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Discussion Starter #1
My candidates:
1. Martina Navratilova
2. Steffi Graf

And the second part of the question: Can any one of the current WTA players reach that level of domination?

Here's my take:

a. Venus Williams: No - has a great talent, but lacks commitment/desire
b. Serena Williams: Maybe - if she can beat Venus, she has enough desire
c. Martina Hingis: No - too many power players to overcome
d. Jennifer Capriati: No - not enough time left
e. Lindsay Davenport: No - not enough time left
f. Kim Clijsters: Maybe - has the time, talent, desire
g. Justine Henin: No - I don't see her dominating over Clijsters
h. Mauresmo: Maybe - if she gets over her headtrips
i. Jelena Dokic: No - I can't see her as a dominating player
 

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This thread might be better with just the second half.

I dont think any player today is going to be able to have the level of domination or accomplishments of Graf, Navratilova, and Evert. The one player today that is close to even 10 slams is Monica, but she won't win another one.
 

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I think it was susan lenglen, she lost 1 match in her career or so.
 

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How do you define dominance?

Those you listed were. I'd add women who went undefeated in one or many years like Alice Marble,
Suzanne Lenglen,and Helen Wills. All had unbeaten streaks longer than the modern record of 74 held by Navratilova. Lenglen won at least 120 straight-Wills at least 180.

None of the current women have truly been "dominant". I'd say you need 3 majors in one year and few losses to get the honor. By that standard Hingis had the last dominant year(1997)-but we haven't had a dominant female since Graf in 1995 and 96.
 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I offer you unmatched domination. Margaret Court Smith.

Some say her stats were padded by winning OZ at a time when not every player went down there. However, look at how she did her most dominant years, 1962-1973. Except years she left the touyr to have children, Court won 2 GS titles every year or decade! Playing against Marina Bueno, Virgina Wade and Bilie Jean King I might add.

OZ 1960
OZ 1961

Then the good tiimes roll.

1962 OZ RG __ US
1963 OZ __ WB __
1964 OZ OZ __ __
1965 OZ __ WB US
1966 OZ

Gets preganant, leaves tour.

1967 __ __ __ __

Open Era

1968 __ __ __ __

Margaret Smith Court returns

1969 OZ RG __ US
1970 OZ RG WB US ** The Year of the Grand Slam
1971 OZ

Kid II: Margaret Smith Court leaves tour

1972 __ __ __ __

Margaret Smith Court returns

1973 OZ RG __ US

The woman was a wrecking ball. The best player on the tour for a decade. The only player who can close to match her GS record is Steffi. But given Monica's dominance of the pre-stabbing head-to-head vs Steffi, I can't really give Steffi the nod as most dominat. You can't be the most dominant if you aren't even the best player. No ne else in the history of women's tennis has as good a record as this over as long a period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree with you Rollo, when you say that none of the current players have dominated to the degree of Graf, Navratilova, Evert. I'm not familiar with the others you cited, but they sound like they qualify.

The first question was to set the standard for what really defines dominance.

My second question was to ask who of the current set had the potential to be that dominating, if any?

As to the definition of dominance, to me, unbeaten records / winning streaks is one way of looking at it. Another way is to look back on a particular era, and think of who were the defining players of that era-- the unbeatables, or the great rivalries that happened only between 2 players.

Ironically, I think that it is the very DEPTH of today's women's tennis that makes it difficult to pick a "dominant" player, even one in development. (Take that, Rios!) Men's tennis right now is the very epitome of no one truly ABLE to dominate the sport. Makes you appreciate Sampras and his run.
 

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Nice post Volcana-

Court merits a look. She DID win a slam. I hardly see how Monica's stabbing knocks Graf out(to be replaced by Court) though. Court never lost ONLY one match a year, as Navratilova did in 1983. And the year Marge lost only 2 matches(1964)many still rated Bueno #1 that year, because Court''s two defeats came at Wimbledon and the Us.

Just because Monica knocked Steffi out of #1 doesn't mean Graf wouldn't have gotten it back from a healthy Seles. After all, Steffi always lead their head to head, and Navratilova lost the #1 to Evert and got it back, just as Court lost the #1 to Bueno and King and got it back. See a pattern?

Court earns a place at the table. Putting her at the head of the class is less certain IMO. She'll have to fight some others for the honor:)

BTW-as far as SURFACE dominance, Chris Evert has to be the modern leader. Her 125 straight on clay will stand perhaps forever, and may be unmatched on any surface.
 

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Agreed Rollo re: Chris Evert. Thanks for pointing that out fellow Evert fan! I think in the modern era, Martina won 6 grandslams in a row, and in 1983 lkost only 1 matchg and in 1984 only lost 2 matches. That's 3 matches lost over 2 years....INCREDIBLE.

I think Steffi only lost 2 matches in 1987 (both to Martina in the finals of Wimbeldon & the USO ...DOH!!!), and she won the grandslam the next year. Irma, how many matches did Steffi drop in her grandslam year?

Monica was also pretty dominant the 1991-92 season.
 

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It's hard to "confine" it to the modern era for me, ball change, because the more we know from ALL the past, the easier it is to compare.

Take Monica. Now, it seems to me that Monica and fans fixate too much on the slams Monica "lost" and Steffi "won" from the stabbing. But to me 4 slams here or there at this level isn't as big as having a complete or dominant record. The real shame for me regarding Seles wasn't a few more French or hard court slams for her, but that it robbed her of a real shot at Wimbledon. Only Wimbledon stopped Monica from complete dominance in 1991 and 1992, but it's too short a time span to say for certain she WOULD have won it. It's like saying if Graf had been stabbed in 1990 after winning the Aussie. Would we have assumed she would win every slamn after? Hardly.

So while Monica was dominant, she remains something of a question mark, like Mo Connolly. Mo had good timing to get her slams quick-but her injury ended her career with 9 straight slams and a big "what if?" hanging over it. The difference is Mo got her 4 slams and Seles has yet to add the missing one. IF Monica starts winning slams again(and especially Wimbledon)she could move "up" but I'd guess she will stay a "what if" with Connolly. Some may rank either one higher in some all-time top 10, but not #1.
 

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she lost 3 matches in 88 two against Gaby and 1 against Shriver in 89 she lost two, 1 against Gaby and 1 against ASV
 

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Rollo, I think that gogetter has craftily worded this topic "the most dominant" rather than the best of all time. I gather he/she means who dominated the rest of the pack for a period rather than who is the best ever. I understand Lenglan lost only one match in her career or something equally amazing, but unfortunately, I'm not equipped to argue their case as I don't know much about players before 1975....:)
 

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yeah this thread was about domination that`s why I started about Lenglen, no matter if her opponents smoked she won everything so she dominated!
 

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Suzanne ROCKED.

Some of Suzanne's oppenents smoked, while La Diva Lenglen sipped suger coated cognac on changeovers.
In those days there were no chairs on changeovers, you were expected to move your butt, and the only break was a 10 minute one between sets 2 and 3.

Lenglen is easily the MOST dominant by games. She won whole events by 60 games to zip(5 straight 6-0 6-0 matches)a few times in her career. From 1919 to 1926 she was undefeated except the only time she went to America, in 1921. She DID lose several times before World War One, when she was aged 14 and 15.

Every dominant player is helped by luck. The war destroyed years of time for most of Lenglen's rivals, who were busy surviving while she hit thousands of balls daily in the South of France.
The other thing is ALL of her mathces were on clay except Wimbledon and the one Us trip in 1921.

So in 1919 all the women Suzanne's age were years behind. Her rivals were all at least 8 years older. Given faster courts and younger, harder hitting women, one has to think she would have had more competition.

Pics of her:

http://perso.club-internet.fr/bmarcore/tennis/apres14/lenglen1.html

Style-wise, she was a master. She was known to have served less than 10 double faults in her CAREER. Her control was so good she could often hit coins laid out on a court. Suzanne's #1 rule still holds true today-The worst sin in tennis is to hit it in the net. Hitting long, there is always a chance the other person will hit it or won't call it out.
 

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Rollo, thanks for the link about Suzanne! :)
 

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If we mean winning percenatges, it's definitely Maureen Connolly (she won all the slams she entered since the first she won)
Yes, read it again: ALL THE SLAMS SHE ENTERED!!!
.bounce:
And she was then knocked out by an accident and soon after that, by a cancer strictly connected to the same accident.

If we talk about winning with wide margin, maybe that was Suzanne Lenglen.



But all who say competition is indirectly proportioned to times are perfectly right, in my opinion.

Think of what Venus Williams has reached so far.
Now think that it's 1/6 of what Steffi Graf had before her thirties.
Now i don't think Venus can be placed above Graf, but 1/6 of her???
More competition, that's all.

And that's why, in modern times, i'd easily go for Steffi Graf.
22 slams one generation after the 18 of Navra/Evert and 2 after the 24 of Court is simply unreachable.

And the head to head with Monica was never in Seles' favour, Volcana.
The opposite, instead.
 
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