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Daily Bagel: Serena claims she’s ‘definitely not [the] number one’ player

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: A compilation of Gael Monfils’ crazy trick shots. I suspect the video would be much shorter if it were limited to the shots that actually helped him win the point.

• On the question of the greatest woman to play the game, Serena Williams says she’s in the top five, but defers to Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Margaret Court.

“I’m not the greatest player. I’m still playing and I’m still trying to reach records. And people like Steffi and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and Margaret Court, they are the greatest,” she said.

“Maybe top five, but definitely not number one. For me it’s an honour to even be mentioned amongst those amazing ladies.”

• The Tennis Space takes a look at creatine, the controversial supplement used by athletes, including Marin Cilic.

• Kei Nishikori mounted quite the comeback to win his first-round match at the Japan Open. Nishikori was two points from becoming just the second defending champion in Tokyo to lose in the first round.

• Zhang Shuai has made the final of two of her last three tournaments, winning her first WTA title, in Guangzhou, China, two weeks ago. If her name sounds familiar, this might be why: She pulled off one of the biggest WTA upsets, beating No. 1 Dinara Safina at the 2009 China Open when she was ranked No. 226 to become the lowest-ranked player to ever defeat a WTA No. 1.

• If you’re not inclined to adjust your sleep schedule around the Asian tournaments, tune in to the USTA’s fantastic live stream of the $100K USTA Pro Circuit event in Sacramento, Calif., this week. Denis Kudla and Tim Smyczek headline a draw that features some familiar names, such as Donald Young and Steve Johnson, and two young Aussies to keep tabs on, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

• Non-tennis: From Esquire, a riveting account of what what happened on Air Force One hours after President Kennedy was assassinated.

  • Published On Oct 01, 2013
  • 10 comments
    MCB
    MCB

    Steffi was not playing Martina at her peak. Even so, Martina has a 5-4 edge in their GS matches. It's ridiculous to assume that had Monica not been taken out of the game that Graf would have the same identical Grand Slam haul. Martina edges Graf by a mile.

    unifiedairway
    unifiedairway

    I cringe when I watch some of Monfils' shots.  You have to wonder if he does this because he is genetically wired to try crazy shots as an entertainer or whether the shots are contents of this skills arsenal.  Most of these shots are not safe and wreck havoc on the body.  Plus, he doesn't really win the points.   Is it really worth it?

    attheapollo
    attheapollo

    I think Serena is second behind Martina. I just can't put Steffi at the top because of Seles. Can't do it.

    pyro21
    pyro21

    Was it really an upset for Safina to lose any match in late 2009? 

    cdns211
    cdns211

    At the time Seles got stabbed she had won what, 7 of the prior 8 slams she competed in. And that is from the time Seles had turned 16. So, it was not a sudden streak where a player became hot for a while. It was pretty much a new phenom came and destroyed all before her.

    Since Seles came on, Graf won a single slam, and that too marred by the grunt gate final.

    If Seles had kept up, Graf would have ended with no more than a dozen slams at best. And that is because she lucked out and debuted a few years prior to Seles and was able to beat up on aging Martina's and Everts and of course the usual Sabatinis.

    If playing in today's era, Graf would be ranked may be 2 to 4, as she is on par with Azarenka and Sharapova at most.

    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    @attheapollo  You just cant deny Steffi's record and she beat Martina many times. I do get your point about what happened to Monica,, but a the end of the day it's all about record. Even if the tragic even didnt happen we dont know how it would have played out

    barefeethusky
    barefeethusky

    Martina and Steffi had a 9-9 head to head record and Martina led 5-4 in Slams.  Most of their matches were toward the end of Martina's career and during Graf's most dominant years.  Like someone said earlier, Martina by a mile.

    barefeethusky
    barefeethusky

    @JohnG2 @attheapollo Martina and
    Steffi
    had a
     9-9
    head
    to
    head
    record
    and
    Martina
    led
    5-4
    in
    Slams.
     Most of their matches
    were
    toward
    the
    end
    of
    Martina's
    career
    and
    during
    Graf's most dominant years.  Like someone said earlier.  Martina by
    a mile.