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  1. #1
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    Serena Williams vs Steffi Graf

    Who's the greatest?

    The tennis channel aired a list of the "100 Greatest Tennis Players all-time". Graf ranked 1st among women, Serena 6th.

    Debatable.

    Records
    *Singles

    Event Slams (Graf) Record (Graf) Slams (Williams) Record (Williams)
    Australian 4 47-6 6 68-9
    French 6 87-10 3 54-11
    Wimbledon 7 75-8 6 79-10
    US Open 5 73-10 6 81-9
    WTA Finals 5 31-7 5 29-6
    Overall 27 313-41 26 311-45

    *WTA Finals = 5th Grand Slam

    Steffi Graf Career Grand Slam Strike Rate = 40%
    Serena Williams Career Grand Slam Strike Rate = 38%

    Remarkable close, with Graf ever so slightly edging Serena out in Strike Rate and Grand Slam Win pct., (Graf = 88%, Williams = 87%). What's more mind-boggling is that Serena, at age 34 Sept. 26th, is likely playing the best tennis of her career.


    Quality of Competition

    Some analyst seem to think that Graf faced the much tougher competition and that this diminishes Serena's Career Grand Slam Totals by comparison.

    The toughest opponent in Serena's career, has been no doubt her sister, Venus Williams. Venus has 8 Grand Slam Titles (*tied 12th all-time) and 220 wins in Grand Slam Tournaments.

    Browsing through Graf's competition, besides Seles, where are the "so called" dominant opponents? Navratilova and Evert were in their 30s and past their primes during Graf's peak.

    It was Seles that was Graf's primary challenger, just as Venus was to Serena earlier in her career. Unfortunately, Seles was stabbed in 1993 and never fully regained her dominance. Seles was untouchable from 1990 - 1992. But it's my opinion that Venus Williams, given the injury Seles suffered in '93, had the better career in comparison to Seles. Venus was an elite player from 2000 - 2008. Venus won all 7 of her Grand Slam titles and also finished with 6 Runner-up's in that period (each of them losses to Serena).

    When I look at the field of competition that both Graf, Serena faced, I find it hard to argue that Graf faced the tougher opponents. I'd give Serena the edge here. I'd argue that if Serena follows this year, with another year of high-level tennis, that she's definitely the better tennis player of the two, and likely the greatest women's tennis player of all-time.
    Last edited by Lionel20; 09-03-2015 at 06:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    They ranked Serena 6th all-time? Wow. I'd argue she's in the conversation for best female athlete of all-time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Long Shot View Post
    They ranked Serena 6th all-time? Wow. I'd argue she's in the conversation for best female athlete of all-time.
    Agreed.

    What she's doing at age 33, is likely unparalleled by any female athlete. She's going for a Calendar Slam around an age that most tennis players are retiring.

  4. #4
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    Adjusting their stats for era, windage, humidity, speed, wins, near wins, hair product, competition, and how many kids ate ice cream at the time, this may be wrong.
    Time for some hootenanny.

  5. #5
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    There is some bias in that ranking, give it a few more years after she retires and it will adjust itself or be ridiculed.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Serenas ***>>>everyone else

  8. #8
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    I wonder if Serena could do MMA.

    Now I'm curious, Serena (with racket) vs Ronda Rousey (no racket), who wins the fight?

  9. #9
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    Serena is probably GOAT when she retires.

  10. #10
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    Steffi trumps Serena in professionalism, sportsmanship, and class. That's enough to tip the scales for me. For the sake of who has/had the better pure game, I'm not convinced that Serena isn't and hasn't been doping for a while now.

    1934 1938 1961 2010 2013 2015

  11. #11
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    ^^^lol sound like a Serena hater

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISIAH_THOMAS View Post
    ^^^lol sound like a Serena hater
    Serena makes it impossible to support her. She's been a classless loser her whole career.

    1934 1938 1961 2010 2013 2015

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel20 View Post
    Who's the greatest?

    The tennis channel aired a list of the "100 Greatest Tennis Players all-time". Graf ranked 1st among women, Serena 6th.

    Debatable.

    Records
    *Singles

    Event Slams (Graf) Record (Graf) Slams (Williams) Record (Williams)
    Australian 4 47-6 6 68-9
    French 6 87-10 3 54-11
    Wimbledon 7 75-8 6 79-10
    US Open 5 73-10 6 81-9
    WTA Finals 5 31-7 5 29-6
    Overall 27 313-41 26 311-45

    *WTA Finals = 5th Grand Slam

    Steffi Graf Career Grand Slam Strike Rate = 40%
    Serena Williams Career Grand Slam Strike Rate = 38%

    Remarkable close, with Graf ever so slightly edging Serena out in Strike Rate and Grand Slam Win pct., (Graf = 88%, Williams = 87%). What's more mind-boggling is that Serena, at age 34 Sept. 26th, is likely playing the best tennis of her career.


    Quality of Competition

    Some analyst seem to think that Graf faced the much tougher competition and that this diminishes Serena's Career Grand Slam Totals by comparison.

    The toughest opponent in Serena's career, has been no doubt her sister, Venus Williams. Venus has 8 Grand Slam Titles (*tied 12th all-time) and 220 wins in Grand Slam Tournaments.

    Browsing through Graf's competition, besides Seles, where are the "so called" dominant opponents? Navratilova and Evert were in their 30s and past their primes during Graf's peak.

    It was Seles that was Graf's primary challenger, just as Venus was to Serena earlier in her career. Unfortunately, Seles was stabbed in 1993 and never fully regained her dominance. Seles was untouchable from 1990 - 1992. But it's my opinion that Venus Williams, given the injury Seles suffered in '93, had the better career in comparison to Seles. Venus was an elite player from 2000 - 2008. Venus won all 7 of her Grand Slam titles and also finished with 6 Runner-up's in that period (each of them losses to Serena).

    When I look at the field of competition that both Graf, Serena faced, I find it hard to argue that Graf faced the tougher opponents. I'd give Serena the edge here. I'd argue that if Serena follows this year, with another year of high-level tennis, that she's definitely the better tennis player of the two, and likely the greatest women's tennis player of all-time.
    Hmm.

    1934 1938 1961 2010 2013 2015

  14. #14
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    Seles was well on her way to being one of, if not the, greatest women's player of all-time. She had the ability to dominate her era. It very well could have been her record and not Graf's had it not been for the stabbing incident. Who Seles was when she came back was not a half of who she was leading up to that awful day. From the French in 1990 through the Australian Open in 1993, Seles won 8 of the 11 Slams she played in and lost a final at Wimbledon, which was a tournament she was likely eventually to win. That's an incredible run of dominance that even Graf couldn't stop. Whether or not she'd have kept up that pace we'll never know, but it's fair to say that she was well on her way to establishing herself as one of the all-time greats, perhaps could have been the greatest of all-time, and there is no question in my mind offered a far bigger challenge to Graf than Venus ever did to Serena.

    1934 1938 1961 2010 2013 2015

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