I think its a great achievement but it represents the results of one year. What matters is proving you can win ALL SLAMS on all surfaces in your career. With the exception of Graf, all of the players who have won 'The Grand Slam' did so always winning essentially on one single surface: GRASS plus the 1 win in Paris on clay. So Margaret's quote is a testiment of the pressure of the consistency in 1 year, but doesnt say much about the variety that today's player would have to deal with to win a slam, proving they can win on a diversity of surfaces & conditions.
So steffi's slam is the only Grand Slam i should be completely impressed with (and give full credit to), and i'm not... because her competition at that time were 2 all-time greats who were at the very end of their powers in Chris & Martina in their 30s & both coming down from highs of years of dominance (chris marrying & retiring, Martina in self-proclaimed 'crisis'), and Gabriela who was not yet ready to fill the role Graf was pulling off. And monica not yet out of the crib.
Still, i'd F*A*R rather be martina in 1983 & NOT win the slam because martina in 83 was superior to graf in 88. that's just an opinion but i believe it from the top hair of my head to the outer-reaches of my toe.
there's a great quote i read a few weeks ago that relates...
"...why do we ascribe so much power to those who happen to be winning at this very moment? That's just what losers do, I guess." -heather havrilesky, salon
so in sports, i do think the micro-fascination with accomplishment in the moment is part of a culture of short-sightedness, and that its more about HYPE that fuels the business/industry end of sports, more than proof of something larger about a full career of accomplishment and capacity.
Somehow, me thinks Steffi is sure glad she's Steffi, with her official Grand Slam sweep (let's not even talk Golden Grand Slam!!), and yup it's infinitely more impressive than Navratilova's 1983 season.
Oh, and Martina won 2 grass slams in 1983.
Graf won on Rebound Ace, red clay, grass at Wimbledon, and hard courts at the US Open.
Yup, let's penalize Graf for beating all comers. Including dethroning Navratilova at Wimbledon. But naturally her Grand Slam is a *lesser* achievement because of who she didn't beat. Monica Seles circa 1992; Martina Navratilova circa 1984; Chris Evert circa 1980; Margaret Court circa 1970.
Hmmm.....the Grand Slam is a fascination with 'accomplishment in the moment' ? Methinks not. It can only happen to one player in one year.....and several things need to fall in line for it to happen. Slip up once, just once (see Navratilova, 1983 French Open) and the opportunity is lost for another year.
The Grand Slam is caught up in a culture of short-sightedness? Huh? If it were happening, oh, every year, one could see how it was a short-sighted view of what defined greatness.
And the HYPE that fuels the business of the sport? I'll say the Slams most certainly do. Did you ever pay attention to what happens every year at the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open? No one cares who won Eastbourne. Or San Diego. Or Dubai. Or Acapulco. Or Kazakhstan.
The Slams do matter more. There is more hype, and the hype is what keeps the professional sport going.
Oh, and again, that long view, of a full career of accomplishment and capacity. Methinks it's Steffi Graf' Golden Grand Slam that pushed her over the top, ahead of Navratilova (and just why oh why wasn't she good enough to win a Slam when 2 of 4 majors were on grass during her heyday??????????????????????????).