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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #61
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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Hi Iaian and Daze. I think Daze has a great point and I concur. Back in the day, before big business and big dollars essentially stripped our sport of the artistry and fun of competing, the players (generally speaking) tended to compete for love and pride. So he is right that they gave their all 52 weeks of the year and when assessing greatness this must be given fair weighting. As far as I am concerned the Slams are given too much weight, esp these days when some players suggest that is all they live for. Well, it wasn't always like that.

Give me the wooden racket, low prizemoney era any day. At least artistry, style, strategy and passion thrived.
CraigI agree, and you know I had a fantastic night last night with wine and a lot of matches from Wimbledon 74. I was kind of in a trance after 2 bottles of wine but it was a very pleasureable night. I honestly do think that the attitude of todays players re non GS and Masters events is a symptom of a wider malaise and wish to take it easy in capitalist societies generally. And I am convinced this consumer I want it now attitude has a lot to do with the relative failure of western nations to produce great female players recently. The Russians etc have such drive to improve their often shitty lot, and this is why they are so successful IMO. I would imagine the next wave of players will be from India in about twenty years and it will be the same story there.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #62
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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Originally Posted by DennisFitz View Post
OK, whatever. Contact me the next time it's done. Let's see how "pretentious" (?) it is.



C'est vrai! And yet prior to 1988, the only Grand Slams were won in non-Olympic years. So even if tennis were in the Olympics, Court, Connolly, Budge and Laver couldn't have won a Golden Slam anyway.


Aw, how terribly sweet of you. That Stef, ALWAYS just a lucky gal. Well as they say, better to be lucky than good!



I prefer a classic anywhere. As a fan, I understand that Wimbledon does mean more, overall. Maybe in some people's minds a win other than Wimbledon, US, French, or Australia means more. Just like in team sports, a regular season performance may be more satisfying than winning the World Series or Super Bowl. No matter, because it's what you do in the majors that the majority of folks will remember.



One of the things I loved about that lucky gal (and remember she was ONLY lucky, not good!) Steffi is that she tried hard everytime she walked on court. Now I know she was only lucky to beat Chris Evert for the 8th straight time in that VS of Florida final in 1989 (was that a classic?). Like Miss Evert, the lucky Miss Graf wanted to beat her opponent as badly as she could, no matter the tournament. Both understood the value of competing at the highest level all the time.



Now it's just me, I'm sure. But I recall watching both Miss Evert and Miss Graf, and neither ever claimed or pretended they were playing for the history books. They were always playing to be the best, to push themselves to be the best. In fact Miss Graf said near the end of her career she never had time to think or ponder her place in history, that was a conversation for others to have, or for her to think about in the future. (Then again, how dare Steffi even think she belonged int he conversation of greatness, she was only "lucky"!)


But Evert certainly didn't beat Martina en route to winning the French in 1983 or the Australian in 1984! How "nice" of others to do the the dirty work in 1983-1984, since Chris was too busy losing 12 consecutive matches to Martina! (me-oww, how mean of me to tell the truth!) So back to the original point, why oh why couldn't Martina win the Grand Slam in 1983, or 1984? Why? I can only conclude she was not as "lucky" as Steffi Graf!



Eww, gross. Martina and Chris morphing into one being! No. I recognize them as two distinct individuals and champions. Their individual records stand on their own. And no, you don't get the combo deal of Chris + Martina = SuperWoman! The true comparison of # of majors won is looking at the actual, real results (horrors, I want to use actual, real results, not the "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" stuff or some other make believe fantasy world. I must be so mean!!!!!)



Yes, it really is complicated to compare great champions. Only fools and fans (and pundits) do that. That's part of the fun!!! (Call me crazy but I seem to have a healthier respect for the champions who refuse to indulge in who the greatest is. Funny too, how one Miss "Lucky" Steffi Graf, humble as she may be, never enters that conversation. Only praising her competition. Something Motor mouth Martina could never do!) Yes tennis like life is a multi, techni-colored dream coat of a world. There are more than gray areas, or even paint by the numbers. But then when you have to talk numbers, there are basic rules. Such as 22 is greater than 18, in just picking out two numbers at absolute random
DennisGo for it man. Hey that really is a great post even though its laden sarcasm is just inviting similar back from Daze.It is such nonsense to in any way say Graf was lucky in 88. No Graf was unbeatable in 88.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #63
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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There is no going back to the "olden" days of wood rackets, no prize money.

Yes there are big dollars to be won today. And yes for some of the lesser lights, their agents (how I detest them!) want to build up 3rd round or QF losses in majors as major accomplishments.....because it will get them a better endorsement deal!

I still think there are players today who compete with a tremendous amount of passion, artistry, and style (Roger Federer anyone?) I think Serena Williams competes with more passion and commitment now than she did back in 2002-2003 when she was dominating. I believe she understands herself and the game, and has a healthier respect for the sport. That's a result of her maturity as a person and competitor.

Are the majors given too much weight? Should every tournament be equal? Should there be no rankings whatsoever?
DennisIdealism is not something that you should be so ready to condemn, but I agree that rankings and rating players is essential. Its what defines a player for the fans and the profession itself. As far as Federer is concerned I am not so sure. I definitely perceive that he doesnt try as hard at non major events. I dont know if he is even aware of it, I think it is just a natural defence mechanism to keep him fit and active for the GS and Masters. You cant blame him for that. I agree re Serena though, she definitely gives it big style these days.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #64
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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Well, the Grand Slam only came into being in 1938, when Budge won it. Was it "stupidity" to treat it as a historic moment back then, since it had never been done before?

Sorry, I just don't get why folks want to denigrate a uniquely phenomenal achievement. I know tennis has had a quirky history in the Olympics. But it was in the original modern Olympic games. IMHO, it's a pity it didn't always continue. The Olympics are the world's biggest sporting event. I think it is totally fitting that tennis is in the Olympics. I mean if the sport shouldn't get so wrapped up in the 4 majors (hey they are called majors for a reason....they are major events!) maybe we ought to just ditch tennis from the Olympics, because soooooooo many more people would rather watch the ATP 250 event from Washington or the Tier III tournament from Sopot that same week the Olympics are being held.

It's just my humble opinion (what do I know anyway?) but I believe Steffi Graf's Golden Grand Slam is, was, and always will be considered to be a historic moment in the annals of the sport. I also don't believe anyone will ever duplicate it either. Then again, I guess there is the other view: Steffi Graf was just plain old lucky that Martina didn't want to play the Olympics in 1988, Chris Evert couldn't be sufficiently motivated to play well, and Steffi 'just happened' to come into her prime the year the Olympics were played. Afterall, she was "lucky" throughout her entire career!!!
Oh you can be cutting when you want Dennis. But hey fair does you are right re Budge and the GS of 38, it was unique then as Graf and 88 was to be. I love the Olympics, but for some reason I dont enjoy the tennis event. I think it is because it is blatantly obvious that the top players dont really try.I also feel that tennis was out of the Games too long and now is not really thought of seriously as an Olympic sport.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #65
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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I guess you are just twisting my words or taking them to the extreme. Of course I know there is no going back to wood or less prizemoney. My point is that in those days of little or no prizemoney and wooden rackets a few things stood out -

1) most of the players were there for the love of the game. Today you can't tell as a lot of parents obviously push their kids for the money or a number of players are motivated by the dollar. Of course there are some who are still passionate and love the game. I am well aware of that.

2) there was an abundance of styles with wood. And more strategic play was required as you couldn't just bludgeon winners like you can today.

As for my comments on the slams getting all the focus, I was referring also to a lot of the posters who just factor in the slams when considering greatness. And of course they mean more. But as Daze says, the sport is a year long thing and not just 8 weeks, so that needs to be considered as well.

They were just my thoughts and not meant to be taken to the extreme.
And I love you and your thoughts Craigie boy.Keep them coming, and with the manners that are missing from a few others on here.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #66
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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There are many wonderful achievements in tennis.
The Golden Slam is a wonderful achievement there is no doubt about that.
Winning 9 Wimbledons is also a fantastic achievement.
Winning 7 French Titles is a stupendous achievement.
Winning 24 Slams is a mind blowing achievement.
How about - Only losing one match in your entire career (Lenglen) - not a bad achievement!
My mum’s whisky cake is the most wonderful achievement (oops wrong category)

Why do we worry and compete so much about who hits fluffy balls the most wonderfully - tennis is the winner!!
You know that is so correct. I love tennis and love to debate greatness and matches of the past. But I do it to a point that it is enjoyable and non-confrontational with others on the threads. But why some people need to be rude and sarcastic(the lowest form of wit of course, and the cheapest)I dont know. We are celebrating a game that we love and we should cherish that. Oh and I love whisky cake so naturally I will be expecting a bit of it sometime.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #67
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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my gosh, your post was just riddled with your inability to ever think anyone was talking about anyone but graf!!! i was so clearly talking about serena, in discussing womens tennis with a much larger scope than 'fraulein forehand'... it was just hilarious but kind of disturbing.

and as for 20 year old steffi beating 34 year old chris, well yeah... OBVIOUSLY she was lucky to have the dynamic in her favor. You -like so many graf fans- cant seem to accept that chris & martina were in their 30s, past the age steffi retired. for instance, evert fans never bring up wins over court in 1975-1977 because theres no dignity in it.

but its ok, its the same quality of thinking that makes you continue to wave the flag of the golden slam, even after proclaiming the others would not have been able to compete for it in an 'olympic year' I mean, its great to have won it but theres no point in waving it as an accomplishment above other players if they never were put in a posiiton to compete for it. It's like 'ha ha we ran an extra race & u didnt get to run! so we give her a golden star' ...I feel certain steffi graf is not nearly as insecure as her fans tend to be in her honor.
DazeI agree re Graf, I am positive she dosent get herself in a pickle worrying about these issues. I dont agree with the concept that she was lucky by the way. If we go down that route then of course Evert was lucky that Court, King and Richey were past their best for most of the early Evert era. I am talking here 74-77. But I agree that Graf fans can be very defensive, I think it is to do with the underlying psychology of the Seles stabbing??
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #68
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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The Midland event in October 1969 was part of the McCall Pro-Tour and as such does not count in official records of their h2hs which according to Joe McCauley an eminent statistician of the time was King 21 Jones 8 at the end of September 1970. BJ then beat Ann in the British Open and 7 Slims Events in 1971 with Ann winning their final ever match in Las Vegas to leave the score 29-9.

This was Mrs Jones last event on the tour. The following week she competed in the Howard Hughes Open in Las Vegas before terminating her contract with George McCall by mutual consent.
ChrisI meant to ask you this before but did Ann ever give clear guidance as to why she continued to play tour events but made no effort to play GS singles post 69? It seems strange as she surely could have had a shot at say the French Open in 71??And was the British Open the Wembley tournament??
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #69
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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CraigI agree, and you know I had a fantastic night last night with wine and a lot of matches from Wimbledon 74. I was kind of in a trance after 2 bottles of wine but it was a very pleasureable night. I honestly do think that the attitude of todays players re non GS and Masters events is a symptom of a wider malaise and wish to take it easy in capitalist societies generally. And I am convinced this consumer I want it now attitude has a lot to do with the relative failure of western nations to produce great female players recently. The Russians etc have such drive to improve their often shitty lot, and this is why they are so successful IMO. I would imagine the next wave of players will be from India in about twenty years and it will be the same story there.
this is getting way off topic i know, but i firmly believe that the players here should start using wood racquets as part of their training. I was hitting with wood the other day and a young girl ( i mean teenager) was hitting next to me with two coaches....just hitting against the wall. And my production was soooo much more solid and full of variety and suredness, even though i never play and she is "in training" for some kind of team competition.

And i thought, what it is is that i have built a strong foundation because my racquet doesnt do all the work for me. SHE on the other hand is playing with this trampalene equipment that is making it too easy to go to the depth you need in order to build a game where you rely on your own senses more. I felt sure she was embarrassed seeing me playing that well with that wood racquet, they almost couldnt bare to look over!! but I did think there was a lesson there.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #70
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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DennisGo for it man. Hey that really is a great post even though its laden sarcasm is just inviting similar back from Daze.It is such nonsense to in any way say Graf was lucky in 88. No Graf was unbeatable in 88.
Iainmac, I made 1 comment ('and one must be lucky indeed to happen to hit stride on a year when the olympics just happen to occur.) and HE turned it into a WHOLE LONG POST about how graf was lucky & not talented, and spent a whole page taking that out of context & using it over and over in this & another thread! and then you applauded the IDIOCY of that histrionic stance!! SIR, I expect a little critical reading of comments before we respond ... or in the case of that post, not respond but simply REACT.

But I am glad you found some value in it. I am curious, do you also think graf in 88 was better than martina in 83? I didn't think anyone even considered that, but maybe they do!! Curious about your opinion since you also saw them both in those years.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #71
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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this is getting way off topic i know, but i firmly believe that the players here should start using wood racquets as part of their training. I was hitting with wood the other day and a young girl ( i mean teenager) was hitting next to me with two coaches....just hitting against the wall. And my production was soooo much more solid and full of variety and suredness, even though i never play and she is "in training" for some kind of team competition.

And i thought, what it is is that i have built a strong foundation because my racquet doesnt do all the work for me. SHE on the other hand is playing with this trampalene equipment that is making it too easy to go to the depth you need in order to build a game where you rely on your own senses more. I felt sure she was embarrassed seeing me playing that well with that wood racquet, they almost couldnt bare to look over!! but I did think there was a lesson there.
DazeWhat kind of racket do you have? I think that is fantastic that you still have wooden ones. Hey do you play with them in competitive matches? I never really played with them much after being about ten, and even then I hardly played as my parents were poor and there was no way of playing in a club or anything.( I can feel a Dolly Parton song coming on). I can imagine though that they are so much more likely to encourage proper stroke production and it would be an idea to train with them to learn real control.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #72
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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Iainmac, I made 1 comment ('and one must be lucky indeed to happen to hit stride on a year when the olympics just happen to occur.) and HE turned it into a WHOLE LONG POST about how graf was lucky & not talented, and spent a whole page taking that out of context & using it over and over in this & another thread! and then you applauded the IDIOCY of that histrionic stance!! SIR, I expect a little critical reading of comments before we respond ... or in the case of that post, not respond but simply REACT.

But I am glad you found some value in it. I am curious, do you also think graf in 88 was better than martina in 83? I didn't think anyone even considered that, but maybe they do!! Curious about your opinion since you also saw them both in those years.
DazeI just love the banter and while I really dont agree with your mate Dennis all that much, it is good to wind him a little. Hey I did see them both and for me it was Navratilova unquestionably who was the better player. Yes Graf was awesome, but I just thought that Martina was unbelievable. You know I was at Eastbourne that year and she beat Burgin 2 and 3, Barker 1 and 0, Fairbank 0 and 0, Durie 2 and 1, Garrison 2 and 3 and Turnbull 1 and 0 in the final. I think I am right re the scores but anyway she was in a different stratosphere. I dont suppose Sue was in great form by this stage of her career, but all her other opponents were at the top of their games. She could not be touched in that year, and I am sure she would have beaten Graf constantly if they had both been around then.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #73
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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I did see them both and for me it was Navratilova unquestionably who was the better player. Yes Graf was awesome, but I just thought that Martina was unbelievable. You know I was at Eastbourne that year and she beat Burgin 2 and 3, Barker 1 and 0, Fairbank 0 and 0, Durie 2 and 1, Garrison 2 and 3 and Turnbull 1 and 0 in the final. I think I am right re the scores but anyway she was in a different stratosphere. I dont suppose Sue was in great form by this stage of her career, but all her other opponents were at the top of their games. She could not be touched in that year, and I am sure she would have beaten Graf constantly if they had both been around then.
I agree, she was taking players out in UNDER 30 minutes on occasion... it was the finest year I have ever seen of a player.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #74
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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DazeWhat kind of racket do you have? I think that is fantastic that you still have wooden ones. Hey do you play with them in competitive matches? I never really played with them much after being about ten, and even then I hardly played as my parents were poor and there was no way of playing in a club or anything.( I can feel a Dolly Parton song coming on). I can imagine though that they are so much more likely to encourage proper stroke production and it would be an idea to train with them to learn real control.
I gave up graphite a long time ago. I adore the feel & control of my wood racquet. Now, I carry a graphite with me in case we only have 40 minutes to play & I am really off.....no point in making it not fun for someone else!! A graphite racquet is a quick fix!! But if I'm hitting against the wall, I keep with the wood and fight to find my form. For me, tennis is a DISCIPLINE (like a martial art) and not like a sport. Again, it is what drew me to the game... a sport with a non-athlete champion atop it!! HEAVEN!

Here is my racquet. The relationship to tennis is so much more personalized, tender, nuanced... just simply art... than with the cold mechanics of what graphite brings. I can win easier with graphite of course, but I would rather lose doing it the right way than win by, what i consider, cheating. (Which tells you a lot about what i think of the game today) ... the other 'by the way' is that i usually don't lose.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #75
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Re: Womens All Time Rankings 1884-2009

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I agree, she was taking players out in UNDER 30 minutes on occasion... it was the finest year I have ever seen of a player.
DazeAnd she did it with a style of all court tennis that was fantastic to watch. I didnt care for it at the time as I was young and wanted Durie to beat herbut looking back oh my god what a genius.
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