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View Poll Results: Greatest womens tennis player of all tiime

Lenglen 2 3.28%
Wills Moody 1 1.64%
Connolly 1 1.64%
Court 3 4.92%
King 0 0%
Navratilova 16 26.23%
Evert 2 3.28%
Serena 10 16.39%
Graf 21 34.43%
Seles 5 8.20%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #16
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
IMO

Greatest by ability at physical peak: Serena Williams


I completely disagree.

I've followed women's tennis since I was a little boy in the 70's. During that time I've been able to follow a lot of the players listed in this poll, and there is NO WAY Serena at her peak was better than Graf, Seles and Navratilova when they were at their best. Serena has a fabulous power game but she is far behind the other three in almost every other aspect of the game. She would have had no weapons against Navratilova's serve & volley game in '83, Steffi's forehand & slice game in '88, or Monica's pinpoint accurate baseline game in '92. However, Serena is without a doubt the best player in the last decade.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #17
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMBH View Post
[/b]

I completely disagree.

I've followed women's tennis since I was a little boy in the 70's. During that time I've been able to follow a lot of the players listed in this poll, and there is NO WAY Serena at her peak was better than Graf, Seles and Navratilova when they were at their best. Serena has a fabulous power game but she is far behind the other three in almost every other aspect of the game. She would have had no weapons against Navratilova's serve & volley game in '83, Steffi's forehand & slice game in '88, or Monica's pinpoint accurate baseline game in '92. However, Serena is without a doubt the best player in the last decade.
Care to explain why?
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #18
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
I am going to go with Court. She was dominating womens tennis in 1962 and still in 1973, both years which she won 3 of 4 slams. Nobody has ever been the dominant player that long, albeit with brief periods amongst she was either retired or someone was temporarily better. She matches Graf with five years of 3 slams or more, but considering Graf had three 3 slam years after the Seles stabbing, it would be a minor miracle if she still reached 5 under normal circumstances (and no I am not one of those who thinks Seles would have kept dominating had she not been stabbed either so please dont indulge me in that). It would have been interesting had there been some major events on hard courts back then. I honestly think with her all around game hard courts would have been Court's best surface. There was arguably never such a complete all court player who was equally comfortable at net, baseline, midcourt, anywhere, other than quite possibly the great Suzanne Lenglen.

That plus I am pretty sure nearly everyone will go with Graf or Navratilova, so I figure Evert or Court deserve an extra vote.
Hey JustineHeninfan

What about total weeks at #1. How does Court do in that?

Even if the rankings weren't as popular/utilized then, as they've been the past 40 years, I'm sure it can be/was tabulated?

I don't think I've seen Court even on the top 10 list of number one, or consecutive weeks at # 1.

How does she fare with that? Just curious?
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #19
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

I am not entirely sure on that. Court was considered the #1 player for 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and some of 1966 though. So already about 4 years. She was also considered the #1 player from 1969 until a break after Wimbledon 1971 so another over 2 years. And she was clearly #1 in 1973. So atleast 7 years which would probably have challenged or passed Steffi's total if computer rankings were around then.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #20
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMBH View Post
[/b]

I completely disagree.

I've followed women's tennis since I was a little boy in the 70's. During that time I've been able to follow a lot of the players listed in this poll, and there is NO WAY Serena at her peak was better than Graf, Seles and Navratilova when they were at their best. Serena has a fabulous power game but she is far behind the other three in almost every other aspect of the game. She would have had no weapons against Navratilova's serve & volley game in '83, Steffi's forehand & slice game in '88, or Monica's pinpoint accurate baseline game in '92. However, Serena is without a doubt the best player in the last decade.
I'm gonna have to probably agree with this to.

I think many times we confuse Serena's physical attributes (which are considerable, but still relative to the times and Tennis progression), with her level of play. The two don't always translate.

And I would agree, in my life, I never seen tennis played better, than Evert, Martina and Graf during their peak/heydays.

I don't think I ever saw Serena dominate, or play as well as them.

I wasn't around for Court.

Peak Serena, wasn't as good, or didn't dominate like Peak Graf, Evert or Navratilova, and the records, individual years, majors, winning percentages, and weeks at number one, and consecutive weeks at number one demonstrate that (whether it's for a year or career).
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #21
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
What about total weeks at #1. How does Court do in that?

Even if the rankings weren't as popular/utilized then, as they've been the past 40 years, I'm sure it can be/was tabulated?
If you aren't able to do the more preliminary research yourself you obviously have little comprehension of how the rankings worked pre computer system but I'll attempt to enlighten your ignorance.

Court ended 7 seasons ranked #1. One less than Graf (1993) and the same as Navratilova . And was seeded #1 in nearly 30 Grand Slams, which again is comparable to 22 Slam Champ Graf with 28 Grand Slams as the #1 seed.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #22
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Monica is the greatest player of all time. The most accomplished is Navratilova and the most celebrated is probably Graf.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #23
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

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Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
I'm gonna have to probably agree with this to.

I think many times we confuse Serena's physical attributes (which are considerable, but still relative to the times and Tennis progression), with her level of play. The two don't always translate.

And I would agree, in my life, I never seen tennis played better, than Evert, Martina and Graf during their peak/heydays.

I don't think I ever saw Serena dominate, or play as well as them.

I wasn't around for Court.

Peak Serena, wasn't as good, or didn't dominate like Peak Graf, Evert or Navratilova, and the records, individual years, majors, winning percentages, and weeks at number one, and consecutive weeks at number one demonstrate that (whether it's for a year or career).
Is your argument based on Serena's domination against her peers? I don't understand why numerical records would falsify the thesis that Serena is the "Greatest by ability at physical peak." Graf, Evert, Martina and Serena dominated their peers at their physical peaks but Serena played in an era that was more physical.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #24
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

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Originally Posted by PMBH View Post

I completely disagree.

I've followed women's tennis since I was a little boy in the 70's. During that time I've been able to follow a lot of the players listed in this poll, and there is NO WAY Serena at her peak was better than Graf, Seles and Navratilova when they were at their best. Serena has a fabulous power game but she is far behind the other three in almost every other aspect of the game. She would have had no weapons against Navratilova's serve & volley game in '83, Steffi's forehand & slice game in '88, or Monica's pinpoint accurate baseline game in '92. However, Serena is without a doubt the best player in the last decade.
Ironically this post is looks like it was written by a little boy. The fact you try to separate Serena's "power game", implying hitting hard isn't a legitimate aspect of the actual game reveals your reactionary bias, and disinclines me to take the rest of your post seriously, but I will reply.

No weapons against Navratilova's serve and volley? Ever heard of passing shots? You think the woman who invented shots down the line, on the run would be dominated by a serve and vollyer? Nope.

Steffi's forehand and slice game in 1988 - would you care to elucidate why precisely Serena would be overwhelmed by this and rendered inept?

Serena is obviously superior to Monica in achievements and a more complete player, so no more nonsense there please.

When you break it down, dominance in tennis has been about power for some time. Steffi was known as a power player when she first broke on to the scene as the dominator. And in fact she was the most powerful hitter until Seles came around.

Navratilova over-powered Evert with her strokes and athleticism. No coincidence that her golden years of invincibility where Evert had no-answers coincided with the introduction of graphite racquets which gave her a massive advantage over Evert. Once Evert adjusted her own game to playing with graphite and beefed up her serve, things evened out again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
I'm gonna have to probably agree with this to.

Peak Serena, wasn't as good, or didn't dominate like Peak Graf, Evert or Navratilova, and the records, individual years, majors, winning percentages, and weeks at number one, and consecutive weeks at number one demonstrate that (whether it's for a year or career).
You're incorrect. Serena's 2002 is statistically as good as any year of Evert's career, who never had a 3-major year. Obviously week-in in week-out Graf and Navratilova had some seasons which outstrip 2002. But week-in week-out achievement doesn't have directly correlate to peak level of play. So your point here is weak.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #25
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

In the future, or if the OP could travel in time like a Terminator and appear outside a internet cafe. Then went inside and made a new/other tennisforum account, and posted the same thread (with a poll), then I would most likely have a lot of votes.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #26
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
If you aren't able to do the more preliminary research yourself you obviously have little comprehension of how the rankings worked pre computer system but I'll attempt to enlighten your ignorance.

Court ended 7 seasons ranked #1. One less than Graf (1993) and the same as Navratilova . And was seeded #1 in nearly 30 Grand Slams, which again is comparable to 22 Slam Champ Graf with 28 Grand Slams as the #1 seed.
I think my question, was had any one "tabulated it" or worked it out?

I guess you don't really pay attention or read properly. Not surprised. I had already acknowledged the inconsistencies of the system.

Please read and comprehend properly next time, or don't respond or offer any misguided help.

Justine Henin fan had the proper response to me, and did just fine.

So your answer is/was no.

Thank You.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #27
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Chris Evert because I know beforehand that she's not going to get as many votes as she deserves. Besides, in my opinion there are seven players on that list that should share the title of GOAT, so I may just as well vote for the one I love the most.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #28
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

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Originally Posted by Novichok View Post
Is your argument based on Serena's domination against her peers? I don't understand why numerical records would falsify the thesis that Serena is the "Greatest by ability at physical peak." Graf, Evert, Martina and Serena dominated their peers at their physical peaks but Serena played in an era that was more physical.
This is always the big argument in Sports.

Was Hakeem Olajuwon the greatest Center in NBA history, cause he was the best Center, when the best, biggest, tallest, most athletic Centers played?

Some would ask, was Wilt Chamberlain (or Kareem Abdul Jabbar even) The best Center ever cause they dominated the best/more over their contemporaries than ever before?

Now of course athletes who dominated in the 1960's, generally are not going to be as dominate over their peers in 2011 (or athletes in 2011 against each other). So it gets complicated. We all know this.

I think here, we blended (taken from two different posters), a Peak Play vs Peak Physical play argument, actually. Those are two different arguments.

If it's simple play or domination; then I think Chris, Steffi and Navratilova win that out easy. If it's who was the most physically gifted, than that becomes more complicated.

Do you wanna say Serena, cause she 5'9", 165lb, fast, powerful, etc., then you can. But that doesn't mean she was that much more physically better than her peers, compared to Martina or Graf (though she may of been). But I'm not sure what that even means, cause skill level wise some would argue, it wasn't enough for Serena to dominate the sport the way Chris or Martina did, or even Graf, a relative contemporary of hers (unless we change the scales or judgements). Of course Serena supporters, can make that argument as well, by saying their competition/physicality of the sport was better (though as Chris Williams pointed out the other day; players of the 60-70's had their condition/court requirements that many players today could/maybe not deal with, no like medical time outs, standing between games, no on court trainers, TV time outs, entourages, including massage therapist, nutritionist, etc.).

Shoot. Another argument can be made, that Venus, was even more physically gifted than Serena (because of her combined height, reach, speed and power), but that only got Venus 7 majors, and inconsistent play throughout her career. See what I mean?

The other thing people try to do is just look at physical/mental/skill assessments; but those don't always translate era's either, though it does work many times (compensating a little for new racquets, training, size growth, etc.). You know, who was the better player; Roger, Rafa, Sampras or Laver argument?

I mean we can go on and on with this, but I'm not in a position right now, to write in such detail, as the scales and qualifiers we can use right now to accurately assess different players of different era's and their peak performance.

So in a simple line (addressing your original question), Serena or Venus may very well of been the most physically gifted female tennis players ever, but it doesn't mean they were the best, had the best careers, combined it with the best skills, had the biggest physical advantage or even played the best peak tennis ever (at one time, one year, or a career).

But I do understand why some would make that argument (especially if Serena would of had 18-22 majors, instead of 13 and counting)?

PS (speaking about physical): Gael Monfis, is probably the most combined physically/skill wise gifted male Tennis Player (he's got all the shots and power, along with that brilliant athleticism, reach and height), maybe ever, but it hasn't translated into him even winning a major. A shame!

Last edited by Excelscior : Jul 18th, 2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #29
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

I voted for Graf just because I had to but I want to ask:

why does anyone care?

What difference would it make if people thought Graf, Navratilova, Evert or Court was the GOAT? They played across very different eras, and it's painfully clear that not one of those was so much ahead of any other in regards to both achievements and influence on the game, especially that each one had a distinctive style with its flaws and advantages. This very fact makes all comparisons very subjective and almost arbitrary cause there are far too many variable factors to account for. And even if it's remotely possible to pick one, it's entirely meaningless. Should we start worshipping at her feet when the poll closes? It's taking the ideal of competition in sports a little far too much.

These are all greats of the game, and they just deserve to be celebrated as such.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #30
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Re: Greatest womens tennis player of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
IMO

Greatest contribution to the sport: Suzanne Lenglen

Greatest by the numbers: Margaret Court

Greatest by ability at physical peak: Serena Williams
I would argue that King could replace Lenglen and that Navratilova could replace Court, but...this basically sums it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
This is always the big argument in Sports.

Was Hakeem Olajuwon the greatest Center in NBA history, cause he was the best Center, when the best, biggest, tallest, most athletic Centers played?

Some would ask, was Wilt Chamberlain (or Kareem Abdul Jabbar even) The best Center ever cause they dominated the best/more over their contemporaries than ever before?

Now of course athletes who dominated in the 1960's, generally are not going to be as dominate over their peers in 2011 (or their contemporaries). So it gets complicated. We all know this.

I think here, we blended (taken from two different posters), a Peak Play vs Peak Physical play argument, actually. Those are two different arguments.

If it's simple play or domination; then I think Chris, Steffi and Navratilova win that out easy. If it's who was the most physically gifted, than that becomes more complicated.

Do you wanna say Serena, cause she 5'9", 165lb, fast, powerful, etc., then you can. But that doesn't mean she was that much more physically better than her peers, compared to Martina or Graf (though she may of been). But I'm not sure what that even means, cause skill level wise, it wasn't enough for Serena to dominate the sport the way Chris or Martina did, or even Graf a relative contemporary of hers (unless we change the scales or judgements). Of course Serena supporters, can make that argument as well, by saying their competition/physicality was better (though as Chris Williams pointed out the other day; players of the 60-70's had their condition/court requirements that many players today could/maybe not deal with, no like medical time outs, standing between games, no on court trainers, TV time outs, entourages (massage therapist, nutritionist, etc.).

An argument can be made, that Venus, was even more physically gifted than Serena (because of her combined height, reach, speed and power), but that only got Venus 7 majors, and inconsistent play throughout her career. See what I mean?

The other thing people try to do is just look at physical/mental/skill assessments; but those don't always translate era's either, though it does work many times (compensating a little for new racquets, training, size growth, etc.). You know, who was the better player; Roger, Rafa or Laver argument?

I mean we can go on and on with this, but I'm not in a position right now, to write in such detail, as the scales and qualifiers we can use right now to accurately assess different players of different era's and their peak performance.

So in a simple line, Serena or Venus may very well of been the most physically gifted female tennis players ever, but it doesn't mean they were the best, had the best careers, combined it with the best skills,had the biggest physical advantage or even played the best peak tennis ever (at one time, one year, or a career).

But I do understand why some would make that argument (especially if Serena would of had 18-22 majors, instead of 13 and counting)?

PS (speaking about physical): Gael Monfis, is probably the most combined physically/skill wise gifted male Tennis Player (he's got all the shots and power, along with that brilliant athleticism, reach and height), maybe ever, but it hasn't translated into him even winning a major. A shame!
What does Venus have to do with any of this?

I don't think the argument is just about Serena's physical gifts, it's the combination of physical gifts, the best serve ever, and one of the strongest wills that make her one of the greatest ever.

And not to downplay the achievement of Graf or Evert, but Serena, Navratilova, Court, and King are the only 4 players to have double digits in both singles and doubles GS and only she and Navratilova have won 4 straight majors in singles and doubles.
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