Originally Posted by justineheninfan
Good points although remember she began playing Graf and Seles when they were both 15 and played many matches against both before they even turned 17 (Seles) or 18 (Graf). Martina could definitely cope with pace but she still admited she found the pace of Graf, Seles, and even Mandlikova more of a challenge to her when playing well then the more conservative and far less explosive although excellent and precise hitting of Evert.
I agree that Serenas serve which is the best in womens tennis history would be the biggest worry of all for Martina (like virtually everyone who plays Serena).
Martina never played Steffi when she was 15 years old. They first played in the US Open semis in 85 when Graf was 16. Also she had been on tour already since 1983, so she had had quite a bit of time on tour. She was good enough in 85 to make the US SF's. She was no rookie. So they played twice that year. 1986 was a year where Graf pushed Martina to match point down in the US semi's and she only lost 5 or 6 matches all year so I think you can only discount the 2 matches in 85 as being somewhat irrelevant due to Graf being young.
Even so, 2-2 in their last 4 meetings with Graf in peak years and Martina well and truley past her peak (34-37) show that Martina's game stacked up strongly against Graf.
Im pretty sure Monica was 16 when they first played each other, not 15 either. They played twice in 89, and the next year Seles was winning her first slam so its not like they played HEAPS of time's before both Graf and Seles were at or near the top.
Ive read and memorised just about every interview with Martina. You are correct in that she found Seles game VERYdifficult because Monica had pace off both sides and she didnt have an obvious side to attack. She might have felt intimidated by the power on Graf's forehand (and to lesser degree serve), but she always knew she had a chance to exploit Graf's slice backhand which her record shows good success at doing.
Ive never ever heard her say that she struggled with the POWER of Mandikova. Would appreciate seeing what you've seen if you have a source? Her problems with Hana were mainly, Hana took the net away from Martina and Martina often had mental issues playing fellow czechs.