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


thalivest
04-11-2009, 04:29 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, 04:46 PM
I going to wait on this one and see who makes a convincing case.

pc1
04-11-2009, 04:53 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, 04:59 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, 05:08 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?

egn
04-11-2009, 05:39 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, 05:42 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, 05:58 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, 06:27 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, 06:32 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, 07:27 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, 07:54 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, 09:28 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, 10:04 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
04-12-2009, 12:16 AM
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
04-12-2009, 12:23 AM
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, 05:38 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, 08:15 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, 08:36 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, 10:00 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, 10:16 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, 10:16 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, 12:16 PM
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, 01:09 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, 01:55 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, 02:10 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, 04:21 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, 06:21 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, 06:26 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, 06:37 PM
ah but do you like the list?

grafrules
04-12-2009, 07:44 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, 09:00 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, 09:27 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, 09:46 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, 09:54 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, 10:16 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
04-13-2009, 12:16 AM
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, 05:15 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, 10:50 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, 02:10 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, 03:05 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, 03:09 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, 04:43 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, 04:52 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, 05:17 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, 06:15 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, 09:14 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, 09:34 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, 09:36 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, 12:55 PM
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, 05:33 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, 02:56 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, 03:00 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, 03:05 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.

conway
08-24-2014, 06:53 PM
I think both are underrated these days. I think Court rates higher though. Evert is unlucky since had she played all the Australian and French Opens in the 70s she would probably be viewed as the GOAT today. She would have around 25 slams. However reality is she has 18, and Court even had the Australian Open been a real slam would have 20-22. Court was also generally more dominant, so many 3 slam years. Even had Evert played all the slams, it appears she would have only 2 or 3 different 3 slam years at most based on the results of slams she did play. Then you add in Court's doubles play (for those who care about that) and it makes her edge more apparent.

Meanwhile you could do the same what ifs for Court. Had she not taken a break 3 times to have babies, she would probably have over 30 slams and been even more the runaway GOAT today than Evert would have been, and even had everyone played the Australian Open for that matter. Court's heavy Christian beliefs are probably what kept her from having abortions and just continuing to play and win ever more slams.

kiki
09-03-2014, 11:40 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.
Which speaks volume about Bueno,don't you think?

hoodjem
09-03-2014, 01:07 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.I hate to say it, but as a tennis player (not a human being), Court probably ranks higher than Evert.

And I'd place Navratilova over Court.

conway
09-03-2014, 01:11 PM
I think Court should rank higher than Navratilova and Evert. I probably would place Evert over Navratilova too.

My personal rankings are:

1. Graf
2. Wills Moody
3. Court
4. Evert
5. Navratilova
6. Serena
7. Connolly
8. Lenglen
9. Henin
10. Seles and Venus (tie)


Most peoples rankings though would be more like:

1. Graf
2. Serena (way overrated)
3. Navratilova
4. Court
5. Evert
6. Wills Moody (way underrated)
7. Lenglen
8. Connolly
9. King (overrated IMO)
10. Seles and Henin and Venus

Arafel
09-03-2014, 01:50 PM
I would put Evert over Court. Evert was a tougher out for other players than Court, and her Slam totals would be a lot higher if the tours had put an equal value on all the Slams in the 70s the way they do now. Chris only played one Australian Open in the first 10 years of her career; the result was a loss in the finals to Evonne Goolagong. However, if Chris had played more Aussies, I'm sure she would have won 2-4.

For me, the big strike against Court is Wimbledon. Court was a grass court player for the most part. She grew up on on, and her game was tailored for hit. Court played the game's most prestigious event 12 times. Yet Court only won three Wimbledons, 1963, 1965, and 1970. To me, that's a big strike. That's the same number of Wimbledons as Chris Evert, whose game was far better suited for clay and hard courts than grass.

conway
09-03-2014, 01:58 PM
I would put Evert over Court. Evert was a tougher out for other players than Court

What is your basis for saying this? I dont see anything in facts that would suggest this. Evert has a losing record vs two players of her own era- Navratilova and Austin. Court has a losing record vs 0 players of her own era (I dont count Evert of Court's era, just as I dont count Graf of Evert's). Court won 22 of the 38 slams she played from 1962-1973. That is a way better ratio than Evert managed over any similarily long stretch. Evert's best stretch is 11 of 19, which is the same ratio, but over only half as many slams, and began to fall off drastically after that.

Court had 5 years that she won atleast 3 slams, and Evert doesnt even have a single 3 slam year. Now granted Evert probably would have 1-3 years she won 3 slams had everyone played all 4 slams this period, but Evert would not likely matched Court's amazing run of doing it 5 times if everyone (not just Evert herself, but other top players) played all the slams each year (Evert has only 5 years she lost only 1 time or less in slams, and would have had to win all remaining slams she didnt play to match Court, very unlikely when some of those years she won 1 of 2 majors she played). Any year Court was playing well enough to win 2 of the 3 remaining slams she was never losing the Australian on her turf too, even had everyone played. Court btw had a year winning 3 slams at 19 and another at age 31. She dominated off and on from the time she was a teenager until her early 30s, over a 12 year period, most times she was actually playing tennis she dominated for 12 years.

, and her Slam totals would be a lot higher if the tours had put an equal value on all the Slams in the 70s the way they do now. Chris only played one Australian Open in the first 10 years of her career; the result was a loss in the finals to Evonne Goolagong. However, if Chris had played more Aussies, I'm sure she would have won 2-4.

It is true had Evert (and the tour) played the Australian and French each year she would have 22 or more slams probably. However had Court not retired 3 times she would have well over 30 slams, and had everyone played the Australian and she still never retired, she would still likely be close to 30.

For me, the big strike against Court is Wimbledon. Court was a grass court player for the most part. She grew up on on, and her game was tailored for hit. Court played the game's most prestigious event 12 times. Yet Court only won three Wimbledons, 1963, 1965, and 1970. To me, that's a big strike. That's the same number of Wimbledons as Chris Evert, whose game was far better suited for clay and hard courts than grass.

This part I totally agree with 100% and is the biggest reason I dont pick Court as the GOAT, and IMO the only real case Evert has to possibly rank over Court. Nonetheless I still go with Court. I rate both Court and Evert above Navratilova and Serena though (contrary to most, who do the opposite), and rank both behind Graf and Wills (like everyone else when it comes to Graf, but contrary to most when it comes to Wills).

Arafel
09-03-2014, 02:21 PM
What is your basis for saying this? I dont see anything in facts that would suggest this. Evert has a losing record vs two players of her own era- Navratilova and Austin. Court has a losing record vs 0 players of her own era (I dont count Evert of Court's era, just as I dont count Graf of Evert's). Court won 22 of the 38 slams she played from 1962-1973. That is a way better ratio than Evert managed over any similarily long stretch. Evert's best stretch is 11 of 19, which is the same ratio, but over only half as many slams, and began to fall off drastically after that.



My basis for saying that is simple. Evert first started playing Grand Slams at 16, in 1971. Starting with that first one, and going to 1987, Chris Evert made the semifinals or better at EVERY Slam she ever entered, except for the 1983 Wimbledon, when she was so hobbled by the flu that doctors recommended she not take the court. Kathy Jordan beat her, and didn't even celebrate because it was so obvious Chris shouldn't have even played.

Think about that stat: 48 of the first 49 Slams she played, she made AT LEAST the semis. Chris didn't beat herself, and she never had a letdown.

Pair that Slam stat with her career 90 percent winning percentage, highest ever in the women's game, and her amazing 189-1 eight year clay court record, and I think Chris Evert was probably the toughest player to beat in the history of the women's game, because she never beat herself.

conway
09-03-2014, 03:00 PM
On the WTA tennis site it was stated by some who have done extensive research Court leads in both post War 11 win percentage (just ahead of Evert), and tournament titles (199, more than Navratilova's 167). Of course there are pre World 11 players like Lenglen, Wills Moody, and Connolly (maybe Marble as well) who have much better win percentages than both of them.

I see your point, but IMO the semifinal stat just shows that Evert is the most consistent player in modern tennis history, which is something already generally known. So back in the days everyone ranked outside the top 5 generally sucked (which is certainly true of both Court and Evert's era), she was tougher to beat than anyone for someone outside the top 5. However Court's much greater success at actually winning titles of events she got deep in, shows she was much tougher to beat than Evert for the very top people, which is more important to me.

Arafel
09-03-2014, 03:19 PM
On the WTA tennis site it was stated by some who have done extensive research Court leads in both post War 11 win percentage (just ahead of Evert), and tournament titles (199, more than Navratilova's 167). Of course there are pre World 11 players like Lenglen, Wills Moody, and Connolly (maybe Marble as well) who have much better win percentages than both of them.

I see your point, but IMO the semifinal stat just shows that Evert is the most consistent player in modern tennis history, which is something already generally known. So back in the days everyone ranked outside the top 5 generally sucked (which is certainly true of both Court and Evert's era), she was tougher to beat than anyone for someone outside the top 5. However Court's much greater success at actually winning titles of events she got deep in, shows she was much tougher to beat than Evert for the very top people, which is more important to me.

Well, the official records still show Martina leading in tournament titles, with Chris second, so I go by those, and her winning percentage is also higher. Further, I don't know how you can say Court had much greater success than Evert at winning titles when the stats don't show that.

For instance, you cite Martina, who leads the head-to-head 43-37, but Martina benefits a lot in that stat by playing Chris on grass and carpet, her two worst surfaces, because Chris WAS consistent enough to get to the finals, whereas on clay and even hard until the mid-80s, Martina lost before even getting to play Chris.

Evert also holds the record for most French Opens and most U.S. Opens. Court only leads at her native Slam, Australia, where most of the best players didn't even enter.

As far as Tracy, most of Tracy's wins occurred during a one-year span right after Chris married John Lloyd and her career tanked. Chris had clearly turned the rivalry around by the 1980 U.S. Open.

BTURNER
09-03-2014, 03:25 PM
On the WTA tennis site it was stated by some who have done extensive research Court leads in both post War 11 win percentage (just ahead of Evert), and tournament titles (199, more than Navratilova's 167). Of course there are pre World 11 players like Lenglen, Wills Moody, and Connolly (maybe Marble as well) who have much better win percentages than both of them.

I see your point, but IMO the semifinal stat just shows that Evert is the most consistent player in modern tennis history, which is something already generally known. So back in the days everyone ranked outside the top 5 generally sucked (which is certainly true of both Court and Evert's era), she was tougher to beat than anyone for someone outside the top 5. However Court's much greater success at actually winning titles of events she got deep in, shows she was much tougher to beat than Evert for the very top people, which is more important to me.

Ive' seen a list of these tournaments. My problem is that if you look at many of those 'titles', especially in early to mid 60's the events were very small often local. She beat Sara Salisbury in the New Zealand invitational in 1963, WHOOPEE( just hypothetical.) Its not her fault, anymore than the fact that the Aussie was poorly attended, but many of these events often had nobody worthy of reaching the QF at Wimbledon at all. Trust me Conway, a lot of the names of the list of finalists she beat, prior to like 1966, you will never have heard of.

Before the pro tour in 1968, you really have ask just how much competition were at events outside of the states and Europe. I have the same view of some of Bueno's titles from South America.

conway
09-03-2014, 03:43 PM
Well, the official records still show Martina leading in tournament titles, with Chris second, so I go by those, and her winning percentage is also higher.

The stats for players who crossed over from before the Open Era to the Open Era are based on only the Open Era so are all completely false. Court's win percentage is slightly higher than Evert's and she won 199 tournaments. The people who have researched this are never wrong on these sort of things.

Further, I don't know how you can say Court had much greater success than Evert at winning titles when the stats don't show that.

I already said Court won 22 of 38 slams she won over a 12 year stretch. Evert does not come even close to that over a period of 40 slams played or any 12 year stretch. So yes Court was much better at winning titles when she played or got deep.

Evert also holds the record for most French Opens and most U.S. Opens. Court only leads at her native Slam, Australia, where most of the best players didn't even enter.

Molla Mallorey and Wills Moody have more U.S Opens. Mallorey's is a joke, but Wills Moody's mark of 7 is fully legit. Chris also had the U.S Open on clay (her best surface) for 3 years, for the only time in history it wasnt played on grass (as it was for almost 100 years), and today hard courts (almost 40 years and counting).

Court would have the Australian Open record easily even if everyone had played. If you analyze each year it is obvious she would still have likely won 7-9, and the next most is Serena with 5.

As far as Tracy, most of Tracy's wins occurred during a one-year span right after Chris married John Lloyd and her career tanked. Chris had clearly turned the rivalry around by the 1980 U.S. Open.

What a total joke. Tracy was 9-4 vs Evert in 79-81, the only period Tracy was able to play prime tennis (and while Chris was clearly in the midst of her long prime as well). Before that she was 15 or younger, and after that her body was too butchered to play at the top level anymore. Chris had totally turned the rivalry around? Is that why she lost 2 of their 3 meetings in 81, getting spanked badly in both losses and barely winning the other. I guess Tracy didnt get the memo. The rivalry only turned for good when Tracy's back went out and she was no longer a top level player.

conway
09-03-2014, 03:44 PM
Ive' seen a list of these tournaments. My problem is that if you look at many of those 'titles', especially in early to mid 60's the events were very small often local. She beat Sara Salisbury in the New Zealand invitational in 1963, WHOOPEE( just hypothetical.) Its not her fault, anymore than the fact that the Aussie was poorly attended, but many of these events often had nobody worthy of reaching the QF at Wimbledon at all. Trust me Conway, a lot of the names of the list of finalists she beat, prior to like 1966, you will never have heard of.

Before the pro tour in 1968, you really have ask just how much competition were at events outside of the states and Europe. I have the same view of some of Bueno's titles from South America.

In the Navratilova-Evert era this was true too. Do you really think either Evert or Navratilova could dream of winning even 100 tournaments today, let alone 160 each? Of course not. In the era of Court, Evert, and Navratilova, there were tons of joke tournaments, some you had to play 3 matches to win. So no difference there.

BTURNER
09-03-2014, 04:02 PM
In the Navratilova-Evert era this was true too. Do you really think either Evert or Navratilova could dream of winning even 100 tournaments today, let alone 160 each? Of course not. In the era of Court, Evert, and Navratilova, there were tons of joke tournaments, some you had to play 3 matches to win. So no difference there.

then why are you giving Credit to Court for winning big match 'finals', as though she was beating King or Bueno or Hard,without actually judging the quality of the event? the records of some of these tournaments in the 60's Down Under were so bare, you can't even figure out who was the semifinalist without checking the local rag . You can't have it both ways Conway, slamming the 'Major Down under as a bogus Major, but crediting the pipsqueak draws in South Queensland as a tournament and having more meaning than an Evert Semifinal at a major. You think that 199 actually means anything?

Conway if those Aussie's are bogus majors, every single record Court owns is compromised by her same propensity to acquire stats from the Aussie/ New Zealand tour. that means her W/L percentage is tainted, her percentage of finals won is tainted and her number of tournaments is tainted. 'Bogus' applies to the whole mess south of the equator. Only its a lot worse. Somebody might show up off the boat/ plane two week prior to The Australian, and stick around until it was over. That means the two events just beforehand might get someone without an australian accent. The rest of the year, Margaret walked off with the finals, the trophies and lots of 6-1,6-2 triumphs to pad her w/ loss percentage.

Now later on, as Margaret was allowed to travel more, and spent more and more time away from home, the percentage becomes smaller, but she always ended playing around 4 to 6 or more events each year, mostly to support the local tournaments, that supported Aussie tennis. She did not do it to pad numbers, but it has that effect. There were no 'points' to defend and it did nothing one way or the other to determine world ranking. It sure inflates some of the stats we are using now, post WTA to measure career patterns.

Arafel
09-03-2014, 09:38 PM
What a total joke. Tracy was 9-4 vs Evert in 79-81, the only period Tracy was able to play prime tennis (and while Chris was clearly in the midst of her long prime as well). Before that she was 15 or younger, and after that her body was too butchered to play at the top level anymore. Chris had totally turned the rivalry around? Is that why she lost 2 of their 3 meetings in 81, getting spanked badly in both losses and barely winning the other. I guess Tracy didnt get the memo. The rivalry only turned for good when Tracy's back went out and she was no longer a top level player.

It's not as cut and dried as you make it. Chris won the first three. Tracy got her first win indoors in January 1979. They played four more times in 79, splitting the matches. Two went three sets, with each winning one.

Tracy took control of the rivalry with her win over Chris in the 1979 U.S. Open, the last of those aforementioned four matches. Tracy then beat Chris in Germany in fall 79, then got two wins over Chris in January 1980 in the same tournament, the Avon Tour Finals, winning both a round robin and semifinal encounter.

Tired of the tour, tired of losing to Tracy (four losses in a four month span, including two in a three day period), Chris took a sabbatical. She came back in the summer. Tracy resumed by beating Chris in Cincinnati. At this point, Tracy has racked up five wins in a 10-month span.

Chris then beat Tracy in the U.S. Open semifinal in September 1980. Tracy won in 81 in Ontario, they split two matches at the 81 finals (played December 1981) and Chris won their final encounter.

Tracy benefited from playing Chris at lot on her worst her surface, indoor carpet, and got most of her wins in a short span where Chris was distracted by a lot going on in her life. Given what happened later in the 80s with Martina, and that Martina at her peak was a far more devastating opponent than Tracy ever was, I see no reason to think that Chris, who was never mentally browbeaten by Tracy for as long as she was by Martina, wouldn't have resumed by beating Tracy even had Austin been healthy.

conway
09-03-2014, 09:54 PM
then why are you giving Credit to Court for winning big match 'finals', as though she was beating King or Bueno or Hard,without actually judging the quality of the event? .

I was only referring to her conversion rate of winning big events and big finals with that particular comment, not all tournament finals (pointing out she won 199 tournament was a separate point I brought up, but was not what I was referring to when I talked about her conversion rate in winning big titles). And to win those big titles she almost always did beat someone like King, Bueno, and Hard, or on clay Richey, Jones, or Turner (the other great clay courters of that time, besides Court). Even at the Australian Open, contrary to popular belief she usually did beat someone like that en route to the title:

1960- beat #1 seed Bueno in the quarters as a 17 year old unknown en route to winning.
1965- beat Bueno in final
1969- beat King in final
1971- beat Goolagong in final
1973- beat Goolagong in final

6 of the 11 years she won the Australian Open the reigning Wimbledon champion played the event. She really faced didn't face a weak opponent in her Australian Open finals anymore that she won than Evert did at Roland Garros. Of Evert's 7 French Open titles over half of them were won against Morozova, Ruzica, Mima Jausovec, and Wendy Turnbull, which is no different than facing a second tier Australian like Melville, Lehane, or Hunt in some Australian Open finals like Court. In both their cases it wouldn't have mattered either, as they were the undisputed queens of those particular events (not just in their era, but all time).

I also only mentioned that Court won 199 tournaments since someone else pointed out Evert had won many more tournaments, but that is factucally incorrect. I didn't speak either way about the competition in most of the non slam tournaments, but since you insist on speaking about it then it was very easy in the eras of ALL of Court, Navratilova, and Evert to win a ton of tournaments, so in a Court-Evert discussion that point is a wash, and Court still won the most even though all 3 played in an era it was easy to win them. The fact is nobody today could dream of winning more than 100 tournaments, no matter how great they were, never mind the 160-200 Evert, Navratilova, and Court all won.

PDJ
09-04-2014, 12:23 AM
Evert: why? Because it's my vote.

Rochester
09-04-2014, 12:43 PM
I prefer Evert but this thread shows what others often do: favorites benefit from excuses while non favorites don't

BTURNER
09-04-2014, 03:47 PM
I was only referring to her conversion rate of winning big events and big finals with that particular comment, not all tournament finals (pointing out she won 199 tournament was a separate point I brought up, but was not what I was referring to when I talked about her conversion rate in winning big titles). And to win those big titles she almost always did beat someone like King, Bueno, and Hard, or on clay Richey, Jones, or Turner (the other great clay courters of that time, besides Court). Even at the Australian Open, contrary to popular belief she usually did beat someone like that en route to the title:

1960- beat #1 seed Bueno in the quarters as a 17 year old unknown en route to winning.
1965- beat Bueno in final
1969- beat King in final
1971- beat Goolagong in final
1973- beat Goolagong in final

6 of the 11 years she won the Australian Open the reigning Wimbledon champion played the event. She really faced didn't face a weak opponent in her Australian Open finals anymore that she won than Evert did at Roland Garros. Of Evert's 7 French Open titles over half of them were won against Morozova, Ruzica, Mima Jausovec, and Wendy Turnbull, which is no different than facing a second tier Australian like Melville, Lehane, or Hunt in some Australian Open finals like Court. In both their cases it wouldn't have mattered either, as they were the undisputed queens of those particular events (not just in their era, but all time).

I also only mentioned that Court won 199 tournaments since someone else pointed out Evert had won many more tournaments, but that is factually incorrect. I didn't speak either way about the competition in most of the non slam tournaments, but since you insist on speaking about it then it was very easy in the eras of ALL of Court, Navratilova, and Evert to win a ton of tournaments, so in a Court-Evert discussion that point is a wash, and Court still won the most even though all 3 played in an era it was easy to win them. The fact is nobody today could dream of winning more than 100 tournaments, no matter how great they were, never mind the 160-200 Evert, Navratilova, and Court all won.


Accumulating tour 'title's, became considerably more difficult with each generation from the 50's forward as criteria were established to define a WTA sanctioned tour event and the unionized players gain a say in the seasonal schedule reducing the sheer volume of events ( stage one), as physical training and professional standards in coaching became strenuous and youth oriented and thus careers shortened with injuries/ burnout became more prominent (stage two), as the tour began to regulate how many tournaments minors could compete in (stage three). It was easier for Court than Evert (stage 1). Easier for Evert than Graf (stage two). Easier for Graf than Williams (stage three). That is the opposite of a 'wash' because Evert and Court did not play under the same circumstances in the same regions, and the tour was already changing with Open tennis in 1968 and with the unionization of the players. This was a process towards an end result. Evert and court came in at different points in the process.

Rochester
09-04-2014, 06:05 PM
BTBurner I akways enjoy reading your posts. You clearly have done your research

Steve132
09-05-2014, 06:55 AM
Accumulating tour 'title's, became considerably more difficult with each generation from the 50's forward as criteria were established to define a WTA sanctioned tour event and the unionized players gain a say in the seasonal schedule reducing the sheer volume of events ( stage one), as physical training and professional standards in coaching became strenuous and youth oriented and thus careers shortened with injuries/ burnout became more prominent (stage two), as the tour began to regulate how many tournaments minors could compete in (stage three). It was easier for Court than Evert (stage 1). Easier for Evert than Graf (stage two). Easier for Graf than Williams (stage three). That is the opposite of a 'wash' because Evert and Court did not play under the same circumstances in the same regions, and the tour was already changing with Open tennis in 1968 and with the unionization of the players. This was a process towards an end result. Evert and court came in at different points in the process.

BTurner: Great post. All too often people forget these considerations when comparing the number of titles won by players from different generations. I would add that as a result of these and other changes the leading players have increasingly tended to play in the SAME events, making it more difficult to win titles. Moreover, all of this applies as much to the men's tour as it does to the women's.

pc1
09-05-2014, 12:43 PM
Accumulating tour 'title's, became considerably more difficult with each generation from the 50's forward as criteria were established to define a WTA sanctioned tour event and the unionized players gain a say in the seasonal schedule reducing the sheer volume of events ( stage one), as physical training and professional standards in coaching became strenuous and youth oriented and thus careers shortened with injuries/ burnout became more prominent (stage two), as the tour began to regulate how many tournaments minors could compete in (stage three). It was easier for Court than Evert (stage 1). Easier for Evert than Graf (stage two). Easier for Graf than Williams (stage three). That is the opposite of a 'wash' because Evert and Court did not play under the same circumstances in the same regions, and the tour was already changing with Open tennis in 1968 and with the unionization of the players. This was a process towards an end result. Evert and court came in at different points in the process.
Excellent post as always. I would like to point out however that because of the amateur/Pro divide for decades that it was quite different on the Men's side. And you easily argue it was tougher in many ways in for example the 1950s for the Pros than now. Not saying it is but an excellent argument can be made for it.

General stats
Tournaments won
Evert-154
Court-about 194
Lifetime winning %
Evert-90%
Court-92%
Grand Slams won
Evert-0
Court-1
Majors won
Evert-18
Court-24
Majors entered
Evert-56
Court-47

Several things should be noted-Court I believe left the tour one time to have a child. When she came back it took a while to get back in form. Evert didn't have children when she was on tour.

Court also retired in 1966 and did not play in 1967. She came back in 1968 and regained top form in 1969 winning three majors. The next year she won the Grand Slam.

I guess even in adjusting for era in looking at the info I would go with Court.

Steve132
09-05-2014, 01:51 PM
If there is a case to be made that it is easier to win titles today than it was in the 1950's and 60's I would be most interested in reading it. In that period some of the best players were playing in the amateur ranks, although the majority were pros. Even among the pros the best players did not by any means always appear in the same events. Today's players schedule their calendar around the four majors and the WTF (no one misses any of those events unless he is injured). Almost everyone plays in the nine Masters tournaments, and even some ATP 500 events such as Dubai draw exceptionally strong fields. There are no rival pro tours, nor are there 4 or 8 man invitational events. Exhibitions are not counted among a player's list of titles. For all these reasons I don't see anyone today, however talented, amassing the number of titles that players in the 1950's and 60's could. Sampras and Nadal (to date) both have 64 titles. Federer has 80, and no one since Lendl and McEnroe has come close to that total. This parallels more or less precisely the decline in the number of titles won by the top women players over the same period.

On topic - I voted for Court over Evert, although this was a close contest. Court at her peak was simply more dominant than Evert ever was, and she sustained her excellence for at least as long.

pc1
09-05-2014, 02:02 PM
If there is a case to be made that it was easier to win titles in the 1950's and 60's than it is today I would be most interested in reading it. In that period some of the best players were playing in the amateur ranks, although the majority were pros. Even among the pros the best players did not by any means always appear in the same events. Today's players schedule their calendar around the four majors and the WTF (no one misses any of those events unless he is injured). Almost everyone plays in the nine Masters tournaments, and even some ATP 500 events such as Dubai draw exceptionally strong fields. There are no rival pro tours, nor are there 4 or 8 man invitational events. Exhibitions are not counted among a player's list of titles. For all these reasons I don't see anyone today, however talented, amassing the number of titles that players in the 1950's and 60's could. Sampras and Nadal (to date) both have 64 titles. Federer has 80, and no one since Lendl and McEnroe has come close to that total. This parallels more or less precisely the decline in the number of titles won by the top women players over the same period.

On topic - I voted for Court over Evert, although this was a close contest. Court at her peak was simply more dominant than Evert ever was, and she sustained her excellence for at least as long.

Steve,

It's clear the main rivals for Court were King and Bueno. King mentioned that she, even in 1976 was beating Navratilova and Evert regularly in practice on grass. So I would tend to believe that Court in her prime would be exceptionally strong in the late 1970's also. Now of course this logic on if A beats B and B beats C, A must beat C doesn't always work in tennis but at least there is some evidence.

To be honest I have my doubts if you moved Navratilova or Evert to Court's time whether anyone can do as well as Court.

Always fun to speculate.:)

BTURNER
09-05-2014, 10:25 PM
Excellent post as always. I would like to point out however that because of the amateur/Pro divide for decades that it was quite different on the Men's side. And you easily argue it was tougher in many ways in for example the 1950s for the Pros than now. Not saying it is but an excellent argument can be made for it.

General stats
Tournaments won
Evert-154
Court-about 194
Lifetime winning %
Evert-90%
Court-92%
Grand Slams won
Evert-0
Court-1
Majors won
Evert-18
Court-24
Majors entered
Evert-56
Court-47

Several things should be noted-Court I believe left the tour one time to have a child. When she came back it took a while to get back in form. Evert didn't have children when she was on tour.

Court also retired in 1966 and did not play in 1967. She came back in 1968 and regained top form in 1969 winning three majors. The next year she won the Grand Slam.

I guess even in adjusting for era in looking at the info I would go with Court.

I just want to be clear, that I am NOT trying to undermine the general case for Court rating higher because I think that it is entirely justified. Its just that I would get there in a different way than some of these stats do. I think Court's head to head vs virtually all her competition and her dominance of all surfaces is more telling than some of these stats that I think are inflated ( career w/ loss percentage and total titles/ finals) by some peculiarities in her career, namely the time she spent accruing victories in her 'sphere'. Of course using them in this specific thread is problematic, because Evert and Navratilova were unique, because two GOAT candidates were contemporaries, for so much of their prime years,competed for titles and wins even if the competition lower down the chain was decidedly less past each other.

That 'majors entered' stat is definitely worth noting in the comparison, I am shocked by the disparity and your comments on her tennis 'breaks' and comebacks are well taken, because her era was extremely competitive once we get her out of from Down-under and, outside of Wimbledon, she was seen as THE one to beat. Fact is, Court had extraordinarily few losses below the quarterfinal /semifinal stage at majors even if it isn't quite as astonishing as Evert's. its still right up there and she does have a better record converting major finals to wins than Evert.

I suspect I sound more argumentative than I mean to in this thread. I really don't have any problem with case you or Conway make, just those particular stats, because I remember seeing a list of those 'tournaments'and matches that were 'newly' discovered and added after more research. They may meet the definition and are worthy of inclusion, but they really don't add much stature. the bigger point is that Court does not need them to.

pc1
09-06-2014, 05:56 AM
I just want to be clear, that I am NOT trying to undermine the general case for Court rating higher because I think that it is entirely justified. Its just that I would get there in a different way than some of these stats do. I think Court's head to head vs virtually all her competition and her dominance of all surfaces is more telling than some of these stats that I think are inflated ( career w/ loss percentage and total titles/ finals) by some peculiarities in her career, namely the time she spent accruing victories in her 'sphere'. Of course using them in this specific thread is problematic, because Evert and Navratilova were unique, because two GOAT candidates were contemporaries, for so much of their prime years,competed for titles and wins even if the competition lower down the chain was decidedly less past each other.

That 'majors entered' stat is definitely worth noting in the comparison, I am shocked by the disparity and your comments on her tennis 'breaks' and comebacks are well taken, because her era was extremely competitive once we get her out of from Down-under and, outside of Wimbledon, she was seen as THE one to beat. Fact is, Court had extraordinarily few losses below the quarterfinal /semifinal stage at majors even if it isn't quite as astonishing as Evert's. its still right up there and she does have a better record converting major finals to wins than Evert.

I suspect I sound more argumentative than I mean to in this thread. I really don't have any problem with case you or Conway make, just those particular stats, because I remember seeing a list of those 'tournaments'and matches that were 'newly' discovered and added after more research. They may meet the definition and are worthy of inclusion, but they really don't add much stature. the bigger point is that Court does not need them to.

Honestly I really wasn't making a case for Court. I was just throwing out the stats which are incredible for both players. Frankly I like Chris' game better overall. So don't worry about it.:)

To be honest I've been amazed on the number of female players who have been dominant in tennis history. You have players like Lenglen, Wills, Marble, Connolly, Court, Navratilova, Evert and Graf. I do feel that Court has been oddly enough overlooked and unappreciated.

davidjaan1982
09-14-2014, 09:34 AM
Based on number of grand slams won and overall win/loss records, difficult to not go with Margaret Court as the greater player although I liked Evert's game better and do believe that Evert had figured out how to beat Margaret Court.

In my view, one reason why Margaret is not the obvious choice as the greater player despite her superior record overall is that she never seemed to really intimidate her opponents - despite her physical stature, and powerful serve and volley game. Maybe, it was her fragile nerves that sometimes got in her way. Evert on the other hand was Miss Intimidation. Even top players were reduced to wanting to win a few games rather than the match against her. And typically anyone not in the Top Four probably could never beat her and they knew it. It resulted in a feeling of hopelessness. Virginia Wade, Olga Morozova, Rosie Casals are names that come to mind in this regard. On Clay - players such as Navratilova and Billie Jean tried to avoid her!

That is the reason I believe that Evert, Graf, Serena and Navratilova stand out over the last 40-45 years... The effect they had on opponents.

saintlaurent
09-14-2014, 03:16 PM
Court hands down. Makes no sense Evert is winning this poll, but already obvious to see any polls here are nothing but popularity contests with people voting whom they like more regardless the question anyway. Anyway to tennis experts Court ranks just behind Graf, and about equal to Martina, while Chris is seen as below those, and probably below Wills Moody too. I am not sure where Serena is perceived right now.

BTURNER
09-14-2014, 07:55 PM
Court hands down. Makes no sense Evert is winning this poll, but already obvious to see any polls here are nothing but popularity contests with people voting whom they like more regardless the question anyway. Anyway to tennis experts Court ranks just behind Graf, and about equal to Martina, while Chris is seen as below those, and probably below Wills Moody too. I am not sure where Serena is perceived right now.

The question this begs, is whether you think you know enough about these women to have an opinion independent of 'experts'. I have no idea how 'tennis experts' poll, or whether what is fashionable in their circles is much more meritorious than a poll here.

I know there are several posters here who's opinion I respect as the equal or better than any 'tennis expert' you are likely to find outside and frankly I have a healthy respect for my own on this topic.

Its odd that in the paragraph above, you offered - nothing except a hands- down conclusion and a huge appeal to authority, without any evidence that the authority actually holds your position. Am I crazy to wonder what you think and why ?

I promise not to be an argumentative ***, if you tell me why you think Court has a better case and leave others in the forum or outside it, out of it.

bluetrain4
09-14-2014, 08:41 PM
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.

I just don't get it. She's physically "done" in 1973, yet wins 3 majors, and thus wins over her around that time aren't legit?

I can't stand TWs obsession with "primes". It's like a win over a player isn't legit, in any way, unless it happened to occur during that player's "prime."

A career is a career. The player chooses when to start and when to retire. Do you think these super-competitive players would dismiss wins against them simply because they weren't at the absolute top of their game when their opponent beat them. I'd bet "No" for every player.

I'm actually not answering the Evert-Court question, but just commenting on something I see over and over and over on TW. "Prime" wins seem to be the only wins that count, even though the bulk of nearly every player's career is non-prime, and those players are basically great throughout their careers. It's ridiculous.

BTURNER
09-14-2014, 09:54 PM
I just don't get it. She's physically "done" in 1973, yet wins 3 majors, and thus wins over her around that time aren't legit?

I can't stand TWs obsession with "primes". It's like a win over a player isn't legit, in any way, unless it happened to occur during that player's "prime."

A career is a career. The player chooses when to start and when to retire. Do you think these super-competitive players would dismiss wins against them simply because they weren't at the absolute top of their game when their opponent beat them. I'd bet "No" for every player.

I'm actually not answering the Evert-Court question, but just commenting on something I see over and over and over on TW. "Prime" wins seem to be the only wins that count, even though the bulk of nearly every player's career is non-prime, and those players are basically great throughout their careers. It's ridiculous.

Oh I remember this answer. I asked Andrew this myself. See pregnancy has its ups and downs as the body and hormones change. Each major victory in 1973 coincided with a time when Margarets pregnancy was obviously not impacting her. Surrounding them were those days and times when her timing was thrown off. We can tell from the result what the impact was on her at that phase. Matter of fact we can tell from the scores in the sets. For example the wimbledon semifinal 6-1,1-6.1-6. Can you guess in which sets Margaret's pregnancy impacted her volleying?

I absolutely agree that defining the merit of the result, by the merits of the results, is silliness and that is what we do, in effect , when we cherry pick years or half years as 'peak' or 'prime' and throw the rest out as the wormy ones. If the player walks on the tour as a professional, we do not later dismiss the results. Court decided to come back post pregnancy, to train, to work and to be judged on the result as part of her legacy. No one gets to throw those aside as meaningless, when she clearly meant for them to mean something if she had won.

I have looked at the BJK-Evert rivalry. The pattern is the most obvious thing in the world. From day one very first match 1971 at St Petersburg through 1975 wimbledon SF, the result was entirely determined by surface. If it was carpet indoor or grass. King almost always won ( 1 exception when Evert won on carpet). If it was clay or hard court, it was always Evert's win. After King's hiatus, she did not win another match. On clay or hard King could not win no matter how green or young her opponent. On grass or carpet, Evert could not win no matter how bad the King knees or how old King felt that day.

bluetrain4
09-15-2014, 06:34 AM
Oh I remember this answer. I asked Andrew this myself. See pregnancy has its ups and downs as the body and hormones change. Each major victory in 1973 coincided with a time when Margarets pregnancy was obviously not impacting her. Surrounding them were those days and times when her timing was thrown off. We can tell from the result what the impact was on her at that phase. Matter of fact we can tell from the scores in the sets. For example the wimbledon semifinal 6-1,1-6.1-6. Can you guess in which sets Margaret's pregnancy impacted her volleying?

I absolutely agree that defining the merit of the result, by the merits of the results, is silliness and that is what we do, in effect , when we cherry pick years or half years as 'peak' or 'prime' and throw the rest out as the wormy ones. If the player walks on the tour as a professional, we do not later dismiss the results. Court decided to come back post pregnancy, to train, to work and to be judged on the result as part of her legacy. No one gets to throw those aside as meaningless, when she clearly meant for them to mean something if she had won.

I have looked at the BJK-Evert rivalry. The pattern is the most obvious thing in the world. From day one very first match 1971 at St Petersburg through 1975 wimbledon SF, the result was entirely determined by surface. If it was carpet indoor or grass. King almost always won ( 1 exception when Evert won on carpet). If it was clay or hard court, it was always Evert's win. After King's hiatus, she did not win another match. On clay or hard King could not win no matter how green or young her opponent. On grass or carpet, Evert could not win no matter how bad the King knees or how old King felt that day.

Exactly. Everyone wants to dismiss wins vs. their favorite or preferred player if that player isn't in their prime. But, you can bet these same people would include wins in those matches as part of their favorite/preferred players' legacy.

davidjaan1982
09-15-2014, 08:23 AM
All those confidently asserting that Court is greater need to compare how she did against Evert as compared to King, Goolagong, Wade, Casals and other top players in the early 70's. Court owned all the others. At this same time, against Evert, her game and confidence seemed to fall apart. Having seen many of those matches, I just cannot rank Court over Evert. Maybe a bit harsh and unfair to Court, but that is how I feel.

saintlaurent
09-15-2014, 08:30 AM
Yeah that Court was 30 or older for all but 1 of their matches means nothing. Even 31 year old Court was 2-1 vs Evert in slams in 73, and 30-31 year old Court was 4-4 vs Evert overall. Evert was 18-19 which is hardly young for a female tennis phenom. If anything this would seem to suggest to favor Court, not Evert. Imagine 31 Evert going 2-1 in slams in a year vs 19 year old Graf, LOL! Better chance of winning a lottery. Evert only really pulled ahead in the head to head with her final matches vs a now 33-34 year old Court who came back after her 3rd baby, and to use those to beatdown Court is a joke.

There are some Evert fans who try to rank Evert over Graf that despite beginning when Evert was 31 and Graf was 16, Evert lost 8 matches in a row, winning only one set. This is another 3 levels beyond the ineptitude old Court showed vs an older teenage Evert. Evert only had wins over the truly baby Graf who had not even won a WTA tournament or gone past the round of 16 of a major yet. So if Court ranks below Evert due to head to head matches, then Evert must be planets below Graf by the same logic.

BTURNER
09-15-2014, 02:40 PM
Yeah that Court was 30 or older for all but 1 of their matches means nothing. Even 31 year old Court was 2-1 vs Evert in slams in 73, and 30-31 year old Court was 4-4 vs Evert overall. Evert was 18-19 which is hardly young for a female tennis phenom. If anything this would seem to suggest to favor Court, not Evert. Imagine 31 Evert going 2-1 in slams in a year vs 19 year old Graf, LOL! Better chance of winning a lottery. Evert only really pulled ahead in the head to head with her final matches vs a now 33-34 year old Court who came back after her 3rd baby, and to use those to beatdown Court is a joke.

There are some Evert fans who try to rank Evert over Graf that despite beginning when Evert was 31 and Graf was 16, Evert lost 8 matches in a row, winning only one set. This is another 3 levels beyond the ineptitude old Court showed vs an older teenage Evert. Evert only had wins over the truly baby Graf who had not even won a WTA tournament or gone past the round of 16 of a major yet. So if Court ranks below Evert due to head to head matches, then Evert must be planets below Graf by the same logic.

You are smart enough to realize that if a player is winning 3 of 4 majors, that player must still be still in her prime, over another player who has yet to win her first and therefore cannot be in her prime. You are smart enough to realize that different players mature, peak, and age at very different timetables and that using a chronological number is far too simplistic a measure, so yes in fact being 30-31 years old does not matter when Court is the player we are talking about and she still had majors to win. And you have to know that veteran Court could not win a single set in the first three matches they played. It was 2 sets to 6 sets vs pony-tailed Evert, before she had yet to reach her first major final!

The fact remains that there was never a single millisecond, from their first meeting in Court's grand slam year in 1970 when 15 year old Evert first walked on a professional court, that Margaret had her head out in front of this rivalry. Not in matches, or sets, or games. It took Court 3 years to get to 4-4 and thereafter Court won 1 single solitary set in the last 11 sets they played. There was a big problem here for Court.


Its really not surprising that Court had 2-1 ratio in 1973 in slam match-ups when Evert was too green to have won a single major and Court was still winning them and 3 of the four majors were still played on grass. It is not a surprise when the number 1 player and 5 time RG champion beats a lower seeded girl who has never even played on red clay in any European tournament before. It is not a surprise when 4 time US national champion and number one seeded player beats a lower seeded girl at the US Open, who has never even reached her first final in any grass major. It is a surprise when that lower seeded girl who has never reached a single major final on grass, beats the number 1 seed and 3 time former Wimbledon champion in a semi by taking two 6-1 sets from the best player in the world.

I am not saying this is conclusive evidence of anything more than a bad match-up for Court, but it was a terrible match-up for Court, just as Graf was a terrible match-up for Evert.

saintlaurent
09-15-2014, 02:46 PM
You are smart enough to realize that if a player is winning 3 of 4 majors, that player must still be still in her prime

OK so then Navratilova must still have been in her prime in 1989. After all 3 slams is what she probably would have won if Graf didn't exist.

Spin the Court-Evert matchup as you like but the fact is old Court did far better vs teenage Evert, then old Evert did vs a much younger teenage Graf (the one ranked higher than WTA #6, making it past round of 16 of slams, and winning WTA tournaments that is). So if you want to derive somehow from the Court-Evert matches that took place that they point to an obvious advantage for Evert, then it is the equivalent of admitting the Evert-Graf matches point to even prime Evert being dominated and bullied by prime Graf. Now I don't think Evert fans want to admit to this (even though it is probably true anyway), so I would think they would like to rethink their position on how they are potraying the implications of the Court-Evert matchup in 72-73 especialy.

BTURNER
09-15-2014, 03:27 PM
OK so then Navratilova must still have been in her prime in 1989. After all 3 slams is what she probably would have won if Graf didn't exist.

Spin the Court-Evert matchup as you like but the fact is old Court did far better vs teenage Evert, then old Evert did vs a much younger teenage Graf (the one ranked higher than WTA #6, making it past round of 16 of slams, and winning WTA tournaments that is). So if you want to derive somehow from the Court-Evert matches that took place that they point to an obvious advantage for Evert, then it is the equivalent of admitting the Evert-Graf matches point to even prime Evert being dominated and bullied by prime Graf. Now I don't think Evert fans want to admit to this (even though it is probably true anyway), so I would think they would like to rethink their position on how they are potraying the implications of the Court-Evert matchup in 72-73 especialy.

I am not doing the 'fan' game here. I do not 'rethink' a position because it may or may not bite Evert in the *** later. Because, while I am an undeniable fan of chris Evert I work hard not to carry an agenda over into my interpretation of history

These careers are different. Graf was more precocious than Evert and frankly she had a lot more tournament experience at a younger age than Evert, because she started playing closer to a full schedule of majors younger than Evert. While Evert played her first major at the 1971 Open at 16 years of age, Graf had played no less than 7 majors before she reached her first semifinal at 15 years old at the Open. Graf had already played 2 Aussies, 3 Rg, 2 wimbledons and 2 US Opens before Evert had ever laid eyes on Forest Hills, Centre Court or Stade Roland Garros. Evert added one additional major each year to her schedule from 1971-1974 thus it was not until 1974 that she played them all. Thus its not surprising that Graf reached her first semifinal, and final a year younger than Evert did. And she began to win earlier.

Evert had absolutely no trouble with Graf before Graf turned 16 years old, while Court most definitely had trouble with Evert at 15. Once Graf hit her full height and strength, Evert got only one a single solitary set. But their respective strengths were different. Evert played more of a mental game whereas Graf's was so damn physical.

davidjaan1982
09-16-2014, 05:53 AM
I agree with BTurner. Evert was a bad match-up for Court. So, in head to head clashes, at peak or otherwise, it is difficult to argue in favor of Court.

As has been mentioned in some of the posts, both Court and Evert are all time greats and superb players. We don't need to insult one player to prove a point in favor of the other. As far as the "greater" debate is concerned, it is a close call at the end of the day and naturally opinions vary. Both players deserve our respect no matter where we stand on the issue.

saintlaurent
09-16-2014, 11:36 AM
The Evert-Court matchup isn't the only one that would exist in any era both were in though. I believe Court would do better vs Navratilova than Evert, she certainly wouldn't lose 13 maches in a row to peak Martina as Chris did. Put them later and Court would probably do better than Chris vs Graf, who I believe would have owned Evert even prime to prime. Put them in Court's time and Court would probably do do better vs King, especialy on grass (the dominant surface then anyway), and would have less trouble with Richey on clay than Evert would. I believe Evert has much more trouble with Goolagong than Court did too, if we are talking the 70s when Evert was most dominant.

So even if you are right on Evert having the matchup edge on Court, it wouldn't automatically equate to more success, unless it was a really really huge one.

And even if the matchup did favor Evert I would say still favor Court heavily at the Australian Open (even if Evert played it regularly which she wouldn't have). I would give Court even odds at the U.S Open when it was on grass, but make Evert the slight favorite once it moved to hard courts (and more than the slight favorite while it was on clay). At the French Evert would obviously be favored, but if 31 year old Court could beat 18 year old Evert in a final there, I am sure Court would have chances. At Wimbledon I would give them roughly even odds. Then when you factor in the other top players who Court would mostly do better against than Evert (unless anyone disputes Court would likely do better vs any of King, Navratilova, Graf, and a few other surface specialists than Evert) and I would see her still coming out favorably if they were in the same era. Then if they weren't in the same era, as is the case now, I would give Court equal or better chances to do as well in any era I wouldn't see Court totally dominated by anyone as Evert was for a stretch by Navratilova, Graf, even Austin.

BTURNER
09-16-2014, 02:15 PM
The Evert-Court matchup isn't the only one that would exist in any era both were in though. I believe Court would do better vs Navratilova than Evert, she certainly wouldn't lose 13 maches in a row to peak Martina as Chris did. Put them later and Court would probably do better than Chris vs Graf, who I believe would have owned Evert even prime to prime. Put them in Court's time and Court would probably do do better vs King, especialy on grass (the dominant surface then anyway), and would have less trouble with Richey on clay than Evert would. I believe Evert has much more trouble with Goolagong than Court did too, if we are talking the 70s when Evert was most dominant.

So even if you are right on Evert having the matchup edge on Court, it wouldn't automatically equate to more success, unless it was a really really huge one.

And even if the matchup did favor Evert I would say still favor Court heavily at the Australian Open (even if Evert played it regularly which she wouldn't have). I would give Court even odds at the U.S Open when it was on grass, but make Evert the slight favorite once it moved to hard courts (and more than the slight favorite while it was on clay). At the French Evert would obviously be favored, but if 31 year old Court could beat 18 year old Evert in a final there, I am sure Court would have chances. At Wimbledon I would give them roughly even odds. Then when you factor in the other top players who Court would mostly do better against than Evert (unless anyone disputes Court would likely do better vs any of King, Navratilova, Graf, and a few other surface specialists than Evert) and I would see her still coming out favorably if they were in the same era. Then if they weren't in the same era, as is the case now, I would give Court equal or better chances to do as well in any era I wouldn't see Court totally dominated by anyone as Evert was for a stretch by Navratilova, Graf, even Austin.

I agree with a lot of this. Court had a winning record against every opponent in her era including Bueno, King. Navratilova was at times uncomfortable playing other s/ver's and I don't doubt Court would have given her a tough way to go, and I have no doubt she would have done well vs Austin or Seles. But Graf, no. I just don't Court causing Graf any trouble anywhere. I think that would be a worse match-up for court than Evert was.

saintlaurent
09-16-2014, 04:19 PM
Hmm interesting. Could you explain why you think Court would be helpess against Graf. Graf did not like playing serve and volleyers. That is why she even had trouble with Lori McNeil, a third tier serve and volley player at best.

davidjaan1982
09-16-2014, 04:31 PM
At the end of it all, Evert was 36-44 against Navratilova. Doubt that Court could have done much better against Navratilova. Navratilova was just a better "big occasion" player and had more self confidence than Court in my view.

Court dominated Goolagong more than Evert did (which is saying a lot as I believe Evert herself dominated Goolagong!) and I also agree that Court would have done better against Austin than Evert did.

Besides Goolagong, Court clearly dominated King, Wade and other top players too in the early '70's and that is why, to me, Evert's successes against Court during this same period stand out. Court was still good enough until 1973 at least to hold 3 of the 4 grand slams - the only exception being Wimbledon 1973 where Evert got in her way. That is why I do not agree when people diminish Evert's wins over Court through 1973 at least, when Evert herself was still some ways from her best.

Clearly, A beats B, B beats C And therefore A beats C does not hold all the time and we just need to accept that Court found Evert very difficult

BTURNER
09-16-2014, 04:42 PM
Hmm interesting. Could you explain why you think Court would be helpess against Graf. Graf did not like playing serve and volleyers. That is why she even had trouble with Lori McNeil, a third tier serve and volley player at best.

I did not use the word 'helpless' or anything like that. You decided to put that in, to polarize this discussion. Please do not do that a second time, because a pattern of polarization is the kind of thing a troll does. I am hoping you are not one

Offhand I can't think of any s/vers who have a winning record off Graf - not Navratilova,Sukova, Mandlikova, Garrison, Mcneil, Novatna. Except for martina who is dead even at 9 apiece. They are all stuck with one, maybe two wins aren't they?. while players like Sanchez, Sabatini, and Seles, have multiple wins. I don't see the evidence for this problem you mention except S/vers could occasionally surprise her if her timing off her forehand was off.

I think Court is giving up too much of a speed deficit vs Graf. I don't think Court would be quick enough to run down the forehands time and again like Martina could and hang long enough to wait for the short ball, and I know that that Graf will be running down almost all those approaches and volleys. Margaret's forehand was her strength from the backcourt, and she won't be winning many of those exchanges and Graf's backhand slice was better than Court's imo. That leaves Court too dependent on her first serve to win points. I think Court beats her on Aussie grass more often than not, but otherwise....I think Court loses most of the matches.

saintlaurent
09-16-2014, 04:49 PM
At the end of it all, Evert was 36-44 against Navratilova. Doubt that Court could have done much better against Navratilova. Navratilova was just a better "big occasion" player and had more self confidence than Court in my view.

Except Navratilova got to that point after going way down (21-4) early on. The thing to remember is pretty much every great was a way better player than Navratilova before she turned 25. That certainly includes Court who began winning slams at 17 and dominating at 19, vs Navratilova who won a mere 2 slams before her 25th birthday. So Court (like Evert) would take a monstrous lead against Navratilova in the head to head early. I do think prime Navratilova would have a winning record vs Court, even if they were the same age. However I suspect it would be less lopsided than Evert, who she even beat 13 times in a row at one point. Which would have enabled her to end up with a better final H2H, probably even a winning one, despite also losing more matches to prime Navratilova than winning.

saintlaurent
09-16-2014, 04:54 PM
I did not use the word 'helpless' or anything like that. You decided to put that in, to polarize this discussion. Please do not do that a second time, because a pattern of polarization is the kind of thing a troll does. I am hoping you are not one

Offhand I can't think of any s/vers who have a winning record off Graf - not Navratilova,Sukova, Mandlikova, Garrison, Mcneil, Novatna. Except for martina who is dead even at 9 apiece. They are all stuck with one, maybe two wins aren't they?. while players like Sanchez, Sabatini, and Seles, have multiple wins. I don't see the evidence for this problem you mention except S/vers could occasionally surprise her if her timing off her forehand was off.

I think Court is giving up too much of a speed deficit vs Graf. I don't think Court would be quick enough to run down the forehands time and again like Martina could and hang long enough to wait for the short ball, and I know that that Graf will be running down almost all those approaches and volleys. Margaret's forehand was her strength from the backcourt, and she won't be winning many of those exchanges and Graf's backhand slice was better than Court's imo. That leaves Court too dependent on her first serve to win points. I think Court beats her on Aussie grass more often than not, but otherwise....I think Court loses most of the matches.

It is true no serve and volleyer has a winning record vs Steffi, but many have better ones than you expect.

McNeil and DeSwaardt had wins, and even beat (or seriously scared her) at Wimbledon, which you would not expect for such low caliber (relatively speaking) players but they play the serve and volley style, which Graf did not like to oppose, especialy on fast surfaces. Navratilova being 9-9 is not so surprising, but she is 4-1 vs Graf at the U.S Open, and nearly went 5-0 blowing a 6-3, 4-2 lead in the only loss, and that is with the final 2 matches being when Martina was past her prime and Graf now in her prime (even if the first 3 were the reverse, and Graf was having her worst year ever in the latter). Novotna became a thorn in Graf's side in 91-early 93, until the Wimbledon debacle, but then just gave up vs Graf after that. Patty Fendick, the true definition of a journeywomen on tour, took sets off Steffi in a couple matches, which given Graf's famed consistency (practically Evert like consistency through her prime) was pretty amazing for such a level player. She too was a serve and volleyer. Sabatini beat Graf 7 times out of 8 at one stretch when she added a real serve and volley/chip and charge attack to her already formidable (but not enough on its own against Steffi) baseline game.

Court liked to approach down the line. She had mastery of all of the forehand drive and backhand drive approaches down the line (both to Graf's forehand and backhand), and also the slice backhand and slice forehand down the line approaches from either side. Very few serve and volleyers approached Graf down the line. Even Navratilova who didn't even have a true forehand down the line when she played Graf, and rarely sliced her backhand down the line, could do so much. I don't think Steffi liked to pass off that approach, and that is an additional thing that would give her problems in the matchup.

Anyway I just don't see Evert doing well vs Graf prime to prime at all, so it wouldn't even be necessary to do that great to do better than Evert would IMHO. I am not implying I think Court would have a winning record vs Graf prime to prime, not even close to one in fact IMO, but Evert sure wouldn't as well, so the only question is which would do the better of the two. I think outside of probably clay and possibly very slow hard courts (which wouldnt have hardly existed if the hypothetical years were before 1988), Court would be a tougher opponent for Graf than Evert would, even if that isn't saying much.

BTURNER
09-16-2014, 05:11 PM
It is true no serve and volleyer has a winning record vs Steffi, but many have better ones than you expect.

McNeil and DeSwaardt had wins, and even beat (or seriously scared her) at Wimbledon, which you would not expect for such low caliber (relatively speaking) players but they play the serve and volley style, which Graf did not like to oppose, especialy on fast surfaces. Navratilova being 9-9 is not so surprising, but she is 4-1 vs Graf at the U.S Open, and nearly went 5-0 blowing a 6-3, 4-2 lead in the only loss, and that is with the final 2 matches being when Martina was past her prime and Graf now in her prime (even if the first 3 were the reverse, and Graf was having her worst year ever in the latter). Novotna became a thorn in Graf's side in 91-early 93, until the Wimbledon debacle, but then just gave up vs Graf after that. Patty Fendick, the true definition of a journeywomen on tour, took sets off Steffi in a couple matches, which given Graf's famed consistency (practically Evert like consistency through her prime) was pretty amazing for such a level player. She too was a serve and volleyer. Sabatini beat Graf 7 times out of 8 at one stretch when she added a real serve and volley/chip and charge attack to her already formidable (but not enough on its own against Steffi) baseline game.

Court liked to approach down the line. She had mastery of all of the forehand drive and backhand drive approaches down the line (both to Graf's forehand and backhand), and also the slice backhand and slice forehand down the line approaches from either side. Very few serve and volleyers approached Graf down the line. Even Navratilova who didn't even have a true forehand down the line when she played Graf, and rarely sliced her backhand down the line, could do so much. I don't think Steffi liked to pass off that approach, and that is an additional thing that would give her problems in the matchup.

Anyway I just don't see Evert doing well vs Graf prime to prime at all, so it wouldn't even be necessary to do that great to do better than Evert would IMHO. I am not implying I think Court would have a winning record vs Graf prime to prime, not even close to one in fact IMO, but Evert sure wouldn't as well, so the only question is which would do the better of the two. I think outside of probably clay and possibly very slow hard courts (which wouldnt have hardly existed if the hypothetical years were before 1988), Court would be a tougher opponent for Graf than Evert would, even if that isn't saying much.

Okay I can accept most of this as reasonable - except Court, likeMaria Bueno did not have a 'backhand drive' at all. You read that right. Court never came over her backhand. King, Goolagong, Navratilova, Casals, Wade, Graf all had more variety off that wing with their one-handers than Court. She had an accurate and steady slice, just like Graf, which she used to pass with, except Graf could come over and through her backhand occasionally and she especially liked o pass people like Court with flat or topspin off the backhand wing.

Still, I see where you are coming from here.

davidjaan1982
09-17-2014, 06:04 AM
Except Navratilova got to that point after going way down (21-4) early on. The thing to remember is pretty much every great was a way better player than Navratilova before she turned 25. That certainly includes Court who began winning slams at 17 and dominating at 19, vs Navratilova who won a mere 2 slams before her 25th birthday. So Court (like Evert) would take a monstrous lead against Navratilova in the head to head early. I do think prime Navratilova would have a winning record vs Court, even if they were the same age. However I suspect it would be less lopsided than Evert, who she even beat 13 times in a row at one point. Which would have enabled her to end up with a better final H2H, probably even a winning one, despite also losing more matches to prime Navratilova than winning.

We can cut all these numbers in various ways.... If the overall head to head is not a good enough measure, then the Evert-Navratilova head to head can be broken into 3: 30-18 for Evert before the 13 match losing streak and then 7-12 after the 13 straight losses making it 37:43 overall. Keeping the 13 match losing streak aside, I doubt Court could have led Martina 30-18 or bettered the losing 7-12 record of Evert. Of their last 19 matches, the last 3 losses for Evert came in 1988, when she was clearly past her best. Taking that away, it would really be 7-9 which is close against a "prime" Navratilova.

My point simply is that between Evert, Navratilova and Court, their head to head would be more like: Evert b Court, Navratilova b Evert, Navratilova b Court.

saintlaurent
09-17-2014, 06:19 AM
While I disagree. Court, like Evert, was a WAY better player than Martina ages 17-24. So for 8 years she would have built up a huge head to head lead without question (as big or bigger than Evert did IMO). While I concede prime Martina would have had a winning record vs Court if they were the same age as prime Martina was just scary good, I don't think she would have rendered Court as helpless as she did Evert to some extent (the 13 match losing streak especialy, even if Evert pulled it back to some respectability after that to her credit). So ultimately I would see Court ending up with a better record, and quite possibly a winning one due to being able to maintain the inevitable huge early lead, which Evert was not able to do, despite prime Martina having the edge over both of them. Maybe what you mean is since we concede prime Martina would have had a clear winning record over either one, it really doesn't even matter much either way, and in which case I agree.

I do agree in 87-89 Navratilova was still in her prime (without peak Graf she still would have been totally dominating after all) and Evert no longer was, so it was a particularly good effort for Evert to score some wins in that period. Especialy at one point while arguably still in her prime (late 82-early 85) having been so far owned by peak Navratilova. That was her efforts to rebuild her game and fitness level paying off for her, even in old age.

Ultimately we will never know so it is purely conjecture, just as the head to head between prime Court and prime Evert would have been.

Xavier G
09-17-2014, 07:54 AM
Chris Evert had the h2h lead and an immaculate ground game. Great to watch. Maggie Court might be even greater considering she won an Open era calender year Grand Slam, won more Slams, had several years where she won 3 Slams, won more tournaments, often won in singles, doubles and mixed and interrupted her career for family. Splitting hairs choosing between these two so I won't. These two are Giants of the Game and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

BTURNER
09-17-2014, 03:39 PM
While I disagree. Court, like Evert, was a WAY better player than Martina ages 17-24. So for 8 years she would have built up a huge head to head lead without question (as big or bigger than Evert did IMO). While I concede prime Martina would have had a winning record vs Court if they were the same age as prime Martina was just scary good, I don't think she would have rendered Court as helpless as she did Evert to some extent (the 13 match losing streak especialy, even if Evert pulled it back to some respectability after that to her credit). So ultimately I would see Court ending up with a better record, and quite possibly a winning one due to being able to maintain the inevitable huge early lead, which Evert was not able to do, despite prime Martina having the edge over both of them. Maybe what you mean is since we concede prime Martina would have had a clear winning record over either one, it really doesn't even matter much either way, and in which case I agree.

I do agree in 87-89 Navratilova was still in her prime (without peak Graf she still would have been totally dominating after all) and Evert no longer was, so it was a particularly good effort for Evert to score some wins in that period. Especialy at one point while arguably still in her prime (late 82-early 85) having been so far owned by peak Navratilova. That was her efforts to rebuild her game and fitness level paying off for her, even in old age.

Ultimately we will never know so it is purely conjecture, just as the head to head between prime Court and prime Evert would have been.

You have a problem here. Martina was having trouble winning any tournaments for long spells here. She was having motivation problems in anything other than majors, so that while she could play absolutely brillinant stuff at slams, things were sliding elsewhere. As Martina herself said, " my biggest problem is getting to meet Graf". I think it was in 1987 she only won two tournaments all year even if they were the right two: Wimbledon and the US Open. She was losing to Evert, Sukova, Mandlikova, Sabatini, Garrison, Maleeva, Zvereva. By '88 her second serve became suspect to the point that even best bud Evert called her ' definitely beatable' at wimbledon and predicted a Graf victory in the final. That arrogance of a champion she had from 83-86, had definitely started to slip once Graf overtook her and everyone knew martina was vulnerable.

saintlaurent
09-17-2014, 05:20 PM
I think Martina went in a mini slump in 88, and 87 she focused just on the slams, but in 87 slam events and 89 she was as hard to beat as ever. Without Graf she wins 89 Wimbledon, 89 U.S Open, and 89 YEC for sure, and probably 89 Australian Open too since even though Sukova beat her 7-5 in the 3rd set of the quarters (just as she did vs peakest of peak Martina's in the 84 semis) you just know in a slam final she wouldn't get it done. Heck if Graf isn't around she probably plays the French and wins that too in 89 (it is a not so hidden secret, she began avoiding slow surfaces regularly simply to avoid likely losses to Graf on them). Without Graf she wins 3 of 4 slams (keeping in mind this year she only focused on slams) and runner up in the other in 87.

I actually watched peak Martina playing the 83 and 84 Wimbledon finals on tape recently and I don't think she was even hitting the ball hard enough to have stopped even a raw Graf the way she did in the 87 Wimbledon and U.S Open finals with seemingly further increased pace in all her shorts and serve (badly needed against Graf). If anything 87 slams was the highest level I saw her reach, despite her no longer producing that day in on tour. 89 not being far off, and unlike 87 she was producing it more on the regular tour too. 88 was an off year for her, but she produced spurts of real brilliance like the 88 clay season prior to Roland Garros.

BTURNER
09-17-2014, 07:21 PM
[QUOTE=saintlaurent;8742650]I think Martina went in a mini slump in 88, and 87 she focused just on the slams, but in 87 slam events and 89 she was as hard to beat as ever. Without Graf she wins 89 Wimbledon, 89 U.S Open, and 89 YEC for sure, and probably 89 Australian Open too since even though Sukova beat her 7-5 in the 3rd set of the quarters (just as she did vs peakest of peak Martina's in the 84 semis) you just know in a slam final she wouldn't get it done. Heck if Graf isn't around she probably plays the French and wins that too in 89 (it is a not so hidden secret, she began avoiding slow surfaces regularly simply to avoid likely losses to Graf on them). Without Graf she wins 3 of 4 slams (keeping in mind this year she only focused on slams) and runner up in the other in 87.

I actually watched peak Martina playing the 83 and 84 Wimbledon finals on tape recently and I don't think she was even hitting the ball hard enough to have stopped even a raw Graf the way she did in the 87 Wimbledon and U.S Open finals with seemingly further increased pace in all her shorts and serve (badly needed against Graf). If anything 87 slams was the highest level I saw her reach, despite her no longer producing that day in on tour. 89 not being far off, and unlike 87 she was producing it more on the regular tour too. 88 was an off year for her, but she produced spurts of real brilliance like the 88 clay season prior to Ro

Oh come on! This one must be agenda-driven.