Eilis Brennan gives her opinion on the results of a US Open fan vote on the greatest women’s tennis players of all time.
As mentioned in an earlier edition of Tennis Tuesday, the U.S. Open’s Facebook page have a Legends Corner where fans vote on who had (or has) the best shots, footwork, toughness and so on in tennis. Two players faced off in each category. The EIGHT categories on the womens; side were completed yesterday and it makes for an interesting debate.
Reading the comments, many people believed that some of the picks didn’t belong in Legends Corner. Here’s what was selected.
Best Serve – Serena Williams
An obvious choice. Williams has one of the best serves ever in the women’s game. It’s powerful and consistent. The serve has dug her out of tight matches on numerous occasions. At Wimbledon in 2012, Serena hit a women’s tournament record of 102 aces, which was more than any of the men hit during the two weeks.
Best Return – Kim Clijsters
This choice got a lot of feedback. Clijsters was up against Monica Seles in this category and, judging by the comments, many felt that Seles had the best return. I tend to agree. Kim was good but Seles had a better return and should be recognised for it.
Best Forehand – Steffi Graf
Who else would it be?! You don’t get the nickname “Fraulein Forehand” by being average. Graf relied heavily on this shot and it rarely let her down. It’s probably one of the best shots ever in women’s tennis and is one of my favourites.
Best Backhand – Justine Henin
I liked Henin’s backhand. It was one of the few one-handed backhands in the women’s game and it always looked so classy and fluid. She could also vary it with slice or topspin.
Best Net Game – Martina Navratilova
An accomplished doubles player, Navratilova was fantastic at the net. She always seemed so comfortable volleying. It’s a shame that many of today’s players don’t come to the net more often.
Best Footwork – Steffi Graf
Graf had incredible footwork and was able to return every ball. She was able to change in and out of position so many times on court. Look at any of her matches on Youtube and see for yourself.
Most Mentally Tough – Billie Jean King
King vs. Sharapova. I can’t really judge this one since I’m not familiar with Billie Jean but, considering she won a ridiculous number of Grand Slam titles, I’d say it’s a good choice. Sharapova is tough but she has her moments.
Most Athletic – Serena Williams
It was Serena vs Martina in this category. For me, it’s a tie. Both women are incredible athletes and seemed to have the ability to run and run and run. Serena may have won but many of the people commenting believed that Venus is the more athletic of the sisters.
There are a few legends in the mix but two things stand out straight away: no Chris Evert and no Monica Seles.
Both players are two of the best ever to pick up a racket. Margaret Court is also not on the list. How can the winner of 24 Grand Slam singles titles be left out? I’d better stop before it turns into a full-blown rant.
So, do you agree with the picks? Or are they completely wrong? Comment with your view below!
Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena