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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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The Answer to the Question

And I really am looking for an answer.

Did Suzanne Lenglen win 12 slams or eight? Did Billie Jean King win 12 slams or 39? The Australian Open wasn't important for a while. Mixed doubles WAS important for a while. There was, I believe in 1974, a primetime exhibition MIXED DOUBLES match featuring Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and I believe, Marty Reissen. Stop and consider that. An EXHIBITION tennis match. In primetime, on network television. The networks wouldn't put Federer vs Sampras on now, much less in primetime.

So in King's days, doubles and mixed were very important. But for most of Steffi's Graf's career, not so. So who's rules do we measure success by?

If you asked a real hardcore devotee of men's tennis who the greatest player ever was, they might well answer 'Pancho Gonzalez'. But you'd have to be 50+, and a probably lifelong tennis fan to come up with that answer. Because you'd have to know about pre-Open era tennis, and how the pros played in those days. Rod Laver won the calendar slam twice, couldn't play in the slams for about 20 slams. And he's a footnote in the Federer vs Sampras discussion. Yet many consider Gonzalez better than him.

Imagine if the NFL, only honored records from college as legitemate before the merger of the NFL and AFL, which was 1966, I believe. That's literally what men's tennis does. The best players turned pro. And most fans of men's tennis ignore their records.

Similarly, with women's tennis, the mess that is this sport makes acknowledgement tough. If I judge Martina Hingis', and Justine Henin's, respective careers against that of King, Court, Goolagong, Bueno, Lenglen ... Hingis is clearly the superior player. 15 > 5.

But, if I measure Henin and Hingis against Graf, Evert and Seles, Henin is the superior player. Look at Venus Williams, Maria Bueno, Evonne Goolagong and Justine Henin
7 - 11- 1 - ? Maria Bueno
7 - 6 - 1 - 68 Evonne Goolagong
7 - 9 -2 - 41 Venus Williams
7 - 0 - 0 - 41 Justine Henin
So who's the best of the four? Who's the best of the four, for her era? Is 'for her era', just a cop-out?

Were the Aussie's advantaged because they'd go home to play OZ? Or disadvantaged because they had to travel so far for tall the other slams. Wimbledon and Roland Garros were a relatively short trip for Graf, just as the Australian was for Court. Where's the advantage?

And is EVERY player from South America or Africa at a functional disadvantage? How do we take that into account?

What a collosal mess this all is!

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 03:35 AM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
And I really am looking for an answer.

Did Suzanne Lenglen win 12 slams or eight? Did Billie Jean King win 12 slams or 39? The Australian Open wasn't important for a while. Mixed doubles WAS important for a while. There was, I believe in 1974, a primetime exhibition MIXED DOUBLES match featuring Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and I believe, Marty Reissen. Stop and consider that. An EXHIBITION tennis match. In primetime, on network television. The networks wouldn't put Federer vs Sampras on now, much less in primetime.

So in King's days, doubles and mixed were very important. But for most of Steffi's Graf's career, not so. So who's rules do we measure success by?

If you asked a real hardcore devotee of men's tennis who the greatest player ever was, they might well answer 'Pancho Gonzalez'. But you'd have to be 50+, and a probably lifelong tennis fan to come up with that answer. Because you'd have to know about pre-Open era tennis, and how the pros played in those days. Rod Laver won the calendar slam twice, couldn't play in the slams for about 20 slams. And he's a footnote in the Federer vs Sampras discussion. Yet many consider Gonzalez better than him.

Imagine if the NFL, only honored records from college as legitemate before the merger of the NFL and AFL, which was 1966, I believe. That's literally what men's tennis does. The best players turned pro. And most fans of men's tennis ignore their records.

Similarly, with women's tennis, the mess that is this sport makes acknowledgement tough. If I judge Martina Hingis', and Justine Henin's, respective careers against that of King, Court, Goolagong, Bueno, Lenglen ... Hingis is clearly the superior player. 15 > 5.

But, if I measure Henin and Hingis against Graf, Evert and Seles, Henin is the superior player. Look at Venus Williams, Maria Bueno, Evonne Goolagong and Justine Henin
7 - 11- 1 - ? Maria Bueno
7 - 6 - 1 - 68 Evonne Goolagong
7 - 9 -2 - 41 Venus Williams
7 - 0 - 0 - 41 Justine Henin
So who's the best of the four? Who's the best of the four, for her era? Is 'for her era', just a cop-out?

Were the Aussie's advantaged because they'd go home to play OZ? Or disadvantaged because they had to travel so far for tall the other slams. Wimbledon and Roland Garros were a relatively short trip for Graf, just as the Australian was for Court. Where's the advantage?

And is EVERY player from South America or Africa at a functional disadvantage? How do we take that into account?

What a collosal mess this all is!
Indeed.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
Did Suzanne Lenglen win 12 slams or eight?
Eight. You need to draw a line somewhere regarding whether to recognize a National championship or not. And World Hard Court Championships was/is never considered by any tennis historian as a Grand Slam event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
Did Billie Jean King win 12 slams or 39?
Depends if you want to include all disciplines or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
The Australian Open wasn't important for a while. Mixed doubles WAS important for a while.
That is a very good point and it again questions whether you want to include all disciplines or not. These days doubles and mixed isn't that important. But surely you can't say Venus Williams's doubles slams are not worth anything when discussing between her and Justine right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
There was, I believe in 1974, a primetime exhibition MIXED DOUBLES match featuring Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and I believe, Marty Reissen. Stop and consider that. An EXHIBITION tennis match. In primetime, on network television. The networks wouldn't put Federer vs Sampras on now, much less in primetime.
Exhibition is exhibition. Most of the important matches in tennis have come in exhibition matches: Cannes 1926, Battle of Sexes etc... Good for promotion of tennis but can't really figure in Greatness questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
So in King's days, doubles and mixed were very important. But for most of Steffi's Graf's career, not so. So who's rules do we measure success by?
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
If you asked a real hardcore devotee of men's tennis who the greatest player ever was, they might well answer 'Pancho Gonzalez'. But you'd have to be 50+, and a probably lifelong tennis fan to come up with that answer. Because you'd have to know about pre-Open era tennis, and how the pros played in those days. Rod Laver won the calendar slam twice, couldn't play in the slams for about 20 slams. And he's a footnote in the Federer vs Sampras discussion. Yet many consider Gonzalez better than him.
A really good point. But probably less of a factor in women's tennis? Tell me who was affected like Gonzalez in women's tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
Were the Aussie's advantaged because they'd go home to play OZ? Or disadvantaged because they had to travel so far for tall the other slams. Wimbledon and Roland Garros were a relatively short trip for Graf, just as the Australian was for Court. Where's the advantage?
The Aussies were advantaged because they had their home slam which wasn't that important the time but they still travelled and competed in Wimbledon and other big events because that's where the best played. It's like you want to imagine the Australian Championships as a National Championship and Wimbledon as the Olympics. If you're an Olympic champion, would you really be motivated to head down under to win a less important event? But if you're an Aussie National Champion, you'd want to compete in Wimbledon because it was THE event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
And is EVERY player from South America or Africa at a functional disadvantage? How do we take that into account?
Nah, you get into the territory of what if tennis wasn't such an exclusive sport? Will there be more African American players? How about all the poor countries, what if they all had tennis courts? You can't get into this territory, I'm afraid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
What a collosal mess this all is!
It is but it's the most interesting things to talk about on this board.

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Last edited by Sam L; Jul 12th, 2009 at 08:57 AM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 08:13 AM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
Similarly, with women's tennis, the mess that is this sport makes acknowledgement tough. If I judge Martina Hingis', and Justine Henin's, respective careers against that of King, Court, Goolagong, Bueno, Lenglen ... Hingis is clearly the superior player. 15 > 5.

But, if I measure Henin and Hingis against Graf, Evert and Seles, Henin is the superior player. Look at Venus Williams, Maria Bueno, Evonne Goolagong and Justine Henin
7 - 11- 1 - ? Maria Bueno
7 - 6 - 1 - 68 Evonne Goolagong
7 - 9 -2 - 41 Venus Williams
7 - 0 - 0 - 41 Justine Henin
So who's the best of the four? Who's the best of the four, for her era? Is 'for her era', just a cop-out?
I don't understand what you're saying here. That's why I skipped it originally. I've read through it again, and I still don't understand.

How exactly did you get 15>5? I've picked up on almost all of your vague references but sorry I failed here.

Please clarify. Thanks.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

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Eight. You need to draw a line somewhere regarding whether to recognize a National championship or not.
The 'additional' four slams were not National Championships. They were the World Hardcourt Championships where all the worlds best players competed until 1925 when the French was opened to non-French nationals. The World Hardcourt Championships effectively replaced the French Championships from 1912-1924 when only French Nationals could play. There is only a debate because people don't do the proper research into this matter.

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Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

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Originally Posted by Serena~lover View Post
The 'additional' four slams were not National Championships. They were the World Hardcourt Championships where all the worlds best players competed until 1925 when the French was opened to non-French nationals. The World Hardcourt Championships effectively replaced the French Championships from 1912-1924 when only French Nationals could play. There is only a debate because people don't do the proper research into this matter.
I'm sorry but it is you that's not doing the proper research. World Hardcourt Championships were NEVER considered part of the French Championships or a Grand Slam. It was a separate event that was held between 1912 and 1923.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:04 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Tennis Hall of Fame does not recognize ANY World Hardcourt Championships titles as Grand Slams. Are you saying that they haven't done their research?

http://www.tennisfame.com/famer.aspx...867&hof_id=201

Lenglen's Grand Slam record:

Quote:
French Singles 1925, 26
Doubles 1925, 26
Mixed 1925, 26

Wimbledon Singles 1919-23, 1925
Doubles 1919-23, 1925
Mixed 1920, 22, 25
Also, if World Hardcourt Championships WERE counted as a grand slam, Lenglen would actually have 13 Grand slams, not 12 as she actually won the World Hardcourt Championships in: 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923.

So yes, please do some research.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

at the end of the day, if there is a grey area or any uncertainty between who is greater between two player, the way it is split in peoples mind is who they like better, and they will present the stats accordingly when argueing their point.

just as well, or else we would run out of stuff to discuss on here!

the end.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Tennis Hall of Fame does not recognize ANY World Hardcourt Championships titles as Grand Slams. Are you saying that they haven't done their research?

http://www.tennisfame.com/famer.aspx...867&hof_id=201

Lenglen's Grand Slam record:



Also, if World Hardcourt Championships WERE counted as a grand slam, Lenglen would actually have 13 Grand slams, not 12 as she actually won the World Hardcourt Championships in: 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923.

So yes, please do some research.
The Tennis Hall of Fame is an American Institution. And like you, there's probably a good chance they haven't done their research. They regard what they wish, they are by no means the final word on the subject. I find many of their inducteees and methods of induction questionable.

Once again you are wrong because Lenglen did not win the WHCC in 1920. According to the book "Suzanne Lenglen: Tennis Idol of the Twenties" which I have on my bookshelf Suzanne did not play the WHCC in 1920 because of an unspecified illness. You can only bullshit your way past so many posters Sam. Better luck next time though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

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Originally Posted by Serena~lover View Post
The Tennis Hall of Fame is an American Institution. And like you, there's probably a good chance they haven't done their research. They regard what they wish, they are by no means the final word on the subject. I find many of their inducteees and methods of induction questionable.

Once again you are wrong because Lenglen did not win the WHCC in 1920. According to the book "Suzanne Lenglen: Tennis Idol of the Twenties" which I have on my bookshelf Suzanne did not play the WHCC in 1920 because of an unspecified illness. You can only bullshit your way past so many posters Sam. Better luck next time though.
Sorry but you're going to have show me WHO recognizes the WHCC as a Grand Slam.

I have Tennis Hall of Fame on my side. Who do you have?

As I've told you before, it is a SEPARATE event. Do you understand what that means?

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

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Originally Posted by Serena~lover View Post
You can only bullshit your way past so many posters Sam. Better luck next time though.
So far you are the one bullshitting your way through.

World of Tennis annuals never recognized these as Grand Slam events. Tennis Hall of Fame doesn't either.

But you do? Sorry, WHO ARE YOU? And what makes you the authority?

Serena Lover says so so it must be...

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena~lover View Post
Once again you are wrong because Lenglen did not win the WHCC in 1920. According to the book "Suzanne Lenglen: Tennis Idol of the Twenties" which I have on my bookshelf Suzanne did not play the WHCC in 1920 because of an unspecified illness.

That's fine. My source must have been wrong.

But even the French Open itself doesn't recognize WHCC seeing as:

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/ab...stwinners.html

Quote:
1914 Marguerite Broquedis (FRA)
1920 Suzanne Lenglen (FRA)
Just to clarify, we are talking about Grand Slam singles events right? You can't just say WHCC was a Grand Slam event when it wasn't and when it was never recognized by anyone from tennis institutions, tournaments, players.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

I remember now Volcana is actually counting the World Hard Court Championships as a Grand Slam. Everybody knows it wasn't. Sure, the best players turned up? So what? Best players turned up to the LIPC too and WTT.

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Last edited by Sam L; Jul 11th, 2009 at 12:51 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Lenglen won 12 majors: 6 Wimbledons, 4 World Hard Court Champonships and 2 Roland Garros. There were no Grand Slams back then.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: The Answer to the Question

Also, you seem to think that just because you know about it, you have to recognize it as a Grand Slam event. That's what I call knowing and not understanding that it was a separate event.

I don't recognize her having 12 slams not because I don't know about it but because it was not the French Championships and therefore not a Grand Slam event!!

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