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alfajeffster
Sep 28th, 2011, 10:59 AM
So many threads focus on players who've retired over 20 years ago- and rightly so, but what about the recently retired and the ones who left the pro tour inside that 20-year window? I often find myself thinking about how Justine Henin would've done against Graf had their careers overlapped a little more than briefly. The Henin/Seles encounters were electric, and some of the most competitive and best contests we saw in the past 15 years. I'd put that match-up right in there with the Serena/Henin or Serena/Capriati clashes and several other more celebrated encounters. Graf has always remained extremely fit, and I've never noticed her slowing down like many other great champions who retired. While I'm happy for the Graf/Agassi union, it's still fun to think what she might have done with many of the players like Henin in the decade since retirement. Whadayathink?

austinrunner
Sep 28th, 2011, 01:03 PM
You mean "retired," right?

alfajeffster
Sep 28th, 2011, 04:56 PM
You mean "retired," right?

In case you haven't noticed, I have a pretty macabre sense of humor some times. Even more often, what I am meaning to convey is lost on everyone but me. Just think of the pro tour career as having died, not the player. That should help if you're having problems with the title. Oh, and by the way, don't get your panties in a bunch from anything I write- most people here by now have realized I'm a little, shall we say, off-balance, and just not designed to be a fan.

austinrunner
Sep 28th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Then, that should be in your signature, doncha think?

Rollo
Sep 28th, 2011, 06:42 PM
A Graf-Henin match would be a feast for the eyes! That matchup would be a one-handed backhanders dream.

gabybackhand
Sep 28th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Probably so, but I personally believe a Sabatini- Henin or Sabatini- Mauresmo would be the ultimate matches re one-handed backhands, can you imagine that?
On the forehand side, Steffi's one was tested against some of the best as Capriati's, but hers is THE forehand of all time without a doubt.

alfajeffster
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:35 AM
Then, that should be in your signature, doncha think?

That would be too obvious- and besides, I don't believe in letting sensitive people lie still. it's more fun to imagine the expressions on faces reading something I write, interpreting it entirely the wrong way, and then realizing what I really meant.:devil:

alfajeffster
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:42 AM
A Graf-Henin match would be a feast for the eyes! That matchup would be a one-handed backhanders dream.

At first blush, you'd think Henin at her best would really trouble Graf, but not so easy. Steffi was so good at gaining control of the point immediately with that serve and first forehand. It's what made her so tough to beat- she didn't give the opponent a chance to use their best game against her. Throw in the exceptional foot speed of both players, and Graf's return of serve vs. the sometimes suspect Henin serve, and it does make for a very interesting what might have been. It' nice to see how both players very much admired the other.

tennisvideos
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:58 AM
Would have been a dream to watch that match up for sure. I reckon Graf would have given Henin fits with her stinging forehand and speed around the court. Also her slices in mixing up the play and that would be a shot that would have given Henin trouble as it stays low - a nightmare shot for anyone with heavy top spin to try and counter.
I was lucky to see Seles play Henin a few times, I think the very first time I saw them play (AO) it was a fantastic match and thought this Henin chick is gonna be good.

alfajeffster
Sep 29th, 2011, 11:39 AM
...Also her slices in mixing up the play and that would be a shot that would have given Henin trouble as it stays low - a nightmare shot for anyone with heavy top spin to try and counter...

I initially thought this as well, TV, but then I thought Henin was so quick about the court, and virtually the same height as Billie Jean King, so maybe the slice wouldn't have been as troublesome to her as to some. I think Justine revered Steffi Graf so much, it would've been difficult for her to concentrate on beating up on her hero. What do you think of peak Novotna vs. Henin at her best?

alfajeffster
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Probably so, but I personally believe a Sabatini- Henin or Sabatini- Mauresmo would be the ultimate matches re one-handed backhands, can you imagine that?
On the forehand side, Steffi's one was tested against some of the best as Capriati's, but hers is THE forehand of all time without a doubt.

Boy, a Mauresmo / Sabatini match would be a festival of how to hit winners off the back foot while falling off the ball.

DennisFitz
Sep 30th, 2011, 04:16 AM
I was intrigued by this topic, prepared to read about those players who have recently passed on.

And for anyone who thinks that once a player retires, it's akin to a "death", then I assume they believe in reincarnation. And to name just one player in particular: Justine Henin!

As for Henin-Graf, who knows? I have to say Graf was the steadier of the players, and I think that wins out most of the time. This would have been a matchup where Graf, if she played the match from a pure tactical standpoint, would triumph. I think she was better than Henin in that regard. Henin could sting Graf with her BH down the line.

I always felt Henin's natural inclination was to be defensive. Whereas Graf's was offensive. Henin did develop a more all court game, and tried to be more imposing with her FH. But she never had the same confidence in her FH that Graf did. As a result, she tended to overplay sometimes.

I don't think you can compare the Henin-Seles matches, and extrapolate what might have happened in the Graf-Henin matchup. Henin and Graf were similar in their games. Both posed problems for Seles.

alfajeffster
Sep 30th, 2011, 11:07 AM
I was intrigued by this topic, prepared to read about those players who have recently passed on.

And for anyone who thinks that once a player retires, it's akin to a "death", then I assume they believe in reincarnation. And to name just one player in particular: Justine Henin!

The title got your attention, that's for sure! I'm not sure where it's suggested that retirement is "akin to a death', but everyone is welcome to read into any topic what they want to see, and then go off the deep end with their own reactions. As for just one player, I started with Justine Henin. You know, kind of like taking one step at a time. The next player could be from you, and that would be a step in a positive direction! You know, when you're walking, you're actually falling. With each step, you catch yourself from falling. And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time. (thank you Laurie Anderson).