Who would have won Steffi Graf's slams

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NadalAgassi, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Had Steffi Graf not existed who would have won her slams.

    1987 French- Navratilova or Sabatini. Not sure this is a toss up. Since Sabatini crushed her in Rome I will go with Sabatini even if theoretically it would make no sense to big a pre prime Sabatini over a prime Navratilova given Sabatini's lack of success beating great players in slams. The semifinals with Graf were equally close, but I thought Graf played better in the semis than the final as well. Sabatini

    1988 Australian- Evert. No question.

    1988 French- Defnitely not Zvereva with that pathetic finals performance. It all depends on the draw but probably Sabatini.

    1988 Wimbledon- Navratilova

    1988 U.S Open- Sabatini

    1989 Australian- Sabatini. She owned Sukova, even if Sukova played Graf alot closer.

    1989 French- Seles. I know this is not a slam Graf won but Graf kept Seles from winning it. Sanchez beat Graf, and Graf beat Seles, but we all know Sanchez was always Seles's little pigeon from day one. -1 for Sanchez.

    1989 Wimbledon- Navratilova

    1989 U.S Open- Navratilova although Sabatini was also playing some very good tennis here and could have made it close.

    1990 Australian Open- The draw is rearranged and Sabatini's fluke injury which happened by chance doesnt happen as she is playing a new opponent on a new time so Sabatini.

    1991 Wimbledon- Sabatini

    1992 Wimbledon-Sabatini PS- I am not a Sabatini fanatic, and I am surprised in hindsight how much her career suffered by Graf.

    The Seles stabbing doesnt happen and Graf doesnt exist so Seles really goes on a field day now:

    1993 French- Seles
    1993 Wimbledon- Novotna
    1993 U.S Open- Seles
    1994 Australian Open- Seles
    1994 French Open- Pierce (if she avoids Sanchez and plays Seles instead)
    1994 Wimbledon- Novotna (new draw, avoids her nemisis Navratilova)
    1994 U.S Open- Novotna (was playing well enough to win event minus Graf)
    1995 Australian Open- Pierce
    1995 French Open- Seles
    1995 Wimbledon- Novotna
    1995 U.S Open- Seles
    1996 French Open- Sanchez Vicario
    1996 Wimbledon- Sanchez Vicario (had mental edge over Jana at the time)
    1996 U.S Open- Hingis

    So new slam titles:

    Sabatini- 8
    Seles- 15
    Sanchez Vicario- 4
    Navratilova- 21
    Evert- 19
    Novotna- 5
    Hingis- 6
    Pierce- 3

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2007
    Seems pretty good to me, except of course, nature hates a vacumn, and we don't know how Graf not crushing folks in early rounds in the late e80's might have affected smaller events, which in turn create young victors, which gain leverage to attract better coaching greater confidence. Example a 6-0, 6-0 route in a RG final can truly destroy the belief of someone like Zvereva, or the way she is perceived by other talented people. Winners get a habit of winning. Who would have gotten that habit had Graf not stopped them. Dominos fall, we can't begin to know ever even stood up.

    Can't remember why Evert defaulted to Graf in the Open of 88. Who would she have gotten instead of Graf?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    This is all true. Sabatini is the one whose confidence was most wrecked by Graf so scary to think she might have even ended up with alot more than the projected 8 (already seems high for her abilities to me) I gave her if we consider a further confidence surge. I am not a Sabatini fan but it appears from every angle she is the one who was most wrecked by Graf's existence.
  4. jaggy

    jaggy Talk Tennis Guru

    Jun 8, 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I think Zvereva would have flourished with a better slam final against anyone else setting her up for more finals to come. She froze on the day and it was quite the setback.
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I thought Zvereva's final match was so terrible she would have been humiliated by anyone who might have been in the final (which back then was likely only one of the very best, especialy as she was already a surprise finalist, there were very rarely 2 big surprises in finals ever in the womens game which lacked depth back then) and humiliated so badly that if she was truly scarred by that experience she still would have been. Then again maybe she was just petrified by Graf in a way she wasnt by anyone else, not even Martina, an old Chris, Sabatini, and would have played alot better vs anyone else. Who knows.
  6. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

    Apr 4, 2007
    Despite beating Martina in Rome I still have my doubts about her beating Martina in Paris. Martina really started rolling during the second week in Paris beyond her level of play in Rome. She nearly beat Steffi and probably should've won that French.

    Gaby's slam record vs. Steffi was poor, but at least she beat her once. She was never able to beat Martina, Chris, or Monica in slam play. So while I agree that Graf had the most negative impact on her career, I think Gaby had a bigger overall problem in trying to win slams. She simply floundered vs. the all time greats at the slams despite ample chances.

    Outside of her win over Steffi at the Open, what is her best win at a slam? Martinez at 92 French QF? Sanchez at 87 French? Capriati at Wimbledon 91? Pierce and Novotna at 94 Australian? Good wins, but none are really great in my opinion. Any others I'm missing?

    However, lets say that Gaby finished off Steffi in the 1987 French SF and DID defeat Martina in the final? How does that affect Gaby's career? Maybe that incredible feat gives her the confidence to go on to win several more slams?
  7. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Not even really a good win. Sanchez was 14 at the time, and given that she was far outside of being seeded rankings wise when she upset Evert at the 88 French, I presume she was ranked really low in 1987 a year earlier. It would have been embarassing for Sabatini to have lost to Sanchez at that years French.

    In addition to the ones you listed Sabatini beat Novotna at the 91 French and 91 U.S Opens as well. She beat Pierce at the 93 Australian Open. She beat Capriati at the 92 Australian and 92 Wimbledon. She generally was very good at beating that level of player in slams, but no better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  8. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

    Apr 4, 2007
    She also beat a very young Hingis at the 95 US Open. Gaby played some very exciting matches in the slams and did have some good individual wins. But I do hold it against her that she went something like 1-21 in slam play vs. MN, CE, SG and MS.

    Likewise, had Novotna won the 93 Wimbledon, I wonder if that would have propelled her? She did well at all slams but I think only another Wimbledon or two is realistic. Had the Aussie still been on grass that would've helped her.

    I know you are big on Martinez on clay (I am too somewhat). Surely the 95 French would've been her best chance for a second slam.
  9. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Martinez had a good shot to win the French in 1995, 2000, and maybe even 1997 and 1998 IMO. 1997 and 1998 were wide open but she had mediocre round of 16 defeats (Coetzer and Majoli) both years. 2000 she capatilized on the easier half to make the final comfortably, and could have won over an average and nervous Pierce had she herself played better. 1995 she came in in the form of her life but did not deliver in the semifinal with a vurnerable Graf. 1994 and 1996 she came in playing well enough to win but Sanchez (94) and Graf (96) in the semis respecitively were far too good for her those years. Martinez had more clear opportunities to win the French than Sabatini as Sabatini had her best years in a stronger era than Martinez. Both had great trouble beating the best players in slams, even if Sabatini probably had more game to do so, but after 1992 that wasnt required as often.

    I dont think Jana had the ability to win slams anywhere but Wimbledon, nor did Martinez anywhere but the French (her Wimbledon was a huge fluke IMO) even had they been mentally tougher. Both are good on hard courts, but there were a number in their era better than them. Sabatini had the ability to win slams at various venues potentially, more than those other two did.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Feb 17, 2010
    No other woman could have beaten Hingis at the FO final the way she lost to Graf...
  11. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

    Apr 18, 2005
    lol at sabbatini, not even close

Share This Page