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View Full Version : Legendary Chris Evert Tops Margaret Court!!!


rogerfederer26
10-16-2007, 10:38 PM
The details of the head to head record between Evert and Court is below. While Evert was 12 years younger than Court and therefore probably fits into the 'next' generation of players, I find the following interesting about this statistic:

1. Evert was just under 16 and Court 28, when Evert first met and
beat Court
2. Evert won the first 3 matches in straight sets!!
3. While Court barely beat Evert in one clay court match, Evert seems to have more than held her own against Court on grass. In fact, in the 1973 Wimbledon, she beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. I have seen the first set of this match, and trust me - Evert destroyed Court with lobs, service returns and passing shots.

Looks like Evert easily handled Court's serve and did not allow Court to play her serve and volley game. And when Court attempted to do so, she was punished.


Thoughts?


1970 Evert beat Court 7-6, 7-6 (1970)
1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-3 (1972)
1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 7-6 (1972)
1972 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)(grass)
1973 Evert lost Court 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 (clay)
1973 Evert beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 (grass)
1973 Evert lost Court 5-7, 6-2, 2-6 (grass)
1973 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)
1975 Evert beat Court 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1975 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-2
1975 Evert beat Court (scores unknown)
1977 Evert beat Court 6-1, 6-3
1977 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-4


Evert leads 9-4.

Mad iX
10-17-2007, 02:27 AM
Last match they played was in 1977, well before I was around to see it.
It probably concerns me as much as it does Court.

VikingSamurai
10-17-2007, 03:47 AM
Last match they played was in 1977, well before I was around to see it.
It probably concerns me as much as it does Court.

Well said..:)

hoodjem
10-17-2007, 05:33 AM
1973 Evert lost Court 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 (clay)

I find it interesting that in 1973 Evert lost to Court (7-6, 6-7, 4-6) on clay, also considering the age difference. Clay was Evert's best surface, because she grew up playing on it.

Does anyone know if it was Har-Tru or red clay down in Florida?

VikingSamurai
10-17-2007, 06:22 AM
I am probably wrong. But doesn't Florida have red clay?

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 06:33 AM
The details of the head to head record between Evert and Court is below. While Evert was 12 years younger than Court and therefore probably fits into the 'next' generation of players, I find the following interesting about this statistic:

1. Evert was just under 16 and Court 28, when Evert first met and
beat Court
2. Evert won the first 3 matches in straight sets!!
3. While Court barely beat Evert in one clay court match, Evert seems to have more than held her own against Court on grass. In fact, in the 1973 Wimbledon, she beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. I have seen the first set of this match, and trust me - Evert destroyed Court with lobs, service returns and passing shots.

Looks like Evert easily handled Court's serve and did not allow Court to play her serve and volley game. And when Court attempted to do so, she was punished.


Thoughts?


1970 Evert beat Court 7-6, 7-6 (1970)
1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-3 (1972)
1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 7-6 (1972)
1972 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)(grass)
1973 Evert lost Court 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 (clay)
1973 Evert beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 (grass)
1973 Evert lost Court 5-7, 6-2, 2-6 (grass)
1973 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)
1975 Evert beat Court 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1975 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-2
1975 Evert beat Court (scores unknown)
1977 Evert beat Court 6-1, 6-3
1977 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-4


Evert leads 9-4.

I filled in the blanks for you.

1970 Charlotte, NC SF W 7-6, 7-6
1972 Bonnie Belle Cup W 6-3, 6-3
1972 Indianapolis, IN SF W 6-3, 7-6
1972 Newport, RI SF L 6-3, 6-0
1973 French Open F L 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1973 Wimbledon SF W 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
1973 U.S. Open SF L 7-5, 2-6, 6-2
1973 Hilton Head, SC RR L 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
1975 Akron, OH F W 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1975 Houston, TX F W 6-3, 6-2
1975 Rye, NY SF W 6-3, 6-3
1977 Hollywood, FL F W 6-3, 6-4
1977 Chicago, IL F W 6-1, 6-3

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 06:36 AM
I am probably wrong. But doesn't Florida have red clay?


Mostly in the USA we have green clay, although some very wealthy people probably have red clay courts on their property. Maybe they did play professionally on red clay in the US at one time, but I doubt it. I myself would be interested to know the answer to that.

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 06:45 AM
Also in 1972, Evert beat King 6-1, 6-0 on clay. If Court or King weren't playing their very best serve/volley game, then they got destroyed by Evert. Margaret did have an advantage over King in that she had better groundstrokes and was a much better clay court player than Billie Jean and could challenge Evert on clay whereas Billie Jean could not.

Chris loved to use the lob as an offensive weapon, rather than defensively as had been the norm for most of the women. I also have seen that 1973 Wimbledon semifinal match and Chris put on a devastating display of offensive lobbing and was able to handle Margaret's serve with ease.

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 06:49 AM
Here's Evert's head to head against King:



vs. BILLIE JEAN KING (USA)

1971 St. Petersburg, FL SF W 6-7, 6-3, ret.
1971 U.S. Open SF L 6-3, 6-2
1972 Ft. Lauderdale, FL F W 6-1, 6-0
1972 Dallas, TX QF L 6-7, 6-3, 7-5
1972 St. Petersburg, FL SF W 6-2, 6-3
1972 Boca Raton, FL SF W 6-4, 6-2
1973 Wimbledon F L 6-0, 7-5
1973 Hilton Head, SC RR W 4-6, 7-6, 6-1
1974 San Francisco, CA F L 7-6, 6-2
1974 Mission Viejo, CA F W 6-3, 6-1
1974 New York, NY F L 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
1975 San Francisco, CA F W 6-1, 6-1
1975 Sarasota, FL F L 6-2, 6-3
1975 Austin, TX F W 4-6, 6-3, 7-6
1975 Wimbledon SF L 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
1977 Hilton Head, SC F W 6-0, 6-1
1977 Wimbledon QF W 6-1, 6-2
1977 U.S. Open QF W 6-2, 6-0
1977 Colgate Series finals F W 6-2, 6-2
1978 Boston, MA SF W 6-3, 6-2
1978 Philadelphia, PA F W 6-0, 6-4
1978 Wimbledon QF W 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
1979 U.S. Open SF W 6-1, 6-0
1982 Wimbledon SF W 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
1982 Australian Open QF W 6-2, 6-2
1983 Slims Championships SF W 6-1, 6-1


Evert leads 19-7

boredone3456
10-17-2007, 08:00 AM
Also in 1972, Evert beat King 6-1, 6-0 on clay. If Court or King weren't playing their very best serve/volley game, then they got destroyed by Evert. Margaret did have an advantage over King in that she had better groundstrokes and was a much better clay court player than Billie Jean and could challenge Evert on clay whereas Billie Jean could not.

Chris loved to use the lob as an offensive weapon, rather than defensively as had been the norm for most of the women. I also have seen that 1973 Wimbledon semifinal match and Chris put on a devastating display of offensive lobbing and was able to handle Margaret's serve with ease.


Evert was a wonder on court in that she brought some new strategies to the table. She had the most steely baseline play I have ever seen, sadly most of the matches I have seen have through youtube or taped by people...as I was only born in 1987. She was so destructive because the minute you came to net...she hit that amazing lob and forced you back and many times off balance as she used it in such a new way and that allowed her to attack. Court wasn't used to this style at all and thats why Evert was so strong against her and many other women on the tour until they were able to figure out her strategy and adapt their game a bit. I think this is why many women don't come to net very often and we see a lot of baseline rallies in today's game.

rasajadad
10-17-2007, 09:37 AM
Hard to believe that a top player in her prime would have a winning record against a top player in the twilight of her career (after 2 kids.)

grafrules
10-17-2007, 10:42 AM
Hard to believe that a top player in her prime would have a winning record against a top player in the twilight of her career (after 2 kids.)

Well a players prime is always subjective. In the case of Evert-Court there were a fair number of matches that probably favored Court or Evert in that regard. Obviously 1970 and 1971 should clearly favor Court. 1972 and 1973 is more subjective. 1975-1977 should favor Evert obviously.

In the case of Evert-King more of their matches should favor Evert in theory since King stayed much longer then Court past her prime, but very young Evert still had some good success.

I wouldnt say there is too much conclusive from the head to heads, but they are still impressive on Evert's behalf nonetheless. It is always fun to see the matchups of the new breed and the old gaurd. Discussing who the matchups should favor remind me of discussions who the Navratilova-Graf or Graf-Evert matchups in the late 80s were supposed to favor. One player on the way up still, one player having been at the top for awhile but starting to reach a more advanced age.

grafrules
10-17-2007, 10:45 AM
Also in 1972, Evert beat King 6-1, 6-0 on clay. If Court or King weren't playing their very best serve/volley game, then they got destroyed by Evert. Margaret did have an advantage over King in that she had better groundstrokes and was a much better clay court player than Billie Jean and could challenge Evert on clay whereas Billie Jean could not.

Chris loved to use the lob as an offensive weapon, rather than defensively as had been the norm for most of the women. I also have seen that 1973 Wimbledon semifinal match and Chris put on a devastating display of offensive lobbing and was able to handle Margaret's serve with ease.

Interesting comments. It sounds like Chris's offensive lob was a very effective weapon against both women when they tried to attack.

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 12:25 PM
Hard to believe that a top player in her prime would have a winning record against a top player in the twilight of her career (after 2 kids.)


They went 4-4 while Margaret was still in her prime and while Evert hadn't really yet reached her prime, including wins for Evert the first three times they played in straight sets and Evert's very first win over Court was in '70 which was Court's Grand Slam year. After '73 Court was no longer really in her prime.

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 12:27 PM
Interesting comments. It sounds like Chris's offensive lob was a very effective weapon against both women when they tried to attack.


Evert had the best offensive and defensive lobs ever in the women's game and probably the best dropshot as well.

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 12:38 PM
Evert was a wonder on court in that she brought some new strategies to the table. She had the most steely baseline play I have ever seen, sadly most of the matches I have seen have through youtube or taped by people...as I was only born in 1987. She was so destructive because the minute you came to net...she hit that amazing lob and forced you back and many times off balance as she used it in such a new way and that allowed her to attack. Court wasn't used to this style at all and thats why Evert was so strong against her and many other women on the tour until they were able to figure out her strategy and adapt their game a bit. I think this is why many women don't come to net very often and we see a lot of baseline rallies in today's game.


In Navratilova's autobiography there is an entire chapter just about Chris and Martina said that during the 70s when Chris completely dominated their rivalry, Evert was able to beat her so much because of the lob. Martina said she would get so tired from having Chris run her ragged back and forth from baseline to net and back again trying to retrieve Evert's lobs that she would just run out of gas.

Moose Malloy
10-17-2007, 01:44 PM
I find it interesting that in 1973 Evert lost to Court (7-6, 6-7, 4-6) on clay, also considering the age difference. Clay was Evert's best surface, because she grew up playing on it.


That match was Evert's 1st slam final, while it was Court's 28th. Court was the #1 seed at that event. And she won 3 of the 4 slams that year. Its interesting in retrospect, but I doubt anyone considered it a surprising result at the time, its not like Evert was unbeatable on clay yet or was #1. And Court did win 5 FOs, so it wasn't exactly a weak surface for her.

here's a excerpt from chrisevert.net on their first meeting, when Evert was still an amateur:

"in 1970, 15-year old pony-tailed amateur Christine Marie Evert bounced into a small tournament in North Carolina and defeated the number one ranked womenís professional player in the world, Margaret Court, by the score of 7-6 7-6. Court had just recently completed her Grand Slam, a feat that had been accomplished only 5 times in the history of the sport. It was the first tournament Chris had ever gone to without her parents. When she phoned her father to tell him what had happened, he fell on the floor and needed to be told 4 times before his ears allowed the news to reach his brain. Understandably, this is still one of Chrissieís most cherished wins."

http://chrisevert.net/history.html

hoodjem
10-17-2007, 03:12 PM
http://chrisevert.net/history.html

A most interesting read. Some standouts:

"but in 1981, having won by double their head-to-head meetings, Evert handed Navratilova the heaviest humbling of her career, 6-0 6-0 in the Amelia Island finals"

"As the 1984 season closed, with the Australian Open, Evert won her 1000th career match, the first player ever to do so. . . "

"Chris Evertís final tournament match victory came at the 1989 US Open, the place where her fame began, beating Monica Seles 6-0 6-2 in what was one of the cleanest, most punishingly well-played matches of Chrisí 20-year career."

Has anyone else won 1000 career matches? Laver? Rosewall? Federer? I wonder?

zagor
10-17-2007, 03:32 PM
Has anyone else won 1000 career matches? Laver? Rosewall? Federer? I wonder?

I know for sure that Lendl and Jimbo did.

boredone3456
10-17-2007, 03:42 PM
I would take a guess and say Navratilova did as well....but I am not 100% sure

hoodjem
10-17-2007, 03:49 PM
I know for sure that Lendl and Jimbo did.

I can well imagine that Lendl would, and Connors probably too. Martina yes, also; she played forever.

(Is she still playing mixed doubles or something?)

Others?

rogerfederer26
10-17-2007, 05:12 PM
I filled in the blanks for you.

1970 Charlotte, NC SF W 7-6, 7-6
1972 Bonnie Belle Cup W 6-3, 6-3
1972 Indianapolis, IN SF W 6-3, 7-6
1972 Newport, RI SF L 6-3, 6-0
1973 French Open F L 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1973 Wimbledon SF W 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
1973 U.S. Open SF L 7-5, 2-6, 6-2
1973 Hilton Head, SC RR L 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
1975 Akron, OH F W 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1975 Houston, TX F W 6-3, 6-2
1975 Rye, NY SF W 6-3, 6-3
1977 Hollywood, FL F W 6-3, 6-4
1977 Chicago, IL F W 6-1, 6-3

Margaret Court had a losing h2h against Evert and Nav

Nav-Court h2h:

1974 AO QF Nav beat Court. ( 64 63 )
1975 Chicago F Court beat Nav (63 36 63 )
1975 Boston SF Nav beat Court (36 61 64 )
1975 Wim QF Court beat Nav (63 64 )
1975 USO QF Nav beat Court (64 62 )
1976 Sydney QF Nav beat Court ( 63 64 )
1977 L.Angeles SF Nav beat Court ( 57 64 64)


h2h: 5:2

CEvertFan
10-17-2007, 05:17 PM
I know for sure that Lendl and Jimbo did.

Navratilova
1440-243 singles win/loss record
1044-183 doubles win/loss record

Evert - 1309-146 (.900 highest Open era win/loss percentage)

Connors - 1222-269 (record of ATP events Singles wins) #1 most all-time in ATP Wins

Lendl - 1070-243 singles win/loss record

FedSampras
10-17-2007, 07:26 PM
Question:

Wasn't Chris Evert ranked #1 from 1973-1978?

I do know she and Martina Split the *biggies* in 1978, Martina N. winning W and Chrissie winning US Open. IIRC, Martina did win the WTA tour championship that year. So was Martina # 1 in '78........?

FedSampras
10-17-2007, 07:38 PM
A most interesting read. Some standouts:

"but in 1981, having won by double their head-to-head meetings, Evert handed Navratilova the heaviest humbling of her career, 6-0 6-0 in the Amelia Island finals"

"As the 1984 season closed, with the Australian Open, Evert won her 1000th career match, the first player ever to do so. . . "

"Chris Evert’s final tournament match victory came at the 1989 US Open, the place where her fame began, beating Monica Seles 6-0 6-2 in what was one of the cleanest, most punishingly well-played matches of Chris’ 20-year career."



Interesting also the NOTE that an aging Chrissie dominated Steffi Graff in their first 6 matches (all in straight sets!!!) including a 62- 63 cremation at the French Open............

1985 MIAMI HARD (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2
1985 HILTON HEAD CLAY (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-2 6-1
1985 BERLIN-GERMAN OPEN CLAY (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 7-5
1985 FRENCH OPEN CLAY (O) R16 C. EVERT deat GRAF 6-2 6-3
1986 VS OF FLORIDA HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-3 6-1
1986 MIAMI HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2

hoodjem
10-17-2007, 08:07 PM
Do you know when Graf first defeated Evert at HH on clay? 1986 (Thank you WTA)

I saw this match in TV. It was quite a surprise to everyone, and marked the rise of Graf as a contender. Particularly because it was Evert's best surface: clay.

FedSampras
10-17-2007, 08:21 PM
Do you know when Graf first defeated Evert at HH on clay? 1986 (Thank you WTA)

.

Graff didn't beat Evert until 1986, when Chrissie was, what 31 years old....? ;o)

CEvertFan
10-18-2007, 06:18 AM
Question:

Wasn't Chris Evert ranked #1 from 1973-1978?

I do know she and Martina Split the *biggies* in 1978, Martina N. winning W and Chrissie winning US Open. IIRC, Martina did win the WTA tour championship that year. So was Martina # 1 in '78........?

Evert was #1 from 1974-78 then in '80 and '81
for a total of 7 year end #1 rankings

grafrules
10-18-2007, 01:37 PM
Evert was #1 from 1974-78 then in '80 and '81
for a total of 7 year end #1 rankings

Is that a record?

Moose Malloy
10-18-2007, 01:52 PM
Evert was #1 from 1974-78 then in '80 and '81
for a total of 7 year end #1 rankings

She wasn't #1 in '78, and there was no computer ranking before '75, so she officially she only has 5 year end #1's.

Is that a record?

you call yourself a graf fan?;)

CEvertFan
10-18-2007, 02:06 PM
She wasn't #1 in '78, and there was no computer ranking before '75, so she officially she only has 5 year end #1's.

This quote is from Steve Flink about Evert:

"To the vast majority of experts, she finished seven years (1974-78, 1980-81) at No. 1 in the world, which is a substantial accomplishment."

grafrules
10-18-2007, 02:13 PM
you call yourself a graf fan?;)

Sorry, embarassing brain cramp there. ;)

CEvertFan
10-18-2007, 02:21 PM
you call yourself a graf fan?;)


LOL, Moose is right about this one. grafrules, you better than anyone should know that Steffi had 8 year end #1 rankings, 1987-90, 1993-96.

boredone3456
10-18-2007, 02:25 PM
I can well imagine that Lendl would, and Connors probably too. Martina yes, also; she played forever.

(Is she still playing mixed doubles or something?)

Others?

Martina officially retired from tennis completely last year at wimbledon...not this most recent wimbledon, the one before it. she was attempting to break her tie with king for most overall wimbledon titles...which she was unable to do.

rogerfederer26
10-18-2007, 08:19 PM
Graff didn't beat Evert until 1986, when Chrissie was, what 31 years old....? ;o)

Chris summed it up best at the time, ďIím at a new stage of my career. Itís called End of Career.Ē

rogerfederer26
10-18-2007, 08:28 PM
1985 MIAMI HARD (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2
1985 HILTON HEAD CLAY (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-2 6-1
1985 BERLIN-GERMAN OPEN CLAY (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 7-5
1985 FRENCH OPEN CLAY (O) R16 C. EVERT deat GRAF 6-2 6-3
1986 VS OF FLORIDA HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-3 6-1
1986 MIAMI HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2

I still remember a genuine tantrum by Graf during one of those early losses to Evert (Key Biscayne 1986 I think). She was livid and almost in tears over a call, pleading with the umpire and throwing her arms in anger and frustration. Graf really lost it.

ATPballkid
10-18-2007, 11:05 PM
Question:

Wasn't Chris Evert ranked #1 from 1973-1978?

I do know she and Martina Split the *biggies* in 1978, Martina N. winning W and Chrissie winning US Open. IIRC, Martina did win the WTA tour championship that year. So was Martina # 1 in '78........?

Court was the top women's player for 1973 with 3 of the 4 Grand Slam singles titles.

Evert was the top women's player for 1974 with 2 of the Grand Slam singles titles (French and Wimbledon) ... a runnerup finish at Kooyong and a semifinal finish at Forest Hills ... she also won Foro Italico in Rome and the Family Circle Cup at Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island.

HOWEVER ... the year end rankings from the WTA did not begin until the WTA was formed in November 1975.

SO THE ANSWER WOULD BE:

Evert was #1 in women's tennis for 4 consecutive years starting with 1974 and running through 1978, and she was #1 on the WTA computer rankings to close the years 1975-1978.

Gorecki
10-19-2007, 12:41 AM
...on the WTA computer rankings to close the years 1975-1978.
http://www.eks-pb.de/a_bis_zett/images/historisches/1975_computer.jpg

rwn
10-19-2007, 06:39 AM
Court 24, Evert 18. End of story.

rogerfederer26
10-19-2007, 06:40 AM
Court was the top women's player for 1973 with 3 of the 4 Grand Slam singles titles.

Evert was the top women's player for 1974 with 2 of the Grand Slam singles titles (French and Wimbledon) ... a runnerup finish at Kooyong and a semifinal finish at Forest Hills ... she also won Foro Italico in Rome and the Family Circle Cup at Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island.

HOWEVER ... the year end rankings from the WTA did not begin until the WTA was formed in November 1975.

SO THE ANSWER WOULD BE:

Evert was #1 in women's tennis for 4 consecutive years starting with 1974 and running through 1978, and she was #1 on the WTA computer rankings to close the years 1975-1978.

Excellent post!

rogerfederer26
10-19-2007, 06:42 AM
Court 24, Evert 18. End of story.

Big Madge was highly overrated. Evert will always be greater than her.

VikingSamurai
10-19-2007, 07:49 AM
I am not a Court fan.. I just remind you dreamer's that facts are facts.. Court has her name on more GS trophies than anyone else, and also won the year Grand Slam.. Martina didn't do that, and so have trouble understanding why you want to make her out to be someone she is not?. A clear second she is. But to say she is the best?.....

And I don't care all that much for Court, and although I am Australian. If the facts were in favour for the other players, then I would be pushing their causes aswell... But facts are facts and history is history. You cant change them....

CEvertFan
10-19-2007, 07:57 AM
I am not a Court fan.. I just remind you dreamer's that facts are facts.. Court has her name on more GS trophies than anyone else, and also won the year Grand Slam.. Martina didn't do that, and so have trouble understanding why you want to make her out to be someone she is not?. A clear second she is. But to say she is the best?.....

And I don't care all that much for Court, and although I am Australian. If the facts were in favour for the other players, then I would be pushing their causes aswell... But facts are facts and history is history. You cant change them....


Then answer a question for me. Why isn't Margaret Court universally considered to be the best ever by all the tennis experts? I haven't seen one expert in the last 20 years consider Court to be the GOAT. Most experts pick either Graf or Navratilova as the GOAT, I am just following their sage advice.

Warriorroger
10-19-2007, 09:20 AM
Then answer a question for me. Why isn't Margaret Court universally considered to be the best ever by all the tennis experts? I haven't seen one expert in the last 20 years consider Court to be the GOAT. Most experts pick either Graf or Navratilova as the GOAT, I am just following their sage advice.


I know you didn't asks me the question, but I think the reason Court is not talked about like Laver, Graf, Navratilova, is because of the era she played in and the number of AO, with few of the top women attending.

To me Navratilova is the one (together with BJK) who did the most for women's tennis, but to me she is not the greatest player. She needs too much confirmation of her own greatness and so do her fans. I have never heard Steffi Graf or Monica Seles talk, discuss, or mention that they belong in the greatest list of women's tennisplayers. I consider Martina the greatest rival to the greatest player. Martina is the only player Graf tied with in their head to head. Martina's game (even when she was passed her prime) gave Steffi a lot of trouble on Steffi's favorite surfaces: fast courts.

I do feel Chris Evert tops Court, because of her rival Navratilova and her wins against players like Seles, Graf, Sabatini.

grafrules
10-19-2007, 09:28 AM
Then answer a question for me. Why isn't Margaret Court universally considered to be the best ever by all the tennis experts? I haven't seen one expert in the last 20 years consider Court to be the GOAT. Most experts pick either Graf or Navratilova as the GOAT, I am just following their sage advice.

That is exactly the point. Despite her record I have hardly heard anyone pick Court as "the" best ever. It is hard to tell for sure unless you polled a large group of tennis experts or took an exact survey, but my general impression is it seems Navratilova and Graf at the moment get the most talk, then Evert with some as well.

Now with Court having the most singles slams in history, and being 6 clear of Evert and Navratilova both, then why does hardly any expert pick Court as "the" best ever. Could it actually be that what many of us are saying, that the Australian is considered to be an incomplete and not fully recognized slam event at the time? Is it just coincidence the women with the most singles slams in history and the most doubles slams in history (for those who value that as well) is picked by almost no expert as the very best player ever? I dont think it is because she is Australian or played in the 60s, Rod Laver did and he still has many experts picking him as the best ever.

I am not looking to diss Court. She was a fabulous player, one of the best ever for sure, and she brought power and athleticsm and attacking style tennis to new heights, preceding Navratilova doing the same in the next era. I am just saying people should stop and think, with her record why does she get almost no talk as the best ever among experts. What other reason would it be expect what we are all here saying about the Australian Open and its merits back then.

Moose Malloy
10-19-2007, 10:01 AM
Evert was #1 in women's tennis for 4 consecutive years starting with 1974 and running through 1978, and she was #1 on the WTA computer rankings to close the years 1975-1978.

She did not finish '78 #1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WTA_number_1_ranked_players

I am not a Court fan.. I just remind you dreamer's that facts are facts.. Court has her name on more GS trophies than anyone else, and also won the year Grand Slam.. Martina didn't do that, and so have trouble understanding why you want to make her out to be someone she is not?. A clear second she is. But to say she is the best?.....

And I don't care all that much for Court, and although I am Australian. If the facts were in favour for the other players, then I would be pushing their causes aswell... But facts are facts and history is history. You cant change them....

First, I have no problem with you considering Court the best ever, but it is quite misleading to imply that she is the consenus #1 among writers, former players, most true experts etc & that any one who thinks otherwise is living in a dream world.

This isn't an "American" bias(which you seem to mention in every other post), I have quite a few books, magazines, that cover so many non-American's opinions & overall Court does not come out #1. Even Fred Stolle & Laver are on record as saying they consider Navratilova & Graf the best ever. Please provide your sources that back up Court as #1, instead of just reciting "most majors" etc every other post. Until recently the 'most majors' label had no real importance among players, writers, etc. Hardly anyone made any mention of the Emerson record when Borg was getting close(Emerson even claimed to not know he had the record!. I wonder if Court knew she had it.) Evert skipped the FO 3 times in her prime. Borg missed many majors. The fact that so many top players(men & women) rarely played more than 3 majors a year for most of a decade should tell you something about this record pre 80s/90s.

Laver still comes out #1 in virtually all polls of experts(including those involving Americans), so for you to imply that Court is the female equivalent of Laver is a bit of a stretch(though she was obviously great), and that its just 'American bias' that she isn't the clear #1 is BS frankly.
Just look at who Laver beat(& the amount of tough matches he had) to win his Grand Slam & the amount of tough matches/great players Court faced in her campaign. Not all Grand Slams are equal.

Laver had incredible competition & incredible depth in his time(the early open era had many upsets, 5 setters, etc, it was no cakewalk)

The level of womens tennis did not. Male players sounded disgusted that women could get equal prize money(much moreso than today). Womens players basically had byes until the QF(& check out the draws in Court's time, none were 128 draw, some were even only 32!)
That started to change in the 70s, with Evert & Navratilova started playing 128 draws.

And the fact that 2 of the best players of alltime played each other in their primes so many times, does elevate their standing. If you take away one, the other would have a ridiculous total. In no other rivalry can you take away one player & the other basically has 30 majors! I don't think Court ever had to deal with that sort of epic rivalry. And Evert had another classic rivalry with Goolagong.

anyway, please cite any polls(even australian ones) or players that consider Court #1. I'd really like to know.

grafrules
10-19-2007, 10:16 AM
Well as far as the rivalry part Court did have an all-time great rival in King as well, and she also had Bueno who is probably close to Goolagong.

krosero
10-19-2007, 10:30 AM
Now with Court having the most singles slams in history, and being 6 clear of Evert and Navratilova both, then why does hardly any expert pick Court as "the" best ever. Could it actually be that what many of us are saying, that the Australian is considered to be an incomplete and not fully recognized slam event at the time?
What other reason would it be expect what we are all here saying about the Australian Open and its merits back then.The relative weakness of the Australian Championships is a factor, no doubt. However, there has to be more to it than this. If you play the what-if game with history, then I think you can bring Court's total down to 18 and no lower. I say that because she won 5 U.S. Championships and 5 French Championships. So if the Australian had all the competition of the U.S., let's say, then Margaret Court wins about 5 Australians -- and I would not go any lower considering that it was her homecourt championship. In the what-if game, she would probably have won at least 5. And that brings her down to 18 -- not enough to tell us why Navratilova gets so much talk as GOAT while she doesn't.

I don't think the what-if game should be taken that seriously, but that's the result I would come up with.

I think some of the factors that Moose mentions above are more decisive -- the quality of depth in Navratilova's time being greater than in Court's time (apart from the rivalry with King, which Court won).

That is more than enough, in my opinion, to explain the disparity between the reputation of the two women.

Of course, that means that any player before Court, such as Lenglen and Moody, are also out of the running. So if those two ladies show up on some GOAT lists as #1 (I don't know how much they do), well then we've still got more explaining to do.

krosero
10-19-2007, 10:42 AM
And the fact that 2 of the best players of alltime played each other in their primes so many times, does elevate their standing. If you take away one, the other would have a ridiculous total. In no other rivalry can you take away one player & the other basically has 30 majors! This is very tricky. Chris lost 10 finals to Navratilova, so that would give her 28. Martina lost four finals to Chris, which would give her 22.

We can play with those numbers further, but a real problem I see here is that Martina and Chris had basically no other serious competition between Austin's fall from the top and Mandlikova's win at the 1985 U.S. Open. Between that event and Tracy's last final (81 USO), Chris and Martina met in 9 finals (with Martina winning 7). But if all the competition of 1979-81 continued until Graf's time, and/or Hana had been a more consistent player, Chris and Martina would not have met in so many finals. Then you take away one rival and you get much less than the numbers I gave above -- certainly well below 30.

krosero
10-19-2007, 11:19 AM
How was Australian grass playing in the 1960s?

Can anyone here speak knowledgeably about the suitability of Court's game on Australian grass, as compared to Wimbledon grass or Forest Hills grass?

Moose Malloy
10-19-2007, 11:36 AM
Well as far as the rivalry part Court did have an all-time great rival in King as well, and she also had Bueno who is probably close to Goolagong.

Well, yeah King was great, but their rivalry wasn't as sustained as the Evert-Martina rivalry. They played each other in 5 finals. Evert & Navratiova played each other in 14. That's insane.
and Evert played Goolagong in 5 major finals.

And that brings her down to 18 -- not enough to tell us why Navratilova gets so much talk as GOAT while she doesn't.


I think most 'experts' don't simply play a numbers game. Remember, Emerson doesn't appear on any 10 best lists. There are so many factors involved, I would hope they weigh everything. I don't really have an opinion in the matter, but there are convincing criteria in Navratilova's resume.:

-9 Wimbledons, a record(in her time & Court's time, this was far more important than the other majors. Borg's 5 W's are a major reason why he is ranked above Connors & Mac imo)

-6 straight majors, one of only 5 to hold all 4 majors at the same time(& one of only 3 to do it on 3 surfaces.while I don't like players of the past being put down for not playing hardcourt majors, I understand the importance of this. Had Borg or Mac won the GS in their time, who knows how much luster Laver's GS would still have.)

-sustained dominance(win % from '82-'84 was best in history) had the longest winning streak in history, 74 matches.

-rivalry with Evert, an 18 major winner, in her prime. they played 14 major finals vs each other.

-ability/peak level of play, again subjective but I've heard many 'experts' say that at her best she was the best ever, etc

-167 total career titles(record)

This is very tricky. Chris lost 10 finals to Navratilova, so that would give her 28. Martina lost four finals to Chris, which would give her 22.


What about semi losses they had to each other? And the amount of majors they skipped in their primes(esp Evert)

CEvertFan
10-19-2007, 11:45 AM
She did not finish '78 #1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WTA_number_1_ranked_players



First, I have no problem with you considering Court the best ever, but it is quite misleading to imply that she is the consenus #1 among writers, former players, most true experts etc & that any one who thinks otherwise is living in a dream world.

This isn't an "American" bias(which you seem to mention in every other post), I have quite a few books, magazines, that cover so many non-American's opinions & overall Court does not come out #1. Even Fred Stolle & Laver are on record as saying they consider Navratilova & Graf the best ever. Please provide your sources that back up Court as #1, instead of just reciting "most majors" etc every other post. Until recently the 'most majors' label had no real importance among players, writers, etc. Hardly anyone made any mention of the Emerson record when Borg was getting close(Emerson even claimed to not know he had the record!. I wonder if Court knew she had it.) Evert skipped the FO 3 times in her prime. Borg missed many majors. The fact that so many top players(men & women) rarely played more than 3 majors a year for most of a decade should tell you something about this record pre 80s/90s.

Laver still comes out #1 in virtually all polls of experts(including those involving Americans), so for you to imply that Court is the female equivalent of Laver is a bit of a stretch(though she was obviously great), and that its just 'American bias' that she isn't the clear #1 is BS frankly.
Just look at who Laver beat(& the amount of tough matches he had) to win his Grand Slam & the amount of tough matches/great players Court faced in her campaign. Not all Grand Slams are equal.

Laver had incredible comptetion & incredible depth in his time(the early open era had many upsets, 5 setters, etc, it was no cakewalk)

The level of womens tennis did not. Male players sounded disgusted that women could get equal prize money(much moreso than today). Womens players basically had byes until the QF(& check out the draws in Court's time, none were 128 draw, some were even only 32!)
That started to change in the 70s, with Evert & Navratilova started playing 128 draws.

And the fact that 2 of the best players of alltime played each other in their primes so many times, does elevate their standing. If you take away one, the other would have a ridiculous total. In no other rivalry can you take away one player & the other basically has 30 majors! I don't think Court ever had to deal with that sort of epic rivalry. And Evert had another classic rivalry with Goolagong.

anyway, please cite any polls(even australian ones) or players that consider Court #1. I'd really like to know.

Thanks for backing me up. :)

CEvertFan
10-19-2007, 12:10 PM
Well, yeah King was great, but their rivalry wasn't as sustained as the Evert-Martina rivalry. They played each other in 5 finals. Evert & Navratiova played each other in 14. That's insane.
and Evert played Goolagong in 5 major finals.

King and Court only played each other 7 times? Is that correct? The WTA website has the head to head listed as 5-2 in favor of Court.

grafrules
10-19-2007, 12:41 PM
King and Court played 32 times and Court led 22-10. I read that from various sources so it must be true.

krosero
10-19-2007, 03:03 PM
I think most 'experts' don't simply play a numbers game. Remember, Emerson doesn't appear on any 10 best lists. There are so many factors involved, I would hope they weigh everything. Thankfully they don't play a numbers game, precisely because numbers taken out of context would have results like Emerson being greater than Borg. I generally agree with what Chris has said in this thread, but I think that he would draw the line there.

I think the context you were bringing in for Court and Navratilova is a better argument than the sheer number of Slam titles won.

What about semi losses they had to each other? And the amount of majors they skipped in their primes(esp Evert)If you add their semifinals, each woman gets 4 more wins. So it would not change things. Moreover, the argument was about how many titles Chris and Martina prevented each other from winning. With semifinals, you've still got someone else to defeat in the final. Of their 8 semis, I can see no clear instance where the losing semifinalist -- if her victor were removed from her path -- would probably have gone on to win the final. To the contrary, I see clear instances where Chris or Martina, as losing semifinalist, would have probably lost the final anyway. (And that's the normal situation in tennis: if you weren't good enough to get through the semis, you probably would not have been good enough to win the final).

(Those 8 semis are: 75 USO, 76 W, 80 W, 81 USO, 87 FO, 87 W, 88 A, 88 W).

But Moose, the real issue I have here is that in this instance we do have a numbers game, without context. It's a "what if" game: what if Chris or Martina had been removed from each other's path; how many titles would they win? The "what if" game can produce bizzare results, because then it has Chris winning 28 Slams and Martina just 22. Including all Slam encounters, Chris goes up to 32, Martina to 26. If you did the same with Agassi and Sampras, Andre would soar up to 14 titles and Pete would have to settle for 17; and no one thinks that would be a good reflection of their relative greatness. Removing players from the field theoretically like this can make it seem that the player who lost the rivalry was actually the greater player (though it's clear you were not going there).

You do have a legitimate issue here, with the Chris-Martina rivalry. They did face each other a ton of times, so what do we do with that? What does it say?

I think that Chris and Martina got to meet each other so often to a large degree because the competition was too weak to prevent it. King and Court got old and retired; Goolagong withdrew from the game; and no younger players stepped in successfully until Graf, essentially. So the sheer number of times that Chris and Martina met -- like the sheer number of times that Court or Emerson won Slam titles -- can be an illusory number standing by itself.

I think the number of times that they met is an illustration of how great the rivalry was when compared with other rivalries, not how great each woman was when comparing with other women.

VikingSamurai
10-19-2007, 04:49 PM
Then answer a question for me. Why isn't Margaret Court universally considered to be the best ever by all the tennis experts? I haven't seen one expert in the last 20 years consider Court to be the GOAT. Most experts pick either Graf or Navratilova as the GOAT, I am just following their sage advice.

Name one of these experts...

VikingSamurai
10-19-2007, 04:59 PM
The relative weakness of the Australian Championships is a factor, no doubt. However, there has to be more to it than this. If you play the what-if game with history, then I think you can bring Court's total down to 18 and no lower. I say that because she won 5 U.S. Championships and 5 French Championships. So if the Australian had all the competition of the U.S., let's say, then Margaret Court wins about 5 Australians -- and I would not go any lower considering that it was her homecourt championship. In the what-if game, she would probably have won at least 5. And that brings her down to 18 -- not enough to tell us why Navratilova gets so much talk as GOAT while she doesn't.

I don't think the what-if game should be taken that seriously, but that's the result I would come up with.

I think some of the factors that Moose mentions above are more decisive -- the quality of depth in Navratilova's time being greater than in Court's time (apart from the rivalry with King, which Court won).

That is more than enough, in my opinion, to explain the disparity between the reputation of the two women.

Of course, that means that any player before Court, such as Lenglen and Moody, are also out of the running. So if those two ladies show up on some GOAT lists as #1 (I don't know how much they do), well then we've still got more explaining to do.

The Australian Open was only weak because your so called "good" players didn't turn up to play it.. You cant blame Court because these players didn't want to waste their time?. I have said over and over. You cant win something if you dont participate in it.. Fool them, not Court, because she has her name on more trophies then anyone else. Its the same experts and players that dont rate the Australian, because they never won it..

Its funny how alot of Australians hold the records for certain things? Who knows, maybe the Australian players didnt rate the US Open or The French Open?. But they still went there, participated, and won MANY of them between them..

As for others arguing about the AO being on grass. Well lets just say that with our weather, and soil, you can bet that it wasnt anything like an American or English grass court. So for people to say that most of the majors were played on grass, then although technically the same. They played completely different to each other..

As for Evert, I will agree she was a great player. And she can be given credit for her rivalry with Martina. But a rivalry alone doesnt make you the best.. As for Martina, a year long Grand Slam would have catapolted her into first, for the fact that most of her GS total is doubles titles and not singles titles, then that is why I put Court ahead. She not only has more titles, but they are more evenly distributed.. The 9 Wimbledons is a great achievment however..

Edit: I also dont care about who was in who's prime.. A career is a career. A players achievments isn't a Rubix Cube that you can adjust their statistics and accomplishments in order to boost your own argument.. If a player played past their prime, and their statistics suffer from that, then thats just a sad fact.. Same if it was cut short. The reality is, they did what they did, and you have to accept it as the history books have.. Enough of all that "this stat and percentage in this year, or this category" rubbish....

krosero
10-19-2007, 06:09 PM
The Australian Open was only weak because your so called "good" players didn't turn up to play it.. Why do you use this phrase, "your" players? Listen, I do not keep track of who the best players were by nationality. If the Australian was weak because good players didn't show up, I don't care where the players were from. I'm American, but I don't care to call them "our" players or to call Australians "yours." I just don't.

You cant blame Court because these players didn't want to waste their time?. I have said over and over. You cant win something if you dont participate in it.. Fool them, not Court, because she has her name on more trophies then anyone else. Its the same experts and players that dont rate the Australian, because they never won it..
No blame to her. But the quality of the field does count for something, and the line has to be drawn somewhere. What would you say about Emerson? Is he a greater player/champion than Borg, Lendl, Connors? Is he greater than Laver?

As for others arguing about the AO being on grass. Well lets just say that with our weather, and soil, you can bet that it wasnt anything like an American or English grass court. So for people to say that most of the majors were played on grass, then although technically the same. Sometimes you hear that the players before the harcourt era are less great because they played 3 Slams on grass (an argument I don't buy). No one has argued that in this thread, so I'm not sure who you're addressing. I asked about grass because it seems to me that Court might have won a large number of Australian Championships even against great international competition, if her game was particularly suited to the grass at Kooyong (if the women's tournament was held there).

In particular I'm thinking that if the ball was bouncing higher than at Wimbledon, then Court would have done well with that, given her strong ground strokes.

Or maybe that analysis is wrong -- I'm asking for knowledgeable opinions here.

They played completely different to each other..How?

CEvertFan
10-19-2007, 07:45 PM
Name one of these experts...


There are many more, but you asked for just one so I'll go with Ted Tinling. He personally saw/knew every great woman tennis player from Lenglen to Graf and while he was alive he was considered to be a very knowledgeable and respected historian regarding women's tennis, and he wasn't an American since that seems to have been a source of concern for you.

You avoided answering the question though. Why don't the tennis experts pick Court as the greatest ever?




As for Evert, I will agree she was a great player. And she can be given credit for her rivalry with Martina. But a rivalry alone doesnt make you the best.. As for Martina, a year long Grand Slam would have catapulted her into first, for the fact that most of her GS total is doubles titles and not singles titles, then that is why I put Court ahead. She not only has more titles, but they are more evenly distributed.. The 9 Wimbledons is a great achievment however..

Practically half of Court's Slam haul (11 of 24) comes from the AO. IMO that isn't all that evenly distributed.

VikingSamurai
10-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Practically half of Court's Slam haul (11 of 24) comes from the AO. IMO that isn't all that evenly distributed.

I was talking about distributed across Singles Doubles and Mixed.

As for your experts, fair enough, if you have read seen or talked to someone with knowledge of the man you just mentioned, then I am happy to take you at your word..

As for your last remark about the different grass surfaces playing different. Then all I will say is, just think about it..How would they not play differently?

CEvertFan
10-19-2007, 08:05 PM
I was talking about distributed across Singles Doubles and Mixed.

As for your experts, fair enough, if you have read seen or talked to someone with knowledge of the man you just mentioned, then I am happy to take you at your word..

As for your last remark about the different grass surfaces playing different. Then all I will say is, just think about it..How would they not play differently?


I never said that the different grass courts did or did not play differently. You have the wrong person.

A simple Google search will give you all the information you need on Ted Tinling.

krosero
10-19-2007, 08:09 PM
As for your last remark about the different grass surfaces playing different. Then all I will say is, just think about it..How would they not play differently?That was me. I was not disputing that they played differently; of course they did. What I'm looking for is specific descriptions.

VikingSamurai
10-19-2007, 08:10 PM
And I still wont buy the 11 AO's as an argument against Court.. She did the right thing and turned up!

Laver, Emerson. Lavers achievments are the greatest. The fact that he wasnt able to compete as much as he should may have swayed his tally against Emerson. The fact is that it didnt and so Emerson did become the highest GS singles winner. The fact that Laver got two yea long Grand Slams as both an amature and then a pro would have to no doubt put him at the top above Emo yes..

People forget Court also got a year long Grand Slam, something Martina didnt.. So to not only have more titles, and then the Grand Slam, then you simply cant put Martina ahead just because more people were able to see her, and she is a popular figure..

grafrules
10-20-2007, 12:01 AM
Thankfully they don't play a numbers game, precisely because numbers taken out of context would have results like Emerson being greater than Borg. I generally agree with what Chris has said in this thread, but I think that he would draw the line there.

I think the context you were bringing in for Court and Navratilova is a better argument than the sheer number of Slam titles won.

If you add their semifinals, each woman gets 4 more wins. So it would not change things. Moreover, the argument was about how many titles Chris and Martina prevented each other from winning. With semifinals, you've still got someone else to defeat in the final. Of their 8 semis, I can see no clear instance where the losing semifinalist -- if her victor were removed from her path -- would probably have gone on to win the final. To the contrary, I see clear instances where Chris or Martina, as losing semifinalist, would have probably lost the final anyway. (And that's the normal situation in tennis: if you weren't good enough to get through the semis, you probably would not have been good enough to win the final).

(Those 8 semis are: 75 USO, 76 W, 80 W, 81 USO, 87 FO, 87 W, 88 A, 88 W).

That is one thing I agree with. When you analyze all the time Evert and Navratilova lost to one another in the final, 9 for Evert to Navratilova, 4 for Navratilova to Evert, the losing finalist was the likely winner of the title each time, with only 1 or 2 iffy calls. However the opposite is true for the times they lost to each other in the semis, the losing semifinalist was NOT the likely winner of the title each time, again with only 1 or 2 iffy calls. So if we are going to assume "without the other" the most likely count is exactly what their count would be just looking at the times one lost to the other in the finals, 27 for Evert and 22 for Navratilova.

To break it down further, looking at the semifinal losses:

75 U.S Open- Navratilova losing to Evert. Goolagong would have been clear favorite over Navratilova in final at this point in time anyway.

76 Wimbledon- Navratilova losing to Evert. Once again Goolagong would have been the clear favorite over Navratilova around now.

80 Wimbledon- Navratilova losing to Evert. Martina got very out of shape towards the middle of the year, and mid 1980-mid 1981 was definitely her "slump". It is likely someone else beats her regardless, either eventual winner Goolagong, Austin, or up and coming Mandlikova (who beat her at the U.S Open later that year). For the next year starting around now, until she got back in shape, she would lose most of her meetings to the very top players.

88 Australian- Navratilova losing to Evert. Very little chance she would have beaten Graf in the final anyway at this point

81 U.S Open- Evert losing to Navratilova. This is 1 of those iffy calls I mentioned. Maybe Evert would have beaten Austin in the final, however Austin did have a one-sided winning head to head with Evert from 79-81.

87 French- Evert losing to Navratilova. Would be very unlikely to beat Graf in the final at this point in her career anyway since Graf won all their matches from May 86 onwards.

87 Wimbledon- Evert losing to Navratilova. Read above.

88 Wimbledon- Evert losing to Navratilova. Read above.

So there is hardly a single slam semi one lost to the other that there is a strong argument for the losing semifinalist winning otherwise, the 81 U.S Open is the only one with a decent one. It would make no sense to assume slams for either when they were the losing semifinalist, as you can see from my breakdown there is a reason they were playing in the semis at that point in time anyway.

However I also believe each time one lost to the other in the final was one the other was likely to win otherwise. I wont bother going through that since I dont think anyone will dispute that.

BTURNER
10-23-2007, 07:44 PM
First, Evertfan, I apologize the the boor above. Your posts are almost always insightful and well regarded. ( you're just wrong about Graf! LOL)
second. It must be remembered that the last pure baseliner before Evert to dominate was about thirty years before ( connolly) .3/4 of the slams were on grass and frankly, the ladies no longer viewed ground strokes as a real weapon. They worked on their volley, footwork, serve and passing strokes but not their forehand and backhand basic topspin groundies. They were at rather a loss when challenged to come up with five or ten solid deep strokes off either wing on a routine basis. Only Margaret Court could challenge her from back there once Evert got physically strong enough. King, Casals, Wade et al were not remotely prepared for a baseline great to arrive.

FedSampras
10-23-2007, 07:51 PM
"An over confident Margaret Court said playing Bobby Riggs would be 'like taking a stroll in the park' before the fifty-five year old hustler slaughtered her 6-2 6-1 in the 1973 "Mother's Day Massacre".

I guess she got mugged... :)

obanaghan
10-25-2007, 09:56 PM
The 1970 match clearly lends credence to Evert's pluck and greatness. Still 15, only 5' 2" and under 100 lbs she stuns the undisputed world champion of 1970; 7-6, 7-6.

The 1973 French Open match is a feather in the old gal's cap though. Beating the eventual FO champ with 7 titles while she was serving for the match. That was vintage Court I am sure.

Court does get screwed because she was busy playing tennis, having babies, manintaining her marriage and eventually being a critic of modern relativism.

The "experts" ignore her even though she bested BJK many many times including the 1970 Wimbledon final. BJK was a great player but her overall numbers fall well below what Court accomplished.Likewise with MN and CE. 24 titles is 24 titles. A true Grand Slam is greatness.

People overrate BJK because she beat Riggs and she was in your face in support of tennis. Graf and Court let their tennis do the talking not the newspaper interviews.

CEvertFan
10-25-2007, 10:19 PM
The 1970 match clearly lends credence to Evert's pluck and greatness. Still 15, only 5' 2" and under 100 lbs she stuns the undisputed world champion of 1970; 7-6, 7-6.

The 1973 French Open match is a feather in the old gal's cap though. Beating the eventual FO champ with 7 titles while she was serving for the match. That was vintage Court I am sure.

Court does get screwed because she was busy playing tennis, having babies, manintaining her marriage and eventually being a critic of modern relativism.

The "experts" ignore her even though she bested BJK many many times including the 1970 Wimbledon final. BJK was a great player but her overall numbers fall well below what Court accomplished.Likewise with MN and CE. 24 titles is 24 titles. A true Grand Slam is greatness.

People overrate BJK because she beat Riggs and she was in your face in support of tennis. Graf and Court let their tennis do the talking not the newspaper interviews.

No expert to my knowledge has said that BJK was greater than Court. It's always been Court who has come out as being better than King.

Court's 24 Slam titles are inflated though, just as Graf's 22 are. If numbers were numbers, then Court would universally be picked as the best ever by the experts, and the fact is she isn't. Most experts seesaw between Graf or Navratilova when it comes to picking the best ever.

There is nothing wrong with liking a player and wishing/hoping/wanting him/her to be considered the best ever, but one also needs to know what the consensus is among the experts. I'm a HUGE Evert fan but even I don't think she is the best ever, however much I wish it were otherwise. I'm content to know that Evert is considered one of the top 3 best ever.

Steve132
10-26-2007, 12:08 PM
No expert to my knowledge has said that BJK was greater than Court. It's always been Court who has come out as being better than King.

Court's 24 Slam titles are inflated though, just as Graf's 22 are. If numbers were numbers, then Court would universally be picked as the best ever by the experts, and the fact is she isn't. Most experts seesaw between Graf or Navratilova when it comes to picking the best ever.

There is nothing wrong with liking a player and wishing/hoping/wanting him/her to be considered the best ever, but one also needs to know what the consensus is among the experts. I'm a HUGE Evert fan but even I don't think she is the best ever, however much I wish it were otherwise. I'm content to know that Evert is considered one of the top 3 best ever.

I'm not sure if you would consider Bud Collins an expert, but he has stated that he rates BJK second only to Navratilova. I don't share his view - Court, her contemporary, was clearly a better player, as were Evert and Graf - but that is his position.

anointedone
10-26-2007, 12:13 PM
I'm not sure if you would consider Bud Collins an expert, but he has stated that he rates BJK second only to Navratilova. I don't share his view - Court, her contemporary, was clearly a better player, as were Evert and Graf - but that is his position.

Someone with only 12 slam titles #2 all time. :rolleyes: Even if the argument to the Australian and French were applied back then, for the French it is pretty moot for King since she was never going to win the French often anyway, 1 French Open is good for her. The Australian there is a point, but you could say the same thing for Evert or Navratilova. For her to be that high she would have to have done even better at Wimbledon or the U.S Open, had the record at Wimbledon like Martina does, or the Open era U.S Open record like Chris Evert does. No doubt Billie Jean King is a great great player, an all time great, and a great ambassador for the game to this day as well. However she is not the #2 tennis player of all time, not even close.

CEvertFan
10-26-2007, 01:08 PM
I'm not sure if you would consider Bud Collins an expert, but he has stated that he rates BJK second only to Navratilova. I don't share his view - Court, her contemporary, was clearly a better player, as were Evert and Graf - but that is his position.

Collins is known for being arbitrary and he is wrong more often than he is right, and no I wouldn't consider him a reputable expert. I personally think he's a bit insane.

obanaghan
10-26-2007, 01:16 PM
When Martina had surpassed Chrissie in the early to mid 80s the talk was that Court was the one with the most Slams and it "implied" she was the best ever.

I forget what her overall numbers were but she not only won singles but doubles and mixed doubles too. That alone puts her above the field, Graf included. Equipment changes, styles change but any woman who can win a total of 24 Slams, a GS in 1970, have a baby and then COME BACK at age 30/31 and win 3/4 Slams in 1973 is most likely the best ever. I can only imagine what a bit more cash might have done for her drive and motivation.

I liked Chrissie the best just because when everyone wrote her off she fought back and started beating Martina again. She had some issues with MN like losing 10/14 GS finals and all 5 W finals to MN but still she hung in there and got to the 1988 AO final defeating MN on the way in straight sets no less.

However the GOAT should be for a career and not just for the peak season. MN had many losing efforts at the Slams that CE did not.

I think MN was as good in 1988 as she was in 1982-7 the difference was Graf. Was it Graf's fault that MN only managed to get to one GS final that year?

anointedone
10-26-2007, 01:37 PM
I dont think Navratilova was as strong in 1988 as she was in 1982-1987. Yeah Graf was so strong that year it might not have mattered, but Martina was still not as strong. Losing to Garrison for the first time ever, losing 3 times to Zvereva, no that was not the same Martina. Even in 1987 she seemed to focus and only play her best at the slams, while coast through some of the smaller events.

BTURNER
10-27-2007, 05:41 AM
King and Court only played each other 7 times? Is that correct? The WTA website has the head to head listed as 5-2 in favor of Court.
The WTA does not include events sponsored before its own existence. Most of the Court - King matches happened as amateurs in the 60's

grafrules
10-27-2007, 09:09 PM
Collins is known for being arbitrary and he is wrong more often than he is right, and no I wouldn't consider him a reputable expert. I personally think he's a bit insane.

I agree. He has an amazing passion for the game and deserves credit for contributing to so much to the game. However he allows his own biases to cloud his judgements enormously, bandwagon jumps alot (eg-picking Federer to win the French just because of sentiment, then picking Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon just because of the French Open final result), contradicts himself often, and is very often wrong on things he projects.

davidjaan1982
10-31-2007, 08:26 AM
Looking at the head to head for the years 1970 and 1974 between King and Evert, it appears as if Evert licked King in quite a few matches. In comparison, Court actually seems to have been fairly evenly matched against Evert during that same period, even on clay. In contrast, Evert simply overwhelmed and humiliated King on clay. I know that Evert dismantled Court in a few specific sets, including the first set of the 1973 Wimbledon semi-final on grass referred to in another email in this thread, but overall they were well matched.

I am surprised since Evert always seemed to suggest that King was a tougher opponent for her than Court and that she had Court's number. Based on their head to head records, I can't figure out why! Any thoughts?

CEvertFan
10-31-2007, 12:04 PM
Looking at the head to head for the years 1970 and 1974 between King and Evert, it appears as if Evert licked King in quite a few matches. In comparison, Court actually seems to have been fairly evenly matched against Evert during that same period, even on clay. In contrast, Evert simply overwhelmed and humiliated King on clay. I know that Evert dismantled Court in a few specific sets, including the first set of the 1973 Wimbledon semi-final on grass referred to in another email in this thread, but overall they were well matched.

I am surprised since Evert always seemed to suggest that King was a tougher opponent for her than Court and that she had Court's number. Based on their head to head records, I can't figure out why! Any thoughts?


I think Billie Jean was a tougher opponent than Court for Chris to handle - on grass. BJK's confidence soared when she was on a grass court (her best surface by far) and most especially at Wimbledon, and she gave Evert a few beatings on grass in the early 70s but then Evert started mostly beating King much more easily as Billie Jean slipped past her prime and Chris fully matured as a player and entered the beginning of her prime. King was still able to challenge, if not beat, Evert on grass even into her late 30s though.

Court had better groundstrokes than King and that helped her to more consistently challenge Evert in the early 70s especially on clay where King's inferior groundstrokes got her punished by Evert as early as 1972. The Court/Evert head to head while Margaret was still legitimately in her prime was tied at 4-4. Evert won the last 5 encounters (4 of them in straight sets) from 1975 onward as Margaret slipped past her prime making the final tally 9-4 in favor of Evert.

We must also remember that Evert herself didn't really fully reach her prime as a player until 1974 but she still gave both King and Court all they could handle while still a precocious teenager.

Steve132
10-31-2007, 12:04 PM
Looking at the head to head for the years 1970 and 1974 between King and Evert, it appears as if Evert licked King in quite a few matches. In comparison, Court actually seems to have been fairly evenly matched against Evert during that same period, even on clay. In contrast, Evert simply overwhelmed and humiliated King on clay. I know that Evert dismantled Court in a few specific sets, including the first set of the 1973 Wimbledon semi-final on grass referred to in another email in this thread, but overall they were well matched.

I am surprised since Evert always seemed to suggest that King was a tougher opponent for her than Court and that she had Court's number. Based on their head to head records, I can't figure out why! Any thoughts?

King was mentally tougher than Court, and I think that heavily influenced Evert's assessment of the two players. King was probably the only player who could intimidate Evert.

CEvertFan
10-31-2007, 10:16 PM
King was mentally tougher than Court, and I think that heavily influenced Evert's assessment of the two players. King was probably the only player who could intimidate Evert.


Maybe King intimidated Chris at first when she was only a teenager, but once Evert became #1 in the world and won her first Grand Slam title I don't think that anyone on the tour intimidated her any longer. With her cool, calculating demeanor she was the one who was doing the intimidating.


I do agree with the assessment that King was more mentally tough than Court, but that's not to say that Margaret was mentally weak because she wasn't by any means. What Court did have was the better, more complete all around game, as her winning head to head over King shows.

grafrules
10-31-2007, 10:32 PM
The interesting thing is I find Evert in 72-73 was similar to Graf in 86-87 in that they were able to beat the best person/people in other tournaments, but had trouble doing it to win slams those 2 years, before finally getting it in the slams more often the 3rd year. Evert in 72 and 73 was often beating King and Court, but she wasnt able to win that final match over 1 of them to win a slam either year. Graf in 86 got her first wins over Evert and Navratilova on clay each, both straight set wins, but wasnt able to do it at the French where many picked her to win, losing a big lead and a quarterfinal to Mandlikova, then losing match points vs Navratilova in the U.S Open semis. The the next year she clobbered Navratilova in their non-slam meeting on hard courts, but when it came to the slams she only barely beat Navratilova at the French, and lost convincingly in the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals. Interestingly Venus Williams went through a bit of the same thing in 1999, she had her breakthrough season in some ways, winning 6 titles, having multiple wins over Hingis and Davenport and Graf outside the slams, but when it came to the slams she fell once to each of those and failed to make even a final (her younger sister with somewhat less pressure on her won the U.S Open that year too).

So I think there is a pattern. Often a young player may acquire the physical and technical skills needed to win the big events, but sometimes are at a disadvantage in experience to the older champion, and need to experience those situations a few times before they start coming through.

The exceptions, people who seem to come through right away when they first became real contenders often seem to be when the competition was noticeably weakish (eg-Hingis in 97), or a player who doesnt have the same pressure on them since they arent seen as that strong a contender yet (eg-Serena at the 99 U.S Open).

grafrules
10-31-2007, 10:37 PM
I think Billie Jean was a tougher opponent than Court for Chris to handle - on grass. BJK's confidence soared when she was on a grass court (her best surface by far) and most especially at Wimbledon, and she gave Evert a few beatings on grass in the early 70s but then Evert started mostly beating King much more easily as Billie Jean slipped past her prime and Chris fully matured as a player and entered the beginning of her prime. King was still able to challenge, if not beat, Evert on grass even into her late 30s though.

Court had better groundstrokes than King and that helped her to more consistently challenge Evert in the early 70s especially on clay where King's inferior groundstrokes got her punished by Evert as early as 1972. The Court/Evert head to head while Margaret was still legitimately in her prime was tied at 4-4. Evert won the last 5 encounters (4 of them in straight sets) from 1975 onward as Margaret slipped past her prime making the final tally 9-4 in favor of Evert.

We must also remember that Evert herself didn't really fully reach her prime as a player until 1974 but she still gave both King and Court all they could handle while still a precocious teenager.

King was more confident then Court at Wimbledon it seemed. Remember King ended up winning twice the titles at Wimbledon as Court (6 to 3) and given that Court herself is regarded a grass court player, this is somewhat shocking. Court was a great player on grass, but she didnt seem to embrace the environment at Wimbledon the way King did. The old tapes I saw of her, and what I have read about her, she often seemed on edge and nervous in many of her losses, and something abot her demeanor wasnt like it was at the U.S Open even. King also seemed more confident and assertive at Wimbledon then Court did, even their incredible 1970 final where both were injured it looked that way, despite Court actually winning that match.

grafrules
10-31-2007, 10:40 PM
I do agree with the assessment that King was more mentally tough than Court, but that's not to say that Margaret was mentally weak because she wasn't by any means. What Court did have was the better, more complete all around game, as her winning head to head over King shows.

I agree with this accessment. Court was the better all around player from a physical and technical standpoint. King was the stronger competitor though (and maybe even the more schrewd tactican as well). Of course Court was still very strong mentally, she couldnt have won 24 slams if she wasnt, but she falls short of players like Evert, King, Graf, Seles, even Navratilova (who became stronger in this area a she got older) in this department IMHO.

davidjaan1982
11-01-2007, 09:37 AM
Thanks for the various responses. While reading Margaret Court's autobiography "Court on Court" published in 1975, I came across her comments on Evert which I have included below. Considering that in this book Court is quite dismissive of both Goolagong and King and highlights her domination of these two women, her praise for Evert is quite remarkable.

"Chris is a magnificent competitor, mature beyond her years. I know I have to play well against her. She is steady as a machine and if you are in the least bit off in your game, you've had it. You cannot be foolish nor charge the net recklessly. You have to play a thinking game. With her remarkable accuracy, control of ground shots, and ability to pass you when you charge the net, you have to be sure to go in on the right shots. If you rush the nat against Chris on a weak shot, she will pass or lob you with pinpoint accuracy. She is one of the coolest players who ever stepped on the court. She rarely shows emotion. Winning or losing her hair is always in place, and sweat never ruins her makeup."

Court seems to be expressing the difficulties she faced against Evert particularly on grass with her natural net game. King with her mental toughness and adaptability probably adjusted better against Evert on grass, whereas Margaret's game probably cracked a little against Evert's cool demeanour and the pressure she applied on Margaret's serve and net game using her passing shots and lobs.

So, as some people have suggested, maybe King's ability to challenge Evert on grass without being intimidated probably is the reason for Evert's preference for King over Court

CEvertFan
11-01-2007, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the various responses. While reading Margaret Court's autobiography "Court on Court" published in 1975, I came across her comments on Evert which I have included below. Considering that in this book Court is quite dismissive of both Goolagong and King and highlights her domination of these two women, her praise for Evert is quite remarkable.

"Chris is a magnificent competitor, mature beyond her years. I know I have to play well against her. She is steady as a machine and if you are in the least bit off in your game, you've had it. You cannot be foolish nor charge the net recklessly. You have to play a thinking game. With her remarkable accuracy, control of ground shots, and ability to pass you when you charge the net, you have to be sure to go in on the right shots. If you rush the nat against Chris on a weak shot, she will pass or lob you with pinpoint accuracy. She is one of the coolest players who ever stepped on the court. She rarely shows emotion. Winning or losing her hair is always in place, and sweat never ruins her makeup."

Court seems to be expressing the difficulties she faced against Evert particularly on grass with her natural net game. King with her mental toughness and adaptability probably adjusted better against Evert on grass, whereas Margaret's game probably cracked a little against Evert's cool demeanour and the pressure she applied on Margaret's serve and net game using her passing shots and lobs.

So, as some people have suggested, maybe King's ability to challenge Evert on grass without being intimidated probably is the reason for Evert's preference for King over Court

All the women who played a serve/volley game faced the same dilemma against Evert. If they weren't playing their best tennis and if they didn't think about strategy more then they got beat because Evert was always thinking strategy, was so mentally tough and so accurate off the ground. Her passing shots and her use of the offensive lob gave the other women fits. In Martina's autobiography she said that she would be so tired by the end of their matches from constantly having to run to retrieve Chris' lobs that she would run out of gas and lose (Martina was also out of shape and overweight for most of her early career), which is why Evert's record over Navratilova in the 70s and even somewhat into the early 80s (before 1983) was very lopsided in Evert's favor.

anointedone
11-01-2007, 06:28 PM
All the women who played a serve/volley game faced the same dilemma against Evert. If they weren't playing their best tennis and if they didn't think about strategy more then they got beat because Evert was always thinking strategy, was so mentally tough and so accurate off the ground. Her passing shots and her use of the offensive lob gave the other women fits. In Martina's autobiography she said that she would be so tired by the end of their matches from constantly having to run to retrieve Chris' lobs that she would run out of gas and lose (Martina was also out of shape and overweight for most of her early career), which is why Evert's record over Navratilova in the 70s and even somewhat into the early 80s (before 1983) was very lopsided in Evert's favor.

I guess that is why she had to become some a fitness machine to turn her rivalry with Evert around in her favor. The physical efforts required to play serve-volley against Evert that you just spoke of.

davidjaan1982
11-04-2007, 08:58 AM
Talking of Evert keeping her opponents on the run...

Watched 2 1973 WITC matches - Evert vs King in the semis and Evert vs Court in the finals. Both King and Court were run ragged by Evert. King actually looked drained and could barely move in the second set which Evert won 6-1 to enter the finals against Court.

In the finals, however, Margaret was quite brilliant on the slow surface against Evert and won a three setter. After a close first set that she won, Margaret actually said in the interview that she hoped it would end in 2 as she did not think she could go the distance. And she sounded tired! In the second set, Evert was all over Margaret and similar to the Wimbledon first set, destroyed her with passing shots and lobs. In fact, Pancho Gonzalez the TV commentator actually made a remark to the effect that "Margaret's dress appears to be a little loose as she has had a few pounds run off her"!! Margaret came right back in the 3rd set though, and seemed to have shrugged off any effects of the physical strain, to win easily.

Margaret, like Martina, was really fit - which is why she could live with Evert on the slower surfaces which is quite a commendable feat as so few women have been able to do this. On grass, I agree with CEvertFan's observations... thinking back to what I saw on tape of the Wimbledon and US Open matches between these two women, Margaret did well anytime she curbed her natural instinct to rush the net and made her approaches more selectively.