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Surprised that no one has said Serena vs Sharapova 20-2

Yes, Serena is the GOAT but Sharapova is also an all time great. Serena lost many more matches to players with comparable stats to Sharapova (+/- 2 slams):

Serena vs Venus 18-12
Serena vs Henin 8-6
Serena vs Hingis 7-6
Serena vs Capriati 10-7
Serena vs Davenport 10-4

It is especially surprising given Sharapova's success in 2004 where going into 2005 the H2H was 2-1 for Sharapova. Serena won an epic match at the AO 2005 saving MPs and it truly looked like it would be a great rivalry. After that the H2H was surprisingly easy for Serena and it soon became laughable.
Sharapova was a solid and accomplished player, and definitely a true champion, but she didn’t move as well as Serena and couldn’t read Serena’s serve at all. There was one match at Aussie Open a few years back where Serena must’ve aced her 15 times down the T.

My brother tried to discredit Maria when I called her one of the greatest. I said I’d rank her top 15 all-time and he was like, “But look at her record against Serena. You think Graf or Nav would get embarrassed so many times?” I don’t think the poor record alone is enough to knock Maria out of top 15 status. In 2-3 of those matches Serena was in her absolute God mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Flavia Pennetta 7-0 Samantha Stosur
Samantha Stosur 8-3 Vera Zvonareva

Was there anything Flavia could do that Vera could not?
Flavia was very mentally tough. Mentally tough opponents are Sam's worst nightmare. Vera was...not as mentally tough.
 

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So in other words, Venus played better at the time. Agreed.
If you say "the first half of Justine's career, she had to face a prime Venus", you're making it out like their h2h record was only dictated by Venus' level. It wasn't. Venus peaked earlier, Justine later when she built up her physical strength (and rarely met Venus in her peak years). So yeah, Venus played better at the time (that would go without saying cos whoever wins a match on the day played better at the time).
 

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To me it's surprising, and that's all that matters for the purpose of this thread ;-)

I think it's also surprising considering the matchup. You're also making Radwanska seem like a player who accomplished a lot less than she did. For most of their careers they were close in rankings and Agnieszka also ended her career with a lot of achievements; Caroline wasn't the most dominant slam winner or #1 of all-time either.
How? Her h2h against Caro is 6-11, not 0-10 (Aga against Serena) or 2-13 (Aga against Sharapova). If I never looked at their h2h record and had to guess what I think their h2h is based on my perception of their respective levels and their career achievements, 6-11 is about what I'd come up with. They also played mostly on hardcourt where Caro is clearly the superior player and never met on grass where Aga is clearly the superior player, so Aga did well to keep the h2h that close. I expected Caro to have better than a 9-6 record on hardcourt over Aga. If you want surprising h2h records for Aga, you might look at something like her 4-14 record against Kuznetsova or 1-4 against Stosur or 1-5 against Safarova. To be down 6-11 against her superior peer isn't that surprising.
 

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Btw: The punchbag thread is here, in case anyone is looking for an easy way to spot bad matcups (+5 H2H). It has not been updated in years but post #1605 (page 81) was updated 2018.
Unfortunately, the new forum makes it impossible for regular posters to keep such stats updated because the edit option expires too soon.
 

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Sharapova's 2-20 record against Serena is certainly top of my list. It's the most humiliating of records for a player of Maria's career accomplishments and undermines the narrative of her mental toughness if she couldn't find a way to win. It's not just the record itself, but just how easy and how in her comfort zone Serena looked in all those matches. No player with 5 slams and 36 career titles should have such an abysmal record against anyone.
 

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If you say "the first half of Justine's career, she had to face a prime Venus", you're making it out like their h2h record was only dictated by Venus' level. It wasn't. Venus peaked earlier, Justine later when she built up her physical strength (and rarely met Venus in her peak years). So yeah, Venus played better at the time (that would go without saying cos whoever wins a match on the day played better at the time).
I know I’m falling down the rabbit hole; nonetheless, I’ll take the bait. I’m not sure what you’re referring to as “prime.” For me, prime Henin was 2001-2007. Prime Venus was 1999-2009. Justine reached the top ten in both ‘01 and ‘02 and even made a Wimby final in ‘01. She was player of the year in ‘03. She played Venus multiple times in those years, and Venus usually won. That stuff you said about Justine “building up her physical strength” is difficult to measure or quantify. So it’s almost like you’re saying that none of their early matches count.
 

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I know I’m falling down the rabbit hole; nonetheless, I’ll take the bait. I’m not sure what you’re referring to as “prime.” For me, prime Henin was 2001-2007. Prime Venus was 1999-2009. Justine reached the top ten in both ‘01 and ‘02 and even made a Wimby final in ‘01. She was player of the year in ‘03. She played Venus multiple times in those years, and Venus usually won. That stuff you said about Justine “building up her physical strength” is difficult to measure or quantify. So it’s almost like you’re saying that none of their early matches count.
7 of their 9 matches were played in 2001/2002. Justine had just 3 career wins over top 10 players in that time and one Tier 1 title, so to say that was anything close to her prime would be nuts. Of course she had the talent to be top 10 in that period, but that's hardly the same as a champion-level player in her prime. There's a massive difference for example between Federer in 2002 and Federer in 2003/2004. Hewitt and Nalbandian who are age peers of Federer once had 7-2 and 5-0 records against Federer and he would eventually totally dominate them. I'm pointing out here that Venus entering her prime before Justine and meeting Justine a lot in that period skewed their record and they didn't have any meaningful career-spanning rivalry.

I'm not saying "none of their early matches count". I'm saying it skews very heavily to a period where Venus was a 4-time slam champion and world number 1 while Justine was a small, under-powered, rising top-tenner yet to enter her competitive prime.
 

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I know I’m falling down the rabbit hole; nonetheless, I’ll take the bait. I’m not sure what you’re referring to as “prime.” For me, prime Henin was 2001-2007. Prime Venus was 1999-2009. Justine reached the top ten in both ‘01 and ‘02 and even made a Wimby final in ‘01. She was player of the year in ‘03. She played Venus multiple times in those years, and Venus usually won. That stuff you said about Justine “building up her physical strength” is difficult to measure or quantify. So it’s almost like you’re saying that none of their early matches count.
Venus and Justine played ONE match when Justine was a slam-winning player. In fact, they only played TWO matches when Venus wasn't a reigning slam champion. (And those were the last two matches.) They played ONE match where Justine was the higher ranked player.

Justine has major issues with Venus; she's admitted it many times. Even squandering match points against her on clay. The mental edge is definitely there so I'm not saying that had they played more matches between 2003-2007 that Justine would suddenly overtake Venus in this H2H, but let's not pretend that Justine was at her very best during the majority of the matches that make up this stat. Because that's just not the case.
 

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I also was surprised when I found out how Wozniacki was so clearly leading the H2H with Radwanska considering how bad her slumps were, and she had several, but 5 out of the 11 Wozniacki's wins happened before 2012, when she was peaking and Radwanska wasn't yet, then Radwanska beat Wozniacki on HC all three times they played in 2012-13, her peak years, and when Wozniacki was slumping. In the 2012-2017 period the H2H is 6-5 for Wozniacki, which I think is a better picture of what their average levels were during their careers. Both Aga and Wozniacki struggled to hit winners, but Wozniacki was the physically stronger of the two and that gave her the upper hand on the HC matches, but only slightly. If Wozniacki hadn't started peaking much earlier than Aga that H2H would be far more even, more like Kerber has with them.
 

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Kim Clijsters having positive or tied H2H with everyone she ever played (2+ times) except Serena is awesome but a bit confusing at the same time. She should be GOAT contender with these stats.
 

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I also was surprised when I found out how Wozniacki was so clearly leading the H2H with Radwanska considering how bad her slumps were, and she had several, but 5 out of the 11 Wozniacki's wins happened before 2012, when she was peaking and Radwanska wasn't yet, then Radwanska beat Wozniacki on HC all three times they played in 2012-13, her peak years, and when Wozniacki was slumping. In the 2012-2017 period the H2H is 6-5 for Wozniacki, which I think is a better picture of what their average levels were during their careers. Both Aga and Wozniacki struggled to hit winners, but Wozniacki was the physically stronger of the two and that gave her the upper hand on the HC matches, but only slightly, if Wozniacki hadn't started peaking much earlier than Aga that H2H would be far more even, more like Kerber has with them.
I didn't realize Aga and Caro played each other nearly 20 times—and how much it favors the latter. I would never have guessed it considering, as you've mentioned, how difficult it would have been to hit through each other. I would think that Aga's more well-rounded game would put her over the edge. She's much more likely to break up the hitting patterns of a rally. But upon closer inspection: Caro has the better serve and is generally more aggressive off the returns. So it probably does make sense that she's gotten the better of Aga as much as she did.
 

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I think some of you put too much importance on the H2H. Much of it's rather random. Kerber vs Sloane Stephens is 1-5 while Wozniacki vs Sloane is 6-1. This would lead us to think that Wozniacki must be much better than Kerber, probably 10-1 or 15-1 (or 30-1 by pure maths). However, Kerber leads Wozniacki H2H 8-7.

When I posted that list beginning with Serena>Sharpova 20-2, it was precisely because it ended with Bammer>Serena. It was a circular sequence Serena>Sharapova>Aga>Jelena...>Serena
 

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I think some of you put too much importance on the H2H. Much of it's rather random. Kerber vs Sloane Stephens is 1-5 while Wozniacki vs Sloane is 6-1. This would lead us to think that Wozniacki must be much better than Kerber, probably 10-1 or 15-1 (or 30-1 by pure maths). However, Kerber leads Wozniacki H2H 8-7.

When I posted that list beginning with Serena>Sharpova 20-2, it was precisely because it ended with Bammer>Serena. It was a circular sequence Serena>Sharapova>Aga>Jelena...>Serena
This is just a conversation about interesting H2H records. The whole point of any conversation is that people engaged in it should find the topic of some importance; otherwise, why participate?
 

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This is just a conversation about interesting H2H records. The whole point of any conversation is that people engaged in it should find the topic of some importance; otherwise, why participate?
You're absolutely right. I find the thread intersting too. But some of you are very defensive if your fave has a bad h2h aginst player X. You'll come up with all sorts of excuses. All I'm saying is relax, noone is saying Sybille Bammer is better than Serena even if Bammer leads 2-0 H2H.
 

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Kim Clijsters having positive or tied H2H with everyone she ever played (2+ times) except Serena is awesome but a bit confusing at the same time. She should be GOAT contender with these stats.
These statements aren't true.

1) Her H2H record against Venus, Hingis, Capriati, Sharapova, Davenport, Henin and Mauresmo is only a +1 differential, and the majority of those H2Hs were very lopsided for periods of time in one favour or the other depending on who was peaking. I mean, it's random that she finished her career like that, but 3 of those players ended up with more slams than her, so I would say it was serendipitous in certain ways, as opposed to be an indicator that she's the best of the bunch.

2) She has a losing record against a number of players, even before 2020 - Graf, Seles, Tulyaganova, C Fernandez, Krasnoroutskaya, Rus.
 

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I think some of you put too much importance on the H2H. Much of it's rather random. Kerber vs Sloane Stephens is 1-5 while Wozniacki vs Sloane is 6-1. This would lead us to think that Wozniacki must be much better than Kerber, probably 10-1 or 15-1 (or 30-1 by pure maths). However, Kerber leads Wozniacki H2H 8-7.
Syllogism cannot be applied to tennis matchups for obvious reasons and I think almost everyone knows that.
 

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Madison Keys: H2Hs against so-called counterpunchers:

vs Simo: 2-5
vs. Kerber: 2-9
vs. Aga: 1-5
vs. Sloane: 1-3
vs: JJ: 1-3

It seems if any counterpuncher or defensive player plays Madison, all they need to do is keep the ball in play she'll play baseball.

Other puzzling H2Hs
Woz over Kuznetsova: 8-6
Kuznetsova over Radwanska: 14-4

Weird how Woz gives Kuzy such a hard time, but she dominated her match-up with Aga.

And also, Pliskova's 8-2 H2H over Mugu.
 
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