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View Full Version : When was the Golden Era in women's tennis?


Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:42 AM
What would you say?

goldenlox
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:43 AM
You mean quality wise? Popularity wise?

King of Prussia
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:46 AM
I can't judge before my time but clearly around 1999.

Graf, Seles, the Williams, Kournikova, Hingis, Sanchez, Davenport all around...

A lot of womens tennis fans are nostalgic of that period.

goldenlox
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:47 AM
To me, this is the Golden era, because I'm watching it.
I'm sure that's a minority view.

Brooklyn90
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:00 AM
1997-2001

Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:04 AM
So far the poll is going just as expected.

c1992, c1999, c2003 are going to be popular choices. It's always good when there's a group of at least 4 players regularly reaching grandslam semis and producing great tennis.

One thing I'm not expecting is this current era to be very popular. We'll see.

Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:05 AM
Oh!

The present is catching up!

Stamp Paid
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:13 AM
I could be biased and say that 2002-03 was the best, simply because my favorite players were playing well. But that would be disingenuous. 1997-2001 produced some of the best classic matches regularly.

Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:17 AM
I could be biased and say that 2002-03 was the best, simply because my favorite players were playing well. But that would be disingenuous. 1997-2001 produced some of the best classic matches regularly.

In my mind it's close between 1990-1993, with the Graf-Seles epics, and Aranxta being a thorn in their side, and 1997-2001, with the Hingis-Williams-Davenport foursome.

And 2002-2003 was also very exciting with the Williamses being at least stretched by two other great athletes in Kim and Justine.

Brooklyn90
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:19 AM
my fav was 2002-2002 but the best tennis to me was 1997-2001 serena, venus, lindsay, seles, capriati, hingis. You can't get much better than that

vogus
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:27 AM
I wouldn't split off '02-'03 as a separate period. Instead i'd say that the 1997-2003 is a quite clearly defined golden era in women's tennis that was dominated by Hingis, the Williams, Capriati, Davenport, and Kournikova, as well as significant roles played by Graf, Sanchez, Seles, Novotna, and the Belgians on either edge of it. By the close of 2003, the era was obviously ending, with most of the protagonists retired or in decline. The subsequent (current) era has been carried mostly by Henin and Sharapova, and overall it is has not been as compelling as the previous one.

tonybotz
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:29 AM
that's a great question, GraficaSeles... I would have to say the late 80s to early 90's...We were treated to the advent of Graf (one of the best ever), facing the challenge of Navratilova (on par with Graf's greatness), the challenge of the Argentine Rose, Gabriella Sabatini, and finally the arrival of two women would would forever change the way the game would be played: Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati, who at 17 and 15 respectively, out hit players twice their age to establish the dominance and advantage of power in women's tennis.
This era was a fight between the old guard and the new, with the new inevitably winning with youth and power on its side. Professional women's tennis would never be the same again.

King of Prussia
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:47 AM
I wouldn't split off '02-'03 as a separate period. Instead i'd say that the 1997-2003 is a quite clearly defined golden era in women's tennis that was dominated by Hingis, the Williams, Capriati, Davenport, and Kournikova, as well as significant roles played by Graf, Sanchez, Seles, Novotna, and the Belgians on either edge of it. By the close of 2003, the era was obviously ending, with most of the protagonists retired or in decline. The subsequent (current) era has been carried mostly by Henin and Sharapova, and overall it is has not been as compelling as the previous one.

What was interesting in the 97-03 era is that you had old generation vs new generation, more diversity (Novotna, Tauziat going to the net) and a great rivalry (Hingis vs Venus). And there was more "stars" and players with an aura or charisma.

And many classic matches. Which is what is lacking womens tennis since a while.

CaptnMatt
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:50 AM
I wouldn't split off '02-'03 as a separate period. Instead i'd say that the 1997-2003 is a quite clearly defined golden era in women's tennis that was dominated by Hingis, the Williams, Capriati, Davenport, and Kournikova, as well as significant roles played by Graf, Sanchez, Seles, Novotna, and the Belgians on either edge of it. By the close of 2003, the era was obviously ending, with most of the protagonists retired or in decline. The subsequent (current) era has been carried mostly by Henin and Sharapova, and overall it is has not been as compelling as the previous one.

you say what i want to say

1997-2001 by far...most amazing matches at that time. Hingis, Davenport, Venus and Serena....that era is unbeatable.

Lulu.
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:56 AM
02-03 was my favorite

LindsayRulz
Dec 17th, 2006, 03:56 AM
97-01

hurricanejeanne
Dec 17th, 2006, 04:27 AM
97-01

Me too. It was such a good era.

Also 2004-2005 will always have a special place in my heart for Davenport's ressurgence at the top and all. :)

Billabong
Dec 17th, 2006, 04:44 AM
Nothing will ever beat the Hingis-Davenport-Venus-Serena foursome:yeah:!

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 17th, 2006, 04:54 AM
There was a period in the Open Era, which saw three of the All-time Greats of the Women's Tennis competing, each with their own periods of domination.

Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf.

No player from this generation has been able to perform at the level those three women performed on a day-in, day-out basis.

No one.

The Golden Age of The Open Era died when Steffi Graf retired in 1999.

pooh14
Dec 17th, 2006, 04:58 AM
i only started following since 1997, so i cannot say much before that.

however, i think the best for me (in terms of quality and popularity) would be hingis-serena-venus-lindsay-capriati

RJWCapriati
Dec 17th, 2006, 06:44 AM
90-93

A FAN OF SERENA!
Dec 17th, 2006, 07:53 AM
I've definitely got to go with 1997-2001. I see most others agree.

A FAN OF SERENA!
Dec 17th, 2006, 07:54 AM
I think Capriati should be in that time bracket too. She and venus dominated the 2001 season.

hingis-seles
Dec 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM
It's a toss-up between 1990-1993 and 1997-2001.

A FAN OF SERENA!
Dec 17th, 2006, 10:37 AM
Me too. It was such a good era.

Also 2004-2005 will always have a special place in my heart for Davenport's ressurgence at the top and all. :)

Me too. :sad: It's a shame she couldn't get a fourth Slam. The 2004 U.S had her name on it.

FaileBashere
Dec 17th, 2006, 11:03 AM
There was a period in the Open Era, which saw three of the All-time Greats of the Women's Tennis competing, each with their own periods of domination.

Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf.

No player from this generation has been able to perform at the level those three women performed on a day-in, day-out basis.

No one.

The Golden Age of The Open Era died when Steffi Graf retired in 1999.


I agree with this post, though I know it will be seen as a biased view. These kids will surely vote for the more recent years because that's what they've followed; but at the end of the day, every scale and measure of greatness will point at these three women (Graf, Navratilova, Evert). All the others after them are just too far behind. No one has yet filled that void Graf left. I'm keeping my eyes on Henin-Hardenne and Sharapova for now, let's see what they can still do

Princeza
Dec 17th, 2006, 11:07 AM
for me, Hingis, V&S williams, davenport,kournikova at their best + begining of masha's carreer
so i would say 97-2003

HenryMag.
Dec 17th, 2006, 12:24 PM
1990-1993: Seles, Graf, Sanchez-Vicario, Sabatini, Navratilova, Capriati

jazzfuzion
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:54 PM
isn't it cool that jennifer is in two totally different eras? great tennis transcends time boundaries....

matthias
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:56 PM
90-93

Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Looks like my hypothesis was correct!

!<blocparty>!
Dec 17th, 2006, 05:36 PM
98-01. No question.

Pierce, Williamsx2, Davenport, Seles, Capriati, Hingis, Graf, Novotna. :worship:

-VSR-
Dec 17th, 2006, 05:43 PM
'97-'03

Craigy
Dec 17th, 2006, 05:45 PM
1999 :cool:

Nicolás89
Dec 17th, 2006, 05:56 PM
for me, Hingis, V&S williams, davenport,kournikova at their best + begining of masha's carreer
so i would say 97-2003

and was the beginnig (and the end for anna "2003") for all the russians too, myskina, kuzzy petrova, (dementieva was there at that time) and the others:lol:

you forgot the belgians and capriati too:wavey:

Tennace
Dec 17th, 2006, 05:59 PM
My favorite time in tennis was probably 2000-2003 when I started first closely following it. Also when Dokic was a top player. I miss those days a lot :sad: :sad:

frenchie
Dec 17th, 2006, 06:06 PM
1997/2001 was great especially 99 and 2000

Apoorv
Dec 17th, 2006, 06:08 PM
90-93 is the best although i enjoyed 94-96 the most!

PLP
Dec 17th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Great Poll!

I would make the periods slightly longer however:

1995-2003!

Monica/Steffi/Martina/Davenport/Venus/Serena/Jennifer/Justine

Amazing 8 years! :worship: :worship:

kiwifan
Dec 17th, 2006, 09:00 PM
As much as I'd love to say '78 - '81 as a Miss Chris fan...

...that period where J Cap finally fulfilled her promise, and the Sisters took over after her, had so much more competition and controversy (which I love :devil: )

JCF
Dec 17th, 2006, 10:07 PM
There was a period in the Open Era, which saw three of the All-time Greats of the Women's Tennis competing, each with their own periods of domination.

Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf.

No player from this generation has been able to perform at the level those three women performed on a day-in, day-out basis.



So you enjoy watching domination? How exactly is that interesting. Watching Navratilova for example go 84-1 in a year is not interesting is it. Its just predictable without any drama. I don't know but I'm guessing she probably won alot of matches easily too. Surely thats not what sport is about.

Anyway for me its gotta be 97-01, some of my favourite matches of all time.

Leo_DFP
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:29 AM
'97-'01! 2002 was not a memorable year in terms of great matches, and the quality continues to go down and down.

Havok
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:38 AM
97-01 for me, though 90-93 is a pretty close 2nd. Pierce should have also been included in the 97-01 era. She won RG in 00 and got to the Ao finals in 97 not to mention being a mainstay in the top 10 during those years. Hingis, Davenport, Serena, Venus, Pierce, Seles, Graf, Sanchez-Vicario, Martinez, Capriati making her comeback and the likes of Dokic, Henin and Clijsters starting to come into their own. I don't think anything can top that, so far ;).

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:59 AM
So you enjoy watching domination? How exactly is that interesting. Watching Navratilova for example go 84-1 in a year is not interesting is it. Its just predictable without any drama. I don't know but I'm guessing she probably won alot of matches easily too. Surely thats not what sport is about.

Anyway for me its gotta be 97-01, some of my favourite matches of all time.

Anytime Chris played Martina or Martina played Graf, there was always a lot of on-court tension between the players. Is that the kind of "drama" you seek in women's tennis? Because you haven't seen it since. And most tennis fans like their champions on-court playing tennis, not chronically absent from the sport.

Those of us that remember that time frame in women's tennis were never disillusioned by what we were watching. We knew we were fortunate enough to watch history unfold and All-Time greats of the sport. Something this generation is missing.

vogus
Dec 18th, 2006, 05:03 AM
Anytime Chris played Martina or Martina played Graf, there was always a lot of on-court tension between the players. Is that the kind of "drama" you seek in women's tennis? Because you haven't seen it since. And most tennis fans like their champions on-court playing tennis, not chronically absent from the sport.




huh? Navratilova kicked Evert's ass almost every time they played in that period. How is that drama? Graf-Navster was a strong rivalry, but one rivalry does not a golden era make.

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 18th, 2006, 07:34 AM
'02-'03 Wimbledon was my favorite time, but in terms of quality, 1997-2001 FOR SURE! Although since Justine's 2nd slam win was HUGELY overshadowed by Venus and Serena's abscence, so honestly you could say that 1997-2003 was one period and 2004-2006 could be another.

1997-2003* for SURE was the best period: Serena, Venus, Lindsay, Martina, Jana, Steffi, Mary, Justine, and Jennifer were slam winners during that period and the MAIN protagonists (top 5) were: Serena, Venus, Martina, Lindsay and Jennifer the best top 5 GROUP in tennis history. Most groups in the open era had 2 or 3 greats at a time at most. This group had 5!

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 18th, 2006, 10:03 AM
1997-2003* for SURE was the best period: Serena, Venus, Lindsay, Martina, Jana, Steffi, Mary, Justine, and Jennifer were slam winners during that period and the MAIN protagonists (top 5) were: Serena, Venus, Martina, Lindsay and Jennifer the best top 5 GROUP in tennis history. Most groups in the open era had 2 or 3 greats at a time at most. This group had 5!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Its obvious you haven't been around the sport that long. These top five combined for 57 Grand Slam Singles titles.

WTA Top Five 1979

1 Martina Navratilova
2 Chris Evert Lloyd
3 Tracy Austin
4 Evonne Goolagong Cawley
5 Billie Jean King

tommyk75
Dec 18th, 2006, 10:09 AM
huh? Navratilova kicked Evert's ass almost every time they played in that period. How is that drama? Graf-Navster was a strong rivalry, but one rivalry does not a golden era make.

I beg to differ on this. Navratilova led Evert during that period, yes, but they had numerous close matches, and Evert even had a minor resurgence where she even regained the Number 1 ranking for a little while, if I recall correctly. I think it was a lot more unpredictable rivalry than Graf-Navratilova, which basically consisted of three stages: 1) Champ Navratilova beat up on pubescent Graf, 2) Graf grows up and thrashes everyone, including Navratilova (their matches tended to be fairly close, but Steffi pretty much won every time, and 3) Graf and Navratilova trade wins back and forth, but by then it's Monica Seles who's at the very top.

Also to the Swami poster, I'd place Seles right up there with the elite Evert-Navratilova-Graf category.

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 18th, 2006, 10:49 AM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Its obvious you haven't been around the sport that long.

:wavey: I haven't. I've only been a casual fan since 92 and an active follower since 97...so yeah, I haven't. :wavey: but thanks for pointing that out :hug:

but IMO, doesn't the GOLDEN age imply more than just success, doesn't it also mean the sport's level of global interest, and I defy you tell me that Women's tennis was more popular back then than it was from 1997 to 2003. If it was, then ok, but I don't think so.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 18th, 2006, 11:05 AM
:wavey: I haven't. I've only been a casual fan since 92 and an active follower since 97...so yeah, I haven't. :wavey: but thanks for pointing that out :hug:

but IMO, doesn't the GOLDEN age imply more than just success, doesn't it also mean the sport's level of global interest, and I defy you tell me that Women's tennis was more popular back then than it was from 1997 to 2003. If it was, then ok, but I don't think so.

I guess you didn't get the memo, but the sport of tennis was much more popular in the 1970's than it is today in the US. In fact, its popularity has been on decline since the 1970's.

Tennis' popularity began rising post WWII and continued until the late 1970's. Tennis in the '70's was very "chic" and "cool" on a large-scale. Some social events centered around playing tennis, and tennis attire was in much greater demand then. Especially LaCoste. The evolution from wooden to aluminum racquets brought interest to the sport and legendary players such as Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Virginia Wade, Evonne Cawley, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Sue Barker, Rosie Casals, Pam Shriver, etc.

The 1973 Battle of The Sexes Match (Billie Jean King vs Bobbie Riggs), highlighting women's equality, was watched by over 50 million people world wide and drew over 30,000 spectators to the Houston Astrodome. No other tennis match before, or since, has been more watched in the history of tennis. This match also helped catapult the popularity of tennis in the US.

http://www.slate.com/id/2126314/

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 18th, 2006, 12:26 PM
thanks for the info. now I know :wavey:..in the immortal (adapted) words of Ms. Sharapova, I'm only 19 :wavey:

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 18th, 2006, 12:49 PM
thanks for the info. now I know :wavey:..in the immortal (adapted) words of Ms. Sharapova, I'm only 19 :wavey:
In your defense, we all like to think that the main players from our generation are the "gold" standard historically. And there are great players from the '90's and '00's, like Graf, Seles, Williams Squared, Davenport, Hingis, Momo and Queen Justine. I shouldn't be so tough on you kids.

I was very, very young when I first began going to pro events and my parents used to tell me time and again that what I was watching was very special. I didn't appreciate it as much at the time, but looking back, I know what I witnessed was very special in the history of tennis. I'm very appreciative of my parents for providing those moments for me.

And I have TONS of originally autographed memorabilia over the years from men and women players. They are all hermetically sealed in Mother Marjorie's private cedar chest in her midwest home, mummified in the most delicate acid-free paper found in the US. And I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER part with them until I take my last breath. My children can sell them at auction after I'm gone, but Mother is keeping them close to her heart. :drool:

Andy T
Dec 18th, 2006, 01:36 PM
I don't think there is such a thing a "the" golden era.

Luckily, there have been several "eras" when many great champions have been active at the same time. The early-mid 70s, with Court, King, Evert and Goolagong, plus supporting cast including Wade, Melville-Reid, Casals and a young Navratilova, is one such time.

Looking at eras in terms of players is not the only way to see things, though. There have been several periods during which there have been many classic matches. From 1984 US Open to 1986 Wimbledon, every GS final went to three sets and many consider the 84 US, 85 RG and 85 US finals to be among the all-time classic matches.

JCF
Dec 18th, 2006, 02:00 PM
:wavey: I haven't. I've only been a casual fan since 92 and an active follower since 97...so yeah, I haven't. :wavey: but thanks for pointing that out :hug:

but IMO, doesn't the GOLDEN age imply more than just success, doesn't it also mean the sport's level of global interest, and I defy you tell me that Women's tennis was more popular back then than it was from 1997 to 2003. If it was, then ok, but I don't think so.

I think mens tennis was, but that I can understand. I don't however, believe womens tennis has been more popular than from about 97-03. The Williams sisters generated a huge amount of interest, probably never seen before in womens tennis, or maybe even tennis in general. Everyone either loved them or hated them. Add to that all the bitchiness of Hingis, Davenport, Capriati when playing them, and some of the great matches they produced I would say tennis in this era has never been stronger.

SpankMe
Dec 18th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Which was the Golden Era in open era women's tennis?

I think it was 5pm last Tuesday :)

shirley
Dec 18th, 2006, 06:49 PM
1997-2001: was my fave era and when I watched the most tennis. Good rivalries and some classic matches :)

doris_hdz
Dec 18th, 2006, 06:52 PM
1997-2001: Hingis, Venus, Serena, Novotna, Davenport

Wayn77
Dec 18th, 2006, 07:04 PM
They tell me the late 70s/early 80s - led by the men with the Connors v McEnroe rivalry: massive TV figures, big crowds, great matches. If we can keep the injuries in check we may be entering a rather nice era on the WTA side.

Steffica Greles
Dec 18th, 2006, 11:41 PM
It's not surprising how popular 1997-2001 is, given that it was not all that long ago and it was such a long period...with admittedly some incredible matches and rivalries.

Having said that, the most impressive is 1990-1993, given that at least half of this board (I would imagine) did not follow women's tennis in those days. Some wouldn't even have long been born.

So I think 1990-1993 really does stand out.

I narrowly voted for 97-2001, mainly because I feel that is when women's tennis was at its most athletic and most competitive. But 1990-1993 will always have a special place in my heart.

spencercarlos
Dec 19th, 2006, 12:19 AM
It's not surprising how popular 1997-2001 is, given that it was not all that long ago and it was such a long period...with admittedly some incredible matches and rivalries.

Having said that, the most impressive is 1990-1993, given that at least half of this board (I would imagine) did not follow women's tennis in those days. Some wouldn't even have long been born.

So I think 1990-1993 really does stand out.

I narrowly voted for 97-2001, mainly because I feel that is when women's tennis was at its most athletic and most competitive. But 1990-1993 will always have a special place in my heart.
Also 1990-1993 you should have mentioned for Sukova, Novotna, Mary Joe because all of this three players made GS finals during that period, even better than Capriati.

I voted 1990-1993 mainly because Navratilova, Sabatini, Graf and Monica were winning grand slams at the time.
But 1998-1999 stands out as two great seasons with the young and older generation competing.

Steffica Greles
Dec 19th, 2006, 12:35 AM
Also 1990-1993 you should have mentioned for Sukova, Novotna, Mary Joe because all of this three players made GS finals during that period, even better than Capriati.

I voted 1990-1993 mainly because Navratilova, Sabatini, Graf and Monica were winning grand slams at the time.
But 1998-1999 stands out as two great seasons with the young and older generation competing.

It was so hard to get it right, though.

The one obvious error I made, which I can't edit, is putting Capriati in the 2002-2003 bracket. Of course, the jewel in her crown was 2001. Having said that, I do think of her as more 2002-2003, don't you? Maybe the categories should have been 1997-2000 and 2001-2003.

Having said that, I really felt 2002 was the dawn of a new era because that was when Serena and Venus truly took over, Hingis was on her way out, and Davenport was unable to play. In 2001, Hingis was still competing with the Williamses and Davenport, just as in 1998, and Serena in particular was still inconsistent. And the Belgians were still newcomers who were not established.

So maybe I did get those categories right after all.

1990-1993 didn't really feature Novotna until the tail end of it, so I thought it better to put her in the next category. Similar to Capriati, as I've explained above. Sure she was a top ten player, but she had not really harnessed her talents until she reached the final of Wimbledon in 1993 (despite her 91 Australian Open final finish), or perhaps until she returned from injury in 1996.

I do realise Sukova was a U.S Open finalist in 1993, but really she was rarely a threat to the top players in the 1990s. She was hardly a main protagonist. And as for Mary Jo, she was a great player of that period, and into the late 1990s, but I don't feel she was as great a threat to the top players in major events as Capriati. Maybe that's subjective. But we have to look at who had the greatest potential, and we know it was Jennifer.

amirhendel
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:51 PM
It seems like since the russians start to succees the golden era came to th eend..

Orion
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:02 PM
How many people ever saw Evert play live?

This will be a revealing result: people who watched tennis before the mid-90's will have very different answers than people who watched the 80's tennis of Navratilova, Evert, Mandlikova, Shriver, Jaeger, Austin, etc.