PDA

View Full Version : Is Serena the greatest female athlete of all time?


spokenword73
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:08 PM
She is the complete package, quick around the court, powerful groundstrokes and mentally tough. She is among the tennis elite. Who comes close to matching Serena as the greatest female athlete?? :wavey:

Glenn
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:11 PM
Serena isn't the best female athlete IMO.

irma
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:12 PM
I go with Nav in this

I mean 46 and still she is going strong :worship:

Serendy Willick
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:18 PM
I think that you are missing a couple of names up there.

For me.
1. Jackee Joyner-Kersee
2. Serena Williams
3. Florence Griffith-Joyner(Martina Navritolova)
4. Stacey Dragulia
5. Venus Williams
Marion Jones
Lisa Leslie
Theresa Witherspoon
Diana Terausi

calabar
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:20 PM
How in the world can one answer a question like this with any modicum of intelligence unless every accomplishment of EVERY female athlete ever lived are documented and made available for comparison. Sorry, I did not mean to get off like this, however, everytime I here one of these "who-is-the-greatest-EVER" argument, I wonder of people realize that the only way to objectively respond to these type of arguments is to analyze the achievements of every single athlete that is being compared.

It is one thing to compare athletes of the SAME sport from different eras, but to do so among different athletes from different eras is even more absurd. The "short" answer to this question is NO- Serena is not the greatest female tennis player (or athlete) of all time of ALL time. No one is.

Serendy Willick
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:23 PM
I agree, Calabar. I mean you have sooooo many dating back to Babe Diederickson-Zarcarrius (sp) and beyond. Too many to decide.

schris
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:29 PM
Navratilova

Serena? if she stay on the top for another many years...

Lindsayfan
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:33 PM
where are steffi and margareth court?! serena's miles far from them and also from navratilova and evert.

spokenword73
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:34 PM
I agree it is difficult to compare athletes from different sports, or diffirent eras, and any "who's best" is purely for fun-not science :p

Lelu
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:34 PM
My vote goes to Wilma Rudolph who was the first American woman to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games. What's amazing about her feat is that she had to overcome crippling childhood illnesses that made her unable to walk until the age of 11.

jmp
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:40 PM
I think a better title to this poll would be "the greatest female tennis player of all time." I'm a casual sports enthusiast and I don't know much about female athletes from other countries. But, right off the top of my head I think of Althea Gibson, who played both tennis and golf, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, and Martina N. as pioneers in tennis. I believe that Flo Jo still holds a track record that hasn't been broken and her sister-in-law repeatedly medaled as a hepathlete. There was a Texas woman in the 40s named Babe Didrikson Zaharias who made great strides in golf and the recognition of professional female athletes. There are also female triathletes, marathon runners, swimmers, and countless other athletes I can't name. So, I don't think Serena is the greatest female athlete of all time. I do think she is an undisputed tennis champion with the potential to be at the top of her field throughout her career and a driving force in advancing the cause of women in every sport.

Dava
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:44 PM
I think there are more impressive sportwoman around then the ones listed but I went with Martina cos shes the greatest there.

jmp
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:52 PM
:wavey: Hi Luci. It's a nice coincidence that we both thought of Babe. I don't even follow golf. But, I found her story to be fascinating.

And, Lelu, thank you for reminding me of the great Wilma. She is inspirational.

Pureracket
Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:56 PM
Let's not mix "skill" with "athleticism". Skill + athleticism would point to someone like Martina N. in tennis. Looking at athleticism alone, one would have to put the likes of Steffi and Venus at/near the top. I have NEVER seen another female professional as athletic as Venus during the 2000 US hardcourt season.

matthias
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:00 PM
where is "someone else" on your poll?

fleemkeģ
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:01 PM
No! Serena and Venus are great but if you compare them with Navratilova (168 singelstitles, 169 doubles?) they are babies ;)

Maybe someday ....

Serendy Willick
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:05 PM
:wavey: Hi Luci. It's a nice coincidence that we both thought of Babe. I don't even follow golf. But, I found her story to be fascinating.

And, Lelu, thank you for reminding me of the great Wilma. She is inspirational.


:wavey: :wavey: Yea, did you see her profile on Sportscentury? Wow! the lady sure was talented. IMO, she was like the female Jim Thorpe. Wilma is also fantastic.

1jackson2001
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:06 PM
I chose "other"..the invisible choice. ;)

Volcana
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:12 PM
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Heike Dreschler
Babe Didrickson
Cynthia Rothrock

jmp
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:24 PM
Luci, I can't remember where I saw Babe's biography. But, it was a few years ago and it's always stuck with me.

WtaTour4Ever
Apr 2nd, 2003, 09:42 PM
Serena is my girl , but I have to go with Martina N. on this one. I think Serena has the potential, but she probably won't play enough.....and all time greats arent usually recognized until the end or after their careers are over.

Pamela Shriver
Apr 2nd, 2003, 10:14 PM
*achem* where am I on this list!!?!?

Simplify
Apr 2nd, 2003, 10:17 PM
Well, considering she's not even the greatest female TENNIS player of all time, the answer is no.

Sam L
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:04 AM
Well, considering she's not even the greatest female TENNIS player of all time, the answer is no.
I agree but I picked Navratilova from that list, for longevity and dominance if not anything else.

CJ07
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:19 AM
no, not even close

Brian Stewart
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:43 AM
Just out of this group listed, it has to be Martina hands down. Did you see all of the grueling workouts Martina went through? She was hoisting barbells with 200 lbs of weight on them. On pure, raw physical strength, no other female tennis player has matched Martina in her prime. Not even close.

Martina played a full schedule of singles and doubles on tour for 22 consecutive seasons. No other player comes close. Martina was so incredibly fit, she was able to play the 1982 US Open (against doctor's orders) with a severe case of toxoplasmosis, with documented toxin levels at or near record highs; several times the level that killed Arthur Ashe in his Aids-weakened state. I can count on one hand the number of other players in tennis history, male or female, who could have even played with any degree of competency under such circumstances, and have 5 fingers left.

Martina was an Olympic-level skier. She could easily have won medals there had she chosen to shift her focus. She took up basketball to help her fitness, and Nancy Liebermann said Martina was good enough at age 35 to start for any college team in the country. (No pro leagues then.) Martina was an outstanding hockey player in her youth, and was playing on the boys teams as one of their top players.

So, Martina was arguably the greatest women's tennis player of all time. She could likewise have become arguably the greatest female skier of all time, arguably the greatest female basketball player of all time, arguably the greatest female hockey player of all time. She could even have excelled in track and field. Her combination of strength, speed, and stamina would have served her particularly well in the heptathalon.

That's the hallmark of a great athlete. Could you excel at a variety of sports, and become one of the greatest ever at them? To my mind, that's what puts Martina just a shade ahead of Jackie Joyner-Kersee for the best female athlete of all time.

One final testament to Martina's athleticism: you know how impressed everyone was when Ai won 2 singles and 2 doubles matches on the same day? Rightly so, as it's a remarkable feat. Martina did it twice in a row at the same tournament, and was in her mid-30's at the time, almost 10 years older than Ai.

fammmmedspin
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:53 AM
Even looking at the current crop of athletes I don't think Serena is likely to prove much competition racing Zhanna Block, Maria Multola, Paula Radcliffe or Gail Devers. How you compare a GS win in tennis to a couple of 100M Golds and a string of World Championships is not clear. If you want all time greats - look at Volcana's list (and add a few) and if you want Americans look at Flo Jo's records and Gail Devers claims to be on the all time success list.

spokenword73
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:56 AM
Just out of this group listed, it has to be Martina hands down. Did you see all of the grueling workouts Martina went through? She was hoisting barbells with 200 lbs of weight on them. On pure, raw physical strength, no other female tennis player has matched Martina in her prime. Not even close.

Martina played a full schedule of singles and doubles on tour for 22 consecutive seasons. No other player comes close. Martina was so incredibly fit, she was able to play the 1982 US Open (against doctor's orders) with a severe case of toxoplasmosis, with documented toxin levels at or near record highs; several times the level that killed Arthur Ashe in his Aids-weakened state. I can count on one hand the number of other players in tennis history, male or female, who could have even played with any degree of competency under such circumstances, and have 5 fingers left.

Martina was an Olympic-level skier. She could easily have won medals there had she chosen to shift her focus. She took up basketball to help her fitness, and Nancy Liebermann said Martina was good enough at age 35 to start for any college team in the country. (No pro leagues then.) Martina was an outstanding hockey player in her youth, and was playing on the boys teams as one of their top players.

So, Martina was arguably the greatest women's tennis player of all time. She could likewise have become arguably the greatest female skier of all time, arguably the greatest female basketball player of all time, arguably the greatest female hockey player of all time. She could even have excelled in track and field. Her combination of strength, speed, and stamina would have served her particularly well in the heptathalon.

That's the hallmark of a great athlete. Could you excel at a variety of sports, and become one of the greatest ever at them? To my mind, that's what puts Martina just a shade ahead of Jackie Joyner-Kersee for the best female athlete of all time.

One final testament to Martina's athleticism: you know how impressed everyone was when Ai won 2 singles and 2 doubles matches on the same day? Rightly so, as it's a remarkable feat. Martina did it twice in a row at the same tournament, and was in her mid-30's at the time, almost 10 years older than Ai.

:worship: I knew Martina was a extraordinary tennis player, I had no idea she was such an all around jock!! I have a new respect for MN She leads the poll, by the way, with 16 votes!!

SerenaSlam
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:02 AM
i bet you never thought that we would be able to even start to compare venus/or serena for this category. but turly that have exceled in their sport more than anyone else. How can i say this? Honeslty I don't think Martina Nav would last a year if she were to be the same player/age back then intodays world. It is so much more demanding. And cleary she has bulked up in her later years in life.

But to the Question of Serena/Venus. Are they the best? I say you will have a more definet answer by the end of the year. Right now, certainly you can just "compare" them, but I can't say they are the best. I can say that athletics wise, they are head/shoulders over Navratiolva (again this is very clear, but it also has to do w/ the fact, that back then the demand wasn't as high like now, where you have these players almost as strong as Venus/Serena some maybe stronger) but I wouldn't put Venus/Serena or Martina above say like Florence Griffith Joyner, or Jackie Joyner Kersse, or Michael Johnson, Michael Jordan for right now. These people were really just all out fine ass athletes. Naturally talented like Venus/Serena but just look, the have exceled through the years, Venus/Serena really have just started. I think by the end of the year, again you could probably come up w/ a good argument that they are the best athletes, seeing they have what like maybe 5 more years in them? How could things get any worse, as right now they are like Head/Shoulders over the rest of the field

SerenaSlam
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:06 AM
another thing, you all may not know who Marion Jones is, but to me, she has Martina Nav, so far down the list in "best athlete ever wise" it ain't funnie. This gurl is kode, and i mean OC. She is like the jr. version of a Flojo (Florence Griffith Joyner) or jackie joyner kersee.

CJ07
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:15 AM
i bet you never thought that we would be able to even start to compare venus/or serena for this category. but turly that have exceled in their sport more than anyone else. How can i say this? Honeslty I don't think Martina Nav would last a year if she were to be the same player/age back then intodays world. It is so much more demanding. And cleary she has bulked up in her later years in life.

But to the Question of Serena/Venus. Are they the best? I say you will have a more definet answer by the end of the year. Right now, certainly you can just "compare" them, but I can't say they are the best. I can say that athletics wise, they are head/shoulders over Navratiolva (again this is very clear, but it also has to do w/ the fact, that back then the demand wasn't as high like now, where you have these players almost as strong as Venus/Serena some maybe stronger) but I wouldn't put Venus/Serena or Martina above say like Florence Griffith Joyner, or Jackie Joyner Kersse, or Michael Johnson, Michael Jordan for right now. These people were really just all out fine ass athletes. Naturally talented like Venus/Serena but just look, the have exceled through the years, Venus/Serena really have just started. I think by the end of the year, again you could probably come up w/ a good argument that they are the best athletes, seeing they have what like maybe 5 more years in them? How could things get any worse, as right now they are like Head/Shoulders over the rest of the field
you cant say that

so is every champion pre-2000 irrelevant because the tour "wasn't up to par"
it wasn't THAT much of a difference, because if it was, Monica Seles would have fallen off the charts years ago.

She was way more fit in 1992 than in 2002, and for the entire summer Monica was #4 in the world, a few points from #3, so dont tell me Martina, who at 46 won a GRAND SLAM TITLE (mixed doubles no less) wouldnt hold up.

Shes the greatest tennis player of all time, and if she was 20 years younger...no scratch that, 5 years younger, you gave her 6 months, and all the new equipment, put her on Center Court and we'll talk about a challenge to the Williams sisters
seriously, shes THAT good

jmp
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:15 AM
WOW!!! Brian, I have always had an enormous amount of respect for Martina N. - on and off the court. But, the write up you did on her other athletic endeavors just kicked that respect up even higher! Thanks. :)

I just want to let everyone who is participating in this thread know how much I'm enjoying reading about all of these accomplished women. :)

faboozadoo15
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:33 AM
where are all the tennis players with better careers than serena.... let alone, BABE- btw, how many sports did she dominate? i dont think marion jones is the greatest womens track athlete of all time either... wheres my wilma?? HUH? lol. or jjk, flo, ahh geez, cant name any others better than marion...

serena is awesome, but just not greatest ever by any means.

kell
Apr 3rd, 2003, 01:34 AM
Margret Court!
Dawn Fraser!
Go Aussies!

Messenger
Apr 3rd, 2003, 02:01 AM
My vote goes to Wilma Rudolph who was the first American woman to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games. What's amazing about her feat is that she had to overcome crippling childhood illnesses that made her unable to walk until the age of 11.

Yes, it's a good story this one.

tennisjam
Apr 3rd, 2003, 06:36 PM
if she continues her way, she could definitely become one of the best all-time sportswomen

mauresmofan
Apr 3rd, 2003, 07:08 PM
I'm going to go with Merlene Ottey on this one - top 10 female sprinter every year since 1979 and at 42 came in 4th in the world indoor championship 60m.

CondiLicious
Apr 3rd, 2003, 07:09 PM
I'll go for Marion. I get chills when I watch her race. What she did at the 2000 Olympics was amazing.

Zenith
Apr 3rd, 2003, 10:41 PM
It is too early in her career to be talking of greatest of all time. Give it about five more years.

graf630
Apr 3rd, 2003, 11:26 PM
My vote goes to Babe! :worship: A champion of multipule sports including tennis!!

Shane54
Apr 4th, 2003, 12:24 AM
Without a doubt it is Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

As for Serena, give her a few years. Then she might be considered up there with Navratilova, Court, and Graf....

Experimentee
Apr 4th, 2003, 04:32 PM
Thanks for that post Brian Stewart. I had no idea that Martina did all that and i respect her even more now. I voted for Martina btw.