Is Monica Seles really that weak on grass? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Is Monica Seles really that weak on grass?

I have heard many arguments about how Monica is a weak grass-courter. Is she really that bad a grass-court player? Let's have a look:

Wimbledon GBR GS 26 Jun 1989 - 09 Jul 1989 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 11

128WBrenda SCHULTZ-MC CARTHY (NED)7-6 1-6 6-4
64WClaudia PORWIK (GER)6-2 6-4
32WEva SVIGLEROVA (TCH)6-4 6-3
16LSteffi GRAF (GER)0-6 1-6

Wimbledon GBR GS 25 Jun 1990 - 08 Jul 1990 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 3

128WMaria STRANDLUND (SWE)6-2 6-0
64WCamille BENJAMIN (USA)6-3 7-5
32WAnne MINTER (AUS)6-3 6-3
16WAnn HENRICKSSON (USA)6-1 6-0
QFLZina GARRISON (USA)6-3 3-6 7-9

Wimbledon GBR GS 22 Jun 1992 - 05 Jul 1992 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 1

128WJenny BYRNE (AUS)6-2 6-2
64WSabine APPELMANS (BEL)6-3 6-2
32WLaura GILDEMEISTER (PER)6-4 6-1
16WGigi FERNANDEZ (USA)6-4 6-2
QFWNathalie TAUZIAT (FRA)6-1 6-3
SFWMartina NAVRATILOVA (USA)6-2 6-7 6-4
FRLSteffi GRAF (GER)2-6 1-6

Eastbourne GBR WT 18 Jun 1996 - 22 Jun 1996 Grass (O) Entry: WC Seed: 1

32BBYE
16WMeredith MC GRATH (USA)6-2 6-4
QFWInes GORROCHATEGUI (ARG)6-3 6-1
SFWNathalie TAUZIAT (FRA)6-4 6-4
FRWMary-Joe FERNANDEZ (USA)6-0 6-2

Wimbledon GBR GS 24 Jun 1996 - 07 Jul 1996 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 2

128WAnn WUNDERLICH (USA)6-1 6-2
64LKatarina STUDENIKOVA (SVK)5-7 7-5 4-6

Eastbourne GBR WT 17 Jun 1997 - 22 Jun 1997 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 1

32BBYE
16WNaoko SAWAMATSU (JPN)6-2 7-5
QFLBrenda SCHULTZ-MC CARTHY (NED)5-7 5-7

Wimbledon GBR GS 23 Jun 1997 - 06 Jul 1997 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 2

128WRachel MC QUILLAN (AUS)6-0 6-2
64WKristina BRANDI (PUR)5-7 6-3 6-3
32LSandrine TESTUD (FRA)6-0 4-6 6-8

Wimbledon GBR GS 22 Jun 1998 - 05 Jul 1998 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 6

128WMaria SANCHEZ LORENZO (ESP)6-3 6-4
64WAlexandra FUSAI (FRA)6-1 6-1
32WYayuk BASUKI (INA)6-2 6-3
16WSandrine TESTUD (FRA)6-3 6-2
QFLNatalia ZVEREVA (BLR)6-7 2-6

Eastbourne GBR WT 14 Jun 1999 - 19 Jun 1999 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 1

32BBYE 16LAnne KREMER (LUX)4-6 4-6

Wimbledon GBR GS 21 Jun 1999 - 04 Jul 1999 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 4

128WCristina TORRENS VALERO (ESP)6-3 6-1
64WMarlene WEINGARTNER (GER)6-0 6-0
32LMirjana LUCIC (CRO)6-7 6-7

Wimbledon GBR GS 26 Jun 2000 - 09 Jul 2000 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 6

128WKarina HABSUDOVA (SVK)3-6 6-2 7-5
64WEls CALLENS (BEL)6-4 6-4
32WSarah PITKOWSKI-MALCOR (FRA)6-0 6-3
16WArantxa SANCHEZ-VICARIO (ESP)6-3 6-4
QFLLindsay DAVENPORT (USA)7-6 4-6 0-6

Wimbledon GBR GS 24 Jun 2002 - 07 Jul 2002 Grass (O) Entry: DA Seed: 4

128WEva BES (ESP)6-0 6-0
64WRossana NEFFA-DE LOS RIOS (PAR)6-4 6-0
32WAi SUGIYAMA (JPN)4-6 6-1 6-4
16WTamarine TANASUGARN (THA)6-2 6-2
QFLJustine HENIN-HARDENNE (BEL)5-7 6-7(4)

She's played only 12 grass tournaments in her career, of which she's won the title once (Eastbourne 1996) and been a runner-up once (Wimbledon 1992). She has also been a quarterfinalist five times.

Her losses have come to:

Steffi Graf (1988, 1992)
Zina Garrison (1990)
Katarina Studenikova (1996)
Sandrine Testud (1997)
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (1997)
Anne Kremer (1999)
Mirjana Lucic (1999)
Natasha Zvereva (1998)
Lindsay Davenport (2000)
Justine Henin-Hardenne (2002)

Of that list, the only eye-openers are Studenikova, Kremer and Lucic. Garrisson and Zvereva also beat Steffi that same tournament and are both good on grass. Testud, Graf, Davenport and Henin-Hardenne have defeated Monica on other surfaces as well.

Another very important fact is that she only played three grass-court tournaments prior to the stabbing, while playing at what we have to assume was the closest to her peak.

She has wins on grass over:

Martina Navratilova
Nathalie Tauziat (twice without dropping a set)
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy
Sandrine Testud
Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario (2-time Wimbledon finalist)
Tamarine Tanasugarn
Els Callens

Is she really that weak on grass, or is it just that she has played so much more on clay/hard/carpet and has had relatively more success on those surfaces as a result? Discuss.

FUCK YOU, SEWTA.
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Last edited by hingis-seles; May 17th, 2004 at 11:19 AM.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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She's weaker on grass than she is on any other surface, that's for sure. Compared to 95% of players, she's not weak on grass at all.

But losing to the likes of Lucic, Kremer, Testud (in 1997!) and Studenikova definitely dont rank as her greatest achievements.

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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think she's training hard for wimbledon this year;
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBcn
She's weaker on grass than she is on any other surface, that's for sure. Compared to 95% of players, she's not weak on grass at all.

But losing to the likes of Lucic, Kremer, Testud (in 1997!) and Studenikova definitely dont rank as her greatest achievements.
I agree that grass is her weakest surface, but is she not a good grass-court player?

She's also lost to Nagyova (1999) and Ferrando (1990) on hardcourts. Granted, she has had most of her bad losses on grass than any other surface.

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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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She's a very good grass-court player. She reached the final (beating Martina N in the process), reached the quarters a few times, and won Eastbourne.

However, it's not her best surface. It doesn't suit her game well, and she never had the phenomenal results she had on the other surfaces.

The bottom line: Seles was a GREAT player, period.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyk75
She's a very good grass-court player. She reached the final (beating Martina N in the process), reached the quarters a few times, and won Eastbourne.

However, it's not her best surface. It doesn't suit her game well, and she never had the phenomenal results she had on the other surfaces.

The bottom line: Seles was a GREAT player, period.
Seles is a GREAT player, period. If only she wasn't injured.

People talk about Monica Seles on grass like she's Pete Sampras on clay. It's like apples and oranges.

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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OMG !!! she actually beat Els Callens on grass!

I think she isn't a 'bad grasscourtplayer' at all! She's a great player on every surface. Grass is probably her 'least favourite' surface, but almost every player has one. Too bad she never won Wimbledon, but who knows ... .
In a way she has a good game for grass (hard hitting) but her reach (with the 2 hands) is a clear disadavantage. She probably lacked a bit of luck, and without the stabbing, I'm almost certain she would have won Wimbledon at least once...

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hingis-seles
Seles is a GREAT player, period. If only she wasn't injured.

People talk about Monica Seles on grass like she's Pete Sampras on clay. It's like apples and oranges.
I have to come to good ole Petey's defense here. He beat Sergi Bruguera, that clay-court octopus on red clay, at Roland Garros, and Pete did win the Italian Open in 1994, and played alot more at Roland Garros than Seles ever played at Wimbledon. Pete's game, chiefly his groundstrokes, racquet grips, speed about the court, and the fact that he could hit every shot in the book meant he had the opportunity to do well on clay. Monica's game (and this is not a personal attack- please see the difference folks) is much more one-dimensional, and suffers on grass more than any other surface- she has extreme western grips on both sides, limited mobility, limited variety on her serve, and very little inkling to end the point quickly at the net. It's not her fault- it's just not something I think was ever a major goal for her when she learned to play tennis. She only ever played Navratilova once on grass, and never played most of the great serve-and-volley attacking players on the surface.

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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She was not a great grass court player period. When you compare her results with other surfaces, definetly she used her talent to adjust her game to the low skiddy bounces of grass. Reaching a grand slam final and winning another event were good results, but really low to her standards. The only former Wimbledon champion she could beat on the surface was Martina Navratilova 6-4 in the third in the semis of 1992.

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SFs, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajeffster
I have to come to good ole Petey's defense here. He beat Sergi Bruguera, that clay-court octopus on red clay, at Roland Garros, and Pete did win the Italian Open in 1994, and played alot more at Roland Garros than Seles ever played at Wimbledon. Pete's game, chiefly his groundstrokes, racquet grips, speed about the court, and the fact that he could hit every shot in the book meant he had the opportunity to do well on clay. Monica's game (and this is not a personal attack- please see the difference folks) is much more one-dimensional, and suffers on grass more than any other surface- she has extreme western grips on both sides, limited mobility, limited variety on her serve, and very little inkling to end the point quickly at the net. It's not her fault- it's just not something I think was ever a major goal for her when she learned to play tennis. She only ever played Navratilova once on grass, and never played most of the great serve-and-volley attacking players on the surface.
2 things

1)Pete played many many more clay court events than Monica and was only able to win just 3 events, which only ONE of them was a Master Series. And was only able to reach 1 Semis, and 3 QF as best results in Roland Garros in 13 trips there. Monica had 1 final, 4 QF finishes in 9 trips to Wimbledon. Not to mention the many oportunities Pete had on the other clay events along the year, and to come up with only 3 wins, says a lot about the kind of clay court player he was.
I tried to do this same comparisson but Monica was a better grass court player than Pete was on clay, and also because Pete had MANY MANY more opotunities to win events on clay than Monica could on grass, yet only 2 titles are the difference, while Monica performed better at the weaker slam.. if this makes sense
2)Monica DOES NOT USE EXTREME western grips for her shots. I guess you have not seen Anke Huber`s forehand. Brenda Schultz forehand or Barbara Paulus`s game at all . Anyway i think you tried to mean that those both hands for both shots hurted Monica so much on grass, which is correct.

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SFs, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajeffster
I have to come to good ole Petey's defense here. He beat Sergi Bruguera, that clay-court octopus on red clay, at Roland Garros, and Pete did win the Italian Open in 1994, and played alot more at Roland Garros than Seles ever played at Wimbledon. Pete's game, chiefly his groundstrokes, racquet grips, speed about the court, and the fact that he could hit every shot in the book meant he had the opportunity to do well on clay. Monica's game (and this is not a personal attack- please see the difference folks) is much more one-dimensional, and suffers on grass more than any other surface- she has extreme western grips on both sides, limited mobility, limited variety on her serve, and very little inkling to end the point quickly at the net. It's not her fault- it's just not something I think was ever a major goal for her when she learned to play tennis. She only ever played Navratilova once on grass, and never played most of the great serve-and-volley attacking players on the surface.
Hey Jeff!

It was not my intention to try and undermine Pete Sampras' accomplishments on clay. However, given how many more events he played on clay and also given the fact that there are no Tier 1 events on grass, and how few grass events Monica played, I still feel she is overall more consistent than him and better on grass than he is on clay.

Monica's game definitely suffers on grass as she never had that "big serve" or "brilliant volleys" which are essential. She's probably one of the greatest returners in the history of the game and I believe that is responsible for a large part of her success on grass.

I love that she's unbeaten on grass against Navratilova.

It should also be pointed out that Monica, despite her limited game on grass, did have a better record in her first three Wimbledons than Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 03:04 PM
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Not weak, just several levels lower than STEFFI GRAF.

canuuk..or however you spell your name...bad rep or not...it's the truth. She got what three/four games in four sets? Scorelines look like first round matches.

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"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "



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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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most players would kill for those results. she actually played really well vs. mirjana. that was one of the best matches i've ever seen...

ugh, why do they all suck????????
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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I have said it before that Monica is not a bad grass court player. But I dont think she is great either. She is above average, but the thing is Monica was sooo good on all other surfaces. Her results on grass are good, but nothing compared to what she did on clay or hard courts, that is why people usually think of her as a bad glass court player. We call Nathelie Tauziat a good grass court player, and I don't think she was better than Monica on grass.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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I think Monica plays well on grass. Her 1992 Wimbledon final against Graf should never have been played in the dark and fog. I'll never forgive Wimbledon for that!

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