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thrust
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:51 PM
Monica Seles is one of the very greatest players of her time. She had won 8 Slams before she was stabbed in her early twenties. She had a 3-1 record against Graf, the older and more experienced player, in Slam finals. She had won 8 of 14 Slams before the tragedy. She changed the way the Women^s game was played. She was the only player on tour then who could compete with Graf, both physically and mentally. She was the number one player for two years and at the time she was stabbed. Besides the terrible personal tragedy for Monica women^s tennis history was also a victim,as we will never know just how the Slam records of Graf and Seles would have progressed had there not been the stabbing.

Calimero377
Jul 6th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Monica Seles is one of the very greatest players of her time. She had won 8 Slams before she was stabbed in her early twenties. She had a 3-1 record against Graf, the older and more experienced player, in Slam finals. She had won 8 of 14 Slams before the tragedy. She changed the way the Women^s game was played. She was the only player on tour then who could compete with Graf, both physically and mentally. She was the number one player for two years and at the time she was stabbed. Besides the terrible personal tragedy for Monica women^s tennis history was also a victim,as we will never know just how the Slam records of Graf and Seles would have progressed had there not been the stabbing.


I agree, Seles was one of the greatest players of the 90ies.
But we must not forget that tennis history was also a victim because we will never know just how the Slam records of Graf, Seles, Hingis, Williamses and Davenport would have progressed had there not been the Graf blackmail scandal of 90/91 and Graf's knee surgery in 1997. :sad:

GorgeousMe!
Jul 6th, 2005, 06:33 PM
I absolutely adored Monica Seles even though I only really saw her after the you know what. I miss her terribly. The Tour has really lost a major star and lacks something without her. Somehow without Monica the slams don't feel the same.

However, having looked at at some of Monica's websites and fan forums, I do think that she did not treat her fans very well up to her what must be her impending retirement. Her fans were desperate for a comeback again and she kept then guessing, only once releasing a statement saying she would make up he rmind by January this year and then nothing. It is up to Monica how she goes out, but I think that given so many of her fans seemed to be so loyal - more than any other player I know - I think she could have reached out to them more the way Federer does. Just saying I think Monica overlooked them a little.

R&J
Jul 6th, 2005, 09:53 PM
I absolutely adored Monica Seles even though I only really saw her after the you know what. I miss her terribly. The Tour has really lost a major star and lacks something without her. Somehow without Monica the slams don't feel the same.

However, having looked at at some of Monica's websites and fan forums, I do think that she did not treat her fans very well up to her what must be her impending retirement. Her fans were desperate for a comeback again and she kept then guessing, only once releasing a statement saying she would make up he rmind by January this year and then nothing. It is up to Monica how she goes out, but I think that given so many of her fans seemed to be so loyal - more than any other player I know - I think she could have reached out to them more the way Federer does. Just saying I think Monica overlooked them a little.

Not at all, I sure dont feel that way :wavey:

Kart
Jul 6th, 2005, 09:58 PM
However, having looked at at some of Monica's websites and fan forums, I do think that she did not treat her fans very well up to her what must be her impending retirement. Her fans were desperate for a comeback again and she kept then guessing, only once releasing a statement saying she would make up he rmind by January this year and then nothing. It is up to Monica how she goes out, but I think that given so many of her fans seemed to be so loyal - more than any other player I know - I think she could have reached out to them more the way Federer does. Just saying I think Monica overlooked them a little.

I don't think so. Like you said, it's up to her how she goes out, not her fans.

I'm quite happy with her not telling us either way - we all miss her but the tour doesn't stop without her.

It would be great if she played again, if she didn't she still gave us loads of great moments :worship:.

*JR*
Jul 6th, 2005, 11:05 PM
It generally takes player a while to get on a roll re. winning multiple Slams (even if they win one @ a young age, like Sharky and Serena both did). Monica won 8 of her first 14, even counting the 3 she didn't win as a 15 y.o. Her first win (as a 16 y.o. @ RG) started an incredible run of 8 titles in 11 Slams "B4 Hamburg".

I doubt that a newcomer to the tour will dominate like that for a very long time to come. You're talking about a teenager winning a majority of 14 Slams entered, or the vast majority of 11 if you regard the 3 she played @ age 15 as being a "break-in period".

Steffica Greles
Jul 6th, 2005, 11:47 PM
I agree, Seles was one of the greatest players of the 90ies.
But we must not forget that tennis history was also a victim because we will never know just how the Slam records of Graf, Seles, Hingis, Williamses and Davenport would have progressed had there not been the Graf blackmail scandal of 90/91 and Graf's knee surgery in 1997. :sad:

No Cali, bring yourself to say it. Now slowly, slowly. Bit by bit. You'll get there!:)

Monica Seles was one of the greatest players of all time. I can only think of a few I would rate above her based on their achievements. Like you, I recognise that greatness cannot be judged on what might/should have been.

Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Court, King, Wills Moody, Lenglen. That puts her as 9th in my list...unless somebody can mention somebody else I've momentarily forgotten?(Marble, Gibson, Bueno, Brough - I don't think they even won as many slams as Seles, did they? Let alone dominate? Correct me if I'm wrong).

I'd put her above Maureen Connolly because she returned to the game, won a slam and came close on several more occasions. She beat both the Williams', Davenport, Hingis and the Belgians before she was forced to "all but retire" despite struggling to attain anywhere near the form she showed pre-stabbing.

If we put Connolly above Seles, then we disregard all that Seles achieved when she returned. We'd be saying, in effect, that Seles would have been a greater player if she had not returned from being forced out of the game.
When you look at the way the game is today, you really start to understand just how much credit Seles deserves for what she did achieve from 1995 onwards. The Williams' aren't a shadow of the force they were, and injuries really have taken their toll. They have struggled being away from the game for even 6 months.

But let's look at Hingis, because I think Hingis and Seles are more comparable. Hingis and Seles were both not what you would have called natural athletes; their success came from their ball skills, vastly differing though their respective deftness was. Seles could clean the lines better than the ball kids, while Hingis could have exhausted the poor things to death. Yet having not been blessed with the athletic gifts of Graf or Navratilova, both Hingis and Seles found athletic training less natural, more of a challenge. Returning to the rigours of an athletic sport after 2 1/2 years presented their bodies and minds with huge questions.

While Hingis wasn't even a shadow of her former self and completely unable to compete with average tour professionals, Seles came storming back with the loss of a handful of games. So while I think Seles' "greatness" emanates 90% from her slams, I think her success after returning from such a long absence is certainly something that bolsters her resume. Far from tarnishing her reputation, I think it adds to it.

And as a stabbing in the back on a tennis court was something that was unthinkable (and still is, otherwise we'd accept the course of history after all these years), and Seles was the victim for nothing more than her success, then I think her staying away from the sport for longer than the 9 months-1 year that it took to physically recover deserves the benefit of the doubt, if indeed you have any at all about her reasons for staying away.

Seles, like any great champion, Graf included, saw tennis as a way of blocking out all the depressive thoughts and negative emotions that come as part of life. It was her zone, where there was just her and the ball. Her success, understandably for a 19 year-old who had known nothing but, raised her self-esteem, and therefore her self-esteem depended on her success - and her ability to play the game, feeling safe in that very zone.

Parche destroyed that, so for those few like Cali who say that she was a drama queen, I say that they must put it into a tennis context. Sure many others are stabbed on the streets and they have to get over it, although who's to say they would have the same level of motivation afterwards? But that's not the point. The point is that the knifing of Monica Seles, which I must add was attempted murder, was done in the zone where she achieved most of her success. The association of tennis with safety, strength, stamina and whatever else she derived from winning, was severed quite cruelly to say the least. So I think it's totally understandable that she did not want to return to the court in January 1994, when Parche was still at large awaiting trial.

One last thing. For those who say that Seles would never have won Wimbledon, well they may be right - but there is more evidence to the contrary. There are two assumptions: one that she would not have won, one that she would have done. So let's look at the facts.

In 1989 as a 15 year-old, Seles reached round 4. Not bad really? Okay, she was drubbed by Graf, but so was a 16 year-old Graf by Navratilova in 1985, at the same stage. Meanwhile in 1990 Seles reached the quarter-finals at 16, losing a marathon to Zina Garrison.

Graf never played Wimbledon as a 17 year-old, so we shall never know. But at that stage there was no reason to think grass was Graf's favourite surface, and she'd just lost to Mandlikova (the Wimbledon finalist that year) on clay. So I don't think Graf at 17 was any better than Seles on grass at the same age. And furthermore, Seles came closer to beating Zina in 1990 than Steffi did in the next round.

In 1991 Seles did not play Wimbledon, and once again we will never know. But if she could reach the final a year later and win the Chase Championships on a fast surface over none less than Martina Navratilova, then I don't see why she would not have been in the latter rounds in 1991. Maybe even the winner? 1991 was Graf's worst year until 1997 when she was injured, and she struggled to beat Sabatini. Capriati defeated Martina that year, and Seles was a more effective baseliner than a 15 year-old Jennifer.

So then we come to 1992. She lost fair and square to Steffi. I've no doubt the grunting incident didn't help, but that's simply a lapse of focus from Seles and she must be judged on that. She lost and was outplayed. For this reason, the "Steffi lost in 1990 because her parents were having trouble" doesn't wash either. Seles' father DIED in 1998, and she played possibly her best tennis after the comeback.

But my point in Monica's favour is that she was just 18. How old was Steffi in her first Wimbledon final when she lost in straight sets, without distractions from the media, to Martina Navratilova?

So, an 18 year-old Seles was at roughly the same stage that Steffi was at around the same age. In fact, her resume said 1 QF, 1R4 and 1RU. Graf's said 1R4, 1RU. Both had missed one Wimbledon. So whose grass record was better at 18? Monica's!!

So why this assumption that she would never have Wimbledon? We can see that her game struggled most on that surface, but the evidence is quite to the contrary. She was increasing her confidence on the surface steadily, having unparalled success on fast carpet courts (winning 3 WTA Championship titles in a row 90-92), while physically by 1993 she was a few inches taller, serving more aces, faster, and visibly stronger.

Her complex with grass came after her return, and possibly after losing to Studenikova. That's her own fault, of course, but it does not mean that Seles of 1993-1995 would have struggled in the same way had she been able to play. I've have shown quite the opposite. And as Wimbledon champion in 1995, would she have been ready to lose in round 2 (28 lbs overweight!) the following year?

While the stabbing was a cruel fact of life and cannot give Seles an exemption from all the losses she suffered after her return to the tour, when you look at the above paragraph, the interruption and re-direction of her career that it caused is surely undeniable.

ezekiel
Jul 7th, 2005, 12:00 AM
Monica4Ever :bowdown:
Since july is seemingly such a slow month I am dedicating a whole month toward her :hearts:

LDVTennis
Jul 7th, 2005, 12:50 AM
One last thing. For those who say that Seles would never have won Wimbledon, well they may be right - but there is more evidence to the contrary. There are two assumptions: one that she would not have won, one that she would have done. So let's look at the facts.

In 1989 as a 15 year-old, Seles reached round 4. Not bad really? Okay, she was drubbed by Graf, but so was a 15 year-old Graf by Navratilova in 1985, at the same stage.

In 1990 Seles reached the quarter-finals at 16, losing a marathon to Zina Garrison. Graf never played Wimbledon as a 16 year-old, so we shall never know. But at that stage there was no reason to think grass was Graf's favourite surface, and she'd just lost to Mandlikova (the Wimbledon finalist that year) on clay. So I don't think Graf at 16 was any better than Seles on grass at the same age. And furthermore, Seles came closer to beating Zina in 1990 than Steffi did in the next round.

In 1991 Seles did not play Wimbledon, and once again we will never know. But if she could reach the final a year later and win the Chase Championships on a fast surface over none less than Martina Navratilova, then I don't see why she would not have been in the latter rounds in 1991. Maybe even the winner? 1991 was Graf's worst year until 1997 when she was injured, and she struggled to beat Sabatini. Capriati defeated Martina that year, and Seles was a more effective baseliner than a 15 year-old Jennifer.

So then we come to 1992. She lost fair and square to Steffi. I've no doubt the grunting incident didn't help, but that's simply a lapse of focus from Seles and she must be judged on that. She lost and was outplayed. For this reason, the "Steffi lost in 1990 because her parents were having trouble" doesn't wash either. Seles' father DIED in 1998, and she played possibly her best tennis after the comeback.

But my point in Monica's favour is that she was just 18. How old was Steffi in her first Wimbledon final when she lost in straight sets, without distractions from the media, to Martina Navratilova?

So, an 18 year-old Seles was at roughly the same stage that Steffi was at around the same age. In fact, her resume said 1 QF, 1R4 and 1RU. Graf's said 1R4, 1RU. Both had missed one Wimbledon. So whose grass record was better at 18? Monica's!!

So why this assumption that she would never have Wimbledon? We can see that her game struggled most on that surface, but the evidence is quite to the contrary.

Your argument rests on a very faulty assumption, that being that Seles' chances at winning Wimbledon were better than we tend to think because by comparison to Graf at or about the same age she had progressed further into the tournament each year.

It doesn't matter at all just how much she had progressed or would have progressed each time she played the tournament if throughout all that progression she remained an opponent of Graf's and the same player with poor speed, inflexible strokes, and an elementary net game. In other words, her progressoin each year is no indication that the player who lost so badly against Graf in '92 because of a lack of speed and a lack of ability to handle a variety of Graf's shots was, in fact, in the process of overcoming those impediments to winning at Wimbledon.

If I change the names, perhaps, it will become clear to you how fallacious your argument is. Roddick progressed further in the draw than Federer at a younger age. At 20, he made the semi's. At 21, he made the finals. At 22, he made the finals again. It took Federer, one year longer, at the age of 21 to reach the semis and final and to win. He also won at age 22 and now at age 23. But, if I follow your logic, it should have been Roddick who won this year. After all, he had progressed one more round each year. So, what happened? What happened is Roger.

What happened to Seles almost everytime she tried was Graf. Graf's ability to triumph on grass against players with limited all-court skills doesn't just become a non-factor because in your single-variable problem Seles keeps progressing one round each year.

And, neither by the same token do the characteristics of her game that so impeded her at Wimbledon. Graf didn't win the '92 Wimbledon Final because Seles couldn't grunt. She won it because Seles didn't have a transition game; so, she could do nothing against Steffi's deliberate use of short, low slices. Seles also didn't have the speed to dig out balls. Even when she got to some balls, she seemed bothered by the bounce, the spin on Steffi's shots, or her own footing. And, above all, she didn't have the net game that most players (e.g., Novotna) who seriously challenged Graf over that period at Wimbledon had.

It is quite possible that she might have lucked into one Wimbledon title, but only if Steffi were not her opponent in the final. Because even a Steffi Graf playing at the level she did in '93 would have beaten Seles.

Steffica Greles
Jul 7th, 2005, 01:37 AM
Your argument rests on a very faulty assumption, that being that Seles' chances at winning Wimbledon were better than we tend to think because by comparison to Graf at or about the same age she had progressed further into the tournament each year.

It doesn't matter at all just how much she had progressed or would have progressed each time she played the tournament if throughout all that progression she remained an opponent of Graf's and the same player with poor speed, inflexible strokes, and an elementary net game. In other words, her progressoin each year is no indication that the player who lost so badly against Graf in '92 because of a lack of speed and a lack of ability to handle a variety of Graf's shots was, in fact, in the process of overcoming those impediments to winning at Wimbledon.

If I change the names, perhaps, it will become clear to you how fallacious your argument is. Roddick progressed further in the draw than Federer at a younger age. At 20, he made the semi's. At 21, he made the finals. At 22, he made the finals again. It took Federer, one year longer, at the age of 21 to reach the semis and final and to win. He also won at age 22 and now at age 23. But, if I follow your logic, it should have been Roddick who won this year. After all, he had progressed one more round each year. So, what happened? What happened is Roger.

What happened to Seles almost everytime she tried was Graf. Graf's ability to triumph on grass against players with limited all-court skills doesn't just become a non-factor because in your single-variable problem Seles keeps progressing one round each year.

And, neither by the same token do the characteristics of her game that so impeded her at Wimbledon. Graf didn't win the '92 Wimbledon Final because Seles couldn't grunt. She won it because Seles didn't have a transition game; so, she could do nothing against Steffi's deliberate use of short, low slices. Seles also didn't have the speed to dig out balls. Even when she got to some balls, she seemed bothered by the bounce, the spin on Steffi's shots, or her own footing. And, above all, she didn't have the net game that most players (e.g., Novotna) who seriously challenged Graf over that period at Wimbledon had.

It is quite possible that she might have lucked into one Wimbledon title, but only if Steffi were not her opponent in the final. Because even a Steffi Graf playing at the level she did in '93 would have beaten Seles.

No, I'm not saying that Seles would have progressed a round further each year. I'm saying you may be right, but yours is an assumption. There is another assumption, a stronger one, that she would indeed have won Wimbledon - the evidence of her results up to that point.

Chris Evert is one of the most successful Wimbledon players in history, and her serve and her groundstrokes were certainly not as aggressive as Monica's. Her movement was no better than Seles' of 1993, either.

Furthermore, Graf's net game was far from flawless, and if you watch their matches in 1992 and 1993 it was Seles who was coming in far more often. Commentators criticised Steffi's overheads and hesitation at the net far more than they moaned about Seles' obvious discomfort ducking and diving.

Either way, what I'm saying is subjective, what you're saying is subjective - that's my point. I'm saying I think Monica would have improved on grass, you're saying she wouldn't have done.

The evidence, by comparing Graf and Seles' grasscourt records at 18, says something, too. And Seles of 1992 defeated a Navratilova on grass who, in 1993, was still able to beat both Seles AND Graf on fast surfaces. I think that was a bigger scalp on grass than anybody that Steffi defeated pre-1988.

So there it is.

LDVTennis
Jul 7th, 2005, 05:06 AM
No, I'm not saying that Seles would have progressed a round further each year. I'm saying you may be right, but yours is an assumption. There is another assumption, a stronger one, that she would indeed have won Wimbledon - the evidence of her results up to that point.

Chris Evert is one of the most successful Wimbledon players in history, and her serve and her groundstrokes were certainly not as aggressive as Monica's. Her movement was no better than Seles' of 1993, either.

Furthermore, Graf's net game was far from flawless, and if you watch their matches in 1992 and 1993 it was Seles who was coming in far more often. Commentators criticised Steffi's overheads and hesitation at the net far more than they moaned about Seles' obvious discomfort ducking and diving.

Either way, what I'm saying is subjective, what you're saying is subjective - that's my point. I'm saying I think Monica would have improved on grass, you're saying she wouldn't have done.

The evidence, by comparing Graf and Seles' grasscourt records at 18, says something, too. And Seles of 1992 defeated a Navratilova on grass who, in 1993, was still able to beat both Seles AND Graf on fast surfaces. I think that was a bigger scalp on grass than anybody that Steffi defeated pre-1988.

So there it is.

On Assumptions
Stronger assumption? There are no strong assumptions, there are only strong arguments premised on assumptions. And the argument that she would have won because she was progressing further into the draw each time never manages to be anything more than an unproven hypothesis because the fact still is that she NEVER won Wimbledon.

On false comparisons
Claiming that Seles would have won Wimbledon because her game was even better than Evert's makes no sense because this is an anachronistic premise. In the 70's and early 80's when Chris won her Wimbledon titles, her baseline game was enough to win. By the late 80's thru the 90's, however, it was no longer enough, if Seles' career is any indication. But, I'll concede this much. Had Seles (with her composite frame) faced Olga Morozova (with her wood frame) in 1974, she would have won. All bets are off if both had to play with wood frames.

On Graf's net game
I am assuming you've actually seen the '92 Wimbledon Final. If you live in England, you also had the benefit of BBC coverage of the match with Ann Jones and Virginia Wade commenting. Wade and Jones have many things to say about Steffi's net game during the match, mostly positive. They say almost nothing about Monica's forays to the net.

Graf hits some rather spectacular volleys in that match. Perhaps, you should take a look. Listen carefully to what Jones and Wade say about Steffi's net game. They don't so much criticize her hesitancy as her "jumpiness" at the net (Wade's words). Overall, I think you will be surprised at how many times they praise Steffi for making good reads and having excellent technique.

Again, they say almost nothing about Monica's net game because she hardly registers an impression there.

On Subjectivity and Reality
Pre-1990, Martina was a more formidable foe on grass than she was in 1992. The fact that she beat Seles and Graf on carpet in 1993 hardly proves that she was the same or better in 1993 than she had been pre-1990. So, exactly how does that make your point any less subjective?

And, why is my claim that Seles wouldn't have improved just as subjective as yours when mine is at least backed up by a version of actual events? This much we know to be actually true. She NEVER won Wimbledon. So, can we deduce from that, that she never managed to improve?

Andy T
Jul 7th, 2005, 05:40 AM
I agree to some extent with LDV with regard to Monica and Wimbledon. It was always going to be a tough one for her to win. In '94, with Steffi eliminated in round 1, a fit Monica would have had a great chance of clinching the title.

The comparison with Evert is hard to understand for several reasons. Not only were Evert's serve and groundstrokes not as "aggressive" as Monica's but her whole game. To me, Monica went for the kill from the first groundstroke whereas Chrissie's strategy was more to inflict a long lingering death by attrition. Evert was also more accomplished at the net than Monica and used those skills judiciously to beat Navratilova 76 & 80, Goolagong 76 & 79, King 77 & 78, Mandlikova 81 & 84 at Wimbledon. For me, Chrissie was closer to Hingis than to Monica in playing style/strategy.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jul 7th, 2005, 05:42 AM
I agree, Seles was one of the greatest players of the 90ies.
But we must not forget that tennis history was also a victim because we will never know just how the Slam records of Graf, Seles, Hingis, Williamses and Davenport would have progressed had there not been the Graf blackmail scandal of 90/91 and Graf's knee surgery in 1997. :sad:

You are so corn dog

RenaSlam.
Jul 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Monica I MISS YOU!