Sugiyama, Suarez & Frazier - how the game moved on - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Sugiyama, Suarez & Frazier - how the game moved on

Ai Sugiyama (29), Paola Suarez (28) and Amy Frazier (32) are veterans on the tour who still are well in the top-20 today. They are a bridge between the times of Graf, Novotna and Sabatini and the times of today's "power players".
When we want to compare former greats with today's top players it might help to have a look how those three players fared against both groups.

Miss Frazier was able to beat FO 04 winner Myskina at Wimbledon 4 weeks later (4-6, 6-4, 6-4) and fell only to later Wimbledon champ Sharapova - after a tight clash (4-6, 5-7).
Between 1991 and 1996 Graf played Frazier 6 times, winning all 6 matches.
One was a 3-setter (Graf winning decider with 6-2), the other 5 wins were blow-outs (Amy winning only 3, 3, 5, 5, and 3 games).
But obviously a 32-year-old Frazier is better than a 19-25 year-old Frazier. Because the game has moved on since Graf ....

Miss Sugiyama beat Zvonareva and Henin in fall of 2003 and took later Wimbledon 04 champ Sharapova to 3 sets in the quarters there.
Sugiyama played Graf 5 times in 98/99 when an old Graf with reconstructed knee returned to the tour for 15 months again. Sugiyama won one match, a tough 3-setter. In the other 4 matches she was blown off the court by the former great. Ai made only 13 games in 8 sets ......
But obviously a 29-year-old Sugiyama is better than a 23, 24 year-old Sugiyama.
Because the game has moved on since Graf .....

Miss Suarez beat Wimbledon 04 champ Sharapova like a drum at FO 04. At the Canadian Open 03 she beat USO 04 champ Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva, at L.A. 03 she beat Bovina.
Suarez played Graf 3 times (1996-99). She lost all matches.She made only 14 games in 6 sets ....
But obviously a 28 year-old Suarez is better than a 20-23 year-old Suarez.
Because the game has moved on since Graf ....

Oh boy, just imagine what today's Sugiyma, Frazier and Suarez and especially what today's top power players would have done with Graf of the 90ies.
Steffi really dodged some bullets there!
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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Oh boy, just imagine what today's Sugiyma, Frazier and Suarez and especially what today's top power players would have done with Graf of the 90ies.
Steffi really dodged some bullets there!
r u being sarcastic?
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Oh boy, just imagine what today's Sugiyma, Frazier and Suarez and especially what today's top power players would have done with Graf of the 90ies.
Steffi really dodged some bullets there!
This argument has no logic to it.
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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabuki
This argument has no logic to it.
i think (and hope) hes being sarcastic
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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr_Molik
i think (and hope) hes being sarcastic
I dunno, but there's a little too much data for sarcasm.

It is either bad sarcasm, or just plain bad.
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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kabuki
I dunno, but there's a little too much data for sarcasm.

It is either bad sarcasm, or just plain bad.

We know
1) that Graf usually thrashed Frazier, Sugiyama, Suarez 5, 10 years ago AND
2) that "the game has moved on" in the last 5 years ("power players" etc.).

So we can conclude that Frazier, Sugiyama and Suarez must be FAAAR better as 30-year-olds than they were as youngsters (20-25 years old).

That "the-game-has-moved-on" theory is common wisdom here in WTAWorld, isn't it?

BTW, do you need an emoticon ALL the time?
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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:10 PM
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Come on cali....they didnīt win majors then and they arenīt winning majors now..so whatīs the fuss?!

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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:13 PM
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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bandabou
Come on cali....they didnīt win majors then and they arenīt winning majors now..so whatīs the fuss?!

They weren't able to touch Graf back then.
But now they trouble the Myskinas, Sharapovas and Kuznetsovas.
Proof how extremely they have improved in the last 5, 10 years.
Because we all know how the game has moved on since Graf's heyday (power players etc.).
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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Calimero377
So we can conclude that Frazier, Sugiyama and Suarez must be FAAAR better as 30-year-olds than they were as youngsters (20-25 years old).
No they are not FAAAR better now than 5-8 years ago, I would break it down like this -

Frazier = FAAR better
Sugiyama = FAR better
Suarez = FAAaR better

Other than this you have proven beyond any argument that Graf was better than any of them.

Thank you so much!
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post #11 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:38 PM
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these three players are the exception... they ARE better now than they were then. it IS possible. just look at silvia farina elia, as well. some girls play their best tennis as veterans. usually they aren't the robust physical types, and they learn to scram and learn the court better than they did in their more youthful days.

but sure, graf was better than them then.
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post #12 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Oh boy, just imagine what today's Sugiyma, Frazier and Suarez and especially what today's top power players would have done with Graf of the 90ies.
Steffi really dodged some bullets there!
I can't believe I am going to do this, but...

Yes, the game does evolve and improve. Tape shows us defininitively that this is true. BUT, if Sug, Fraz, and Suar were the players they are now in their 28+ years back 5 years or more ago, they would have grown up contemporaneously with Graf. They would not have be the players that they are today at this age if they were born 5+ years earlier. Conversely, if Steffi had come along 5+ years later, she would have been even better. Get it?
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post #13 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
We know
1) that Graf usually thrashed Frazier, Sugiyama, Suarez 5, 10 years ago AND
2) that "the game has moved on" in the last 5 years ("power players" etc.).

So we can conclude that Frazier, Sugiyama and Suarez must be FAAAR better as 30-year-olds than they were as youngsters (20-25 years old).

That "the-game-has-moved-on" theory is common wisdom here in WTAWorld, isn't it?

BTW, do you need an emoticon ALL the time?
The problem with the logic - why it gets a F - is that you assume 1) that the margin by which Graf beat those players in the past was not enough to beat them and the modern players you mention today which is far from clear. You could equally and more convincingly argue that the players those players have been beating (and your list doesn't include many top players or top players who were on form at the time) are simply not as good as Graf.

You also assume 2) that all those players have improved since they played Graf but miss the obvious point that Graf wouldn't be playing like she did in 1999 either . With modern technology the most consistent fast server of her day wouldn't be hitting serves at 100 MPH now she would be hitting them at 115+ and if she wasn't playing a game that had matured to counter the Williams wouldn't be playing at all. A Graf serving that fast and who could play the pre 2004 Venus competitively would be beating those players by embarassing margins.

You also assume 3) that those players would ever find the mental strength to beat Graf - you could equally argue that after a few more defeats they would have folded even further mentally and would by now have produced one sided H2Hs of MJF dimensions.
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post #14 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 03:10 PM
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Basically I think he's considering Graf and today's top players to have the same level. That's why he says those 3 players have improved: they used to be crushed by the top player some years ago while they were younger, now they give hard fights to any top player.

That can either mean that:

1) they improved (as you're trying to explain)
2) the top players are weaker than Graf was (the most likely one, yet you try to refuse it)
3) both of these

I don't agree with that technology thing, Graf didn't have it back then... but all the other mentioned players didn't aswell. And nowadays, they do have it. But so do the top players.

I don't think that post stupid at all, it was an interesting thought in my opinion.

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post #15 of 108 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 04:07 PM
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The playing field is much more even now. Most of the top 20 could beat each other on given days. Graf was in a league of her own.
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