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View Full Version : 1982 Australian Open final- Navratilova vs Evert


grafrules
01-26-2008, 12:11 PM
I am not the one who put these clips up but I found them today on youtube. I think some of you might enjoy them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt60rTXLgMc part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3ApVxMbpsM part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfu_EIB2E9Y part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_z9bjXqytE part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg5GM2xNtcQ part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOQot-L2IsM part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my3pneaRKhc part 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcfmSkTPv8g part 8

Great final between Evert and Navratilova in the 1982 Australian Open which Evert won in 3 sets. You can tell how much slower the Australian Open grass is then Wimbledon by how much Martina stayed back.

boredone3456
01-26-2008, 02:58 PM
those were great to watch, thanks for posting them

grafrules
01-28-2008, 02:08 PM
those were great to watch, thanks for posting them

I am glad I found it as well. It was a very high quality and entertaining match.

AndrewD
01-28-2008, 02:46 PM
You can tell how much slower the Australian Open grass is then Wimbledon by how much Martina stayed back.

LOL, you couldn't be any more wrong if you tried.

The grass courts at the Australian Open were always quite a lot faster than at Wimbledon due to the considerably greater heat of the Australian summer. The reason being that, as grass courts become worn and dry the balls bounce higher and, due to the shorter grass, the balls move off the court at greater speed. At Wimbledon, the balls stay lower because the grass is plusher due to the milder climate.

Why Navratilova stayed back more often was due to the slightly higher bounce (gave Evert a better crack at the passing shot), respect for Evert's ability to pass her and poor tactics (she did lose).

grafrules
01-28-2008, 07:06 PM
LOL, you couldn't be any more wrong if you tried.

The grass courts at the Australian Open were always quite a lot faster than at Wimbledon due to the considerably greater heat of the Australian summer. The reason being that, as grass courts become worn and dry the balls bounce higher and, due to the shorter grass, the balls move off the court at greater speed. At Wimbledon, the balls stay lower because the grass is plusher due to the milder climate.

Why Navratilova stayed back more often was due to the slightly higher bounce (gave Evert a better crack at the passing shot), respect for Evert's ability to pass her and poor tactics (she did lose).

I am not going to argue with you as you would be much more qualified then me to give judgement on this then I am, especialy being from Australia. However if the Australian Open grass was faster then Wimbledon grass it sure as heck did not come across on that video compared to tapes I have seen of Wimbledon in the 80s.

AndrewD
01-28-2008, 08:30 PM
if the Australian Open grass was faster then Wimbledon grass it sure as heck did not come across on that video compared to tapes I have seen of Wimbledon in the 80s.

It comes across as slower but that's purely due to the camera work/positioning of the camera and the technology, not the courts or the players. At Wimbledon the cameras are closer to the action and its a very intimate atmosphere, whereas at Kooyong they continually pan back so you see the action but lose the 'up close and personal' feel.

The other element that is forcing Navratilova to be more hang back on the baseline, at times, is the wind. That you can hear it so clearly is an indication of its strength. A strong wind like that makes it harder to volley, hit overheads and be aggressive on approach shots so you're forced to play more cautiously.

grafrules
01-28-2008, 09:14 PM
It comes across as slower but that's purely due to the camera work/positioning of the camera and the technology, not the courts or the players. At Wimbledon the cameras are closer to the action and its a very intimate atmosphere, whereas at Kooyong they continually pan back so you see the action but lose the 'up close and personal' feel.

The other element that is forcing Navratilova to be more hang back on the baseline, at times, is the wind. That you can hear it so clearly is an indication of its strength. A strong wind like that makes it harder to volley, hit overheads and be aggressive on approach shots so you're forced to play more cautiously.

OK thanks for all the information. Personally I prefer to see the speed of the courts that are faster, it is part of the excitement of watching it, so I wish they would have it closer to the action in that case. I guess I was wrong in my initial assumption Australian Open grass is slower. One interesting thing is most NA tennis writers seem to say that the Aussie grass was slower then Wimbledon as well, since you have made it clear that was not the case is there some bias at work on their part to be saying that you think?

The windy conditions you mention also explains alot. I hadnt thought of that initialy but additional reasons helps make sense for why Martina was choosing to make the unwise decision to stay back so much with Chris.

CEvertFan
01-29-2008, 11:46 AM
So far I have only watched the 1st set and a half of the match and it's a definite treat as I've never had the opportunity to see it before. The wind probably was a factor in why Martina stayed back more but the main reasons she didn't come to net more so far in the match were:

1) Martina wasn't serving very well in the 1st set and therefore wasn't able to follow a lot of good 1st serves to the net like she normally would have.

2) Evert was probably the best wind player ever and was hitting the ball quite hard for the time and her depth of shot was incredible which was forcing Martina to hit short and then Chris would take the opportunity and come to the net herself instead of allowing Martina to do so. Evert had a very underrated net game and she shows off some fine volleying skills here. I especially love Chris' slice forehand approach down the line with sidespin, falling away to Martina's forehand side and her hard, deep backhand approach down the line to Martina's backhand side and the high two handed backhand at the net, sort of a cross between an overhead and a swing volley. I also noticed that Navratilova was trying a lot of dropshots to draw Evert in to the net and a few worked, but for the most part they were backfiring on her in the 1st set as Chris wound up winning most of those points.


This match was the 48th career meeting between the two great champions and at the time the rivalry stood at 29-18 in Evert's favor.

Moose Malloy
01-29-2008, 12:09 PM
The reason being that, as grass courts become worn and dry the balls bounce higher and, due to the shorter grass, the balls move off the court at greater speed. At Wimbledon, the balls stay lower because the grass is plusher due to the milder climate.


Many here equate 'higher bounce' as to mean slower court. Maybe the surface in Australia was technically faster, but other factors(which you mentioned) caused it to play 'slower' than Wimbledon. Regardless, grafrules was just trying to make clear to so many that assume all grasscourts were the same that they aren't(since so much nonsense is posted about Laver here, and Sampras/Federer as well-with the 3 majors on grass argument)

I've been doing match stats for many older matches & am noticing a big difference in the amount of returns put in play on Australian grass vs Wimbledon grass. The higher bounce in Australia is clearly a factor why some players did better in Australia than Wimbledon(Wilander) & why some did worse(Becker). And why Navratilova was less dominant in Australia than Wimbledon.

And the slope of the court (for drainage) was a factor as well. Mac & Lendl commented on how that made a difference in Australia.

The wind probably was a factor in why Martina stayed back more but the main reasons she didn't come to net more so far in the match were

I've been reading Martina's book lately(as well as the Rivals) & its clear that her various coaches had different opinions on how she should play. Renee Richards(her coach in '82) wasn't as fond of her attacking at all times, on all surfaces, as her coach from '84 on(Mike Estep)

CEvertFan
01-29-2008, 12:30 PM
This was also Evert's first AO title and as a result it put her in the elite club of those women who have won all four majors at least once. Martina didn't join that club until she won the French and the US Open in '83.

AndrewD
01-30-2008, 10:51 AM
Many here equate 'higher bounce' as to mean slower court.

Why would anyone be so stupid as to automatically equate a higher bounce with a slower court? We're not talking about balls bouncing up around your shoulders or even at a comfortable waist level, just ones that don't skid through at ankle height. Hell, the US Open had the lowest bounce (due to the type of grass used, its length and the poor condition of the courts) but it was the slowest of the 3 grass-court majors.

Maybe the surface in Australia was technically faster, but other factors(which you mentioned) caused it to play 'slower' than Wimbledon.

I'm giving you a definite statement, not a maybe. Oh, and 'technically faster but slower' is nonsensical.

Regardless, grafrules was just trying to make clear to so many that assume all grasscourts were the same that they aren't(since so much nonsense is posted about Laver here, and Sampras/Federer as well-with the 3 majors on grass argument)

He made a statement which is wholly incorrect, based on nothing more than a guess after watching a few video clips. All he was making clear is that, unless you've played on grass courts in Australia and England, you're in no position to say anything about their relative speed.


I've been doing match stats for many older matches & am noticing a big difference in the amount of returns put in play on Australian grass vs Wimbledon grass. The higher bounce in Australia is clearly a factor why some players did better in Australia than Wimbledon(Wilander) & why some did worse(Becker). And why Navratilova was less dominant in Australia than Wimbledon.

You've got no idea how much higher the bounce is on Australian grass, do you? Without knowing that, how in the world can you make any statement as to its being a factor or not?

And the slope of the court (for drainage) was a factor as well. Mac & Lendl commented on how that made a difference in Australia.

McEnroe and Lendl, two players who were never short of an excuse when they lost and who never won the Aus Open while it was on grass, make a comment about the slope of the court at Kooyong being detrimental and you think that's enough? Sure, the incline does exist but no-one else considered it a factor in their winning or losing, just those two.

krosero
01-30-2008, 12:23 PM
Why would anyone be so stupid as to automatically equate a higher bounce with a slower court? Andrew, when you talk about the "speed" of the court it seems you mean the speed at which the ball moves off the court. to quote you, "the balls move off the court at greater speed" (in australia). It looks like you're just talking about the bounce, the moment of impact, and not at all about how high the ball bounces, how quickly or slowly it moves forward to the player, etc.

Why would anyone equate speed with bounce? I don't know exactly, but it's common usage. I think it may be because we've heard commentators talk all the time about Roland Garros (compared to Wimbledon) having a higher bounce and being a slower court. Okay, the two things are not the same. But this would be a good time to clarify or explain. It's not obvious.

When thinking about how fast or slow a court is, a lot of people (including myself) think about how quickly or slowly the balls moves horizontally toward the player: how quickly or slowly it arrives at your racquet. If it bounces high, moving vertically, then it has less horizontal movement toward the player.

Now I've never played on grass, so I'm interested in any good explanation. I've played on clay, but I don't know the technical reason that it makes the ball bounce high.

From what you explain, with shorter grass in Australia, I think that means that there's less to slow the ball down as it bounces. Put some very long grass there, the ball will be slowed down; it will bounce lower (that's how it looks to me in clips of Forest Hills grass). But when you have shorter grass (or patches where the grass is worn away entirely), and furthermore the ground is packed hard by heat, then the ball will have nothing obstructing it and will bounce higher due to the harder ground.

I don't know whether the player will actually experience that as arriving slower or faster on their racquet; I do expect that a higher ball will be more favorable to a baseliner like Evert.

A lot of us have grown listening to commentators or writers explaining that Roland Garros (compared to Wimbledon) has a higher bounce and is a slower court. We assume that's correct: that a greater vertical movement on the ball means less horizontal movement toward the player: a "slower" court.

But technically, if the ball is bouncing higher, it means that it actually took off from the court faster than it would on a grassy, wet, muddy court. But why then is Roland Garros regarded as a "slower" court than Wimbledon or Kooyong?

Just asking. I've love to get some technical answers as to why the ball behaves as it does on different surfaces.