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View Full Version : Without stabbing- who would have been better on grass Novotna or Seles?


justineheninfan
May 3rd, 2011, 07:36 PM
I thought this might be an interesting topic based on a discussion I was having in the main section. Obviously as it turned out Novotna ended up having a better career on grass than Seles. However without the stabbing who would have turned out to be the better grass courter- Seles or Novotna. I would definitely say Seles. She had already reached a Wimbledon final at 18 while Novotna in her mid 20s was still floundering at that point and only began to flourish on grass once Seles was out, Sabatini and the already aging Navratilova went into decline, and Capriati burnt out and went on hiatus. Novotna won a Wimbledon, but without the stabbing Seles probably would have matched her with atleast 1 Wimbledon with an outside shot of winning 2, and probably eclipsed her overall record on the surface.

AndreAfriend
May 4th, 2011, 04:04 AM
Who can win,if the final between Novotna & Seles instead of Novotna versus Nathalie in 1998 Wimbledon final?

justineheninfan
May 4th, 2011, 07:32 AM
Who can win,if the final between Novotna & Seles instead of Novotna versus Nathalie in 1998 Wimbledon final?

The Seles of 1998 then Novotna for sure. The Seles of 92 would probably win though since Jana as always played a subpar final.

MLF
May 4th, 2011, 08:06 AM
If Jana had played Monica in that final instead of Tauziat, I think that even though Jana maybe ought to have won it on grass that Monica would have found a way in the final, I don't think she would have allowed the chance to pass and I'm not sure if Jana would have had it in her to hold her off at the crux. I'm glad Jana did get her title in the end though.

Sam L
May 4th, 2011, 08:56 AM
If Seles wasn't stabbed, she would've won Wimbledon 1993 and there wouldn't have any crying on Duchess shoulders. And we wouldn't be having this discussion. End of. :rolleyes:

You don't reach a Wimbledon final at 18 and pick up 8 out of the last 12 slams and disappear off the face of the Earth. Anyone who denies this is delusional.

justineheninfan
May 5th, 2011, 01:02 AM
If Jana had played Monica in that final instead of Tauziat, I think that even though Jana maybe ought to have won it on grass that Monica would have found a way in the final, I don't think she would have allowed the chance to pass and I'm not sure if Jana would have had it in her to hold her off at the crux. I'm glad Jana did get her title in the end though.

You could be right. Jana found Seles a fairly easy matchup for her by 98 though, she had won nearly all their meetings from 96-98 including some on clay, without even playing on her own favorite surfaces. Then again if she played as badly as she did against Tauziat then Seles would have a chance perhaps.

On another note in 98 Seles got the fittest she had since her return at the French then blew up like a blimp again gradually from there. Gavin Hopper her new coach and fitness guru left her in disgust after the U.S open.

AdeyC
May 5th, 2011, 10:40 PM
Novotna would still have been the better on grass BUT Monica would have made Jana play for every point and therefore in turn Novotna's nerves at that time would have got the better of her.

Helen Lawson
May 6th, 2011, 03:59 PM
Tough to say. Unstabbed Monica--would she have kept up her level and for how long? She could have been chronically injured, burned out, etc. by 96 or 97 and been inconsistent, crappy unmotivated, or continued to win multiple slams a year for a long time. Either way, Graf would have been still her biggest obstacle at Wimbledon. I think unstabbed version either way wins one or maybe two, 1994 being pretty wide open for her, if still healthy and focused, chances more in the late 90s with Steffi injured or below her best. I think Jana still eeks one out with again a few open years in the late 90s. So I say they are even! Interesting topic.

alfajeffster
May 6th, 2011, 10:45 PM
[QUOTE=Helen Lawson;19503905]Tough to say. Unstabbed Monica--would she have kept up her level and for how long? She could have been chronically injured, burned out, etc. by 96 or 97 and been inconsistent, crappy unmotivated, or continued to win multiple slams a year for a long time.

BUT YA ARE, BLANCHE, YA ARE IN THAT WHEELCHAIR!

How the hell have you been Aunt Helen?

Helen Lawson
May 7th, 2011, 10:58 AM
Hey, hon! I got married and moved to Ft Lauderdale. No, I have not seen Chrissie about, but there is a local realtor named Chris Evert who looks nothing like the tennis legend based on the photo on her signs. Aside from this, just trying to survive and frequenting seedy bars in Wilton Manors.

Helen is considering a "return" in a remake of Baby Jane, only Baby Jane has red hair in the new version and I do all my own singing with a few more creepy daddy songs thrown in for new audiences. There's no Blanche in my version, why share the screen? Instead of being carted off to the nuthouse or plugging William Holden, Baby Jane actually lands a gig in Vegas. She doesn't realize it's a drag review and they think she's a man, but that's beside the point.

Speaking of Blanche, if you go to findadeath.com, there is a message board, you must look for it. In the message board, there is a Joan Crawford thread and one of the last posts has a later picture of her sitting on her plastic-covered couch and on the coffeetable before rests a freestanding crucifix, her Oscar, and a Pepsi bottle. Behind her on the wall, what else, a huge portrait. And it's not of Bette Davis.

How the he'll have you been, hon?

alfajeffster
May 7th, 2011, 12:37 PM
I'll have to check out that site, after I get the hang of this Macbook- it amazes me how different navigation can be- thought I'd just pick it up from Windows like old hat. I've gotta run, must go jewelry shopping, but congrats on your most recent marriage. I'll update you by PM later on today.

Claycourter
May 18th, 2011, 06:12 AM
Novotna obviously. Classic S&V game > ball bashing from the baseline on 90's grass. We all seen what happened to prime Seles in her fluke Wimbledon final.

gabybackhand
May 20th, 2011, 03:53 AM
Even if Jana, whose game I loved so much, was a natural grass court player and Seles wasn't, if someone remembers vividly the extent of her domination against any rival in her prime years, losing just rarely to the very top echelon, must probably have the feeling that Mónica would have taken a Wimbledon title some time, not against Steffi probably but 1994 would have been a nice shot. Had she had to face Jana in the 1993 SFs for instance (being 1 and 2 they would have probably been in opposite sides of the draw with Steffi), Mónica would have dominated Jana on grass even with Novotna'f form; Mónica was a TREMENDOUS competitor back then, and the fact that only Graf could manage to beat her on a Slam between 1991 and 1993 is a testament to her ferocious drive to win. You don't only need to be a great player to win Slams against these GOATS, it takes something more.

Mike25
May 20th, 2011, 03:25 PM
Even if Jana, whose game I loved so much, was a natural grass court player and Seles wasn't, if someone remembers vividly the extent of her domination against any rival in her prime years, losing just rarely to the very top echelon, must probably have the feeling that Mónica would have taken a Wimbledon title some time, not against Steffi probably but 1994 would have been a nice shot. Had she had to face Jana in the 1993 SFs for instance (being 1 and 2 they would have probably been in opposite sides of the draw with Steffi), Mónica would have dominated Jana on grass even with Novotna'f form; Mónica was a TREMENDOUS competitor back then, and the fact that only Graf could manage to beat her on a Slam between 1991 and 1993 is a testament to her ferocious drive to win. You don't only need to be a great player to win Slams against these GOATS, it takes something more.


As much as I admired Jana's game, which was perfectly suited for grass, at some point Monica would have gained the upper hand. The main difference for me being Monica's unbreakable will, where failure was not an option.

Make no mistake, when Jana was on her game, she could produce some amazing tennis. And at 1993 Wimbledon, Jana was on her game, beating Sabatini in the quarters, Martina in the semis, and nearly beat Steffi in the final. Even with results as good as those, the fact Monica wasn't around made all the difference.

As Gabybackhand has previously pointed out, the perfect testament to Monica's greatness was her '92 French Semi against Sabatini. In the 3rd set, Sabatini elevated her game to an unbelievable level, and it still wasn't good enough to beat Monica. With that in mind, my conclusion is Monica would have dominated Jana on grass, not so much with her game, but with her mind instead.

gabybackhand
May 20th, 2011, 04:20 PM
That's exactly my point. Bear in mind that to reach her Wimbledon final, Mónica defeated no less than Navratilova, who might have been aging, but was still a force especially on faster courts and had an special aura at SW 19. Martina lost to Jana in 1993 but beat her in 1994, so her prowess on grass earlier in 1992 is not something to dismiss, and it's another indicator of what Seles was capable of on grass.

justineheninfan
May 23rd, 2011, 12:05 AM
Even if Jana, whose game I loved so much, was a natural grass court player and Seles wasn't, if someone remembers vividly the extent of her domination against any rival in her prime years, losing just rarely to the very top echelon, must probably have the feeling that Mónica would have taken a Wimbledon title some time, not against Steffi probably but 1994 would have been a nice shot. Had she had to face Jana in the 1993 SFs for instance (being 1 and 2 they would have probably been in opposite sides of the draw with Steffi), Mónica would have dominated Jana on grass even with Novotna'f form; Mónica was a TREMENDOUS competitor back then, and the fact that only Graf could manage to beat her on a Slam between 1991 and 1993 is a testament to her ferocious drive to win. You don't only need to be a great player to win Slams against these GOATS, it takes something more.

I agree with alot of that but IMO no way would Monica have "dominated" Jana in the 93 Wimbledon semis if they met. Monica didnt even dominate Jana in their two 91-92 matches not on grass. She nearly lost to Jana in a 3 setter on rebound ace in the 91 Australian final, Jana's worst surface, then was down a set and 3-0 in the quarters of the 92 YEC before Jana choked. In fact the way Jana was playing at Wimbledon 93 I would say the only way Seles would have beaten her at all there is if Jana did have a big choke, like she had vs Graf in the final. Of course that doesnt mean Jana would have neccessarily been better than Seles on grass overall though.
I still voted for Seles after all.

justineheninfan
May 23rd, 2011, 12:07 AM
That's exactly my point. Bear in mind that to reach her Wimbledon final, Mónica defeated no less than Navratilova, who might have been aging, but was still a force especially on faster courts and had an special aura at SW 19. Martina lost to Jana in 1993 but beat her in 1994, so her prowess on grass earlier in 1992 is not something to dismiss, and it's another indicator of what Seles was capable of on grass.

A win over Navratilova on grass by 92 wasnt that big a deal. 14 year old Capriati beat Navratilova in straight sets at Wimbledon 91, Linda Harvey Wild beat Navratilova at Eastborne 1992, Jana herself beat her in straight sets at Wimbledon 93, and Conchita Martinez the worst Wimbledon winner ever beat her in the 94 final. Navratilova's reign as the best grass court player in the World was long long over by that point. That isnt to take anything away from Martina, who is by far the best 33-37 year old player ever still, not exactly a prime age for tennis, LOL!

alfajeffster
May 25th, 2011, 08:01 AM
I have to laugh, every time I see the title of this thread, I also see the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho!

irma
May 25th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Novotna wasn't mentally able defeat a player who was on so many painstiller/injections that she had to cancel the wimbledon ball the next day because all the pills/injections made her sick. So how in the world could Novotna have beaten one or maybe even the mentally toughest player ever in a slam tournament?

Grafbestever
Jun 13th, 2011, 02:27 AM
Novotna of course. Seles isnt even as good a grass court player as Sabatini or Sanchez. Novotna is far and away the 2nd best grass court player of the Graf era. The only reason she doesnt have many Wimbledon titles is Graf. Seles overall is behind Graf, Novotna, Martinez, Sanchez, Sabatini, Zvereva, Tauziat, Garrison, of Graf era players, heck maybe some others I forget too. Jana destroyed Sanchez and Sabatini in her only meeting with both at Wimbledon, and would have given Monica a bagel or breadstick if they ever met there. Monica is 1-2 vs Novotna on clay, what would she ever do against her on grass.

Dumb and pointless poll really.