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The rankings were based on opinions rather than fact before 1973. If we were to use today's ranking system for 1971 who would be the true #1. I think Evonne won 11 tournaments including the French and Wimbeldon. She made the finals of the Australian Open and didn't play the U.S. Open. King won 19 tournaments including the U.S.Open and a semi berth at wimbledon. She didn't play the Australian and French opens. Let's add up the numbers and put this debate to bed!
I am sure if there was the point system of today, Evonne would have been ranked #1. Unfortunately for Evonne, King had more pull than she did with the tennis establishment. Isn't that the year King supposedly had an abortion in order to continue playing, and Margreat had her first child? I seriously doubt King ever got pregnant.
 

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This is the WRONG thread for a Seles versus Connolly Brinker debate.
My apologies! I'm new here and not familiar with the protocols... the transgression is unintentional. I saw Graf/Connolly being discussed in the posts in this thread and assumed it was fair game... Should the above posts and my response be moved to a different thread, or how would I respond appropriately? please help...
 

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Seles is not even close to Connolly. Maureen for 3 years was unbeatable on all surfaces. Seles was never the top player on grass and was destroyed whenever she met the best grass player of her era. Maureen of course won the Grand Slam the only year she tried for it.

Maureen won every slam she played for 3 years barely losing sets, and never losing sets to main rivals. Seles lost many sets to women outside the top 20 in her slam wins as well as to main rivals.

Seles had a losing record to the World #2 during her 2+ year period of dominance, and had a lose to every other player in the top 6 during her best year ever (1992). That is a huge contrast to Maureen's monopoly over main rivals.

Lastly Maureen you get the impression could have and probably would have dominated tennis 12 years or longer. You never get that impression with Seles, and as it was she did continue her career and it made things increasingly clear she wasnt ever going to have an insane decade plus period of dominance easily imaginable for Maureen.

Maureen also did not have less competition. Maureen faced Hart, Brough, Du Pont, Fry, all at or near their bests. Seles had only Graf, who wasnt even playing that well around that time and whom she barely met.


As for Austin I dont get the idea people have she would have been a dominant player. Her success as a teenager was very impressive but she had a one dimensional baseline game and an incredibly weak serve. I could see her winning a few more majors perhaps, but she was never going to be as great as Navratilova or Evert had she stayed healthy long term, not even close.
I still think Connolly, as great as she was, had the advantage of playing other great players just past their prime. In 1951, the year of Maureen's firs Slam win, du Pont was 36, Brough was 28, Hart was 26. Doris was the only one of those 3 great players who beat Maureen and gave the most trouble. Seles had to play a more advanced great player, Graf, in her prime. Before the stabbing, Monica was ahead 3-1 in Slam finals. Austin, just did not have the physical strength to keep up with Martina and Evert.
 

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1952-54 Maureen Connolly vs 1991-1993 Monica Seles
I'm unconvinced Connolly shows she is better than Seles. Undoubtedly Connolly was more dominant over the field she faced - 9 striaght GS level wins, however there is little doubt in my mind that Seles faced much stiffer competition. At the GS in pre-QF (or maybe pre-SF) play, Connolly faced much weaker competition, the money was not there to attract the vast talent pool that exists today (and in the 90's) among the lower ranks. In 1953 there would have been, at best, hundreds of players vying to play the "tour", now there are thousands.
At the top of the game were Hart, Osborne, Brough, and Fry (and maybe Mortimer and Gibson). Mortimer and Gibson had not come into their own as top players yet. 1953 birthdays put Hart at 28, Osborne at 35, Brough at 30, Fry at 26. I would say Hart, Osborne, and Brough, by still being at the top at past-their-prime ages, show the weakness of the field. Only Fry is in her prime and she had (at that point) won a French title. Certainly she is no match for Steffi Graf - Seles' chief rival. Nor is Doris Hart.
It was impressive that Connolly won the 1953 Slam and dominated the field - but I'd say the field was ripe for picking.
Compare this to the early 90's. Navratilova was still making Wim, US, and YEC finals. She easily trumps Brough (who won Wim 1955). Graf more than takes out Hart. I would argue that Sabatini in 1992, who was in her prime, was a far greater threat than the aged Osborne DuPont in 1953. That leaves Fry who is probably a toss up with SanchezVicario.
I would say that the top 5 was much deeper in 1992 than 1953, and after the top 5, 1992 is vastly deeper.
At the end of the day, I consider Connolly one of the all time greats and mourn her untimely retirement. Without doubt she was more dominant over her contemporaries than Seles was, but Seles faced an army, and Connolly faced a tribe.
Great Post-LOL!! Honestly, I had not read it before I wrote my post later. Obviously, I do agree with you.
 

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Whomever was the "real" #1 in 1971-it teed up what many consider the golden decade of women's tennis. Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong and Chris Evert were worldwide megstars.

This photo of Billie Jean King is from the 1971 US Open semi v Chris Evert as she chases down an Evert lob. It captures her intensity perfectly.

 

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King was under immense pressure all year, especially at the US Open. She started the year with 5 consecutive singles titles and a 22-match winning streak.

Goolagong skipped the US Open, won Wimbledon and the French Open, and was the runner-up at the Australian Open. The back-to-back wins over King and Court at Wimbledon were impressive. My favorite match of the year was the Aussie final.

King played 32 singles tournaments, winning 17 of them on a 112-14, 88.9% record. She skipped the Australian and French Opens. Head-to-head versus main rivals:

12-1 Rosemary Casals
8-2 Kerry Melville Reid
7-1 Ann Haydon Jones
6-4 Francoise Durr
4-0 Julie Heldman
3-0 Nancy Richey
2-0 Judy Tegart Dalton
2-0 Virginia Wade
1-0 Carole Caldwell Graebner
1-1 Chris Evert
1-1 Margaret Smith Court
0-1 Evonne Goolagong

King lost a Battle of the Sexes match on August 3rd in Houston to Jim Rombeau 9-8 (5-1 in the tiebreaker). He somehow overcame 15 double faults. There were six consecutive service breaks from game 6 through game 11. Rombeau won the USTA Grass Court Championships (45 and over) in 1999, the USTA Hard Court Championships (45 and over) in 1997, and the USTA Hard Court Championships (50 and over) in 1999. He also won a few seniors USTA national championships in doubles. He retired as the head pro at the Houston Country Club. Two years after the match, Rombeau said, "We hadn't seen each other in years. And as we were walking down the ramp to play, the first thing she said to me was, 'Oh, hi Jim. I haven't seen you since you were my ball boy.'" Shame on you, Billie, for trying to intimidate the boy. And why did you let him win?��
 

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I have no idea, but I think King would probably be number one with today’s rankings system??
But, I’ve always considered Evonne year end number one for 1971. You can’t fault a player for those that didn’t show up to a slam and it really shouldn’t denigrate their accomplishment. Two wins out of three finals is just too good, versus one win and one semi. It’s a shame that Mistah Edwards completely controlled Evonne and her entire schedule and it makes absolutely zero sense that she would travel to North America for the Canadian Open in August and then mind bogglingly skip the USO a week or two later! Given her form she would have at least been guaranteed a semi (or, hell, a win! One can dream!) and hands down year end number one. I still don’t understand why she only played one Slims tournament in 1972 (Dallas?) while Chris Evert who was also on the USLTA circuit won the Slims championship at the end of the year. And same for 1973?? I’ve never understood the systems nor the reasoning behind Evonne’s 1971-1973 tour seasons (not slams) while Chris was able to play USLTA yet still participate in the season ending VirgSlims Championships??

Anyhoo, Evonne Numero Uno for 1971.
 
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