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  1. #1

    Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    The wisdom of TAT has spoken, which leads to conclusions that, tennis wise, are almost dogmatic. I firmly believe that the Oracle of Delphi could come down and decree one of our decisions to be unwise and the Gods would laugh. In the same sense that this exercise on tennis knowledge, with some of the most exquisitely tuned minds harvested for opinions, could lead to the fictional creation of a tennis-guru that would make even Tracy Austin and Brad Gilbert shut up in shame, this list of the greatest strokes can make us believe that somewhere in Nirvana, a Tennis giant is about to go onto Valhalla’s Centre Court and play a match Vs God himself and vanquish him into tennistic oblivion. These perfect players (there would be two) would have these attributes:

    First serve: Sampras 53% (11/19) and Serena Williams 81% (13/16). Not surprising, although Sampras’ victory was not as easy as expected. John Isner gathered 5 votes, with Roddick, Federer and Becker getting one each. On the WTA, Navratilova got three votes. Nobody else registered.

    Second Serve: Sampras 73% (11/15), Serena 53% (8/15). This was a bit inverted. It seems Pete’s serve was respected by everyone, but we were more impressed with his second. Isner got votes and two gurus voted for OTHER, but decided to take their opinions to the grave. We will remain ignorant of these wise thoughts forever. Serena, although a clean winner, shared votes with Navs, Madison Keys and three OTHERS. Sam Stosur and Ash Barty were mentioned in the thread.

    Forehand: Federer 69% (11/16), Graf 86% (12/14). Federer’s strong side got him this win, but nowhere near Graf’s dominance. In the second most lopsided decision, it was clear that given the choice, most of us would trade our forehands for Graf’s without hesitation. Yes, we would most likely trade our FH’s for anything in the ATP or WTA, but you get the point. Second choice after Fed’s was Novak’s (two votes), and for the WTA Seles and Serena got one vote each.

    2h Backhand: Agassi 37% (6/16) Seles 53% (8/15). Truly contested choices, with 6 players receiving votes in the ATP. Djokovic’s BH was the second favorite, while in the WTA Evert received 5 votes.

    1H Backhand: Henin 92% (12/13) Wawrinka 43% (6/14). This was the most lopsided choice. In the WTA, Henin received all votes except for one, and that person admitted she was solely being a contrarian. Shades of Shaquile O’Neal Vs Allen Iverson MVP vote tainted this decision. A poll will be started to decide if that TAT’er shall be banned (sorry, rules are rules ). On the ATP, Stan got it but Roger, Guga and Edberg received 3, 3 and 2 votes. Yep, I agree.

    FH Volley: Navratilova 71% McEnroe 50% (7/14). Yes, indeed. With the death of serve and volley tennis, two people from the past had to get this. Navs excellence was recognized, and although Mac’s greatness prevailed, Edberg and Sampras received a few votes.

    BH Volley: Federer 50% (5/10) Navratilova 69% (9/13). Roger got this one, but it was the least voted category. Mac again was in a lot of minds and surprisingly, Nadal scored one point, validating his inclusion in the list. Navs winning the BH together with the FH simply reaffirmed what we all know: at the net, she was peerless.

    Smash: Sampras 79% (11/14) Graf 54% (7/13). Sampras ran away with this one, with three players gathering one vote each (Vilas, Fed and Rafa). Graf took this one, which I admit surprised me. I thought it was my obvious bias towards her that led me to believe she had the best smash ever. Guess I am not alone.

    Return of serve: Djokovic 40% (7/16) Seles 31% (4/13). The second most competitive category. Novak took it but 5 players got votes. In the women’s, six did, with Seles squeaking the win. I guess we do pay a lot of attention to this stroke.

    Footwork: Federer 75% (9/13) Graf 43% (6/14). Federer danced his way to victory. Graf, who can also perhaps claim to having the most beautiful pair of legs as well as the nimblest, got this one, but not without strong votes for Evert (5 votes) and Clijsters (3).

    Athlete: Lendl 46% (6/13) Navratilova 50% (6/12). Two Czech athletes that not only had it, they worked out every ounce of athleticism within them. Gael Monfils came in second, perhaps because he has never won a slam, and for the women Navs took it, but not without competition from Graf (3 votes).

    Mind: Nadal 83% (10/12), Evert 33%, (4/12). Clear cut in the men’s, on the women, a tough one. Several votes fort Graf and Seles. Indeed, tennis is not only chess played at supersonic speed, it is a Rorcharch test in front of 15,000 fans. This thing is not for the meek.

    These fictional players would have won 96 and 97 slams (ATP/WTA).
    Last edited by ponchi101; 07-23-2020 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Added line breaks and bold headers
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #2
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    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Mind if I add some spacing and formatting? The text is running together for me in a distracting way.
    I disapprove of this message

  3. #3

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Go ahead. Which I gather you already did Thanks!
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  4. #4

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Next we should vote on who is the worst in all these categories
    This is not the bouquet you toss

  5. #5

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    It would take some thinking and I guess we could have a rule included: Grand Slam winner. Who had the worst (insert stroke).
    Let me know. We are here to please.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  6. #6
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Not sure about winners- what about Grand Slam finalists? Wouldn’t want to leave out Dementieva from the running!

  7. #7

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Quote Originally Posted by JTContinental View Post
    Next we should vote on who is the worst in all these categories
    The UnderGOAT's
    25 GRAND SLAM TITLES: 5 SINGLES 13 DOUBLES 7 MIXED

  8. #8

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    I'm ok with all of these except Navs being the best athlete. Voters confused fitness with athleticism. Any one of Graf/Serena/Court were a superior athlete.

    I also didn't vote in that poll.
    Last edited by Miles; 07-23-2020 at 09:41 PM.
    Towel Avatar, do your thing!

  9. #9

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Maybe they have to have reached a certain ranking? Because we also don't want to exclude Kournikova from contention in the serve category
    This is not the bouquet you toss

  10. #10

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ2004 View Post
    Not sure about winners- what about Grand Slam finalists? Wouldn’t want to leave out Dementieva from the running!
    Errani would also meet this criteria and give her a run for her money... but Elena was the other one I immediately thought of.
    A Canadian Slam winner? Inconceivable!

  11. #11

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Or we could say just worst (insert stroke) in the current top 100.




    Ponchi, did you consider polling for best drop/lob shot, slice, passing shot, etc?
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  12. #12

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Best drop-shot should clearly have been suggested by you!
    A Canadian Slam winner? Inconceivable!

  13. #13

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Miles View Post
    I'm ok with all of these except Navs being the best athlete. Voters confused fitness with athleticism. Any one of Graf/Serena/Court were a superior athlete.

    I also didn't vote in that poll.
    I don't know. Martina had endurance, strength, quickness, agility and reflexes galore. That is what I would say athleticism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drop-shot View Post
    Or we could say just worst (insert stroke) in the current top 100.


    Ponchi, did you consider polling for best drop/lob shot, slice, passing shot, etc?
    Would those be STROKES or SHOTS? For example: If we go that way, we could vote on BEST SLICE SLICE serve, or BEST AMERICAN TWIST. We could go BEST TOPSPIN cross court, or BEST TOPSPIN down the line.
    The level of hair splitting could be insane.

    I'll think of something funny. There are some categories that could result in debate. HEATED, BAN SOMEBODY debate.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  14. #14

    Re: Strokes. The GOAT's. Results

    Well, a slice serve is a type of serve just like kick and flat etc. (same applies for slice fh and bh I guess); but the drop and lob shot have their own very distinct mechanics. You can hit them from one side or the other but you wouldn't say he hit a forehand / backhand.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

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