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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:39 AM   #1
Rboi
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Margaret Court's record

Hi All,

I recently had an "animated discussion" with a (dedicated) Graf fan who definitively stated that Graf should be considered the all-time GS champ, reason being that nearly all of Court's Oz titles meant "nothing" (!!), due to weak opposition.

I suggested that line of thinking is illogical - one can only beat whoever is on the other side of the net and at the end of play, if you are the Champion, well, that's that and whether the field was considered "weak" is neither here nor there.

I also suggested that possibly Graf's record would probably not be quite so stellar if Seles had been able to continue her career uninterrupted, and no prizes for guessing the response I got for uttering that particular heresy!

For the record, I am not a real fan of Mrs Court, nor of Steffi Graf: Court beat who she beat during her Oz wins and, post-Hamburg '93, Steffi won against all comers (including a Seles who was just a shadow of player she had been), and kudos to both of them.

So I'm turning this topic over to the knowledgable posters here for your thoughts. Should Court's record be discounted? Should Grafs? And just so I can play Devil's Advocate....

Evert has 7 French titles - I suggest 4 (74/75/79/80) were won against very mediocre fields, so should there be an asterisk against her record? Or was it a case that she was so dominant on clay, it wouldn't make any difference.

Also, BJK went on GS sprees a couple of times when Court was out: 1967/68 and from US Open 71 thru 72. I think the Court/King relationship most relevant as they were the "Chrissie and Martina" act of their day and most definitely head and shoulders above everyone else during most of the 60's and early 70's. BJK did beat Court at Oz 68, but she had just returned to the circuit (first retirement) and she also beat her in the SF of US 72 when Court returned again (from first baby), but as far as her record is concerned, does it matter that she didn't face Court anywhere near top form during those periods?

Your thoughts???

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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 01:25 PM   #2
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I find that no competition crap so stupid!
when you think about it, why do people have such a need to slam other players to make their fav look better?
maybe without the records they have no reason to be a fan anymore?

and so steffi's 36 titles after april 93 should not discount but I will not forget what happened either because otherwise I would agree with what the idiot did and I can't do that!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:08 PM   #3
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You're a good devil's advocate Rboi!


If(big if) you discount ALL of Court's Aussie wins, then it stands to reason you should toss out all Aussie titles- period. This reduces Court's slam total significantly, but also reduces Graf quite a bit.
Using the "big 3" (Wimbledon, French and US) that used to be the standard according to many gives you:

19 Wills
18 Graf
16 Evert
15 Navratilova
13 Court
11 King
08 Connolly


Nothing "definite" about Graf being an all #1 at all using that method. Throwing out the Aussie DOES reduce the difference between Court and King. Marge had a big tendency to choke at Wimbledon, where Tinling said she "saw invisible vultures overhead on center court". The other big loser(besides Court) if Aussie results are totally discarded is Seles. 4 of her 9 slams came Down Under.



Another method would be to "weight" the majors. This gets subjective, but obviously a Wimbledon meant more in the 1960s than today. You could argue that in the 1990s all the slams are more or less equal. Thus, if we gave them points: 10, 10, 10 ,10=40.

Setting a maximum of 15 for a slam and a minimum of 5, you could say in 1966 slams shouls be: 5(Aussie) 10 (Paris) 15 (Wimbledon) and 10 (US).

Using this method would put Graf ahead of Court, but would also put Graf behind Wills.


And not all of Court's Aussie slams were against weak fields. Look at our grand slam results here in the Blast(see Grand Slam results) and it's obvious Court had tough opposition in 1960(beating world #1 Bueno),1962, 1963, 1965 and 1969.

Even in her "Easy" Aussies she had to beat other top tenners. In 1961 there were no foreign entries, but Lehane was in the top 10. Ditto for 1964, when half the top 10 was Aussie. In 66 she got a break when Richey defaulted in the final, but Nancy was certainly top 10. 70, 71, and 73 all had Goolagong and Reid, no lightweights.



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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:14 PM   #4
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I "basically" agree about the "no asterisk" motion.
But actually wins must be weighted.
And Court's (as Graf's or Evert's) cannot surely be diminished.
But Graf's carnet of four slams on each different location, with no weak surface, 9 hard, 6 clay, 7 grass plus the Golden Slam, gives her anyhow (whether you discharge Court's AO wins or not, I mean) the edge over any other's record.
You don't need to belittle Court or Evert or anyone else to grant her that.
But we've been discussing this for three years now.......
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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:41 PM   #5
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So if we "weighted" results Way, would you give more weight to the 93 Aussie (because Monica was there) than the other slams that year? Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Surface-wise Court was just as versatile as Graf. She won regularly on grass and clay, the two dominant surfaces of her era. Indoor courts were not a problem for her, nor hard, for she won the South African Open sevreal times. No edge there for Graf IMO.


The "Golden Slam" is unique, I'll give you that. But 1988 would have been even more impressive if she had won the WTA finals as well, for it had a tougher field. That would have given her EVERY major in one year, something no one else has done. She also lost a couple times in 1988, while Navratilova remains the only woman since Mo Connolly to lose only one match an entire year(1983).

I think while we can suggest so and so should be an all-time #1 it's always debatable. That's what makes it fun
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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:53 PM   #6
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yeah since steffi did fine at australian open 93, she beat two top 10 players and she made up her seeding!
only her outfit was horrible (well that thing under her t-shirt then)
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Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:02 PM   #7
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So if we "weighted" results Way, would you give more weight to the 93 Aussie (because Monica was there) than the other slams that year? Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Well, finally a well put way to ask questions about the noSeles period!

Y'know, in a way i would.
But then you have to weight also *others'* absences, Graf's ten (?not checked) slams not entered because of injuries when she was in a position to run to the end (4 Ao for sure, all 97 and 98), outside tennis factors and........... the calculation would become infinite.
When i said we have to "weight" slams, i meant that winning twenty Wimbs is not like winning five times each slam.
I wasn't making a "personal" Graf vs Court case



Surface-wise Court was just as versatile as Graf. She won regularly on grass and clay, the two dominant surfaces of her era. Indoor courts were not a problem for her, nor hard, for she won the South African Open sevreal times. No edge there for Graf IMO.

See below


The "Golden Slam" is unique, I'll give you that. But 1988 would have been even more impressive if she had won the WTA finals as well, for it had a tougher field. That would have given her EVERY major in one year, something no one else has done. She also lost a couple times in 1988, while Navratilova remains the only woman since Mo Connolly to lose only one match an entire year(1983).

I think while we can suggest so and so should be an all-time #1 it's always debatable. That's what makes it fun


You know i'll always agree on that.
I've learned to distingush facts from opinions.
My opinion is that Graf shares the first spot with Lenglen and Connolly.
Objectively i perfectly know that any choice pointing to one of the greats (Wills, Court, Evert, King, Navra) has the same amount of good reasons i can raise for SG, SL and MC.

You're flogging a dead horse with me here!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 07:54 PM   #8
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Just some food for thought, when Graf had her Golden Slam in 1988, she played in only 14 tournaments. Margaret Court played 30+ events in 1970 when she won 'thee' Grand Slam.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 08:06 PM   #9
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Hi there Evonne You mean 1970 right?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 08:49 PM   #10
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LOL, it was 1970 when I typed it!

where did I put that bottle of white-out?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 10:54 PM   #11
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I couldn't resist Big Linds, it's the first time you've needed white-out I'll never forget my first day on the old board when you were so gentle with dumb Rollo after he suggested Jana Novotna had never lost to Davenport. One day we'll have to have a cognac on that...


Pretty amazing that Mags entered 31 events in 1970. How many did she win?
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Old Oct 13th, 2002, 07:56 AM   #12
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1970

Hi Rollo,

I checked my 1971 Edition of World of Tennis and Mrs Court's biog piece listed 19 titles for the year, with 5 losses (2 to BJK early and she had a 3-2 record for the year against BJK), 1 to Winnie Shaw, 1 to Patti Hogan and of course, the famous loss to a baby Evert just 3 weeks after completing the GS. Her loss to Hogan stopped a 42 match-winning streak.

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Old Oct 15th, 2002, 12:38 AM   #13
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Thanks Rboi Those are impressive numbers she put up. Patty Hogan-she had some temper on her. "Mother-F---- was her favorite word on court.


One problem I've noticed with older
stats is how the word "year" is defined. Evonne said Court played in 31 events and your WOT puts her in around 25 or so. Depending on how it's defined both can be right. A lot of sources seem to have stopped counting after the US Open and Pacific Southwest(right after the US), leaving out all of September to January! Other sources will count the September to December results of one calendar year towards the next.

Aren't we lucky now that we have a sane calendar year with some off season? In Court's heydey there was an event every week of the year.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 05:07 PM   #14
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I truly have more respect for Margaret Court's generation of players because they played week after week after week and not only singles, they played doubles at every tournament. Margaret had the edge over Billie Jean early in their career with 14 straight wins; however, Billie turned it around from 1966 to 1973. Billie had a 3 to 2 edge in the Majors and a 12 to 8 record during that time. I would have loved to see them go at it like Evert and Navratilova the whole year. It was also interesting to know that Chris Evert didn't beat King in any Majors until 1977? Steffi Graf is a great champion, but I would put Martina and Margaret over her because both had major rivals during their runs, Margaret had to battle Bueno and King and later Evert and Goolagong. Navratilova had to battle Evert, Court, King, Mandlikova and Austin. Graf had Seles for a few years and after that she had a run at the majors with Sanchez putting up a battle. Most of the aforementioned legends all played doubles and mixed on a regular basis and Graf didn't.
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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 05:20 PM   #15
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Another thread on the greatest ever, but with a different slant...LOVELY! Well, I personally think that the greatest ever should be any one who has achieved all of these 3 criteria:

1. win over 100 consective matches on a particular surface

2. win at least 6 times at any 2 grandslams

3. win at least 1 grandslam for over 12 consecutive years

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