The Pantheon - The Absolute, towering above the rest, pillars of the sport - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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The Pantheon - The Absolute, towering above the rest, pillars of the sport

In birth order
SSuzanne Lenglen
Helen Wills Moody
Magaret Court Smith
Billie Jean King
Chris Evert
Martina Navratilova
Steffi Graf
Yes, there are another ten players I could have added. But unless you have a total distain for tennis before composite rackets, those seven are inarguable. If I built something like The Parthenon, and put in statues of females tennis players, as a tribute to the sport, those are the statues I would HAVE to have.

Wills Moody, Court Smith, Graf, Evert and Navratilova could be there on nothing but their singles slam careers. The numbers ae that daunting.

YOu have to have Lenglen. She was the very first star of the sport. She's Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, George Mikan, Sonja Henie.

And it's kinda hard to exclude BJK, given all she did to bring women's tennis to par with men's. And of course, the drop off afte them, among retied players, is very steep.

Either they have no doubles career to speak of, the have a very limited singles career, or they have a lot of titles, but very few slams. Look at who doesn't make it, ordered by total slam titles. (That's totally arbitrary)


TS = SS SD sm tt*
37 = 06 21 10 ___ Margaret Osbourne Dupont
36 = 06 21 08 ___ Louise Brough
35 = 06 14 15 ___ Doris Hart
25 = 07 11 07 ___ Maria Bueno
22 = 11 09 02 _34 Serena
18 = 07 09 02 _41 Venus
14 = 07 06 01 _68 Evonne Goalagong
13 = 09 02 02 ___ Connolly
13 = 08 02 03 ___ Molla Mallory
09 = 09 00 00 _53 Seles
07 = 07 00 00 _41 Justine Henin

07 = 07 00 00 ___ Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers
TS - Total Slam TItles
SS - Slam singles titles
SS - Slam doubes titles
SM - Slam mixed titles
TT - total titles
All those players had, to the extent I could determine it, had career winning percentages between 80% and 85%. IN toher words, they were roughly equal in tems of domiance of their repsective eras.



Is Serena 'knocking on the door'? Well, she's yelling from the street, anyway. BJK won 129 titles, and 39 slams. Suzanne Lenglen won 31 slams. (and no, I am NOT going to entertain the Word hard COurt Chmpionship arguement here.) Eras differ, athletes are bette, yad yad yada, but the occassionas, post '97, where an athlete had a chance to affect change OFF the court, a la BJK< it's been Venus, not Serena (or anyone else really), who's stepped up.

Now if Seran winds up winning 15 slam singles titles, she's there. BUt just winning the same number of slam singles titles doesn't make Serena into Lenglen or BJK. Just like Mark Maguire breaking Babe Ruth's home run record didn't turn him into the geatest home run hitter of all time. And era for era, I'll still take Rod Laver over Roger Federer, even if Lave's too secure in himself to make the point..

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Re: The Pantheon - The Absolute, towering above the rest, pillars of the sport

It's a good list. If I was limited to 7 those would be my picks. Connolly would be an 8th due to winning the Grand Slam. And Serena is a clear knotch above all the others, with maybe the exception of Seles.

Quote:
All those players had, to the extent I could determine it, had career winning percentages between 80% and 85%. IN toher words, they were roughly equal in tems of domiance of their repsective eras.
Billie Jean and Navratilova aside, the others have an even higher won-lost percentage. Evert's is near 90, Court's known won-loss is slightly above 90 (there's a thread in the Blast that calculates that) and both Lenglen and Wills are well over 90%.

Martina's may be near 90 too, but of course her winning percentage dropped because she played so long. Ditto for King.

Quote:
And era for era, I'll still take Rod Laver over Roger Federer, even if Lave's too secure in himself to make the point..
Me too. I love the Rog, but I'd take Laver's two complete Grand Slams any day of the week.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2009, 11:31 PM
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Re: The Pantheon - The Absolute, towering above the rest, pillars of the sport

that's nice effort but at the same time kind of silly

it's silly to compare the longevity of records in women's tennis to the longevity of records in other male sports because of....
-the nature of some tennis records
-the physicality and competitiveness of the women's game has changed much more dramatically than it has for the male's game
-comparing tennis eras is almost like comparing apples to oranges

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