive in the early 80s. I would rate evert above Williams at this point in time.
I had to vote "other" because the best player of the 1970's wasn't included in the poll.
it is graf. yes the seles incident did help her but so did nadals knees help federer. I'm not saying it is the same as a graf fan did that to her intentionally but graf cannot be held accountable for that as tragic as it was. we can only judge actual results not what ifs.
I think serena wasted her chance to become the GOAT by being overweight and unmotivated (and also injured to be fair) in quite a few of her prime years.
she still has a small chance but she is getting up in age. she should have dominated that weak 08-11 period (after henin and clijsters were gone) more when she allowed mediocre players like jankovic, ivanovic, safina and wozniacki to be no. 1 in the world.
My vote goes to Martina Navratilova.
I think it's close and if it's close, a player who won in singles, doubles and mixed doubles for so long gets my pick. She did win 167 singles titles. Massive respect also to Margaret Court who won at least 190+ singles titles and won repeatedly in singles, doubles and mixed too. Court has the trophies edge on everyone.
Only b/c her supported stabbed Monica Szeles!
Well, that's your opinion she's second best. You should have included her in the poll. Evert is one of the goat. A boneheaded omission.
i think its martina navratilova
Evert probably should rank above Serena, but she still has a poorer case for being the GOAT. The reason is simple. It is obvious Evert isn't the best of her era. That already eliminates her. Serena is atleast the best of her era. You cant possibly be the best ever if you aren't the best of your own era.
That isn't just my opinion. Can you find me anyone who thinks Chris is the best player of her generation above Martina? Of course not. So wherever Chris ranks all time, 2nd best, 7th best, 4th best, you name it, it is behind Martina. The others you can atleast speculate different eras, how they would fare vs each other, etc...Evert there is no speculation when it comes to Martina, as Martina proved she was better.
I can't take your opinion seriously if you truly believe Navratilova dominated over Evert for all the years they both played at the same time, & also discounting the years Evert was at the top -or near top- of the game when Navratilova was barely more than just another East European player. Its insulting and actually rather ignorant.
It is true that nobody, or atleast no expert or historian on the game, thinks Evert > Navratilova at this point. So I agree in a sense that does take Chris right out of any GOAT contention, considering the two were contemporaries.
They played 80 times. Martina had a very slight edge of 6 games in head to head against an older Evert. So yeah, who was better is debatable.
Martina had a huge edge in her serve, she was really good. But think Chris is right there with her.
As in the men´s ranks, where Laver stands over the rest, I find it particularly difficult to rank women since Court,Connolly and Graf have the Holy Grail but Navratilova is there too.Lenglen and Wills could get there, Williams and Evert have too many shortcomings at that absolutest level but still would have a merited chance.
I find it funnier to debate who could be, according to his/her potential the best ever but felt short from that.The first two names coming to my mind are Hoad and Hana.
Yeah, there may be room for a few 2-3 more names (Bueno,Seles,Nastase,Mc Enroe...) but, you know, the first impression is what it counts .
With all due respect, surely we can vote for our personal choice rather than 'expert' view - which varies considerably. Surely Evert should be amongst the candidates? Indeed the chris evert goat thread puts foward some very legitimate arguments as to why she should - & opposing arguments why she shouldn't. On balance, my personal (& it would seem some agree) opinion is that she is.
yes evert at least must be in this poll. I think she sometimes gets underrated.
Seles's injury was a huge boost for Graf in taking out her great rival.
Graf's record would have been significantly reduced had Seles not been attacked by that idiot.
Martina had to contend with her "great rival" Evert. for most of her career.
You should not have included Graf either than, since she is only 2nd best of her own era behind Seles.
Anyway Graf is no GOAT. That is clear.
The award goes to Martina Navratilova, although Court makes a strong case as well.
Also Serena could join those two if she continues dominating the WTA for another couple of years.
+1 Agree completely.
Hoad and Connolly.
Seles dominated the tour 1991-1993, winning 7 of 9 last slams before she was attacked and stabbed. She was only 19 years old at that time and would clearly continue to dominate for several more years if there was no stabbing.
So it is perfectly reasonable to say Seles was the #1 of that era that obviously includes the peak Graf, and that Graf is not the GOAT indeed.
Well, I´d say Connolly really fulfilled her promise, even went further.Yes, if she had stayed healthy, she´d have done more, sure, but, at the end, I think she was closer to her potential in terms of achievements than Mandlikova.Bueno maybe a pretty similar case to Connolly.
Hoad leads the men list and Nastase is there, probably second.
Connolly and Seles for women.
Connolly won all 9 slams she played in her teens. She was unbeatable on all surfaces and against all opponents (in reality, not just in her fanboys minds like Seles). She was on her way to winning atleast 30 slams and being the undisputed hands on GOAT had it not been for the accident. There is nobody who was further from fulfilling their total potential than Connolly.
Hana was a super talent and could have won even more than her 4 slams but there was no way she was ever going to be the best player of her own era with Evert, Navratilova, and Graf all around, let alone dominating. So her potential was nowhere near what Connolly's was, regardless of talent.
Martina and Court also excelled in doubles. For me this is a huge edge when compared to Graf and Evert. I actually think Graf and Evert had the better singles careers, but Martina and Court with their excellence in doubles should be the top two.
Serena excelling so much in doubles is also what would give her an even stronger case for GOAT if she keeps going like she is now.
I think she lost one set in four slams.
If I included doubles my lists would be entirely different. Its the first thing to decide before you ever start. After Martina and Maggie, everyone pales. Imagine the doubles team they'd make together! Who could take two sets off them. You gotta break serve twice!
Nobody knows if Connolly was even the best in the world during her prime. Pauline Betz was dominant as an amateur and turned pro just before Connolly started her run of dominance, and Betz beat Connolly's closest opponent (Doris Hart) when Hart turned pro a handful of years later.
IMO you can't leave Tilden or Lenglen out of any GOAT discussions. Those players were the draws of tennis as it started attracting a worldwide audience, and they were the reason professional tennis became a thing in the following decades, eventually leading to the open era. I'm not really sure what more either could have done on the tennis court.
As for the rest of them, I think you have to spell our your own GOAT criteria for any of this to make sense. Highest peak of all-time? Serena. Combination of dominance, longevity, and a strong field? Evert or Graf. Best overall resume, singles and doubles? Court or Martina. To say one is above the rest in a vacuum is basically pointless, as we'll never know.
Every word makes so much sense. Good luck with that!
Yep, I think the women´s 40´s are very overlooked.But it may turn being one of the strongest eras as far as top players concerns: Marble,Brough,Dupont,Betz,JAKOBS is a helluva group.
YaoPau makes some good points. There can be many criteria in looking at a player's career. To say anyone is above the rest in a vacuum is basically pointless and I think would also show arrogance and a lack of understanding.
As for doubles, well, at these Grand Slam tennis events, in reality, singles and doubles were not and are not played in a vacuum either. For instance at the 1985 Wimbledon Championships, Navratilova played singles, doubles AND mixed doubles, getting to the finals of all three! Martina usually played both singles and doubles and sometimes the mixed. Court often played all 3 at these events. Serena sometimes wins singles and doubles.
Maybe if Martina had played less doubles as she was getting older, she could have done even better in singles, who knows.
I think, if a player is playing two disciplines, or more, at a Grand Slam event, numerous events in the four major championships and winning in both, over a long time, as Martina and Maggie did, that's impressive.
I would have liked to have seen Little Mo Connolly in her prime.
Doubs greatness certainly adds up a lot of value to any GOAT candidate, if there is such a thing
FI, Rosewall was a bit better doubs player than Laver, or at least had more success.
i Dislike Serena as a person, but there is no denying that she is so far ahead of anyone in this era. when she puts in the mental and physical effort, she can dish out bagels and bread sticks to the other top women.
Not to mention her GS doubles titles that are an after thought.
i think Navratilova would give Serena a run for her money. she has strength and variety in her game to compete.
Again, frustration should be bigger at Mandlikova´s corner .Her success vs talent ratio is worse.And in spite of some chronic injuries, not an inch of the bad luck Mo had to endure.
Here you go: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/american-tennis-finals/query/maureen+connolly
Nice thought but only two points? not a lot to see in that clip.
I think the general consensus is still Graf, with Martina slightly behind.
There is no Goat. There are Goats. That is all.
All things considered, Court. Variety (don't even know what that means), Graf! Competition, Evert. Dedication, Navralitova. Weak era, Serena.
I wouldn´t consider Graf as a protoype of variety.As I many times posted, she had basically two and a half shots but they were so good that it was enough for her.And, of course, her body and her legs were unmatched.That is also why I have the feeling that Seles, who would never be such an athlete as Graf would have caught her even if there had been no stabbing.
Graf, even if I disagree so much on what happened on court, looked extremely fit when she played the 1999 French Open final.12 years later her first.
Steffi Graf went 75-2 (.974%) in 1989.
Serve, forehand and sliced backhand?
...that's why I said ''variety...don't even know what it means''. Although she sticks ''to the winning'', she had to really decipher the variabilities in styles of play of her opponents (for instance, Novotna, Sabatini and Sanchez-Vicario...). The variables is not to be confused with the field of competition Chrissy had to contend with, yeah?
Oh, and I think Seles would've been Graf's Nadal (as it is to Federer).
Best ever is Serena. Get real people. Put Serena at her best on court vs Graf, Navratilova, or Court at their best and there is only one likely outcome.
This is prime Graf facing 16 year old Serena with a bad knee:
Graf even struggled with 16 year old Seles and 30 year old Navratilova. Serena would be too powerful, too complete, too athletic, and too tough mentally for her.
Yeah but that's Serena at her very best, which is kind of a weird criteria for GOAT. I mean, Safin at his very best was scary - 6'5", moved well, big serve, big from the baseline - but nobody would put him in the top-25 all-time because he was so erratic.
Serena has clearly had a better career than Safin, but she's been similarly erratic. She's been the year-end #1 just three times in essentially a sixteen year run, it's a bit biased I think to just ignore that that's a part of her resume too.
Ask Martina about that.She won like 8 matches or so against her.
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