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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 01:54 AM   #31
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Hugues Daniel View Post
Arantxa wasn't more past her prime in 1998 than Graf in 1999. Those players played their best to win their last title at the French. Serena is also playing better than before, at least to stay consistent as a number one player, and is especially better on clay now. Schiavone obviously played better in 2010 than before, she was a late bloomer - the late-blooming case is growing on the tour, keep an eye on Safarova. You cannot just underrate the value of Francesca's run at a slam from observing her rank or her side results. One had to watch or has to watch again.
I did WATCH Francesca win Roland Garros. Her fighting spirit and enthusiasm during those weeks were great, but she simply did not have to play anyone who knows how to play on clay.

Plus you do have to look at a player's pedigree in order to judge how tough a field it was.

Just out of curiosity, what makes you think that Francesca and Vera would beat 2 players from the previous generation who had a much better pedigree? Give me some details.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 03:31 AM   #32
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Joseosu19 View Post
Just out of curiosity, what makes you think that Francesca and Vera would beat 2 players from the previous generation who had a much better pedigree? Give me some details.
I have answered this point already... Just compare how Sanchez and Sabatini play and how Schiavone and Zvonareva play. Two players who dominated the tour in one decade aren't necessarily superior to two other players who didn't dominate the tour as much in another decade, because the general level of the tour got harder and harder. It really isn't that hard to understand, but you don't have to agree with this if you don't want to, and obviously you won't. No matter. Sanchez and Sabatini are "legends" of their time while Schiavone and Zvonareva aren't nearly as much (just a matter of taste, imo) simply because after all, what is important is to dominate the time you live in. That is what a champion is. But I'm still amazed at the absurdity of the reasoning that Sanchez and Sabatini would have won the French in 2010, supposedly because the tour was weaker then. THAT is not clever at all. I'm not the one who compares different eras. I can do it for fun at times, but that's it. One just has to be aware of the different level of competition over the decades.

Sanchez and Sabatini deserve the admiration they get. But they don't need, either any other champion, to be overrated out of their time. I feel like I have nothing to do here to spoil the fans pleasure to talk about the players they love. I'll stick to my sense of time shift.

Oh the shameful underrating of Wozniacki! Booo! Anyway.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #33
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Hugues Daniel View Post
I have answered this point already... Just compare how Sanchez and Sabatini play and how Schiavone and Zvonareva play. Two players who dominated the tour in one decade aren't necessarily superior to two other players who didn't dominate the tour as much in another decade, because the general level of the tour got harder and harder. It really isn't that hard to understand, but you don't have to agree with this if you don't want to, and obviously you won't. No matter. Sanchez and Sabatini are "legends" of their time while Schiavone and Zvonareva aren't nearly as much (just a matter of taste, imo) simply because after all, what is important is to dominate the time you live in. That is what a champion is. But I'm still amazed at the absurdity of the reasoning that Sanchez and Sabatini would have won the French in 2010, supposedly because the tour was weaker then. THAT is not clever at all. I'm not the one who compares different eras. I can do it for fun at times, but that's it. One just has to be aware of the different level of competition over the decades.

Sanchez and Sabatini deserve the admiration they get. But they don't need, either any other champion, to be overrated out of their time. I feel like I have nothing to do here to spoil the fans pleasure to talk about the players they love. I'll stick to my sense of time shift.

Oh the shameful underrating of Wozniacki! Booo! Anyway.
And I argue that just because a player is from a "newer" generation doesn't mean that they would automatically beat the previous generation's players. You've failed to give any points about Francesca's game that would allow her to win that title while Sabatini and Sanchez couldn't.

I think you are arguing with circular reasoning, and you make claims like you don't compare generations (which you are currently doing). I appreciated the discussion, but I think we should allow the topic we hijacked to get back to what it was originally about.


We both agree, nonetheless, that legends are determined by how they perform in their generation against the competition laid out before them.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:58 AM   #34
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Joseosu19 View Post
You've failed to give any points about Francesca's game that would allow her to win that title while Sabatini and Sanchez couldn't.

I think you are arguing with circular reasoning, and you make claims like you don't compare generations (which you are currently doing).
No sir, I didn't fail. I just tell you the most obvious: compare, watch. See the matches on YouTube or elsewhere. See how faster and harder the players of 2010 play in comparison to Sanchez and Sabatini. You don't agree? You just see "enthusiasm" from Schiavone? OK. What can I do? I have my eyes to see. You say Sanchez was a master on clay: yeah she was, but in the 90's. I say that Errani today is as good if not better than Sanchez was. I make a comparison with Errani cause I think they're close in style. You tell me about pedigree: Sanchez defeated Graf, Pierce, Seles, right, great, I saw some of those matches, Sanchez was a great fighter, great mental, no doubt about that, but I answer you that Schiavone would have defeated Graf, Pierce or Seles too. Yeah, just like that. How could any Schiavone's pedigree help to convince on this? You want me to find great players of Schiavone's times to make a comparison of "pedigree", and I am the one who have a circular reasoning?

I was answering a specifical point from the start, that it's absurd to think Sanchez would have won more titles in a "weak era" like 2010: I didn't start that comparison of eras.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #35
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Hugues Daniel View Post
No sir, I didn't fail. I just tell you the most obvious: compare, watch. See the matches on YouTube or elsewhere. See how faster and harder the players of 2010 play in comparison to Sanchez and Sabatini. You don't agree? You just see "enthusiasm" from Schiavone? OK. What can I do? I have my eyes to see. You say Sanchez was a master on clay: yeah she was, but in the 90's. I say that Errani today is as good if not better than Sanchez was. I make a comparison with Errani cause I think they're close in style. You tell me about pedigree: Sanchez defeated Graf, Pierce, Seles, right, great, I saw some of those matches, Sanchez was a great fighter, great mental, no doubt about that, but I answer you that Schiavone would have defeated Graf, Pierce or Seles too. Yeah, just like that. How could any Schiavone's pedigree help to convince on this? You want me to find great players of Schiavone's times to make a comparison of "pedigree", and I am the one who have a circular reasoning?

I was answering a specifical point from the start, that it's absurd to think Sanchez would have won more titles in a "weak era" like 2010: I didn't start that comparison of eras.
This is my last response to you:

I've SEEN Sanchez and Sabatini play...on TV AND in person...have you? Your condescending tone makes me question whether you've seen anything besides Youtube videos.

Schiavone during her run was lauded for having an eccentric game and using her "court smarts" to construct points. That eccentric game would not have been considered that eccentric in the 90s, and Arantxa could match just about any player when it comes to tennis intelligence.

Also, please tell me where I ever said that Arantxa would have won "more titles" in 2010. I never said anything of the like. I simply said that I believe Arantxa could have won the French Open (and considering you said you think Errani is Arantxa's equal and Errani has come quite close to winning the French, it would seem you might agree). I even conceded the fact that Arantxa would get overpowered by several of the top players of this generation.

Clearly we will not agree. No matter what you say you are not going to convince me that Francesca Schiavone is a better tennis player than Gabriela Sabatini or Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. And no matter what I say, you are going to go on thinking that because 10-15 years has elapsed since the end of their generation that players such as Sanchez and Sabatini would not be able to contend for any title. We will agree to disagree. Thanks for the discussion.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 03:52 PM   #36
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Joseosu19 View Post
Schiavone during her run was lauded for having an eccentric game and using her "court smarts" to construct points. That eccentric game would not have been considered that eccentric in the 90s, and Arantxa could match just about any player when it comes to tennis intelligence.
I don't see anything eccentric about Schiavone. She's basically a fighter, hitting hard, running on all the balls, playing an all around game, whether she plays on clay or grass or hard court. The one thing that distinguishes her from most of the others is her single backhand.

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Also, please tell me where I ever said that Arantxa would have won "more titles" in 2010. I never said anything of the like.
Didn't say you did. The other person did. You answered in between.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:04 PM   #37
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Re: Legends

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Originally Posted by Joseosu19 View Post
As for 2010 and 2011 when Caroline Wozniacki was number one...in 2010 Vera Zvonereva was #2 in the race. Both Sabatini and Sanchez were considerably more talented then either of those players. Schiavone was #6 and the French Open champion...both Sabatini and Sanchez would have pulverized her on the clay of Roland Garros.

2011 wasn't much different...Na Li could not out compete Arantxa and Gabriela at a French Open, and again Francesca made her way to the final of that slam.
Tee-hee! Tee-hee!
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #38
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Re: Legends

I think everyone is entitled to their opinions and should back them up with facts and reasoning, while conceding the other person's point of view might right and one might be wrong. I mean, we can just share our thoughts and just try to "convince" others of how right they are, but no one owns the truth.
That said, I'll add my tiny bit. I agree that general level of the Tour is higher, physically and in terms of power, but the evolution has not been upwards in terms of shot making ability, simply because racket technology makes it easier to win using power than by shotmaking and working points to win them. You have to be very talented to do that, so there comparatively are many more power players than before. But I don't think the top echelon has "evolved" that much, especially on clay, compared to some past eras, especially the late 80s and 90s, when people started using power and were by no means just puff play. Wozniacki or Zvonareva, for instance, though good players, are not in the level of several Nº1s or even top 5 players from the past, such as Seles for instance. I don't mean they could never win a match against them, but they would be on the losing side 9 times out of 10 generally speaking.
But I kept thinking about the logic of Schiavone or Zvonareva and their power and ability compared to ASV's and Sabatini's. I know they hit harder today, and if you see Arantxa and Gabriela play back then you see the ball is slower and less powerful. but you must consider that rackets were different, and if someone watchs them on Youtube for instance, must remember how VHS recordings look slower after a long time. Anyway, I REALLY can`t see why they shouldn't be able to generate much more power provided they use the same today's rackets. Why someone as talented as Sabatini (I think no one could deny she is one of the most talented, in sheer ability, players ever) could not adapt and hit more powerful shots and even heavier top spins (á la Nadal) nowadays? And she and ASV used to challenge and sometimes beat power players like Graf or Seles, Davenport, Capriati, Pierce,etc., who played really well in just recent years: if they could adapt to power era and play that well, why on Earth Sabatini or ASV could not? You watch Gabriela out manoeuver and out play Mary, Jennifer and Lindsay; why couldn't she do that in 2010 the same way as she did in 1992-1994, using the same technology and fitness regimes? Especially on clay, where the Spaniard and the Argentine were so resourceful. I also want to mention something that adds up to my point: Kimiko Date, who was a good player in the 90s but never considered a contender for the big titles, was able to beat Sharapova, Li, Safina, Stosur, Hantuchova, Petrova and taking Venus, Ivanovic, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Azarenka to 3 sets aged 40 or over! So, if she could compete more than decently and so much older than her rivals, why on Earth Sabatini and ASV could not be top ten material and big titles contenders in the current generation, if they were in their twenties? That’s my logic on this.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #39
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Re: Legends

I also want to mention I agree with Joseus on how pleased I also am about the way Gabriela and Arantxa have blossomed after their careers, as you said. So true, even Arantxa looks attractive nowadays, adding to her attractive personality. And if Gabriela seemed dull back then, she's always been an extremely shy person (too much so I thinkg), but she has evolved but keeps her charisma and increased her beauty. Vilas once said about her: you say her name to anyone and you see a smile when people speaks of her.
And rollingraces got completely my point about the thread, how not only numbers but also "intangibles" make a legend, be it beauty, style, personality, scandals, game, making an impression on people's minds that makes a player unforgettable.
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 12:07 AM   #40
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Re: Legends

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One thing that I think goes against Sanchez though is her head to heads vs the best players. Her head to head vs Graf, 8-26 is good, considering Graf is maybe the best ever. However her head to heads vs Seles, 3-17, vs Hingis, 2-18, and vs a very old Navratilova, 3-12, are not good at all for a player of her stature and achievements. Also losing records vs Sabatini, Novotna, and I believe Pierce, all players with only 1 or 2 slams. Those are things that speak to questions of her peak level play vs others, and if she was someone who capatilized greatly, through no fault of her own, of the post Seles stabbing period.
Still, I will take ASV's 4 slams to Gaby's 1 or Pierce's 2 or Novotna's 1. Against great power players like Graf, Seles or Navratilova ASV would always be at a disadvantage. She did, however, nearly beat Graf in 2 other slam finals. ASV was an overachiever, due to her size, like Henin. I say that in a very admiring way. Better to be an over achiever, than an under one like, Gaby, Pierce or Novotna.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 02:37 AM   #41
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Re: Legends

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I also want to mention something that adds up to my point: Kimiko Date, who as a good player in the 90s but never considered a contender for the big titles, was able to beat Sharapova, Li, Safina, Stosur, Hantuchova, Petrova and taking Venus, Ivanovic, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Azarenka to 3 sets aged 40 or over! So, if she could compete more than decently and so much older than her rivals, why on Earth Sabatini and ASV could not be top ten material and big titles contenders in the current generation, if they were in their twenties? That’s my logic on this.
Kimiko Date was #6 seed in 1995 Wimbledon. In 1996, she was #12 seed and reached the semi final where she took a set to Steffi Graf (who was at her peak and going to defeat Sanchez in 2 sets in the final), after defeating Martinez and Pierce in the previous rounds.

I don't see Kimiko Date having the same results today against the best players of the tour, despite her remarkable longevity, and her ability to create upsets here and then. She's a top 40 player today.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #42
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Re: Legends

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Kimiko Date was #6 seed in 1995 Wimbledon. In 1996, she was #12 seed and reached the semi final where she took a set to Steffi Graf (who was at her peak and going to defeat Sanchez in 2 sets in the final), after defeating Martinez and Pierce in the previous rounds.

I don't see Kimiko Date having the same results today against the best players of the tour, despite her remarkable longevity, and her ability to create upsets here and then. She's a top 40 player today.
Uh, no one is expecting her to have the same results...it has been 18 years since 1995...she is over 40...for her to have the same results would be miraculous. The point is if the game was "so deep" as you claim, then a player who was lower end top 10 in her prime shouldn't be top 50 when over 40 years of age.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #43
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Re: Legends

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Uh, no one is expecting her to have the same results...it has been 18 years since 1995...she is over 40...for her to have the same results would be miraculous. The point is if the game was "so deep" as you claim, then a player who was lower end top 10 in her prime shouldn't be top 50 when over 40 years of age.
That's only assuming she should play way lower now than before because of that age difference. Someone like Navratilova did still manage to stay in the top 5 at 38 years old. Kimiko made a break right after 1996 (judging from her WTA history), and made a come back in 2002 then 2008, where she progressively reached the top 100, then top 50. I don't know any other player who did that kind of "come back". In 1995, she reached top 4.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #44
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Re: Legends

I agree with most of rollingraces analysis in this thread. It is accurate, fair and really knowleadgable. But then I read this

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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.
How on earth would you consider Mauresmo a legend and not ASV one? People all but forget her today? I'm not going to start a war here but let's put it in perspective. In 20 years people is going to remember Arantxa 4 Grand Slams, her awesome GS finals vs Graf (RG 89, UO 94, W 95, RG 96), a total of 16 Grand Slam singles finals, a fighting spirit like no other... and yeah, we will remember Mauresmo, total GRAND number of 3 singles finals, the first one basically remembered for her coming out and a good semis match, the second one remembered by Henin's retirement and the 3rd one by a very good, thrilling match. This and a weak mentality. ASV is a league or two above Mauresmo and history will put these two where they belong. I mean, Sabatini is up there with Arantxa, well above Mauresmo who her "legend career" spanned briefly for one year: from the YEC 2005 to the YEC 2006. Apart from that, she had a mediocre career (for a top player, that is) and never had the kind of pedigree Arantxa and Gaby had.
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Old Dec 8th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #45
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Re: Legends

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First, Zvonareva would have clearly overpowered Sanchez and Sabatini.


Yeah, like Vera would have not destroyed herself because of Arantxa's game. Vera has been succesful in today's game because in this BBB era she is one of the best and nobody has the defensive skills players in the 90s had.

I have always thought that Zvonareva is the Anke Huber of the 2000s. She is very good, has good attacking skills but not good enough to deliver in the latter stages of the Grand Slams. They also have a very similar record in big tournaments. Every time you saw Arantxa play Huber you could feel the German hit bigger and for the casual fan she was "the better player". But you know what? Tennis is not only about hitting hard and Arantxa knew a thing or two about it. Their H2H? Arantxa lead 12-2. Enough said
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