View Full Version : Peak Navratilova vs peak Graf

Nov 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM
Now this is an intersting peak to peak debate. Their head to head is 9-9. They played 10 matches when Martina was the favorite from 1985-1987 and 8 when Steffi was from 1988-1994. They only played 3 times on slower courts which favors Martina, but on the most neutral meeting spot Martina leads 4-4 at the U.S Open.

Peak to peak I favor Graf on slow hard courts and clay. I favor Navratilova on grass and carpet, mostly due to the matchup despite that I dont think Martina is any better on grass than Graf. Fast hard courts is the toss up, I am not sure there, despite their U.S Open head to head. What do you think.

Nov 21st, 2012, 10:36 PM
i think graf brought an end to navratilova's dominance because she was better, not because she was younger, navratilova continued to beat everyone else in 88/89 on her best surfaces, graf though was just too good

Nov 21st, 2012, 10:38 PM
i think graf brought an end to navratilova's dominance because she was better, not because she was younger, navratilova continued to beat everyone else in 88/89 on her best surfaces, graf though was just too good

That is what I think too. Navratilova was the latest blooming great player in history, along with maybe Billie Jean King. So if Serena can dominate everyone at 30/31, Court can still have a dominant year winning 3 of 4 slams at age 31, and Evert can be playing her best ever tennis according to Martina fans (and Chris herself) from ages 29-32 while Martina was dominating, there would be no excuse for Navratilova who didnt start being the best until 25/26 to not still be the best at 30-32, but she wasnt the best at any of those ages due to Graf.

With that stand and based on their records one might even give the edge to peak Graf on all surfaces, or maybe to peak Graf on grass and carpet, and ironically only giving Navatilova fast hard courts. Logic would indicate Graf would have a better chance vs Navratilova on fast hard courts than grass or carpet, but that is not what their head to head history indicates.

Nov 21st, 2012, 10:45 PM
But the match-up on grass remained a tough one for Steffi on into the 90s. After the '93 almost-loss to Novotna, and then the '94 upset-waiting-to-happen by Lori McNeil, mid-90s Graf developed an array of shots to deal with it. An even more knifing though deep slice. The dink slice low to the feet of the net-rusher to elicit more volley errors. A better topspin BH passer. And proficient put-away volleys and overheads. I think both this Steffi and '82-84 Martina would love to have a series of matches at Center Court...just for the experience of playing through the battle.


Nov 22nd, 2012, 10:44 AM
I would put them as even however Peak Navratilova on fast surfaces and steffi on slow. On medium services it is a toss up and who plays better on the day. Steffi was best on fast services than martina was on slow.
However I think 1987 is a good berometer. Graf not in her prime, and Martina just passing it. Their head to head was 2-2. In the US open final Graf was ill. Had she been in good health I think she would have won. In 1986 steffi could have won the French and Us open, it was inexperience that let her down. Peak Graf was better mentally and this is shown by her grandslam final winning percentage. I do feel after 1989 moti carlo exhibition which steffi won on clay easily... martina refused to play on slower services.. that misrepresents their head to head.

Nov 22nd, 2012, 12:35 PM
Peak Graf was better mentally and this is shown by her grandslam final winning percentage.

LOL, so now an almost 35-year-old Navratilova who was still too strong for a 22-year-old Steffi at the 1991 US Open semifinal should be blamed for fixing the tournament draw to avoid Steffi in the final. :haha:

Hilarious thread.

Anyway, Navratilova-Graf: 5-4 in grand-slam matches despite Steffi relying for six years on the advice of Martina's compatriot Pavel Složil, who was even born in the same year as Martina (1956) and is the product of the same tennis system :lol:

Pavel after the match:

"A 34-year-old woman showed more guts than she did," said Graf's puzzled coach, Pavel Slozil, who was anticipating a more positive performance from her. "It came down to belief: She [STEFFI] didn't believe enough in herself, and the other player [MARTINA] did."

Gotta love the off-season threads.

Nov 22nd, 2012, 04:32 PM
Steffi in 1991 probably had her worst year ever. She was in the midst of losing 7 of 8 matches to Sabatini. She had lost a slam semifinal 6-0, 6-2 to Sanchez Vicario of all people that year. The only major final she would make all year (including Miami and the WTA Championships) was Wimbledon. Mentally she was completely out of sorts, as well as her game, for whatever reasons, and it had nothing to do with Navratilova either who she barely played. It would be like judging Navratilova in 1980 and early 1981 as her peak, when she lost 3 times in a row to 15 year old Andrea Jaeger, had numerous losses to Turnbull, Shriver, Hanika, many of them easily, was owned by a 17 year old Madilikova for awhile, and so on.

As for mocking Steffi for losing a match to a 34 year old (not 35 year old) Navratilova, Navratilova as reigning Wimbledon Champion and World #1 has 6-1, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-3 defeats to 35 and 36 year old Billie Jean on her favorite surfaces of grass and carpet. Look up Martina's match results bio for yourself if you dont believe me. Atleast Graf's loss to 34 year old Navratilova was her first in 4 whole years, while Navratilova didnt even get her first win over King until she was 34, after losing her first 3 matches in a row to 33 year old King. Had King retired in late 1980 at age 37 she would have a 5-5 head to head lifetime vs 20-24 year old Navratilova (they first began playing when King was 33). Then you also have #2 seed Navratilova at Wimbledon losing to a 33 year old semi retired Court who was barely playing tennis by then at Wimbledon, #2 seed Navratilova at Wimbledon losing to a 32 year old Betty Stove (lol) and then another loss to 35 year old Betty Stove on grass years later. Trust me you dont want to go there.

Nov 23rd, 2012, 07:26 PM
But, Martina played Graf when Martina was past her prime and still beat her...