Originally Posted by DennisFitz
Somehow, me thinks Steffi is sure glad she's Steffi, with her official Grand Slam sweep (let's not even talk Golden Grand Slam!!), and yup it's infinitely more impressive than Navratilova's 1983 season.
And the HYPE that fuels the business of the sport? I'll say the Slams most certainly do. Did you ever pay attention to what happens every year at the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open? No one cares who won Eastbourne. Or San Diego. Or Dubai. Or Acapulco. Or Kazakhstan.
The Slams do matter more. There is more hype, and the hype is what keeps the professional sport going.
Methinks it's Steffi Graf' Golden Grand Slam that pushed her over the top, ahead of Navratilova (and just why oh why wasn't she good enough to win a Slam when 2 of 4 majors were on grass during her heyday??????????????????????????).
glad u mentioned it... 'the golden slam' is the #1 'great pretension' of the steffi graf fan world. there WAS no golden slam throughout the history of our sport. '88 was the first year of something that now happens only every 4 years... so while no one prior to '88 won a golden slam, one never existed before! a small thing to overlook. and one must be lucky indeed to happen to hit stride on a year when the olympics just happen to occur.
i definitely prefer a classic at eastbourne to a dud at wimbledon. i think this issue comes down to who loves TENNIS (ie, the art of the sport and how it is played) and who loves the sheen of status symbols & what the flock gathers around.
I love players who say, "I play every match like its the finals of wimbledon" versus those who say, "I dont really try all year unless it's a slam because thats what people remember." (which current player has basically said that?
) Reason being that only one of those approaches has integrity.
there's a world of difference between playing for the history books and playing for greatness. Greatness is an every day affair...it is about every moment, not just the ones when others are looking. But this is an issue the entire globe is struggling with. If they don't have their hype to accompany their moment, they fail to know if the moment had value.
But back to the original point.... Why O Why couldnt Martina win that slam? Because there was another champion balancing out her career results named chris evert who won a slam every year for 13 years straight.
Somehow chris & martina's slam count must be added to one another, so that they each have 36 in order to show the true comparison to graf's 22. Due to significant circumstances, steffi played in a single-champion era whereas chris & martina shared the winnings.
These are the kind of calculations that statisticians cant make, and point to how complicated it really is to compare great champions, as each era has its own variables. But it does suggest people should stop over-simplifying to 'slam totals' as a way of measuring a player's worth. Thinking is FUN and should not be hammered down to the default mode of 'paint by numbers'! (Why o why do people hate gray areas that stand in the way of over-simplified results???)