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View Poll Results: Who is the best athlete the game has seen?

Margaret Court 4 1.43%
Martina Navratilova 41 14.70%
Steffi Graf 109 39.07%
Serena Williams 125 44.80%
Voters: 279. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 02:20 AM   #121
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This thread needs to be closed because this isn't a serious discussion anymore.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 02:53 AM   #122
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrProdigy555 View Post
...and then someone who doesn't fit that mold will come along and dominate.
Has Serena really dominated? Weeks at No. 1, number of tournament wins, number of French Open titles?

The best athlete in the men's game over the last 6 to 7 years made his mark on clay. The same cannot be said for Serena because she can't move well on clay.
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Who’s the best player you ever played?
For me it’s Steffi Graf. Always Steffi Graf.

You think she could beat most of today’s players?
Yeah, I think so. If she has the motivation and starts a little bit practicing, I think she could beat everybody.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 02:58 AM   #123
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by G-Ha View Post
Yes, Steffi's physical gifts and superiority were often discussed.

The quote to which you refer was from Tracy Austin after first playing Steffi, who I believe was only 13 at the time. Tracy infamously stated something along the lines of how the US has plenty of teenagers like Steffi back home. Clearly, Tracy was proved a fool within just a few short years.
Including in their next and only other meeting in which Tracy did not win a game. Granted that was during Austin's (very unsuccessful) comeback.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:33 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by LDVTennis View Post
Has Serena really dominated? Weeks at No. 1, number of tournament wins, number of French Open titles?

The best athlete in the men's game over the last 6 to 7 years made his mark on clay. The same cannot be said for Serena because she can't move well on clay.
Yet Serena leads all active players in every category you mentioned except Roland Garros titles where she is tied so yeah its safe to say she has been dominate.

According to someone the best athlete in the men's game only has 1 Roland Garros title too



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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:37 AM   #125
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

This question is too simplistic, and selecting one highlight from a highlight reel without going through all the footage to find the best highlight for each player and then compare them, then figure out how many amazingly athletic highlights there are, etc... It's impossible to be objective.

Seles, for instance, looked almost superhuman at Wimbledon against Navratilova in terms of reflexes. Despite that, she was a lousy volleyer and possessed awkward serves. Navratilova was extremely athletic but hardly had the backhand pass that Evert did. Evert had a lousy serve, lousy volleys, and her forehand was nothing special. Yet, she was the clay queen because of mental toughness, strategic smarts, and quick reflexes. Serena is very strong/built, but she does not have the command at the net (reach, anticipation, movement) that Navratilova or Court had.

As for Graf, she was incredibly athletic, but she was not so dominant against Seles until Seles was stabbed. If Seles' career hadn't been derailed Graf's record would not be as impressive. Plus Graf never played doubles. Martina used to play, and win, doubles and mixed plus singles. It is simply less impressive for Graf to just play singles, especially as such a young person. Navratilova kept playing the doubles and mixed while competing well past her physical prime.

This poll doesn't include Lenglen, who was considered to be the most gifted female tennis player by some. It also doesn't include Wills Moody, who apparently used to beat male players on fast California hard courts. And, an exceptional athlete may not have exceptional results simply due to technical problems with their game or mental issues. So, is "athlete" in terms of mental ability and physical ability, or just physical ability? Does it include longevity? Does it include versatility (doubles, mixed)?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:41 AM   #126
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

It should also be mentioned that, in Navratilova's prime years, top players played doubles so it wasn't a cakewalk for her to play and win the doubles and mixed.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 01:15 PM   #127
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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If Seles' career hadn't been derailed Graf's record would not be as impressive.
You know what nobody does

And you seem to have a fortune teller's gift of knowing something that has never happened,but would have if...again
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 01:23 PM   #128
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by MrProdigy555 View Post

Steffi was an amazing tennis player, but I don't think her 'athleticism' is the greatest the sport has ever seen.
Not every sport,of course,but tennis...
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 01:25 PM   #129
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by superstition View Post
As for Graf, she was incredibly athletic, but she was not so dominant against Seles until Seles was stabbed. If Seles' career hadn't been derailed Graf's record would not be as impressive. Plus Graf never played doubles. Martina used to play, and win, doubles and mixed plus singles. It is simply less impressive for Graf to just play singles, especially as such a young person. Navratilova kept playing the doubles and mixed while competing well past her physical prime.

This poll doesn't include Lenglen, who was considered to be the most gifted female tennis player by some. It also doesn't include Wills Moody, who apparently used to beat male players on fast California hard courts. And, an exceptional athlete may not have exceptional results simply due to technical problems with their game or mental issues. So, is "athlete" in terms of mental ability and physical ability, or just physical ability? Does it include longevity? Does it include versatility (doubles, mixed)?
I just don't see how playing double has anything to do with being a greater athlete. You can still be very athletic and don't know how to work well with others, or Martina just had a better court sense and much, much better net skills therefore she could play doubles with great success.

And I fail to see how mental ability plays a role in the discussion here as well. If you are mentally strong then I guess you're a great competitor, which has almost nothing to do with your being athletic or not. You can be slow as hell and still are mentally strong.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 01:30 PM   #130
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by MrProdigy555 View Post
...and then someone who doesn't fit that mold will come along and dominate.
There are a lot of good athletes with not so good racquet skills.The combination of both make people dominate in tennis...some more,some less...Nobody said that Serena is not a good athlete,on the contrary,just that Steffi is better...

Serena Williams on Steffi Graf:

Serena Williams: "When I think of Steffi Graf, I just think of the greatest."

Serena Williams: "She had the greatest footwork ever. She was so focused all the time. When I played her it was just a dream come true."

And Richard Williams on Steffi Graf athleticism regarded:

Richard Williams: "Steffi was a thoroughbred running and the rest are mules."

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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:33 PM   #131
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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That says more about the players you DO consider athletes. If your flawed logic were true and she isn't an athlete how does the field explain her achievments?
"Atheticism" can be considered as virtue of its own, not just success in one particular discipline. Tennis is, after all, not just an athletic contest, but also a game. Best 'athlete' doesn't always win. I don't think Federer is particularly great 'athlete' compared to say, Sampras or Borg or Rafter.

Think it this way: what if we took aforementioned players and put them to some all-around contest they are not familiar with beforehand - say, Decathlon? Does anyone really think Serena or Seles would beat Graf or Navratilova there?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:51 PM   #132
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by Timariot View Post
familiar with beforehand - say, Decathlon? Does anyone really think Serena or Seles would beat Graf or Navratilova there?
Do people think Serena Williams would beat Navratilova in Decathlon? You're asking this of Navratilova the woman who didn't have any notable muscle tone until she was 23? If they competed as they both were at 21 it wouldn't even be a competition.

Do you think Steffi would beat Serena in shot-put or wrestling? You don't get to set the athletic endeavour. The players themselves do because they chose tennis as their one and only sport to specialise in, and that is what they trained and adapted their athletic skills for - in different but often equally effective ways. In the modern era tt's not so easy to separate what is "pure athleticism" and what is "tennis-skill which involves minimal elements of athleticism".
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:57 PM   #133
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

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Originally Posted by Timariot View Post
"Atheticism" can be considered as virtue of its own, not just success in one particular discipline. Tennis is, after all, not just an athletic contest, but also a game. Best 'athlete' doesn't always win. I don't think Federer is particularly great 'athlete' compared to say, Sampras or Borg or Rafter.

Think it this way: what if we took aforementioned players and put them to some all-around contest they are not familiar with beforehand - say, Decathlon? Does anyone really think Serena or Seles would beat Graf or Navratilova there?
Decathalon events:

Day 1
100 metres
Discus throw
Pole vault
Javelin throw
400 metres

Day 2
100 metres hurdles
Long jump
Shot put
High jump
1500 metres


I actually don't think Serena is the best athlete I think its Venus BUT I still think YES Serena could potentially beat them at these events. (NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE WHO WOULD WIN) Serena is strong and fast and may not be a distance runner but her leg strength is part of her superior serving ability and where she generates her power from so I'm not sure why you think Serena is so far behind Navratilova and Graf in this regard. She's just as much an athlete as they were.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 05:20 PM   #134
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

Serena
Venus
M.n
Seles
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 06:26 PM   #135
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Re: Who is the best Athlete the game has ever seen?

I seriously doubt that there has ever been a more athletic player than the Steffi Graf we saw in 95/96. I think all the women in the poll have demonstrated amazing athletic ability at points in their careers but Graf pips them with those two years.
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