Top Ten ALL-AROUND ATHLETES to play Womens Tennis
Getting away from results and winning percentages for the time being, I am wondering about the best athletes to play the sport, which I will end in 1999, because the athleticism now has blurred the distinction between tennis talent and results altogether, and they are too fit to compare historically, at least for me.
Margaret Court was a remarkable athlete; Billie Jean King probably even more so. Martina N. possibly and probably more than Billie Jean, but comparing eras with those 2 in particular is tough. Not fair to put Martina's specialized trainers and equipment up against BJK's natural ability athletically.
Hana Mandlikova may indeed be in the top ten, as may Evonne Goolagong and Maria Bueno.
Chris, Monica, Steffi, Maureen C., Tracy, and Hingis are not. Andrea Jaeger was probably deceptively athletic, and more-so than those in this paragraph, but still not of the type I'm thinking about. Bettina Bunge and Betsy Nagelson were more athletic than anyone in this bracket for instance, and depending on who we think of, they may or may not make our top ten best athletes category.
Zina Garrison was a better athlete than Pam Shriver, and Althea Gibson was super-heralded for her athletic play. Davenport is HERALDED as athletic but I see her as being too clunky a bruiser to join the elite 10.
In the opposite direction, Suzanne L. MAY be in this category but somehow the footage I've seen leads me to more quickly identify her as a ballerina, closer to grace than athleticism. Grace can produce fantastic results in tennis. Goolagong may lean in this direction to some degree, but I think she was an official card carrying athlete.
Some will be tempted to put some of our foot-speeded players in this category, since track & field is athletic, but...being quick of foot is not a full-bodied display in all the ways that tennis can extract athletic dynamism from a player.
Last edited by daze11; Nov 7th, 2004 at 12:32 AM.