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View Full Version : Will tennis see an Evert vs Navratilova like rivalry again, for either gender


NadalAgassi
05-23-2012, 09:23 PM
The greatest rivalry in tennis history, man or women, is undoubtably Evert vs Navratilova. One of the many things that made it such a great rivalry was the contrasting styles. The emotional serve and volley master Navratilova, the supreme athlete, the nervous choker at times who overcome her internal demons over the year vs the queen of the baseline and consistency, the methodical and ever composed Chris Evert. They were complete opposites in virtually everyway, yet both so brilliant, and brought such a contrast in styles. There have been other great rivalries past too, Connors vs Borg, Connors vs McEnroe, Laver vs Rosewall, Court vs King, Evert vs King, many with contrasting styles as well. It seems there are few great rivalries to emerge in to emerge in the last 20 years though with players of contrasting playing styles. The best ones in that time would probably be Sampras vs Agassi, Sampras vs Courier, Hingis vs Davenport, and Serena ve Henin. The others:

Graf vs Seles- Very similar styles. Also marred by the stabbing and a lack of head to head meetings, as they were never playing their best tennis at the same time.

Federer vs Nadal- Enough has been said on this board already so I wont bother.

Nadal vs Djokovic- Even more similar styles. Grindfests which dont bring out the best in either player.

Venus vs Serena- Truly carbon copy games in many respects, and hard for both players being loving sisters who practiced for years and know each others games inside out.

Serena vs Sharapova- Basically Serena vs a lesser version of herself who after some early resistence she can squash like a bug, no rivalry.

Henin vs Sharapova- Had promise but never really went anywhere for any length of time.

Evan77
05-24-2012, 11:25 AM
miss them both, the good old time when I actually used to watch the WTA tour. I was watching some old Seles/Graf matches last night... so beautiful ...

jakemcclain32
05-24-2012, 11:39 AM
Nope.

90% of tennis players now are baseline robots. Some just hit harder than others.

With Chrissie, you had a girl with untouchable placement, phenomenal footwork, and the grace of a swan. With Martina, you had Robocop...someone who would nuke the ball, force you off the court, then finish you. The styles were so different, and it made for an unreal rivalry.

Now if you see Sharapova vs Vika, it's two baseline pounders who wait for an opening. I love watching them, but it's the same thing.

Magnetite
05-24-2012, 12:14 PM
Maybe we will, maybe we won't, maybe we already have.

Evan77
05-24-2012, 12:19 PM
Nope.

90% of tennis players now are baseline robots. Some just hit harder than others.

With Chrissie, you had a girl with untouchable placement, phenomenal footwork, and the grace of a swan. With Martina, you had Robocop...someone who would nuke the ball, force you off the court, then finish you. The styles were so different, and it made for an unreal rivalry.

Now if you see Sharapova vs Vika, it's two baseline pounders who wait for an opening. I love watching them, but it's the same thing.
who is Vika? Rika (I guess that's a girl that is screaming so much that I can't even freaking breath, right) , lady Ga Ga? Madonna, whatever ... lol, they all suck ... well at least, Ivanovic is pretty

ChipNCharge
05-24-2012, 12:29 PM
No, the sport of tennis will not see another rivalry like Evert/Navratilova. They played 80 times, with the split being 43/37. 22 of those meetings were in the semi's or final of a major. 61 times they met in a tournament final.

Mick
05-24-2012, 12:29 PM
my favorites were the Serena-Henin matches. Most of the time, the Outcomes wouldn't be known until the final point.

jakemcclain32
05-24-2012, 12:30 PM
who is Vika? Rika (I guess that's a girl that is screaming so much that I can't even freaking breath, right) , lady Ga Ga? Madonna, whatever ... lol, they all suck ... well at least, Ivanovic is pretty

Shrieker or not, Azarenka's very attractive. Don't even pretend to think otherwise.

r2473
05-24-2012, 12:40 PM
There have been other great rivalries past too, Connors vs Borg, Connors vs McEnroe, Laver vs Rosewall, Court vs King, Evert vs King, many with contrasting styles as well. It seems there are few great rivalries to emerge in to emerge in the last 20 years though with players of contrasting playing styles. The best ones in that time would probably be Sampras vs Agassi, Sampras vs Courier, Hingis vs Davenport, and Serena ve Henin. The others:

Graf vs Seles- Very similar styles. Also marred by the stabbing and a lack of head to head meetings, as they were never playing their best tennis at the same time.

Federer vs Nadal- Enough has been said on this board already so I wont bother.

Nadal vs Djokovic- Even more similar styles. Grindfests which dont bring out the best in either player.

Venus vs Serena- Truly carbon copy games in many respects, and hard for both players being loving sisters who practiced for years and know each others games inside out.

Serena vs Sharapova- Basically Serena vs a lesser version of herself who after some early resistence she can squash like a bug, no rivalry.

Henin vs Sharapova- Had promise but never really went anywhere for any length of time.

I'd agree that Evert-Navratilova is the best. Here are a few others not on your list:

Becker-Edberg

Lendl-McEnroe

Borg-McEnroe

Evan77
05-24-2012, 12:47 PM
Shrieker or not, Azarenka's very attractive. Don't even pretend to think otherwise.
well, I prefer my girls to be quiet :). so Ivanovic wins :twisted:

DRII
05-24-2012, 12:50 PM
Speaking of rivalries.

I was high on allergy medicine last night and fell asleep watching the tennis channel. I don't know if I dreamt this or it was real.

It was a program much like the Inside ATP World Tour show, but it was about the women. They were talking about the Sharapova / Azeranka rivalry and how it is good for women's' tennis. Several of the WTA players were interviewed and I remember Kivitova saying how the top 5 are really strong now and with Venus and Serena coming back, women's tennis will be very strong (in her somewhat broken English).

Did anybody see this on the Tennis Channel?; I think I was dreaming it...

r2473
05-24-2012, 12:51 PM
Speaking of rivalries.

I was high on allergy medicine last night and fell asleep watching the tennis channel. I don't know if I dreamt this or it was real.

It was a program much like the Inside ATP World Tour show, but it was about the women. They were talking about the Sharapova / Azeranka rivalry and how it is good for women's' tennis. Several of the WTA players were interviewed and I remember Kivitova saying how the top 5 are really strong now and with Venus and Serena coming back, women's tennis will be very strong (in her somewhat broken English).

Did anybody see this on the Tennis Channel?; I think I was dreaming it...

Let me ask you this, in the version you saw, was anyone naked?

Brian11785
05-24-2012, 12:56 PM
Let me ask you this, in the version you saw, was anyone naked?

Only Bud Collins.

r2473
05-24-2012, 12:58 PM
Only Bud Collins.

OK, that's the same one I saw.

DRII
05-24-2012, 12:59 PM
Let me ask you this, in the version you saw, was anyone naked?

LOL...

good question.

I really wouldn't care, one way or the other, to see any of the players I mentioned naked; now some of the tennis wives and GFs are a different story.

But no, all were fully clothed :)

THUNDERVOLLEY
05-24-2012, 01:38 PM
The greatest rivalry in tennis history, man or women, is undoubtably Evert vs Navratilova. One of the many things that made it such a great rivalry was the contrasting styles. The emotional serve and volley master Navratilova, the supreme athlete, the nervous choker at times who overcome her internal demons over the year vs the queen of the baseline and consistency, the methodical and ever composed Chris Evert. They were complete opposites in virtually everyway, yet both so brilliant, and brought such a contrast in styles. There have been other great rivalries past too, Connors vs Borg, Connors vs McEnroe, Laver vs Rosewall, Court vs King, Evert vs King, many with contrasting styles as well. It seems there are few great rivalries to emerge in the last 20 years though with players of contrasting playing styles. The best ones in that time would probably be Sampras vs Agassi, Sampras vs Courier, Hingis vs Davenport, and Serena ve Henin.

While your choices are among the best, lets not forget Borg vs McEnroe, or McEnroe vs. Lendl. Further, some of the most exciting rivalries were between players on the same side of the style street:

Becker vs. Sampras: both S&V players, but were so well matched and provided some of the most exciting battles i've ever witnessed.

Becker vs. Edberg: both S&V players, but Edberg's more technically efficient game was a contrast (of sorts) to the more power-centered/whatever it took methods of Boris.



Federer vs Nadal- Enough has been said on this board already so I wont bother.

Agreed.

Nadal vs Djokovic- Even more similar styles. Grindfests which dont bring out the best in either player.

Yet i've read some trying to claim some of their match-ups are "classics." Sheesh.

Venus vs Serena- Truly carbon copy games in many respects, and hard for both players being loving sisters who practiced for years and know each others games inside out.

Their best was the 2001 USO meeting; the match was historic for several reasons, and both had the desire to live up to all that event's meaning.

Serena vs Sharapova- Basically Serena vs a lesser version of herself who after some early resistence she can squash like a bug, no rivalry.

Not a rivalry, but fun to watch, as Serena loves to destroy Sharapova, and that kind of dynamic is all too rare in this "we all get along and will never be angry" era of psychological nonsense.

Jack Romeo
05-24-2012, 09:09 PM
what? no mention of sampras-agassi? weird...

jones101
05-24-2012, 10:40 PM
I would have loved to have seen the Serena/Henin rivalry develop more.

They seemed to dominate at different periods and never played consistent seasons at the same time when both were in top form.

1970CRBase
05-24-2012, 11:21 PM
IMO, in an era when we had all the courts, there were consequently players who were all courters. In this day, before we had noticed it, all courts had been gradually mashed into one slowish court, this is a combination of both surface homogenisation and overwhelming racquet technology, the end result being all the players playing a uniform, standard sideways grinding game. In the past, Mac, Becker, Edberg, Navratilova, Novotna, Sampras were all court serve volleyers. (Early Pete was an all court baseliner before shifting.) Hingis was an all court baseliner. Hingis vs Novotna was a good matchup over looked and tho Hingis usually won, between an all court baseliner and an all court serve volleyer.

Today almost any important match up in the mens game is between two sideways grinders in their slowish element, all playing and nearly always ending predictably. Dolgopolov vs Tsonga is almost one of the only good matchup in today's uniform matchups, but it isn't an important one in deciding majors. As it stands, there generally will not be any good or bad, contrasting match up again, only the same match up. An all courter vs an all courter, is a textured matchup, Mac/Lendl, Evert/Martina were contrasting matchups, Fed, Henin and Serena are perhaps the last true all courters, whereas a defender vs another defender is a one dimensional same match up. What was lost was the texture between matchups because what was lost was diversity in the court games. We will not get the old rivalries again until the game changes.

THUNDERVOLLEY
05-25-2012, 08:08 AM
what? no mention of sampras-agassi? weird...

See the opening post:

The best ones in that time would probably be Sampras vs Agassi....

skip1969
05-25-2012, 08:45 AM
. . . We will not get the old rivalries again until the game changes.
this. everything is cyclical, and I'm sure no one could have predicted that by altering the variety of the surfaces, you'd end up with two tours where 95% of the players play exactly the same way. that match-up of two contrasting styles is nothing we will be seeing anytime soon, i fear. we live in a bashers age for the women, and a grinders age for the men.

if the surfaces change (and i'm praying they will - the sooner the better, as far as i'm concerned) then we still have to wait for this crop to die out, maybe even the next crop, before we see some changes in the way the players approach the game.