Why has this turn into a Steffi vs Serena-battle?! Agassi said Graf would the best, thus better than ANYBODY? Right now Serena isn't even no.1, yet the only player being discussed and belittled is her.
Why hasn't Douchesanders discussed how Vika, how Maria...would do against Steffi on ANY surface?
That's more interesting. We've already seen Serena vs Steffi. 1-1, two tough three-setters.
Peak Graf certainly beats Peak Maria and Peak Princessrenka on every surface.
(Though, lol at the suggestion that Maria would've had no chance of winning a RG title in Graf's era. Again, this misconception sums up how little many people here seem to know about Graf, that they think she was some claycourt specialist or something. Clay was her worst surface by far; she had some of her worst defeats there, and even when she won, she often did it by playing very ugly tennis. Even though peak-v-peak Graf would beat Maria on clay, I certainly think 2012 Claypova could've beaten for example 1994 Graf at RG, the Graf that got beat down by Pierce. Granted, I don't think Maria would've won a Wimbledon final against any version of Graf though, because Steffi was simply THAT good on grass even in her off-years.)
He did not say that his wife at age 43 would be among the best today; he said that her game from the mid-90s would hold up today. Personally, I think he's right, because true greatness transcends time.
Andre does say specifically that he's NOT talking about Steffi as a 43-year-old, he's talking about prime, 20something Steffi hypothetically going up against the current field.
Let's not act as if Graf is all that faster than Serena. In fact, I'd say up until 2003 Serena was the fastest women's player ever. Graf definitely is more nimble, sharper footwork, and light on her feet, but Serena's movement was just so explosive and powerful. I definitely think she was off the mark faster than Graf or anyone else. Even at 31, with two major surgeries on her knee and foot respectively, Serena is still one of the fastest movers out there by far. She had the knee surgery in 2003, and when she returned it was obvious her mobility was hampered. Serena definitely could have competed on even an Olympic track team IMO.
No, Serena doesn't have as good raw footspeed as Graf, and even if the gap between them in raw footspeed is *relatively* small, there's a yawning chasm between them in overall defensive abilities, because of the fact Steffi's footwork is so much better, and the fact she has the ability to play better and smarter defensive shots when pushed out wide (including, yes, that backhand slice, which allows her to whip back balls that Serena with her full swings on the defence could never get anywhere close to the court).
The only woman in the past 20 years who even has an argument for being a better defensive player than Graf is Clijsters.