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View Full Version : Why do people forget about Margaret Court's 24 Slam titles, and Helen Will's 19?


davgis
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:19 AM
It's always Steffi's 22, and Chris and Martina's 18. What about these two?

Randy H
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:23 AM
Many people disregard their totals because a lot of them were won prior to the open era...Not really fair honestly, but I do think they get less respect by many because the fields they competed against are looked upon as having been weaker during that time.

gmokb
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:25 AM
They do mention them but the slams they won before the open era are excluded. Steffi and Chris slams were all in the open era.

lurker
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:39 AM
Most of the great players of Court's era did not play the Aussie Open, as it was not highly regarded and coincided with team tennis I think. And I think nearly half of Court's 24 came from pre-Open Era Aussie Opens. Not that she wasn't great though. A Grand Slam in any year with any field is Great in my book.

brickhousesupporter
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:41 AM
Doesn't it also have to do with amateur vs professional status. Grandslam tournaments before the Open era were only played by amateur tennis players. The better players turned professional so they could earn money and make a living. Because the professional players were not allowed to play the competition for the Grandslams was regarded as weak.

Experimentee
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:43 AM
They didn't have as much tough competition to deal with.

davgis
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:50 AM
They didn't have as much tough competition to deal with.

What about Steffi? As if she had much competition after Monica was stabbed. :rolleyes:

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:57 AM
Doesn't it also have to do with amateur vs professional status. Grandslam tournaments before the Open era were only played by amateur tennis players. The better players turned professional so they could earn money and make a living. Because the professional players were not allowed to play the competition for the Grandslams was regarded as weak.


This was more an issue for the men than the women. Most of the top women remained amateur

They didn't have as much tough competition to deal with.

They also had to travel long distances without an entourage to pamper their little behinds like today's players. Helen Wills never got to enter the Aussie.
Court's 24 and Wills 19 slams are major acheivements.


Most of the great players of Court's era did not play the Aussie Open, as it was not highly regarded and coincided with team tennis I think. And I think nearly half of Court's 24 came from pre-Open Era Aussie Opens. Not that she wasn't great though. A Grand Slam in any year with any field is Great in my book.

It's true many of the top ten often skipped the Aussie in Court's era. Some years were stronger thna others. World Team Tennis (1974-1978) cut into the French, not the Aussie.

Anyone intersted in tennis past please come pay us a visit at the Blast From the Past-where we celebrate all the oldies but goodies:)
http://www.tennisforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=59

young_gunner913
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:57 AM
What about Steffi? As if she had much competition after Monica was stabbed. :rolleyes:

This is a statement to your intelligence. The other top players of Court's era werent allowed to play in the AO, which made the fields pretty weak. Monica getted stabbed by some nutcase took her away from the game, but it didnt change the fact that there were other competitive players in the draw. If you cant see how big a difference that is then... :help:

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:05 AM
This is a statement to your intelligence. The other top players of Court's era werent allowed to play in the AO, which made the fields pretty weak. Monica getted stabbed by some nutcase took her away from the game, but it didnt change the fact that there were other competitive players in the draw.


Hi Young-Gunner:) It was more complicated than that. Some of Court's Aussie titles were won against the very best. The first year she won (1960) she upset the world #1, Maria Bueno. Even in weaker years she had 4 or 5 other women in the top ten. In fact it is due to Margaret and the other Aussies that the Federation Cup was born in 1963. When the Fed Cup came to Australia in 1965 most the women (including Bueno, Billie Jen King, and Ann Jones) stuck around to play the Aussie.

You are generally correct about the fields being weak though. You can only beat who is in front of you though, and Court did have competitive players in the draw every year she won Down Under.

davgis
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:11 AM
This is a statement to your intelligence. The other top players of Court's era werent allowed to play in the AO, which made the fields pretty weak. Monica getted stabbed by some nutcase took her away from the game, but it didnt change the fact that there were other competitive players in the draw. If you cant see how big a difference that is then... :help:

1. I never said that the fields in the AO were weaker when Margaret won her slams there.

2. They weren't THAT weak. She beat BJK, Maria Bueno and Evonne Goolagong.

3. Who did Steffi have as her main competitors after Monica was sabbed? ASV and Martinez? Yeah, they're really in Monica's league. :rolleyes: You're the one who needs :help:

davgis
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:12 AM
Hi Young-Gunner:) It was more complicated than that. Some of Court's Aussie titles were won against the very best. The first year she won (1960) she upset the world #1, Maria Bueno. Even in weaker years she had 4 or 5 other women in the top ten. In fact it is due to Margaret and the other Aussies that the Federation Cup was born in 1963. When the Fed Cup came to Australia in 1965 most the women (including Bueno, Billie Jen King, and Ann Jones) stuck around to play the Aussie.

You are generally correct about the fields being weak though. You can only beat who is in front of you though, and Court did have competitive players in the draw every year she won Down Under.

I agree, but how classless was it of Bueno to retire when she was down 5-2 in the third set?

Anabelcroft
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:17 AM
1. I never said that the fields in the AO were weaker when Margaret won her slams there.

2. They weren't THAT weak. She beat BJK, Maria Bueno and Evonne Goolagong.

3. Who did Steffi have as her main competitors after Monica was sabbed? ASV and Martinez? Yeah, they're really in Monica's league. :rolleyes: You're the one who needs :help:

Some AO fields Court won were 32 players draw which does not compare to today'a number of draw places!

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:27 AM
I agree, but how classless was it of Bueno to retire when she was down 5-2 in the third set?

Hello Davgis:wavey:


Maria didn't have much of a choice. She was cramping under the intense Aussie sun. There was no nice umbrella, injury timeouts, trainers,or the other comforts today's players have. They women did have a ten minute break before the third set, but Maria went over on her ankle at 2-2.

Bueno was gamely trying to finish the match, but she was hobbled by the ankle sprain and then started to cramp in the other leg. From Game, Set, and Glory, A History of the Australian Championships

With Bueno serving at 15-15 in the eigth game, the Brazilian star collapsed on the basleline. The huge gallery sat stunned as she writhed in agony on the turf, clutching her left leg.Stunf to their senses, a few specatators cried "help her, help her" as a tentative Smith made the first move.

Bueno was left to writhe on the court because the second anyone came to her aid she would be defaulted. Margaret Smith, Harry Hopman, and another Aussie official were able to remove Bueno's shoe and rub out some of the cramp after 5 minutes, but she was forced to retire.

davgis
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:29 AM
Hello Davgis:wavey:


Maria didn't have much of a choice. She was cramping under the intense Aussie sun. There was no nice umbrella, injury timeouts, trainers,or the other comforts today's players have.

Bueno was gamely trying to finish the match when she collapsed on the court.

Oh, I didn't know she collapsed. I heard someone once say that she was embarrassed to lose to the youngster Margaret. I stand corrected. :)

Justin SW
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:33 AM
Back then AO (11 of MSCourt's 24) was snobbed. It was low quality draws ;)

matty
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:38 AM
I figure there probably wasn't as much competition back then---weaker fields. I could be wrong, though.

bobcat
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:45 AM
The AO just wasn't considered as big a tournament as Wimbledon or the USO, more like a Tier 1 (or even lower). Some years had tougher draws than others, but that's true of Tier 1 tournaments, too. The only reason people ever talked about winning "the 4 Slams" was to compare it with Golf, where the idea of winning a "Grand Slam" originated.

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:53 AM
Oh, I didn't know she collapsed. I heard someone once say that she was embarrassed to lose to the youngster Margaret. I stand corrected

That could have been their first meeting in 1960. Bueno fled the court in tears after that one. The Bueno-Court rivalry reminds me of Serena-Justine-there was more than enough cattiness to keep things interesting!

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 04:01 AM
The AO just wasn't considered as big a tournament as Wimbledon or the USO, more like a Tier 1 (or even lower). Some years had tougher draws than others, but that's true of Tier 1 tournaments, too. The only reason people ever talked about winning "the 4 Slams" was to compare it with Golf, where the idea of winning a "Grand Slam" originated.


I never realized the Grand slam in golf came first! Interesting. I do like that in tennis though the four slams are divided between different countries. Regarding the inequality of slams you are right, but even the US had much less value than Wimbledon. Up until the 1980s Wimbledon was clearly THE Slam to win. Funny now how it's the odd man out due to the surface.

GeeTee
Jan 31st, 2010, 04:15 AM
The other top players of Court's era werent allowed to play in the AO, which made the fields pretty weak.

Err no...

Some AO fields Court won were 32 players draw which does not compare to today'a number of draw places!

Though Margaret played doubles and mixed in nearly every tournament she played. Probably a lot more games per tournament than today's players play. And remember there were no tie-breaks in this era. And as Rollo has pointed out, no long breaks, no injury time-outs, no ball-kids handing you a towel after every point, no cold water or sports drinks in a refrigerator on court, no prize-money in most cases...

And she - like the other Aussies of the time - played tournaments for nearly twelve months of the year. Despite the fact that air-travel took a lot longer and cost a lot more (relatively). And she won singles/mixed/doubles at the majority of tournaments she played!

Oh - and she retired three times during her career too - including two maternity breaks - during her pro career - or her championship record would probably be even higher.

Between 1960 and her first retirement in 1966, of the 33 major Australian singles titles (ALL of which featured other world top-tenners in the fields by the way) she played - she won 30 of them!

And in 1968, for the first Open Wimbledon, 14 of the 96 women in the Wimbledon MD (and 5 of the last 16) were Aussies, so the standard downunder during the 60s was pretty high regardless of who else showed up..

If you want more info about her remarkable career - check this (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=156313)out

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 04:57 AM
I never realized the Grand slam in golf came first! Interesting. I do like that in tennis though the four slams are divided between different countries. Regarding the inequality of slams you are right, but even the US had much less value than Wimbledon. Up until the 1980s Wimbledon was clearly THE Slam to win. Funny now how it's the odd man out due to the surface.
Rollo, I heard Billie Jean King say on Tennis Channel the other day that she skipped quite a few Australian Opens in the 1970's in favor of the Virginia Slims tour she co-founded. Also, the Open was played during the Christmas-New Year's Day from 1972 until 1977, when it was moved to mid-December. Those are two reasons why the fields were weakened during Margaret Court's time.
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/event_guide/history/year_by_year.html

As far as Helen Wills Moody's 19 majors goes, I think her achievement is even more amazing for one reason: she NEVER played Australia. There was no commercial air travel back then, so the only way to get to Australia from the States was a two-week boat trip across the Pacific Ocean. Helen never bothered.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:27 AM
It's always Steffi's 22, and Chris and Martina's 18. What about these two?

The pre-open era Australian Open had very weak fields. Most seeds were local girls, very few slam winners made the trip to Australia.
So Court's seven AO titles in 1960-66 don't get a lot of credit.

In 1960 Bueno and Truman (UK) were the only opposition who ever won a slam during their careers. 6 of the 8 seeds were Australian.
In 1961 Turner was the only slam winner beside Court; all 8 seeds were Aussies.
In 1962 Turner again and D. Hard (USA), 14 of 16 seeds Australians.
In 1963 Turner and Truman; the seeds were only Australians and Brits.
In 1964 Turner; 7 of 7 top seeds from Australia.
1965 was an exception - Bueno, Turner, King, Jones and Truman showed up.
1966 had Richey (USA), Turner and Melville, 10 of 12 seeds Aussies.

So sort of a tier II tournament in today's standards.

When it mattered most, in Wimbledon, Court won only 3 times.
But Navratlova 9 times, Graf 7 times. So Martina and Steffi are considered superior to Court.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:34 AM
Rollo, I heard Billie Jean King say on Tennis Channel the other day that she skipped quite a few Australian Opens in the 1970's in favor of the Virginia Slims tour she co-founded. Also, the Open was played during the Christmas-New Year's Day from 1972 until 1977, when it was moved to mid-December. Those are two reasons why the fields were weakened during Margaret Court's time.
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/event_guide/history/year_by_year.html

As far as Helen Wills Moody's 19 majors goes, I think her achievement is even more amazing for one reason: she NEVER played Australia. There was no commercial air travel back then, so the only way to get to Australia from the States was a two-week boat trip across the Pacific Ocean. Helen never bothered.


But how many non-Americans played in the US Opens Wills won?
It was basically only a national tournament. Some girls from California came over to the East Coast to battle it out with the local girls.

You simply can't compare this to international professional tennis.

Volcana
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:46 AM
It's always Steffi's 22, and Chris and Martina's 18. What about these two?The short answer is a lot of us DON'T forget. But the history of international tennis is convoluted, and a lot of fans don;t know that history.

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:46 AM
But how many non-Americans played in the US Opens Wills won?
It was basically only a national tournament. Some girls from California came over to the East Coast to battle it out with the local girls.

You simply can't compare this to international professional tennis.
Four of Wills Moody's seven U.S. wins were against foreigners:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Wills_Moody#Grand_Slam_singles_finals

Try again.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:54 AM
Four of Wills Moody's seven U.S. wins were against foreigners:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Wills_Moody#Grand_Slam_singles_finals

Try again.


Oh, I only remembered Kitty Godfree.
Forgot about Betty Nuthall Shoemaker, Phoebe Holcroft Watson and Eileen Bennett Whittingstall, also from the UK.
Obviously a Gold Coast vacation for some upper-class Brit gals. With a little social tennis here and there ...:tape:

Come on - you can't compare a US Open tournament of the 30ies with professional tennis!
:wavey:

Tennisstar86
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:28 AM
Do people count the 20+ National titles Princeton and Yale have in football? no.... because competition was limited...

GeeTee
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:30 AM
There was no commercial air travel back then, so the only way to get to Australia from the States was a two-week boat trip across the Pacific Ocean. Helen never bothered.
Actually back then it took FOUR WEEKS across the Pacific on a boat. And it took about SIX WEEKS on a boat for Australian players to get to Europe (and of course back again). I'm glad some of them bothered....

And Helen Wills (along with Elizabeth Ryan) was due to tour Australia in 1928/29 to challenge the undefeated Australian women's team who had toured Europe, but plans fell in a hole at the last minute.

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:41 AM
Oh, I only remembered Kitty Godfree.
Forgot about Betty Nuthall Shoemaker, Phoebe Holcroft Watson and Eileen Bennett Whittingstall, also from the UK.
Obviously a Gold Coast vacation for some upper-class Brit gals. With a little social tennis here and there ...:tape:

Come on - you can't compare a US Open tournament of the 30ies with professional tennis!
:wavey:
No, Calimero377, YOU can't compare the two. I can, and I did. Good luck lasting through the weekend before you get banned (again).

GeeTee
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:42 AM
Come on - you can't compare a US Open tournament of the 30ies with professional tennis!
:wavey:
Then you can't compare professional tennis of the 70s with professional tennis of the 2010s (or 2000s or 1990s or 1980s or....) Different racquets, different rules, different conditions, different world.

With all these rule/world changes happening throughout history, at the end of the day the only OBJECTIVE thing to do is look at the total number of honours won.. :wavey:

Calypso
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:45 AM
Maggie won 11 A.O's, with most of them won before 1968 when tennis became a professional sport, I think.

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:51 AM
Do people count the 20+ National titles Princeton and Yale have in football? no.... because competition was limited...
It doesn't matter if "people" count them or not. They won them, and no one's opinion will ever change that.

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:58 AM
Maggie won 11 A.O's, with most of them won before 1968 when tennis became a professional sport, I think.
The advent of Open tennis didn't affect the women because, unlike the men, they didn't have a competing professional tour. The women of the pre-Open era maintained their amateur status and played the majors because, quite frankly, they didn't have a choice.

GeeTee
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:01 AM
Maggie won 11 A.O's, with most of them won before 1968 when tennis became a professional sport, I think.
Ummm... Billie-Jean won 4 Slams before tennis went pro - is anyone (Serena for example) subtracting those from BJK's record??? If so, that leaves her with just 8...

moby
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:11 AM
Aside from all that non-Open Era blahblahblah, Margaret Court was neither glam nor did she have to suffer through adversity. Worse, she is anti-gay and not particularly feminist. This is unfortunate because women's tennis is a diva-worship culture, so Court's pretty much alienated her biggest possible fanbase. I think a lot of people respect her for her accomplishments and abilities, but she'll never evoke passions of a deeper love and admiration the way BJK, Chrissie, or Martina did and still do. You won't see hordes of fan boys trumpeting her records.

She might have been a great tennis player, but a tennis icon? Hmm...

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:13 AM
Aside from all that non-Open Era blahblahblah, Margaret Court was neither glam nor did she have to suffer through adversity. Worse, she is anti-gay and not particularly feminist. This is unfortunate because women's tennis is a diva-worship culture, so Court's pretty much alienated her biggest possible fanbase. I think a lot of people respect her for her accomplishments and abilities, but she'll never evoke passions of a deeper love and admiration the way BJK, Chrissie, or Martina did and still do. You won't see hordes of fan boys trumpeting her records.

She might have been a great tennis player, but a tennis icon? Hmm...
Margaret Court's accomplishments make her a tennis icon. Period.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:21 AM
Margaret Court's accomplishments make her a tennis icon. Period.


Yes, it is between her and Graf about who is the greatest ever.
24 and 22 slams. Grand slam winners both.
No one comes close to this.

Olórin
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:27 AM
The same reason why people never talk about Maureen Connolly or Suzanne Lenglen despite the fact they are among the very greatest players ever - people are ignorant.

hingis-seles
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:23 AM
A lot of the blame lies with those of the tennis fraternity, who have access to the media and have attempted to downplay Court's record to further their own agenda.

The woman completed the boxed set before the Open era as well as after the Open era. She was a lefty forced to play right-handed. She helped revolutionize women's sports. She is a bright spot in women's tennis history.

wally1
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:49 AM
The pre-open era Australian Open had very weak fields. Most seeds were local girls, very few slam winners made the trip to Australia.
So Court's seven AO titles in 1960-66 don't get a lot of credit.

In 1960 Bueno and Truman (UK) were the only opposition who ever won a slam during their careers. 6 of the 8 seeds were Australian.
In 1961 Turner was the only slam winner beside Court; all 8 seeds were Aussies.
In 1962 Turner again and D. Hard (USA), 14 of 16 seeds Australians.
In 1963 Turner and Truman; the seeds were only Australians and Brits.
In 1964 Turner; 7 of 7 top seeds from Australia.
1965 was an exception - Bueno, Turner, King, Jones and Truman showed up.
1966 had Richey (USA), Turner and Melville, 10 of 12 seeds Aussies.

So sort of a tier II tournament in today's standards.

When it mattered most, in Wimbledon, Court won only 3 times.
But Navratlova 9 times, Graf 7 times. So Martina and Steffi are considered superior to Court.This is a fair point re Court. For most of tennis history Wimbledon stood head and shoulders above any other tournament, even the USO and RG. I read a book by Helen Jacobs recently (American who won multiple US championships in the 30's) and she just refers to Wimbledon as the "world championships" and whoever won as the "world champion". The past wasn't like today when the Grand Slams are far more equal, but the rest of the tour pales in comparison.

Btw no-one who knows anything about tennis history would ever forget Wills' phenomenal record. She was a dominant baseliner in an era of all court players (almost the reverse of today).

tommyk75
Jan 31st, 2010, 12:02 PM
Yeah, it's not really fair to just count the total number of Majors won to calculate a player's greatness. Like others have mentioned, people didn't always hold all the Grand Slam events in the same esteem that they do now. The Australian Open certainly wasnt (BJK wasn't the only one to skip it; both Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert decided not to play several times), and neither was the French Open. Back in the 70s, World Team Tennis was paying buckets of money, so many players decided to play that and skip the French. Chris Evert probably regrets that decision quite a bit; she would surely have won the French at least a couple of times during those years (it's right when she was on that amazing clay court-winning streak) and be ahead of Martina in the number of Slam wins...

Steffica Greles
Jan 31st, 2010, 01:23 PM
Very good thread.


First of all, I'm as guilty, not of forgetting, but of really putting Court and Wills-Moody's totals in a different bracket.


Court, I feel, was a little lucky that 6 year-old girls who'd just started tennis lessons, as well as the odd kangaroo and koala, were entering the Australian Open in the 1970s. Some of her 11 singles titles really were the equivalent of winning tier 4 events now, and that was even by the standards of the 1960s and 70s.


The Australian Open was not really a 'major' until the mid-1980s, and at that time it was still far less prestigious than the other 3 slams. By 1988, it had moved to Melbourne Park, and was starting to gain in reputation. Graf won the first Australian Open at Melbourne Park.


But even into the mid 1990s, it was fairly normal for players to skip the Australian Open, and nobody noticed like they would today. Novotna, finalist in 1991, and top 5 player for much of the latter half of the 1990s, didn't play the Australian Open from 1995-1998. Nor did Maleeva, no.4 in the world around that time. Martinez didn't play there for years. Seles skipped Australia in 1990. Graf didn't play in 1987. Chris Evert didn't even compete in the Australian Open (unless I'm wrong?) until 1982, by which time she was 28!


So that's one explanation.


The other is simply that they're much further back, and it's so hard to compare to now. It takes nothing away from their contribution to tennis, nor from their greatness, which is etched in the game's history.


In 50 years time, people won't remember Graf, Evert, Navratilova or even the Williams sisters quite as well. Sure they'll be talked about, but the players of the last 50 years will be rated far higher in people's estimations. And that's just the way it is.

Kunal
Jan 31st, 2010, 01:42 PM
with no disrespect the level of competition was not as intense in that era.

you look at the physical aspect and how gruelling the tour is, it makes serenas 12 grandslams all the more impressive.

thrust
Jan 31st, 2010, 01:56 PM
They do mention them but the slams they won before the open era are excluded. Steffi and Chris slams were all in the open era.

AGAIN, the Open Era applies ONLY to men's tennis. There was NO pro tour for the women before 1968,therefore, ALL top women played the Slams as well as the regular tour. There was a significant men's pro tour before 68 that had most of the top players: Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad, Gimeno, Segura, Trabert-etc.. As for Wills, one of the most dominant players ever, her era was so long ago most people today never think of her. Court, the dominant player of her era which inluded: King, Jones, Wade, Cassals, Richey, Bueno, Hard-etc. is unfairly overlooked because in 5 of her Aussie titles top foreign players did not compete. Back then though several of the top female players were Australian, unlike today. Had she been born an American or became a US citizen, she would be more highly regarded. Another mark against her by some is that she did not fight the establishment for a women's tour and was outspoken about gay players outing themselves, as she thought it gave the sport a bad name. She also thinks the Gay lifestyle is immoral or against the teachings of the Bible, as she is now a sort of an Evangelical minister.

thrust
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:09 PM
Oh, I didn't know she collapsed. I heard someone once say that she was embarrassed to lose to the youngster Margaret. I stand corrected. :)

You can be sure Bueno NEVER would have defaulted unless seriously injured. When Court beat King in their very long Wimbledon final, both were severly injurd but could not even sit down during a changeover between games. Court's foot was so sore that she took off her sneakers and played just wearing socks. They could towel off and take a quick drink, which took about a minute. Play WAS continuous then.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:28 PM
Very good thread.


First of all, I'm as guilty, not of forgetting, but of really putting Court and Wills-Moody's totals in a different bracket.


Court, I feel, was a little lucky that 6 year-old girls who'd just started tennis lessons, as well as the odd kangaroo and koala, were entering the Australian Open in the 1970s. Some of her 11 singles titles really were the equivalent of winning tier 4 events now, and that was even by the standards of the 1960s and 70s.


The Australian Open was not really a 'major' until the mid-1980s, and at that time it was still far less prestigious than the other 3 slams. By 1988, it had moved to Melbourne Park, and was starting to gain in reputation. Graf won the first Australian Open at Melbourne Park.


But even into the mid 1990s, it was fairly normal for players to skip the Australian Open, and nobody noticed like they would today. Novotna, finalist in 1991, and top 5 player for much of the latter half of the 1990s, didn't play the Australian Open from 1995-1998. Nor did Maleeva, no.4 in the world around that time. Martinez didn't play there for years. Seles skipped Australia in 1990. Graf didn't play in 1987. Chris Evert didn't even compete in the Australian Open (unless I'm wrong?) until 1982, by which time she was 28!


So that's one explanation.


The other is simply that they're much further back, and it's so hard to compare to now. It takes nothing away from their contribution to tennis, nor from their greatness, which is etched in the game's history.


In 50 years time, people won't remember Graf, Evert, Navratilova or even the Williams sisters quite as well. ...



Great post.
But you lost it with the tiny word "even" here ...
:rolleyes:

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:34 PM
In 50 years time, people won't remember Graf, Evert, Navratilova or even the Williams sisters quite as well. Sure they'll be talked about, but the players of the last 50 years will be rated far higher in people's estimations. And that's just the way it is.

There's a lot of truth in that Steffica Greles. A lot of this comes down to mere "my fav" mentality as well. The agenda of some is plain to see.

Hopefully I'll be around to see a lot of Graf and Willy fans who bash the oldies now change their tune-LOL.

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:44 PM
Court, I feel, was a little lucky that 6 year-old girls who'd just started tennis lessons, as well as the odd kangaroo and koala, were entering the Australian Open in the 1970s. Some of her 11 singles titles really were the equivalent of winning (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=401241&page=3#) tier 4 events now, and that was even by the standards of the 1960s and 70s.

:lol: C'mon Steffica. Even in the weakest year's there were at least 3 or 4 other top ten women in the field-even if they were Aussie.


The Australian Open was not really a 'major' until the mid-1980s, and at that time it was still far less prestigious than the other 3 slams. By 1988, it had moved to Melbourne Park, and was starting to gain in reputation. Graf won the first Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

All true-so what an equitable solution? No doubt competition now is stiffer now in some regards, but today's women didn't have to overcome the barriers women in the past did. And are we going to discount slams from the 80s or 90s because tennis didn't exist in places like China and India?

Again, to anyone who wants to discount Court-if slam counting is important, how do we count them?

The easiest method is to just count them all equally-period.

If the Aussie doesn't count at all then eliminate Graf's 4 titles as well. That puts Helen Wills Moody on top:)

The only other equitable solution is to weight the slams.

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:49 PM
If Serena keeps racking up slams she will be an interesting part of this conversation in the future.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 04:04 PM
If Serena keeps racking up slams she will be an interesting part of this conversation in the future.



She will be 29 this year. Time is not on her side.

Rollo
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:31 PM
She will be 29 this year. Time is not on her side

True. she plans on being around for the 2012 Olympics though. It's not unrealistic to suppose she wins 5 more majors before she's done.

Surely she's a long shot to win the French this year-but if she should....it will get interesting

GeeTee
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:50 PM
people are ignorant.
Yep

It was 'so easy' for Margaret and others before 2000 because 'no-one played the Aussie until this time', 'it was so weak', 'tennis standards were so low before the The Open era/The Williams sisters/Martina N/Chris Evert/Steffi/Monica started playing'... *yawn*

Look at these results from 1965 and try to say which was the hardest Slam to win for Marg...

Five bagels to her during the US
Four bagels to her during Wimby
Four bagels to her during Roland Garros
One bagel to her during the Aussie..

AUSTRALIAN
1R bye
2R d Jenkins AUS 61 60
3R d Baylon ARG 75 61
QF d Durr FRA 63 63
SF d King USA 61 86
F d Bueno BRA 57 64 52 ret

DOUBLES F Court/Turner d Ebbern/Moffitt 1-6 6-2 6-3
MIXED F Newcombe/Court shared with Davidson/Ebbern AUS

FRENCH
1R bye
2R d Varin FRA 60 60
3R d Riedl GER 61 60
4R d Vopickova CZE 60 63
QF d Baylon ARG 63 61
SF d Richey USA 75 64
F l Turner AUS 36 46

DOUBLES F Court/Turner AUS d Durr/Lieffrig FRA 6-3 6-1
MIXED F Fletcher/Court AUS d

WIMBLEDON
1R bye
2R d Leyrer FRA 60 61
3R d Bentley GBR 60 61
4R d MacLennan AUS 62 61
QF d Bricka USA 63 60
SF d Truman GBR 64 60
F d Bueno BRA 64 75

DOUBLES R3 Court/Turner l Durr/Lieffrig FRA 46 46
MIXED F Fletcher/Court d Roche/Tegart AUS 1210 63

US CHAMPS
1R d Brown USA 61 60
2R d Martinez USA 60 63
3R d Bricka USA 60 60
QF d Durr FRA 61 60
SF d Richey USA 62 62
F d King USA 86 75

DOUBLES DNP (playing in Europe!)
MIXED F Stolle/Court AUS d Froehling USA/Tegart AUS 62 62

Even though 1965 was a strong year for the Aussie, similar comparisons can be made in other years.

brickhousesupporter
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:20 PM
Hypothetically speaking.......
Lets say that Miami becomes the 5th slam, do we just include the winner of the previous tournaments and add that to their grandslam totals? Or do we put asterisks behind those titles and say that those were before their grandslam status and therefore does not count to their total

thrust
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:36 PM
A lot of the blame lies with those of the tennis fraternity, who have access to the media and have attempted to downplay Court's record to further their own agenda.

The woman completed the boxed set before the Open era as well as after the Open era. She was a lefty forced to play right-handed. She helped revolutionize women's sports. She is a bright spot in women's tennis history.

She also lost about three years of her prime for an early retirement and two pregnancies. After her first retirement, she won the Grand Slam. After her first child, she won three of four Salams her first full year back. She was the dominant player in a very competitive top 10 player era. Those who make fun and nasty remarks about her accomplishments are either haters, stupid, or ignorant.

thrust
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:40 PM
Hypothetically speaking.......
Lets say that Miami becomes the 5th slam, do we just include the winner of the previous tournaments and add that to their grandslam totals? Or do we put asterisks behind those titles and say that those were before their grandslam status and therefore does not count to their total

Miami will probably never become the fifth slam. If it did, the previous winners would not be considered slam winners for having won that tournament.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:40 PM
Yep

It was 'so easy' for Margaret and others before 2000 because 'no-one played the Aussie until this time', 'it was so weak', 'tennis standards were so low before the The Open era/The Williams sisters/Martina N/Chris Evert/Steffi/Monica started playing'... *yawn*

Look at these results from 1965 and try to say which was the hardest Slam to win for Marg...

Five bagels to her during the US
Four bagels to her during Wimby
Four bagels to her during Roland Garros
One bagel to her during the Aussie..

AUSTRALIAN
1R bye
2R d Jenkins AUS 61 60
3R d Baylon ARG 75 61
QF d Durr FRA 63 63
SF d King USA 61 86
F d Bueno BRA 57 64 52 ret

DOUBLES F Court/Turner d Ebbern/Moffitt 1-6 6-2 6-3
MIXED F Newcombe/Court shared with Davidson/Ebbern AUS

FRENCH
1R bye
2R d Varin FRA 60 60
3R d Riedl GER 61 60
4R d Vopickova CZE 60 63
QF d Baylon ARG 63 61
SF d Richey USA 75 64
F l Turner AUS 36 46

DOUBLES F Court/Turner AUS d Durr/Lieffrig FRA 6-3 6-1
MIXED F Fletcher/Court AUS d

WIMBLEDON
1R bye
2R d Leyrer FRA 60 61
3R d Bentley GBR 60 61
4R d MacLennan AUS 62 61
QF d Bricka USA 63 60
SF d Truman GBR 64 60
F d Bueno BRA 64 75

DOUBLES R3 Court/Turner l Durr/Lieffrig FRA 46 46
MIXED F Fletcher/Court d Roche/Tegart AUS 1210 63

US CHAMPS
1R d Brown USA 61 60
2R d Martinez USA 60 63
3R d Bricka USA 60 60
QF d Durr FRA 61 60
SF d Richey USA 62 62
F d King USA 86 75

DOUBLES DNP (playing in Europe!)
MIXED F Stolle/Court AUS d Froehling USA/Tegart AUS 62 62

Even though 1965 was a strong year for the Aussie, similar comparisons can be made in other years.


Court won 5 AOs in 1960-64 in which Bueno took part once (1960), Darlene Hard once (1962), Truman twice (1960 & 1963) and her compatriot Turner 4 times.

I don't want to say that Graf, Navratilova were "better" or "greater" than Court. Only that you can't compare Australian Open titles of the the early 60ies with what we call "slam tournaments" today. It was something totally different back then.

bobcat
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:12 PM
Court was obviously a great player, but you simply can't compare some of the old AO wins with, say, Wimbledon. It's not only due the strength of the fields, but also because of the amount of pressure that was on the players to win them. I'm sure we can all name lots of players who can win Tier 1 and 2 tournaments but choke at the slams. Why? It's because everyone knows the slams are the most important. Back then Wimbledon was the important tournament. The AO wasn't.

miffedmax
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:55 PM
:lol: C'mon Steffica. Even in the weakest year's there were at least 3 or 4 other top ten women in the field-even if they were Aussie.



All true-so what an equitable solution? No doubt competition now is stiffer now in some regards, but today's women didn't have to overcome the barriers women in the past did. And are we going to discount slams from the 80s or 90s because tennis didn't exist in places like China and India?

Again, to anyone who wants to discount Court-if slam counting is important, how do we count them?

The easiest method is to just count them all equally-period.

If the Aussie doesn't count at all then eliminate Graf's 4 titles as well. That puts Helen Wills Moody on top:)

The only other equitable solution is to weight the slams.

Count me among those who thinks slam counting as the sole measure of greatness is pointless.

And not just because my current fave doesn't have one. But the fact is they don't compare equally over different eras, and they probably won't in the future either.

All slams aren't created equal, convenient as that would be. All #1s aren't created equal, either. There's a whole lot of factors that you have to weigh, and even then I think the best you can do is come up with a best of his/her era. There's really no such thing as a GOAT.

manu32
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:07 PM
australian open is the key of court's record.....
but look at the draws ,nobody plays AO but Court .....

Donny
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:07 PM
Short answer: people don't forget. People just make an arbitrary distinction between slams for simplicity's sake.

Donny
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:15 PM
Margaret Court's accomplishments make her a tennis icon. Period.

An icon is an object of devotion, of worship. iconic status very much relies on what esteem tennis fans hold her in.

moby
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:30 PM
An icon is an object of devotion of worship. iconic status very much relies on what esteem tennis fans hold her in.To put in in music parlance (since the Grammys are on),

Graf = Aretha Franklin, many Grammys and widely considered the GOAT
Navratilova = Ella Fitzgerald, has her own group of followers who think she's GOAT (stylisation over power)
BJK = Madonna, not quite as many Grammys but huge cultural impact, respected more for her impact on the industry than her musical prowess


Margaret Court = Alison Krauss (most Grammys but it's partly because she sings in some obscure genre so no one cares)

darrinbaker00
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:54 PM
An icon is an object of devotion, of worship. iconic status very much relies on what esteem tennis fans hold her in.
If you don't hold Margaret Court's accomplishments in high esteem, then you're not a real tennis fan. Period.

Donny
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:04 AM
If you don't hold Margaret Court's accomplishments in high esteem, then you're not a real tennis fan. Period.

Her accomplishments are extraordinary, but I don't consider it to be the same thing as women's Open Era accomplishment, any more than I consider Fed's 16 slams to be. two completely different beasts.

darrinbaker00
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:08 AM
Her accomplishments are extraordinary, but I don't consider it to be the same thing as women's Open Era accomplishment, any more than I consider Fed's 16 slams to be. two completely different beasts.
What's the difference between the pre-Open and Open eras for the women, Donny? Professional tennis was never really an option for women players until 1968.

GeeTee
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:38 AM
australian open is the key of court's record.....
but look at the draws ,nobody plays AO but Court .....

Ahh - you've obviously done your research.... :rolleyes:

Before computer rankings (which are not immune to criticism - even TODAY) world ranks were usually decided by 'experts' after the US or the Pacific Southwest tournament which followed a few weeks later.

Below is a list of who played the Australian during Court's era. Because - for example - someone like Court might not be ranked in 1960 but then was one of the dominant players during 1961 - I have included the highest rank of the player for either 1960 OR 1961 for the 1961 title (etc etc). Not perfect science but a very good indication of the calibre of players at the time (and this is why - for some years below - there are double-ups in certain ranking positions).

As the rankings were only top ten at the time, plenty of players who were on the cusp (Lehane is a good example) in some years might not have been rated though Lehane (and Turner, Ebbern etc in the early 60s) would certainly have been ranked in the top 15 at least. However, if they weren't in the Top 10 for the previous or 'current' year, I have still left them off the list below completely.

Probably the weakest of the lot depth-wise is the 1971 Aussie. But in this one the World #1 of 1970 and the World #1 of 1971 both played (and played a classic final)...

60 WON BY COURT
1 Bueno BRA
4 Truman GBR
8 Lehane AUS

61 WON By COURT
4 Court AUS
8 Lehane AUS
10 Turner AUS

62 WON BY COURT
2 Hard USA
4 Court AUS
8 Ramirez MEX
9 Turner AUS

63 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Turner AUS
7 Lehane AUS
9 Truman GBR

64 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
3 Turner AUS
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS

65 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Bueno BRA
3 Turner AUS
4 Graebner USA
6 Richey USA
6 Van Zyl RSA
7 Truman GBR
7 King USA
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS
10 Durr FRA

66 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
03 Turner AUS
08 Richey USA
09 Graebner USA
10 Melville AUS

67 WON BY RICHEY (Court had retired)
02 Richey USA
05 Turner USA
06 Casals USA
08 Durr FRA
09 Tegart AUS
10 Melville AUS

68 WON BY KING
01 King USA
04 Court AUS
05 Turner AUS
06 Casals USA
07 Tegart AUS
09 Melville AUS

69 WON BY COURT
01 King USA
01 Court AUS
02 Jones GBR
06 Casals USA
07 Melville AUS
07 Tegart AUS
10 Turner AUS
10 Durr FRA

70 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
07 Melville AUS
08 Krantczke AUS

71 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
01 Goolagong AUS

72 WON BY WADE (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Goolagong AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

73 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
02 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

74 WON BY GOOLAGONG (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Evert USA
03 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
09 Heldman USA

75 WON BY GOOLAGONG
03 Goolagong AUS
04 Morozova RUS
04 Navratilova CZE
05 Melville AUS
06 Court AUS
10 Sawamatsu JPN

It's worth pointing out that in many years during this era, the complete top ten didn't play the US, the French or even sometimes Wimbledon (just as these days - for one reason or another - not everyone plays every elite tournament - even Slams). Should we put an asterisk next to Slam winners of 2007-09 because Henin or Clijsters or Sharapova or whoever were missing???

Some players - eg Billie Jean in 1963/4 - turned down an expenses-paid invitation to Australia because she thought she was on a hiding to nothing vs Marg on home turf. Others followed more lucrative under-the-table money offers to other tournaments like the South African circuit. Many top-ranked overseas stars (eg Bueno, Hard, even King) who did travel downunder lost to virtually unknown Aussies during their tours, so the domestic standard was no pushover, despite what some might say or think.

It's also relevant that now - with 32 players seeded instead of 8 in the 60s or 70s - players were much more likely to come up against higher-ranked opponents in the earlier rounds of any Slam. Today's players are relatively protected, but Henin v Dementieva in this year's AO R2 is a perfect example of what the top stars of yesteryear might face regularly in early rounds of important tournaments.

Sam L
Feb 1st, 2010, 08:25 AM
What's the difference between the pre-Open and Open eras for the women, Donny? Professional tennis was never really an option for women players until 1968.

You know that statement has a lot of truth in it. This pre-Open era argument, imo, is more for the men's side. The Pancho Gonzalezes and others. This issue, of course, is worth a discussion on its own. But like you said, really, on the women's side, no one retired to become great pros anyway.

There are some great pre-Open era champions like Dod, Chambers, Mallory, Wills, Lenglen, Connolly, Gibson - these are the "only pre-Open era" champions, I'm not even talking about others including the Courts that overlapped both eras. To diminish their achievements because of a pro tour that never existed is laughable at best, dishonest at worst.

louloubelle
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:24 AM
Ahh - you've obviously done your research.... :rolleyes:

Before computer rankings (which are not immune to criticism - even TODAY) world ranks were usually decided by 'experts' after the US or the Pacific Southwest tournament which followed a few weeks later.

Below is a list of who played the Australian during Court's era. Because - for example - someone like Court might not be ranked in 1960 but then was one of the dominant players during 1961 - I have included the highest rank of the player for either 1960 OR 1961 for the 1961 title (etc etc). Not perfect science but a very good indication of the calibre of players at the time (and this is why - for some years below - there are double-ups in certain ranking positions).

As the rankings were only top ten at the time, plenty of players who were on the cusp (Lehane is a good example) in some years might not have been rated though Lehane (and Turner, Ebbern etc in the early 60s) would certainly have been ranked in the top 15 at least. However, if they weren't in the Top 10 for the previous or 'current' year, I have still left them off the list below completely.

Probably the weakest of the lot depth-wise is the 1971 Aussie. But in this one the World #1 of 1970 and the World #1 of 1971 both played (and played a classic final)...

60 WON BY COURT
1 Bueno BRA
4 Truman GBR
8 Lehane AUS

61 WON By COURT
4 Court AUS
8 Lehane AUS
10 Turner AUS

62 WON BY COURT
2 Hard USA
4 Court AUS
8 Ramirez MEX
9 Turner AUS

63 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Turner AUS
7 Lehane AUS
9 Truman GBR

64 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
3 Turner AUS
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS

65 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Bueno BRA
3 Turner AUS
4 Graebner USA
6 Richey USA
6 Van Zyl RSA
7 Truman GBR
7 King USA
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS
10 Durr FRA

66 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
03 Turner AUS
08 Richey USA
09 Graebner USA
10 Melville AUS

67 WON BY RICHEY (Court had retired)
02 Richey USA
05 Turner USA
06 Casals USA
08 Durr FRA
09 Tegart AUS
10 Melville AUS

68 WON BY KING
01 King USA
04 Court AUS
05 Turner AUS
06 Casals USA
07 Tegart AUS
09 Melville AUS

69 WON BY COURT
01 King USA
01 Court AUS
02 Jones GBR
06 Casals USA
07 Melville AUS
07 Tegart AUS
10 Turner AUS
10 Durr FRA

70 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
07 Melville AUS
08 Krantczke AUS

71 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
01 Goolagong AUS

72 WON BY WADE (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Goolagong AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

73 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
02 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

74 WON BY GOOLAGONG (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Evert USA
03 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
09 Heldman USA

75 WON BY GOOLAGONG
03 Goolagong AUS
04 Morozova RUS
04 Navratilova CZE
05 Melville AUS
06 Court AUS
10 Sawamatsu JPN

It's worth pointing out that in many years during this era, the complete top ten didn't play the US, the French or even sometimes Wimbledon (just as these days - for one reason or another - not everyone plays every elite tournament - even Slams). Should we put an asterisk next to Slam winners of 2007-09 because Henin or Clijsters or Sharapova or whoever were missing???

Some players - eg Billie Jean in 1963/4 - turned down an expenses-paid invitation to Australia because she thought she was on a hiding to nothing vs Marg on home turf. Others followed more lucrative under-the-table money offers to other tournaments like the South African circuit. Many top-ranked overseas stars (eg Bueno, Hard, even King) who did travel downunder lost to virtually unknown Aussies during their tours, so the domestic standard was no pushover, despite what some might say or think.

It's also relevant that now - with 32 players seeded instead of 8 in the 60s or 70s - players were much more likely to come up against higher-ranked opponents in the earlier rounds of any Slam. Today's players are relatively protected, but Henin v Dementieva in this year's AO R2 is a perfect example of what the top stars of yesteryear might face regularly in early rounds of important tournaments.
Great research mate - thanks for that :)

I also know during the 60's that often the Australian tennis officialdom often either couldn't be bothered attracting overseas stars to Australia or would put all their eggs in one basket - one year they chased King and Susman and when they eventually declined tried to lure Hard and Ramirez who then had committed elsewhere. Not Marg's fault.

Not usual for people to diss the sport in the 80's and say that Chris and Martina had cakewalks till the semi's in the slams. How is this different to Marg's AO crowns?

kiwifan
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:48 PM
You know there were a lot of tennis players who didn't get to compete at all at the top levels during the pre-Open era. For all you know the true GOATS of that era were hitting balls on private courts some undiscovered, some merely ignored because they weren't part of the country club/old boys network...

...if Richard Williams had shown up back then with his daughters; they could have just said, "not interested" and that would have been the end of those kids tennis careers...

... it wasn't an "open game". Winning a slam back then made you the best of the hand picked few not the best of the best.

Vlover
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:27 PM
You know there were a lot of tennis players who didn't get to compete at all at the top levels during the pre-Open era. For all you know the true GOATS of that era were hitting balls on private courts some undiscovered, some merely ignored because they weren't part of the country club/old boys network...

...if Richard Williams had shown up back then with his daughters; they could have just said, "not interested" and that would have been the end of those kids tennis careers...

... it wasn't an "open game". Winning a slam back then made you the best of the hand picked few not the best of the best.
Great point kiwifan! Even when it became "open" there was still a lot of establishment snubbing going on to this day.:tape: All this GOAT stuff is just pure subjective folly. Each era presented a different set of circumstances therefore each should be judged separately and on their own merits.

thrust
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:40 PM
Ahh - you've obviously done your research.... :rolleyes:

Before computer rankings (which are not immune to criticism - even TODAY) world ranks were usually decided by 'experts' after the US or the Pacific Southwest tournament which followed a few weeks later.

Below is a list of who played the Australian during Court's era. Because - for example - someone like Court might not be ranked in 1960 but then was one of the dominant players during 1961 - I have included the highest rank of the player for either 1960 OR 1961 for the 1961 title (etc etc). Not perfect science but a very good indication of the calibre of players at the time (and this is why - for some years below - there are double-ups in certain ranking positions).

As the rankings were only top ten at the time, plenty of players who were on the cusp (Lehane is a good example) in some years might not have been rated though Lehane (and Turner, Ebbern etc in the early 60s) would certainly have been ranked in the top 15 at least. However, if they weren't in the Top 10 for the previous or 'current' year, I have still left them off the list below completely.

Probably the weakest of the lot depth-wise is the 1971 Aussie. But in this one the World #1 of 1970 and the World #1 of 1971 both played (and played a classic final)...

60 WON BY COURT
1 Bueno BRA
4 Truman GBR
8 Lehane AUS

61 WON By COURT
4 Court AUS
8 Lehane AUS
10 Turner AUS

62 WON BY COURT
2 Hard USA
4 Court AUS
8 Ramirez MEX
9 Turner AUS

63 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Turner AUS
7 Lehane AUS
9 Truman GBR

64 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
3 Turner AUS
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS

65 WON BY COURT
1 Court AUS
2 Bueno BRA
3 Turner AUS
4 Graebner USA
6 Richey USA
6 Van Zyl RSA
7 Truman GBR
7 King USA
9 Ebbern AUS
10 Lehane AUS
10 Durr FRA

66 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
03 Turner AUS
08 Richey USA
09 Graebner USA
10 Melville AUS

67 WON BY RICHEY (Court had retired)
02 Richey USA
05 Turner USA
06 Casals USA
08 Durr FRA
09 Tegart AUS
10 Melville AUS

68 WON BY KING
01 King USA
04 Court AUS
05 Turner AUS
06 Casals USA
07 Tegart AUS
09 Melville AUS

69 WON BY COURT
01 King USA
01 Court AUS
02 Jones GBR
06 Casals USA
07 Melville AUS
07 Tegart AUS
10 Turner AUS
10 Durr FRA

70 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
07 Melville AUS
08 Krantczke AUS

71 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
01 Goolagong AUS

72 WON BY WADE (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Goolagong AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

73 WON BY COURT
01 Court AUS
02 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
06 Wade GBR
09 Morozova RUS

74 WON BY GOOLAGONG (Court absent due to pregnancy)
01 Evert USA
03 Goolagong AUS
05 Melville AUS
09 Heldman USA

75 WON BY GOOLAGONG
03 Goolagong AUS
04 Morozova RUS
04 Navratilova CZE
05 Melville AUS
06 Court AUS
10 Sawamatsu JPN

It's worth pointing out that in many years during this era, the complete top ten didn't play the US, the French or even sometimes Wimbledon (just as these days - for one reason or another - not everyone plays every elite tournament - even Slams). Should we put an asterisk next to Slam winners of 2007-09 because Henin or Clijsters or Sharapova or whoever were missing???

Some players - eg Billie Jean in 1963/4 - turned down an expenses-paid invitation to Australia because she thought she was on a hiding to nothing vs Marg on home turf. Others followed more lucrative under-the-table money offers to other tournaments like the South African circuit. Many top-ranked overseas stars (eg Bueno, Hard, even King) who did travel downunder lost to virtually unknown Aussies during their tours, so the domestic standard was no pushover, despite what some might say or think.

It's also relevant that now - with 32 players seeded instead of 8 in the 60s or 70s - players were much more likely to come up against higher-ranked opponents in the earlier rounds of any Slam. Today's players are relatively protected, but Henin v Dementieva in this year's AO R2 is a perfect example of what the top stars of yesteryear might face regularly in early rounds of important tournaments.


GREAT POST! The problem IS that most here are not interested in FACTS. The BJK crowd, mostly Americans, have tried to make Court's accomplishments less than what the actually were. Court won 190 sanctioned WTA tournaments, lifetime and has winning records agains ALL of her top competition from 1960-1974. She beat King in 4 of 5 slam finals, two of them at Wimbledon. The only slam final she lost to King was the AO, which was her first comeback final. The next year,69, she beat King easily in the AO final. She may not be a tennis icon, but then, she raised 4 children, became a minister and is now a devoted grandmother. TENNIS was not her whole life.

Vlover
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:50 PM
GREAT POST! The problem IS that most here are not interested in FACTS. The BJK crowd, mostly Americans, have tried to make Court's accomplishments less than what the actually were.
I don't see that at all, the Graf crowd are the ones who think everyone else accomplishment is pure shit and none compare to her even after one of them stabbed her only rival.:tape:

2Black
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:08 PM
Obviously, there were competition quirks ... another reason I don't think Babe Ruth is all that because black players weren't allowed in the major leagues.

Anytime a field is diluted, I don't think you can put as much WEIGHT into the win. I think Court & Wills deserve some credit but only borderline Top 5 players in history. Top 5 stand as:

Navratilova
Graf
Evert
Serena
Seles/King/Court/Wills

dany.p
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:24 PM
You know there were a lot of tennis players who didn't get to compete at all at the top levels during the pre-Open era. For all you know the true GOATS of that era were hitting balls on private courts some undiscovered, some merely ignored because they weren't part of the country club/old boys network...

...if Richard Williams had shown up back then with his daughters; they could have just said, "not interested" and that would have been the end of those kids tennis careers...

... it wasn't an "open game". Winning a slam back then made you the best of the hand picked few not the best of the best.

:worship: Very good point, and one that is never bought up.

Rollo
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:26 PM
Count me among those who thinks slam counting as the sole measure of greatness is pointless.

And not just because my current fave doesn't have one. But the fact is they don't compare equally over different eras, and they probably won't in the future either.

All slams aren't created equal, convenient as that would be. All #1s aren't created equal, either. There's a whole lot of factors that you have to weigh, and even then I think the best you can do is come up with a best of his/her era. There's really no such thing as a GOAT.

Great post MiffedMax!:bounce:

P. S. Here's to Dementieva winnign a slam

Rollo
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrust http://imgsrv2.tennisuniverse.com/wtaworld/images/buttons/blue/viewpost.gif (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=17224928#post17224928)
GREAT POST! The problem IS that most here are not interested in FACTS. The BJK crowd, mostly Americans, have tried to make Court's accomplishments less than what the actually were.

I don't see that at all, the Graf crowd are the ones who think everyone else accomplishment is pure shit and none compare to her even after one of them stabbed her only rival.:tape:

Thrust is correct Vlover.


The Graf-Seles-Navartilova rivalry is what is easy to see because it's here on the board now, but Billie Jean and Margaret in their era had little respect for each other.

Billie Jean naturally had a pro-American bias that was handed down to Chris Evert, who has also downplayed Court's accomplishments. I "didn't see it"
until a lot of the Aussies brought this to out attention in the Blast.

None of that makes King wrong or Court right, but history totally depends on who's chair you're sitting in. The intro to Court's own auotobiography tries to run down Suzanne Lenglen-another forgotten champion.

History usually repeats itself.

hingis-seles
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:53 PM
Essentially, they're all bitches. :p They had to be to get to #1. ;)

Rollo
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:56 PM
You know there were a lot of tennis players who didn't get to compete at all at the top levels during the pre-Open era. For all you know the true GOATS of that era were hitting balls on private courts some undiscovered, some merely ignored because they weren't part of the country club/old boys network...

FYI, Margaret Court, Billie jean King, and Mo Connolly (3 greats from those "private clubs" days) all came from poor to middle class backgrounds. Not a one was part of some country club network. Yes, that network existed, but Court, and especially King, fought against it.


...if Richard Williams had shown up back then with his daughters; they could have just said, "not interested" and that would have been the end of those kids tennis careers...

Back when? Be exact. You would be entirely correct about Helen Wills.

But somebody by the name of Althea Gibson came along and broke down a lot of those barriers. No, she didn't come from a country club. She played before Margaret Court.

... it wasn't an "open game". Winning a slam back then made you the best of the hand picked few not the best of the best.



And is it so different today? If a girl isn't lucky to be trained by a parent or tennis association by the time she's ten (and that's late these days) she will not be a pro tennis player. And guess what-most of the world, even today, does not fall into that category. Whole regions of the world like Africa, India and the Middle East are just full of kids who might very well surpass Justine or Serena-but we'll never know because they will never get the chance.

Rollo
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:58 PM
Essentially, they're all bitches. :p They had to be to get to #1. ;)


LOL. There's something to be said for that Hingis-Seles. All the truly top-notch women were ruthless.

Vlover
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:24 PM
Thrust is correct Vlover.
The Graf-Seles-Navartilova rivalry is what is easy to see because it's here on the board now, but Billie Jean and Margaret in their era had little respect for each other.

Billie Jean naturally had a pro-American bias that was handed down to Chris Evert, who has also downplayed Court's accomplishments. I "didn't see it"
until a lot of the Aussies brought this to out attention in the Blast.

None of that makes King wrong or Court right, but history totally depends on who's chair you're sitting in. The intro to Court's own auotobiography tries to run down Suzanne Lenglen-another forgotten champion.

History usually repeats itself.
I will confess that I don't know much about these previous rivalries and don't care enough frankly at this time to further examine it in greater detail as I'm too busy enjoying tennis in the present.

I'm just speaking from my general observation that it is the Graf fans who think she is the greatest player ever lived and totally ignore the achievments of Court who has more majors if you are going strictly by slam count. Apart from that, all other arguments are purely subjective and various scenarios can be used to justify the mythical GOAT claim that some seek.

Rollo
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:57 PM
I'm just speaking from my general observation that it is the Graf fans who think she is the greatest player ever lived and totally ignore the achievments of Court who has more majors if you are going strictly by slam count. Apart from that, all other arguments are purely subjective and various scenarios can be used to justify the mythical GOAT claim that some seek.

You hit that nail on it's head. In the end all the arguements are pretty subjective. As I predicted earlier in this thread, things will get very interested
as Serena climbs up the slam ladder count.

thrust
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:01 PM
Essentially, they're all bitches. :p They had to be to get to #1. ;)

LOL!! Lot's of truth in that. A great champion needs a killer instinct on court, at least. Goolagong and Kim are perfect examples of a great player without a killer instinct. If the had one, they probably would have won more Slams. Certainly, Court, King, Evert, Navratilova Serena, and had THE instinct.

thrust
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:04 PM
They do mention them but the slams they won before the open era are excluded. Steffi and Chris slams were all in the open era.

Slams won before the Open Era are NOT excluded, nor should they be. It is the other tournaments which are excluded, though they should NOT be.

Vlover
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:32 PM
You hit that nail on it's head. In the end all the arguements are pretty subjective. As I predicted earlier in this thread, things will get very interested
as Serena climbs up the slam ladder count.
Of course! Why do you think most Graf fanatics hate Serena so much and are pseudo-fans of whoever seem to pose a challenge to her?;) Go Serena! I want you to continue to give LDV heartburns and nightmares.:lol:

brickhousesupporter
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:14 PM
I decided to join this forum because of this thread! As a casual viewer, I'm shocked that so many tennis fans are eager to marginalize the accomplishments of truly great players in tennis history because their achievements took place decades earlier.

Every tennis player since the beginning of the sport knows that the Grand Slam events and the Olympics are the pinnacle of the sport, regardless of where they are played. The implied importance of each individual grand slam event has changed over time, but tennis history rewards the winners of each event with equal reference.

During two streaks, Helen Wills Moody won 158 consecutive matches (without losing a set), and 14 consecutive grand slam events (1927 - 1933) that she played. By choice, Helen Wills Moody never played the Australian Championships. She won 19 of the 25 grand slam events she entered during her career. Its an amazing sports achievement in any generation.

Margaret Smith Court is one of only three players in women's tennis history to win a calendar year grand slam (1970--Open Era) and won more grand slam singles titles than any other man or woman in tennis history (24). She also holds the distinction of being the only man or woman to win every major Grand Slam title (singles, doubles, mixed) at least twice (pre and post Open Era). In total, she won 62 grand slam titles.

During Grand Slam finals tennis telecasts, they list the All-Time greats of womens tennis and always show a list of Grand Slam singles champions. Margaret Smith Court and Helen Wills Moody consistently at the top of that list for decades.

Margaret Smith Court 24 (last grand slam singles win 1973)
Steffi Graf 22 (last grand slam singles win 1999)
Helen Wills Moody 19 (last grand slam singles win 1938)

Given the span in decades between these players grand slam singles success, we'll likely not see another women's tennis player break 19 for another 20-30 years. I would give Serena Williams the nod but unfortunately her age will likely be her largest impediment.


The Olympics are a recent addition to the tennis world. They are still not considered the pinnacle of the sport, as many of the past greats were unable to play them. The rest of your argument is pretty accurate.

brickhousesupporter
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:49 PM
I mentioned the Olympics because tennis was an Olympic sport from 1896 - 1924 (Helen Wills Moody won 2 gold medals in tennis in 1924). Tennis didn't become a full medal Olympic sport again until 1988.

Of the three top grand slam singles title holders (Margaret Smith Court, Helen Wills Moody and Steffi Graf) only Margaret Court wasn't able to play in the Olympics. However, Wills Moody and Graf both won Olympic gold medals in singles. Suffice to say, if Smith Court had the opportunity to play in the Olympics, she likely would have won Gold in any tennis event offered given her record in all tennis events(singles, mixed, doubles).

The Olympics continue to be the pennacle of all sports. In 2010, I think you would be hard-pressed to hear any professional tennis player say they didn't want to play in the Olympics, or that they didn't view the Olympics as important.

Chrissie, Martina, and BJK did not get to play. I am not saying that players today don't value having an olympic gold, but it just does not have the history in open era tennis to say that it is at the pinnacle of the sport.

brickhousesupporter
Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:13 AM
Martina Navratilova played doubles with Lisa Raymond in the 2004 Olympic Games representing the United States. She also had an opportunity to play in 1988 and 1992. In 1988, Martina was an Australian Open semifinalist and Wimbledon finalist. In 1992, Martina made it to the Wimbledon semifinals.

Chris Evert lost in the third round of singles at the 1988 Olympic games, the same year she made it to the Australian Open singles final and Wimbledon/US Open semifinals.

Billie Jean King and Margaret Smith Court never had the opportunity to play in the Olympics.

***Of the top 7 grand slam single title holders, only two didn't have the opportunity to play Olympic tennis competition.

Margaret Smith Court 24***
Steffi Graf 22
Helen Wills Moody 19
Martina Navratilova 18
Chris Evert 18
Billie Jean King 12***
Serena Williams 12

I see you posted their records to suggest that they were in their primes when they had the opportunity to play.:lol:

miffedmax
Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:29 AM
The Olympics continue to be the pennacle of all sports.

There's a little event coming up in June that gives lie to this statement.;)

miffedmax
Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:40 AM
And Charlie Davies is gonna be BACK!!!! :armed: