what do you mean by "distinctive impacts"??? that is more hard to define than talent, and isn't very "empirical" if ya asked me. capriati had an enormous impact, both on the tour and off, and was the "youngest this" and "youngest ever that", and for sure got many parents to start their kids on tennis. there's even a "capriati-rule" in tennis now--how's THAT for impact?? martina hingis had a huge impact, and results that came quicker than seles (ok, her TOTAL result might not be as good, but then again her pro life is shorter than seles'). venus williams had an even bigger impact--she was famous not only in tennis circles but beyond. for many years she was the tennis player that non-tennis people knew. we cannot underestimate her impact on the african-american community.
The nexus for this thread is the question (most talented player?) in following link:
The distinctive impacts of both (pre-stabbing) Seles and Serena upon joining the WTA tour are follows:
- Seles and Serena are the two fastest women in professional tennis to record 5 or more victories against top 10 ranked players upon joining the WTA tour. Seles by her first 33 main draw matches, Serena, who now holds the WTA record, by her first 16 main draw matches.
Everyone knows that it takes awhile on the tour before a new comer starts beating the top 10 ranked players. One of the greatest measures of talent in tennis is how a rookie player copes with the best players in the game. The records show that none has done this better than Serena Williams, followed by Monica Seles.
- Serena Williams is still the lowest ranked player (while ranked # 304 in the world) to ever defeat two top 10 ranked players in the same tournament.
- Serena Williams (even with a part-time schedule) has set the precedent for how a rookie player raises through the WTA rankings. Serena made it to the WTA top 10 rankings after only 17 tournaments behind her for a total tennis career and with a total of just 12 tournaments on the computer rankings, which requires a minimum of 17 tournaments. Incidentally, it is same precedent Serena sets for anyone to achieve the # 1 ranking status, after she achieved that status with only 12 tournaments on the computer rankings and maintained it with as little as 10 and 11 tournaments. Therefore, highest precedents to the Top 10 status and the #1 status on the WTA tour are set by Serena Williams.
- Seles and Serena are the only two players ever to beat a top 10 ranked player while playing in each of their first Grand Slam tournament on the tour.
- Seles won her first WTA title (a Tier II title) after only 22 tournaments on the tour. Serena won her first WTA title (a tier II) after only 23 tournaments on the tour.
- Seles won her first Grand Slam title on her 4th try at the Grand Slams; Serena won her first Grand Slam title on her 7th try at the Grand Slams.
- In the first 14 Grand Slams she played, Monica Seles won 8 titles (57% Grand Slam success). No other woman has a bigger impact than that at the Grand Slams in the Open Era. Serena’s 6 of 20 (30%) Grand Slam success is the second best distinctive impact.
- The Tournament Tier System is in placed since 1980. Nineteen years later with only 16 tournaments played for professional tennis experience, Serena Williams became the second unseeded player ever to win a Tier I tournament title and, at that time, the lowest ranked player to win a Tier I title, which she did by beating three top 10 ranked players, including the greatest female tennis player of all time, Steffi Graf.
- Serena Williams joins Steffi Graf as the only two players ever to win back to back titles that include her maiden titles on the WTA tour.
- Serena Williams in just second year on the WTA tour puts up the best winning streaks ever by a rookie player: - a 16 straight matches win streak, and another 16 straight matches win streak (which also happens to be the best winning streak by any player for that tennis year, 1999). Those winning streaks 1999 also give Serena Williams the distinction of being the only rookie player ever that it could be said off in a calendar year “ against her, no top 5 ranked (not to mentioned the top 10) player has a winning record”. The second of those 16 matches winning streaks included her first Grand Slam (the 1999 US Open) title, for which she beats 3 of the world’s top 4 ranked players [ # 1, # 2, and # 4]. Therefore, Serena Williams is in WTA tennis records with the greatest domination of the Top 10 rankings by a second year (or lower) rookie player in the history of the ranking system.
- Serena Williams at this very moment is in a peculiar position on the WTA tour. Currently she has the tour’s best Win/Loss record; she has the tour’s best Head to Head record (ever); she has the tour’s best All-Surface[Hard court, Clay, Grass, and Carpet successes combined) record; she has the tour’s best Tie-Break record (ever); she has the tour’s best Grand Slams success; she has the tour’s best quality of titles won, and she has the tour’s best overall Title success percentage. Never before has a player had ALL OF THE ABOVE THINGS IN COMMON in any period of their career while on the tour. Not Graf, not Seles, not Evert, not Navratilova, not Venus, not Hingis, not who ever.
- Lastly, the great impact Serena Williams has made on the WTA tour is quite evident when one considers that her professional tennis career is comprised of just 66 tournaments so far-the fewest of any of the tour’s top players, and less than one third of careers of the “Greats of the game”. Yet, she is already listed among the “All-Times Greats of the Game” with the following accomplishments:
- She has one of the 5 Grand Slams (four straight Grand Slam titles) there is in the history of tennis.
- She has one of the 8 Career Grand Slams (all four Grand Slam Titles through a career) there is in tennis history.
- She is one of the 12 women to ever achieve the # 1 ranking status in the history of the rankings by holding that status for 57 consecutive weeks.
- She is listed # 8 on the All-Time Career Prize Money Earned list of women in tennis history. This also makes her the most successful woman ever, in terms of prize money earned, for she makes more money per tournament than any other woman ever to play the game. Incidentally, she has the record for the most prize money earned in a calendar year by a female in all of sport.
- With just 20 Grand Tournaments played, she is listed # 19 on the list of All-Time Grand Slam titles singles winners.
- She has already won the tour’s most prestigious tournaments of the highest level of note, i.e. all four of the Grand Slams, the Tour Championship, the ITF’s Grand Slam Cup, the Super Tier I’s ( Nasdaq100 and Indian Wells), Tier I, Tier II’s.
Serena Williams has achieved all of the above in spite of the facts that she is yet to play a full schedule on the WTA tour, and she came on tour at age 16 + having not played in the juniors beyond age 9.
Talent is defined in the dictionary as ABILITY (natural and or developed ability). The measure of player’s ability is his or her success at the game, not by speculations, by Ifs, by one’s suspicions, and not by guesses, no, but by pure unaltered results. Since, no other woman in the history of the game has achieved the kind of success Serena Williams has with so little tennis played, when it comes to the subject of who is the most talented player it is a slam dunk: - Serena Williams is most talented female tennis player ever.
Now, the degree of talent (since the original topic was about “most talented”), speaks to the ease and quickness in which a player achieves success. If for example, a player can achieve a particular accomplishment in half the attempts it takes another player to achieved the same thing (most things being equal), then there is no doubt which of those two players is more talented simple by judging from their abilities (ability is measured by results). And so, in that light let’s look at a comparison of level of talent the Greatest Singles Women tennis player ever, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams each brings to professional woman’s tennis.
Steffi Graf is certainly the greatest player ever of them all. So, if we take the greatest player ever and pit her record proportionally by the number of tennis played against that of Serena Williams, we won’t even have to consider the rest, any fair minded person can see that Serena Williams has demonstrated that she is indeed the most talented female to ever play the sport. For, the fact is no other woman in history of the sport has achieved as much a Serena has with just 66 tournaments as experience. NONE!
So, let us at Graf’s and Serena’s first 66 tournaments results (Graf’s illustrious career spanned a total of 215 tournaments).
Graf (67 tournaments up to the end of the 1986 seasons):
- 8 titles – no Grand Slam, 3 Tier I titles, 5 Tier II titles.
- No # 1 ranking, even in a Ranking System that required a minimum of 12 tournaments.
Serena (66 tournaments up to and included Wimbledon 2003):
• 23 titles – 6 Grand Slams, 1 Tour Championship title, 1 Grand Slam Cup title, 6 Tier I titles, 9 Tier II titles.
• A GRAND Slam- The “Serena Slam”.
• A Career Grand Slam – All four of the Grand Slams.
• 57 consecutive weeks at # 1.
• The Tour’s best Career Win/Loss Record
• The Tour’s best H2H Record
• The Tour’s best All-Surface Rating.
• The Tour’s best Grand Slam Record
• The best Prize Money success ever in women’s professional tennis.
So obviously, the greatest of them all, Steffi Graf, even though she was farmed out of the ITF Juniors and had more experience and match-toughness than Serena who did not play any junior tennis beyond age 9, was no where near the talent of Serena Williams at this point in her career. Do we need 20 more years to discover that Serena Williams was a more TALENTED player than Graf? No! But, we do need more time (215 – 66 = 149 more tournaments) to discover if Serena Williams is GREATER than Graf, since the consistent winning of hardware over time is what greatness is measured by. That’s the difference between, TMTFTPE and TGFTPE. Serena is TMTFPE, while Graf is TGFTPE.