Who's greater on clay: Maria Sharapova or Serena Williams?

Greater clay courter?

  • Sharapova

    Votes: 14 31.1%
  • Williams

    Votes: 31 68.9%

  • Total voters
    45
One of the hottest debates in WTA right now!

Statistics:

Maria Sharapova

10 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 3 Premiers/Tier II, 3 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 2 French Open titles)

83% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 3 QFs, 2 SFs, 1 F, 2 W

Serena Williams

11 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 2 Premiers/Tier II, 6 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 2 French Open titles)

81% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 5 QFs, 1 SF, 2 W
 

Graf=GOAT

Professional
It's sad news for the WTA tour when this is actually a legitimate discussion. I can't believe WTA is at the point where brainless ball bashing is enough to succeed on clay.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
It's close, but I have to say Sharapova. She made 3 straight finals by winning 2 titles. Serena never had that stretch of dominance/consistency.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
It's close, but I have to say Sharapova. She made 3 straight finals by winning 2 titles. Serena never had that stretch of dominance/consistency.

Really? Who would win in a match played on clay: Maria or Serena?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Really? Who would win in a match played on clay: Maria or Serena?

Greater player isn't about H2H, but against they field by beating 7 different players. Serena lost to Muguruza who lost to the eventual champion(Sharapova), that would give Sharapova more credit if you factor in H2H. Frankly, H2H is next to meaningless because it has no bearing on winning the slam which required to win 7 matches.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
Greater player isn't about H2H, but against they field by beating 7 different players. Serena lost to Muguruza who lost to the eventual champion(Sharapova), that would give Sharapova more credit if you factor in H2H. Frankly, H2H is next to meaningless because it has no bearing on winning the slam which required to win 7 matches.

Yes, the great Maria is will be a double digit slam winner.
 

Matt H.

Professional
The wording is bad.

Who's had greater accomplishments on clay? The case could be made for sharapova.


But wording anything straight up Serena vs. Sharapova and the answer is Serena. She plays for blood when she plays against Maria and seeks to destroy her.

If Serena had played Sharapova, Sharapova would not have made the final.
 

Warmaster

Hall of Fame
It's unbelievable they both managed to win two. Clay field has been so weak ever since Henin retired.

It's pretty much a tie so I'll go with Williams as she wipes the floor with Sharapova.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
It's unbelievable they both managed to win two. Clay field has been so weak ever since Henin retired.

It's pretty much a tie so I'll go with Williams as she wipes the floor with Sharapova.

So you're insinuating that they don't have a chance to win one in Graf and Martina/Evert era ?
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
One of the hottest debates in WTA right now!

Statistics:

Maria Sharapova

10 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 3 Premiers/Tier II, 3 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 2 French Open titles)

83% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 3 QFs, 2 SFs, 1 F, 2 W

Serena Williams

11 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 2 Premiers/Tier II, 6 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 2 French Open titles)

81% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 5 QFs, 1 SF, 2 W

Career wise, Sharapova is greater on clay by slight edge. Last 3 years it's obvious Sharapova is greater with 3 French Open finals in a row. Sugarpova fast becoming the Raphael Nadal of the red clay!!
 

Vanhool

Hall of Fame
Career wise, Sharapova is greater on clay by slight edge. Last 3 years it's obvious Sharapova is greater with 3 French Open finals in a row. Sugarpova fast becoming the Raphael Nadal of the red clay!!

Are you having a fun little trolling time (like I was above), or really serious? Sharapova has a good record, but Serena's is better (for now): 11>10, 6 top tier > 3, 2 FO doubles titles > 0. Winning tournaments is more important than deep runs at slams (unless you're a Stephens fan).

Yes, Maria is very dominant on clay, but Serena dominates her and did so at 2 clay finals last year. Lol that everyone is saying this year's was the best FO final in years...yet Maria played in the final last year...the two best players playing each other should be the best final, but one was completely outclassed by the better player...Serena vs Maria wasn't as competitive as Maria vs a girl with no slams to her name.

Now, with all that said, Maria will end up with a better career record on clay (especially if you don't count doubles, which I'm sure her fans will not). It's already very close, and as Serena ages, then retires, Maria will be scooping up even more titles. So Sharapova fans will definitely be able to brag about that within 1-3 years. I think right now is a bit premature... but I suppose I'd be doing the same if I had been wandering in the desert for so long. It's nice to find a little statistical oasis :twisted:

I will always be sad that Serena got injured back in 2012. She was absolutely scary good that year at Charleston, Madrid and Rome until she gave the walkover at the semi for her back and then got knocked out in the first round of RG. The form she had up until that point was phenomenal, better than last year. I really believe she would have trounced everyone, but her body betrayed her. Anyway, record books (and most people in general) don't give a **** about things like that, so it's a moot point. This year's loss (and Maria's win) I don't mind. Serena has not been playing that well this year compared to her last 2 years and I smelled trouble the minute I saw Muguruza as her R2 match. Credit to Maria for winning this year in spite of her also not playing her best tennis coming back from injury. She really turned it on at various points in that final, especially at the end where it mattered most.
 
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I find it funny that some people suggest that because Serena and Sharapova are dominating on clay, it must be a weak era for clay court players on the WTA. You know, it could also be that both Sharapova and Williams are outstanding clay court players! Re: the comment about all it takes to win on clay on the WTA these days is to be able to bash the ball: correct me if I'm wrong but isn't baseline grinding what clay courts are all about? It seems to me that someone like Maria Sharapova, who many accuse of having few dimensions to her game, would indeed be successful on clay courts.

I think some people just get way too caught up in the idea of a clay court specialist. There aren't specific players particularly dominating the clay courts so people think there must be no real great clay court players.
 

Vensai

Professional
Their careers aren't too far apart, but Williams would beat Sharapova if they played a match right now.
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
Are you having a fun little trolling time (like I was above), or really serious? Sharapova has a good record, but Serena's is better (for now): 11>10, 6 top tier > 3, 2 FO doubles titles > 0. Winning tournaments is more important than deep runs at slams (unless you're a Stephens fan).

Yes, Maria is very dominant on clay, but Serena dominates her and did so at 2 clay finals last year. Lol that everyone is saying this year's was the best FO final in years...yet Maria played in the final last year...the two best players playing each other should be the best final, but one was completely outclassed by the better player...Serena vs Maria wasn't as competitive as Maria vs a girl with no slams to her name.

Now, with all that said, Maria will end up with a better career record on clay (especially if you don't count doubles, which I'm sure her fans will not). It's already very close, and as Serena ages, then retires, Maria will be scooping up even more titles. So Sharapova fans will definitely be able to brag about that within 1-3 years. I think right now is a bit premature... but I suppose I'd be doing the same if I had been wandering in the desert for so long. It's nice to find a little statistical oasis :twisted:

I will always be sad that Serena got injured back in 2012. She was absolutely scary good that year at Charleston, Madrid and Rome until she gave the walkover at the semi for her back and then got knocked out in the first round of RG. The form she had up until that point was phenomenal, better than last year. I really believe she would have trounced everyone, but her body betrayed her. Anyway, record books (and most people in general) don't give a **** about things like that, so it's a moot point. This year's loss (and Maria's win) I don't mind. Serena has not been playing that well this year compared to her last 2 years and I smelled trouble the minute I saw Muguruza as her R2 match. Credit to Maria for winning this year in spite of her also not playing her best tennis coming back from injury. She really turned it on at various points in that final, especially at the end where it mattered most.

Being consistent and going deep into slams is what it's all about. Sharapova has done 40% better than Serena in reaching semifinals or better at the French. One more appearance in a final at F.O, better winning % on clay, and a better booty... gives the edge to Sugarpova. :)
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
It's close, but I have to say Sharapova. She made 3 straight finals by winning 2 titles. Serena never had that stretch of dominance/consistency.

Nope, you have to give the edge to Serena because Sharapova has never defeated Serena on clay. It is very close but that h2h swings it Serena's way.

If Sharapova wins another FO or a couple of more Premier clay events Sharapova will be the greater clay court player.
 

JMR

Hall of Fame
Are you having a fun little trolling time (like I was above), or really serious? Sharapova has a good record, but Serena's is better (for now): 11>10, 6 top tier > 3, 2 FO doubles titles > 0. Winning tournaments is more important than deep runs at slams (unless you're a Stephens fan)

Doubles is irrelevant. The presumption is that "greater" or "greatest" always refers to singles only unless the poster specifically indicates otherwise.

Making a slam final is better than winning any other tournament. This is even truer in the women's game than in the men's.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Nope, you have to give the edge to Serena because Sharapova has never defeated Serena on clay. It is very close but that h2h swings it Serena's way.

If Sharapova wins another FO or a couple of more Premier clay events Sharapova will be the greater clay court player.

I don't see how H2H is a determine factor. Sharapova lost 2 matches to Serena last year(Madrid and FO) but both were in the final. However, Serena lost 1st round in 2012 and 2nd round in 2014 FO.

I believe making a deep round in a tournaments is a better measuring stick. H2H wouldn't make sense since that would say Serena is greater than Sharapova in 2013 and 2014 combined, even though that 2 years Sharapova was a finalist and a champion, Serena was a champion and reach 2nd round.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Doubles is irrelevant. The presumption is that "greater" or "greatest" always refers to singles only unless the poster specifically indicates otherwise.

Making a slam final is better than winning any other tournament. This is even truer in the women's game than in the men's.

Of course double is not part of the discussion. It's hilarious that some people have a hard time differentiate these two career.

No one is placing the Bryan Brothers in the same conversation with Laver, Sampras, Borg....
 

Vanhool

Hall of Fame
Doubles is irrelevant. The presumption is that "greater" or "greatest" always refers to singles only unless the poster specifically indicates otherwise.

Making a slam final is better than winning any other tournament. This is even truer in the women's game than in the men's.

To me, making a slam final and losing is still losing. It's good and admirable, but it's not greatness. Winning a premier mandatory means you beat a big field with all the top players. I truly don't understand why you say the slam is even more important in women's than men's (f=m maybe but f>m confuses me). Anyway,, Sharapova's made 3 finals to Serena's 2. Big deal. Sharapova beat Errani and Halep and lost to SERENA. Serena beat Venus and the "great" MARIA (in straight sets). Maybe if Maria made 5 finals or something, I could see it. It just seems a little reaching right now to me. I just don't think Maria's record at the French is so overwhelmingly better that it cancels out Serena's premier mandatories (especially since one of them was also straight sets over Maria). I can understand the argument though (except for the men vs women thing), I just disagree. I think their records are close enough right now that it's still subjective.

As far as doubles goes, it never counts if your favorite sucks at it, and it always counts if your fave is great at it :twisted: To me it is further evidence that Serena is greater on clay, since the question is about the surface and their records are close. I don't believe doubles counts equally, but I think it counts for something.
 
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Vanhool

Hall of Fame
Of course double is not part of the discussion. It's hilarious that some people have a hard time differentiate these two career.

No one is placing the Bryan Brothers in the same conversation with Laver, Sampras, Borg....

Well they might if one of them had the same number of slams and a crushing head to head over Laver, Sampras or Borg. But obviously they don't! Jeez, people only use it like tiebreaker, like h2h. Does anyone really think they're equal? Well, to clarify, I don't.
 
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Vanhool

Hall of Fame
Being consistent and going deep into slams is what it's all about. Sharapova has done 40% better than Serena in reaching semifinals or better at the French. One more appearance in a final at F.O, better winning % on clay, and a better booty... gives the edge to Sugarpova. :)
OK Mr. Lob, you are just looking for trouble now! I can agree to disagree on all of the above. But you'd better be careful...you are treading on very dangerous ground...you may start an all out war with that :)
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
It's close, but I have to say Sharapova. She made 3 straight finals by winning 2 titles. Serena never had that stretch of dominance/consistency.

This, pretty much. Serena could have been a dominant clay court player if she'd taken it more seriously early on in her career.
 

Graf=GOAT

Professional
This, pretty much. Serena could have been a dominant clay court player if she'd taken it more seriously early on in her career.

Truly? She'd have beaten prime Henin who was dominating clay in mid 2000's? Unlikely. The very fact that Sharapova won FO twice in the last 3 years and Serena captured her second (after not being in final for more than a decade) shows how bad women's clay tennis is right now.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Truly? She'd have beaten prime Henin who was dominating clay in mid 2000's? Unlikely. The very fact that Sharapova won FO twice in the last 3 years and Serena captured her second (after not being in final for more than a decade) shows how bad women's clay tennis is right now.

You should see the mens...
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
Truly? She'd have beaten prime Henin who was dominating clay in mid 2000's? Unlikely. The very fact that Sharapova won FO twice in the last 3 years and Serena captured her second (after not being in final for more than a decade) shows how bad women's clay tennis is right now.

Henin is overrated. Serena is twice the player Henin was.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Truly? She'd have beaten prime Henin who was dominating clay in mid 2000's? Unlikely. The very fact that Sharapova won FO twice in the last 3 years and Serena captured her second (after not being in final for more than a decade) shows how bad women's clay tennis is right now.

That's not true because Henin was not in her prime in 2002 when Serena beat her. After 2002, Serena never beat her again on clay.

I'm not trying to say H2H against individual is important(only achievements is) but just wanted to correct you.
 

ravelok

Banned
Serena. Most of the important stats are tied or in Serena's favor:

French open titles- 2 each
French Open finals- 3 Maria, 2 Serena
Tier 1 equivalent titles- 5 Serena, 3 Maria
Premier equivalent titles- 9 Serena, 8 Maria
Clay titles- 10 Serena, 9 Maria

As you can see Serena is ahead in most things. Add to that that she owns Maria on clay, and that her draws to her 2 French Open titles were far harder than Maria's, and Serena is an easy winner.
 

ravelok

Banned
Henin is overrated. Serena is twice the player Henin was.

On clay Henin >>>>>>>>>>>> Serena. The fact we are even asking who is better on clay between Serena and Maria sums it up. I would rate the best female clay courters of the last 15 years as:

1. Henin












2. Serena
3. Maria (very close behind)


4. Capriati
 

ravelok

Banned
I don't see how H2H is a determine factor.

It isn't the determining factor if one player is far ahead in stats. However Maria is not far ahead (if any) than Serena in clay stats. Maria only has 2 French Opens like Serena, fewer of the other prestigious titles on clay, fewer overall titles on clay, has never had a year like Serena's 2013 on clay, less longevity as a top clay courter (Serena has been at various points from 2002 to today, which is amazing). Serena's edge in other clay court tournaments easily negates, or even more than negates, Maria's slightly more deep "non winning" runs at Roland Garros. Heck even had they never played on clay, it would be easy to give Serena the edge, but when you add Maria being mauled by Serena each time out on clay it really makes it a clear case when it arguably should have been Serena even before considering that. Plus compare who Serena has beaten and faced over the years at Roland Garros to Maria, no contest.

All signs point to Serena being the choice here. I suspect anyone who picks Maria is due to bias to Serena, or not being very well aware of both players careers on clay to this point.
 

JMR

Hall of Fame
To me, making a slam final and losing is still losing. It's good and admirable, but it's not greatness. Winning a premier mandatory means you beat a big field with all the top players. I truly don't understand why you say the slam is even more important in women's than men's (f=m maybe but f>m confuses me).

Because the women's nonslam events are even less prestigious, and more quickly forgotten, then the men's nonslam events. A woman makes a much bigger and longer-lasting impact by making the Wimbledon final than by winning, say, Madrid.

This does not mean the women's slams are more important than the men's slams. It means the differential between the slams and the other tournaments is slightly greater for the women than for the men.

As far as doubles goes, it never counts if your favorite sucks at it, and it always counts if your fave is great at it :twisted:

Incorrect. I never, ever include doubles in any GOAT analyses or other comparisons between players. I would do so only if someone asked something like, "Who is the greater overall champion, including doubles, Navratilova or Margaret Court?"
 

Vanhool

Hall of Fame
Because the women's nonslam events are even less prestigious, and more quickly forgotten, then the men's nonslam events. A woman makes a much bigger and longer-lasting impact by making the Wimbledon final than by winning, say, Madrid.

This does not mean the women's slams are more important than the men's slams. It means the differential between the slams and the other tournaments is slightly greater for the women than for the men.



Incorrect. I never, ever include doubles in any GOAT analyses or other comparisons between players. I would do so only if someone asked something like, "Who is the greater overall champion, including doubles, Navratilova or Margaret Court?"
I would say it's the opposite. The gap between a masters and a slam is less for women than men because all are 3 sets and all the top players are in attendance at both. Slams are still greater because it's 7 rounds and there's more psychological pressure, but it's not as huge a difference in the women's side as the men's, IMO.

The comment I made about dubs wasn't directed at you personally (I'm not familiar with your posting history), just having a little fun...
 

captainbryce

Hall of Fame
Updated Statistics:

Maria Sharapova
11 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 3 Premiers/Tier II, 3 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 2 French Open titles)

84% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 3 QFs, 2 SFs, 1 F, 2 W

Serena Williams
12 clay titles (1 International/Tier III, 2 Premiers/Tier II, 6 Premier 5s & Premier Mandatories/Tier I, 3 French Open titles)

83% winning percentage on clay

RG record: 5 QFs, 1 SF, 3 W

The numbers seem to favor Serena slightly in terms of accomplishments. However, the question was "who's greater on clay" which to me has more to do with skill set and prowess on the surface rather than accomplishments. Serena Williams has more of a shot vocabulary (spin variety) than Sharapova on clay, she can slide much better on clay, she has the winning head to head record (4-0) on clay, and has beaten players like Justine Henin and Svetlana Kuznetsova on clay before, Sharapova has not. So to me there is no question of who the better clay court player is.
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
That's not true because Henin was not in her prime in 2002 when Serena beat her. After 2002, Serena never beat her again on clay.

I'm not trying to say H2H against individual is important(only achievements is) but just wanted to correct you.
Henin wasn't in her prime in 2002?
Yeah i guess reaching the top 4 and meeting both consistently venus and serena in slam semi's isn't prime.

Even prime Henin struggled to beat serena (which she had a little helping hand) at RG semi in 2003 which she only won 7-5 in third set. Most of their other matches on clay are either 3 setters or 2 tight sets. The only lopsided win for henin on clay was RG 07 and that was clearly peak Henin vs an unfit serena who had missed RG in 05 and 06. If 02/03 serena had stuck around longer their H2H on clay would have been closer
 
Serena clearly IMO. She is ahead of Maria in every single category that matters- more RG titles, more Premier Mandatory (or above) clay titles, more Premier (or higher) clay titles, more tournament wins on clay, head to head ownage of Maria on clay. It isnt even a contest IMO, especialy as Maria is unlikely at this point with the impending doping suspension along with all her other growing issues to win another RG (or any other slam, RG would actually still be her best shot by far of a future slam, but even there I doubt it now).
 
That's not true because Henin was not in her prime in 2002 when Serena beat her.

You truly have poo for brains as Dedans coins you. Since if you could read with even a faint sense of logic you would note the person you are responding to was disagreeing with any notion Serena could dominate or win regularly over a prime Henin on clay. So you were basically opposing something that was never even implied by the exact person you replied to in the first place, but then again you would be too stupid to recognize even something that basic.
 
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