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Whose game was the most complete?

  • Margaret Court

    Votes: 4 3.1%
  • Martina Navratilova

    Votes: 11 8.6%
  • Hana Mandlikova

    Votes: 4 3.1%
  • Steffi Graf

    Votes: 17 13.3%
  • Jennifer Capriati

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • Venus Williams

    Votes: 3 2.3%
  • Serena Williams

    Votes: 33 25.8%
  • Francesca Schiavone

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Justine Henin

    Votes: 37 28.9%
  • Kim Clijsters

    Votes: 7 5.5%
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ashleigh Barty

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Someone else

    Votes: 8 6.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
Who was the most complete player in the Open Era? So, not the best, most effective game, but the most complete. The one where every aspect of the game was good, or at least most aspects.
 

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I would say Serena because she has power, accurate serve, great movement, great mental toughness until she became a mom, longevity, and her defense is pretty solid
 
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Serena at her peak had groundstrokes, defense, a serve, net game, movement, and mentality. The only thing you could fault her on is maybe not having a slice or drop shots.
 
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I really think Navratilova could do anything, and one could argue she's the only one in the list to do proper volleys. Navratilova is a textbook alone about how to make volleys.
 

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Andreescu
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Wot no Andreescu?

These poll options are ludicrous. No Evert, no Goolagong, no Sabatini, no Hingis, no Davenport but fucking Capriati, Kuznetsova and Barty are on there?!

OP is on crack.
Evert had no serve, no net game. Goolagong and Sabatini no serve either, weak forehands, weak mentally. Hingis no serve. Davenport could not move.
Capriati great groundstrokes, good mobility, not a great serve but she could hit it with power at least, good shot selection, baseliner but could play the net when there, strong physically and mentally. Kuznetsova had every shot in the book, used the whole court, moved well, both smart and powerful game. Barty can serve well despite her height, she hits attacking forehands, solid backhands, can slice the ball nicely, volley, defend as well etc.

Take more of that crack.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really think Navratilova could do anything, and one could argue she's the only one in the list to do proper volleys. Navratilova is a textbook alone about how to make volleys.
She was a great volleyer alright, probably the best in the women's game, but if Mandlikova did not hit proper volleys, I don't know who did. Court, Henin, Schiavone were also very good at the net, and most of the other women in the poll have at least decent volleys.
 

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Wot no Andreescu?

These poll options are ludicrous. No Evert, no Goolagong, no Sabatini, no Hingis, no Davenport but fucking Capriati, Kuznetsova and Barty are on there?!

OP is on crack.
Kuznetsova technically has been at least outstanding quality in every single aspect of the game.
 

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She was a great volleyer alright, probably the best in the women's game, but if Mandlikova did not hit proper volleys, I don't know who did. Court, Henin, Schiavone were also very good at the net, and most of the other women in the poll have at least decent volleys.
Mandlikova was doing them well (and gracefully so), often deep and accurate, but Navratilova was definitely the volley winner. At the net she would end rallies at the volley. She knew how to hit them for good, especially backhand side. Court was good but Navratilova improved on her (I'd rather mention Billie Jean King for paving the way in those "definite volleys"). Good point about Schiavone. At her best it looked like she could do anything. But I think Navratilova played with more variety in any department, and with surprising ease. She's the perfect example of player who arrived with pure talent in the 70s, and worked on her power the following decade to dominate the field.

All the players of the list are worth mentionning, don't get me wrong. But Navratilova... was Navratilova. I'm not so sure we can have all around players of that kind today because of the technique evolution. Navratilova sure would have it much less easy. But it's about the most complete show. And in her days, Navratilova could stand rallies with Evert (why their matches at the French Open were so entertaining).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
no Jana Novotna or Amelie Mauresmo? Barty and Schiavone shouldn't have made the list.
Novotna was a serve&volley player, her groundstrokes were not weapons really. Mauresmo was pretty complete, but her forehand was kind of mediocre. Both had huge problems with nerves.

Schiavone did everything well, hit well off the ground, was excellent at the net, very good mover, could mix it up and improvise wonderfully, and her serve was solid, especially for her height. Barty I have explained in one of the previous posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mandlikova was doing them well (and gracefully so), often deep and accurate, but Navratilova was definitely the volley winner. At the net she would end rallies at the volley. She knew how to hit them for good, especially backhand side. Court was good but Navratilova improved on her (I'd rather mention Billie Jean King for paving the way in those "definite volleys"). Good point about Schiavone. At her best it looked like she could do anything. But I think Navratilova played with more variety in any department, and with surprising ease. She's the perfect example of player who arrived with pure talent in the 70s, and worked on her power the following decade to dominate the field.

All the players of the list are worth mentionning, don't get me wrong. But Navratilova... was Navratilova. I'm not so sure we can have all around players of that kind today because of the technique evolution. Navratilova sure would have it much less easy. But it's about the most complete show. And in her days, Navratilova could stand rallies with Evert (why their matches at the French Open were so entertaining).
Navratilova had the best net game, I agree. The backhand volley was right up there with Edberg's and McEnroe's.
What she was missing however were those dangerous groundstrokes. She could hit winners of the ground of course, but neither her forehand nor backhands were consistent weapons like those of Seles, Serena, Davenport, Clijsters, Henin etc.
 

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I'd say Justine Henin, she had a good serve, movement and was amazing at the net! She good mix it up very well.
Serena's volleying/net skills puts her in at least second imo, other than that, there's an argument for her as well.
Venus probably has even less variety in her game than Serena. Her game was so well adapted to grass, but the lack of success on slower surfaces really impacts the completeness of her game and career.
She barely used any drop shots during her peak, even less these days.
 
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