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View Full Version : Graf would own Navratilova in head to head if they were born in same year


Grafbestever
Jun 23rd, 2011, 11:38 PM
I have often heard things like Navratilova did so well to be 9-9 vs Graf in head to head considering she is so much older. I find that one of the funniest things ever. First off what makes one think Navratilova was out of her prime for more of the matches. 1985-1986 Navratilova was clearly at her very best and Graf was far from hers, that is already 6 of the 18 matches. 1987 I see no reason to think Navratilova was closer to her best than Graf, although this is the first year it is close. Still a player who is the final of a 6 year stretch she wins 15 of her 18 years is not further from her prime than a player who won her first pro title and craked the top 5 for the first time only a year ago, and is appearing in her first ever slam finals that year. So Navratilova was closer to her prime than Graf for 10 of their 18 matches atleast.

Another way to look at is what would their head to head have been if they were born at the same time. I say breaking it down Graf would have dominated the head to head in this case. Lets compare them at the same ages:

Graf and Navratilova at 16 and 17- Graf at that age is one of the top players in the World. Already winning tournaments and gradually making her ascent to reach #1 around her 18th birthday. Navratilova at that age is an overweight nobody just starting on tour. Graf wins all matches they might play at these ages.

Graf and Navratilova at 18 to 21- Graf dominating the tour, winning almost every slam. Naratilova played 6 Wimbledons or U.S Opens. Loses to Evert twice, 33 year old Court, 32 year old old Stove, Janet Newburry, and Wendy Turnbull. Graf wins all matches they might play at these ages. Against Evert she still got the odd smaller tournament win. Against Graf she wouldnt get even that, other than maybe one fluke win, as Graf during her dominance did not lose to players the caliber of 75-77 version Navratilova other than once in a blue moon.

Graf and Navratilova at 21 to 23- For the first time Martina would probably start getting some wins as Graf's form fell off (for her this was mid 1990 to mid 1992) while Martina finally became a player good enough to win at Wimbledon. Still Graf would probably have the edge overall. Martina still wouldnt make a non Wimbledon final for years to come.

Graf and Navratilova at 23 to 25- Back to complete Graf ownage as Martina's form well well off again, while Graf regained hers. The only players Graf would lose to in a slam this period were Seles at her best twice in 3 sets, and Sanchez once. Martina would not play all the slams but would lose twice to 17 year old Mandlikova, to Evert at Wimbledon, to Hanika, to Turnbull, and to Austin in a bad choke in the U.S Open final.

Graf and Navratilova at 25 to 28- Here Martina might play even or even be slightly ahead since Martina finally hit her prime years after so long underachieving, and arguably played the best ever tennis by a women during this period (other than maybe periods by Graf herself). However it would not be by much as Graf was also playing extremely well during this period (from mid 94 to end of 96, except for dreadful first half of 97), would be favored over Martina on slower courts, and could hang with even top Martina on all faster courts. Part of the reason Martina was able to catch Chris in head to head was that when Martina reached her best she was able to beat Chris 13 times in a row. I can gaurantee she would never do this to Graf. Chris was a great player of course, but her game fit into Martina's well when she was playing her best, something Martina and Chris both admitted. Martina even admitted she feared a much weaker overall but more powerful player like Hana more than Chris during the height of her dominance. And she admitted she found Graf's power a much bigger challenge to her game than Chris's steadiness and accuracy. Graf is simply far too explosive and athletic herself to ever be pushed aside that easily by anyone, and run up such a long losing streak that would allow her to lose a huge head to head lead. Keep in mind even in the early 90s when Graf was in her worst slump ever and Seles was at her best and dominant Graf won many of her encounters with Seles, and destroyed her on a couple occasions. That plus Graf up until age 25 would have likely dominated a still not prime Martina even more emphatically than Chris did.

Graf and Navratilova at 28 to 30- Graf barely played due to injuries. They wouldnt meet much but Graf was still playing well enough to challenge the top players when she did so she would win some matches if they played a decent number, but Martina who was still at her physical and mental peak would possibly win more.

Overall Graf would lead the head to head by quite a bit. Probably winning 70% of the matches or more. From ages 16 to 25 Martina would only scrape out a few wins probably, and she would never overcome such a huge lead in the years to come, especialy when Graf would be limited in play by injuries thereafter. Martina has a much better head to head with Graf than she ever would have if they were in fact born the same time. Anyone who thinks about it will probably realize the same thing.

Wimbledon9
Jun 24th, 2011, 01:10 AM
Martina never was a nobody on tour everybody saw that she was a great talent and you must calculate that Martina came from a communist country were eating habits were totally different she said in april this year when she received a prestigious prize at Ellis Island as an immigrant she fell in love with the pancakes in the USA and gained a lot of pounds.

In 1975 she reached already two grandslam finals Australian Open and French Open lost them both, this was before she defected from Czechoslovakija in august 1975 before she defected she won the Fed Cup, she did not sabotage although she hated the communists.

I would like to have seen how Graf would have coped with not seeing your family for years. Chris Evert has admitted she could not have done that.
Then the players did not earn enough to have coaches, they kind of coached each other. Martina lost a couple of years so what. The asking when and if is not relevant, what if Graf never existed or Martina or Chris Evert, hell if Graf and Evert had never been there Martina would have won a lot of grandslams.

See how lunatic this thinking is, obvious you are a great Graf fan and I am a Navratilova fan. And by the way serve and volley players mature later in their playing style, luckily Martina was patient enough to stay with her own game.

Grafbestever
Jun 24th, 2011, 02:22 AM
I am not saying it isnt understandable why Martina was weaker in the early years. Many of the reasons are understandable. Although many of the years she was overweight and wasnt as commited as she should have been were her own doing, and she has admitted as much. It went on much longer than it should have. In 78-79 she got in her best shape yet, then let it slide again in 1980 and most of 1981. If she had gotten it together sooner she would probably have the numbers that make her the undisputed GOAT today. That is another topic though.

If you want to do what ifs Graf lost out on many more titles and good years on tour due to injuries. Seles lost out due to the stabbing. Serena lost out due to two majors surgeries and her sisters murder. Evert lost out due to skipping so many Australian or French Opens while the dominant player. You could do that for most greats.

The fact is I have heard supporters of Martina say things like it is so amazing Martina is 9-9 vs Graf considering she is so much older, and she would have owned Graf had they been born at the same time. All I am just saying that is ridiculous when one analyzes it further. Not only was Martina not further from her prime for many (if any) more of their 18 matches than Graf, but Graf aged 16-24 was so far superior to Martina aged 16-24 that in fact Martina would have much worse than a tied head to head if they were born at the same time. Especialy when as I said the idea of Martina ever racking up a 13 match win streak over Graf even in her prime years, like she did at one point vs Evert, is not really realistic.

And Martina reached the final of the 75 Australian and French Opens mainly due to the depleted fields at both. It was not reflective of her place in the game at that point, as she was not even close to being one of the 2 best players in the World for a couple years atleast. The 75 Australian Open she was walloped by Goolagong in the final, while higher ranked players who would have been heavily favored over her like Evert, King, and Wade were all missing. The 75 French Open field was even weaker with Julie Heldman the 3rd seed. She would not reach her first Wimbledon final until 1978 or first U.S Open final until 1981.

Rollo
Jun 24th, 2011, 03:47 AM
You bring up some valid points Grafbestever, but your own obvious bias makes shoots down your overall argument.

First of all if they "were" born in the same year which year do you propose they be born in?

That's crucial, because timing is important.

It's one thing to argue that a 16-18 year Graf was somehow "better" than Navratilova, but time warp Steffi back to being born in 1956 and in 1974 she's 18 with a wood racquet playing the likes of Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong AND Navratilova.

Guess what-THAT Steffi isn't winning THE Grand Slam ala 1988 style. I'm not even sure she's the best player under those conditions. That Graf might develop into the best later, but I doubt she's #1 out of the gate.

The other alternative is to bring Martina forward. That would essentailly make her "free" (no need to defect) AND traveling with a full-time coach AND with topspin groundstrokes.

You might argue Graf would be better under those conditions, but I see no case for her "owning" Martina.

As I wrote earlier, timing is important. Players peak at different ages. Players have opportunities handed to them at different stages of their careers. In 1975 Martina had to contend with a top ten field that consisted of 6 grand slam winners (Evert, King, Court, Wade, Richey, Durr). In 1988 a young Graf had to contend with an aging Navratilova (already 32) and Evert. The only other grand slam winner was a soon to retire Mandlikova.

Thus Graf had her golden chance handed to her at an earlier age. Martina had her golden chance at a later age.

It's all in the timing.

The fact is I have heard supporters of Martina say things like it is so amazing Martina is 9-9 vs Graf considering she is so much older, and she would have owned Graf had they been born at the same time. All I am just saying that is ridiculous when one analyzes it further.

I agree here. But it is just as ridiculous to argue the opposite. Unless they grew up in the same era the simple truth is we'll never know.

Grafbestever
Jun 24th, 2011, 04:14 AM
First of all if they "were" born in the same year which year do you propose they be born in?

That's crucial, because timing is important.

It's one thing to argue that a 16-18 year Graf was somehow "better" than Navratilova, but time warp Steffi back to being born in 1956 and in 1974 she's 18 with a wood racquet playing the likes of Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong AND Navratilova.

Guess what-THAT Steffi isn't winning THE Grand Slam ala 1988 style. I'm not even sure she's the best player under those conditions. That Graf might develop into the best later, but I doubt she's #1 out of the gate.

I am not talking about whether or not she wins as many slams as a teenager though. I am talking about her hypothetical head to head with Martina, which many have used such bold and frankly laughable claims as Martina would be doing far better than 9-9 born around the same time as Graf. And comparing the caliber of players both were at that point, even had they had the same equipment and faced the same fields and other variables, it is pretty clear Graf would have been owning Martina at that stage.

And Chris is only a couple years older than Martina. The majority of the slams back then were played on grass back then, where a prime Steffi is clearly superior to Chris. Of course this is an opinion, but I think you would agree nearly all the games experts would agree on a prime Graf being far superior to Chris on grass if asked. And Chris was number 1 already at that point. So I dont see it is far fetched Steffi could have been the number 1 player at that point. Probably not winning the Grand Slam, heck most years players werent even playing all 4 slams back then making it even less likely, but definitely a big presence on top. King was already aging and playing on beat up knees by then, and Evonne never had the mental toughness or consistency to dominate or be number 1.


The other alternative is to bring Martina forward. That would essentailly make her "free" (no need to defect) AND traveling with a full-time coach AND with topspin groundstrokes.

Fair enough but I dont think growing up in the graphite racquet and groundstroke heavy era would neccessarily favor Martina who would never have had the groundstrokes of people like Graf or Seles. She even admitted in the 90s to having frusteration with having to face so much power off the return and off the ground when trying to come in, from many more players than before, a byproduct of the racquet and the way the game was coached. If she is younger she might have tried to develop a game where she employed more topspin and stayed back more, but I am not sure that would have been in her favor neccessarily. Obviously not having to defect would have helped her emotional state though in her younger years.



As I wrote earlier, timing is important. Players peak at different ages. Players have opportunities handed to them at different stages of their careers. In 1975 Martina had to contend with a top ten field that consisted of 6 grand slam winners (Evert, King, Court, Wade, Richey, Durr). In 1988 a young Graf had to contend with an aging Navratilova (already 32) and Evert. The only other grand slam winner was a soon to retire Mandlikova.

Navratilova was actually 31 for Grafs Golden Slam in 1988, she did not turn 32 until all the grand slams that year were complete. King was the exact same age in 1975, she also turned 32 in late 75. So if Graf faced an aging Navratilova you feel, then Martina and number 1 ranked Evert likewise faced an aging King. Yet despite this fact Navratilova did not overtake King as a player for the first time until 1978, the year King turned 35 and Martina was 21.

In 1975 Court was even older, she turned 33 midway through that year. Durr whom you mention was 32 this year. Nancy Richey turned 33 in 1975 as well. These players were almost all just as aged as Navratilova and Evert in 1988 were in fact. Apart from Evert the youngest is Wade who turned 30 that year.

And since you mention all active slam winners, well in 1988 Mandlikova was another active slam winner at the time. She wasnt at her best by then, but the majority of players you listed werent in 1975 either making the point fairly moot. How many future slam winners were active in 1975 as well. I think that is also worth noting. In 1988 future slam winners who were active included Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario, Novotna, Martinez, most of whom were very close to Steffis age.

And another thing when it comes to a so called aging Martina. If people want to harp about what an incredibly late bloomer Martina was, how there are all these natural reasons it took her so long to develop, one cant then talk about her as a 30-32 year old in the same light you talk about a regular 30-32 year old. If she was such a late bloomer as everyone insists she was not far past her prime when Steffi began her dominance, unless one is arguing her longevity playing at her top level is lacking. I would also like to point out Martina in 1989-early 1990 won 67 of 70 matches at one point. Her only 3 losses were to Steffi Graf. If Graf did not exist she goes on a 70 match winning streak yet is supposably so far past her prime. Perhaps it is Graf who made her past her prime. Yet some people would have you believe Graf was lucky to face this Martina rather than the one who even as late as age 24 and 25 was still regularly losing matches to Pam Shriver, Andrea Jaeger, Wendy Turnbull, and Sylvia Hanika, often in slams and other major matches to boot.


Thus Graf had her golden chance handed to her at an earlier age. Martina had her golden chance at a later age.

It's all in the timing.

Graf may well have come in at a better time. However Navratilova and her early showings indicate quite clearly she wasnt anywhere near being a dominant player at the early age Graf was against any field. I understand the reasons Martina wasnt better at a younger age to a point, and the drawbacks she had. However I am just taking in light of those who seem to think Martina would clearly have a winning record against Graf if they were true contemporaries. I frankly dont see that at all.

Rollo
Jun 24th, 2011, 04:26 AM
I frankly dont see that at all.

And I don't either. That's different from your thread title though, which is making the exact opposite error. The idea of either player "owning" the other is just goofy given the stats both ladies have.

Grafbestever
Jun 24th, 2011, 04:28 AM
OK I will put it another way. I do not believe Navratilova benefits in the head to head by being born at the same time. I believe if anything Graf benefits. Perhaps owning was too strong a word and that was a mistake on my part, but I do believe Graf would most likely lead to head to head if they were born around the same time. Something that is speculation and can never be proven but my main point is I completely fail to see the idea poor Navratilova is so disadvantaged in the head to head being 13 years older, and would do so much better than that if she and Graf were around the same age, which I have heard milked upon endlessly by many people.

Rollo
Jun 24th, 2011, 04:39 AM
OK I will put it another way. I do not believe Navratilova benefits in the head to head by being born at the same time. I believe if anything Graf benefits. Perhaps owning was too strong a word and that was a mistake on my part, but I do believe Graf would most likely lead to head to head if they were born around the same time. Something that is speculation and can never be proven but my main point is I completely fail to see the idea poor Navratilova is so disadvantaged in the head to head being 13 years older, and would do so much better than that if she and Graf were around the same age, which I have heard milked upon endlessly by many people.


When you put it that way that sounds reasonable to me. One can agree or disagree, but it's reasonable.

Overall I rate Steffi slightly higher in any mythical GOAT contest-mainly due to her having more slams overall and THE Slam in 1988.

The head to head, for me, reflects better on Navratilova. Your arguments hold some water, but as a oldie myself I still think it's an incredible feat on Martina's part to inflict defeats on Graf and Seles as late as the early 90s. Graf's youth must be taken in account for the first few encounters.

I won't milk it though-promise;)

Changing the topic slightly-what's your favorite match from the Graf-Navratilova encounters?

Grafbestever
Jun 24th, 2011, 05:06 AM
My favorite match between Graf and Navratilova was probably the 1986 U.S Open final. I think that was probably the best played match by both, especialy the 2nd and 3rd sets. Even if Graf ended up losing after having the match points, the drama was incredible.

2nd would be the 1988 Wimbledon final. Despite a shaky Wimbledon Martina played pretty well that day, but Graf hit an onslaught of some of her best grass court tennis ever from 7-5, 2-0 down, including showing many wrinkles in her game that had been little seen to that point. It was truly the passing of the torch at Wimbledon imparticular to the next legend and dominant player of grass (and in general) for the next decade.

Probably 3rd would be the 1991 U.S Open final. Both women played at a very high level with a positive ratio. Navratilova hit more winners than Graf that day which she hadnt done in many years in a match between them, which showed her determination to take it to Graf and win that day. I am surprised that match is so overshadowed to people by the Seles-Capriati semi when IMO the quality was atleast as good and the play more versatile and interesting in many ways.

The 1989 WTA Championships final was an outstanding match too. I would include it in my top 3 if I had any room left.

DennisFitz
Jun 24th, 2011, 06:16 AM
You bring up some valid points Grafbestever, but your own obvious bias makes shoots down your overall argument.

First of all if they "were" born in the same year which year do you propose they be born in?

That's crucial, because timing is important.

It's one thing to argue that a 16-18 year Graf was somehow "better" than Navratilova, but time warp Steffi back to being born in 1956 and in 1974 she's 18 with a wood racquet playing the likes of Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong AND Navratilova.

Guess what-THAT Steffi isn't winning THE Grand Slam ala 1988 style. I'm not even sure she's the best player under those conditions. That Graf might develop into the best later, but I doubt she's #1 out of the gate.

The other alternative is to bring Martina forward. That would essentailly make her "free" (no need to defect) AND traveling with a full-time coach AND with topspin groundstrokes.

You might argue Graf would be better under those conditions, but I see no case for her "owning" Martina.

As I wrote earlier, timing is important. Players peak at different ages. Players have opportunities handed to them at different stages of their careers. In 1975 Martina had to contend with a top ten field that consisted of 6 grand slam winners (Evert, King, Court, Wade, Richey, Durr). In 1988 a young Graf had to contend with an aging Navratilova (already 32) and Evert. The only other grand slam winner was a soon to retire Mandlikova.

Thus Graf had her golden chance handed to her at an earlier age. Martina had her golden chance at a later age.

It's all in the timing.



I agree here. But it is just as ridiculous to argue the opposite. Unless they grew up in the same era the simple truth is we'll never know.

All excellent points!

I never understood why the need to debate would have's based on if one player was born earlier or later. I still believe the really great champions would rise to the top, no matter the era or equipment.

A more interesting debate would be what would rivalries be like if they competed more often? Graf-Navratilova only played 18 times, fewer times than Martina played Seles. (A pity that Graf-Navratilova went almost 2 years without playing each other!) That's one aspect of their rivalry that didn't favor Graf. Even though Martina came up with a big win over Steffi at the 1991 US Open, the likelihood is that if they played in 1990-1991, which was during a period when Graf was really not at her best, I still think Steffi wins more matches than Martina.

calou
Jun 24th, 2011, 09:38 AM
An other tread about woulda,shoulda and so on...
As Rollo said we'll never know and for him "laissons à Cesar ce qui appartient à Cesar " :D

austinrunner
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:01 AM
This thread is negative, ridiculous, lame, and not worthy of this forum. IMO.

Pat Bateman
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:21 AM
Let me guess - another nutty Graf fan?

What a surprise :rolleyes:

Zummi
Jun 24th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Let me guess - another nutty Graf fan?

What a surprise :rolleyes:

Actually, I believe this is the same poster as "justineheninfan" and "selesisqueen". Just a different user name. There are probably other monikers being used as well. :tape:

This really is like the Tennis Warehouse message boards all over again:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=120148

Pat Bateman
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:16 PM
Actually, I believe this is the same poster as "justineheninfan" and "selesisqueen". Just a different user name. There are probably other monikers being used as well. :tape:

This really is like the Tennis Warehouse message boards all over again:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=120148

You read my mind, Zummi - I was thinking the same.

That much stupidity could only come from one person.

Sam L
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:36 PM
Delusional Graf fans. Are these the worst sports fans ever? One is a universally acknowledged lunatic who is probably a good representation of the majority of Graf fans. Most are insane enough to believe that it's not her opponents winning but her losing.

Here's a stat:

In the 1990s, Graf 2 - Navratilova 2.

Navratilova, a woman past 34 years of age was even in head-to-head against a Graf in her early 20s.

Another stat, even in her "golden years" of 88-89, Graf beat Navratilova but NEVER in straight sets. :lol:

Also, Navratilova hammered 18-year-old Graf in straight sets at Wimbledon and US Open AFTER she won her first slam.

18-year-old grand slam winners should be doing better. Monica Seles had 7 Grand Slam titles at 18. Maureen Connolly won the Grand Slam at 18. So no excuses.

All this proves is that Graf fans are the worst sports fans ever adoring after their idol's empty achievements post-stabbing.

thrust
Jun 25th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Let me guess - another nutty Graf fan?

What a surprise :rolleyes:

Very nutty and biased Graf fan! Graf had more slams because she did not have a great player to challenge her after Seles was stabbed. Imagine how many Slams Chris or Martina would have if they did not have to play each so often in finals. Court had: King, Bueno, Wade, and Jones to contend with.

LDVTennis
Jun 25th, 2011, 03:49 AM
I have often heard things like Navratilova did so well to be 9-9 vs Graf in head to head considering she is so much older. I find that one of the funniest things ever. First off what makes one think Navratilova was out of her prime for more of the matches. 1985-1986 Navratilova was clearly at her very best and Graf was far from hers, that is already 6 of the 18 matches. 1987 I see no reason to think Navratilova was closer to her best than Graf, although this is the first year it is close. Still a player who is the final of a 6 year stretch she wins 15 of her 18 years is not further from her prime than a player who won her first pro title and craked the top 5 for the first time only a year ago, and is appearing in her first ever slam finals that year. So Navratilova was closer to her prime than Graf for 10 of their 18 matches atleast...

Grafbestever, brave post.

Not surprised at the reaction at all. Posts denigrating Graf and her fans have always been allowed here, yet when one dares to defend Graf he or she is banned.

No wonder Graf fans stick to the very popular Steffi Graf Admiration Thread and rarely post in other threads.

On that note, aside from the Steffi Graf Admiration Thread, this place is a ghost town. --- :haha:

calou
Jun 25th, 2011, 04:33 AM
Grafbestever, brave post.

Not surprised at the reaction at all. Posts denigrating Graf and her fans have always been allowed here, yet when one dares to defend Graf he or she is banned.

No wonder Graf fans stick to the very popular Steffi Graf Admiration Thread and rarely post in other threads.

On that note, aside from the Steffi Graf Admiration Thread, this place is a ghost town. --- :haha:

You're the Martina hater number one ,no wonder you defend this schizo ah ah :devil:

calou
Jun 25th, 2011, 04:37 AM
Actually, I believe this is the same poster as "justineheninfan" and "selesisqueen". Just a different user name. There are probably other monikers being used as well. :tape:

This really is like the Tennis Warehouse message boards all over again:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=120148

Agree it's the same prose ,a pure schizo .:eek:

Sam L
Jun 25th, 2011, 05:26 AM
yet when one dares to defend Graf he or she is banned.


No, they were banned because of their behaviour. The mods and admins on this board have nothing against Steffi. Just her "special" fans.

And you're speaking from experience?

calou
Jun 25th, 2011, 05:40 AM
No, they were banned because of their behaviour. The mods and admins on this board have nothing against Steffi. Just her "special" fans.

And you're speaking from experience?

Agree nothing against Steffi who's a nice woman but some of her Graffanatics are very rude and don't respect other opinions .I was insulted last year by Justineheninfan and LDV tennis was banned by Rollo !

spencercarlos
Jun 25th, 2011, 03:14 PM
On that note, aside from the Steffi Graf Admiration Thread, this place is a ghost town. --- :haha:
How do you figure? :lol:
Do you think Graf is the only player worth of BFP Forum :help:


Calimero377, LVDTennis, JustineHeninFan, and some others are just about the same person.

Always trying to convince everybody that Graf was a player with no vulnerabitilies and as great as she was and the acomplishments that she had, the some wins that other players and sucess period times that were against Steffi was because she allowed and should even call themselves lucky for that. :lol::tape::help:

Rollo
Jun 25th, 2011, 03:16 PM
During this summer heat lets cool off shall we?

This thread is closed:)