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View Full Version : Who rates higher all time- Evert or Court


thalivest
04-11-2009, 03:29 PM
Who do you believe rates higher all time. Chris Evert or Margeret Court. Since it seems most concede the top 2 positions to Graf and Navratilova this might be an interesting poll as I think these two are 3 and 4 on most peoples lists as well.

BTURNER
04-11-2009, 03:46 PM
I going to wait on this one and see who makes a convincing case.

pc1
04-11-2009, 03:53 PM
This may be the toughest choice of all the ones you given thalivest. I guess I have to go with Court. She won over 190 tournaments, won a Grand Slam, won a more majors and actually may have had a higher lifetime winning percentage than Chris at 92%.

In Chris' favor, she won a major 13 years in a row. During her peak years she chose not to enter a number of majors for various reasons. I'm fairly certain she could have picked up a few more French Opens and Australians which may have put her in the twenties in majors. Also Court won a lot of Australians when the field was somewhat weak.

Tough pick.

anointedone
04-11-2009, 03:59 PM
I would go with Court. She had 5 years winning 3 majors or more. Yeah Evert didnt win 3 mostly since she didnt play the French from 76-78 and the Australian from 75-80. However 1977 is the only year she won all 2 or 3 major events she entered, and as I doubt her beating Goolagong on grass twice in a slam final in the same year, when Goolagong owned her for the most part on grass back then, I very much doubt her winning the calender slam even that year.

Winning 3 slam events in the same year in 1962 and then again in 1973 at ages 19 and 31 is incredible. Her longevity atleast matches Evert's, and her dominance clearly surpasses. As for competition both faced very good competition and better than any of Navratilova, Graf, Seles, and certainly Serena. Evert faced more depth but Court faced a prime Bueno and prime King, harder than anything Evert faced during her reign.

BTURNER
04-11-2009, 04:08 PM
"actually may have had a higher lifetime winning percentage than Chris at 92%." where are getting that 92% figure and what does it include. I had a lower stat on Court for lifetime win/loss, either 85 or 87% ? I have read from more than one source Evert's 90% was the highest, and Graf was second at 89%. My guess is it has to do with that 'modern era' definition. margaret's include pre open numbers?

julesb
04-11-2009, 04:19 PM
Both are great players but I would pick Evert since Court is homophobic. Her anti-lesbian comments when Martina were coming up were disgusting and cruel.

Lionheart392
04-11-2009, 04:34 PM
Both are great players but I would pick Evert since Court is homophobic. Her anti-lesbian comments when Martina were coming up were disgusting and cruel.

Ah now here's something I agree with you on. Although to be honest even though Court is a homophobic meanie (read: *****), I suppose it shouldn't make a difference to what she achieved. Still, I pick Evert because I think Court's inflated number of AO titles is the main reason for her overhyped total number of slams, whereas Evert as someone else said probably would've won more if she didn't skip a few. Granted I don't know much about Court's era though so I can't argue with those who make the case for Court.

egn
04-11-2009, 04:39 PM
Slight edge to Evert, although some of Evert's competition was weak Court's Australian Open titles heh a lot of those were well extremely weak fields.

pc1
04-11-2009, 04:42 PM
"actually may have had a higher lifetime winning percentage than Chris at 92%." where are getting that 92% figure and what does it include. I had a lower stat on Court for lifetime win/loss, either 85 or 87% ? I have read from more than one source Evert's 90% was the highest, and Graf was second at 89%. My guess is it has to do with that 'modern era' definition. margaret's include pre open numbers?

I read it in a Tennisweek article online but the information is not official like Evert's since Court played a lot of years before 1968, the beginning of the Open Era.

It's an article called the Greatest Ever. Here's a copy of the lines I mentioned.

According to some sources which cannot be 100 percent verified Court has won 187 of 296 tournaments entered which comes out to an amazing .632 winning percentage. The last edition of Bud Collins’ Total Tennis has her at 194 total tournaments won.

Court’s won-lost record lifetime is 1158-103 which is a .918 winning percentage according to some unverified sources. These are numbers which simply boggle the mind. She was just consistently great. I had a lot of problems figuring out her best 5 years because it seemed every period was her best 5 years.

AndrewTas
04-11-2009, 04:58 PM
I read it in a Tennisweek article online but the information is not official like Evert's since Court played a lot of years before 1968, the beginning of the Open Era.

It's an article called the Greatest Ever. Here's a copy of the lines I mentioned.

According to some sources which cannot be 100 percent verified Court has won 187 of 296 tournaments entered which comes out to an amazing .632 winning percentage. The last edition of Bud Collinsí Total Tennis has her at 194 total tournaments won.

Courtís won-lost record lifetime is 1158-103 which is a .918 winning percentage according to some unverified sources. These are numbers which simply boggle the mind. She was just consistently great. I had a lot of problems figuring out her best 5 years because it seemed every period was her best 5 years.

I think those stats are from me. Since that was written the stats have changed as more research found more tournament wins.

Tournaments Won: 197 (+1 shared)
Tournaments Played: 308
Matches Won-Loss 1180-107 (91.68%)

All the results can be found at the following link for the TennisForum Web site. Many people contributed to these results.

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=156313

The Forum has many discussions on women's tennis and greatest ever.

AndrewD
04-11-2009, 05:27 PM
Slight edge to Evert, although some of Evert's competition was weak Court's Australian Open titles heh a lot of those were well extremely weak fields.

Some of Evert's opposition was weak?

Chris Evert was a genuinely great player BUT she's also the most overrated player in the history of the sport.

Name one great player she dominated while they were in their prime? The only one you can find is Goolagong and, as her record against King, Court and Evert shows, she was not, consistently, a player of the highest order.

Evert amassed her titles after Court had her second child, King devoted her energies to building the women's tour (King is also responsible for a great deal of the Evert mythos) and Navratilova hadn't hit her peak. The minute she came up against players of equal capacity playing at their best - Austin and Navratilova- she capitulated.

I'll agree that Court's Australian titles included a lot of weak fields. HOWEVER, at the time, a lot of the world's best players were Australian so they weren't all push-overs and her very greatest challenger, Billie Jean, was too scared to play her in Australia. The only time King was brave enough to play was when Court was coming back after her first child and had barely played any tennis for 12 months. You can hardly blame Court for being so dominate that her opponents didn't have the guts to challenge her at home.

I firmly believe that tennis followers can be divided into two camps. Those who think Chris Evert was as great as her press would have you believe and those who actually know something about tennis.

julesb
04-11-2009, 05:32 PM
Some of Evert's opposition was weak?

Chris Evert was a genuinely great player BUT she's also the most overrated player in the history of the sport.

Name one great player she dominated while they were in their prime? The only one you can find is Goolagong and, as her record against King, Court and Evert shows, she was not, consistently, a player of the highest order.

Evert amassed her titles after Court had her second child, King devoted her energies to building the women's tour (King is also responsible for a great deal of the Evert mythos) and Navratilova hadn't hit her peak. The minute she came up against players of equal capacity playing at their best - Austin and Navratilova- she capitulated.

I'll agree that Court's Australian titles included a lot of weak fields. HOWEVER, at the time, a lot of the world's best players were Australian so they weren't all push-overs and her very greatest challenger, Billie Jean, was too scared to play her in Australia. The only time King was brave enough to play was when Court was coming back after her first child and had barely played any tennis for 12 months. You can hardly blame Court for being so dominate that her opponents didn't have the guts to challenge her at home.

I firmly believe that tennis followers can be divided into two camps. Those who think Chris Evert was as great as her press would have you believe and those who actually know something about tennis.

Evert faced Goolagong and Virginia Wade in their primes during her dominance so she still dominated while two great players were in their primes along with her.

Austin was unable to beat out Evert for the year end #1 ranking in either 1980 or 1981 and won only 2 slams from 1979 to 1981 vs 4 for Evert. So as good as young Austin was she still was always playing second fiddle to Evert.

Evert also had winning head to heads with Court and King even in the early 70s (70 to 73) when Court and King were still in their primes and Evert wasnt in hers. Her head to head with Court in 1972-1973 was 3-3, while the win of 15 year old Evert over that years grand slammer Court makes it 4-3 Evert during that span. Against King she was 5-3 from 1971-1973. Yes Evert didnt win the slams those years but still led both Court and King in overall head to head while they were in their primes and she wasnt in hers. So imagine if she were also in her prime with them.

She dominated Graf in 1985 and 1986 even when Graf was starting her prime and Evert was past hers.

During Navratilova's prime in 1982 to 1986 she still won 6 slams.

pc1
04-11-2009, 06:27 PM
I think those stats are from me. Since that was written the stats have changed as more research found more tournament wins.

Tournaments Won: 197 (+1 shared)
Tournaments Played: 308
Matches Won-Loss 1180-107 (91.68%)

All the results can be found at the following link for the TennisForum Web site. Many people contributed to these results.

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=156313

The Forum has many discussions on women's tennis and greatest ever.

Thank you Andrew.

380pistol
04-11-2009, 06:54 PM
I would go with Court. She had 5 years winning 3 majors or more. Yeah Evert didnt win 3 mostly since she didnt play the French from 76-78 and the Australian from 75-80. However 1977 is the only year she won all 2 or 3 major events she entered, and as I doubt her beating Goolagong on grass twice in a slam final in the same year, when Goolagong owned her for the most part on grass back then, I very much doubt her winning the calender slam even that year.

Winning 3 slam events in the same year in 1962 and then again in 1973 at ages 19 and 31 is incredible. Her longevity atleast matches Evert's, and her dominance clearly surpasses. As for competition both faced very good competition and better than any of Navratilova, Graf, Seles, and certainly Serena. Evert faced more depth but Court faced a prime Bueno and prime King, harder than anything Evert faced during her reign.

I'd co with Court. The bolded part sums it up. Yeah the 12 Aus Opens may blow yup the grand total of 34, but winning 3 slams in a year 5 times, can't be disputed, and 11 years apart, certainly more impressive than one for 13 consecutive years (impressive in it's own right). It's not like Court was twiddling her thumbs in between, she finished with 24 majors!!

egn
04-11-2009, 08:28 PM
Some of Evert's opposition was weak?

Chris Evert was a genuinely great player BUT she's also the most overrated player in the history of the sport.

Name one great player she dominated while they were in their prime? The only one you can find is Goolagong and, as her record against King, Court and Evert shows, she was not, consistently, a player of the highest order.

Evert amassed her titles after Court had her second child, King devoted her energies to building the women's tour (King is also responsible for a great deal of the Evert mythos) and Navratilova hadn't hit her peak. The minute she came up against players of equal capacity playing at their best - Austin and Navratilova- she capitulated.

I'll agree that Court's Australian titles included a lot of weak fields. HOWEVER, at the time, a lot of the world's best players were Australian so they weren't all push-overs and her very greatest challenger, Billie Jean, was too scared to play her in Australia. The only time King was brave enough to play was when Court was coming back after her first child and had barely played any tennis for 12 months. You can hardly blame Court for being so dominate that her opponents didn't have the guts to challenge her at home.

I firmly believe that tennis followers can be divided into two camps. Those who think Chris Evert was as great as her press would have you believe and those who actually know something about tennis.

Evert dominated Navratilova at a point in time it was not until 82 that Navratilova went ahead, but many could say Evert was no longer the top force. Evert did dominate King the head to head favors Chris 19-7..she is 9-4 against Margaret Court..She is 26-13 against Goolagong..There was a point in time where she was 20-5 against Navratilova and it was not until Navratilova was destroying everybody that the head to head was brought close but Evert and her became level towards the end and it is 37-43 favoring Martina but that is only 6 matches so that really is not huge domination by Martina they each had periods where they destroyed the other. Austin challenged her but they were pretty even and it is 8-9 favoring Tracy but it is close as they played each other well and Graf has a 6-8 lead but Graf did not score her first victory on Evert till she was 31 or 32 and the rest came as Evert was in her early to mid 30s while Graf was hitting her peak and dominating the circuit so it is unfair to really hold it against Evert there. Sure she has the losing record to Navratilova and Graf but considering those are the two names that come up all the time in GOAT discussion then what is there to do. It really is a toss up but to say Evert was not talented is wrong she at a point in time dominated all her rivals.

flying24
04-11-2009, 09:04 PM
Evert dominated Navratilova at a point in time it was not until 82 that Navratilova went ahead, but many could say Evert was no longer the top force. Evert did dominate King the head to head favors Chris 19-7..she is 9-4 against Margaret Court..She is 26-13 against Goolagong..There was a point in time where she was 20-5 against Navratilova and it was not until Navratilova was destroying everybody that the head to head was brought close but Evert and her became level towards the end and it is 37-43 favoring Martina but that is only 6 matches so that really is not huge domination by Martina they each had periods where they destroyed the other. Austin challenged her but they were pretty even and it is 8-9 favoring Tracy but it is close as they played each other well and Graf has a 6-8 lead but Graf did not score her first victory on Evert till she was 31 or 32 and the rest came as Evert was in her early to mid 30s while Graf was hitting her peak and dominating the circuit so it is unfair to really hold it against Evert there. Sure she has the losing record to Navratilova and Graf but considering those are the two names that come up all the time in GOAT discussion then what is there to do. It really is a toss up but to say Evert was not talented is wrong she at a point in time dominated all her rivals.

Evert was 9-4 vs Court when their final 5 matches was when Court came back to the tour one last time after having a 2nd baby, and was aged 33 to 35. They also played 4 matches in 1973 the year Court turned 31 and Evert began her prime.

Evert is 19-7 vs King with the benefit of winning their final 11 matches when King was returning to tour at a very advanced age after intiially retiring on very bad knees. Some believed she only returned in part at all since after her embarassing "outing" lawsuit she had to put herself back in the public spotlight again to mantain her marketability and endorsements given the homophobia in place at the time. She was aged 33 to 40 at the time of these final 11 matches. They also played 4 more of those 26 career matches when King was already 31 years old in 1975. The reason a young Evert won 5 of their 8 matches from 1971 to 1973 was because all 5 of these matches Chris won were on clay. It was basically Chris's luck to somehow keep playing King on clay, where King was never that strong a player at all (clay was her worst surface by a huge margin). Given that King had virtually all her big achievements outside of clay, including the 3 out of 4 majors not played on clay, Chris being aided to a decent early head to head based entirely on clay court meetings really tells us nothing about the big picture of how they would fare other than King wouldnt impede Chris's clay record any. Chris did not finally get her first win over King on a non-clay surface until 1974 when King was already 30 years old. Even from 1973-1975 when King was slowing down greatly with both her troubled knees and age, and Evert was starting her prime, King was 5-3 vs Evert on non clay surfaces. It is the combination of all the clay court meetings in 1971 and 1972, and the ridiculously huge amount of matches vs a mid-late 30s King making a bizarre return out of retirement which lead to this totally deceiving and essentialy meaningless head to head.

Graf's first victory over Evert came when Evert was 31 in 1986. Evert and her longtime foe Navratilova both claim Evert played her best tennis ever in 1985-1986. Given that Evert fared better vs Martina in 1985 and 1986 than she had in 1983 and 1984 by a long ways it is hard to argue. All of Evert's wins over Graf were when she was only 15 and 16 years old. Graf's first win (and Evert's last ever win just before that) were when Graf was only 16, ranked only #6 in the world, and had a losing head to head still with Pam Shriver at that point in time. Lastly you certainly cant knock Graf's complete dominance of Evert from age 31 to 33 if you are honestly impressed by Evert racking up a 19-7 head to head with King by first playing her on clay then playing 11 matches from ages 33 to 40 on majorly bad knees after coming out of retirement.

From 1979 to 1981 Evert was 4-9 vs Austin. She garnered 3 of her wins in 1977 and 1978 when Austin was only 14 and 15 years old. Her last win was a double bagel over Austin at the end of 1982 when Tracy was already wrecked by injuries and playing part time as a mere shadow of her old self in a deluded delaying of her imminent retirement.

Chris went 7-24 vs Martina during Martina's prime from 1983-1989. At one point during that stretch she lost 12 matches in a row.

380pistol
04-11-2009, 11:16 PM
Evert was 9-4 vs Court when their final 5 matches was when Court came back to the tour one last time after having a 2nd baby, and was aged 33 to 35. They also played 4 matches in 1973 the year Court turned 31 and Evert began her prime.

Evert is 19-7 vs King with the benefit of winning their final 11 matches when King was returning to tour at a very advanced age after intiially retiring on very bad knees. Some believed she only returned in part at all since after her embarassing "outing" lawsuit she had to put herself back in the public spotlight again to mantain her marketability and endorsements given the homophobia in place at the time. She was aged 33 to 40 at the time of these final 11 matches. They also played 4 more of those 26 career matches when King was already 31 years old in 1975. The reason a young Evert won 5 of their 8 matches from 1971 to 1973 was because all 5 of these matches Chris won were on clay. It was basically Chris's luck to somehow keep playing King on clay, where King was never that strong a player at all (clay was her worst surface by a huge margin). Given that King had virtually all her big achievements outside of clay, including the 3 out of 4 majors not played on clay, Chris being aided to a decent early head to head based entirely on clay court meetings really tells us nothing about the big picture of how they would fare other than King wouldnt impede Chris's clay record any. Chris did not finally get her first win over King on a non-clay surface until 1974 when King was already 30 years old. Even from 1973-1975 when King was slowing down greatly with both her troubled knees and age, and Evert was starting her prime, King was 5-3 vs Evert on non clay surfaces. It is the combination of all the clay court meetings in 1971 and 1972, and the ridiculously huge amount of matches vs a mid-late 30s King making a bizarre return out of retirement which lead to this totally deceiving and essentialy meaningless head to head.

Graf's first victory over Evert came when Evert was 31 in 1986. Evert and her longtime foe Navratilova both claim Evert played her best tennis ever in 1985-1986. Given that Evert fared better vs Martina in 1985 and 1986 than she had in 1983 and 1984 by a long ways it is hard to argue. All of Evert's wins over Graf were when she was only 15 and 16 years old. Graf's first win (and Evert's last ever win just before that) were when Graf was only 16, ranked only #6 in the world, and had a losing head to head still with Pam Shriver at that point in time. Lastly you certainly cant knock Graf's complete dominance of Evert from age 31 to 33 if you are honestly impressed by Evert racking up a 19-7 head to head with King by first playing her on clay then playing 11 matches from ages 33 to 40 on majorly bad knees after coming out of retirement.

From 1979 to 1981 Evert was 4-9 vs Austin. She garnered 3 of her wins in 1977 and 1978 when Austin was only 14 and 15 years old. Her last win was a double bagel over Austin at the end of 1982 when Tracy was already wrecked by injuries and playing part time as a mere shadow of her old self in a deluded delaying of her imminent retirement.

Chris went 7-24 vs Martina during Martina's prime from 1983-1989. At one point during that stretch she lost 12 matches in a row.

I'm starting to believe there's some truth to Evert being overrated.

DMan
04-11-2009, 11:23 PM
She dominated Graf in 1985 and 1986 even when Graf was starting her prime and Evert was past hers.

.

Love it, and I do love it that someone touts Graf in her "prime" in 1985 and 1986, while age 15 and 16, and just entering the top 10. Love it! Now time for Ms Jules to look up the meaning of the word prime!

AndrewD
04-12-2009, 04:38 AM
Evert dominated Navratilova at a point in time it was not until 82 that Navratilova went ahead, but many could say Evert was no longer the top force. Evert did dominate King the head to head favors Chris 19-7..she is 9-4 against Margaret Court..She is 26-13 against Goolagong..There was a point in time where she was 20-5 against Navratilova and it was not until Navratilova was destroying everybody that the head to head was brought close but Evert and her became level towards the end and it is 37-43 favoring Martina but that is only 6 matches so that really is not huge domination by Martina they each had periods where they destroyed the other. Austin challenged her but they were pretty even and it is 8-9 favoring Tracy but it is close as they played each other well and Graf has a 6-8 lead but Graf did not score her first victory on Evert till she was 31 or 32 and the rest came as Evert was in her early to mid 30s while Graf was hitting her peak and dominating the circuit so it is unfair to really hold it against Evert there. Sure she has the losing record to Navratilova and Graf but considering those are the two names that come up all the time in GOAT discussion then what is there to do. It really is a toss up but to say Evert was not talented is wrong she at a point in time dominated all her rivals.

No-one said she wasn't talented - you've made that up yourself.

I specifically said 'players in their prime/at their peak'. Did you not read that or did you decide to ignore it?

Court gave birth to her second child at the end of 1973 and was physically 'done' by that point. That she won 3 of 4 majors in 73 is testament to her talent as, at age 31, she was well past her best. MOST IMPRESSSIVE is that she was actually pregnant when she won the French and US Opens that year. Regardless, when she played Evert she was well past her peak. Margaret Court's only crime was to not be born an American.

Billie Jean King was - again- well past her peak when Evert first played her. Up until King was 32 they split their matches 7-7 (not counting one retirement). Evert's dominance of King only occurred from 1977 onwards -when BJK was 34 and coming back from knee surgery. Soft wins in anyone's language.

As I pointed out, she dominated Goolagong. However, I also pointed out that Court and King did the same. Goolagong was an occasionally brilliant player and aesthetically more pleasing than all of those mentioned (something I believe has led to an overinflated reputation) but not in the truly elite class.

Austin won 8 of the last 12 matches she played against Evert and the last one was, as we all know, played under the duress of an injury which removed her from tennis for 6 years. In her peak years she dominated Evert.

Similarly, when Navratilova hit her peak she dominated Evert - plain and simple.

I am not trying to say that Evert wasn't a great player. Obviously she was. However, I believe that her reputation is hideously overinflated due to her cultural significance and her place of birth. You only need to read through this message board to realise that the praise for Evert is nothing more than cheap fanboy drool.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 07:15 AM
what's odd about these quality of field debates, is they are so one dimensional. These players King, court, Goolagong, Wade, Navraitlova were great GRASS courters on a tour in which three of four, then 2 of four slams at were on grass. The grand slam cards were stacked against Evert, through much of her career. She got lucky with some extra US clay opens and lost some RG ( thanks to WTT) which evens that out. Evert's era was shy of great clay courters! Its her clay record that is inflated by less that stellar competition, but the rest. These H to H stats being touted are not in a vacuum.

suwanee4712
04-12-2009, 07:36 AM
what's odd about these quality of field debates, is they are so one dimensional. These players King, court, Goolagong, Wade, Navraitlova were great GRASS courters on a tour in which three of four, then 2 of four slams at were on grass. The grand slam cards were stacked against Evert, through much of her career. She got lucky with some extra US clay opens and lost some RG ( thanks to WTT) which evens that out. Evert's era was shy of great clay courters! Its her clay record that is inflated by less that stellar competition, but the rest. These H to H stats being touted are not in a vacuum.

I think you hit upon something that should be obvious, yet we all seem to forget in our debates. I think Evert was great on any surface, including grass. But she did play through an era where most of the top players' games were geared more towards faster surfaces than her's. This is a part of the testament to Chris.

However, I do feel that Court is often underated in these discussions. So many try to discount her 12 Australian titles when the truth is, she was probably going to win 10 of those titles no matter who else was in the field. I also greatly appreciate the fact that Court was so successful at the French Open. And in a discussion about Court and Evert, I also think it's an oddity that both have fewer Wimbledon titles than some think they should.

Still, I voted for Chris. But just barely.

pc1
04-12-2009, 09:00 AM
what's odd about these quality of field debates, is they are so one dimensional. These players King, court, Goolagong, Wade, Navraitlova were great GRASS courters on a tour in which three of four, then 2 of four slams at were on grass. The grand slam cards were stacked against Evert, through much of her career. She got lucky with some extra US clay opens and lost some RG ( thanks to WTT) which evens that out. Evert's era was shy of great clay courters! Its her clay record that is inflated by less that stellar competition, but the rest. These H to H stats being touted are not in a vacuum.

Bturner, I agree with you and I agree with egn. It's amazing to me that some of the people here are trying to cheapen the wonderful accomplishments of Chris Evert. First of all, here is a woman who won over 150 tournaments, 18 majors, 13 straight years in which she won at least 1 major and has the highest OFFICIAL winning percentage in the history of Women's Tennis. Higher than Graf, higher than Navratilova, higher than just about anyone. Evert won 90% of her matches for her career! While she won 18 majors she probably could have won more majors if she played the French and Australian more but due to various reasons like WTT she missed some of these tournaments.

Everyone's seems to be saying that the only person Evert ever beat were virtually on their deathbeds. This is NOT the case.

One person writes that Evert beat Court in 1973 because Court was well past her prime. If that's the case, it's just barely so since Court did win 3 of 4 majors that year. Evert beat Court at Wimbledon and lost to Court at the French after Evert was serving for the match in the third set. Evert was 18 in 1973 and not near her best year.

These people also leave out that a 15 year old Chris Evert defeated Court in 1970 in a tournament. Evert wasn't exactly at her prime either at age 15. Court may have been pregnant at that time but nevertheless you figure Court should defeat almost anyone, but Chris Evert was not a typical 15 year old tennis player. Evert did defeat Court two of three in 1972 when Court was making her come back from having a child.

Let's look at Chris versus Billie Jean King. I don't think there is any doubt that King at her peak would be a huge underdog to Chris before she reached her peak on clay. King would stand very little chance against an Evert on clay during her prime years as a player. Let's focus on the other surfaces.

In 1972 King may have had her best year, winning 3 of 3 majors played. They played a number of times that year and of course, according to WTA records (which can be inaccurate I admit but I don't have time to research super thoughly) Evert beat King 3 of 4 but all 3 times were on clay. The one time King beat Evert was in the third set 7-5 on indoor carpet. A loss by Evert but clearly Evert was not overpowered by King. King was simply a better player at that time indoors.

In 1973 King crushed her at Wimbledon. Evert has admitted she was overwhelmed by the first experience in the final but still it was a big beating that King put on her. In 1974 and 1975 they played several times on hard court and Evert defeated her three times without a loss, never losing more than three games in a set in the first two meeting and winning a close three setter in a tiebreak in the third match. King defeated Evert twice on carpet in those years. King was still great, winning the 74 U.S. Open and the 1975 Wimbledon and Evert was still improving as a player. Looking at this I would say Evert holds up very well against King. She's competitive on all surfaces, and clearly better on hard court, not as good on grass, indoors it's fairly close and King is not in her league on clay. Frankly if they both were all their peak and each played 25 matches against each other on grass, clay, indoor and hard, I believe Chris would have won the majority. Billie wasn't exactly a giant. She was 5'4". Chris was probably the most powerful player overall. She was a much more powerful hitter off the ground. Chris would be competitive on every surface and may win the majority on hard and indoor but at worst it would be close. I think Chris at her best would defeat King often on grass but King would win most of the matches. However on clay it would be a struggle for King to win 7 or 8 out of 25. Evert often wouldn't just defeat King on clay, King would have problems winning a game.

Tracy Austin won 9 of 16 against Evert according to the ITF website but most of those victories were in a span of about a year and admittedly Austin was a great player.

We all know she dominated Goolagong but all of you seen to make it seem like nothing. Evonne was a great player and a great clay court player and yet Chris defeated her several times in the U.S. Open final and overall in her career won the great majority of matches.

Martina was a great player and I think Martina at her best was better than Chris but all of you seem to make light of the fact Chris dominated Navratilova from Martina's teen years to her early twenties but Martina was a great player and part of greatness is consistency. Martina was NOT uniformly great throughout her career. However Martina was still a tremendous player at virtually any stage of her career. Martina has potholes in her career in which some people may have thought she was finished. Some people thought Navratilova was washed up after Chris defeated her without the loss of a game in a match in 1981 but Martina kept going and made herself a great champion. But do we forget about her other years? You can't leave that out for the point of argument. Chris and Martina are fairly close in age so their peak physical years are close.

Chris worked her on her game after Navratilova became better, forgot about her old wood racket and became very competitive with Navratilova again starting in 1985 when she defeated Navratilova in one of the all time great French Open final. They remain competitive for the rest of Evert's career. Evert's winning percentage and ratio of tournaments entered to tournaments won is better than Martina's. Martina won more tournaments and was better at her peak. They both won the same amount of majors at 18.

Evert's comparison with Graf is very interesting. I will say that I rooted for Graf when she played Evert. I enjoyed the Graf style but objectively, a very good case can be made for Evert. First of all Evert won about 50 more tournaments than Graf in her career. Evert won more than half the tournaments she entered and Graf a little less than half with 107 out of 222.

Graf won 22 majors, 4 more than Chris but Chris probably left a number of majors on the table when she didn't play the French (almost a guaranteed win in those days for her) and the Australian for a number of years in the 1970's. Chris probably would have had over 20 majors.

Graf won the Golden Slam. A super year and something Evert never did.

A lot of people seem to think because Graf dominated Evert later that Evert was never in Graf's league. I don't believe that's the case. In rivalries like this, a loss of a step or two can mean the difference between domination and a player being slightly better. I believe an Evert in her prime would be very competitive against Graf. Players who were far lesser than Evert like Amanda Coetzer, Sanchez-Vicario, Sabatini used to give Graf fits and even an old Martina Navratilova defeated Graf at the 1991 U.S. Open and the 1993 Tokyo indoors. Graf retired at age 30. If Graf continued to play she would have aged and would have probably been beaten often by players like Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Jennifer Capriati. Her records against them would have been most likely very bad in this period and you make have looked at her at them in a different light. Yet you know that Graf at her best was probably better than Hingis at her best but some people may just remember Hingis beating up on Graf (hypothetically I mean if Graf played into her mid 30's) and forget what a young Graf was.

Well Chris played until she was almost 35. If Evert retired at 30, like Graf, she would have had a plus record against Steffi but the older Evert wasn't a match for the great Graf so she ended up with a final 6-8 record against Graf.
And I want to point out again I like Graf better than Evert.

I don't care if you rate all of these players ahead of Evert but don't diminish Evert's great accomplishments and victories. It's very disturbing to me when it seems that some are putting Evert down so their favorite looks better. That's incorrect and just not right. We often talk about the possible GOATs here, well Evert has everything there is to at least be in the running for the GOAT.

crabgrass
04-12-2009, 09:16 AM
could really go either way on this one....i think evert's competition was a little tougher and i'm sure if court had martina as her career rival as evert did she doesnt come close to winning 24 slams.
on the other hand i feel at their best court would get the better of evert more often than not.....so my honest conclusion is i'm not really sure.

egn
04-12-2009, 09:16 AM
Bturner, I agree with you and I agree with egn. It's amazing to me that some of the people here are trying to cheapen the wonderful accomplishments of Chris Evert. First of all, here is a woman who won over 150 tournaments, 18 majors, 13 straight years in which she won at least 1 major and has the highest OFFICIAL winning percentage in the history of Women's Tennis. Higher than Graf, higher than Navratilova, higher than just about anyone. Evert won 90% of her matches for her career! While she won 18 majors she probably could have won more majors if she played the French and Australian more but due to various reasons like WTT she missed some of these tournaments.

Everyone's seems to be saying that the only person Evert ever beat were virtually on their deathbeds. This is NOT the case.

One person writes that Evert beat Court in 1973 because Court was well past her prime. If that's the case, it's just barely so since Court did win 3 of 4 majors that year. Evert beat Court at Wimbledon and lost to Court at the French after Evert was serving for the match in the third set. Evert was 18 in 1973 and not near her best year.

These people also leave out that a 15 year old Chris Evert defeated in 1970 in a tournament. Evert wasn't exactly at her prime either at age 15. Court may have been pregnant at that time but nevertheless you figure Court should defeat almost anyone, but Chris Evert was not a typical 15 year old tennis player. Evert did defeat Court two of three in 1972 when Court was making her come back from having a child.

Let's look at Chris versus Billie Jean King. I don't think there is any doubt that King at her peak would be a huge underdog to Chris before she reached her peak on clay. King would stand very little chance against an Evert on clay during her prime years as a player. Let's focus on the other surfaces.

In 1972 King may have had her best year, winning 3 of 3 majors played. They played a number of times that year and of course, according to WTA records (which can be inaccurate I admit but I don't have time to research super thoughly) Evert beat 3 of 4 but all 3 times were on clay. The one time King beat Evert was in the third set 7-5 on indoor carpet. A loss by Evert but clearly Evert was not overpowered by King. King was simply a better player at that time indoors.

In 1973 King crushed her at Wimbledon. Evert has admitted she was overwhelmed by the first experience in the final but still it was a big beating that King put on her. In 1974 and 1975 they played several times on hard court and Evert defeated her three times without a loss, never losing more than three sets in a set in the first two meeting and winning a close three setter in a tiebreak in the third match. King defeated Evert twice on carpet in those years. King was still great, winning the 74 U.S. Open and the 1975 Wimbledon and Evert was still improving as a player. Looking at this I would say Evert holds up very well against King. She's competitive on all surfaces, and clearly better on hard court, not as good on grass, indoors it's fairly close and King is not in her league on clay. Frankly if they both were all their peak and each played 25 matches against each other on grass, clay, indoor and hard, I believe Chris would have won the majority. Billie wasn't exactly a giant. She was 5'4". Chris was probably the most powerful player overall. She was a much more powerful hitter off the ground. Chris would be competitive on every surface and may win the majority on hard and indoor but at worst it would be close. I think Chris at her best would defeat King often on grass but King would win most of the matches. However on clay it would be a struggle for King to win 7 or 8 out of 25. Evert often wouldn't just defeat King on clay, King would have problems winning a game.

Tracy Austin won 9 of 16 against Evert according to the ITF website but most of those victories were in a span of about a year and admittedly Austin was a great player.

We all know she dominated Goolagong but all of you seen to make it seem like nothing. Evonne was a great player and a great clay court player and yet Chris defeated her several times in the U.S. Open final and overall in her career won the great majority of matches.

Martina was a great player and I think Martina at her best was better than Chris but all of you seem to make light of the fact Chris dominated Navratilova from Martina's teen years to her early twenties but Martina was a great player and part of greatness is consistency. Martina was NOT uniformly great throughout her career. However Martina was still a tremendous player at virtually any stage of her career. Martina has potholes in her career in which some people may have thought she was finished. Some people thought Navratilova was washed up after Chris defeated her without the loss of a game in a match in 1981 but Martina kept going and made herself a great champion. But do we forget about her other years? You can't leave that out for the point of argument. Chris and Martina are fairly close in age so their peak physical years are close.

Chris worked her on her game after Navratilova became better, forgot about her old wood racket and became very competitive with Navratilova again starting in 1985 when she defeated Navratilova in one of the all time great French Open final. They remain competitive for the rest of Evert's career. Evert's winning percentage and ratio of tournaments entered to tournaments won is better than Martina's. Martina won more tournaments and was better at her peak. They both won the same amount of majors at 18.

Evert's comparison with Graf is very interesting. I will say that I rooted for Graf when she played Evert. I enjoyed the Graf style but objectively, a very good case can be made for Evert. First of all Evert won about 50 more tournaments than Graf in her career. Evert won more than half the tournaments she entered and Graf a little less than half with 107 out of 222.

Graf won 22 majors, 4 more than Chris but Chris probably left a number of majors on the table when she didn't play the French (almost a guaranteed win in those days for her) and the Australian for a number of years in the 1970's. Chris probably would have had over 20 majors.

Graf won the Golden Slam. A super year and something Evert never did.

A lot of people seem to think because Graf dominated Evert later that Evert was never in Graf's league. I don't believe that's the case. In rivalries like this, a loss of a step or two can mean the difference between domination and a player being slightly better. I believe an Evert in her prime would be very competitive against Graf. Players who were far lesser than Evert like Amanda Coetzer, Sanchez-Vicario, Sabatini used to give Graf fits and even an old Martina Navratilova defeated Graf at the 1991 U.S. Open and the 1993 Tokyo indoors. Graf retired at age 30. If Graf continued to play she would have aged and would have probably been beaten often by players like Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Jennifer Capriati. Her records against them would have been most likely very bad in this period and you make have looked at her at them in a different light. Yet you know that Graf at her best was probably better than Hingis at her best but some people may just remember Hingis beating up on Graf (hypothetically I mean if Graf played into her mid 30's) and forget what a young Graf was.

Well Chris played until she was almost 35. If Evert retired at 30, like Graf, she would have had a plus record against Steffi but the older Evert wasn't a match for the great Graf so she ended up with a final 6-8 record against Graf.
And I want to point out again I like Graf better than Evert.

I don't care if you rate all of these players ahead of Evert but don't diminish Evert's great accomplishments and victories. It's very disturbing to me when it seems that some are putting Evert down so their favorite looks better. That's incorrect and just not right. We often talk about the possible GOATs here, well Evert has everything there is to at least be in the running for the GOAT.

=] I love well constructed posts.

flying24
04-12-2009, 11:16 AM
It amuses me how tremendously how any Evert would suggest Court was really in her prime in 1973 at 31 while Evert wasnt yet in hers at 18, when many of these same people are the ones who chide Graf dominating an "old" Navratilova and Evert. Ok by that reasoning we should assume Navratilova at 31 must have been in her prime in 1988, while Graf wasnt yet in hers at only 18 right? After all Navratilova is a much much later bloomer than Court, heck Navratilova had only 2 slam titles on her 25th birthday, so why on earth if Court was still "prime" at 31 while between pregnancies would Navratilova "2 slams by age 25" not be even moreso. Graf wasnt a phenom at 15 like Evert either, she struggled mightily to post results until after turning 16, so she was a fairly early developer but slightly less so than Evert, yet Evert was less ready to be prime at 18 than Graf, ummm no. So by any line of reasoning that Court was somehow still in her prime in 1973 and Evert wasnt than Navratilova must have been in her prime in 1988 while Graf wasnt to an even greater degree when Graf and the next generation kicked her booty all over the place and won the Calender Slam, and even in 1989 when Graf was still dominant over Navratilova and the womens tour. Also if Court who started dominating womens tennis at age 18 was "prime" while in the pregnancy period and 31 than Evert sure as heck should have been prime in 31 when Graf trounced her in straight sets on clay and started her unbeaten run vs her, of course when Graf herself was only 16 when this streak began and not 18 like Evert in 1973.

The different standards applied to Evert and Navratilova and anyone else at times are baffling. It is almost like the same people are huge fans of both and their rivalry and tag team to build them up by any form of double standards of manipulative reasoning they can think of.

flying24
04-12-2009, 12:09 PM
One person writes that Evert beat Court in 1973 because Court was well past her prime. If that's the case, it's just barely so since Court did win 3 of 4 majors that year. Evert beat Court at Wimbledon and lost to Court at the French after Evert was serving for the match in the third set. Evert was 18 in 1973 and not near her best year.

Court was 31 and in between two pregnancies. This is a player who began dominating womens tennis as young as 18. If you want to still consider that her prime or close to it, remember that when we come to other players.

Evert won 12 tournaments that year. She was already posting smaller tournament wins over Court and King and making slam semis as early as 1971 at only 16. There is zero reason to argue she wasnt in the beginning of her prime by now other than the unwanted stat Court won 3 of 4 majors and beat her in 2 of 3 of those.

In 1973 King crushed her at Wimbledon. Evert has admitted she was overwhelmed by the first experience in the final but still it was a big beating that King put on her. In 1974 and 1975 they played several times on hard court and Evert defeated her three times without a loss, never losing more than three games in a set in the first two meeting and winning a close three setter in a tiebreak in the third match. King defeated Evert twice on carpet in those years. King was still great, winning the 74 U.S. Open and the 1975 Wimbledon and Evert was still improving as a player. Looking at this I would say Evert holds up very well against King. She's competitive on all surfaces, and clearly better on hard court, not as good on grass, indoors it's fairly close and King is not in her league on clay.

Again are you suggesting King at ages 30 and 31 after knee surgeries and about to have her first retirement was in her "prime" still in 1974 and 1975? After all King in her prime would be trounced at Wimbledon to someone like Olga Morozova right. Again if you still insist on that stance remember that when we come to other players. On the other hand even beginning to suggest Evert wasnt 100% absolute in her prime by 1974 and 1975 is ridiculous beyond words so I am not even going to bother there. All great players should be improving still by the way even once in their primes so that shows nothing. If Evert's chances vs King for you are based on their 1974 and 1975 meetings than I think you are sadly misguided.


We all know she dominated Goolagong but all of you seen to make it seem like nothing. Evonne was a great player and a great clay court player and yet Chris defeated her several times in the U.S. Open final and overall in her career won the great majority of matches.

Goolagong is a great player but not a top 10 player all time, arguably top 15 at best. She was as talented as almost everyone but an underachiever and inconsistent. Still Goolagong did own Evert during Goolagong's prime on grass, winning all their meetings except one which Evert only won 8-6 in the 3rd.

Martina was a great player and I think Martina at her best was better than Chris but all of you seem to make light of the fact Chris dominated Navratilova from Martina's teen years to her early twenties but Martina was a great player and part of greatness is consistency. Martina was NOT uniformly great throughout her career. However Martina was still a tremendous player at virtually any stage of her career. Martina has potholes in her career in which some people may have thought she was finished. Some people thought Navratilova was washed up after Chris defeated her without the loss of a game in a match in 1981 but Martina kept going and made herself a great champion. But do we forget about her other years? You can't leave that out for the point of argument. Chris and Martina are fairly close in age so their peak physical years are close.

Martina as late as 1980 and 1981 even aged 23 and 24 was still losing multiple matches to a 15 year old Jaeger and 36 year old/busted knees King. You do the math. Heck Graf faced a better a much Martina in 1988 and 1989 than Chris did before 1983.

Graf won 22 majors, 4 more than Chris but Chris probably left a number of majors on the table when she didn't play the French (almost a guaranteed win in those days for her) and the Australian for a number of years in the 1970's. Chris probably would have had over 20 majors.

Maybe if Austin had played the French Open from 1979 and 1980 Chris wouldnt have won those. Heck I am pretty sure she wouldnt have, Chris was Tracy's lapdog at the time and was perfectly comfortable on clay. Maybe Nancy Richey would have taken 1 of the 74 or 75 Frenchs from Evert as she was not an easy opponent for Chris. OK Chris won their 3 matches from 1973-1975 (Richey now in her early 30s and on a huge career decline based on her results and Chris now mature) after a stronger Richey won all 3 in 1972 vs a less mature but still young phenom Evert. However in that final meeting in 1975 on clay 32 year old Richey had Chris at 7-6, 5-0, 15-40, double match point and after wasting that initialy she suffered an injury which worsened and caused her to eventually retire while trailing 4-2 in the 3rd set, so even at that point far past her best she was a tough opponent for Chris the rare times they played. Maybe if everyone played the French all those years she still doesnt win anymore than she does.

As for the Australian Open who is to say Evert would have won any of those in the event it was a true slam then. Goolagong owned her on grass during Goolagong's prime, so what would her chances of beating Goolagong on her home turf grass from 1975-1977. They played in the 1974 final there and it went 3 sets but with Goolagong dishing Chris a bagel in the final set. In 1978-1979 Martina would have been favored over her on grass anyway. In 1980 either Navratilova or Austin could have beaten her.

A lot of people seem to think because Graf dominated Evert later that Evert was never in Graf's league. I don't believe that's the case. In rivalries like this, a loss of a step or two can mean the difference between domination and a player being slightly better. I believe an Evert in her prime would be very competitive against Graf. Players who were far lesser than Evert like Amanda Coetzer, Sanchez-Vicario, Sabatini used to give Graf fits and even an old Martina Navratilova defeated Graf at the 1991 U.S. Open and the 1993 Tokyo indoors.

Sanchez and Sabatini beat Graf only a quarter of the times so while they indeed gave trouble they certainly werent even close to even. Coetzer only beat Graf once in many career meetings if one excluded early 1997 for obvious reasons.

Also Sabatini isnt that much to sneeze at as she was winning 6-1 sets off Evert on clay in matches when Sabatini was only 14 and 16 years old. She is probably one of the best 1-time slam winners in history with the horrible luck to peak during first the Graf-Navratilova then Graf-Seles height of dominance.

One could turn around and say Evert had so much trouble with players not of anywhere near Graf's caliber. Tracy Austin, Nancy Richey, Sabatini, Mandlikova all gave Evert trouble to varying degrees, and none of those players are anywhere near Graf's caliber either.

Graf retired at age 30. If Graf continued to play she would have aged and would have probably been beaten often by players like Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Jennifer Capriati. Her records against them would have been most likely very bad in this period and you make have looked at her at them in a different light. Yet you know that Graf at her best was probably better than Hingis at her best but some people may just remember Hingis beating up on Graf (hypothetically I mean if Graf played into her mid 30's) and forget what a young Graf was.

I think that is mostly because of Graf's injuries it that were the case. She was aged and had her prime cute short by atleast 3 years by her injuries just combusting after 1996. Had she stayed reasonably healthy after 1996 (which didnt happen) I would fully expect her to overall dominate Hingis and Capriati up until her mid 30s even. Hingis only became a much worse player and headcase after 1999. The Williams and Henin are another matter, however I think atleast in her early 30s she would have held her own vs them had she stayed reasonably healthy. She was in fact coming back to form in 1999 at age 30 after nearly having to retire with injuries in early 1997 at only age 27. She was faring well against vs Hingis, Davenport, the Williams at ages 29 and 30 and playing much better tennis than she had been at 27 with the beginning of some regaining of her health. It was her health more than her age that did her in.

Well Chris played until she was almost 35. If Evert retired at 30, like Graf, she would have had a plus record against Steffi

That is only because she would have compiled this record completely vs a 15 and 16 year old Graf who wasnt yet even in the top 5 at the time of any of the meetings so nobody would have cared. If Pam Shriver retired at the exact time (yes I know she wasnt old but just to put into perspective) even she would have a 2-1 head to head with Graf. Jo Durie played all her matches vs a younger Graf and even leads 4-3 in the final head to head as a result.

Evert was stronger, higher ranked, and closer to her prime even aging in the matches she lost to Graf than those matches very young Graf lost to Evert. Lastly if Evert had the same injuries Graf had she would have probably retired at 30 instead of 34, and been past her best at 27 instead of 31 as well.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 12:55 PM
Again, we keep talking as the the only variable was age. Surface matters just as much. I'd rather play a 'peak' King on clay than an older one on grass!

flying24
04-12-2009, 01:10 PM
Again, we keep talking as the the only variable was age. Surface matters just as much. I'd rather play a 'peak' King on clay than an older one on grass!

Actually many of us have pointed out that many of Evert's early wins were over King on clay.

pc1
04-12-2009, 03:21 PM
Flying24,

One of the reasons I mentioned age as a factor is that injuries go right along with age. Yes, clearly Graf had injuries but that comes with the territory. Graf was definitionly declining in 1999 and while still excellent, was but a shadow of her former self.

Evert at 18 was terrific but I'm of the opinion and of course any of you can disagree with me that she was a better player a few years later. Just my opinion. She was 88-10 in 73 with 12 tournament wins, 103-7 in 74 with 16 tournaments, 94-6 in 75 with 16 tournaments, 75-5 in 76 with 12 tournaments, 70-4 in 77 with 11 tournaments for the record by the way.

As far as my discussion about King, I wrote she was still great and she was but I did not write she was in her prime. However if you watch the 1974 U.S. Open final her movement was still excellent.

My friend. your points are super and very well thought out. I just thought Evert deserves her place as one of the all time greats in my opinion. I wasn't referring to you in my previous post by the way.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Well I think it time I repost my top players in order. with all this debate, with poster 'x' slaming player 'y', and poster 'c' racing to defame player 'd' I personally loose my own perspective. this was my order before coming in here

1. Graf
2. Wills
3. Court
4. Navratilova
5. Evert
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

These are the only contenders for GOAT as of today . Am I sure this order is better than another? Not very and certainly less so as this debate goes forward. but no case is solid enough to refute this order either. I weigh slams heavily, I weigh variety of surfaces heavily. I weigh dominance over a lengthy period of time heavily. I weigh accomplishments over woulda, coulda, maybe accomplishments very lightly and do not attempt to over analyze the relative quality of their contemparies.

pc1
04-12-2009, 05:26 PM
Well I think it time I repost my top players in order. with all this debate, with poster 'x' slaming player 'y', and poster 'c' racing to defame player 'd' I personally loose my own perspective. this was my order before coming in here

1. Graf
2. Wills
3. Court
4. Navratilova
5. Evert
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

These are the only contenders for GOAT as of today . Am I sure this order is better than another? Not very and certainly less so as this debate goes forward. but no case is solid enough to refute this order either. I weigh slams heavily, I weigh variety of surfaces heavily. I weigh dominance over a lengthy period of time heavily. I weigh accomplishments over woulda, coulda, maybe accomplishments very lightly and do not attempt to over analyze the relative quality of their contemparies.

I like your style.:)

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 05:37 PM
ah but do you like the list?

grafrules
04-12-2009, 06:44 PM
Interesting to have Lenglen and Wills so far apart. I am not sure exactly how to rank them vs the other all time greats as the time they played in was so different. However compared to each other I would think they would be almost exactly the same, so all time they would either be 6-7, 8-9, 4-5, 1-2, whichever with almost no difference between them. Wills came right after Lenglen, they both played at the time players just played whichever slams they felt like with Wimbledon the only one almost everyone played every year. They both went undefeated for about 7 straight years except for 1 questionable defeat where speculation is abound to whether they were really ill/injured or just sick of the thought of losing. They both played at a time of almost identicaly non existant competition levels.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 08:00 PM
Interesting to have Lenglen and Wills so far apart. I am not sure exactly how to rank them vs the other all time greats as the time they played in was so different. However compared to each other I would think they would be almost exactly the same, so all time they would either be 6-7, 8-9, 4-5, 1-2, whichever with almost no difference between them. Wills came right after Lenglen, they both played at the time players just played whichever slams they felt like with Wimbledon the only one almost everyone played every year. They both went undefeated for about 7 straight years except for 1 questionable defeat where speculation is abound to whether they were really ill/injured or just sick of the thought of losing. They both played at a time of almost identicaly non existant competition levels.

If memory serves, most of the French championships Lenglen won were not open events excepting the last 2-3, while all of Wills were, obviously open to non french players. . My logic is Wills played against the best of the continent, England and the US, Lenglen basically stayed out of the states ( NO US nationals) and had protective draws in France through 1924. If I am wrong,correct me. I'll rethink it

grafrules
04-12-2009, 08:27 PM
If memory serves, most of the French championships Lenglen won were not open events excepting the last 2-3, while all of Wills were, obviously open to non french players. . My logic is Wills played against the best of the continent, England and the US, Lenglen basically stayed out of the states ( NO US nationals) and had protective draws in France through 1924. If I am wrong,correct me. I'll rethink it

Yes it is true 4 of Lenglen's 6 French Opens were only open to players from France. It is also true 2 of her 6 Wimbledons where as defending Champion when the Challenge Round was in place and she only had to play the finalist. However except for one questionable default to Mallorey, the 2nd best player of her timeframe, where she supposably was sick (maybe she was, maybe she wasnt, similar to the Wills supposed back injury default to her closest competitor Helen Jacobs, who knows), she went undefeated for about 7 years. She crushed Mallorey the other 3 times they played, Godfrey, Ryan, anyone you can name she played multiple times and always beat, usually by enormously lopsided and embarssing scorelines. So I cant imagine she would not have won all 12 of those events even if everyone had played or she had to go through all rounds. JMO though.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 08:46 PM
I have a sneaking hunch, you are right. But that is in the realm of woulda/coulda/shoulda. If I were to hand over US nationals to Lenglen, I might as well hand over them RG titles to Evert she did not earn in 75,76,77. And throw some Australians at King, and some slams to Seles while I am at it - but then I guess I have to take those titles away from someone who's name is on the honor role.

grafrules
04-12-2009, 08:54 PM
I have a sneaking hunch, you are right. But that is in the realm of woulda/coulda/shoulda. If I were to hand over US nationals to Lenglen, I might as well hand over them RG titles to Evert she did not earn in 75,76,77. And throw some Australians at King, and some slams to Seles while I am at it - but then I guess I have to take those titles away from someone who's name is on the honor role.

Fair enough. Actually the RG titles for Evert would be 76, 77, 78 as she played won in in 75 but not 78, but I see what you are saying. Lenglen's opponents vs her were so helpess that even such obscure winners like Ruzici and Jausovec had more chance of upsetting Evert at the French (despite it being only about 0.01%) than anyone had of upsetting Lenglen at the French Open though.

BTURNER
04-12-2009, 09:16 PM
Fair enough. Actually the RG titles for Evert would be 76, 77, 78 as she played won in in 75 but not 78, but I see what you are saying. Lenglen's opponents vs her were so helpess that even such obscure winners like Ruzici and Jausovec had more chance of upsetting Evert at the French (despite it being only about 0.01%) than anyone had of upsetting Lenglen at the French Open though.

Its not so much those closed French titles that is the big distinction between Lenglen and Wills. That's a more minor matter. The latter competed successfully over here against the gals in the states, some of whom were unable to go overseas, and beat them just as consistently.

grafrules
04-12-2009, 11:16 PM
Its not so much those closed French titles that is the big distinction between Lenglen and Wills. That's a more minor matter. The latter competed successfully over here against the gals in the states, some of whom were unable to go overseas, and beat them just as consistently.

OK thanks for answering my initial question. Your reasons are certainly valid.

pc1
04-13-2009, 04:15 AM
ah but do you like the list?

I've often waivered between Navratilova, Graf, Lenglen and Court as number one and your list has players than if you picked any of them for number one it wouldn't be bad so yes I think the list is excellent.

anointedone
04-13-2009, 09:50 AM
I think those are definitely the top 7 in some order or another, no doubt about it. You can debate many ways amongst those 7. King right now is virtually a #8 lock, it is hard to put her any higher or any lower than that. Seles and Serena are a toss up at #9 for now.

grafselesfan
04-13-2009, 01:10 PM
1. Graf
2. Wills
3. Court
4. Navratilova
5. Evert
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly


1. Graf
2. Seles
3. Court
4. Connoly
5. Navratilova
6. Evert
7. Lenglen
8. Wills Moody
9. King
10. Serena Williams

AndrewD
04-13-2009, 02:05 PM
I've often waivered between Navratilova, Graf, Lenglen and Court as number one and your list has players than if you picked any of them for number one it wouldn't be bad so yes I think the list is excellent.

Perhaps you should expand the criteria somewhat and take into account how a greatest player might be able to function in all forms of the game. Navratilova and Court proved, time and time again, that their effectiveness was not limited to singles and their ability to dominate a form of the our game (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) was not bound by gender. If you go over the record books I think you'll find that they were also the most dominant doubles players and mixed doubles players of their day (probably extends to 'of all time'). I think that is also where Connolly, Evert and even Graf suffer in comparison to the other elite players and where Lenglen and Moody (who you didn't mention) gain bonus points. Despite not being attacking players like Navratilova and Court they were still able to win the biggest titles when they moved over to doubles and mixed. In particular, I believe that their ability to thrive in mixed doubles is a genuine testament to their greatness as tennis players, not merely female tennis players.

I realise that someone like Graf might have chosen not to play doubles and mixed on any regular basis (something that can also be said about Henin but not the majority of the game's greatest women players even through to today) but I still believe it offers a valid point of distinction between several options and poses an interesting question or two.

julesb
04-13-2009, 02:09 PM
Of course Graf wouldnt play doubles. That would be taking the more challenging way to greatness and that was never Graf's way. Graf always took the easy way. Waiting until Navratilova was 31 years old to start winning slam titles, other than a lucky fluke French in 1987. Waiting until Seles was stabbed in the back with a very sharp knife to start winning slams other than Wimbledon again. Then conveniently becoming too injured and barely playing her final years once Hingis reached her prime.

BTURNER
04-13-2009, 03:43 PM
Perhaps you should expand the criteria somewhat and take into account how a greatest player might be able to function in all forms of the game. Navratilova and Court proved, time and time again, that their effectiveness was not limited to singles and their ability to dominate a form of the our game (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) was not bound by gender. If you go over the record books I think you'll find that they were also the most dominant doubles players and mixed doubles players of their day (probably extends to 'of all time'). I think that is also where Connolly, Evert and even Graf suffer in comparison to the other elite players and where Lenglen and Moody (who you didn't mention) gain bonus points. Despite not being attacking players like Navratilova and Court they were still able to win the biggest titles when they moved over to doubles and mixed. In particular, I believe that their ability to thrive in mixed doubles is a genuine testament to their greatness as tennis players, not merely female tennis players.

I realise that someone like Graf might have chosen not to play doubles and mixed on any regular basis (something that can also be said about Henin but not the majority of the game's greatest women players even through to today) but I still believe it offers a valid point of distinction between several options and poses an interesting question or two.

Your point is valid. Is doubles a separate game from singles or not? I pick yes. but by doing so I end up ignoring a hell of a lot. by including, you end up having o figure out how much credit to give a player for the results of a team. It would change my list considerably.

pc1
04-13-2009, 03:52 PM
Your point is valid. Is doubles a separate game from singles or not? I pick yes. but by doing so I end up ignoring a hell of a lot. by including, you end up having o figure out how much credit to give a player for the results of a team. It would change my list considerably.

I still most people here assume the person who started the thread is talking about singles but AndrewD is correct about doubles. Court and Navratilova are clearly better than for example Graf in doubles and if doubles is included it would be no contest. Heck if doubles is included you may put Billie Jean King above Graf.

BTURNER
04-13-2009, 04:17 PM
I think those are definitely the top 7 in some order or another, no doubt about it. You can debate many ways amongst those 7. King right now is virtually a #8 lock, it is hard to put her any higher or any lower than that. Seles and Serena are a toss up at #9 for now.

King has one severe problem. Let's list her red clay achievements. One RG title, and one other time reaching the semis, one German title and one Italian. Lest you think that's because she hates to travel abroad, she has exactly one US clay court title and 4 other minor American clay tournaments. In 3 of those tourneys she faced a caliber clay courter in the final . She beat Goolagong, Court and Mastoff. she beat Casals, Heldman, Peaches Bartkowicz, Linda Tuero and a Carol Hanks for the tulsa Oklahoma title. LOL I love King, but that's embarrassing for a woman with that many years on the tour trying to promote women's events for two decades.

boredone3456
04-13-2009, 05:15 PM
Well I think it time I repost my top players in order. with all this debate, with poster 'x' slaming player 'y', and poster 'c' racing to defame player 'd' I personally loose my own perspective. this was my order before coming in here

1. Graf
2. Wills
3. Court
4. Navratilova
5. Evert
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

These are the only contenders for GOAT as of today . Am I sure this order is better than another? Not very and certainly less so as this debate goes forward. but no case is solid enough to refute this order either. I weigh slams heavily, I weigh variety of surfaces heavily. I weigh dominance over a lengthy period of time heavily. I weigh accomplishments over woulda, coulda, maybe accomplishments very lightly and do not attempt to over analyze the relative quality of their contemparies.

I agree in premise. These are the only 7 names that can really be in the debate for GOAT taking all into account. The order I would respectfully disagree with though, mine would be:

1. Navratilova
2-4 would be Graf, Evert and Court in some order
5. Wills
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

Even though these are the 7 names, Connolly is very far on the outside looking in, even taking into account her career changing accident. The other 6 are truly well ahead of her.

As for this poll. Court vs Evert is tough. It really depends on what you think in 2 areas, how much Courts Australians should be factored in, and what you think in regards to doubles. If you count the Australians as full and take the "she showed up you can't blame her" line then Court would probably win out. If you devalue her Australians and look at the rest it really becomes close. Court was able to hold all 4 slams simultaneously, something Evert was never able to do. Court also had several years winning at least 3 majors. Evert did not. Evert however has the highest Open Era exclusive win percentage, Court may have a higher one overall, depending on where you get you numbers(I have seen percentages for Court ranging from .88 to .91 for her win percentage in different places).

Evert won at least one slam a year for 13 years, had an amazing win %, and winning head to heads against quite a few quality women, with the exceptions of Graf, Nav, Austin (depending where you look). Her record 7 French Opens is in my opinion just as impressive as Court's 11 Australians, not to mention Evert's 125 match win streak on clay, followed by another lengthy winning streak after Austin broke the 1st one.

I however give Court a lot of credit, she came back after having a child and seemingly picked up right where she left off, winning majors and never breaking stride.

With these 2, like with Graf and Evert, it depends on what you value, both in terms of majors and whether you want to factor in doubles. I lean slightly in favor of Evert because of her 1 major a year for 13 years, for making at least the semi's of every slam she played from her debut up to Wimbledon in 1983 (arguably weakened by food poisoning in that loss.) In fact, only 4 times in Evert's career was she knocked out before the Semi's of a Grand Slam, after 1983 the next Instance was the 1987 US Open. That is an amazing mark of consistancy given the quality of opposition she faced for the duration of her career.

Court had similar consistancy, but Court should have won more Wimbledons, she was hailed as a grass court player, but I really feel she should have won Wimbledon a couple of more times than she did. Given her game and how well it was suited to grass, Wimbledon was her worst slam in terms of results. Evert made more finals than her there, and got the same number of titles. That is pretty impressive since Court had a more grass appropriate game.

All in all, its close between these two, but if I had to vote I give it to Evert by a very slim margin.

CEvertFan
04-14-2009, 08:14 AM
I agree in premise. These are the only 7 names that can really be in the debate for GOAT taking all into account. The order I would respectfully disagree with though, mine would be:

1. Navratilova
2-4 would be Graf, Evert and Court in some order
5. Wills
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

Even though these are the 7 names, Connolly is very far on the outside looking in, even taking into account her career changing accident. The other 6 are truly well ahead of her.

As for this poll. Court vs Evert is tough. It really depends on what you think in 2 areas, how much Courts Australians should be factored in, and what you think in regards to doubles. If you count the Australians as full and take the "she showed up you can't blame her" line then Court would probably win out. If you devalue her Australians and look at the rest it really becomes close. Court was able to hold all 4 slams simultaneously, something Evert was never able to do. Court also had several years winning at least 3 majors. Evert did not. Evert however has the highest Open Era exclusive win percentage, Court may have a higher one overall, depending on where you get you numbers(I have seen percentages for Court ranging from .88 to .91 for her win percentage in different places).

Evert won at least one slam a year for 13 years, had an amazing win %, and winning head to heads against quite a few quality women, with the exceptions of Graf, Nav, Austin (depending where you look). Her record 7 French Opens is in my opinion just as impressive as Court's 11 Australians, not to mention Evert's 125 match win streak on clay, followed by another lengthy winning streak after Austin broke the 1st one.

I however give Court a lot of credit, she came back after having a child and seemingly picked up right where she left off, winning majors and never breaking stride.

With these 2, like with Graf and Evert, it depends on what you value, both in terms of majors and whether you want to factor in doubles. I lean slightly in favor of Evert because of her 1 major a year for 13 years, for making at least the semi's of every slam she played from her debut up to Wimbledon in 1983 (arguably weakened by food poisoning in that loss.) In fact, only 4 times in Evert's career was she knocked out before the Semi's of a Grand Slam, after 1983 the next Instance was the 1987 US Open. That is an amazing mark of consistancy given the quality of opposition she faced for the duration of her career.

Court had similar consistancy, but Court should have won more Wimbledons, she was hailed as a grass court player, but I really feel she should have won Wimbledon a couple of more times than she did. Given her game and how well it was suited to grass, Wimbledon was her worst slam in terms of results. Evert made more finals than her there, and got the same number of titles. That is pretty impressive since Court had a more grass appropriate game.

All in all, its close between these two, but if I had to vote I give it to Evert by a very slim margin.


Excellent post. And I agree with your list.

380pistol
04-14-2009, 08:34 AM
Well I think it time I repost my top players in order. with all this debate, with poster 'x' slaming player 'y', and poster 'c' racing to defame player 'd' I personally loose my own perspective. this was my order before coming in here

1. Graf
2. Wills
3. Court
4. Navratilova
5. Evert
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly

These are the only contenders for GOAT as of today . Am I sure this order is better than another? Not very and certainly less so as this debate goes forward. but no case is solid enough to refute this order either. I weigh slams heavily, I weigh variety of surfaces heavily. I weigh dominance over a lengthy period of time heavily. I weigh accomplishments over woulda, coulda, maybe accomplishments very lightly and do not attempt to over analyze the relative quality of their contemparies.

Those are probably the top 7 with King, Serena and Seles rounding out the top 10, but the order, is something that can be debated. Martina should be higher as well as Connolly.

But there is so much to consider, and there'll be probably people who'll debat what I just said.

380pistol
04-14-2009, 08:36 AM
1. Graf
2. Seles
3. Court
4. Connoly
5. Navratilova
6. Evert
7. Lenglen
8. Wills Moody
9. King
10. Serena Williams

How is Seles #2 with no Wimbledon title?? Stabbing or or no stabbing, nothing suggests she would have definitely got one. And what about people like Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Court who can claim each major at least twice, and Seles can't claim one at SW19???

I just don't understand it. Seles was great and her career was robbed by the stabbing, but I just don't understand #2.

grafselesfan
04-14-2009, 11:55 AM
How is Seles #2 with no Wimbledon title?? Stabbing or or no stabbing, nothing suggests she would have definitely got one. And what about people like Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Court who can claim each major at least twice, and Seles can't claim one at SW19???

I just don't understand it. Seles was great and her career was robbed by the stabbing, but I just don't understand #2.

Seles was in a Wimbledon final at 18. Can you think of any players anywhere near as great as Seles who reached their first slam final on a surface at only 18 and never won it. Wimbledon 92 shows she was already better than everyone on grass except Graf, yet she never would have won Wimbledon you think? 1994, 1997, 1998 were all years Graf wasnt anywhere near winning. All years before Davenport, Venus, Serena, all emerged on grass. Just to make perfectly clear I already know Seles was never going to win Wimbledon in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, or any year aside from the 3 I mentioned. All years she would have had a good shot. I would be surprised if she didnt win atleast 2 of those 3 years in fact without th estabbing.

The only real threats to Seles those years would have been Novotna and Hingis (the only years Sanchez was a threat at Wimbledon were 1995 and 1996 which I already conceded Seles would not win anyway). Novotna probably would have choked, and Hingis was never nearly as good a player on either grass or clay as she is on all hard court type surfaces. Hingis's draw to win Wimbledon 1997 other than a choking/injured Novotna was a joke.

BTURNER
04-14-2009, 04:33 PM
"1. Navratilova
2-4 would be Graf, Evert and Court in some order
5. Wills
6. Lenglen
7. Connolly"


Well reasoned post but I just can't go with Navratilova at #1 due to her less than glorious red clay record. Of the seven mentioned. The only one with worse cumulative record at the three longest running red clay events is Connolly who was injured mid career.

Lenglen, Wills and Connolly were all undefeated at RG. Evert has 7 wins, 2 RU; Graf 6 wins, 3 RU; Court 5 wins, 1 RU; Navratilova 2 wins, 4 RU;

Italian Open results Evert has 5 wins, 2 Ru; Court 3 wins, 1 RU; Graf 1 win, 0 Ru, Navratilova 0 wins, 4 RU, Connolly 1 win, 1 RU; Neither Wills nor Lenglen played it as it was a closed event in their era.

German Open results Graf 9 wins, 2 RU; Court 3 wins, 0 RU, Evert 2 wins, 0 RU, Navratilova 0 wins, 2 RU. Neither Wills nor Lenglen played it as it was a closed event in their era. Connolly did not play.

totals: Graf 16 wins, 5 RU; Evert 14 wins, 4 Ru; Court 11 wins 2 RU, Lenglen 6 wins (undefeated) Wills 4 wins ( undefeated), Connolly 3 wins, 1 RU; Navratilova only 2 wins, 10 RU.

I realize Martina's numbers are still good, and she has some impressive victories and its mighty hard to get lots of traction in this category, with Evert and Graf hanging around, but they weren't EVERYWHERE and if surface is a big part of the equation, 2 titles out of these three championships not good enough for number one, UNLESS you are one to include doubles as criteria.

flying24
04-24-2009, 01:56 PM
I would go with Court here. She faced a tougher overall field and was still far more dominant and showed greater longevity as far as near peak play. Court is so very underrated and would get far more consideration as the female GOAT if she were an American, sorry if that sounds blunt, but it is true. Even Graf, Navratilova, and Seles for example now live in the U.S, and 2 of the 3 have U.S citizenship which gives them much stronger notoriety with the U.S public than Court has.

egn
04-24-2009, 02:00 PM
I would go with Court here. She faced a tougher overall field and was still far more dominant and showed greater longevity as far as near peak play. Court is so very underrated and would get far more consideration as the female GOAT if she were an American, sorry if that sounds blunt, but it is true. Even Graf, Navratilova, and Seles for example now live in the U.S, and 2 of the 3 have U.S citizenship which gives them much stronger notoriety with the U.S public than Court has.

I am not sure if it is the american factor or the fact that she played so long ago.

flying24
04-24-2009, 02:05 PM
I am not sure if it is the american factor or the fact that she played so long ago.

That is a good point, but someone like King played at almost the exact same time span. King emerged as a real force somewhat later true, moreso than the 1 year age difference between them, but still not that big a difference. Yet there are many casual tennis fans in the U.S who seem to think even King rates higher all time. While King is a truly great tennis player in her own right, in addition to being a great ambassador for the game and a great personality for the game (neither of which Court really is particularly the latter), anyone believing King rates higher than Court in history is a bit of a joke.

Yes you might be right that her not being recent is why she is underrated compared to Navratilova, Graf, Evert, and even Serena. I still think if she were an American she would get alot more consideration though.