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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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Calvy Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(16-Jun-2013 10:29 AM)tennis911 Wrote:  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!

Well, if slams are the only thing that matters to you, then Evert should be ahead of Serena. Remember, although Evert has won 18 slams, she was a finalist in 17 other slams, meaning she was in a total of 35 slam finals. All that without the athletic abilities of Serena. Also, you have to remember, Chris and Martina didn't play a significant amount of slams, i.e., Aussie and French, because they were considered least important, and a lot of players didn't like flying to Australia back in the day. One could argue with validity if either Evert or Martina played those slams more often, their overall titles would probably rival that of Court and Graf. Last, but not least, I believe Serena is the best female player I've ever seen, but, not the greatest because, greatness is based on overall achievements, and I consider non-slam tour events VERY important when considering greatest. I can't possibly say someone is the greatest when two other women are more than 100 titles ahead of another, sorry, can't do.
17-Jun-2013 10:52 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Evert and Martina should both still be considered above Serena on any objective criteria you care to consider. They simply won more often and more consistently for a longer period of time. They were both less prone to the upset in slams and at other events.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
19-Jun-2013 10:01 AM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Martina, Graf, Evert, Serena

that was too easy!
20-Jun-2013 01:23 PM
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Chelsia16 (07-19-2013)
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
When comparing the top players from different eras, one must consider several factors like competition at the time.

One must remember that when Margret Court won her 24 slams, all the best were not always allowed to play; Pre-Open Era.

When Navratilova/Evert (18 each) were playing they basically faced each other with the competition way behind; Goolagong (8).

Graf (22), actually had no competition until Seles (9) hit the tour; then Sanchez-Vicario (4) after; Navratilova and Evert were at the end of their careers.
A lot of Graf's slam finals were won over doubles players; i.e. Sukova.

Serena (16) and Venus (7) came on the tour basically when Graf's career was ending and faced many multi-slam winners during their era: Henin (7), Hingis (5), Clijsters (4), Maria (4), Kuznetsova (2).
Just before those listed above a few others had been strong on tour: Davenport (3), Capriati (3) and Mauresmo(2); who won their slams while Venus and Serena were beginning to dominate.
(This post was last modified: 19-Jul-2013 01:00 PM by Chelsia16.)
18-Jul-2013 11:35 PM
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Kieran (07-19-2013)
britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(18-Jul-2013 11:35 PM)Chelsia16 Wrote:  When comparing the top players from different eras, one must consider several factors like competition at the time.

One must remember that when Margret Court won her 24 slams, all the best were not always allowed to play; Pre-Open Era.

When Navratilova/Evert (18 each) were playing they basically faced each other with the competition way behind; Goolagong (8).

Graf (22), actually had no competition until Seles (9) hit the tour; then Sanchez-Vicario (4) after; Navratilova and Evert were at the end of their careers.
A lot of Graf's slam finals were won over doubles players; i.e. Sukova.

Serena (16) and Venus (7) came on the tour basically when Graf's career was ending and faced many multi-slam winners during their era: Henin (7), Hingis (5), Clijsters (4), Maria (4), Kuznetsova (2).
Just before those listed above a few others had been strong on tour: Davenport (3), Capriati (3) and Mauresmo(2); who won their slams while Venus and Serena were beginning to dominate.

I'd disagree on a few of these points. With Court and ladies tennis, unlike the men's game, there was no split pro/amateur tour as such. The best female players were all eligible to play the slam events. Some of the top players didn't travel to Australia every year, but they went more often than the men.

Also, unlike the men's game, where you had guys like Edmundson and Kriek winning Australian Opens in the absence of top players, we should remember that Court WAS the best player - and she was there. I don't think 11 AOs equated to 11 Wimbledons in those days, but it was certainly a tougher tournament than the men's competition.

Graf had plenty of competition before Seles hit the tour. She unseated Navratilova in 1988. Martina had won 2 slams and made 2 slam finals a year earlier and would still be making semi finals at slams six years later. Evert was still a live opponent in the late 80s.

Later she would have Seles, Sanchez and Sabatini, and then in the final few years of her career, she had Hingis, Davenport and others. Don't forget she retired when she was only 30 years old with 22 grand slam titles. She beat Sukova in a couple of grand slam finals and Helena was a lot more than a doubles player... she made 4 singles grand slam finals and was world #4. 17 of the 22 of Graf's grand slam title victories were against players who won a singles grand slam title. That's a tougher ratio than Serena for instance (11 of 16).
19-Jul-2013 05:29 PM
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tented (07-19-2013)
Kiu Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(18-Jul-2013 11:35 PM)Chelsia16 Wrote:  Serena (16) and Venus (7) came on the tour basically when Graf's career was ending and faced many multi-slam winners during their era: Henin (7), Hingis (5), Clijsters (4), Maria (4), Kuznetsova (2).
....
Some may argue with me but this generation/era has been pretty insignificant....

Other than Serena's serve and the impact of the Williams SISTERS!

Clap

Oh, BTW!
What's up with the bold lettering?
Are you proving something?
(This post was last modified: 19-Jul-2013 10:31 PM by Kiu.)
19-Jul-2013 10:29 PM
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Chelsia16 Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(19-Jul-2013 10:29 PM)Kiu Wrote:  
(18-Jul-2013 11:35 PM)Chelsia16 Wrote:  Serena (16) and Venus (7) came on the tour basically when Graf's career was ending and faced many multi-slam winners during their era: Henin (7), Hingis (5), Clijsters (4), Maria (4), Kuznetsova (2).
....
Some may argue with me but this generation/era has been pretty insignificant....

Other than Serena's serve and the impact of the Williams SISTERS!

Clap

Oh, BTW!
What's up with the bold lettering?
Are you proving something?
I have always used bold print, so I am not proving anything other than it is my own personal foible; sorry that it bothers you.

As for this era being insignificant is an insult to the all the players of this period not just the Williams sisters.
Each era has it's own merits and players cannot help which era they were born into; I am sure the Williams sisters and many of players of this era would have been successful in other eras too.

The legends of the game have all said that Venus and Serena have made an "significant" impact on the game of tennis!

As to your point of Serena's serve; that has been her greatest asset but her game is more than just that; she does have the overall game to win even when her serve is off and has the tennis acumen of strategy.
Serena may be among my favorites but I have always given credit to all the players that deserve it.

Many speak to the fact that Serena has not won over 100 titles as greats of the past have; well no other player in her era has either.

On the ATP, no player has over 100 titles in this era!
Federer with the most slams of any era on the ATP doesn't have 100 titles; he always played a full schedule, was mostly injury free (and still only has 1 more slam than Serena) but the game of tennis is different now and competition stiffer.

All have a right to their own opinion and I stated mine!
(This post was last modified: 19-Jul-2013 11:45 PM by Chelsia16.)
19-Jul-2013 11:44 PM
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RJD11 (07-26-2013)
Kiu Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
No bother!
Carry on!!
Smile
20-Jul-2013 12:10 AM
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Chelsia16 (07-20-2013)
britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(19-Jul-2013 07:06 PM)Chelsia16 Wrote:  Y[b]ou have a right to your opinion britbox!
If you don't see the difference between the Pre and Open Eras, I can't follow your thinking.

When Graf won her 1st slam in 1987; Navratilova was 31 and Evert 33 years old; they were still playing but winding down their careers.
Sukova was a good player but was great at doubles for the most part; only Seles would have interrupted Graf's slam total but she was stabbed; which derailed her career.
Graf did not face as many" multi-slam" singles winning players, as Serena did, throughout her career.

When, Venus and Serena started making a name on tour, Graf was almost 30; Serena defeated her in the '99 IW final.
And, Venus was in her 1st slam final in the 1997 US Open against Hingis; which she lost.
Hingis won her 1st two slams against Pierce and Novotna not Graf and she lost her 1st to Majoli. (She did lose to Graf at the '99 French Open; Steffi's last slam)

Serena won her 1st slam against #1 Hingis at the 1999 US Open.
As for Davenport; Venus defeated her in 3 slam finals and Serena in 1.
Capriati had been on tour a long time; she defeated Graf at the Olympics in '92 but she did not start to win slams until 2001. That was after Venus and Serena won their 1st and Graf was off the tour.

]So, as in every era, the best overlap into the next; just as new slam winners Kvitova and Azarenka still must deal with a 31 y.o. Serena.

However, by basic premise of this era being very tough and competitive stays; let's see how many more Serena can get.



The point about the Open Era is that it didn't make a whole lot of difference to the top female players competition. It made a huge difference to the men because the pro and amateur tours merged into one. It was a lot easier for somebody like Roy Emerson to win majors before the open era because the top men like Rosewall etc... weren't allowed to compete at the tournaments. That was irrelevant for the ladies, there was no split tour.

So Court's numbers stack up - she was the best player in the world and winning slams before and after the open era began. Incidentally, She did the calendar grand slam AFTER the open era had started.

Now if you are talking about the general improvement in ladies tennis over the years, then I'd agree - evolution, but I don't think the open era made much of a difference to people like Court. She was the best female tennis player in the world before and after it began.

Graf won her majors defeating more slam winners than Serena, and as for defeating multi-slam winners they are equal on 5. Nav won 3 more majors after Graf won her first so still plenty in the tank.

My personal list would be 1) Graf 2) Nav 3) Evert 4) Court 5) Serena and then a gap to the rest.

You could make a good case for any one of the Top 4. Serena's catching up and should end up amongst them when she's finished.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jul-2013 01:51 AM by britbox.)
20-Jul-2013 01:50 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Graf is always going to be unfairly treated by the stabbing of Seles - which wasn't her fault - but post-stabbing, she hadn't much to face. No historical rivals, or anyone else on the all-time game of snakes and ladders.

The likes of Sabatini and Sanchez-Vicario weren't really a massive threat to her existence. A few law of average victories, etc, but Steffi made a lot of hay then. That isn't her fault, but I wouldn't compare it with the rivalry of Chrissie and Martina, who are both bona fide giantesses and they were nip and tuck in slams. Without Martina, how many would Chrissie have?

If Chrissie had been stabbed (heaven forbid), how many would Martina have? Those pair had an immense rivalry, maybe the greatest tennis has ever seen - and yet they both won 18 slams each. Let's not even discuss what Martina achieved in the doubles alley.

Serena is similarly defeating makeweights and nervous ninnies, but like Steffi, that doesn't make her any less a great player. It's just a pity there isn't anyone in this day and age of a similar rank to Serena to make the women's game more interesting...
20-Jul-2013 04:19 AM
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tented (07-20-2013)
britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
If Evert had been stabbed in her prime.. ie 1974, 75, 76 (her most succesful years on the tour) and spent a couple of years out the game) then Martina may have won the 75 French Open... so she had a shot at adding one to her tally.
20-Jul-2013 05:41 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(20-Jul-2013 04:19 AM)Kieran Wrote:  The likes of Sabatini and Sanchez-Vicario weren't really a massive threat to her existence. A few law of average victories, etc, but Steffi made a lot of hay then. That isn't her fault, but I wouldn't compare it with the rivalry of Chrissie and Martina, who are both bona fide giantesses and they were nip and tuck in slams.

The issue I have with this viewpoint is that you are lending a lot of assumed greatness to rivalries. Let's assume that Graf lost half her matches to Sanchez-Vicario and it became a closely contested rivalry... Does that make her a greater player? In my book, losing more matches makes her a lesser player not a greater one.

Similarly if Laver destroyed Rosewall in every match they played (i.e. played even greater tennis) would that make him a lesser great?...

If Serena had lost another 8 matches to Sharapova, would that make her a greater player because the rivalry was stronger?

Not for me. That logic doesn't stack up.
20-Jul-2013 08:59 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(20-Jul-2013 05:41 AM)britbox Wrote:  If Evert had been stabbed in her prime.. ie 1974, 75, 76 (her most succesful years on the tour) and spent a couple of years out the game) then Martina may have won the 75 French Open... so she had a shot at adding one to her tally.

Actually, I think Chrissie was a better player in the 80's. Once Martina upped the ante, Chrissie followed suit, and no longer wore make-up on court, her soft fluffy curves were replaced by muscle. She won 9 slams by 1979, and 9 after this, during Martina's reign, which properly became a domination of the sport in 1982.

(20-Jul-2013 08:59 AM)britbox Wrote:  The issue I have with this viewpoint is that you are lending a lot of assumed greatness to rivalries. Let's assume that Graf lost half her matches to Sanchez-Vicario and it became a closely contested rivalry... Does that make her a greater player? In my book, losing more matches makes her a lesser player not a greater one.

No, but it would mean that the opponent was a greater opponent. If the opponent is so easily brushed aside, it shows they're not truly a great player. Is Sharapova a great, of the order of Steffi or Serena? I don't think so. Her results show it too, and this is the level of player that Serena is taking out, quite embarrassingly at times...
20-Jul-2013 10:51 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
That's fine brother. Pick two years in the Eighties and tell me the difference it would have made to Martina's slam tally.
20-Jul-2013 11:49 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
Why 2 years? And why the 80's? Why not 1975? Chrissy's career would more or less have been abandoned...

EDIT: By the way, it's a terrible hypothesis to contemplate, so I don't know if we should. My point being obvious, that Steffi didn't face giantesses after Seles was removed, but Chrissy and Martina were more or less constants across their careers - apart from the start of Chrissy's and the end of Martina's.

That's not to take away from Steffi, who I believe is one of the three greatest of all-time.....
(This post was last modified: 20-Jul-2013 11:59 AM by Kieran.)
20-Jul-2013 11:56 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
You said the Eighties brother. I suggested 1975 originally. Pick ANY two years of Chrissies career in any decade, and tell me what Martina would have added to her slam tally.
(This post was last modified: 20-Jul-2013 01:03 PM by britbox.)
20-Jul-2013 01:02 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
I didn't! I said she was better in the 80's! But I didn't say she anything about a date she could be stabbed in (which is still a horrible hypothesis! :snigger Let's run a poll on who should have been stabbed when, and how others might benefit! Lay Down Laughing ).

By the way, it's in hindsight we can conclude that Seles was in her prime when she was stabbed, but of course, her prime was interrupted and she was never the same again. If Chrissie had been stabbed in 1975, we'd have said the same about her...
20-Jul-2013 01:12 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
It doesn't really matter when Chrissie was hypothetically stabbed Smile Martina would have added one major... IF she'd have beaten the other finalist. Who do you reckon would have won Wimbledon if Stefan Edberg got mumps in 1988?
20-Jul-2013 01:18 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
(20-Jul-2013 01:18 PM)britbox Wrote:  It doesn't really matter when Chrissie was hypothetically stabbed Smile Martina would have added one major... IF she'd have beaten the other finalist. Who do you reckon would have won Wimbledon if Stefan Edberg got mumps in 1988?

Flip it around: Martina is stabbed in 1983, and Chrissy might have won..?

The point being, I firmly believe that Steffi was a heavyweight who faced welterweights in the years after Seles was stabbed. Her only rival was removed.

I still place Steffi in my top 3, however...
20-Jul-2013 01:23 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: The Greatest Female Tennis Player of All Time
If you take a closer look at Steffi's career trajectory, the ebbs and flows were consistent with injury and off court problems. i.e. She'd win a bunch of majors and then be a non-entity for a few... regardless of the Seles stabbing. in fact, her biggest drought at the time occurred when Seles was out of the game. The biggest impact on Steffi Graf's career related to things going on with Steffi Graf, not Monica Seles.

Anyway brother, Edberg's hypothetical mumps in 1988 - who wins Wimbey?
20-Jul-2013 01:34 PM
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