Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southern California
Re: A Tennis Great/Legend?
In my opinion, the word legend shows a dominance over most of the person's competitors throughout their competitive years. This includes both slams and regular tournaments. The player has to have been universally feared, and lived up to the claim by having a predominate number of wins, and has to have in some way uplifted the sport.
Federer is the only legend playing as an individual right now in my opinion, as he's already got the numbers to overtake for greatest of all time in terms of slams and weeks and number one, the fear factor, dominance, his record in non GS tournaments. The Bryan Brothers certainly vie for doubles legends along with a couple of the women's doubles teams playing right now.
The William's sisters still have time to achieve legend status as individuals. But their injuries and inability to play through them as INDIVIDUALS make them greats to me, but not that ultimate status just yet. This could change.
Still, Serena has the Serena Slam and Venus has reached that upper echelon of Wimbledon singles victories as well. IF they can break the double digits in terms of GS, they will end up legends as individuals.
Certainly, they are legends in terms of being sisters and dominating number one and two!!! That is a rare thing, and qualifies them as legends in that regard.
Both Williams' also helped solidify (for me the change power started with Graf, Seles, and Capriati) the change from the old game using more strategy in play to win, to the new ground power game (which in my opinion, hasn't necessarily been a good thing as its taken the beauty out of tennis, ie the net game -- but still it has been a major change in how the women's game is played). They've been helped in that regard by a change in equipment, strings, etc, but also by their own power and speed as athletes.
I personally believe that Serena and Venus could both end up legends as individuals before their careers end. But again, as sisters playing the sport both at such high a level, they are already legends in that regard.
I don't believe in giving players a bye for injuries or anything else that happened in their careers. Although I'm tempted with Seles! What happened to her was criminal (literally), and in my opinion, allowed Graf to achieve a level of GS success (as was the intention of the guy who stabbed Seles) that she most likely would not have done had Seles continued to progress as she was.
Still, at the end of the day, Graf has the 22 singles slams on record regardless of what happened or what anyone thinks. Most of the legends, Chris, Martina N, Graf, Billie Jean, Court, Lenglen, etc., have had to play through some tough periods and find a way to eventually come through on top. But Seles had an extraordinary event effect the overall outcome of her career achievements and status (considering her rise top the top before the time of the attack).
ChrissieE (semi) KAD
"The Lipstick Assassin"
"I still feel in the back of my mind that when Serena is committed and in shape, she's the best player"
Chris Evert ESPN May 2007