Greatest Indian Women Athlete

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Who do you think greatest Indian women athlete?

Sania Mirza
5
17%
Saina Nehwal
9
30%
Pusarla V. Sindhu
5
17%
Dipa Karmakar
8
27%
Anju Bobby George
0
No votes
P.T. Usha
2
7%
Mary Kom
1
3%
Karnam Malleswari
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 30

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Atithee
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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Atithee » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:29 pm

prasen9 wrote:Junior slams are useless. It may only mean that you can make top-70 or so in seniors.
They are still better than doubles and MxD. MxD is played only at slams and some other events as a side-show. Neither dubs or MxD is critical toward the "greatness" measure. Tennis is largely an individual sport; doubles is for also rans. If it weren't, many more singles players would play it regularly. If they do botj successfully, then it certainly adds to the greatness of someone like Johnny Mac. Else, while appealing to Indians due to our success in this format, no one really uses it as a measure of greatness unless maybe you are as dominant for a long time as Bryan brothers were. At the end, results count for me. That's why Sania doesn't get my vote despite her high singles ranking.

P.S. I voted for Dipa. After all I suggested her name in the first place. But, essentially, as Varma wrote, for reasons Prasen noted and those that Varma likely will add soon. I'll add more if I have more. BTW, I thought we were only explaining why if we chose other in the list and not if we picked someone from the list.
Last edited by Atithee on Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by prasen9 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:50 pm

Atithee, glad to have you back at least semi-full-force. In response to your question about "what is greatness" (I am paraphrasing), I had suggested the following test. Which athlete would you like to become if God told you that you would be "reborn" as that athlete with the exact same career? But, you can only choose one. Under that test, I would choose Sindhu. Maybe under some other definition of greatness I would choose Usha or Saina. Saina's Olympic medal was via a withdrawal. Maybe she would have won the match, but, anyway Sindhu was dominant until the final. So, I prefer that. I think when Usha was a whisker behind another person that person was from Romania, a heavy doping country. I think there was enough doping to give a pep of 1/100th sec. Now, the missing Russians, how good they were without dope, I do not know.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by arjun2761 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:45 pm

Atithee wrote:
prasen9 wrote:Junior slams are useless. It may only mean that you can make top-70 or so in seniors.
They are still better than doubles and MxD. MxD is played only at slams and some other events as a side-show. Neither dubs or MxD is critical toward the "greatness" measure. Tennis is largely an individual sport; doubles is for also rans. If it weren't, many more singles players would play it regularly. If they do botj successfully, then it certainly adds to the greatness of someone like Johnny Mac. Else, while appealing to Indians due to our success in this format, no one really uses it as a measure of greatness unless maybe you are as dominant for a long time as Bryan brothers were. At the end, results count for me. That's why Sania doesn't get my vote despite her high singles ranking.

P.S. I voted for Dipa. After all I suggested her name in the first place. But, essentially, as Varma wrote, for reasons Prasen noted and those that Varma likely will add soon. I'll add more if I have more. BTW, I thought we were only explaining why if we chose other in the list and not if we picked someone from the list.
Wow, this is a misconception. Fully agree that singles is more prized and more athletically demanding than doubles. However, doubles does require a partially different skill set than singles (especially net play which is critical in doubles but marginal in singles), so it's incorrect to say that all top singles players would have done equally well in doubles. I would argue that even if all the singles players played doubles regularly, the "new" top 50 of doubles would be a fair mixture of the top singles players and current top doubles players. Even if you look at the Indian Wells result, where many of the top singles players played doubles ultimately the final was between 2 doubles regular pairs with Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen winning the title. I believe the Olympics top 4 would also be fair mixture of the doubles specialists and top singles players playing doubles. Folks like McEnroe who dominated both also had a very good doubles skill set (as does Federer and the Williams sisters, for example).

Agree that MxD doubles is less valuable a measure of doubles since it isn't part of a regular tour outside the GS and Olympics. However, regular doubles is present in all events and has a tour that, for example, has more professional events and has more prize money than the badminton tour has for singles.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by gbelday » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:50 pm

prasen9 wrote:Junior slams are useless. It may only mean that you can make top-70 or so in seniors.
Whoa. What's wrong with top-70? We haven't had many (women especially) who reached that level.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by prasen9 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:54 pm

There's nothing wrong, Gautam. But, with respect to greatest athlete, I do not think it cuts it. All of this is subjective preferences.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by gbelday » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:37 pm

Ok, got it.

I think many of you are downplaying Sania's achievements. Yes, I can see why you have an issue with her personality (I don't) but you got to give her more credit than what she is getting here. I may have said this in one of my previous posts but the coaching that she received in her formative years (very important in tennis) wasn't anywhere near world class. Her game still has a quite a few technical deficiencies (serve being the big one). Tennis is a brutal sport. All those injuries that she sustained could have may be been avoided with the proper training (prehab, injury prevention, biomechanics etc. etc.). Sports Science was and still is sort of non-existent in India. The fact that she reached that level (top 30 in singles) in spite of all those deficiencies is remarkable and should say something about her will as a sportswoman. If that's not greatness, I don't know what is. No other woman tennis player (from India) has achieved anything close to what she has achieved (at least in the modern era).

Saina and Sindhu are lucky to get the coaching that they get. A proper academy, a good peer group to train and travel with etc. I am so glad that they have those opportunities but I do wonder sometimes on how far they would have gone without Gopi. If they faced the same issues that Sania faced.

If I had to pick an order for "greatness", I would rate Sania, Sindhu, Saina and Dipa. If I had to pick the best athlete from them, I would pick Sindhu.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Varma » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:56 pm

Looks like Prasen and Gautam are hell-bent on saving me from typing today :)

Saina and Sindhu had a good support system pretty much all along right from a very early stage. Gopi took lead on providing them most of the basic necessities and to a large extent kept them isolated from things like sponsorships, scheduling etc. By saying this, I am in no way trying to belittle their dedication and achievements...especially their Olympic wins and relatively consistent career so far.

Sania - though lacked in having a solid foundation to her game- benefited from quite a few factors that favored her. She had GVK who sponsored her earlier years almost unconditionally (this is just hearsay with no facts for me to backup). Her forehand (which was feared by everyone on tour) certainly is a freak of nature, no doubt about that. From a very early age, she got a chance to regularly train abroad (Bob Brett academy?) and had enough exposure to realise what it would take to get to the top. To a large extent, her parents planned her career really well too. That they are financially better off than most of her peers might have helped a bit as well. However, my biggest pet peeve about her was, she refused to hire a full-time coach during her prime when she was loaded with money. We had Jay (where is he BTW?) throwing out all sorts of theories about why she wouldn't do that :). This decision of hers really annoyed me to no end. At 21-22, she could still have easily fixed her biggest liability - the serve. She has a very good return game which (along with her forehand) took her to 27! I agree that she is a pioneer and has achieved a lot higher than any other female Tennis player from India. But to say that she did so overcoming a lot of adversities is something I do not agree. Just on pure potential, Yuki and Sania have to be probably on par. While Yuki's earlier career (even after discounting his perennial injuries) was grossly mismanaged, Sania's team did a fantastic work on that front doing many things right!
gbelday wrote:...Sports Science was and still is sort of non-existent in India. The fact that she reached that level (top 30 in singles) in spite of all those deficiencies is remarkable and should say something about her will as a sportswoman. If that's not greatness, I don't know what is. No other woman tennis player (from India) has achieved anything close to what she has achieved (at least in the modern era).

...Saina and Sindhu are lucky to get the coaching that they get. A proper academy, a good peer group to train and travel with etc. I am so glad that they have those opportunities but I do wonder sometimes on how far they would have gone without Gopi. If they faced the same issues that Sania faced.
Look at all those key words in there...lack of sports science, Will, proper academy, access to coaching and infrastructure, peer group to train with...on and on and on!

Dipa did this despite all of those. That too, being based out of one of the remote and non-prime areas of India. She had chosen a sport which is one of the most dangerous sports where one slight twist or turn could not just end your aspirations, but could potentially make you paralyzed or dead! She plied such a trade on primitive equipment that wouldn't be acceptable even in a recrational facility in most parts of the world. To overcome all these and coming inches closer to get to an Olympic podium is what made me fall for her! In my eyes, this girl is pure gold!

- Varma

P.S.: If you like my theory, please type "Varma is a nut case" and send it to #565 from your Idea mobile. You can also share this on a social media platform of your choice with hashtag #LunaticOnTheLoose. Nah...just vote for Dipa :) :) :)

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Atithee » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:52 am

Reaching a ranking that high has to go with winning some titles. Sania won a lowly title at home and made only one or two finals at most in her singles career after that. Not sure if any other top 30 player has such barren record.

Caroline Wozniacki was #1 for a while. She even won some titles and reached a few slam finals. Yet, no one would associate greatness with Caroline. Despite Sania's trailblazing, we have not produced even a single top 100 woman player since then. It's not her fault and I'll readily admit that she's the first superstar of Indian sports women. I just don't see her as a great one in terms of achievements.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by arjun2761 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:21 am

Atithee, you are not living in the reality of Indian sports barrenness. A top 100 ATP or WTA is a elite achievement for an Indian in a global, professional sport. Top-30 in singles or top 5 in doubles is even more so of an achievement.

Yes, we have top-5 players in badminton which has far smaller global footprint and mostly does not have a professional tour. The badminton tour consists of low prize money tournaments in which national federation sponsored teams participate as most players probably couldn't make a living playing badminton or even travel to these tournaments on their own.

As far as top-70 in the world being a trivial achievement, I would not hesitate to say that a top 70 soccer player (say one of the starters in one of better teams of English Premier League) would rank right up there as a world class athlete with anyone India has produced in any sport. In fact, our top soccer player may not rank among the top 2000 in the world (after all a Baichung Bhutia only played for a 3rd tier team in England). Simply saying that the 5th best Kabaddi player is say a better achievement than the 500th best soccer player is not what most people would agree with. Achievement is generally judged relative to competition (i.e., how hard and prestigious it is to achieve) rather than a simple ranking.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Prashant » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:46 am

I agree with Atithee - Wozniacki isn't a great in the overall landscape of tennis, but we are only doing a comparison of a very small set of sportswomen here. If Wozniacki's achievements had been done by an Indian, we wouldn't be having this poll because the answer would be obvious. But we must chose among what we have.

arjun2761 wrote:Simply saying that the 5th best Kabaddi player is say a better achievement than the 500th best soccer player is not what most people would agree with. Achievement is generally judged relative to competition (i.e., how hard and prestigious it is to achieve) rather than a simple ranking.
I agree with this too - but it brings me back to the tennis vs badminton question. To me it seems obvious that a high ranking in tennis is harder to achieve than the corresponding in badminton, but there has been some decent rebuttal earlier in this thread.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Atithee » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:50 am

Arjun, you seem to invent arguments that I don't even make. Or, you mix responses to various arguments that are hard to discern. Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Re: Sania, the fact that she has so few votes here in a rabid fan base is telling. That's all from me folks.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by rajitghosh » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:19 am

I am more surprised by Dipa receiving so many votes in spite of having just 2 international medals.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by prasen9 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:21 am

Because people were the most surprised and thus, most "awed" by her performance.

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by Omkara » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:38 am

rajitghosh wrote:I am more surprised by Dipa receiving so many votes in spite of having just 2 international medals.
Even I am surprised. Saina is fittingly leading because she has remained in top for long battling heavy competition. Though I voted Sindhu I thought the winner would be distinctly ahead

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Re: Greatest Indian Women Athlete

Post by kaustav » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:45 pm

rajitghosh wrote:I am more surprised by Dipa receiving so many votes in spite of having just 2 international medals.
Don't be surprised ...She was the wonder girl for us because you can expect it from Tennis and Badminton...but from a sport where Indians would have light year behind the leaders perhaps 3-4 years ago..She made it possible ..That believe is important..Which she created ...Hats of to her

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