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just a thought to ponder, champions are always measured not only by titles, longevity, consistency on all surfaces but also by their competition in connolly's case. . . .

you had doris hart, shirley fry, louise brough, margaret osborne dupont, beverly baker fleitz, a not quiet in her prime althea gibson, etcetera. so as a group just how good were these players, i'm guessing while they were all very good and yes hall of fame inductees ....

a step or two below not only maureen, but other all time greats like graf, navratilova and evert, perhaps they (hart,fry, brough,etc) could beat a steffi, martina and chrissie once in awhile (meaning very infrequently like 1 out of 10 matches ratio just like they did with maureen)??

any of you tennis historians and aficionadoes care to ponder this?
 

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The dilema is that du Pont was past her prime, while Louise and Doris were just past their primes. Hart gave Connolly serveral very tough matches. No doubt though that Connolly was a very great player whose carrer was cut tragically short by the horse accident. The competition was very tough in the forties as Pauline Betz, Sara P Cooke, du Pont, Brough and Hart were all superior players at their best. du Pont was a top ten player in her forties and a Slam champion as a mother. With the equipment and training todays players have, those great champions would be the equal to players of ANY era.
 

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Without having seen anyone play it is almost impossible to say how just how good they were and there is also an element of luck involved as to when a player comes along.

Du Pont was almost definitely past her prime, Brough perhaps - but then looked what she still had to achieve - but I'm not sure I would say that of Hart or Fry. In that era players did not burn out to the same extent and many achieved their best results at an older age. The Hungarian Suzy Kormoczy, for example only achieved her full potential at the end of the 50s when in her mid-30s she becvame regraded as the leading clay court player in the world. The Brit Angela Mortimer had her best year at age 29.

It is a difficult era to assess because outside of the US and particularly in Europe tennis development had been arrested by WWII.

It is hard to see how else it could be done but players of a bygone age are judged mainly by how many Slams they won. But if you happened to be the second best player the world had ever seen and played mostly at the same time as the best player ever and could hardly get a look in then you be judged harshly in retrospect - tough but unfortunately that's how it is.

The mind boggles to think what Evert or Navratilova might have achieved had the other not existed - on the other hand, for example, say neither had it is probable Pam Shriver would have notched up a few Slams and although exactly the same player, she would be looked at today in a totally different perspective.

Hart had just ascended to the #1 spot when the hurricane which was Little Mo erupted and must be considered extremely unlucky. While Mo was amassing her 9 Slams Doris was the losing finalist to her 4 times in a row and it was she, Louise and Shirley who were regularly filling those final and semi final spots.

I entirely agree with Thrust that with the equipment and training today's players have, these players would be the equal of players of any era.

The wommen's event at Wimbledon was of an appalling standard this year. Vee and Rena were unquestionably the two best players there but IMO neither was anywhere near the standard of play they showed in the early 00s. The number of unforced errors in any game was simply mind boggling but perhaps this is just symtomatic of the now power game. And then, of course, for all I know those players in the 50s could have racking up their UE total too.

When Maureen was forced out Hart and Fry were able to knock up a few titles nd Brough's Wimbledon win in 1955 is pretty amazing.

You can argue to doomsday with TV as to the value of the Aussie Champs pre-Open era but in the history of tennis I think only 9 women have managed to win all 4 of the Slam events and included in their number are Hart and Fry so I think they are right up there with the best ever, even though in their day there were only the two different surfaces. But again you can only achieve what is put in front of you.
 

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The Hungarian Suzy Kormoczy, for example only achieved her full potential at the end of the 50s when in her mid-30s she becvame regraded as the leading clay court player in the world. The Brit Angela Mortimer had her best year at age 29.

It is a difficult era to assess because outside of the US and particularly in Europe tennis development had been arrested by WWII.

It is hard to see how else it could be done but players of a bygone age are judged mainly by how many Slams they won. But if you happened to be the second best player the world had ever seen and played mostly at the same time as the best player ever and could hardly get a look in then you be judged harshly in retrospect - tough but unfortunately that's how it is.
Consider that Suzy only played the French and Wimbledon and missed some years as well. Particularly during the Maureen Connolly years. I think she played the U.S. only once.
 

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Consider that Suzy only played the French and Wimbledon and missed some years as well. Particularly during the Maureen Connolly years. I think she played the U.S. only once.
Of course the parameters of the game were completely different then and that wasn't at all unusual. Financial considerations meant that only a handfuul of top players went to Australia until the 60s. It was even tough for players to get to Forest Hills - Angela Mortimer only went on a handful of occasions. I think the South Africans Sandie Reynolds and Renee Schuurman only went once - they were players who although they never won a Slam certainly had a shot at beating a top player on any given day. I believe Annette van Zyl never went at all, also a lot of middle ranking Europeans. Even Karen Susman who was an American pulled out in 1965 saying she couldn't afford to play as she hadn't been seeded and so didn't receive expenses.

Without question Wimbledon was the elite, with very few players not turning up there. Because of its proximity to Wimby both in timing and distance while its prestige did not match that of Forest Hills it was not uncommon for RG to have stronger fields to some extent covered up because several of the world's leading players were American.

Probably the limited schedules were the main reason why players on the whole had longer shelf lives then.
 
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