Who was better Seles vs Graf

Who was better Seles vs Graf

  • Seles

    Votes: 23 42.6%
  • Graf

    Votes: 31 57.4%

  • Total voters
    54

skaj

Hall of Fame
Even in her one sided loss to Graf at Wimbledon as a 15 year old in 1989, Seles showed glimpses of the same plays that would hurt Graf as she (Seles) grew stronger and Graf got a tad older and slower. In 1989, Graf could sprint all the way from the backhand corner to cover an attack into her forehand corner and hit a winner! She was truly an incredible athlete THEN. She found it harder and harder to sustain that level of athleticism getting deeper into the 90s, which is to be expected. However she also - as of '93 AO - had not made any significant adjustments to account for this (and arguably never truly did apart from improving her serve) while Seles was growing and growing as a player. Been said a million times before, but the rivalry was at a tantalizing juncture just when Seles got stabbed. That is NOT to take anything away from Graf. It's just what it is, it happened and people simply have to deal with it because it's not something that happened to any other player, not on the tennis court.
When exactly do you think she became slower compared to 1989?
 
When exactly do you think she became slower compared to 1989?
I think second half of 92. She could also slow down when she lost confidence and became stiff, but this was different. I don't think she had quite the same flat out speed as before. 92 was when injuries became a big 'part' of her career.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
I think second half of 92. She could also slow down when she lost confidence and became stiff, but this was different. I don't think she had quite the same flat out speed as before. 92 was when injuries became a big 'part' of her career.
She looks pretty fast to me.
 
She looks pretty fast to me.
Eh, nobody said she became slow in absolute terms. But look at the point here at 14:39.


She runs around her backhand for an inside out forehand. Seles opens up the court with a down the line into Graf's forehand corner. But Graf not only gets across all the way from the other end but hits a very powerful cross court forehand that forces a weak ball from Seles for Graf to finish the point. THAT is the movement she lost later. In the point you posted, Sanchez had left the court wide open so Graf only had to place the ball. In the point I posted above, she has to not only get there in time but hit a powerful shot which she is able to with ridiculous ease.

Not only in this point but on a number of occasions, Graf had no problem defending her forehand corner and in fact punishing Seles for attacking that side.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Eh, nobody said she became slow in absolute terms. But look at the point here at 14:39.


She runs around her backhand for an inside out forehand. Seles opens up the court with a down the line into Graf's forehand corner. But Graf not only gets across all the way from the other end but hits a very powerful cross court forehand that forces a weak ball from Seles for Graf to finish the point. THAT is the movement she lost later. In the point you posted, Sanchez had left the court wide open so Graf only had to place the ball. In the point I posted above, she has to not only get there in time but hit a powerful shot which she is able to with ridiculous ease.

Not only in this point but on a number of occasions, Graf had no problem defending her forehand corner and in fact punishing Seles for attacking that side.
She doesn't look less fast. As for the movement, she didn't lose it as much as Seles became deadlier with her shots and did not give her as much time.
In the point with Arantxa, she had to get there in time too, otherwise she wouldn't be able to even touch the ball let alone do something special with it.
 
She doesn't look less fast. As for the movement, she didn't lose it as much as Seles became deadlier with her shots and did not give her as much time.
In the point with Arantxa, she had to get there in time too, otherwise she wouldn't be able to even touch the ball let alone do something special with it.
To you and I disagree. She clearly lost the ability to cover the forehand corner the way she used to be able to. You don't understand the difference between walloping a forcing shot or winner from the baseline and placing the ball from closer to the net. You don't need to be as much in balance for the latter nor do you need much racquet preparation. For that 1989 shot, Graf needed to do both - get there well in time but also be lined up and ready to make a shot as if in rally hitting (which is what it is, except on the run) otherwise you can't produce such a fast forehand at a shortish cross court angle. And all this on grass where a hard, flat shot keeps low and it's harder to get underneath the ball. Graf not only managed all that there but did so with ease. Nobody then on the women's side would have been able to but Sampras used to similarly cover the forehand corner efficiently. The more Graf's ability to do that dwindled, the more she found it harder to fend off competition.

Just to be clear (and I have said this a hundred times in this thread but when people have agendas, they don't bother reading properly): I am NOT saying had Graf only not lost that little bit of footspeed, she would have never lost to Seles. In fact in the very post of mine that you quoted, I mentioned that by the time of Seles' stabbing, Seles had improved while Graf was not quite as potent as 1988-89. Both things happened in tandem. To pretend that Graf's greater mileage at that point had no bearing at all on her abilities is simply a Selestial myth, much like the Nadalite one that pretends Fed was equally as good in 2008 as in 2006. No he wasn't. Nadal clearly was better in 2008 than 2006. But that's why it's a what-if. We don't know the answer to that hypothetical though we can reasonably conclude that peak Seles/peak Nadal if aged the same as peak Graf/peak Fed would provide a challenge they didn't face in 1988-89/2004-06 respectively.
 
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skaj

Hall of Fame
To you and I disagree. She clearly lost the ability to cover the forehand corner the way she used to be able to. You don't understand the difference between walloping a forcing shot or winner from the baseline and placing the ball from closer to the net. You don't need to be as much in balance for the latter nor do you need much racquet preparation. For that 1989 shot, Graf needed to do both - get there well in time but also be lined up and ready to make a shot as if in rally hitting (which is what it is, except on the run) otherwise you can't produce such a fast forehand at a shortish cross court angle. And all this on grass where a hard, flat shot keeps low and it's harder to get underneath the ball. Graf not only managed all that there but did so with ease. Nobody then on the women's side would have been able to but Sampras used to similarly cover the forehand corner efficiently. The more Graf's ability to do that dwindled, the more she found it harder to fend off competition.

Just to be clear (and I have said this a hundred times in this thread but when people have agendas, they don't bother reading properly): I am NOT saying had Graf only not lost that little bit of footspeed, she would have never lost to Seles. In fact in the very post of mine that you quoted, I mentioned that by the time of Seles' stabbing, Seles had improved while Graf was not quite as potent as 1988-89. Both things happened in tandem. To pretend that Graf's greater mileage at that point had no bearing at all on her abilities is simply a Selestial myth, much like the Nadalite one that pretends Fed was equally as good in 2008 as in 2006. No he wasn't. Nadal clearly was better in 2008 than 2006. But that's why it's a what-if. We don't know the answer to that hypothetical though we can reasonably conclude that peak Seles/peak Nadal if aged the same as peak Graf/peak Fed would provide a challenge they didn't face in 1988-89/2004-06 respectively.
And she doesn't look faster to you, videos are there, other people can make their own judgments.
Not sure where exactly did you see that I don't understand the difference?

Your second paragraph has even less to do with my post.
 
Not sure where exactly did you see that I don't understand the difference?
Because you say if she didn't move fast, she wouldn't be able to get to the ball. But just getting to the ball isn't always enough. In the Sanchez point, Graf's legs are astride. She has to run full tilt to get there. In the 1989 point, she is not only there in time to prepare for and hit a massive cross court, she loses no time in recovering and running back to her backhand corner. There is no overrunning at all. So that means at THAT time, Graf's movement was so good she had speed to spare even after being fast enough to run the length of the baseline to make a cross court. That was not the case later. Even in the famous Wimbledon '92 point where she shows incredible mobility to make it up and down the baseline, she has to run at full tilt to make that forehand.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Because you say if she didn't move fast, she wouldn't be able to get to the ball. But just getting to the ball isn't always enough. In the Sanchez point, Graf's legs are astride. She has to run full tilt to get there. In the 1989 point, she is not only there in time to prepare for and hit a massive cross court, she loses no time in recovering and running back to her backhand corner. There is no overrunning at all. So that means at THAT time, Graf's movement was so good she had speed to spare even after being fast enough to run the length of the baseline to make a cross court. That was not the case later. Even in the famous Wimbledon '92 point where she shows incredible mobility to make it up and down the baseline, she has to run at full tilt to make that forehand.
She wouldn't be able to get to that ball. She had less time to get to that ball than to those from the 1989 video, that was the point.
 
She wouldn't be able to get to that ball. She had less time to get to that ball than to those from the 1989 video, that was the point.
But the instance I mentioned from 1989 isn't even the fastest she could move in 1989. For which I gave clear explanations as to why. Why don't you come up with an example from the early 90s of Graf moving across the length of the baseline to hit a cross court forcer, particularly against a hard, flat ball down the line, with the other player at the baseline covering cross court and not at the net leaving wide open spaces? Did she hit cross court winners in the 90s? Sure as hell. But she was usually moving from the center line to cover those. Which is why this point immediately stood out to me.
 
If you really want to see an example from the late 80s of tracking down a drop shot, here you go. At 0:34, she's deep behind the baseline having tracked down a lob but is still able to run back past the service line as well as diagonally to track down the drop shot and hit it for a winner. Again, this is grass. Have to use shorter steps, need more balance to make the same distance as on a hard court:

 

skaj

Hall of Fame
But the instance I mentioned from 1989 isn't even the fastest she could move in 1989. For which I gave clear explanations as to why. Why don't you come up with an example from the early 90s of Graf moving across the length of the baseline to hit a cross court forcer, particularly against a hard, flat ball down the line, with the other player at the baseline covering cross court and not at the net leaving wide open spaces? Did she hit cross court winners in the 90s? Sure as hell. But she was usually moving from the center line to cover those. Which is why this point immediately stood out to me.
Then why did you mention that one? My point was that she did not lose significant amount of speed at 23, your explanation is for something else. Why would I search for those (your)examples?
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
If you really want to see an example from the late 80s of tracking down a drop shot, here you go. At 0:34, she's deep behind the baseline having tracked down a lob but is still able to run back past the service line as well as diagonally to track down the drop shot and hit it for a winner. Again, this is grass. Have to use shorter steps, need more balance to make the same distance as on a hard court:

Doesn't look faster than in the one I posted, au contraire. But if "grass is the problem", 34:49:

 
Doesn't look faster than in the one I posted, au contraire. But if "grass is the problem", 34:49:

No, of course running from behind the baseline diagonally into the other corner and inside the service box doesn't look faster to you than running from well inside the baseline across and finishing still behind the service line. With that, I will leave you to your alternative facts.
 
Then why did you mention that one? My point was that she did not lose significant amount of speed at 23, your explanation is for something else. Why would I search for those (your)examples?
No, my explanation is for that same thing. You call any detailed technical analysis as something else so you can dodge it and cling onto your alternative facts. Not my problem.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
No, of course running from behind the baseline diagonally into the other corner and inside the service box doesn't look faster to you than running from well inside the baseline across and finishing still behind the service line. With that, I will leave you to your alternative facts.
I live you to yours.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
No, my explanation is for that same thing. You call any detailed technical analysis as something else so you can dodge it and cling onto your alternative facts. Not my problem.
Dodge what? I said she was as fast, posted a video, you posted a video with a different movement example and "analysed" that. I have even explained that(post#105).
 
Dodge what? I said she was as fast, posted a video, you posted a video with a different movement example and "analysed" that. I have even explained that(post#105).
Dude, just saying over and over it's not as fast does not make it analysis. Nor does it make it the truth. You said absolutely nothing about the movement required specifically to get across the baseline from the backhand to forehand corner. Nor anything for that matter to explain why it would somehow require more movement for a player to get from inside the baseline to behind the service line albeit past doubles alley as opposed to running all the way from behind the baseline in the backhand corner to the forehand corner inside service line. You just saying it doesn't look faster to you is not analysis of any sort.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Dude, just saying over and over it's not as fast does not make it analysis. Nor does it make it the truth. You said absolutely nothing about the movement required specifically to get across the baseline from the backhand to forehand corner. Nor anything for that matter to explain why it would somehow require more movement for a player to get from inside the baseline to behind the service line albeit past doubles alley as opposed to running all the way from behind the baseline in the backhand corner to the forehand corner inside service line. You just saying it doesn't look faster to you is not analysis of any sort.
I did not analyse anything, I posted a video. I wasn't talking about movement overall but speed, which is distance over time.
 
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