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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Legends

I just read about the WTA celebrating their 40th anniversary and gathering together several former Nş 1s at Wimbledon, in the mid-Sunday I think, and I was a little intrigued by how frequently they are using the word "legend" nowadays on the WTA site, implying all the former Nş1s belong to that category.
So,my question is: do you believe a player can be considered a legend only because of achieving the top spot? I don't think so, as I wouldn't consider Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina, Azarenka and Woznicki like that, and I'm not sure about Mauresmo. Even Arantxa could be questioned by some maybe. Conversely, can someone be considered a "legend" not having been Nş1? I think so, as I believe that career results are relevant of course, but there must be something more, a player must have a distinctive and incredible game, but also personality, looks or aura, something that make her stay in people's mind through time, beyond the somewhat brief moment of the playing glory. From that point of view, and speaking roughly by decade, to me tennis legends are Court, BJ King, Evert, Navratilova, Wade, Goolagong, Austin, Graf, Sabatini, Seles, Capriati, Hingis, Venus&Serena Williams, Henin, Clijsters and Sharapova. Maybe ASV, but not sure.
What do you think?
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
I just read about the WTA celebrating their 40th anniversary and gathering together several former Nş 1s at Wimbledon, in the mid-Sunday I think, and I was a little intrigued by how frequently they are using the word "legend" nowadays on the WTA site, implying all the former Nş1s belong to that category.
So,my question is: do you believe a player can be considered a legend only because of achieving the top spot? I don't think so, as I wouldn't consider Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina, Azarenka and Woznicki like that, and I'm not sure about Mauresmo. Even Arantxa could be questioned by some maybe. Conversely, can someone be considered a "legend" not having been Nş1? I think so, as I believe that career results are relevant of course, but there must be something more, a player must have a distinctive and incredible game, but also personality, looks or aura, something that make her stay in people's mind through time, beyond the somewhat brief moment of the playing glory. From that point of view, and speaking roughly by decade, to me tennis legends are Court, BJ King, Evert, Navratilova, Wade, Goolagong, Austin, Graf, Sabatini, Seles, Capriati, Hingis, Venus&Serena Williams, Henin, Clijsters and Sharapova. Maybe ASV, but not sure.
What do you think?
Why are you always hating on Arantxa?


A tennis legend is a legend because of their game. Period. I agree that the number one ranking shouldn't be used to determine legends, but personality and DEFINITELY beauty should NOT be used to determine who legends are. How shallow.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #3
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Re: Legends

Fortunately, I don't hate anybody and least of all people I've never met. Why so judgemental? I just mentioned different factors that people can take into consideration, if you want to go only by the game, you're not entitled to tell anybody how he or she should think. To me, a player's game is most important, and I have mentioned along the years how much I love some incredible unique players no matter their nationality (I don't like Coria or del Potro for instance, at all), but there are also other factors than can make a legend. Be it the troubles she had to overcome, the age when she first burst into the tennis scene, a rivalry with another top player, her looks, the aura, etc. People are not necessarily sound when they "judge" a player and make him or her someone beyond the mere success on a tennis court. I mean, I'm not talking here about great results only, but about something that a player gave to the sport that left a mark on its history. Subjective? Of course, and I'm asking for BFTPasters good honest opinions, and I'm not interested in a comparison of statistics, which is not what I'm trying to figure out here. Life is not all about numbers and statistics, but there are other factors, yet your subjectivity must have some objectivity, even if it's and intriguing and difficult concept. Maybe you're missing my point, or I fail to make myself clear -not native English speaker - but I'd appreciate not making this become a "war" over any given player.
I have great respect for Arantxa as a player, even if her game was not especially appealing to me (yet she is a genius compared to today's players lack of different abilities), but I'm just not sure if the general public perceive her as a tennis legend. You see, I don't mention Davenport, who had enourmous success regarding her numbers, but I don't really think she made that an impression on people's mind when talking about women's tennis. I may be wrong, but I also may be right, and that's why I'd like to hear some opinions.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #4
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Re: Legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
Fortunately, I don't hate anybody and least of all people I've never met. Why so judgemental? I just mentioned different factors that people can take into consideration, if you want to go only by the game, you're not entitled to tell anybody how he or she should think. To me, a player's game is most important, and I have mentioned along the years how much I love some incredible unique players no matter their nationality (I don't like Coria or del Potro for instance, at all), but there are also other factors than can make a legend. Be it the troubles she had to overcome, the age when she first burst into the tennis scene, a rivalry with another top player, her looks, the aura, etc. People are not necessarily sound when they "judge" a player and make him or her someone beyond the mere success on a tennis court. I mean, I'm not talking here about great results only, but about something that a player gave to the sport that left a mark on its history. Subjective? Of course, and I'm asking for BFTPasters good honest opinions, and I'm not interested in a comparison of statistics, which is not what I'm trying to figure out here. Life is not all about numbers and statistics, but there are other factors, yet your subjectivity must have some objectivity, even if it's and intriguing and difficult concept. Maybe you're missing my point, or I fail to make myself clear -not native English speaker - but I'd appreciate not making this become a "war" over any given player.
I have great respect for Arantxa as a player, even if her game was not especially appealing to me (yet she is a genius compared to today's players lack of different abilities), but I'm just not sure if the general public perceive her as a tennis legend. You see, I don't mention Davenport, who had enourmous success regarding her numbers, but I don't really think she made that an impression on people's mind when talking about women's tennis. I may be wrong, but I also may be right, and that's why I'd like to hear some opinions.
I gave you my opinion.

Sorry for coming off as attacking, but your posts often seem to downplay Arantxa's accomplishments and attempt to put Sabatini above her. Maybe I am misinterpreting them, but it seems to be a subtle theme for your posts. You will make underhanded comments about her overachieving, being lucky, etc, and then you will pull back and say you have respect for her, but yet you hate her game. Just always came off as sour grapes to me.

To get back to the point of the thread---I still disagree with the idea that personality and looks should determine what is determined as "legendary". Popularity, sure, but legendary to me means that they were dominant or had some sort of aspect of their game that stood out above others. No, I don't think we need base it solely off of statistics, but I think we need to base it only off of tennis characteristics and statistics. Otherwise players like Anna Kournikova would be a legend.

My own list of legends since I've been watching tennis: Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Seles, Hingis, Serena, Venus. Henin is a probably to the list as well. I suppose my list is a little more lean than yours. Hingis falls on the list because she was truly dominant for a little while on the tour and really filled a gap nicely in the transition of the 90s stars to the 00s stars.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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Re: Legends

I agree that looks and personality are not at all relevant to the word "legend." I DO think that on-court behavior has a connection to the word "champion," as Hingis' antics often made me shake me head and think, "She might be the winner of this tournament, but she is not a real champion."

Anyway, I don't think it's all that important to come up with specific criteria to classify someone as a legend or not, but I do think a legend is someone who achieved a lot and is regarded as truly special. No, I don't put Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina, Azarenka, or Wozniacki anywhere near being legends. A quick thought about my list: Let's say that of players who were on tour from 1989 or beyond, Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, Sanchez Vicario, Hingis, V. Williams, S. Williams, and Henin are legends. I admit my dislike of Davenport gives me room to pause and consider her three singles majors insufficient to make the cut, but she did win a big pile of tournaments. It's not worth my time taking this further and making some sort of final judgment on whether I would put her in the list.

Clijsters and Henin are missed. Where are skilled players with great movement and at least solid mental games? Sharapova might have four majors and a strong mind, but she is not an excellent mover. I honestly believe that Clijsters and Henin would give Serena more of a run for her money right now in 2013 (if they had kept playing) than anyone actively playing. Ah, well. Who will the next legend be? Someone who doesn't get defaulted from matches for her behavior, I hope.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Legends

To me, a legend is made by playing in "enough" classic, big-occasion matches. So since 1973, that would make Court, King, Goolagong, Evert, Navratilova, Mandlikova, Graf, Seles, ASV, Hingis, Venus, Serena, and Henin as "clear" legends with Clijsters and later-era Capriati also getting the nod. I'm on the fence about Austin.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Re: Legends

There's so much subjectivity here. John McEnroe acted like a jerk countless times (far more than Hingis), but would that discount him as a legend? Hardly. You gotta go with their oncourt achievements, unless they've done something that invalidated those results (like doping, for instance).

Anyway, going by their achievements, it's hard to argue against any of these: Court, King, Goolagong, Bueno, Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, Sanchez Vicario, Hingis, Davenport, Venus, Serena, Capriati, Henin, and Clijsters.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Re: Legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
I just read about the WTA celebrating their 40th anniversary and gathering together several former Nş 1s at Wimbledon, in the mid-Sunday I think, and I was a little intrigued by how frequently they are using the word "legend" nowadays on the WTA site, implying all the former Nş1s belong to that category.
So,my question is: do you believe a player can be considered a legend only because of achieving the top spot? I don't think so, as I wouldn't consider Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina, Azarenka and Woznicki like that, and I'm not sure about Mauresmo. Even Arantxa could be questioned by some maybe. Conversely, can someone be considered a "legend" not having been Nş1? I think so, as I believe that career results are relevant of course, but there must be something more, a player must have a distinctive and incredible game, but also personality, looks or aura, something that make her stay in people's mind through time, beyond the somewhat brief moment of the playing glory. From that point of view, and speaking roughly by decade, to me tennis legends are Court, BJ King, Evert, Navratilova, Wade, Goolagong, Austin, Graf, Sabatini, Seles, Capriati, Hingis, Venus&Serena Williams, Henin, Clijsters and Sharapova. Maybe ASV, but not sure.
What do you think?
I agree with your list of players. I think I would consider Mauresmo a legend, especialy if you consider Sabatini one. She had a game very similar to Sabatini but with a bit more power, and people will remember her beautiful game style and her overcoming her career of choking to win 2 slams.

I would probably agree ASV doesn't quite make it despite her 4 slams. People all but forget her today.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: Legends

Then again ASV had her legendary rivalry with Graf and some of the best all time matches (95 Wimbledon and 96 French) so that along with her 4 slams maybe means she makes it. I am not sure.

I think I would add Mandilikova. You didn't list her but I think she qualifies. People will always remember her talent, and being the only one to seriously challenge Chris and Martina after Austin was gone.

I think Ann Jones would be a legend, especialy if Wade is. With all her commentary she stays in the public eye too. She was one of the smartest players of her era.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: Legends

I think my list going through history would be:

Dorothy Douglas Chambers
Charlotte Cooper
Molla Mallorey
Kitty Godfrey
Helen Wills
Helen Jacobs
Alice Marble
Dorothy Round
Elizabeth Ryan
Lili D'Alvarez (maybe, mostly for style)
Pauline Betz
Margaret Osborne DuPont
Louise Brough
Shirley Fry
Doris Hart
Maureen Connolly
Althea Gibson
Margaret Court
Ann Jones
Virginia Wade
Billie Jean King
Maria Bueno
Evonne Goolagong
Chris Evert
Martina Navratilova
Tracy Austin
Hana Mandilikova
Steffi Graf
Monica Seles
Natalia Zvereva & Gigi Fernandez
Gabriela Sabatini
Aranxta Sanchez Vicario
Jennifer Capriati
Martina Hingis
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Maria Sharapova
Justine Henin
Kim Clijsers
Lindsay Davenport
Amelie Mauresmo
Na Li (what she did for her country, legend)
Kimiko Date (in her own unique way)
Victoria Azarenka (atleast is on her way)
Mary Pierce (for style, glamor, all time firepower, being an enigma, and 2 slams)
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 08:24 AM   #11
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Re: Legends

If Suzanne Lenglen isn't a legend, then no player in the world ever was.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 06:01 PM   #12
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Re: Legends

Interesting posts rolling and Hughes Daniel. I forgot to mention Mandlikova, as I'm sure rollingraces forgot about the Divine Lenglen!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2013, 03:07 AM   #13
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Re: Legends

Sorry forgetting Lenglen was a major boo boo, and a total accident. I am sure there are some other worthy individuals I forgot, especialy in the much older days.

Comparing Sabatini to Sanchez is always interesting. Who is the more accomplished and greater player is obvious. Who is the better player with more ability is less obvious. Who is the bigger star who had a more unique style, glamour, and intangible presence is also obvious and it is the opposite of the other obvious.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2013, 05:06 PM   #14
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Re: Legends

reat post! Very well said about how the comparison between the two greatest stars from Spain and Latin America in the Open era is really intriguing.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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Re: Legends

The comparision between their rivalries with Graf is also interesting. Sabatini felt like more a thorn in the side of Graf in a way. She beat Graf 7 times out of 8 at one point. Even in 88-89 which was Graf's all time peak of play (along with 95-96) she beat her several times, when nobody else could more than once. She seemed to beat her in more tournaments and finals. Yet it Sanchez who beat and even challenged Steffi far more in slams. Sabatini was something like 1-12 vs Graf in slams, very disappointing, while Sanchez Vicario surprisingly posted 4 wins. Even during the period Sabatini was playing well, Sanchez posted 3 wins to only 1 for Sabatini.
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