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Poll: Who is the Goatess?
This poll is closed.
Steffi Graf 23.81% 10 23.81%
Martina Navratilova 23.81% 10 23.81%
Chris Evert 11.90% 5 11.90%
Margaret Court 2.38% 1 2.38%
Serena Williams 33.33% 14 33.33%
Somebody else? 4.76% 2 4.76%
Total 42 votes 100%
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The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(26-Apr-2013 11:16 AM)Kieran Wrote:  Well that's true, but the thing about Little Mo and Lenglen - and Helen Wills Moody - is that they can't be blamed for being born when they were. And if GOAT refers to 'all time' then is their era disqualified? They can't have been any better than being the best of their own time.

But I agree, it gets messy and just highlights how hard it is to choose anyone over another...

With due respect mate, have you ever seen some of the grainy footage of these girls playing? I take your point about doing what you can in an era and beating the people put in front of you, but seriously... It's like watching a knockabout at a church fete rather than professional sports.... Probably because it wasn't that far off.
26-Apr-2013 11:21 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(26-Apr-2013 11:21 AM)britbox Wrote:  seriously... It's like watching a knockabout at a church fete rather than professional sports.... Probably because it wasn't that far off.

You shoulda seen the church fete tennis back then! Confused Tongue
26-Apr-2013 11:26 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(26-Apr-2013 11:21 AM)britbox Wrote:  
(26-Apr-2013 11:16 AM)Kieran Wrote:  Well that's true, but the thing about Little Mo and Lenglen - and Helen Wills Moody - is that they can't be blamed for being born when they were. And if GOAT refers to 'all time' then is their era disqualified? They can't have been any better than being the best of their own time.

But I agree, it gets messy and just highlights how hard it is to choose anyone over another...

With due respect mate, have you ever seen some of the grainy footage of these girls playing? I take your point about doing what you can in an era and beating the people put in front of you, but seriously... It's like watching a knockabout at a church fete rather than professional sports.... Probably because it wasn't that far off.
But you really can't see anything on old footage from Lenglen or Wills because the quality is so poor. And there isn't that much footage to begin with. That's what makes it hard to compare them with players from the 60's onwards. But when you go by their records alone there is reason to believe that a Lenglen or Wills (and I suppose Connolly as well) would have done well in an era much later than their own as well because they were not just the best players of their time but were so by an unbelievable margin. Whether that means that they could have been "the best" in another time or just very good is impossible to say, but I don't think that they would have been mediocre.
26-Apr-2013 12:11 PM
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kskate2 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
1-Martina and Steffi
3-Evert
4-Court
27-Apr-2013 12:52 PM
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Kiu Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(25-Apr-2013 11:01 AM)britbox Wrote:  My Goatess? Singles alone... Steffi Graf. Everything... Probably Nav.

How can you only include singles and guage a player? How can this be done when there is a player that did both when others only did one!
167 singles titles, 1442 match winning record in singles.
177 doubles titles plus another 15 in mixed.

There is the Standard for you, it has been set so far up there it's hard to imagine somone achieved it all.
Martina did it!
27-Apr-2013 03:35 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(27-Apr-2013 03:35 PM)Kiu Wrote:  
(25-Apr-2013 11:01 AM)britbox Wrote:  My Goatess? Singles alone... Steffi Graf. Everything... Probably Nav.

How can you only include singles and guage a player? How can this be done when there is a player that did both when others only did one!
167 singles titles, 1442 match winning record in singles.
177 doubles titles plus another 15 in mixed.

There is the Standard for you, it has been set so far up there it's hard to imagine somone achieved it all.
Martina did it!

Easy - because you are comparing "like with like" when it comes to singles. For instance, I wouldn't rank Mark Woodforde over Ivan Lendl as a great tennis player on the basis that he won more major titles in doubles than Lendl did in singles. Singles is the real measuring tool.

I'd suggest Navratilova was the greatest doubles player of all time and Graf was the greatest singles player of all time.

You are focusing simply on numbers of "titles" which I disagree with. First of all, Graf played on a much more stuctured tour for pretty much her entire career. Nav, like many of the previous generation pros played in a less structured tour - meaning some of those events had pretty small fields. Even some of the events Nav won that are still in existence on the circuit today are relatively minor events. For instance, I'd take Graf's 4 Miami titles over Nav's 11 Eastbourne titles any day of the week.

Graf won 22 majors (open era record) to Nav's 18, holds the record for weeks at Number 1 (377), won a calendar year grand slam, topped it with an olympic title to make it a golden slam, has won a career grand slam four times over.

So she nudges it for me. I understand why people have picked Nav, but there are the reasons why Steffi Graf tops my list.
(This post was last modified: 27-Apr-2013 07:06 PM by britbox.)
27-Apr-2013 07:04 PM
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Billie Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
It is perfectly fine with me that Stefi is the GOAT for you, BB. I just don't think that it is fair to compare Woodforde to Martina simply because Martina has 18 singles slams as well, she was no slouch in that department, whereas Mark was just a doubles specialist.

I have to admire Navratilova's achievements.Smile

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
27-Apr-2013 07:54 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
I'm not comparing Woodforde as a player to Navratilova - I'm querying whether you count doubles majors when comparing players in this fashion. In my opinion you don't, largely because in the last 20 years the top players don't put the same stock in playing doubles. The Williams sisters are an exception, and in the 80s you had McEnroe and later Edberg who were both #1 singles and doubles players.
28-Apr-2013 06:55 AM
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Kiu Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
But does it matter if one does and one does not?
The ones that do have to put in extra effort, right?
I believe that by itself makes them greater than the ones that only play singles.
Chrissie played doubles but she was never that good, not as much as Martina was.
28-Apr-2013 08:04 PM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Chrissie didn't play nearly as much doubles as Martina though. Usually people will argue in favor or against including doubles in discussions like these depending on if their own fave was a regular doubles player or not. But doubles is a team effort. If you win a doubles title it's as much thanks to your partner as you.
29-Apr-2013 02:38 AM
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Calvy Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(28-Apr-2013 08:04 PM)Kiu Wrote:  But does it matter if one does and one does not?
The ones that do have to put in extra effort, right?
I believe that by itself makes them greater than the ones that only play singles.
Chrissie played doubles but she was never that good, not as much as Martina was.

Actually, Chrissie won 3 slam doubles titles, and made the finals of another in mixed.

My vote goes to Chrissie Evert. She has the second best winning percentage (.900) of ANY player male or female in the open era, only behind Margaret Court, whom Chris played FAR more matches than Court in the Open era.

Chris made the the semi's or better of the first 33 slams she played, and 52 of the 54 slams she played overall. She made more slam finals than ANYONE else, has the longest one surface winning streak of anyone in the Open era - sorry Nadal, Evert is the greatest clay courter of all-time.

Also, and most important, she is the prototype for the overwhelming playing style we currently see in womens tennis today. Definitely the two-handed backhand, and even to the power game in some regards, although Evert wasn't a power player - you couldn't be a power player with wood.
(This post was last modified: 30-Apr-2013 10:09 AM by Calvy.)
30-Apr-2013 10:00 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
We can't tell if Seles would have been in the discussion of greatest ever - I happen to think she was going along quite fine - but this is the 20th anniversary of that appalling attack on her and I think this article captures a lot of what I feel about that, including the fact the security is still lax, to the extent that Federer, Nadal and Serena have all been accosted on-court by 'fans'...
30-Apr-2013 02:34 PM
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Billie Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Thanks Kieran for mentioning it, what happened to Monica is so sad. This is another article about it from ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/espnw/more-sports/922...nis-career

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
30-Apr-2013 09:24 PM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(30-Apr-2013 10:00 AM)Calvy Wrote:  
(28-Apr-2013 08:04 PM)Kiu Wrote:  But does it matter if one does and one does not?
The ones that do have to put in extra effort, right?
I believe that by itself makes them greater than the ones that only play singles.
Chrissie played doubles but she was never that good, not as much as Martina was.

Actually, Chrissie won 3 slam doubles titles, and made the finals of another in mixed.

My vote goes to Chrissie Evert. She has the second best winning percentage (.900) of ANY player male or female in the open era, only behind Margaret Court, whom Chris played FAR more matches than Court in the Open era.

Chris made the the semi's or better of the first 33 slams she played, and 52 of the 54 slams she played overall. She made more slam finals than ANYONE else, has the longest one surface winning streak of anyone in the Open era - sorry Nadal, Evert is the greatest clay courter of all-time.

Also, and most important, she is the prototype for the overwhelming playing style we currently see in womens tennis today. Definitely the two-handed backhand, and even to the power game in some regards, although Evert wasn't a power player - you couldn't be a power player with wood.
Perfect. Smile
01-May-2013 02:38 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
There's good distinctions there, Calvy, and Chrissie is in the mix, although, of course, thumping the patsies she beat on clay isn't a sign that she's the default setting on that surface. But she is for women's tennis and her 33 (non-consecutive) slam semis was a huge testament to her consistency. You make a good case and show how tough it is to really make a winning argument for anyone over the others...
(This post was last modified: 01-May-2013 05:23 AM by Kieran.)
01-May-2013 04:45 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(01-May-2013 04:45 AM)Kieran Wrote:  There's good distinctions there, Calvy, and Chrissie is in the mix, although, of course, thumping the patsies she beat on clay isn't a sign that she's the default setting on that surface. But she is for women's tennis and her 33 (non-consecutive) slam semis was a huge testament to her consistency. You make a good case and show how tough it is to really make a wimming argument for anyone over the others...
In my modest opinion you can never really make a convincing case that one tier I all time great is greater than all others. It's fun to rank them and to read everyone's thoughts and add your own, that I do admit. But depending on someone's personal preferences he/she will always be likely to accentuate the achievements and stats that speak for his fave while making light or ignore those that speak in favor of the others. Perhaps some things are just too close to call. I think that Chrissie is as obvious a candidate as anyone in history though and Calvy makes a good case for her.
01-May-2013 05:08 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Part of the reason why I think that one can make a strong case for Evert is that I feel that if throughout history all the best players had competed at all of the four slams that Evert would have ended up with the highest number of wins. At least if we leave out the likes of a Helen Wills who was so much better than everyone else in those ancient times that she could have won calender year grand slams all over the place. But let's be generous to Court and give her six AO's. That leaves her with a total of 19 majors. Give Evert the three FO's of the 1970's when she was unbeatable on clay but didn't compete - 21. Give her another two for all the years when she didn't play the AO - 23. Navratilova was less likely to add to her tally under such a scenario because in the wooden racquet era Chris was the better player.
01-May-2013 01:05 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(01-May-2013 01:05 PM)jhar26 Wrote:  Part of the reason why I think that one can make a strong case for Evert is that I feel that if throughout history all the best players had competed at all of the four slams that Evert would have ended up with the highest number of wins. At least if we leave out the likes of a Helen Wills who was so much better than everyone else in those ancient times that she could have won calender year grand slams all over the place. But let's be generous to Court and give her six AO's. That leaves her with a total of 19 majors. Give Evert the three FO's of the 1970's when she was unbeatable on clay but didn't compete - 21. Give her another two for all the years when she didn't play the AO - 23. Navratilova was less likely to add to her tally under such a scenario because in the wooden racquet era Chris was the better player.

I'm not sure about diluting Court's AO's jhar. With the guys, it's different - a lot of players took a title who likely wouldn't have if the top guys had travelled.

The thing is with Margaret Court, unlike the blokes, she was never a makeweight in that category. She was the World #1 and there were a load of top aussies (i.e. Goolagong) who played it also. King also went there a few times. Evert went now and again, Bueno was a regular. I think chopping her AOs in half is too much.
03-May-2013 03:19 AM
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Asmodeus Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Graf!
15-Jun-2013 05:39 PM
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tennis911 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
OK, who are you people? In the open era you are only speaking of 4 greats, 1.) Graf, 2.) Martina N, 3.) Chris E, and 4.) Serena. There is no discussion to be had, except this and move on! Now that we know who the true greats are lets deal with a couple of things, I personally would rank Serena ahead of Chrissy just based off Serena's athletic ability alone. Chris E. herself has been very vocal about Serena's abilities, both physically and mentally, she is a force! In my opinion Serena still has some work to do to surpass both Martina and Graf. I do not believe, like many of the greats, that Serena needs x amount of non slam titles to bolster her argument for GOAT! Nor does she needs x amount of weeks at number one, its stupid! Its a for gone conclusion that Serena will surpass the 18 slam mark set by Martina and Chris E. There is a case to be made that she can somehow compete with the 22 slam set by Graf. If that happens, then Serena may be crowned GOAT, not before!
16-Jun-2013 10:29 AM
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