I'm writing an article and I've come across a fact that is little mentioned. Steffi Graf might have won a lot MORE GS titles if she hadn't missed so much time to injury.
Just as a comparision, between 1991 and 1999, Monica played 102 tournaments. But remember she only played 4 in 1993, none ine 1994, and 2 in 1995. In the same period, 1991 to 1999, steffi played 118 tournaments. A difference of 16 tournaments, just about a full season. Why are the numners so close? From 1994 through her retirement, Steffi never managed to play more than 13 tournaments a year, five in 1997. With normal health, Steffi might have won 30 GS titles.
(BTW, if you play 17 trs a year from 1991 to 1999, you'd have played 153 tournaments.)
I have no idea what playing tournaments has to do with winning Slams. Don't you have to play Slams to do that?
Feb 2nd, 2002, 06:42 AM
She certainly would have given herself more opportunities to win the OZ open, from what I remember she missed it in 1992, 1995 and 1996.
Apart from that I don't think she missed that many of the other slams did she ? Apart from 1997 Wimbledon to 1998 French open when she had that surgery.
I'm sure irma will know :)
Feb 2nd, 2002, 06:42 AM
I did the research. Monica played 19 Slams during that 9 year period, Steffi played 28, or nearly 80% of the 36 which were held. I don't think Monica is a good example.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 08:16 AM
Thanxs Volcana for the numbers. But you know, overall, Steffi's record at slams finals is 22-9. That means she won 22 slams and lost 9 finals. In other words, with a little more focus and luck, she could have won 31 slams with the same number of tournaments she played during her carrer! Don't need to play more than she did to reach 30 slams! And nobody knows if she would have won any other finals, had she had reached any other one! It's all speculation.......anyways, her 22 slams are a record and I think we won't see anybody ever reach these high numbers again!!!
Feb 2nd, 2002, 09:06 AM
My apologies. I was unclear.
I didn't mean to imply that number of tournaments played correlated with number of slams played. My point is that the number of tournament played is some indication of your health in a given year, and hence your health in the slams. Steffi never came close to an injury free year after 1993. She never came close to playing a full season. In fact, from 94 to 99 she averaged 10 tournaments a season. Had she stayed healthy, she would have had a lot better record than 22-9 in slam finals, as well as playing a few more.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 09:25 AM
I understand your point Volcana and I think it is very interesting! I remember watching Steffi avidly when I was quite young and although the media frequently reported her injuries, she was always reluctant to admit anything. Only in her later career did she become more open in describing her physical condition... Steffi never was one to make excuses and that is part of why she is such a great champion. Love her and always will!!!!!
Feb 2nd, 2002, 09:45 AM
I miss Steffi.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 10:17 AM
In 91 and 92 Steffi had her breaks too, she played 16 tournaments in 92 not 20 and 15 in 91 not 17, fed cup and hopmand cup not included, she missed the summer hardcourt tournaments(except for us open) in both years in 91 because of her shoulder, and in 92 too
she missed also the australian season that year!<P>I never heard Steffi say that she lost because she was injured, that was a mythe wich I think started after french 89 but last I heard she said the I had my day thing because of an annoying journalist, so that`s different :rolleyes:
Feb 2nd, 2002, 10:31 AM
and the most funny thing was that the time when Steffi was accused most of faking injuries was in the time she never lost any important match(95, 96) so she didn`t even need it!
Feb 2nd, 2002, 11:02 AM
Once again I have to question the line of reasoning. How would improved health have had a significant effect on a 22-9 Slam Finals record? Steffi was in peak health on April 30, 1993, and she only lost 2 Finals after that (94 US and 99 WI).
Feb 2nd, 2002, 11:08 AM
I don't really see the reasoning at all either?? :eek: :eek:
Feb 2nd, 2002, 11:28 AM
If she had played Australian open 95, 96 she might have won(I am not saying she would, she could have) and if she could have been fit at the us open 94 maybe she had won too(and I know you thought that injury was fake because she had no break but she had, after that tournament she played one tournament till feb 95) but I know you want to say with a fit and healty Monica around these tournaments would have been different anyway and I am not gonna deny that.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 12:08 PM
Steffi skipped many Australian Opens that she might have won.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 03:58 PM
I can see what Volcana is trying to say.
But I don't think an injury plagued year would have been a problem for Steffi in a Slam. E.g. She hardly ever played a warmup event before Wimbledon and still won it 7 times. She just wasn't a player who had problems with rustiness or slowness after an injury/time off.
Feb 2nd, 2002, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Volcana
With normal health, Steffi might have won 30 GS titles.
8 more Slam titles? Hardly. She would probably have needed 12 additional finals to do so. I'm not sure where they should come from. A few Australian Opens, yes. But not much more.
And having a moderate schedule, as a result of injuries or other reasons, is not necessarily a great hindrance to winning Slams when you actually do show up. I think Venus Williams can confirm this.
And if it wasn't for GŁnther Parche, I strongly doubt she'd have reached 20 in her career. Perhaps 17-18 would be more likely.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 12:13 AM
I'm not sure that playing more tournaments would have won her more slams, apart from playing more slams than she did - after all, she had a 22-9 record in FINALS, which means she had played good enough tennis to get to the finals so she certainly was giving herself an adequate chance to win the whole event.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 12:21 AM
She would've won less slams if Monica wasn't stabbed and Jen was playing like she is now. Steffi is definitely the luckiest player in the tennisworld. She should be counting her blessings.............
Feb 3rd, 2002, 12:35 AM
So now Steffi was lucky that JC went on drugs LOL
Feb 3rd, 2002, 12:44 AM
In that case Martina was just as lucky to win her grand slams, since JC was only 20 in 97 and still won a set against Martina while she didn`t play like she did now
Feb 3rd, 2002, 02:55 AM
--or we could could argue Venus was "lucky" to win Wimbledon in 2000 because Graf and Novotna wern't there. You can always find these things if you look.
I don't agree with Volcana about more events equals more slams. I'd argue Graf's reduced schedule HELPED her win more slams by saving her body. Venus may be doing the same.
However, I think Volcana is correct in arguing Graf COULD have won a slam or two more if healthy. From 1991 to her retirement in 1999 Graf missed 7 slams-4 in a row from 1997 to 1998. Seles missed 11 in the same period(10 in a row from the stabbing).
Of course-any theorectical slams Steffi gained would have to be weighed against slams lost if Monica wasn't injured. To me the point is you can't just subtract every slam wom by Graf after 1993 and say she was 'lucky" to win them.
Steffi's had good luck and bad-and she took advantage of Monica's absence in a way that Monica was unable to do so in 1997. 1997 was a big chance that Seles lost and Hingis took advantage of.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 03:57 AM
I kow I'm usually literal-mided and statistically oriented, but inthe case of this thread, I wasn't trying for that sort of thing. I just hadn't realized how often Steffi was injured. Healty players usually perform better. If the point doesn't seem compelling to you, don't worry about it. It probably ISN'T compelling.
As for Steffi counting her blessings, I'm sure she does every time she looks at Jaden Gil.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 06:51 AM
Yeah but injuries are part of tennis. If you're injured, there's no "what if" factor. She could've won the GS's she missed, but maybe a lot of other players could've won more GS's too if they weren't injured. Maybe Venus could've won OZ in 2000. Maybe Pierce could've repeated at the French last year. Maybe Davenport could've won the OZ this year. But they were injured. I don't think a tennis related injury can be argued in a situation like this.
If there were to be a discussion of "who's the greatest" and someone argued that Steffi could've won even more Grand Slams if she wasn't injured so much in the late 90's, I wouldn't consider that point valid.
The only exception is that of Monica Seles. She was assaulted, and even worse, it was BECAUSE the asshole didn't want her to win more GS's. She definitely could've won more.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 06:55 AM
Monica missed 8 Grand Slams b/c of the stabbing, but those 8 are not the only once that were affected. She was mentally different because of the stabbing, and that affected her when she returned.
I think Steffi is great though, and even if Monica wasn't stabbed, I'm sure Steffi still would've won some of those 8.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 07:00 AM
Actually, SerenasMelons, Monica missed 10, not 8. The last 3 of 93, all of 94, and the first 3 of 95.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 07:03 AM
whoops, i thought i read 8 in another post..
Feb 3rd, 2002, 08:14 AM
You did Serena-it was my mistake:eek: so blame it on Rollo
DH is right and I've fixed my error. Sorry.
Feb 3rd, 2002, 09:03 PM
Steffi disliked the Australian Open so that's probably why she missed so many. Hadn't she only been to one AO before 1988? (Irma???) She said in an interview that she didn't like Melbourne because she considered it a "back water" compared to London, Paris and New York.:rolleyes: Which it is. ;) :kiss:
I don't like to theorize. I think Steffi's career speaks for itself. Those 9 Slam finals that she lost were won by people who were playing better on that particular day and they deserved to win. I imagine Stefanie doesn't sit back, while nursing Jaden Gil :angel:, and daydream about "what might have been" if she had won those Slams.:D Her life is far too full to dwell on anything like that.
And, remember that Wimbledon she "shouldn't" have won against Jana Novotna.:eek: Stefanie spent a long time shaking her head over that one. Poor Jana :sad:
Feb 3rd, 2002, 09:24 PM
She avoided the Aussie before 1988 in part because it was on grass-a surface Steffi became more comfortable with gradually.
Feb 4th, 2002, 12:47 AM
Steffi played Australian open in 83 and 84, she skipped it in 87 because she needed to work on her serve and because it was on grass for the last time.<br>I missed the interview where Steffi said it was back water but she skipped it so easy in 95 and 96 that I am sure she thought that way(92 was different because she was sick and under the red spots)
Feb 4th, 2002, 12:53 AM
Very true, Volcana!
Actually Graf won 22 Slams out of 31 finals, on their turn out of 48 Slams she entered.
(and counting three she entered already injured!!!)
These percentages are absolutely second to none in the Open Era and are the biggest "evidence", to me, of her "greatest ever" spot!
Feb 4th, 2002, 03:58 AM
Ditto exactly what Serena's Melons posted...
Feb 4th, 2002, 04:03 AM
Steffi played Australian open in 83 and 84
I went back and looked at my tape of the AO '88 (where Stef beat Chrissy) and the commentator did say that the Steffi had only been to Melbourne "once, in 1983" when she lost in the 3rd round. Now, Cliffie could have his information wrong, which he has been known to do, but that's what he said.
Stefanie said that about Melbourne in an interview I read several years ago. She didn't exactly use the word "backwater" but she did say "there's nothing to do here" which means the same thing.:p She sounded very bored.
Feb 4th, 2002, 04:15 AM
he was wrong Steffi played in 83 and she broke her thumb against Liz Smylie after losing the first set 6:1 in the first round (after that she got a letter from Nav)and in 84 she lost to Wendy turnbull 6:4 6:4 in the third round.<P>Was that interview in 1990? I watched the match against Mary Joe a few months ago and Steffi looked totally burnt out and bored there even after she won.
Feb 4th, 2002, 04:49 AM
Equally then, Chris and Martina would have won a lot more than their 18 GS each, but for the fact that the Australian Open and French Open were not regarded as prestigious events in the 1970s and early 80s.
I don't think that Steffi needs any help from us. She has a great place in tennis history..........