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View Full Version : Who would win if they played there best Monica or Maria?


supergrunt
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:01 AM
They both hit the felt off the ball, they both grunt loud, and they both are relatively slow :tape: . If they were to play there best agaisnt ecah other, who'd win?

Lenafan
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:07 AM
Seles would destroy Sharapova. Not to mention Seles was unreal in close matches late and Sharapova keeps blaming her fitness for wilting in 3rd sets against players like Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo and would wilt against someone like Monica.

Jakeev
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:14 AM
Seles would destroy Sharapova. Not to mention Seles was unreal in close matches late and Sharapova keeps blaming her fitness for wilting in 3rd sets against players like Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo and would wilt against someone like Monica.

I don't know if Monica would necessarily destroy Maria. But if one thing Monica was more amazing at in her hey day was her way of being incredibly accurate with her groundstrokes.

Monica rarely missed and what she might have lacked in variety and footspped she compensated for by being so damn consistent every point.

Still though, Maria hits a hard ball and I could easily see her forcing Monica into errors or at least forcing her to come up with a better shot.

faboozadoo15
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:18 AM
:rolleyes: monica's movement was pretty damn good in her heyday. she was the best rallyer on tour AND arguably the best shotmaker. to try to beat that was extremely tough.

maria would challenge monica, but monica would win out of consistency and angle.

supergrunt
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:19 AM
I not sure if everyone else agrees with me but I think Monica hits harder than Masha.

mboyle
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:37 AM
Sharapova is not relatively slow. If the WTA tour is Harvard, first of all everyone is well above average, second, Maria would be like a B student. Kim would be an A+...but Maria is above average, even at the top of the WTA tour.

mboyle
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:37 AM
As for who would win...I'd say Monica right now...though Maria is not fully developed.

Jakeev
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
:rolleyes: monica's movement was pretty damn good in her heyday. she was the best rallyer on tour AND arguably the best shotmaker. to try to beat that was extremely tough.

maria would challenge monica, but monica would win out of consistency and angle.

Monica's footspeed was not pretty damn good. But she compensated for it by being deadly accurate and powerful off the ground. Much like Lindsay Davenport is today.

supermann
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:21 PM
They both hit the felt off the ball, they both grunt loud, and they both are relatively slow :tape: . If they were to play there best agaisnt ecah other, who'd win?

Before she was stabbed, Monica was fast enough to beat the very fast Graf.

:lol:

crazyroberto6767
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:39 PM
Monica's footspeed was not pretty damn good. But she compensated for it by being deadly accurate and powerful off the ground. Much like Lindsay Davenport is today.
Pre-93, Monica was not like Lindsay. She wasn't the quickest player out there of course, but she got to A LOT of balls. Much thanks to her anticipation, great footwork, and (at least) above average foot speed.

tennisvulture
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:31 PM
This is a tough call, but i will have to go with Monica. She always knew how to figure out a way to win a seemingly lost match. Both players have intangibles that cant be taught, but Monica in her hey day was using them mutch better than Maria at the moment. But, bear in mind, Maria's hey day is still to come...

Helen Lawson
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:34 PM
It would be a pretty even match on grass, Monica blows her away on all other surfaces. Sorry, Big Masha, but Helen calls it as she sees it. People forget how great Monica was at her peak.

faboozadoo15
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:42 PM
Monica's footspeed was not pretty damn good. But she compensated for it by being deadly accurate and powerful off the ground. Much like Lindsay Davenport is today.
i don't know who you were watching in the early nineties, but monica played nothing like lindsay davenport. she was consistently making great gets and playing tremendous defense.

LeRoy.
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:43 PM
Monica in two sets - one easy one difficult

msharafan
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:43 PM
id say maria sharapova when shhe peaks and plays her best tennis in the future she would beat monica in her peak!

Steffica Greles
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:56 PM
Monica Seles had more talent in her little finger than Maria has in her entire body. Monica had better timing, greater control of her racket head, more intelligence i.e a greater match player, and, in her hey day, greater speed around the court.

Seles is one of the best match players of all time -- arguably the greatest. Of all the great champions, only Martina Hingis and Chris Evert had her match playing qualities.

Just look at the records and you'll see that their resumes don't even compare.

A no brainer.

Adaora
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:58 PM
Monica Seles had more talent in her little finger than Maria has in her entire body. Monica had better timing, greater control of her racket head, more intelligence i.e a greater match player, and, in her hey day, greater speed around the court.

Seles is one of the best match players of all time -- arguably the greatest. Of all the great champions, only Martina Hingis and Chris Evert had her match playing qualities.

Just look at the records and you'll see that their resumes don't even compare.

A no brainer.

couldn't have said it better :yeah:

Craigy
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
Why even start this thread? :shrug:

Kworb
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:01 PM
Seles d. Sharapova 6-3, 6-0

Apoorv
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:09 PM
Monica like 7-5 6-3. unlike later version, monica in 90-92 used to get better as match used to progress.

Wayn77
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:10 PM
Well I see a mouth-watering contest - not a spare seat in the house, a couple of top-notch screamers going at it toe to toe. At the moment I would have to go for Seles, for her tactical nous, court craft, brilliant shot making , variety and superior movement. But Maria likes a good scrap: she would dig in and get dirty, keep the points short and try to blow Seles off the planet.

Seles will take the first set on a tie-break. Maria all-out onslaught on the Seles serve blasting back in the second 6-4. The third-set full of controversy, couple of dodgy calls - Sharapova match-point at one stage, Seles saves it, breaks back and takes the third set. Barely a hand-shake at the end, the crowd on their feet - not a dry-eye in de house.

vogus
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:12 PM
Monica Seles had more talent in her little finger than Maria has in her entire body. Monica had better timing, greater control of her racket head, more intelligence i.e a greater match player, and, in her hey day, greater speed around the court.

Seles is one of the best match players of all time -- arguably the greatest. Of all the great champions, only Martina Hingis and Chris Evert had her match playing qualities.

Just look at the records and you'll see that their resumes don't even compare.

A no brainer.



seriously, you're a fool for responding to this thread. This poster is 100% a serial troll. Please people ignore him.

dizoo
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:14 PM
Monica Seles had more talent in her little finger than Maria has in her entire body. Monica had better timing, greater control of her racket head, more intelligence i.e a greater match player, and, in her hey day, greater speed around the court.

Seles is one of the best match players of all time -- arguably the greatest. Of all the great champions, only Martina Hingis and Chris Evert had her match playing qualities.

Just look at the records and you'll see that their resumes don't even compare.

A no brainer.

:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

LDVTennis
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:35 PM
I would say it depends on the surface.

On clay, Monica would still have a slight edge. Though what we have to remember here is that much of Monica's defense on any court, including a clay one, involved moonballing or looping the ball back into play. With her power, it is more than certain that Sharapova could get Seles out of position. If Sharapova could put away the resulting shot (most likely a loopy one) for a winner, then she'd have chance on clay too. The key play here would be Sharapova's swinging volleys vs. Monica's loopy defensive shots.

On rebound ace, I would say the odds would be even. If anyone gets a slight edge on this surface, it would be Sharapova and only because of the much better serve. Sharapova's serve is more versatile.

On hardcourts and grass, Sharapova would dominate, just like Graf did against Seles. On faster surfaces, Sharapova's shots have proven to be more agile than Seles', not having two hands on the forehand certainly helps. Sharapova's movement is also much more agile than Seles'. Sharapova is also quicker off the mark.

Overall, Sharapova is a much better athlete than Seles ever was. Proof of that comes in Sharapova's win at Wimbledon, something Seles never did.

Steffica Greles
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:40 PM
Overall, Sharapova is a much better athlete than Seles ever was. Proof of that comes in Sharapova's win at Wimbledon, something Seles never did.

So a player doesn't have to be a great athlete to win the French Open, the U.S Open or the Australian Open? Especially in the era of your beloved Graf.

Christ, you are the most biased poster out there. Comparing Seles and Sharapova is like comparing Graf and Spirlea.

LDVTennis
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:45 PM
Pre-93, Monica was not like Lindsay. She wasn't the quickest player out there of course, but she got to A LOT of balls. Much thanks to her anticipation, great footwork, and (at least) above average foot speed.

Above average footspeed, great footwork, and great racquet face control wins you not just one but many Wimbledon titles. So, why couldn't Monica do it? Maybe because she didn't have, as you claim, above average footspeed.

On the other hand, we know Lindsay did manage to win Wimbledon. Fluke or not, Lindsay was agile and fast enough that day to do what Seles could never do.

vogus
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:51 PM
Above average footspeed, great footwork, and great racquet face control wins you not just one but many Wimbledon titles. So, why couldn't Monica do it? Maybe because she didn't have, as you claim, above average footspeed.




spurious. Seles played exactly ONE Wimbledon in the prime of her career. She reached the final and then had a bad day. If she would have played 5 Wimby's in the prime of her career, she would have won 2 or 3 them. You can't conclude ANYTHING about the lone Seles vs Graf Wimby final. It's a statistical fluke.

R&J
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:52 PM
Seles of course :bowdown:

Steffica Greles
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:03 PM
Above average footspeed, great footwork, and great racquet face control wins you not just one but many Wimbledon titles. So, why couldn't Monica do it? Maybe because she didn't have, as you claim, above average footspeed.

On the other hand, we know Lindsay did manage to win Wimbledon. Fluke or not, Lindsay was agile and fast enough that day to do what Seles could never do.

Give us a break.

Seles was famous for her footspeed around the ball. Her ability to get into position quicker than any other was the very reason she was able to dominate the tour with her double-handed hitting, a style no player before nor since has taken to that level. Monica was not the most powerful of movers, that I will concede. But she managed, and excelled in other areas to compensate. One of those areas was her footspeed.

Secondly, on Seles not winning Wimbledon, I come back to the same point I've made before.

Seles (15) - 4th round

Graf (15) - 4th round
________________________

Seles (16) - QF

Graf (16) - 4th round
________________________

Seles (17) - Did not play

Graf (17) - Did not play
________________________

Seles (18) - Finalist

Graf (18) - Finalist


These figures do NOT show that Seles was the better grass court player of the two. Navratilova did not win Wimbledon at nineteen, as Graf did, but there's no disputing that she was the greater grass court player.

What can clearly be inferred is that, at eighteen, Seles already had a grass court ecord as good as any other great at that age - including Graf. There is ample evidence that, had her career not been interrupted, she would have won Wimbledon at least once.

If anything, an eighteen year-old Seles had attained a greater grass court record than Graf at the same age, having defeated Navratilova in the semi-final round of 1992. Graf never faced the same sort of opposition during her run to the 1987 final. Navratilova, remember, defeated both Graf AND Seles in tournaments in early 1993, so she was far from finished and still a force to be reckoned with.

LDVTennis
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:32 PM
So a player doesn't have to be a great athlete to win the French Open, the U.S Open or the Australian Open? Especially in the era of your beloved Graf.

Christ, you are the most biased poster out there. Comparing Seles and Sharapova is like comparing Graf and Spirlea.

Tell it like it is.

That is your problem; you don't want to tell it like it is.

Have you ever watched Monica's win against Chris in the Virginia Slims of Houston? If you have, here is a question for you. How did Seles gain the edge in that match? By hitting Chris off the court? Or, by playing great defense, meaning moonballing when necessary to get herself back into a point? More to the point, how did Seles win most of the points? By hitting winners herself or by waiting for Chris to make an error? Come on, you are not biased at all. So, tell us exactly what happened in that match.

Just like Chris' match against Steffi at the 1986 Hilton Head, that Houston match will always stand as a testament to the kind of player Monica essentially was. Monica was a very resourceful player. Yes, from time to time, she would attempt to hit the felt off the ball and go for one of her amazing angles. But, she didn't do that with as much frequency as Steffi tried to run around her forehand and go for a winner. She simply wasn't as athletic as Steffi to do that. For the most part, she played very smart points, particulary against Graf. On clay and rebound ace, two of the slower surfaces, Seles was adept at getting Graf to either take herself out of the play or to hit an unforced error. The proof is there. Just look at the '92 FO Final and the '93 AO Final. Count the winners and errors per game.

Moreover, what it also seems you don't remember is that Seles started her climb to No. 1 at a time when the depth in women's tennis wasn't very high. Chris and Martina were very close to retirement. Yes, closer than they had been in 1988 when Graf ascended to the No. 1 ranking. Sanchez-Vicario wasn't the athletic factor she would become. Furthermore, Graf after the longest run at No. 1 of any woman ever was beginning to lose interest, much like Serena has been doing, though not as dramatically. Seles could not have picked a better time to come on the scene. Heck, in only 2 of her 7 major wins from '91 to 93, did she have to face Graf in the final. What better opportunity could there have been to become No. 1?

When Graf wanted to play, however, just like when Serena/Venus/Justine want to play now, the embarrassing thing for the rest of the field is that it doesn't matter who is No. 1. Graf won. So it was at Wimbledon in '92. Of course, Steffi not only won. She thrashed Seles. A better athlete would have been able to make it a much closer match.

Given all this, I don't think there is anything biased about my claiming that Sharapova is a better player overall than Seles. In absolute terms, Sharapova's serve is better, her movement is better, she has more range on her shots.

Like Seles, Sharapova did become No. 1 at a time when the previous No. 1 was beginning to lose interest. But, unlike Seles, Sharapova beat that No. 1 player at Wimbledon. If she hasn't achieved as much as Seles so far in her career, it is for the simple reason that the ranks closed quickly around her. Serena and Venus regained some of their form after Sharapova won her first major. Justine finally emerged. With all of this depth, Sharapova simply never had the window of opportunity that Seles had.

franny
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:47 PM
We don't know how well Maria can play. I don't think this type of question can be answered until Sharapova's career is over, and we can conclude that we've seen her best. But as of now, we are talking about a tennis legend who is infamous for her deadly and consistent ground strokes versus someone who is a great player right now but who has certainly not peaked. I'd say Seles.

LDVTennis
Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:59 PM
Give us a break.

Seles was famous for her footspeed around the ball. Her ability to get into position quicker than any other was the very reason she was able to dominate the tour with her double-handed hitting, a style no player before nor since has taken to that level.

Secondly, on Seles not winning Wimbledon, I come back to the same point I've made before.

If anything, an eighteen year-old Seles had attained a greater grass court record than Graf at the same age, having defeated Navratilova in the semi-final round of 1992. Graf never faced the same sort of opposition during her run to the 1987 final. Navratilova, remember, defeated both Graf AND Seles in tournaments in early 1993, so she was far from finished and still a force to be reckoned with.

Bud Collins was and still is a big fan of Monica's. He's the one who keeps proclaiming that she could have been the best ever. Yet, even he called her movement ungainly.

I am not denying that Seles did not succeed with her two-handed style. But, what you are not acknowledging is that she was not around long enough at the top from '91 to '93 for players to figure out how to beat her. As it was, Graf was the only player who had the athletic and technical acumen to beat Seles while she was at the top. (Indeed, Graf has a winning record against Seles while Seles was No. 1) Had Seles not been stabbed, Sanchez would have eventually posed a serious threat to her. So, would have a host of others who from time to time could mount a serious athletic challenge to her.

The argument you keep making about how Seles had done more at Wimbledon than Graf had by the same age is fallacious. Fallacious because it only makes sense at all if Seles did not have to play Graf in order to win Wimbledon. Of course, how could I forget, that is Seles' modus operandi, isn't it? Just how many majors did she win without having to face Graf in the final?

Against Graf at Wimbledon, Seles' progress is not as spectacular. In 1989, she loses to Steffi, 6/0 6/1. In 1992, she loses to Steffi, 6/2 6/1. At that rate of progress, 2 more games in 1992 than in 1989, just how much longer would it have taken for Seles to beat Graf in a Wimbledon Final? Who cares, right? The trick is for Graf to lose before the final.

To Sharapova's credit, she beat Serena at Wimbledon. Serena may have underestimated her, but Sharapova had to feel especially proud that she won the tournament by beating the defending champion.

moby
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:15 PM
LDV, you're deluded if you think that Monica would only have a slight edge against Maria on clay. I mean, it won't even be close.

I'd say Monica on everything but grass, but even then, it would be a toss-up.

tennisvulture
Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:55 PM
"I am not denying that Seles did not succeed with her two-handed style. But, what you are not acknowledging is that she was not around long enough at the top from '91 to '93 for players to figure out how to beat her. As it was, Graf was the only player who had the athletic and technical acumen to beat Seles while she was at the top. (Indeed, Graf has a winning record against Seles while Seles was No. 1) Had Seles not been stabbed, Sanchez would have eventually posed a serious threat to her. So, would have a host of others who from time to time could mount a serious athletic challenge to her."





Man, you are so delusional and you probably do not believe urself in what you are proclaiming here. How could you possibly say that not having to face Graf was the reason Seles won so many majors in conssesion? In many of those runs she did not have to face Steffi just because Steffi could not make it to the final. Seles was UNARGUABLY the best the sport has ever seen thus far. And she would have only thrived on every surface had it not been for that deranged Graf fan who robbed her of normal life afterwards (just look at the progress in her results as years went by).
And Sanchez Vicario a threat to Seles? You must be on some sort of medication man. Just take a look at their H2H record. Sanchez, although a great athlete and sport herself, could not even beat Seles in her second career. Too bad Seles did not win that RG '98 as she was emotionally empty and was playing on pure adrenaline. I just hope you reconsider what you have said before because a true objective tennis fan would not fool themselves around by talking non sense.

Jakeev
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:36 PM
i don't know who you were watching in the early nineties, but monica played nothing like lindsay davenport. she was consistently making great gets and playing tremendous defense.

Yeah Monica was like Lindsay Davenport. Monica's mobility was sometimes very suspect on certain surfaces despite her power. What made Monica so good on clay was the fact she was a slider and something Lindsay isn't.

But you can't possibly tell me that Monica rivaled Steffi, Aranxta or even Martina Navratilova in footspeed in the early 90s.

If you are, than we definitely watched two different players.

supergrunt
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:57 PM
seriously, you're a fool for responding to this thread. This poster is 100% a serial troll. Please people ignore him.

You responded to this thread. :)

vogus
Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:04 PM
You responded to this thread. :)


well, you're a clever troll. You know exactly what kind of threads will bring responses in GM. I know you were here before under another name, but i cannot recall what it was.

RJWCapriati
Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:05 PM
Monica

6-0, 6-0 - at her best

supergrunt
Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:32 PM
well, you're a clever troll. You know exactly what kind of threads will bring responses in GM. I know you were here before under another name, but i cannot recall what it was.

:confused: ... :hehehe: yes, you are right; my name was selestroll232 :rolleyes:

Jakeev
Aug 24th, 2006, 11:41 AM
well, you're a clever troll. You know exactly what kind of threads will bring responses in GM. I know you were here before under another name, but i cannot recall what it was.

Doesn't matter who are what he is he still nailed your arse.......:lol:

janko
Aug 24th, 2006, 11:55 AM
I don't think Maria is so slow, but I'm sure the best Monica wouldn t have any problems against the best Maria, in the 1990's she was really impressive

Rollo
Aug 24th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Overall advantage Seles.

Seles on the slower surfaces and Sharapova on grass.

On clay Monica's better movement and consistency would be too much for Maria. She'd spit back topspin balls til she got an error.

It's a different story on grass though. The big serve and first strike tennis (plus Seles REALLY being unable to volley) gives Maria a big edge.

jegood
Aug 24th, 2006, 01:23 PM
:worship: MONICA forever.I think she could have been the best player ever,instead of being one of the best,only if that crazy person didn't stab her.She had accurate shots,and nerves and concetration in the crucial moments never let her down.She was simply dominate player in all surfaces except grass.So I think she could beat Maria too,and not just her, because she was a better player,although it's very tough to compare them like this.Monika rules :worship:

bionic71
Aug 24th, 2006, 01:33 PM
Seles.

faboozadoo15
Aug 24th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Yeah Monica was like Lindsay Davenport. Monica's mobility was sometimes very suspect on certain surfaces despite her power. What made Monica so good on clay was the fact she was a slider and something Lindsay isn't.

But you can't possibly tell me that Monica rivaled Steffi, Aranxta or even Martina Navratilova in footspeed in the early 90s.

If you are, than we definitely watched two different players.
I never said monica was as fast as the fastest players ever. but she's far more an athletic mover than davenport ever was/ever will be. even watch them play as late as 2002/2003 (a DECADE after monica's prime). monica was the quicker player. lindsay moves around the court very slowly, and monica was a good mover in the early 90's. she got up to the ball

monica hardly ever slid on the clay.

just go back and watch some of her matches. running was never an issue for her. you wouldn't ever hear opponents say that the trick to beating her was to make her run a lot (it was low balls and depth). if anything, monica was better on the run because it opened up more angles for her. and as we all know, monica has the greatest angles of all time.

jj74
Aug 24th, 2006, 04:59 PM
Please there are not comparision, Monica is one of the greatest, she was quick (pre-stabbing) she hits hard, but she wasn't one dimensional player like Maria, she knows how to move her rival and make angles. She was the one who dethroned Steffi Graf, and that was too much

alfajeffster
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:03 PM
...What made Monica so good on clay was the fact she was a slider and something Lindsay isn't.

Monica Seles wasn't a slider by any stretch of the imagination on clay. It was probably her only weakness on the surface. This was one of the great advantages Graf and even Sanchez Vicario had over Seles on the surface. They were brought up sliding into the ball and were both quite natural with it. Later on in her career when Monica came back and was and inch and a half taller and heaver (magnifying her already somewhat limited mobility), it quickly became the play to hit behind her or get her on the run, because like nearly every other Bollettieri product, she wasn't brought up playing a sliding game on clay.

Back to the subject, I think on grass, as good as Seles' return was, Sharapova's serve is huge, and would win the day for her. On clay, I'd have to go with Seles- her game and strike zone on the higher bouncing slow clay was deadly. On Rebound Ace, again, Monica with her strike zone, but on the much faster DecoTurfII of the U.S. Open, I'd go with Sharapova, because of her firepower. An even split.

supergrunt
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:14 PM
I pretty sure that Monica could beat Maria on DecoTurf :D .

alfajeffster
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I pretty sure that Monica could beat Maria on DecoTurf :D .

Why are you so sure? Exactly whom did Monica play on DecoTurfII when she was in her prime, and the #1 player in the world who had both the firepower off both sides, as well as a serve hit as hard as Sharapovas? Maria's best surface is clearly hardcourts, even though her lone major win was on grass. She's a tall girl who needs the constant grip of sneaker to cement to be effective, and the faster surface would work in Maria's favor, versus Rebound Ace.

LDVTennis
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:36 PM
I never said monica was as fast as the fastest players ever. but she's far more an athletic mover than davenport ever was/ever will be. even watch them play as late as 2002/2003 (a DECADE after monica's prime). monica was the quicker player. lindsay moves around the court very slowly, and monica was a good mover in the early 90's. she got up to the ball

monica hardly ever slid on the clay.

just go back and watch some of her matches. running was never an issue for her. you wouldn't ever hear opponents say that the trick to beating her was to make her run a lot (it was low balls and depth). if anything, monica was better on the run because it opened up more angles for her. and as we all know, monica has the greatest angles of all time.

Surprisingly, Lindsay moves well enough to execute her game. At her peak, with her first strike ability and good court sense, she really didn't end up in many side to side rallies to expose her lack of pure speed.

Lindsay also has a talent that Monica never had. She adjusts well to low bouncing balls and balls hit short in the court, particulary on the forehand side. This ability and her serve made it possible for her to win Wimbledon.

On the contrary, Seles had all kinds of problems, as you so rightly pointed out, handling low bouncing balls and even balls short or short/wide in the court. (Steffi first figured this out at Wimbledon in '92.) Seles' serve also was not good enough to set up the point for her on grass. The placement, spin, and angles of the serve into the service box were too predictable.

What Seles did have the knack for doing is hitting some amazing angles when she was forced to reach for the ball, almost always from the backhand side, almost always crosscourt. Though clearly not as athletic as the Williams sisters, nor blessed with as much reach as Venus, she was just as good, if not better at letting her wrists and an abbreviated (tucked) swing generate those angles when pulled wide.

Still, there was a limit to how far Seles could be pulled wide, more so on the forehand. And, while in '92, the book wasn't out quite yet on how to beat Monica. It was clear to some extent that Steffi was beginning to figure it out by playing more to Monica's forehand, pulling her wide to that side, and even playing behind her once Monica started cheating toward the forehand side. Given Monica's inablity to sprint side to side to defend her forehand, by '96 the trick to beating her in fact was to expose her poor movement by isolating her deep in the backhand corner then reversing the play to her forehand.

sfselesfan
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:48 PM
id say maria sharapova when shhe peaks and plays her best tennis in the future she would beat monica in her peak!

How do we know when Maria has peaked?


Maybe she already has...



SF

LDVTennis
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:15 PM
Monica Seles wasn't a slider by any stretch of the imagination on clay.

Exactly.

On clay, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is how to slide. Up there in difficulty is learning how to jump into the backhand corner to hit a forehand. Without the traction one gets on hardcourts, it is a very difficult athletic feat. Graf could do both. On clay, she could even jump into the backhand corner to hit a forehand better than Federer can.

On grass, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is to backpedal and leap into the air. Moving on grass is like moving on a waxed gym floor. Yet, Steffi never had a problem doing this. She did it to hit inside-out forehands from the backhand corner. She even showed off just a little in the '92 Wimbledon Final by backpedaling, leaping off her backfoot, and hitting an overhead.

But, back to Sharapova. We may never see her slide on clay. But, her footwork has actually been improving. Already, at this point, she has better quickness and speed than Seles ever had. With the better footwork, her consistency should improve as well.

faboozadoo15
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Exactly.

On clay, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is how to slide. Up there in difficulty is learning how to jump into the backhand corner to hit a forehand. Without the traction one gets on hardcourts, it is a very difficult athletic feat. Graf could do both. On clay, she could even jump into the backhand corner to hit a forehand better than Federer can.

On grass, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is to backpedal and leap into the air. Moving on grass is like moving on a waxed gym floor. Yet, Steffi never had a problem doing this. She did it to hit inside-out forehands from the backhand corner. She even showed off just a little in the '92 Wimbledon Final by backpedaling, leaping off her backfoot, and hitting an overhead.

But, back to Sharapova. We may never see her slide on clay. But, her footwork has actually been improving. Already, at this point, she has better quickness and speed than Seles ever had. With the better footwork, her consistency should improve as well.
re first paragraph-- federer doesn't need to. his backhand is far better than graf's.

re second paragraph-- that was/is impressive.

re third paragraph-- you don't need to slide on clay to win. monica seles dominated on clay and won 3 straight french opens without sliding much. i don't even remember steffi making long slides like the spaniards.

seles's footwork is far better than sharapova's. if sharapova gets strength in her legs, she could be a more explosive mover than monica. monica had such incredible anticipation and read plays beautifully, maybe one day sharapova will learn. i can hope.

hingis-seles
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:45 PM
LDV, you do realise that by implying that Monica had little talent and got lucky with the Slams she won because Papa Graf was fucking a stripper, you are tarnishing Steffi's legacy.

pcrtennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 02:39 AM
Seles...NO QUESTION! Sharapova will neveer be the kind of player Seles was.

Dawn Marie
Aug 25th, 2006, 02:49 AM
Maria isn't even comparable to Seles. U folks need to stop thinking that Masha is holding 8 slams and counting.


If I had to give an answer it would be SVETLANA she won the US Open. Hahahah.. lol

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 02:55 AM
LDV, you do realise that by implying that Monica had little talent and got lucky with the Slams she won because Papa Graf was fucking a stripper, you are tarnishing Steffi's legacy.


Exactly Hingis-Seles.

April 1993

Gunther Parche, a German supporter of #2 Steffi Graf, stabbed teenage phenom and women's #1 Monica Seles in the back with a knife when Seles had won 10 of the last 12 biggest events -- and 11 of the last 14 biggest events -- in women's tennis between 1990 and 1993.

9 months later ...

January 1994

A month before the XVII Winter Olympics were to begin in Lillehammer, Norway in February 1994, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, clubbed fellow female figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in the knee. In the end Nancy Kerrigan went on to win the silver medal, behind Oksana Baiul of the Ukraine. Tonya Harding finished 8th and was banned from the world of figure skating by the U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA) a few years later.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 02:58 AM
Exactly.

On clay, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is how to slide. Up there in difficulty is learning how to jump into the backhand corner to hit a forehand. Without the traction one gets on hardcourts, it is a very difficult athletic feat. Graf could do both.


As long as a Graf fan had a knife deep into the back of Monica Seles.

You really like going out on a limb, don't you, LDV? Stepping out on that limb ... living on the WILD SIDE.

Leo_DFP
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:00 AM
Monica would dominate her bloodily. A class above and then some!

Pasta-Na
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:07 AM
well, no one would go to see their match... poor ears :o

Brooklyn90
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:14 AM
monica do doubt

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:15 AM
Exactly.

On grass, one of the toughest movement skills to learn is to backpedal and leap into the air. Moving on grass is like moving on a waxed gym floor. Yet, Steffi never had a problem doing this.



SO WE LOOK AT THE 12 BIGGEST SINGLES TITLES IN WOMEN'S TENNIS DURING THE 30 MONTHS BEFORE THE STABBING:

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994


1990 WTA Championships MONICA SELES
1991 Australian Open MONICA SELES
1991 French Open MONICA SELES

1991 Wimbledon STEFFI GRAF

1991 U.S. Open MONICA SELES
1991 WTA Championships MONICA SELES
1992 Australian Open MONICA SELES
1992 French Open MONICA SELES

1992 Wimbledon STEFFI GRAF

1992 U.S. Open MONICA SELES
1992 WTA Championships MONICA SELES
1993 Australian Open MONICA SELES


Seles was just a teenager when she was stabbed ... however, she was the 3-time defending champion of the Australian Open ... the 3-time defending champion of the French Open ... the 3-time defending champion of the WTA Tour Championships ... and, 2-time defending champion of the U.S. Open.

In fact, no player in women's tennis history has won more than the 10 out of 12 major singles titles that Monica Seles won in those 30 months before being stabbed in April 1993 --- although Martina Navratilova in her prime 10 years earlier managed to match that 10 of the 12 biggest singles titles played consecutively.

Monica Seles was the ONLY player in women's tennis to win 2 of the 5 biggest singles titles in women's tennis in 1990 ... 1991 ... 1992 ... and the ONLY player to win a Grand Slam singles title in 1993 before she was stabbed in 1993 by a Steffi Graf fan.

Of course, then we had the stabbing of Monica Seles by a jealous Steffi Graf fan.

-jenks-
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:16 AM
At her best, Monica is near unbeatable!

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:32 AM
On the contrary, Seles had all kinds of problems, as you so rightly pointed out, handling low bouncing balls and even balls short or short/wide in the court. (Steffi first figured this out at Wimbledon in '92.) Seles' serve also was not good enough to set up the point for her on grass. The placement, spin, and angles of the serve into the service box were too predictable.



Chris was the greatest on slow surfaces ..

Martina was greatest on fast surfaces ..

but Steffi was great on ALL surfaces as long as Monica Seles was stabbed in the back with a knife by a Graf fan.

Sund7101
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:50 AM
Monica hands down.

Reuchlin
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:54 AM
Maria would win: She beat the best player ever at her peak and on her best surface at 17 in the biggest match of her life.

Maria has a better serve and backhand than Monica ever did.

Couver
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:57 AM
I think Monica would win more times than not. Maria would get a few looks though because I think she could score some points off of Monica's serve. But I think the key would be the great angles Monica was able to hit. Maria's movement has improved but I don't think she could reach enough of Monica's storkes.

Marcus Jordan
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:59 AM
Kind of a strange comparison considering Seles was beating Graf at her best, and Graf is supposed to be the greatest of all-time. Sharapova doesn't even win today so how is she going to beat an all-time great?

Reuchlin
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:02 AM
Kind of a strange comparison considering Seles was beating Graf at her best, and Graf is supposed to be the greatest of all-time. Sharapova doesn't even win today so how is she going to beat an all-time great?
Graf is the most winningest player of all time-- but with the level improving year by year...and decade by decade...I don't think Graf had the best 'game' ever...

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:02 AM
Still, there was a limit to how far Seles could be pulled wide, more so on the forehand. And, while in '92, the book wasn't out quite yet on how to beat Monica. It was clear to some extent that Steffi was beginning to figure it out by playing more to Monica's forehand, pulling her wide to that side, and even playing behind her once Monica started cheating toward the forehand side. Given Monica's inablity to sprint side to side to defend her forehand, by '96 the trick to beating her in fact was to expose her poor movement by isolating her deep in the backhand corner then reversing the play to her forehand.


Right .. Graf would never have the record Navratilova had at Wimbledon on the grass, or indoors at the WTA Tour Championships, or in the doubles ... and Graf would never have the record Evert had at the French Open, on clay and in terms of her consistency in winning at least 1 Slam in 13 consecutive years.

Graf was more of a blend .. not as good as Evert on the clay or in terms of consistency year after year ... not as good as Navratilova on grass, indoors or in dominating in her very best years in singles and doubles.

Graf was kind of in between the two .. balanced .. and a fan knocked the #1 player in the world out for her back sticking a sharp knife in her back while they were at an event in Hamburg, Germany.

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:03 AM
re first paragraph-- federer doesn't need to. his backhand is far better than graf's.

re second paragraph-- that was/is impressive.

re third paragraph-- you don't need to slide on clay to win. monica seles dominated on clay and won 3 straight french opens without sliding much. i don't even remember steffi making long slides like the spaniards.

seles's footwork is far better than sharapova's. if sharapova gets strength in her legs, she could be a more explosive mover than monica. monica had such incredible anticipation and read plays beautifully, maybe one day sharapova will learn. i can hope.

You are sure about that, that Federer's backhand is so good?

Then explain this to me. Why is it that after Federer lost to Nadal in the French Open Final that everyone from John McEnroe to Mats Wilander questioned why Roger didn't use his slice backhand more. He was making too many errors by trying to top the ball on the backhand side. Moreover, as both John and Mats complained, his topspin backhand was not penetrating enough to get Nadal into a defensive posture.

I couldn't help but recognize the irony of what McEnroe and Wilander were saying vis-a-vis Graf. Remember the criticism of her was that she didn't use her topspin backhand enough.

Years later, it now seems that had Federer played more from the backhand side like Graf he might have won that French Final in the eyes of such tennis experts as McEnroe and Wilander. The absolute irony?

If you want to see Graf slide, review the '99 FO Semi vs. Seles. It may not be fun to watch for Seles' fans, but you'll see why us Graf fans think Steffi was the fastest, most agile, most graceful player ever to play the game. Graf's slides into forehands, she slides into backhands, she slides into drop shots, she slides into volleys. And, she is moving very fast when she does.

Seles' footwork was good when the ball bounced just right. But, her footwork wasn't so good that it made it possible for her to play her standard strokes on surfaces where the ball tends to skid, rather than bounce up. Low balls, short balls, balls short and wide in the court would tie her up. She couldn't move her feet up to the ball well enough. She'd really struggle against such type of balls. In those situations, she also showed an inability to improvise with her arms and hands.

Here is the mystery. Seles did not completely lack the ability to improvise with her arms and hands, particularly on the backhand side. When moving side to side at the baseline, she could get pulled out wide, yet lean far enough into the ball and use her wrists and forearms to create the most amazing angles. She should have lost points like that, her feet weren't really under her, but she still found a way.

On the forehand side, Seles didn't have the same uncanny ability. When pulled wide, she would often go one-handed. Even one-handed, Seles was resourceful enough (from time to time) with the face of the racquet to find an open space on the court, not so much with angle and speed, but direction.

I took a look again at Sharapova during the Accura Classic. I paid close attention to her footwork. There is a bounce in her step that wasn't there before. Okay, so she doesn't shuffle her feet like Steffi did. But, she's remembering to keep her feet moving by bouncing up and down, especially just after she first reaches the ball. It is a big improvement.

Mightymirza
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:04 AM
stupid question but me thinks monica!!

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:18 AM
SO WE LOOK AT THE 12 BIGGEST SINGLES TITLES IN WOMEN'S TENNIS DURING THE 30 MONTHS BEFORE THE STABBING

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah...

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:20 AM
Graf is the most winningest player of all time-- but with the level improving year by year...and decade by decade...I don't think Graf had the best 'game' ever...


Graf is the most winningest player of all time ???

It took a Graf fan in Germany and a knife from his hand into the back of Monica Seles for Graf to be able to win much of anything other than Wimbledon in the early 1990s after Monica Seles had settled into her dominance.

Navratilova has the all-time record for most Wimbledons.
Mallory has the all-time record for most U.S. Nationals.
Evert has the all-time record for most U.S. Opens.
Evert has the all-time record for most French titles.
Court has the all-time record for most Australian titles.
Navratilova has the record for most WTA Championships.
Wills Moody has the all-time record for most years at #1.
Wills Moody has the record for most Slams on grass.
Evert has the all-time record for most Slams on clay.

Graf had a very balanced resume after Seles was out.

Graf's records are in areas where the other players did not have their entire careers available:

• most hardcourt Slams.
• most U.S. Opens on hardcourts.
• most weeks ranked #1.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:25 AM
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah...


I want to see more intelligence from you, LDVTennis.

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:36 AM
Kind of a strange comparison considering Seles was beating Graf at her best, and Graf is supposed to be the greatest of all-time. Sharapova doesn't even win today so how is she going to beat an all-time great?

Beating her at her best?

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Graf was No. 1 from '89 to '90. 3-2 Graf.

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Seles was No. 1. from '91 to '93. 3-2 Graf.

Seles never had a winning record against Graf in what Steffi has said were her peak years from '95 to '96.* 2-0 Graf.

Seles never had a winning record against Graf in Steffi's final years on the tour. 2-1 Graf.

* Steffi said 1995 and 1996 were her peak years when interviewed prior to her Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:56 AM
Beating her at her best?

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Graf was No. 1 from '89 to '90. 3-2 Graf.

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Seles was No. 1. from '91 to '93. 3-2 Graf.




Seles dominated women's tennis in the early 1990s before she was
stabbed by a Graf fan for ranking #1.

Yes, Seles had a winning advantage over Graf head to head in the years
1990-1993 .. so did Martina Navratilova .. but that only tells part of
the story.


The 12 biggest events in women's tennis from the 1990 WTA Tour
Championships through the 1993 Australian Open:


1990 WTA Tour Championships
MONICA SELES WON (over Gabriela Sabatini).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN SEMIS (to Sabatini in straight sets.)


1991 Australian
MONICA SELES WON (over Jana Novotna).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN QUARTERS (to Jana Novotna).


1991 French
MONICA SELES WON (over Arantxa Sanchez Vicario).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN SEMIS (to ASV in straight sets).


1991 Wimbledon
MONICA SELES DID NOT PLAY
STEFF GRAF WON (over Gabriela Sabatini 8-6 in the 3rd).


1991 U.S. Open
MONICA SELES WON (over Martina Navratilova).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN SEMIS (to Martina Navratilova).


1991 WTA Tour Championships
MONICA SELES WON (over Martina Navratilova).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN QUARTERS (to Jana Novotna).


1992 Australian
MONICA SELES WON (over Mary Joe Fernandez).
STEFF GRAF DID NOT PLAY.


1992 French
MONICA SELES WON (over Steffi Graf).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN THE FINAL (to Monica Seles).


1992 Wimbledon
MONICA SELES LOST IN THE FINAL (to Steffi Graf).
STEFF GRAF WON (over Monica Seles).


1992 U.S. Open
MONICA SELES WON (over ASV).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN QUARTERS (to ASV in straight sets).


1992 WTA Tour Championships
MONICA SELES WON (over Martina Navratilova).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN FIRST ROUND (to Lori McNeal).


1993 Australian
MONICA SELES WON (over Steffi Graf).
STEFF GRAF LOST IN THE FINAL (to Monica Seles).


In these 12 major events between the end of 1990 and the stabbing of
Monica Seles by a Steffi Graf fan ...


Monica Seles:


· entered 11 of the 12 events.
· won 10 of the 12 events.
· reached the final round in 11 of the 12 events.


Steffi Graf:


· entered 11 of the 12 events.
· won 2 of the 12 events.
· reached the final round in 4 of the 12 events.
· lost in the semis or earlier in 8 of the 12 events.


In addition to going 2-1 vs. Graf in these 12 big women's tournaments
between the end of 1990 and the stabbing ... Seles also had 5 wins in
the final round of these big events over players who had beaten Graf in
either the semis or quarters of the same event (Sabatini ... Novotna
... Navratilova ... and ASV twice).


So ... yes, Seles had the winning edge head to head over Graf in
1990-1993 just as Navratilova did ... but Seles was also beating
players who had also beaten Graf in the semis and quarters of the big
events Graf was losing.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:00 AM
Beating her at her best?




Once Steffi turned 18, she was catching up on the PAST THEIR PRIMES Evert and Navratilova in head to heads.

But did Evert or Navratilova fan stab Graf in the back over it?

That is the difference ... once Seles turned 16, she led Graf in head to heads until a Steffi Graf fan stabbed Monica Seles in the back with a sharp knife

Do you have no semblance of dignity whatsoever?

MH0861
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:05 AM
LOL, does every thread with "Seles" in the title turn into Seles vs. Graf?

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Beating her at her best?

* Steffi said 1995 and 1996 were her peak years

No ... LDVTennis ... more INTELLIGENCE ... ranking #1 for almost 100 consecutive weeks while winning 8 Grand Slam singles titles in the early and reaching the final round in the only other Grand Slam event she entered in a span of 9 Grand Slam events entered while winning 3 consecutive WTA Tour Championships ... that ought to just about clinch it.

Monica Seles was dominating Steffi Graf and women's tennis ... make no mistake about it.

Enter Gunther Parche...

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 07:16 AM
So ... yes, Seles had the winning edge head to head over Graf in
1990-1993 just as Navratilova did ... but Seles was also beating
players who had also beaten Graf in the semis and quarters of the big
events Graf was losing.

Winning Edge?

Wrong. Clever of you to count all the majors played from '90 to '93. But, head to head is just what it means, nothing more, nothing less. When Seles had to face Graf across the net (not across the draw), Seles lost more matches than she won. Anyway you cut it, even when Seles was No. 1 from '91 to '93, Seles lost more matches than she won against Graf. (Source: WTAtour.com)

From '90 to '93, Martina did have a winning record against Steffi, 2 to 1. But, what does that prove? In other words, what is so significant about the period '90 to '93 for Graf or Martina? If anything pointing out Steffi's head to head record against Martina during that period just shows, as many of us have argued, that Steffi was in something of a slump from '90 to '93. How do we know that? Because from '88 to '89, Steffi is 4-0 against Martina with two of those wins coming on Martina's best surface grass, in the Wimbledon Final no less. Steffi OWNED the "greatest" Wimbledon champion at Wimbledon! :lol: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say that.

Steffi won her last match against Martina, quite easily too 6-2, 6-4. In doing so, she evened their head to head record at 9-9. From '90 to '94, Martina and Steffi only met 4 times, once in each year from '91 to '94. Some of us have strong suspicions that Martina was AVOIDING Steffi. For instance, they never met in those 5 years on clay, a surface that clearly favored Steffi.

Had they met more often from '88 to '94, it is more than likely that Martina would have ended up with a losing record against Steffi. That is based on the fact that once Graf superceded Martina in the rankings, Steffi was winning 2 matches against Martina for every one that Martina won. From '87 to '94, that is, Graf's head to head record against Martina is 8 to 4. With Graf's best years still ahead of her in '95 and '96, Martina was lucky she retired when she did.

switz
Aug 25th, 2006, 07:22 AM
:lol: The only player who is better than Seles at her peak is Serena simply because she's faster. Nobody else. People's judgement of how good Seles was are clouded so much by the lower standard she played at after coming back. The girl was an absolute freak before she got stabbed and i don't say that as a delusional fan either because i only became a supporter of her after she got stabbed and saw the wonderful person she developed into.

Sharapova at her best is a powerful player who is very hard to stop but the mobile Seles of the early 90s would eat up her power and drive her crazy with the angles she could produce.

Serge007
Aug 25th, 2006, 07:29 AM
but the mobile Seles of the early 90s would eat up her power and drive her crazy with the angles she could produce.
sure. At the early 90s Sharapova was 3-6 y.o. :-)

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Ranking #1 for almost 100 consecutive weeks while winning 8 Grand Slam singles titles in the early and reaching the final round in the only other Grand Slam event she entered in a span of 9 Grand Slam events entered while winning 3 consecutive WTA Tour Championships ... that ought to just about clinch it.

You expect a Graf fan to be impressed by those statistics.

From 1987 to the end of 1989, Graf held the No. 1 ranking for approximately 123 consecutive weeks. During that stretch, Graf set the record for the highest ranking points total of any female player ever. (Seles never broke the record.)

From 1988 to 1989, Graf won 7 of 8 majors. She made 8 of 8 major finals. Her winning streak at the majors included a Grand Slam in 1988 (all four majors in the same calendar year), making her one of 3 women to complete the feat. Court and Connolly are the other two women. (Martina and Seles are NOT!)

During this period 1987 to 1989, Steffi had a winning record against all her major rivals, including the No. 2 player in the world at the time (Martina Navratilova). She even had a winning record against Martina at Wimbledon from 1987 to 1989. After 1987, she owned Martina at Wimbledon. And, Martina was supposed to be the "greatest" Wimbledon champion.

Let's compare shall we?

Martina and Monica never won 7 of 8 majors held over two years. Monica never made the finals of all 8 majors held over two years.

Martina and Monica never won a Grand Slam, all four majors in the same calendar-year.

At Wimbledon, Martina does not have a winning record against Steffi, 2 to 1 for Steffi. Martina may have won more Wimbledon titles than Steffi. But, head to head at Wimbledon, Martina is the lesser player.

Monica never won Wimbledon during her run at the majors. In her only final, she was thrashed by Steffi.

Monica never set the ranking points record during her run at the majors from '91 to '93.

Monica did not hold a winning record against all her rivals while she was No. 1. She was 2-3 versus Graf.

Let's face it. Had Graf not lost her concentration against Sanchez in the '89 French Open Final, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You'd appear even more the fool than you do now. As it is, Graf came closer from 1988 to 1989 to winning consecutive Grand Slams than Martina or Seles ever came to winning just one Grand Slam during any two-year stretch of their careers. The only other woman that comes close to Steffi in this regard is Margaret Court.

chris whiteside
Aug 25th, 2006, 08:21 AM
To get back to the topic of the thread.

I don't even see there is a question. To date based on achievement and quality of play Seles would simply wipe the floor with Miss Sharapova.

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 08:27 AM
:lol: The only player who is better than Seles at her peak is Serena.

Comparing Serena to Seles is like comparing apples to oranges.

Serena won all four majors. Seles never won Wimbledon.

But, if Serena is the measure of greatness for you, let's see how each matched up against her.

Graf vs. Serena tied at 1-1, with Graf winning their first meeting.

Note: What the head to head doesn't count is one match played in a Hong Kong exhibition in 1999. Counting that match, Graf leads 2-1.

Seles vs. Serena stands at 4-1 for Serena, with Serena winning their first 3 meetings.

So, if Serena is your standard of greatness, it seems like Graf comes out much better in the comparison than Seles.

Miranda
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:27 AM
seems you never got enough of your graf talk, even this thread is about monica and maria :rolleyes:
Comparing Serena to Seles is like comparing apples to oranges.

Serena won all four majors. Seles never won Wimbledon.

But, if Serena is the measure of greatness for you, let's see how each matched up against her.

Graf vs. Serena tied at 1-1, with Graf winning their first meeting.

Note: What the head to head doesn't count is one match played in a Hong Kong exhibition in 1999. Counting that match, Graf leads 2-1.

Seles vs. Serena stands at 4-1 for Serena, with Serena winning their first 3 meetings.

So, if Serena is your standard of greatness, it seems like Graf comes out much better in the comparison than Seles.

Zhao
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:54 AM
omg i miss cali377 so much :awww::lol:

FrenchY52
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Maria is nothing next to Monica

faboozadoo15
Aug 25th, 2006, 03:41 PM
Comparing Serena to Seles is like comparing apples to oranges.

Serena won all four majors. Seles never won Wimbledon.

But, if Serena is the measure of greatness for you, let's see how each matched up against her.

Graf vs. Serena tied at 1-1, with Graf winning their first meeting.

Note: What the head to head doesn't count is one match played in a Hong Kong exhibition in 1999. Counting that match, Graf leads 2-1.

Seles vs. Serena stands at 4-1 for Serena, with Serena winning their first 3 meetings.

So, if Serena is your standard of greatness, it seems like Graf comes out much better in the comparison than Seles.
i KNOW you know this, but graf retired before serena ever won a major. monica retired after serena won 4 in a row.

:inlove:
Aug 25th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Ermm.........I love Sharapova, but Seles would probably wipe her off the court, if I am being realistic!

LDVTennis
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:10 PM
i KNOW you know this, but graf retired before serena ever won a major. monica retired after serena won 4 in a row.

Serena won her first major at the 1999 US Open.

In 1999, Graf and Serena played twice on hardcourts, splitting matches. In the match that Graf lost to Serena at IW in 1999, she was up a break in the third set. Had she held that break lead for two more service games, she would have had a perfect record against Serena.

Serena went on to win the US Open, 6 months later. The surface was a hardcourt. Serena beat Hingis 6-3, 7-6 in the Final. Even with Graf no longer at her peak in 1999, Serena needed three sets to beat her at IW. What a match it would have been had Graf's desire for the game lasted longer than the 1999 Wimbledon Quarterfinals.

vogus
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:23 PM
here's the bottom line.

If Seles had not been stabbed by a crazy, psychotic, Hitler-loving German, today SHE would be the best female player of all time, not Graf. I'm not even a Seles fan, but that's just the truth. Graf's major take would probably be seven fewer than what it is today, and SELES would be the one with 20+ major titles.

Like switzy pointed out, people's understanding of Seles is clouded by how poorly she played in her post-stabbing career. Anything Seles did post-1993 is out the window in this argument. And i repeat, i'm not a Seles fan.

treufreund
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Monica by far.

trivfun
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:39 PM
What people don't talk about Monica was her accuracy which was just amazing. The harder you served the better was her return. The two-handed wrist action was hard for players to see of where she was going to hit the ball and when. She probably had the best drop shot of all time. Monica is the one.

faboozadoo15
Aug 25th, 2006, 07:44 PM
Serena won her first major at the 1999 US Open.

In 1999, Graf and Serena played twice on hardcourts, splitting matches. In the match that Graf lost to Serena at IW in 1999, she was up a break in the third set. Had she held that break lead for two more service games, she would have had a perfect record against Serena.

Serena went on to win the US Open, 6 months later. The surface was a hardcourt. Serena beat Hingis 6-3, 7-6 in the Final. Even with Graf no longer at her peak in 1999, Serena needed three sets to beat her at IW. What a match it would have been had Graf's desire for the game lasted longer than the 1999 Wimbledon Quarterfinals.
you're crazy if you think serena's best tennis was pre us open 99. that was the first time she stepped it up, EVER.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:30 PM
Monica did not hold a winning record against all her rivals while she was No. 1. She was 2-3 versus Graf.




Early 1990s .. Monica Seles dominated Steffi Graf .. Seles won the first 2 matches played vs. Graf in the 1990s and Seles won the last match that was played vs. Graf.

Of course, a Steffi Graf fan was needed to place a knife blade in the back of Monica Seles to end this domination.

During the years 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 both Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova had a winning record vs. Steffi Graf.


1990-05-14
Berlin Clay - Winner Monica Seles (USA) 6-4 6-3

1990-05-28
Roland Garros Clay - Winner Monica Seles (USA) 7-6 6-4

1991-03-25
San Antonio Hardcourt - Winner Steffi Graf (GER) 6-4 6-3

1991-04-29
Hamburg Clay - Winner Steffi Graf (GER) 7-5 6-7 6-3

1992-05-25
Roland Garros Clay - Winner Monica Seles (USA) 6-2 3-6 10-8

1992-06-22
Wimbledon Grass - Winner Steffi Graf (GER) 6-2 6-1

1993-01-18
Australian Open Hardcourt - Winner Monica Seles (USA) 4-6 6-3 6-2

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:38 PM
Monica never won Wimbledon during her run at the majors. In her only final, she was thrashed by Steffi.




The fact remains Seles won 10 of the 12 major singles titles before a Graf fan LITERALLY resorted to stabbing Monica Seles in the back with a knife.

Pretty sad for Steffi Graf and her fans to have that as such a huge part of her history.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:42 PM
Monica never set the ranking points record during her run at the majors from '91 to '93.





Seles as a teenager was #1 for 1991, 1992 and for the part of 1993 before she was stabbed in the back with a knife by a German man who was a jealous fan of Steffi Graf.

During the 30 months before the stabbing of Seles in the back with a sharp knife by a Graf fan, Seles won 9 of the 11 biggest singles tournaments played in women's tennis from the end of 1990 through the early part of 1993 -- of the 2 events out of those 11 that Seles did not win, she did not enter one of those events and was runnerup in the other.

There is absolutely no doubt that the #1 player of the first half of the 1990s was Monica Seles ... she was the best player in terms of her singles titles won and she was #1 in terms of her ranking during that time. She accomplished these things as a teenager when Steffi Graf, the former #1 at that time, was in her 20s for the most part.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:45 PM
You expect a Graf fan to be impressed by those statistics.

From 1987 to the end of 1989, Graf held the No. 1 ranking for approximately 123 consecutive weeks. .



And the reason for this is .... ????? Navratilova and Evert were in their 30s and losing a step or two as they were getting closer to retirement when Graf was able to win in 1987-1989 without having to come across Monica Seles at her peak .... Seles at her peak was better than Graf had been at her peak in that short window of time in the late 1980s between Navratilova and Evert dominating into the their 30s during the mid 1980s and their retirements.

supermann
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:51 PM
Winning Edge?

Wrong. Clever of you to count all the majors played from '90 to '93.


Let's say that is what it was CUT to ... unfortunately.

April 30, 1993 to be exact.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:08 AM
In other words, what is so significant about the period '90 to '93 for Graf or Martina? If anything pointing out Steffi's head to head record against Martina during that period just shows, as many of us have argued, that Steffi was in something of a slump from '90 to '93.


Where were their biggest matches? Grand Slam events and the WTA Tour Championships.

Navratilova had the winning edge vs. Stefanie Graf at Grand Slam events ... Navratilova also had the winning edge vs. Graf in the WTA Tour Championships.

Navratilova had a winning record vs. Graf where it counted most -- the biggest events in the world.

Well, let's COUNT them then:

GRAND SLAM EVENTS

First, we will start with the Grand Slam events --- let's limit the results to the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open Championships --- since these actually are the Grand Slam events:

1985-08-26 U.S. Open Hardcourt SF Navratilova won 6-2 6-3
1986-08-25 U.S. Open Hardcourt SF Navratilova won 6-1 6-7 7-6
1987-05-25 French Open Clay F Steffi Graf won 6-4 4-6 8-6
1987-06-22 Wimbledon Grass F Navratilova won 7-5 6-3
1987-08-31 U.S. Open Hardcourt F Navratilova won 7-6 6-1
1988-06-22 Wimbledon Grass F Steffi Graf won 5-7 6-2 6-1
1989-06-26 Wimbledon Grass F Steffi Graf won 6-2 6-7 6-1
1989-08-28 U.S. Open Hardcourt F Steffi Graf won 3-6 7-5 6-1
1991-08-26 U.S. Open Hardcourt SF Navratilova won 7-6 6-7 6-4

Not only a winning record for Navratilova vs. Graf in the Grand Slam events ... Navratilova won their only matches at the Grand Slam events that were won in straight sets ... 3 of Navratilova's 5 match wins vs. Graf in Grand Slam events were won in straight sets ... Graf never beat Navratilova in straight sets in a Grand Slam event --- but then, Graf only won 4 matches against Navratilova in Grand Slam events to begin with.


TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Next, we will look at the Tour Championships --- let's limit the results to the singles since Steffi Graf did not play doubles -- even with Gunther Parche.

1986-03-17 Virginia Slims Championships SF Navratilova won 6-2 6-2
1986-11-17 Virginia Slims Championships F Navratilova won 7-6 6-3 6-2
1989-11-13 Virginia Slims Championships F Steffi Graf won 6-4 7-5 2-6 6-2

Not only a winning record for Navratilova vs. Graf in the Tour Championships ... Navratilova won their only matches at the Tour Championships that were won in straight sets ... both of Navratilova's 2 match wins vs. Graf in the WTA Tour Championships were won in straight sets ... Graf never beat Navratilova in straight sets the WTA Tour Championships --- but then, Graf only won 1 match against Navratilova at the WTA Tour Championships to begin with.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:18 AM
Let's face it. Had Graf not lost her concentration against Sanchez in the '89 French Open Final, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You'd appear even more the fool than you do now.


The women competed in 5 major events during those months ... these events are the Grand Slam events and the WTA Tour Championships ... Seles won 10 of these 12 major events between November 1990 and April 1993 when she was stabbed.

It was not Monica's fault if ASV, Sabatini and Navratilova were stopping Graf from reaching Seles in the final rounds of these events. Monica beat whoever she played for the most part in those days in the major events -- did not matter if it was Graf or someone who had beaten Graf.

Bolster your credibility, LDVTennis .... get out of your denial.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:20 AM
you're crazy if you think serena's best tennis was pre us open 99. that was the first time she stepped it up, EVER.

It is certainly the case that Serena first stepped it up at the 1999 IW. But, it is also the case that by the '99 IW, Graf was no longer at her peak.

In '99, Steffi was only capable of producing flashes of her former brilliance. She still had almost all her speed and agility. The problem was that she no longer had the confidence to play her game with any kind of consistency. Steffi's confidence came from practicing and training. By then, she simply wasn't putting in the long hours in the gym and on the practice courts. Yet, she managed almost only on the basis of her superior athleticism and shotmaking to compete against Serena from the start.

Seles, on the other hand, lost her first three matches to Serena. Serena had an edge in this match up from the start because she was the superior athlete.

The younger generation really cornered Seles from both sides. Without any delay or grace period, Serena beat Seles with her superior athleticism and Hingis beat her with her superior shotmaking ability.

By comparison, Graf even in her less than peak form won her first two matches against Serena (counting the Hong Kong exhibition). Against Hingis, Graf never really had any problems. Even from 1998 to 1999 when Hingis should have been more ascendant, Graf was 2-1 against her.

By the way, when Serena first stepped it up as a player, she pretty much arrived as if to the manor she was born. Everyone who faced her in 1999, when she was in winning form on hardcourts, pretty much faced a Serena who intuitively knew what her strengths as a tennis player and athlete were. Thus, it is not like Graf in any of their hardcourt matches that year faced a Serena who lacked confidence, who lacked fitness, or who lacked the skills to compete at a very high level.

jbeacinu
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:22 AM
I would say Seles because I extremely dislike Masha

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:29 AM
Beating her at her best?

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Graf was No. 1 from '89


But in the years when Seles was 16, 17, 18 and 19 years of age --- those years 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 --- Seles had the winning record vs. Graf when Graf was in her 20s for the most part.

Remember, there had to be a REASON ... a MOTIVE ... for a Graf fan to stab Monica Seles .... Parche was not doing it just for kicks.

Of course, if you are desperate enough to want to go back to years when Seles was just 13, 14 or 15 .... then, that just adds to the overall weakness of your argument.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:35 AM
Beating her at her best?

Seles never had a winning record against Graf when Graf was No. 1





But, wait a minute .... you are wanting to talk about Graf beating a 14 or 15 year old Monica Seles --- years when Seles was not in the top 4 ..... Seles finished #6 in 1989 ... but you don't want to talk about 1986 when Navratilova went 3-1 vs. Graf in a year when Graf finished the year at #3? :lol:

Graf was in the middle of her career in the early 1990s -- and yet Seles as a teenager was the one ranked #1 and the one winning 9 of those 11 biggest titles between November 1990 and January 1993 -- and this, within itself, eliminates Graf from consideration as the top woman tennis player of all time.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:47 AM
Winning Edge?




Yeah ... also interesting that in the years 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 until one of the jealous Graf fans decided to plant a sharp knife into the back of Monica Seles on a changeover in Germany, the head-to-head records vs. Steffi Graf for both Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles had Graf losing to both of these players -- and Navratilova was in her 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st years on the tour in those years.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 12:50 AM
The women competed in 5 major events during those months ... these events are the Grand Slam events and the WTA Tour Championships ... Seles won 10 of these 12 major events between November 1990 and April 1993 when she was stabbed.

It was not Monica's fault if ASV, Sabatini and Navratilova were stopping Graf from reaching Seles in the final rounds of these events. Monica beat whoever she played for the most part in those days in the major events -- did not matter if it was Graf or someone who had beaten Graf.

Good enough. But, when no one stopped Graf from reaching the final against Seles when Seles was No. 1, from '91 to '93, Graf won 3 out of the 5 matches they played.

In retrospect, the biggest of those 3 losses for Seles had to be the '92 Wimbledon Final. Had Seles won that match, she would have had the opportunity to complete a Grand Slam at the US Open.

Steffi always had impeccable timing. She may have been in a slump from '91 to '93, but she knew just when she had to play her best. By routing Seles at the '92 Wimbledon, Steffi kept Seles from ever claiming for herself the one accomplishment that puts Graf in the most elite group of the game, the 5 players who have won all four majors in the same calendar-year.

I am convinced by reading your diatribes, copied and pasted from posts you've been making here for years under this and a host of other screennames, that you've never seen the '92 Wimbledon Final. I recognize how a Seles fanatic like you would be chastened by a match like that. In absolute terms, when all that matters is what each player can do on the court, Seles comes up way short when compared to Graf. Steffi hit shots in that match that Seles could only dream of hitting. For instance, when if ever, did Seles backpedal, leap off her backfoot, and hit an overhead? Because it is all said and done and on videotape, you can make whatever arguments you want, but Graf's legacy is secure in absolute terms. As long as the video is there, she always will look better as a tennis player and athlete than Seles ever did.

R&J
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:05 AM
To get back to the topic of the thread.

I don't even see there is a question. To date based on achievement and quality of play Seles would simply wipe the floor with Miss Sharapova.

Exactly.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:05 AM
Winning Edge?

Steffi OWNED the "greatest" Wimbledon champion at Wimbledon! :lol: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say that.



Graf's 2-1 lead against a PAST HER PRIME Navratilova at Wimbledon is OWNED? :lol:

Why could Graf not win 6 in a row at Wimbledon? For that matter, why could Graf not win more than 3 in a row at Wimbledon? ..... and what was with Graf's first round loss at Wimbledon?

Seems that Navratilova was the only player to reach the final round of Wimbledon in the years 1985-1990.

Seems that Navratilova won Wimbledon in 1987 and 1990 and beat the player who had beaten Graf in the semis to win the 1990 singles title.

Seems that Navratilova was the only player in the Open Era to win Wimbledon 6 consecutive years (Graf never even was able to reach more than 3 consecutive finals at Wimbledon).

Seems that Navratilova was the only player in the Open Era to reach 9 consecutive Wimbledon finals (again, Graf managed to get to Wimbledon finals in 3 consecutive years).

Seems that Navratilova was the only player in the Open Era to reach the quarters or better at Wimbledon in a record 20 consecutive years (twice as many years as Graf).

There should be no question to any intelligent observer that Martina Navratilova is the best women's grass court player of the last 70 years.

There is nothing I can do for those that are less intelligent.

R&J
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:09 AM
2002 Pacific Life Open (Indian Wells) 2nd round:
Monica Seles def Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-2

exhibition:
2003 Hong Kong Ladies Challenge SF:
Monica Seles def Maria Sharapova 6-3,6-0

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:13 AM
Yeah ... also interesting that in the years 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 until one of the jealous Graf fans decided to plant a sharp knife into the back of Monica Seles on a changeover in Germany, the head-to-head records vs. Steffi Graf for both Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles had Graf losing to both of these players -- and Navratilova was in her 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st years on the tour in those years.

You are not a tennis fan. I really don't know what you are.

You do like to misrepresent tennis history. That much is clear.

It is also very clear that you are obsessed with what happened in Hamburg in '93. Must be the only "tennis" you have ever seen.

Years ago, people like you used to irritate me to no end. But, time has a way of making people like you go away. In short, it is a lot easier now to think that I was right all along about how good Graf was when I keep hearing players like Mauresmo, Justine, Kim, Vaidisova, Petrova, Mirza, Radwanska say that they grew up idolizing Graf.

By the way, if you're watching Justine play Sveta at the Pilot Pen right about now, you would have just heard Vaidisova say in an interview that she grew of idolizing Steffi.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:21 AM
against Martina with two of those wins coming on Martina's best surface grass, in the Wimbledon Final no less.



Navratilova and Graf played 3 matches on grass with the only one not going 3 sets won by Navratilova (1987 Wimbledon final). Then, Graf won the 1988 and the 1989 Wimbledon finals in 3 sets over Martina Navratilova to win her first 2 after Navratilova had already won over the 10 previous years with the exception of Goolagong and Evert both winning one.

However, Navratilova beat Graf :lol: in their only Grand Slam singles match during the 1990s and they went 2-2 during the 1990s long after Martina Navratilova had passed her prime.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:28 AM
Winning Edge?

Steffi is 4-0 against Martina with two of those wins coming on Martina's best surface grass, in the Wimbledon Final no less.


No ... from the beginning of 1987 (as Graf hit her best 3 years 1987-1989 just as Navratilova had done 5 years earlier in 1982-1984) they were TIED on hardcourts (2-2 and Navratilova led in Grand Slam singles matches on hardcourts in those years 2-1 with wins over Graf in their 1987 U.S. Open final and in their 1991 U.S. Open semifinal) ... they only played one match on clay ... and then they had the 3 Wimbledon finals in Graf's prime years of 1987, 1988 and 1989 with Navratilova winning the one in 1987 and Graf winning the ones in 1988 and 1989.

Except for the 4 match wins by Graf in her best years of 1988 and 1989 (all were in split set matches) ... Navratilova led 9-5 :lol: and they split the last 4 in the 1990s with, again, Navratilova winning the only one in a Grand Slam event.

Navratilova won 5 out of 7 on hardcourts vs. Graf (including 4 out of 5 a the U.S. Open) .. with Navratilova beating Graf in the 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1991 U.S. Open events while only losing once -- the 1989 U.S. Open final -- and her only loss to Graf at the U.S. Open was in 3 sets.

Navratilova and Graf were 3-3 indoors. In their 3 matches at the biggest indoor event in the world (the WTA Tour Championships) Navratilova won twice in straight sets and Graf won once in split sets.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:31 AM
Steffi won her last match against Martina, quite easily too 6-2, 6-4.

EXCEPT FOR THE TIMES Navratilova was thrashing Graf.

Navratilova leads in straight sets wins 5-3.

borisy
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:35 AM
shit. this is the stupidist poll ever. pre-stabbing monica would destroy maria's best 6-3 6-1.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:39 AM
Seems that Navratilova was the only player in the Open Era to win Wimbledon 6 consecutive years

Because you know nothing about the technical and athletic aspects of the game, I won't waste my time trying to explain to you why Graf put an end to Martina's era at Wimbledon.

So, yes, OWNED from both an athletic and technical standpoint. Even when Graf gifted Martina a set in both 1988 and 1989, Martina could do no better than 1-6 in the third set. And, it wasn't even that close.

In retrospect, therefore, Martina is lucky that in winning 5 of her 6 consecutive Wiimbledon titles that she didn't have to face a player with the skills of a Steffi Graf.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:52 AM
Even when Graf gifted Martina a set in both 1988 and 1989, Martina could do no better than 1-6 in the third set. And, it wasn't even that close.

In retrospect, therefore, Martina is lucky that in winning 5 of her 6 consecutive Wiimbledon titles that she didn't have to face a player with the skills of a Steffi Graf.



No ... this was 5 years past Navratilova's prime in 1988 .. Graf was not competing on the WTA Tour vs. Navratilova when Navratilova was in her prime (1982-1984).

Even you would have to agree that Steffi Graf winning the 94 Australian Open and completing the Non-Calendar year Slam has GUENTHER PARCHE written all over it.

Chris 84
Aug 26th, 2006, 01:54 AM
Seles would kill Sharapova on every surface except grass.
On grass, Sharapova might win sometimes :p

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 02:00 AM
You are not a tennis fan. I really don't know what you are.

You do like to misrepresent tennis history. That much is clear.





LDVTennis, you learn something every day ... in fact, YOU must learn something every 15 minutes if you are paying attention on here.

LDV, it is INCREDIBLE how much you still have to learn .. especially considering how long you have been on here.

It is amazing how much you still don't know.

Robbie.
Aug 26th, 2006, 02:20 AM
LDV, I agree that Graf was in somewhat of a slump during much of Seles' reign. But I can't agree that the fact of her form slump was merely coincidental, arising at precisely the time Seles matured into a force and timed perfectly to end at the moment Parche's knife entered Seles' back. Not even the most ardent Graf fan could have predicted after the Australian Open '03 that Graf would have won the next 4 majors in succession. That she would do so seemed almost inconceivable. How and why she suddenly came out of her slump at the exact point that Seles was removed from her path is not something often dealt with by Graf fans in their quest to assign the Seles stabbing only footnote status in the sport's history. And it presents a big flaw in the case.

Confidence and self-belief were always a crucial part of Graf's game. When you play a game as extravagant as she did, how could they not be? When she ran low on confidence, she was liable to collapse into a pile of unforced errors. At the turn of the nineties Graf was already an All Time Great and seemingly on a fast track to sitting at the top of the pantheon of tennis champions. That a player of not the next, but her own generation, was able to first challenge, then supplant her comprehensively as the best player in the world could not have been good for her confidence. Then as her own game slipped, combined with other personal problems during the period, a 'snowball effect' ensued.

I now have no doubt that Graf was in fact a better player than Seles - far more versatile and in another league as an athlete. Their head to head during Seles' golden years suggests this was so. Yet at the start of 1993 it was not at all evident to me that she going to have the better career, history wise. Seles clearly had the psychological ascendency, and Graf was running low on confidence. As has been pointed out, Seles had won 10 of the last 12 'major' tour events and had beaten Graf in two very psychological matches at RG92 and AO93. It was by no means a fait accompli that Steffi would ever again regain the confidence she required to play her best tennis, though I think she eventually would have. The idea, however, that she could have so quickly turned this situation around as to win the next four GS on end in Seles' presence is simply unbelievable.

In this context the removal of Seles, as it happened, by force, was just as significant for Graf's confidence as her arrival. She was suddenly the best player in the world again. Contrary to Graf mysticism, the Seles stabbing was a significant event that changed the course of tennis history. Those Graf fans who wish to dismiss it as merely a blip on the historical radar are either incredibly naive or intellectually dishonest.

As for Graf's greatness, 1998-1999 is, perhaps surprisingly, a major part of the Graf story. It was during this time that I really became a convert to her greatness. Before this time I had often, with justification, felt that she was a great player who had benefited from the stabbing which had left her to rack up almost half of her GS wins with ASV and Martinez - hardly historical giants, especially off clay - as her major competition.

However that a Graf on the brink of retirement returning from multiple surgeries in 98-99 was able to go 2-1 against Hingis, 3-4 against Davenport (who I incidentally feel was one of her toughest ever opponents), 2-2 against Venus Williams and 1-1 against Serena Williams, combined with returning to the GS winners circle, was nothing short of amazing.

Let's face it, these are the four women, with Henin, who have dominated women's tennis for the last decade and presided over its supposed revolution from uncompetitive drivel in the Graf era to a power based, athletic, headline act. Yet a well past her prime Graf was able to beat them all. And, has been noted, this is in sharp contrast to Seles' fate against the same players who so often made her look like a relic. There is no doubt she is a better player than Seles, and probably better than all the players who came before her, although I did not live through the Evert-Navratilova era.

Marshmallow
Aug 26th, 2006, 02:30 AM
Monica Seles would batter the living daylights out of Maria sharapova, have a drink of water at the change of ends, and the desecrate the remains till no trace remained!!!!

Then maybe the class of the WTA would be restored, and we'd all watch tennis, happily ever after. :haha: :explode:

But seriously, Monica.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 02:58 AM
The last match between Seles and Graf before the stabbing in Hamburg, Germany.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/1993/01/31/stpars31.xml

Triumphant Seles slams Graf errors


(Filed: 31/01/1993)

Monica Seles ruthlessly punished Steffi Graf for missed opportunities in Melbourne, yesterday, and went on to win the seventh of the last eight Grand Slam tournaments in which she has played.

In an Australian Open final worthy of the occasion, but which had an increasing air of inevitability about it once Seles started to move ahead in the second set, the world No 1 beat the world No 2 player 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in one hour and 49 minutes.

There were spells, before she crumpled in the middle of the final set, when Graf played to the absolute limit of her known ability. But it was still not enough to break the spirit or the steely resolve of a champion who some are already saying is the strongest women's champion of all time.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 03:01 AM
No ... this was 5 years past Navratilova's prime in 1988 .. Graf was not competing on the WTA Tour vs. Navratilova when Navratilova was in her prime (1982-1984).

Even you would have to agree that Steffi Graf winning the 94 Australian Open and completing the Non-Calendar year Slam has GUENTHER PARCHE written all over it.


It was also 7 years before Graf's peak from 1995 to 1996. So, Martina was even luckier than I thought. :lol:

Always Guenther Parche. You know Martina could have used Parche in 1988 because she couldn't do anything on her own to stop Steffi from completing a Grand Slam, all four majors in the same calendar year.

In 1988, Martina made her last stand to preserve her "greatness" at Wimbledon against an 18 year old German girl, who just one year removed from winning her first major was on the verge of obtaining the holy grail of tennis. How humiliating that loss must have been? Martina had been trying desperately for years to complete the Grand Slam herself, even going so far as trying to convince the ITF to change the definition for a Grand Slam from calendar-year to just four consecutive majors. But, it was not to be. :lol:

Yet, it happened so easily for that German girl. So, easily in fact, that Steffi almost repeated the feat in 1989.

Without a fan like Parche, Martina was all that stood in the way of Steffi completing that Grand Slam. The best Martina could do was 1-6 in the third set.

When put in almost the exact same position in 1992 at Wimbledon, Steffi did it on her own. She kept Seles from going to the US Open with an opportunity to complete the Grand Slam. And, she did so decisively.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 03:18 AM
In 1988, Martina made her last stand to preserve her "greatness" at Wimbledon against an 18 year old German girl, who just one year removed from winning her first major was on the verge of obtaining the holy grail of tennis. How humiliating that loss must have been?

LOL ... didn't Navratilova beat the player (Zina Garrison) in the 1990 final who had beaten the German girl in the semis?

Seems like Navratilova also reached the Wimbledon final in 1994 in the year that German girl lost in the first round.

Navratilova won the singles at Wimbledon an all-time record 6 consecutive years. Did Graf ever win this same event in more than just 3 consecutive years? :lol:

Interesting spin on this one, LDVTennis, even from you.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 03:31 AM
Yet, it happened so easily for that German girl. So, easily in fact, that Steffi almost repeated the feat




LOL ... Steffi Graf lost in the first round of Wimbledon and the first round of the WTA Tour Championships in the middle of her career -- and to the same person, I believe --- that superstar Lori McNeil.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 03:35 AM
In 1988, Martina made her last stand to preserve her "greatness" at Wimbledon How humiliating that loss must have been?


Navratilova won the singles at Wimbledon a record 6 consecutive years -- and a record 9 total years -- and she won a TOTAL of 20 Wimbledon championship titles in both singles and doubles ... the greatest champ at Wimbledon in the history of women's tennis.

Interesting that Navratilova won her record 9th singles title at Wimbledon --- isn't that awesome? ... think of it ... NINE (9) singles titles at Wimbledon .... she won her 9th Wimbledon singles title by beating the player who had beaten Steffi Graf in the semis ... then, on top of that, Navratilova made the final round again in 1994 in the same year she turned 38 (going 6 rounds further that year than Steffi Graf did).

Don't feel sorry for the only player in Wimbledon history to win 9 singles titles there.

LUIS9
Aug 26th, 2006, 03:36 AM
There's no contest here. Monica of course, she's just too consistent and too good from the back of the court at her best. Yes Sharpie has some wonderful groundies but they have not been or ever will be as consistently good as Seles at her height.

Seles gave Graf grips, Graf who was perhaps the purest tennis athlete in the history of the game with the footwork to emulate by anyone who picks up a tennis racket. Sharapova's footwork has improved and even her defense game but Seles is just too good at her best. Then again have we seen the best from Maria? So there goes the dilemma again back to the circular mode of discussion when you compare hypothetical scenarios.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:09 AM
When put in almost the exact same position in 1992 at Wimbledon, Steffi did it on her own. She kept Seles from going to the US Open with an opportunity to complete the Grand Slam. And, she did so decisively.


Their last encounter before the stabbing was the Australian Open final of 1993 (won by MONICA SELES).

Their last CLAY COURT encounter before the stabbing was the French Open final of 1992 (also won by SELES).

Steffi Graf was ONLY dominant on grass in the early 1990s .. Monica Seles was the best on all the rest.

The biggest indoor event -- Tour Championships
(Monica won it in 1990, 1991 and 1992).

The biggest clay court event -- Roland Garros
(Monica won it in 1990, 1991 and 1992).

The biggest hardcourt event -- the U.S. Open
(Monica won it in 1991 and 1992).

The 2nd biggest hardcourt event -- the Australian Open
(Monica won it in 1991, 1992 and 1993).

But it appears LDVTennis would rather forget about all of this.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 06:30 AM
LDV, I agree that Graf was in somewhat of a slump during much of Seles' reign. But I can't agree that the fact of her form slump was merely coincidental, arising at precisely the time Seles matured into a force and timed perfectly to end at the moment Parche's knife entered Seles' back. Not even the most ardent Graf fan could have predicted after the Australian Open '03 that Graf would have won the next 4 majors in succession. That she would do so seemed almost inconceivable. How and why she suddenly came out of her slump at the exact point that Seles was removed from her path is not something often dealt with by Graf fans in their quest to assign the Seles stabbing only footnote status in the sport's history. And it presents a big flaw in the case.

Confidence and self-belief were always a crucial part of Graf's game. When you play a game as extravagant as she did, how could they not be? When she ran low on confidence, she was liable to collapse into a pile of unforced errors. At the turn of the nineties Graf was already an All Time Great and seemingly on a fast track to sitting at the top of the pantheon of tennis champions. That a player of not the next, but her own generation, was able to first challenge, then supplant her comprehensively as the best player in the world could not have been good for her confidence. Then as her own game slipped, combined with other personal problems during the period, a 'snowball effect' ensued.

I now have no doubt that Graf was in fact a better player than Seles - far more versatile and in another league as an athlete. Their head to head during Seles' golden years suggests this was so. Yet at the start of 1993 it was not at all evident to me that she going to have the better career, history wise. Seles clearly had the psychological ascendency, and Graf was running low on confidence. As has been pointed out, Seles had won 10 of the last 12 'major' tour events and had beaten Graf in two very psychological matches at RG92 and AO93. It was by no means a fait accompli that Steffi would ever again regain the confidence she required to play her best tennis, though I think she eventually would have. The idea, however, that she could have so quickly turned this situation around as to win the next four GS on end in Seles' presence is simply unbelievable.

In this context the removal of Seles, as it happened, by force, was just as significant for Graf's confidence as her arrival. She was suddenly the best player in the world again. Contrary to Graf mysticism, the Seles stabbing was a significant event that changed the course of tennis history. Those Graf fans who wish to dismiss it as merely a blip on the historical radar are either incredibly naive or intellectually dishonest.

As for Graf's greatness, 1998-1999 is, perhaps surprisingly, a major part of the Graf story. It was during this time that I really became a convert to her greatness. Before this time I had often, with justification, felt that she was a great player who had benefited from the stabbing which had left her to rack up almost half of her GS wins with ASV and Martinez - hardly historical giants, especially off clay - as her major competition.

However that a Graf on the brink of retirement returning from multiple surgeries in 98-99 was able to go 2-1 against Hingis, 3-4 against Davenport (who I incidentally feel was one of her toughest ever opponents), 2-2 against Venus Williams and 1-1 against Serena Williams, combined with returning to the GS winners circle, was nothing short of amazing.

Let's face it, these are the four women, with Henin, who have dominated women's tennis for the last decade and presided over its supposed revolution from uncompetitive drivel in the Graf era to a power based, athletic, headline act. Yet a well past her prime Graf was able to beat them all. And, has been noted, this is in sharp contrast to Seles' fate against the same players who so often made her look like a relic. There is no doubt she is a better player than Seles, and probably better than all the players who came before her, although I did not live through the Evert-Navratilova era.

Points well taken.

I will try to respond as best I can. It seems from having won the 4 majors immediately after Seles' stabbing that the end of Steffi's slump coincided with the event of Seles' stabbing. That is not the case. I've never espoused that view in all the posts I've made about Graf's slump.

Frankly, I've never been prompted on this board to discuss the true extent of her slump. Now that you've raised the issue, you may be surprised to learn that I actually think Graf's slump and erratic play lasted well into 1994. I have my own reasons for thinking this. I have many of her matches from this period. What I kept seeing until 1995 was the same strategic complacency that got her into trouble in all the third sets she lost to Seles.

To be sure, by 1992, a change in coaches had started to make a big difference, but it is not until 1995 that Graf finally began to make the strategic changes that in 1996 made her win over Seles in the US Open Final seem so perfunctory. And, Seles was no patsy that day. She was really moving the ball around with angles and depth.

It is paradoxical in a way. But, Seles' absence kept Steffi from making those changes sooner. I hate to admit it. But, I think that had Seles not been stabbed Steffi's options against Seles would have continued to be quite extreme. Either she had to play out of this world like she did in the '92 Wimbledon Final or she was going to continue to get into these complicated matches with Seles, in which Seles would continue to have a mental edge late into the third set. It is not a foregone conclusion that Seles would have ended up winning all of the matches of this kind. Heck, Steffi served for the 1992 FO title. But, as of the '93 AO, Steffi was still losing those kind of matches. The only ones she was winning were the blowouts or the routine two-setters.

From a historical standpoint, I'm even going to say something that is going to surprise some Seles fans. As you've suggested, Steffi lucked out big time. She had really lost her way by 1991. Unlike Martina N. who was always driven to break records, Steffi's only apparent goal ever was to play tennis as well as she could. After 1991, that didn't seem to be motivation enough.

On her behalf, one must say that by 1989 she had really done it all. No player, not Martina, not Seles, ever had as much success over two consecutive years as Steffi did.

Still, she got lucky because it even seemed for a time that she really wasn't at all motivated by the mental challenge that Seles posed. If Steffi were more like Hingis, we would know more today about what she was actually thinking. Hence, I am only speaking as a fan of hers during that time, an aggravated and disappointed one at that, when I say that it actually seemed like she welcomed Seles' emergence because it gave her a chance to duck out of the limelight.

History had other plans for her though. In retrospect, what happened next seems almost mythical inasmuch as it seems that the stabbing is exactly what it was going to take to allow what no longer seemed inevitable after 1992.

That extraordinary event certainly benefitted Graf at Seles' expense. It is not a mere blip in tennis history. It only seems more of a blip today not because of what we Graf fans say, but because of what happened after 1995 and because of how better Graf managed the end of her career compared to Seles.

All of this leads us to argue that, just like 1995 had to be the most pivotal year of Steffi's career, 1997 had to be the most pivotal year of Seles' career. In 1995, Graf was coming back from a rather mediocre year in 1994, a year in which she had lost her top ranking to Sanchez. She started 1995 by skipping the AO due to injury. By the end of the year, with all the doubts about her greatness ringing in her ears, she'd be facing Seles across the net. Likewise, 1997 had to be Seles' most pivotal year because by 1997 the tennis community was expecting Seles to finally return to her former glory. Since returning, she'd made two US Open Finals and won one more major, the '96 AO. Her grace period was nearing its end. More was expected of her.

What happened to each of them in their pivotal year could not have been more different. Steffi won the 1995 US Open Final beating Seles, capping a year in which she won 3 of the 4 majors. Despite the absence of Graf, Seles did not win a single major in 1997. Injury or fitness problems impeded her play all year. Steffi made something of the opportunity to give the tennis world reasons to think that she was always destined to be the best. Seles didn't. She didn't shape herself, she didn't shape her history. She had almost as good a chance as Steffi did after the stabbing because as fate would have it Steffi would hurt her knee at the end of 1996 and really wouldn't be much of a factor for almost two years from 1997 to 1998. As mythical as it sounds once again, fate gave Seles just as much chance to prove herself in her chief rival's absence as it gave Steffi.

The only tennis player standing in the way at that point was Hingis. But, in those two years and for perhaps a couple of years more, Hingis notwithstanding, Seles could have been the one to reset the course of history. It didn't happen. I tend to think it didn't happen because in the end it did make a material difference in her career that Seles had never been as versatile or as athletic a player as Graf had been. Hingis wasn't a party to any of the history between Graf and Seles; the only thing that was going to beat her was a player who was agile in her shotmaking and fast enough to cope with all of her variety. Seles was not that player or athlete. There had always been something anomalous about Seles' dominance of women's tennis. It had seemingly come at the expense of a much better athlete, something that rarely happens in other sports. Everything else being equal, by 1997, it began to make a difference again that Hingis was a better athlete than Seles. Just as from 1998 to 1999, it made a difference that everything else being equal Graf was a better athlete than Hingis and just as good of an athlete, if not better, than Serena and Venus.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 06:55 AM
Don't feel sorry for the only player in Wimbledon history to win 9 singles titles there.

On the contrary, those 9 Wimbledon Singles titles don't mean much when your chief rival for the title of the greatest ever has a 2 to 1 record against you at Wimbledon, defeating Martina at the '88 Wimbledon no less on her way to completing a Grand Slam, and ending up with 7 Wimbledon titles of her own, just two less than Martina.

Does 2 more Wimbledon singles titles make up for never having completed a Grand Slam and thereby becoming a member of the most elite group in tennis? NEVER.

Does 2 more Wimbledon singles titles make much of a difference when the player who has 2 less has a winning record against you at Wimbledon? NEVER.

Does 2 more Wimbledon singles titles make much of a difference when everyone will always remember that Martina had the perfect chance at Wimbledon, on grass, in the final, to stop Steffi from going into the US Open with a chance to complete a Grand Slam, but she not only didn't do it, she allowed Steffi to blitz her in the final two sets. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Seles could have been the one to reset the course of history. It didn't happen. I tend to think it didn't happen because in the end it did make a material difference in her career that Seles had never been as versatile or as athletic a player as Graf had been.



The fact remains that Seles was not able to defend the 4 major events in the following 40 weeks (as 3-time defending champion of Roland Garros ... as 2-time defending champion of the U.S. Open ... as 3-time defending champion of the WTA Tour Championships ... and, as 3-time defending champion of the Australian Open). The intended beneficiary of the stabbing -- Graf -- won all 4 of these events in Seles' absence.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:08 AM
From a historical standpoint, I'm even going to say something that is going to surprise some Seles fans. As you've suggested, Steffi lucked out big time. She had really lost her way by 1991. Unlike Martina N. who was always driven to break records, Steffi's only apparent goal ever was to play tennis as well as she could. After 1991, that didn't seem to be motivation enough.

What happened to each of them in their pivotal year could not have been more different. Steffi won the 1995 US Open Final beating Seles, capping a year in which she won 3 of the 4 majors. Despite the absence of Graf, Seles did not win a single major in 1997. Injury or fitness problems impeded her play all year. Steffi made something of the opportunity to give the tennis world reasons to think that she was always destined to be the best. Seles didn't. She didn't shape herself, she didn't shape her history. She had almost as good a chance as Steffi did after the stabbing because as fate would have it Steffi would hurt her knee at the end of 1996 and really wouldn't be much of a factor for almost two years from 1997 to 1998. As mythical as it sounds once again, fate gave Seles just as much chance to prove herself in her chief rival's absence as it gave Steffi.

The only tennis player standing in the way at that point was Hingis. But, in those two years and for perhaps a couple of years more, Hingis notwithstanding, Seles could have been the one to reset the course of history. It didn't happen. I tend to think it didn't happen because in the end it did make a material difference in her career that Seles had never been as versatile or as athletic a player as Graf had been. Hingis wasn't a party to any of the history between Graf and Seles; the only thing that was going to beat her was a player who was agile in her shotmaking and fast enough to cope with all of her variety. Seles was not that player or athlete. There had always been something anomalous about Seles' dominance of women's tennis. It had seemingly come at the expense of a much better athlete, something that rarely happens in other sports. Everything else being equal, by 1997, it began to make a difference again that Hingis was a better athlete than Seles. Just as from 1998 to 1999, it made a difference that everything else being equal Graf was a better athlete than Hingis and just as good of an athlete, if not better, than Serena and Venus.



... less than 1 year after Gunther Parche cowardly stabbed Monica Seles in the back with a knife for the benefit of Steffi Graf, we had in January of the following year (9 months later) Tonya Harding's ex-husband clubbing Nancy Kerrigan one month before the Lillehammer Olympics.

Interestingly enough, the Seles stabbing was actually more effective than the Kerrigan clubbing. Graf went on to win the 4 major titles that Seles would have been the 2-time or 3-time defending champion of if she had not been stabbed in the back with a knife for the benefit of Steffi Graf.

Kerrigan, on the other hand, was recovered from the leg beating in time to take the silver medal in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer while Harding finished 8th.

The German judicial system let Gunther Parche off the hook. However, Harding was banned for life from figure skating competitions.

These were micro scale events that were individual in nature, but were acts of aggressive violence and cowardice which came unexpectedly but originated with jealousy of one athlete -- or her fan base -- vs. another higher ranked rival.

The closest comparison on a macro scale may be the unexpected and horrific attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 by al-Queda ... maybe Timothy McVeigh's bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City just one year after the Harding-Kerrigan matter ... and perhaps the trench coat mafia suprise attack at Columbine High School in Greater Denver, Colorado in April 1999 would fit into this macro category as well.

Keep in mind that all of these acts were horrific.

... the Seles stabbing was worse than the club beating of Nancy Kerrigan in terms of effect on the higher ranked opponent who was intended to be injured ... the Seles stabbing was worse in the benefit that it created for the intended beneficiary (Graf, Harding) ... the Seles stabbing was worse, also, in the failure of justice to prevail in the matter (Guenther Parche was not penalized in any significant manner, while Harding was banned for life from ice skating competitions).

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:29 AM
History had other plans for her though. In retrospect, what happened next seems almost mythical inasmuch as it seems that the stabbing is exactly what it was going to take to allow what no longer seemed inevitable after 1992.




From 1990 through April 1993 Steffi Graf was limited to winning only 3 of the major singles titles in women's tennis (3 out of 16 played during this time) ... Monica Seles, as a 2-handed teenage phenom, won 11 of these 16 singles titles (including 2 of the 5 in 1990 .. 4 of the 5 in 1991 .. 4 of the 5 in 1992 .. and the only 1 prior to the stabbing in 1993).

Anyone who wants to belittle the knife stabbing -- or brush it aside as if it had no significance -- has all of this to overcome.

No question about it, Monica Seles was easily the best player in women's tennis for the first half of the 1990s.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:35 AM
Her grace period was nearing its end. More was expected of her.

What happened to each of them in their pivotal year could not have been more different. Steffi won the 1995 US Open Final beating Seles, capping a year in which she won 3 of the 4 majors. Despite the absence of Graf, Seles did not win a single major in 1997. Injury or fitness problems impeded her play all year. Steffi made something of the opportunity to give the tennis world reasons to think that she was always destined to be the best. Seles didn't.



If Monica Seles as a teenager had won 10 of the 12 biggest events in women's tennis between the end of 1990 and the stabbing ... and if Monica Seles as a teenager was the ONLY player to win 2 of the 5 biggest events in women's tennis in 1990 ... and if Monica Seles as a teenager was the ONLY player to win 4 of the 5 biggest events in women's tennis in 1991 ... and if Monica Seles as a teenager was the ONLY player to win 4 of the 5 biggest events in women's tennis in 1992 ... and if Monica Seles as a teenager was the ONLY player to win a women's singles title at a Grand Slam at the time of the stabbing in 1993 ... and if Monica Seles as a teenager was the ONLY player that was ever stabbed in the back by a Steffi Graf fan .... then HOW can you suggest that Seles as a player was in any way inferior to Steffi Graf?

Veritas
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:40 AM
Monica's footspeed was not pretty damn good. But she compensated for it by being deadly accurate and powerful off the ground. Much like Lindsay Davenport is today.

Unlike Lindsay, Monica (before the stabbing) didn't have problems with her fitness than most of the other players on tour did with theirs. Sure, she was no Navratilova or Graf, but she was never slow and was at the very least above average (average in terms of tennis pros), otherwise she wouldn't have won 8 Slams between 1990-1993. People seem to assume that the out-of-shape Monica of the late-90s was the same figure she had back in her heydays. With Lindsay, she was overweight and even though she worked hard to get fit and develop a good figure, she's 189cm and has the same problem as Sharapova - their lack of good movement on court is due to their height. Monica's about 5'10'' and wasn't overweight.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:05 AM
defeating Martina at the '88 Wimbledon no less on her way to completing a Grand Slam,


And SHOULDN'T she have? Navratilova was in her 30s already ... how good was Graf in her 30s? Ooops, she did not even play in her 30s, did she?

Of course, during the 1990s to follow Navratilova had the winning record vs. Graf for those years 1990-1993 and Navratilova in her mid 30s won her only match vs. Graf at a Grand Slam events during the 1990s.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:33 AM
Does 2 more Wimbledon singles titles make up for never having completed a Grand Slam and thereby becoming a member of the most elite group in tennis? NEVER.





Navratilova was at her peak in the early to mid 1980s. Let's say Navratilova's peak started in 1981 .. she won Wimbledon in 6 consecutive years and reached the final round in 10 consecutive years .. meanwhile, the best Graf could do was 3 consecutive years in the final round.

Here we have Graf with her PEAK years being 1988 and 1989 .. then, Seles comes in at the age of 16 in 1990 and DOMINATED women's tennis from the end of 1990 through the early to middle part of 1993 before a jealous Graf fan stabbed her.

So ... no, Seles did not dominate women's tennis during the 2 years Steffi was in her short prime (1988-1989) when Seles was only 14 and 15 years of age. HOWEVER, beginning when Seles was only 16 years of age in November 1990 -- and running through the early to mid part of 1993 before a jealous Graf fan stabbed Seles -- the teenage Seles brought an end to the PEAK years for Graf while winning 10 of the 12 biggest events in women's tennis between November 1990 and January 1993.

Seems the PEAK years for Graf were the ones when Seles was not playing and when Evert and Navratilova were over 30 years of age and of course after Seles was stabbed.

Highlandman
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:36 AM
Seles in three, I think.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:38 AM
On the contrary, those 9 Wimbledon Singles titles don't mean much when your chief rival for the title of the greatest ever has a 2 to 1 record against you at Wimbledon, defeating Martina at the '88 Wimbledon no less on her way to completing a Grand Slam, and ending up with 7 Wimbledon titles of her own, just two less than Martina.




If Steffi had won 2 more Wimbledons (for a total of 9 singles titles) she would have just MATCHED Navratilova --- but in singles only. Even then, Navratilova would still be considered Miss Wimbledon for winning 9 singles to go with what is now a total of 11 in doubles.

But Steffi did not win 9 Wimbledon singles titles ... she never MATCHED Navratilova's all-time record there ... so, she never REPLACED Navratilova.

Navratilova has not been replaced as the all-time greatest women's champion in Wimbledon history with 9 singles titles and 20 Wimbledon titles overall.

WhatTheDeuce
Aug 26th, 2006, 09:03 AM
Definitely Seles.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:20 PM
On her behalf, one must say that by 1989 she had really done it all.



When Steffi Graf first became #1 she had already lost the 1987 Wimbledon final to Navratilova ... and Graf lost a second consecutive Grand Slam final to Navratilova at the 1987 U.S. Open right after Graf had first turned #1.

That's 2 consecutive Grand Slam losses by Graf in 1987 at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open ... the second consecutive loss was after Graf had become #1.


1987-06-22 Wimbledon Grass F Navratilova (USA) 7-5 6-3

Graf first became #1 in here ..... August 17, 1987

1987-08-31 U.S. Open Hardcourt F Navratilova (USA) 7-6 6-1

NAVRATILOVA WAS ALMOST 31 YEARS OLD HERE.

Graf became #1 again 4 years later .. August 19, 1991:

1991-08-26 U.S. Open Hardcourt SF Navratilova (USA) 7-6 6-7 6-4

NAVRATILOVA WAS ALMOST 35 YEARS OLD HERE.

Almost 3 months before the stabbing of Monica Seles:

1993-02-01 Tokyo Indoor Carpet SF Navratilova (USA) 4-6 6-3 6-3

NAVRATILOVA WAS 36 YEARS OLD HERE.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:31 PM
When Seles had to face Graf across the net (not across the draw), Seles lost more matches than she won.


The first five times Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova played, Navratilova won four of five:lol: , Evert five in a row (9 out of 10 losses combined)...the ONLY reason why I point this out is to show you that early head to heads aren't to be taken that seriously, as you keep on harping about Graf's lead in head to head matches vs Monica Seles.

After all, Monica first played Steffi Graf when she was only 15 years of age.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:42 PM
Points well taken.

Seles had never been as versatile or as athletic a player as Graf had been.


In OTHER words, what you are saying is that Monica Seles was one AWESOME COMPETITOR who got the most out of her talents by winning 10 of the 12 biggest events in women's tennis between November 1990 and the stabbing which took place in April 1993 -- and in the very middle of the career of Steffi Graf?

That is weak ... extremely weak LDVTennis ... but you never had any pride on here to begin with.

"Monica is the finest match-player in tennis-history, due to her incredible mental strength. She has been described as having "a mind like a steel trap - as soon as she gets you anywhere near defeat, the jaws snap shut and you are trapped" [John Barrett].

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Unlike Lindsay, Monica (before the stabbing) didn't have problems with her fitness than most of the other players on tour did with theirs. Sure, she was no Navratilova or Graf, but she was never slow and was at the very least above average (average in terms of tennis pros), otherwise she wouldn't have won 8 Slams between 1990-1993. People seem to assume that the out-of-shape Monica of the late-90s was the same figure she had back in her heydays.


Couldn't have said it better myself.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 04:53 PM
But, when no one stopped Graf from reaching the final against Seles when Seles was No. 1, from '91 to '93, Graf won 3 out of the 5 matches they played.



NO ... 1990-1993 .... those 4 calendar years, LDV. Who had the winning head-to-head records in those "SLUMPING" years for Graf?

ANSWER: both a teenage Seles and a mid-30s Navratilova.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 05:01 PM
The German judicial system let Gunther Parche off the hook. However, Harding was banned for life from figure skating competitions.

These were micro scale events that were individual in nature, but were acts of aggressive violence and cowardice which came unexpectedly but originated with jealousy of one athlete -- or her fan base -- vs. another higher ranked rival.

The closest comparison on a macro scale may be the unexpected and horrific attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 by al-Queda ... maybe Timothy McVeigh's bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City just one year after the Harding-Kerrigan matter ... and perhaps the trench coat mafia suprise attack at Columbine High School in Greater Denver, Colorado in April 1999 would fit into this macro category as well.

Your rantings were starting to bore me. Now, they are downright repulsive.

Get a grip. Get a sense of proportion. There is no comparison between Seles' stabbing and the bombing of a federal building. There is no comparison between Seles' stabbing and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

In saying so, you have demonstrated just how terribly deluded you are. Not much of a surprise really. It was just a matter of time before you completely cracked.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 05:31 PM
Your rantings were starting to bore me. Now, they are downright repulsive.

Get a grip. Get a sense of proportion. There is no comparison between Seles' stabbing and the bombing of a federal building. There is no comparison between Seles' stabbing and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.




So, which of these acts of terrorism and cowardly violence are you condoning?

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 06:58 PM
Sharapova vs. Seles

In an absolute sense, here is what I think their respective strengths and weaknesses are:

Seles

Strengths --- Backhand, Mental Aptitude, Footwork, Strategy, Consistency, First Strike Ability (only on return)

Weaknesses --- Lack of Speed, average athleticism, defense on fast surfaces, forehand (overall range particularly on low balls and when pulled wide), agility of shotmaking from short court or with low balls, transition game, net game (two hands on both volleys), Second Serve

Sharapova

Strengths --- First Serve, Second Serve, Backhand, Swinging Volleys, Mental Aptitude, First Strike Ability (on serve and return), above average athleticism

Weaknesses --- Forehand (when pulled wide), Footwork (but improving), agility of shot making with balls short to the middle of the court, net game (excluding Swinging Volleys)

As with any matchup, the outcome inevitably depends on how each player leverages their respective strengths against their opponents weaknesses. For instance, the fastest serve in the world isn't much good if it isn't hit well enough to result in either an ace or a return that is weak enough to be hit for a winner or to set up a winner on the next stroke.

So, what could be the difference maker in this matchup? I'll make a case for Sharapova's serve. Steffi proved at the '92 Wimbledon and the '96 US Open that Seles' return of serve can be rendered ineffective by variety in speed, placement, and spin on the serve. Sharapova has an exceptional serve. In a hypothetical matchup, if Seles can't return it well, she's not going to dictate many points on Sharapova's service games. If that is the case, Sharapova shouldn't have any trouble holding serve.

On the other hand, Seles had a very predictable serve, so predictable that on the deuce court Steffi used to set up to receive serve closer to the "T" than to the sideline. Seles' second serve was also quite attackable. It was a slice serve with very little kick. Sharapova returns well off both sides. Her height gives her exceptional leverage on the ball. From a strategic standpoint, she's quite adept at taking control of a point with her return of serve, particularly against serves (like Seles') that don't move much in the box. She's very much like Seles in this regard, but her height gives her the added advantage of being able to handle more variations in spin.

In this hypothetical matchup, if Seles can somehow figure out how to hold her serve, and she is strategically resourceful enough to do that, things might get really interesting. But, even under these conditions, Sharapova still finds a way to win because her better athleticism allows her to defend more of the court and in neutral rallies from the center of the court Sharapova is much better at opening the court with her forehand.

supergrunt
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Sharapova has above avergae athletisism?

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:14 PM
Sharapova vs. Seles

In an absolute sense, here is what I think their respective strengths and weaknesses are:

Seles

Strengths --- Backhand, Mental Aptitude, Footwork, Strategy, Consistency, First Strike Ability (only on return)

Weaknesses --- Lack of Speed, average athleticism, defense on fast surfaces, forehand (overall range particularly on low balls and when pulled wide), agility of shotmaking from short court or with low balls, transition game, net game (two hands on both volleys), Second Serve

Sharapova

Strengths --- First Serve, Second Serve, Backhand, Swinging Volleys, Mental Aptitude, First Strike Ability (on serve and return), above average athleticism

Weaknesses --- Forehand (when pulled wide), Footwork (but improving), agility of shot making with balls short to the middle of the court, net game (excluding Swinging Volleys)

As with any matchup, the outcome inevitably depends on how each player leverages their respective strengths against their opponents weaknesses. For instance, the fastest serve in the world isn't much good if it isn't hit well enough to result in either an ace or a return that is weak enough to be hit for a winner or to set up a winner on the next stroke.

So, what could be the difference maker in this matchup? I'll make a case for Sharapova's serve. Steffi proved at the '92 Wimbledon and the '96 US Open that Seles' return of serve can be rendered ineffective by variety in speed, placement, and spin on the serve.


1993 Australian Open Final

Cliff Drysdale: "Graf has won eleven grand slam championships".
Mary Carillo: "Seles has played 20 less but she's already won seven of them."

Mary Carillo: "How much can you say about this woman? She is a remarkable - she has that remarkable instinct, when under the gun, when under pressure, to attack. She's got the instincts of a doberman. You know, when confronted, she attacks. It's the natural thing for her to do. I just, as I say, I've never seen her like before. I've seen great players, obviously, great champions. But time and again we've seen Monica in trouble, we've seen her play less than her best tennis, and in the end, I mean, she just basically says, 'All right, gimme the ball, gimme the ball.' And she hits winners. It's great stuff."

Mary Carillo: "[Steffi's] actually playing better than when she played in '88 and won the Grand Slam. Everyone acts as though 'Well, you know, she's got to get it back, she's got to get it back.' I actually feel that Steffi has added a lot to her game. She's a better defensive player. She's got a better first serve than she used to. I think her slice backhand really works well. I mean, I happen to think that she's a better player than she was a few years ago, but she's facing an opponent that is just remarkable, and I think that's why she doesn't have the Grand Slams titles we're used to seeing from her.

supergrunt
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:18 PM
interesting...shows me how much Mary Carillo jumps on the band wagon when someone is doing well.

Steffica Greles
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:25 PM
interesting...shows me how much Mary Carillo jumps on the band wagon when someone is doing well.

A bandwagon 8 grandslams long?

I think most people would happily board. And oh what a speed it was going.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Seles

Strengths --- Backhand, Mental Aptitude, Footwork, Strategy, Consistency, First Strike Ability (only on return)

Weaknesses --- Lack of Speed, average athleticism, defense on fast surfaces, forehand (overall range particularly on low balls and when pulled wide), agility of shotmaking from short court or with low balls, transition game, net game (two hands on both volleys), Second Serve


On the other hand, Seles had a very predictable serve, so predictable that on the deuce court Steffi used to set up to receive serve closer to the "T" than to the sideline. Seles' second serve was also quite attackable. It was a slice serve with very little kick. Sharapova returns well off both sides. Her height gives her exceptional leverage on the ball. From a strategic standpoint, she's quite adept at taking control of a point with her return of serve, particularly against serves (like Seles') that don't move much in the box. She's very much like Seles in this regard, but her height gives her the added advantage of being able to handle more variations in spin.

In this hypothetical matchup, if Seles can somehow figure out how to hold her serve, and she is strategically resourceful enough to do that, things might get really interesting. But, even under these conditions, Sharapova still finds a way to win because her better athleticism allows her to defend more of the court and in neutral rallies from the center of the court Sharapova is much better at opening the court with her forehand.



Is that what we have here, LDVTennis? What a joke.

Graf had dominated the game for three years running and the German was so lethal that it was hard to imagine anyone pushing her off the court. But the fearless Seles swung from her hips and punched right through Graf, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

I was as wide-eyed as Steffi was at Monica's power and precision.

While their 1992 French Open women's singles final, which ended with a 10-8 third-set win for Seles, may have been more dramatic, it didn’t knock my socks off like Monica’s first run to the title.

I still believe that if a madman had not stabbed Seles on court in early 1993 she would have ended up being the best player ever. (Bud Collins 2004)

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Sharapova has above avergae athletisism?

Yes, she does.

She jumps exceptionally well into her serve.

She has a very lithe body.

What she lacks is some coordination, but her agility has improved remarkably well with training.

She may not have the pure speed of a Steffi Graf. But, she's quicker than Seles ever was.

Being athletic is largely a byproduct of the kind of body one has. Sharapova has a good body for an athlete. If she hadn't played tennis, she'd could have played volleyball, for instance. She has the height and leaping ability.

SelesFan70
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:31 PM
It would be a pretty even match on grass, Monica blows her away on all other surfaces. Sorry, Big Masha, but Helen calls it as she sees it. People forget how great Monica was at her peak.

:bowdown:

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:32 PM
She may not have the pure speed of a Steffi Graf. But, she's quicker than Seles ever was.




Mons was fast enough to beat players in the WTA Tour Championships and the U.S. Open finals that had beaten Steffi Graf in order to advance far enough to lose to Seles.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:38 PM
)

Weaknesses --- Lack of Speed,


Before Monica Seles was stabbed by a jealous Steffi Graf fan, and even after at moments when Seles returned, Graf had enormous difficulty handling Monica's pace of shot, particularly of the backhand side.....In the early 90's time and time again, Seles would pumel Graf's backhand, and then drill the ball down the line to Steffi's forehand, which was a brilliant strategy.

At the Aussie 93 finals, it worked like a CHARM.:lol:

Seles is slow now, but she wasn't back then. She was much much faster in the early 90's.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:49 PM
Cliff Drysdale: "Blah, Blah, Blah."

Mary Carillo: "Blah, Blah, Blah."

What next quotes from George Bush about how Seles was so much better? Why not? He knows as much about tennis as Mary and Cliff.

Whatever the case, both their luck seems to be running out. Just this past year, we learned that a number of top players refuse to talk to Mary. Just the other day, Federer called Mary absurd. As for Cliff, imagine the humiliation of being replaced by Dick Enberg in the ESPN booth. Exactly, how old is Dick Enberg?

Hey, at least their time at the top lasted longer than Seles'. Her luck seemed to run after 1995.

That reminds me Mary did manage to tell it like it is one time. At the 1991 US Open, she brought up the fact that Seles didn't believe in doing any off court training and that Seles couldn't control her desire for bread with butter. Why don't you quote what she said there? It goes a long way toward explaining why after 1995 Seles' luck completely ran out.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:50 PM
As with any matchup, the outcome inevitably depends on how each player leverages their respective strengths against their opponents weaknesses. For instance, the fastest serve in the world isn't much good if it isn't hit well enough to result in either an ace or a return that is weak enough to be hit for a winner or to set up a winner on the next stroke.




If you don't agree with me, ask Steffi Graf ... at the 1990 French Open, having just LOST to Monica Seles rather handily two weeks before in Berlin, Graf was seen practicing a two handed backhand :lol: on the practice courts of Roland Garros.

Monica was asked about it in her press conference, and she had said that yes, she had seen graf practicing a two handed backhand, and that she was surprised ... Seles of course, WON the tournament.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:55 PM
What next quotes from George Bush about how Seles was so much better? Why not? He knows as much about tennis as Mary and Cliff.

Whatever the case, both their luck seems to be running out. Just this past year, we learned that a number of top players refuse to talk to Mary. Just the other day, Federer called Mary absurd. As for Cliff, imagine the humiliation of being replaced by Dick Enberg in the ESPN booth. Exactly, how old is Dick Enberg?

Hey, at least their time at the top lasted longer than Seles'. Her luck seemed to run after 1995.

That reminds me Mary did manage to tell it like it is one time. At the 1991 US Open, she brought up the fact that Seles didn't believe in doing any off court training and that Seles couldn't control her desire for bread with butter. Why don't you quote what she said there? It goes a long way toward explaining why after 1995 Seles' luck completely ran out.

OK LDVTennis. The next quotes are actually from Tennis Legend Chris Evert:lol:

1990 French Open Final

Chris Evert: "It's one thing to overpower Steffi, like Martina Navratilova when she serves and volleys, but it's another thing to outplay her at her own game, and that's exactly what Monica's doing."


1999 Roland Garros

Chris Evert: "[Monica] then really got cheated out of a lot of Grand Slams. She was really dominating women's tennis, dominating Steffi Graf. As I said before, she won seven out of eight Grand Slams and then got stabbed and was out for 27 months. Her assailant got his wish, that Steffi Graf be Number One, and sure enough, Steffi regained the Number One position when Monica was out of the game. So he got his wish."

Dick Enberg: "Who knows how many titles she would own had she remained in full health?"

Chris Evert: "Well, a lot more than nine Grand Slams, I'll tell you that. That's so not fair, when you look at Steffi's 21(22) and Monica's nine, it's very unbalanced, and it shouldn't be."

Steffica Greles
Aug 26th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Bud Collins was and still is a big fan of Monica's. He's the one who keeps proclaiming that she could have been the best ever. Yet, even he called her movement ungainly.

I am not denying that Seles did not succeed with her two-handed style. But, what you are not acknowledging is that she was not around long enough at the top from '91 to '93 for players to figure out how to beat her. As it was, Graf was the only player who had the athletic and technical acumen to beat Seles while she was at the top. (Indeed, Graf has a winning record against Seles while Seles was No. 1) Had Seles not been stabbed, Sanchez would have eventually posed a serious threat to her. So, would have a host of others who from time to time could mount a serious athletic challenge to her.

The argument you keep making about how Seles had done more at Wimbledon than Graf had by the same age is fallacious. Fallacious because it only makes sense at all if Seles did not have to play Graf in order to win Wimbledon. Of course, how could I forget, that is Seles' modus operandi, isn't it? Just how many majors did she win without having to face Graf in the final?

Against Graf at Wimbledon, Seles' progress is not as spectacular. In 1989, she loses to Steffi, 6/0 6/1. In 1992, she loses to Steffi, 6/2 6/1. At that rate of progress, 2 more games in 1992 than in 1989, just how much longer would it have taken for Seles to beat Graf in a Wimbledon Final? Who cares, right? The trick is for Graf to lose before the final.

To Sharapova's credit, she beat Serena at Wimbledon. Serena may have underestimated her, but Sharapova had to feel especially proud that she won the tournament by beating the defending champion.

You're always so good at using pompous language to make it sound as if you have a point. You'd make an excellent politician, if that's not a contradiction in terms. I'm not at all surprised that you didn't know (as do most others, including Graf worshippers) that Graf stated on several occasions that she wished she'd played with a double-handed backhand. I've even read somebody in this forum who claims to have seen her practicing the stroke in a practice session, c1991.

So let's talk about fallacious points, shall we.

First of all, Seles defeated Graf in 3 of the 8 slam finals in which she triumphed, up until when she was stabbed. That's more than a third. It could have been more, of course -- 7 out of 8, in fact (what's that as a percentage) -- but let's look at why this did not happen.

1991 Australian Open - Graf lost to Novotna, whom Seles defeated

1991 French Open - Graf lost 0&2 to Sanchez-V, whom Seles defeated

1991 U.S Open - Graf lost to Navratilova, whom Seles defeated

1992 U.S Open - Graf lost to Sanchez-Vicario, whom Seles defeated.

So whose argument has more flaws? I don't need to state the obvious points (or maybe I do). In fact, yours isn't even an argument. It clearly has no credibility. Let me show you why.

I'll use your argument to show its flagrant leaks. Most would agree that Seles was Graf's biggest rival during her career having defeated her in four grandslam championships. Graf defeated Seles in 6 of her 22 grandslam wins, two of which when the latter was just fifteen. Let's allow Graf all 6. That's still less than a third of her grandslam victories, compared to Seles' statistic above. And of course, everybody knows that in 1993, 1994 and 1995 Graf won 6 slams; in none of which was Seles even in the draw.

So (by your own facile argument) whose modus operandi is to avoid their toughest opponents?

However, you may argue that Seles was not Graf's toughest opponent such is your obvious aversion to her in the face of stark facts. In just 4 of Graf's 22 slams did she defeat Navratilova - an aging one at that. Sabatini only reached three slam finals in her entire career. Sanchez-Vicario was a rival of Graf's. Graf defeated her in 8 (by my counting) of her 22 slam wins. That's less than half, still.

I've never denied that Graf was the greatest player ever. Whether Seles' career was interrupted or not, we cannot judge on what might have been. Seles returned in 1996 and had her opportunities. And Graf, the finest athlete of them all, may have turned their rivalry round after 1993, although I believe the momentum would have swung between the two of them until at least 1997.

But there can be no doubting that Seles' career was interrupted at her peak, at a time when she was clearly the better player of the two. No skewed statistics of yours can ever change that fact; otherwise, I'll venture to say, you would not waste your time making posts so deserving of ridicule.

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:00 PM
Seles is slow now, but she wasn't back then. She was much much faster in the early 90's.

Revisionist history.

How much longer before you are telling us that Seles had the body of a Jackie Joyner-Kersee and the speed of a Florence Griffith?

In the 90's, one tennis reporter compared Seles' scurrying along the baseline to that of a crab. The description stuck because that is exactly what it looked like. A certain player's movement drew comparisons to that of a gazelle. Seles' movement drew comparisons to that of of crab. :lol:

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:08 PM
Why don't you quote what she said there? It goes a long way toward explaining why after 1995 Seles' luck completely ran out.

Here's a brilliant quote from Steffi Graf herself after LOSING the 1993 Aussie Finals to world's number one Monica Seles.:lol:

"It is her desire and her incredible self-confidence," said Graf, asked why Seles is so difficult to beat.

Steffica Greles
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:12 PM
Revisionist history.

How much longer before you are telling us that Seles had the body of a Jackie Joyner-Kersee and the speed of a Florence Griffith?

In the 90's, one tennis reporter compared Seles' scurrying along the baseline to that of a crab. The description stuck because that is exactly what it looked like. A certain player's movement drew comparisons to that of a gazelle. Seles' movement drew comparisons to that of of crab. :lol:

Seles scuttled like a crab.

They may not be elegant, but crabs are awfully difficult to catch. And what's more, if Graf could not break down a slow, technically flawed, overrated lard arse with a litany of flaws, then what does that say about the limitations of her own game?

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:21 PM
In the 90's, one tennis reporter compared Seles' scurrying along the baseline to that of a crab. The description stuck because that is exactly what it looked like. A certain player's movement drew comparisons to that of a gazelle. Seles' movement drew comparisons to that of of crab. :lol:


The ultimate interesting player, I suppose, was Steffi Graf, except in a totally counter-intuitive way. Her game was coyote ugly (think of that high ball toss, that off-the-hip, late forehand! :lol: --Peter Bodo TennisWorld April 2006--

LDVTennis
Aug 26th, 2006, 10:10 PM
You're always so good at using pompous language to make it sound as if you have a point. You'd make an excellent politician, if that's not a contradiction in terms. I'm not at all surprised that you didn't know (as do most others, including Graf worshippers) that Graf stated on several occasions that she wished she'd played with a double-handed backhand. I've even read somebody in this forum who claims to have seen her practicing the stroke in a practice session, c1991.

So let's talk about fallacious points, shall we.

First of all, Seles defeated Graf in 3 of the 8 slam finals in which she triumphed, up until when she was stabbed. That's more than a third. It could have been more, of course, but let's look at why this did not happen.

1991 Australian Open - Graf lost to Novotna, whom Seles defeated

1991 French Open - Graf lost 0&2 to Sanchez-V, whom Seles defeated

1991 U.S Open - Graf lost to Navratilova, whom Seles defeated

1992 U.S Open - Graf lost to Sanchez-Vicario, whom Seles defeated.

So whose argument has more flaws? I don't need to state the obvious points (or maybe I do). In fact, yours isn't even an argument. It clearly has no credibility. Let me show you why.

I'll use your argument to show its flagrant leaks. Most would agree that Seles was Graf's biggest rival during her career having defeated her in four grandslam championships. Graf defeated Seles in 6 of her 22 grandslam wins, two of which when the latter was just fifteen. Let's allow Graf all 6. That's still less than a third of her grandslam victories, compared to Seles' statistic above. And of course, everybody knows that in 1993, 1994 and 1995 Graf won 6 slams; in none of which was Seles even in the draw.

So (by your own facile argument) whose modus operandi is to avoid their toughest opponents?

However, you may argue that Seles was not Graf's toughest opponent such is your obvious aversion to her in the face of stark facts. In just 4 of Graf's 22 slams did she defeat Navratilova - an aging one at that. Sabatini only reached three slam finals in her entire career. Sanchez-Vicario was a rival of Graf's. Graf defeated her in 9 (by my counting) of her 22 slam finals. That's less than half, still.

I've never denied that Graf was the greatest player ever. Whether Seles' career was interrupted or not, we cannot judge on what might have been. Seles returned in 1996 and had her opportunities. And Graf, the finest athlete of them all, may have turned their rivalry round after 1993, although I believe the momentum would have swung between the two of them until at least 1997.

But there can be no doubting that Seles' career was interrupted at her peak, at a time when she was clearly the better player of the two. No skewed statistics of yours can ever change that fact; otherwise, I'll venture to say, you would not waste your time making posts so deserving of ridicule.

Obviously, I have hit a nerve because suddenly I am pompous.

Well, if I am pompous, you are logically inept at the very least, and incapable of advanced thought at the extreme.

Case in point. What does Steffi's claim that she wished she had played with a two-handed backhand have to do with anything? So what? Do you actually think that somehow contradicts my claim that Seles' two-handed style had serious limitations, limitations that were eventually exploited by more than one player? Exactly how? Because by wishing she had a two-handed backhand Steffi would seem to be saying to you that there are no limitations to playing that way? That is not the most immediate inference to be drawn from what she says. Given the limitations she experienced with the slice backhand, she was clearly implying that she would have liked to have a little more hitting power from the backhand side. The inference you want to draw is unreasonable. In between the lines, she's definitely not saying I wished I had played like Monica Seles.

More evidence of your poor reasoning. In what follows, you attempt to counter the argument where I took issue with concluding that Seles was better than Graf with respect to each other based on the fact alone that Seles won more majors from '90 to '93 (8).

I can see from how you have responded that my argument is much too complicated for you.

Thus, let me explain the conditions again under which one could conclude from the number of majors that Seles won that she was the better player than Graf: (1) Including the matches at the majors, the total matches Seles won against Graf from '90 to '93 would have to be greater than the total matches (including matches at majors) that Graf won against Seles. (2) Barring that, nothing whatsoever about relative greatness can be concluded from showing that Seles won more majors during a certain period than Graf. About all that can be concluded from that number is that one player was more dominant against the rest of the field at the majors than the other. That's it.

It is a shame that your logical skills do not permit you to understand what the conditions for truth must be for an argument based on the number of majors. But, that is not my problem, it is yours.

And, what a problem it is because you obviously were never taught to distinguish between the conditions for truth and the conditions for sophistry. As best as I can reconstruct from what you say next, there seems to be some meaning to be derived for you from the following two ratios, 6 out of 22 (number of majors Graf won by beating Seles), and 3 out of 8 (number of majors Seles won by beating Graf). You seem to think that whatever that meaning is it does something to invalidate my claim above, a claim you now associate with the statement I made about Seles' modus operandi.

Here is the problem with your comparing those two ratios. The second term of each ratio (22 and 8) is not comparable by definition. For them to be comparable, they have to be a sum (the result of counting) from the same set. We know they are not sums from the same set because the sum of 22 comes from a set that includes 5 (perhaps even 6) elements that by definition (in time and place) could not be in the same set from which the sum of 8 comes. Those 5 elements are the 5 majors that Steffi won prior to 1989 when Seles was not a member of any set. (Seles didn't turn pro until Feb 1989. She didn't begin playing at the majors until the '89 FO.) If this were a math problem, you would have been wrong because you assumed two sets were identical when they were in fact disjoint. You comparison of these two ratios is therefore flawed. It cannot result in the meaning you want to draw.

So, what should I venture to say? I don't know. There are certain kinds of stupidity that always leave me speechless.

supermann
Aug 26th, 2006, 11:28 PM
Here is the problem with your comparing those two ratios. The second term of each ratio (22 and 8) is not comparable by definition.



Of course, Seles would have surpassed Graf.

Seles was winning 3 Grand Slam singles titles per year in 1991, 1992 and then had won the first Slam of 1993.

Seles had also won the Tour Championships in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

With Seles winning 2 Slams more per year than Graf was winning, it was only a matter of times before the lines crossed --- unless, of course, a fan of Graf's took a gun to Seles' head -- or a knife to Seles' back -- when she was not expecting it.

LDVTennis
Aug 27th, 2006, 12:03 AM
Seles scuttled like a crab.

They may not be elegant, but crabs are awfully difficult to catch. And what's more, if Graf could not break down a slow, technically flawed, overrated lard arse with a litany of flaws, then what does that say about the limitations of her own game?

It points more to the limitations of Graf's mind than her game or athleticism.

Nevertheless, you are right to suggest that there was something embarrassing about Graf's losing to Seles.

Over time, it was also quite perplexing. The only such conundrum in today's pro game that even comes close is the one posed by Federer's head to head record against Nadal. Nadal happens to be a great athlete. So, the conundrum ends there.

But, really, what was Seles doing to Graf? I've explained in other threads what Seles' strategy was from '90 to '93. I won't go into the same details again. I don't like repeating myself like some people. I will say this. It was not a high risk strategy. In most of the third sets that Seles won against Graf, she played more like Sanchez-Vicario than she played like the Seles all her fans want to remember.

Given how strategically limited Graf's game became by 1990, Steffi only had two options against Seles from '90 to '93 and they were both quite extreme: (1) She either had to play out of this world, something she was capable of doing from time to time (e.g., '92 Wimbledon); or (2), she had to be prepared to engage in these mind grueling matches, in which Seles had the edge as late as the '93 AO because of her low-risk strategy.

All of this must be comprehended against the backdrop of what kind of game tennis really is. It is the most curious game. As a game, it can sometimes appear more like a test of minds than a real sport, one in which courtpositioning, court awareness, and strategy can sometimes fully compensate for a lack of speed and other serious athletic shortcomings.

The surfaces themselves on which the game is played have even been engineered to make the sport more a game than a sport. Clay slows down the speed of the ball. Rebound Ace causes the ball to bounce up. Hardcourts can be made faster or slower by adding sand to the top acrylic coat. Once immune to this kind of tinkering, even grass courts have been reengineered over the years to make the points longer.

And, what about the racquet technology? Every improvement in racquet technology since the wood era has made the sport easier to play at a much higher level. Larger racquet faces, more stability across the entire face of the racquet, longer racquets, lighter racquets, all of these innovations have made it possible for mediocre athletes to produce just as much power and spin as those athletes with natural racquet speed and an intuitive sense of feel for the racquet face, the bounce, and the dynamics of hitting the ball with an open wrist.

Knowing all this, it is not so much of a surprise to me that players like Seles found a way to succeed in this game/sport at the expense even of players who are more classically-trained and equipped such as Graf. But, here is the ultimate paradox of all the changes in the sport, at least as far as the women are concerned. Seles may have been the first top female player to fully exploit the advantages of the new technology. But, she also may have been the first to suffer its consequences. That new technology is not always good on the body, particularly the shoulder. The increase in the number of tournaments played on hard courts, a development that was concomitant with the new technology, is not always good on the feet.

Steffica Greles
Aug 27th, 2006, 12:11 AM
Of course, Seles would have surpassed Graf.

Seles was winning 3 Grand Slam singles titles per year in 1991, 1992 and then had won the first Slam of 1993.

Seles had also won the Tour Championships in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

With Seles winning 2 Slams more per year than Graf was winning, it was only a matter of times before the lines crossed --- unless, of course, a fan of Graf's took a gun to Seles' head -- or a knife to Seles' back -- when she was not expecting it.

I don't think that's necessarily true. You can't extrapolate from 1991-1993 without considering other factors. Graf in 1988-early 1990 was also nigh on invincible, but that changed.

Graf was a better athlete who I believe would always have recovered from injuries more smoothly than Seles. Monica had never been seriously tested by injuries at 18-19, but, as we've seen with so many other players who have tremendous success in their teens, injuries normally follow. There's a question mark over how Seles would have dealt with the inevitable. Furthermore, Graf's athleticism, despite the limitations of her game (her backhand, poor volleying skills and reluctance to hit down the line), enabled her to compete with younger, fitter and faster athletes such as Venus and Serena later in her career, and gave her strong foundations in sport to adapt. I cannot see how Seles would have won slams past c2000 because she slowed down and the stabbing had nothing to do with that: injuries had taken their toll. And as I've said, Seles would have faced injuries regardless. Seles played on until 2003. Had she played through 1993-1995, perhaps her body would have packed up by 2000 anyway.

And furthermore Monica was only human. Had she won Wimbledon by the age of 21, as I believe she might well have done, perhaps distractions may have had a deleterious effect on her level.

Graf and Seles' matches were also usually close. A win in a close encounter (Seles probably didn't count the Wimbledon loss) for Graf could have diminished Monica's confidence a little. And a little is all it would have taken for Graf to be winning three set matches instead of losing.

So I think, had Seles not been stabbed, Graf would have won around 16-18 and Seles 15-17.

I don't think Graf would ever have dominated Seles. I believe Monica missed out on around 4 slams (3 at least, 5 at the most) of the 10 she missed in her absence, 2 of which would have gone to ASV either way, and possibly another 4 between 1996 and 2000 (especially 1996-1998), which would have been a very different period had Seles remained at the top of the game during the previous 3 years.

Seles was a player who knew how to play Graf, stung with her returns and had an ability unique among Graf's opponents to find the Graf backhand when on the defensive. Graf's backhand (LDV!) was a weakness when she needed to end rallies against players with good placement and tactical savvy. Even in their latter matches, when, at least I believe, Graf was as quick and athletic as ever, a Seles clearly past her peak provided a stern test and even defeated her in Australia '99.

supermann
Aug 27th, 2006, 12:18 AM
ISo I think, had Seles not been stabbed, Graf would have won around 16-18 and Seles 15-17.

I don't think Graf would ever have dominated Seles. I believe Monica missed out on around 4 slams (3 at least, 5 at the most) of the 10 she missed in her absence, 2 of which would have gone to ASV either way, and possibly another 4 between 1996 and 2000 (especially 1996-1998), which would have been a very different period had Seles remained at the top of the game during the previous 3 years.

Seles was a player who knew how to play Graf, stung with her returns and had an ability unique among Graf's opponents to find the Graf backhand when on the defensive. Graf's backhand (LDV!) was a weakness when she needed to end rallies against players with good placement and tactical savvy. Even in their latter matches, when, at least I believe, Graf was as quick and athletic as ever, a Seles clearly past her peak provided a stern test and even defeated her in Australia '99.

Excellent post Steffica.

Graf had 11 Grand Slam singles titles when the stabbing took place at the end of April 1993, and she was unable to win any major event other than Wimbledon during the 1990s after Seles began her dominance with the 1990 singles titles at the French Open.

Graf went on to win 3 more Wimbledons after the stabbing. That would have given her 14 Grand Slam singles titles total.

Seles won 8 Slams between Roland Garros 1990 and the stabbing, but her dominance was unquestioned and she could have probably averaged 2 more Slams per year through 1999 .. putting her at about 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

Best guess would be Graf at 14-15 Grand Slam singles titles and Seles with approximately 20.

supermann
Aug 27th, 2006, 12:29 AM
Monica Seles was clearly better than Steffi Graf at every tournament that mattered in the 3 years leading up to the stabbing (May 1990 - April 1993) other than their one match at Wimbledon in 1992.

Seles' winning percentage far exceeds that of Graf on the cumulative and on every court surface other than grass.


Seles was the better player on clay because she won:

1990 French Open
1991 French Open
1992 French Open



Seles won the biggest indoor event in 1990, 1991 and 1992:

1990 Tour Championships
1991 Tour Championships
1992 Tour Championships



Seles was the better player on hardcourts because she won the 2 biggest events on hardcourts 5 straight times:

1991 Australian
1991 U.S. Open
1992 Australian
1992 U.S. Open
1993 Australian


Graf won Wimbledon in 1991 and 1992 when Seles did not play the event in 1991 and she made the final round of 1992 ... so Graf has the better record on grass.

HARDCOURTS: SELES
INDOORS: SELES
CLAY: SELES
GRASS: GRAF


However, for those of you who are interested in the totals for the 3 years May 1990 through April 1993 (36 months) ... here you go:


CUMULATIVE May 1990 - April 1993 until stabbing:

Seles: 201-16 (92.63%) ... 29 titles.
Graf: 200-22 (88.50%) ... 24 titles.



BY SURFACE:


Hardcourts May 1990 - April 1993 until stabbing:

Seles: 98-8 match record (92.45%) .. 13 titles
Graf: 66-9 match record (88.00%) .. 5 titles



Clay May 1990 - April 1993 until stabbing:

Seles: 57-4 match record (93.44%) .. 8 titles
Graf: 58-7 match record (89.23%) .. 5 titles



Grass May 1990 - April 1993 until stabbing:

Seles: 10-2 match record (83.33%) .. no titles
Graf: 19-1 match record (95.00%) .. 2 titles



Indoor Carpet May1990 - April 1993 until stabbing:

Seles: 36-2 match record (94.74%) ... 8 titles
Graf: 57-5 match record (91.94%) ... 12 titles