Better Singles Career: Evert or Navratilova

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by soyizgood, Aug 18, 2008.

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Better Singles Career: Evert or Navratilova?

  1. Evert

    26.0%
  2. Navratilova

    74.0%
  1. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Moving on to juicier debates, we have the greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Both won 18 slams and have a career slam. They played 80 times against each other and always drew large crowds. Both played at a high level well past their primes. You could write pages on their list of achievements. Their legacies are cemented.

    Vote and discuss.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
    #1
  2. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    Nav of course, she won more wimbly title. In their head-to-head, i think Nav is ahead too.
     
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  3. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    I voted Evert though I was 55/45 Evert in doing so.

    Martina won the H2H 43-37 and the H2H in slam finals. However:

    * Evert won 125 straight matches on clay and had another 64 match win streak on clay
    * Evert made the semifinals of the slams 52 out of 56 times
    * Evert has a 90% win percentage
    * Evert won a slam for 13 straight years
    * Evert made the SF of her slam debut and made semifinal of a slam for 19 straight years

    Oh and her use of the 2HBH and skill from the baseline has altered the way tennis is played now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
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  4. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    They are about the same. It depends on whether you prefer Wimbledon or the French Open though.
     
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  5. oberyn

    oberyn Professional

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    I had to go with Navratilova. Slight edge because with similar longevity, Navratilova at her best was more dominant.

    I'll take 18 majors, 167 singles titles, and 6 majors in a row over 18 majors and 157 titles.
     
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  6. totaleclipseoftheheart

    totaleclipseoftheheart New User

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    Tennis-wise Navratilova is clearly superior to Evert. Come on.

    However, America (and the world?) seems to like Evert better
     
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  7. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Both of These Women are amazing in their list of accomplishments and in all honesty its hard to choose because each has things that makes them stand out. In the end, I Picked Martina. She had more Titles than Evert did, a winning head to head over Evert (even though they didn't play as much on clay in the later years for one reason or another, and had they that head to head may be another story, but as it stands now its not). Plus Martina did something Chris was never able to do, hold all 4 slams at the same time. They are both amazing...but for me the scales tip in favor of Martina
     
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  8. Coria

    Coria Banned

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    Martina began to dominate Evert at times in the mid-80's especially. You have to give her the edge as her record againt Evert over their last 40 matches I believe is like 28-12. As their careers went on, she was better. She improved more than Evert.

    Her amazing doubles and mixed doubles records also clearly show her being the better player. I know your post is singles though, and I give her the nod their too. She and Graf are the best ever. Evert and Court are right behind, very close.
     
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  9. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Ultimately, against the very best at their very best, Evert just wasn't as good as the media wanted everyone to believe.
     
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  10. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    The question wasn't who is better, but who had the better career. I would say Evert, because she was far more consistent than Navratilova. It is true that Martina at her best was (slightly) better than Chris at her best. However, Martina was far more inconsistent. She had far more bad losses than Evert ever did.

    Also, I think you could make a case that Martina was a better indoor court player, and benefited in the rivalry from Chris being better on her worst surfaces (grass and carpet) than Martina on her worst (clay), so that Martina got to play Chris a lot more on grass than Chris got to play Martina on clay courts.

    Chris and Martina only played 14 times on clay out of their 80 matches. 15 were on grass, 18 were on hard court, and 36 were indoors.

    Of all the players Chris faced, she only has a losing record against four: Austin, Graf, Martina and Florenta Mihai, the last one whom Evert only played once. Evert won her first six matches against Graf before age finally did her in and lost the last 8.

    Some of the players Evert was a winning record against include Seles, Mandlikova, King, Court, and Sabatini. Another interesting stat is that if you look at her career won loss against other players, there are MANY players she whom she never lost to, despite playing them upwards of 5 times.

    Looking at it as a career, I'd take Evert.
     
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  11. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Navratilova by far. Evert was great but no way should she rate over any of Navratilova, Graf, or even Court. She just never even came close to approaching the dominance level those three each had at one point.
     
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  12. totaleclipseoftheheart

    totaleclipseoftheheart New User

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    I thought Evert was just a better Mary Joe Fernandez
     
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  13. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    I beg to differ. Look at the period from 74-78. Evert was dominant during those years.

    Her match records in those years:

    74: 103-7
    75: 94-6
    76: 75-5
    77: 70-4
    78: 56-3

    In 78, she lost to Goolagong in Boston in three sets, and Navratilova in Eastborne and Wimbledon in 3 sets.

    Now consider this: between 1973-1981, Evert lost only one match on clay, a three setter to Tracy Austin at the 1979 Italian Open, achieving a 197-1 record on clay during that span.

    Now also consider that Evert achieved her Grand Slam totals (18 Slams won) while SKIPPING the French Open three times during her most dominant years, in 1976-1978, and also skipping the Australian from 74-81, something Graf and Court never did. It'd be like Martina skipping Wimbledon from 82-84!

    Finally, I'll point out that from her first Slam, in 1971, until the 1983 Wimbledon, Evert never lost in a Slam before the semifinals. Her loss in 83 occurred after she had been up all night with food poisoning, and almost withdrew.

    The fact is Evert was always a factor in any tournament she entered, and she was so strong mentally that you couldn't hope that she would have an off day and you could sneak by her, the way you could with players like Navratilova, Graf, Court, King and Mandlikova. With Evert, you knew you had to be at your best to beat her, and you also knew that sometimes even your best wouldn't be good enough.
     
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  14. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Perfectly Said. Evert was the queen of intimidation during the 70's. She ran her opponents ragged and Navratilova has said more than once that when she was first facing Evert, it was very difficult. Playing Evert in the 70's was like playing Wills in the 30's, Steffi in the late 80's, martina at wimbledon in the early 80's, dang near impossible to win unless you were putting on an almost flawless display because Evert very rarely had mental lapses. Evert ended 5 straight years in the 70's as the number 1 player in the world and was almost untouchable during that time...so to say Evert never acheived any kind of Dominance is ridiculous. And Even when Martina was in her Prime Evert was still able to trouble her and win Majors against her. Even though I still give my edge to Martina...Chris cannot be written off.
     
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  15. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    The answer in one stat - 52 out of 55. That is 92.7% of all grand slams she entered she made the final four. On any surface, against any opponent at any stage in her career - or theirs. Can you imagine walking into your first slam, second slam, third slam etc, etc and reaching the semis from 1971 US OPEN through 1987 Wimbledon with but one blemish? Compare it to some others. That will never happen again in any full length career.
    WILLS 1.0
    EVERT 0.927
    CHAMBERS 0.875
    CONNOLY 0.818
    BETZ 0.8
    AKHURST 0.777
    COURT 0.767
    HART 0.765
    LENGLEN 0.75
    HILLYARD 0.739
    BROUGH 0.735
    JACOBS 0.719
    AUSTIN 0.689
    GRAF 0.685
    NAV 0.666
    STERRY 0.636
    HAYDON 0.62
    GOOL 0.611
    SPERLING 0.588
    MARBLE 0.583
    FRY 0.567
    BUENO 0.541
    GIBSON 0.533
    OSBORNE 0.531
    KING 0.529
    SELES 0.47
    MATHIEU 0.448
    SANCHEZ 0.397
    MANDLIK 0.341

    Martina was glorious, incandescent from 1983-1986 But her early years and later years are part of her legacy as well. Dicey is the word that comes to mind for many of those years and many of those slams.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
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  16. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Yeah but Graf, Connoly, Navratilova, and Court, at their peaks were all more dominant then that.

    Graf 1988: 72-3
    Graf 1989: 86-2
    Graf 1995: 47-2, champion of all 3 slams she played
    Graf 1996: 54-4, champion of all 3 slams she played

    Navratilova 1982: 90-3
    Navratilova 1983: 86-1
    Navratilova 1984: 78-2

    Connoly of course won all 9 slams she played from the 1951 U.S Open until Wimbledon 1954 and the horseriding accident.

    Court 5 times won atleast 3 of the 4 slams, including the grand slam in 1970.

    Evert only once won all the slams she entered in a year once, and that was in 1976 when she only entered 2 slams. I did not imply she was not dominant. Yes Evert showed very good dominance, but this is an area she falls far short of what Navratilova, Graf, Court, and even Connoly reached (and Lenglen and Wills if you really go back in time).

    Who were here main rivals on clay during this time? Nancy Richey (who owned a young Evert) was pretty much done as a force by then. Court's career at the top was basically over after her last leave from the tour after 73, after that she was too old upon her return. King was never much of a clay courter, and even Goolagong wasnt, but they were by far the best Evert faced until Austin arrived (and luckily for Evert she hardly playd on clay and didnt play the French until 1982).

    However all that being said I wont begrudge Evert her dominance on clay. She is probably the greatest clay courter of all time. However is she better then these other greats on any of the other surfaces? That is the real question.

    So it is not like she would have won all those titles, especialy the Australian. Goolagong had a dominant head to head with Evert on grass from 1972-1976, only losing once in five meetings, and that was 8-6 in the 3rd. I doubt her chances of beating Goolagong at the Australian from 1974-1977 were going to be that great. What if Navratilova and Evert had both played the Australian from 1978-1981? After all it was on grass where Evert hardly ever beat Navratilova even back then, her 1980 Wimbledon semi was her very rare narrow win over Navratilova on grass just like the 1976 Wimbledon final was likewise for her vs prime Goolagong. If everyone played the Australian on grass she would have been lucky to even win 2 of those 8 years with someone favored over her every year probably.

    As for the French one could say what if Austin had played in 1979 and 1981. She was owning Chris during these years for the most part. Chris broke down with emotion when beating Austin in the 1980 U.S Open semis since Austin had her so terrified and frusterated that she was a mess and even thought of quitting tennis. I dont believe Chris and Tracy ever played again on clay after Tracy's win over Chris in 1979 since Tracy was hardly playing on clay those years, probably to Chris's good benefit nearly as much as Chris's absence from the French was for those second rate stars who won the French from 1976-1978 in the depleted fields.

    Yes her consistency was outstanding. However her sheer dominance and level of excellence, outside of clay vs a very weak clay court field for a long period of time, still far below Navratilova, Graf, and Court,
     
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  17. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    5 women have held all 4 grand slams simultaneously. Navaratilova is one of them, while Evert isn't.
    I much preferred Chrissie to Martina, but this fact alone is more than enough to tip the scales clearly in Martin's favour.
     
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  18. julesb

    julesb Banned

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    Navratilova by far. Dumb question.
     
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  19. DMan

    DMan Professional

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    A stat is a stat. And while reaching the semis or better of 52 of 55 majors is a tremendous achievement, and I agree will never be equalled, I don't think it is all that it's cracked up to be.

    Another thing to remember is that Chris was rather selective about her appearances in majors. She played 1 in 1971, 2 in 1972, 3 in 1973 and all 4 in 1974. So while she reached the semis of her first major, she didn't win her first major until her 8 the event. The 3rd time Graf reached a Slam semi she was ready to win one. Martina won a Slam after reaching her 6th semi. Hingis, Seles, and Goolagong won their first major in their 2nd time to the semis.

    And for players at the Evert and Navratilova level, it's about winning majros that counts.

    It would have been interesting if Chris was willing to put herself on the line in the majors in her early years, the way Martina did, and Steffi did, and so many other young players have done.

    No doubt Chris Evert maintained the highest level of consistency in the history of tennis. But ask Chris if she'd take a few early round losses in majros for a few more wins, and I guarantee you she'd take the trophies any time.

    As for Martina, and her early "dicey" years, she wasn't a top 10er until 1975 so it's no point in looking at events before then. She had a really bad loss at US Open 1976 1R. The Horvath and Zvereva French losses were "bad". But hardly something to cll dicey.
     
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  20. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Navratilova and let's move on.

    Well Nav was a lot of the times.
     
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  21. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Prime Navratilova certainly didnt need to play her best to beat Evert, not even close. She whooped Evert in the 83 U.S Open final 6-1, 6-3 and 84 French Open final 6-3, 6-1 so obviously could have played alot worse than her best and still had margin enough to win. In the 84 Wimbledon and U.S Open finals Martina was far from her best and still beat Evert at her best, and the Wimbledon final was still straight sets. In the 1985 French Open where Chris finally beat Martina in a noteable match again Martina in her own words played awful that day and Chris unbelievably well, and Chris still won by the narrowest of margins on her own best surface and Martina's worst.

    I kind of doubt Graf would have had to play her absolute best to beat Evert too if they were in their primes together.

    Court didnt need to play her best to beat Evert either. King on her good surfaces (grass, fast carpet) didnt need to either.

    Players like Virginia Wade, Hana Mandlikova, and Evonne goolagong probably had to play their absolute best to ever beat Evert but that certainly isnt true of everyone.

    Lastly your comments that Graf, Court, and King were prone to off days in comparision to Evert is stupid. Those players in their primes were just as consistent as Evert and hardly ever had bad losses. Navratilova this is true off yes, and definitely Mandlikova, but not the others.
     
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  22. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Martina with graphite vs Evert with wood should be an easy win for Navratilova - '83 US Open. And Evert had made the difficult decision to switch to a graphite racquet and was still getting used to it when they met at the '84 French. Look at it this way - Djokovic just switched from one graphite racquet to another and right now he isn't the same player that he was although he is getting better as he gets used to his new graphite racquet. Imagine how much more difficult is was for Evert to get used to her new graphite racquet over her old trusty wood racquet. Yes it's true that Martina was at her absolute peak during that period but it still wasn't easy for her to beat Evert, especially once Chris bumped up her fitness and got used to the new graphite racquet.

    Martina has more singles titles, and leads the head to head 43-37 but Evert had the much more consistent career and better longevity than Navratilova.


    As for your comments aobut players not needing to be at their best to beat Evert is just silly.

    Evert vs.

    BILLIE JEAN KING (USA) 19:7

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

    MARGARET COURT (Australia) 9:4

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


    MARTINA NAVRATILOVA (Czechoslovakia-USA) 37:43

    1973 Akron, OH 1R W 7-6, 6-3
    1973 St. Petersburg, FL SF W 7-5, 6-3
    1974 San Francisco, CA 1R W 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
    1974 Italian Open F W 6-3, 6-3
    1975 San Francisco, CA QF W 6-4, 6-3
    1975 Washington, DC QF L 3-6, 6-4, 7-6
    1975 Akron, OH QF W 6-3, 6-1
    1975 Chicago, IL SF L 6-4, 6-0
    1975 Philadelphia, PA SF W 7-6, 6-4
    1975 Slims Championships/L.A. F W 6-4, 6-2
    1975 Amelia Island, FL F W 7-5, 6-4
    1975 Italian Open F W 6-1, 6-0
    1975 French Open F W 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
    1975 U.S. Open SF W 6-4, 6-4
    1975 Atlanta, GA F W 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
    1976 Austin, TX SF W 6-4, 6-1
    1976 Houston, TX F L 6-3, 6-4
    1976 Wimbledon SF W 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
    1977 Washington, DC F L 6-2, 6-3
    1977 Seattle, WA F W 6-2, 6-4
    1977 Los Angeles, CA F W 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
    1977 Philadelphia, PA F W 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
    1977 Tucson, AZ F W 6-3, 7-6
    1977 Colgate Series finals RR W 6-4, 6-1
    1978 Eastbourne, England F L 6-4, 4-6, 9-7
    1978 Wimbledon, England F L 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
    1978 Atlanta, GA F W 7-6, 0-6, 6-3
    1978 Colgate Series finals F W 6-3, 6-3
    1978 Tokyo, Japan F W 7-5, 6-2
    1979 Oakland, CA F L 7-5, 7-5
    1979 Los Angeles, CA F W 6-3, 6-4
    1979 Dallas, TX F L 6-4, 6-4
    1979 Eastbourne, England F W 7-5, 5-7, 13-11
    1979 Wimbledon F L 6-4, 6-4
    1979 Phoenix, AZ F L 6-1, 6-3
    1979 Brighton, England F L 6-3, 6-3
    1980 Chicago, IL F L 6-4, 6-4
    1980 Wimbledon, England SF W 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
    1980 Brighton, England F W 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
    1980 Tokyo, Japan SF L 7-6, 6-2
    1981 Amelia Island, FL F W 6-0, 6-0
    1981 U.S. Open SF L 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
    1981 Tokyo, Japan F L 6-3, 6-2
    1981 Sydney, Australia F W 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
    1981 Australian Open F L 6-7, 6-4, 7-5
    1982 Wimbledon F L 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
    1982 Brighton, England F L 6-1, 6-4
    1982 Australian Open F W 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
    1982 Toyota Championships F L 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
    1983 Dallas, TX F L 6-4, 6-0
    1983 Slims Championships/N.Y. F L 6-2, 6-0
    1983 Manhattan Beach, CA F L 6-1, 6-3
    1983 Toronto, Ontario F L 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
    1983 U.S. Open F L 6-1, 6-3
    1983 Tokyo, Japan F L 6-2, 6-2
    1984 Livingston, NJ F L 6-2, 7-6
    1984 Slims Championships/N.Y. F L 6-3, 7-5, 6-1
    1984 Amelia Island, FL F L 6-2, 6-0
    1984 French Open F L 6-3, 6-1
    1984 Wimbledon F L 7-6, 6-2
    1984 U.S. Open F L 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
    1985 Key Biscayne, FL F W 6-2, 6-4
    1985 Lipton/Delray Beach, FL F L 6-2, 6-4
    1985 Dallas, TX F L 6-3, 6-4
    1985 French Open F W 6-3, 6-7, 7-5
    1985 Wimbledon F L 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
    1985 Australian Open F L 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
    1986 Dallas, TX F L 6-2, 6-1
    1986 French Open F W 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
    1986 Los Angeles, CA F L 7-6, 6-3
    1987 Houston, TX F W 3-6, 6-1, 7-6
    1987 French Open SF L 6-2 6-2
    1987 Wimbledon SF L 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
    1987 Los Angeles, CA SF W 6-2, 6-1
    1987 Filderstadt, Germany F L 7-5, 6-1
    1988 Australian Open SF W 6-2, 7-5
    1988 Houston, TX F W 6-0, 6-4
    1988 Wimbledon SF L 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
    1988 Filderstadt, Germany F L 6-2, 6-3
    1988 Chicago, IL F L 6-2, 6-2



    Take a look at the scores.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
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  23. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I mentioned this in another thread but I have always found Navratilova's "longevity" the most vastly overstated thing about her, atleast what I value of longevity. Even her ardent fans argue her prime as only being 82-86, perhaps in part to simply excuse any inconvenient stats like her losses to Austin, and even 15 year old Jaeger and late 30s King in 1980 and 1981, or her being first challenged and later dominated by teenage Graf from 86-89. Well in that case a 4 year prime does not show much longevity of peak play compared to other greats.

    Getting out of the subjective stuff though Martina's first multiple slam year was 1982 and her last was 1987. Evert's first was 1974 and last was 1982. Graf's won the grand slam in 1988, then won all 6 slams she played as late as 1995 and 1996. Court won 3 out of 4 slams as early as 1962 and as late as 1973. Navratilova's only two years winning 3 slams were 1983 and 1984. Navratilova's first year even making 2 slam finals was 1981 and last was 1989. Graf's and Evert first and last doing so were 12 or 13 years apart. Her longevity of actual great play does not even come close to Court, Graf, Evert, or even some others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
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  24. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Evert never lost to Florenta Mihai:

    Evert vs FLORENTA MIHAI (Romania) 1:0

    1976 London, England QF W 6-4, 6-0

    Dewar’s Cup (London, England): 1R def. Linda Mottram 6-1, 6-1, 2R def. Florenta Mihai 6-4, 6-0, SF def. Rosemary Casals 6-3, 6-0; F lost to Virginia Wade 6-2, 6-2
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
    #24
  25. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Interestingly you mention age doing Evert in once she started losing regularly to Graf, yet dont even mention that Graf was 15 or 16 years old during every one of her her losses to Evert, and her highest ranking at the time of any of them was only #6 in the world. Graf even had a losing head to head with Pam Shriver at the time she got her first win over Evert at only 16, straight sets on clay no less and only a couple months before Evert's record 7th French Open title.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
    #25
  26. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Because that's precisely the way it always goes - the older but still great player should dominate a 14-16 year old up and coming player and then the young player entering her prime should then start dominating the older and past prime player - happens to everyone - it even happend to Graf herself.
     
    #26
  27. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Graf in her final year wasnt being dominated by anyone but then again she didnt face any all time greats except Serena who also wasnt in her prime.
     
    #27
  28. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    If the 4 majors were all as important during Evert's career as they are now I have no doubt she would have at least 22, if not more. She might have even broken Court's record of 24.
     
    #28
  29. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Yes I think you are right there. Evert was hurt more by this than Navratilova as Navratilova's best tennis was almost all in the 80s anyway when the 4 slams were being fully valued again. Court was actually aided by this as opposed to being hurt as she won Australia so many times with much depleted competition vs what she faced in the other 3 slams. It is amazing to see years in the 70s where not only players like O Neil and Barbara Jordan won Australia, but even players like Ruzici and Jausovec were winning the French Open, which sort of tells you the fields those events were getting back around then. Chris herself skipped the Australian Open a bunch of times after 1974, and the French 3 straight times from 1976 to 1978.
     
    #29
  30. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    They are both a lot closer than people make them out to be. Evert did miss out on a couple of slam titles, but the same case can be made for Martina but based on what they accomplish it all depends is longievity or dominance more important to you. The point about multi slam years was brought up and although Evert's were so spread out she only had 5. Martina managed to have 6 multi slam years in a row. Martina also won 6 slams in a row and her best years from 82-86 boast some extremely impressive numbers. I have to give the edge to Martina. She might have been inconsistent in slams early on but from 78-86 she was a top player and when she hit her peak in 82 almost nobody could stop her for the next five years.
     
    #30
  31. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    The scores, I think you need to read this.....

    Ahem!!! Enough said.
     
    #31
  32. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    copy and paste from another thread

    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 not the rest. These H to H stats being touted are not in a vacuum.
     
    #32
  33. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I do admire Chris' consistency. It has to give her such a sense of satisfaction that she played in so many grand slam SF with only a rare stumble before then. It also has to please her that so few players were actually able to beat her in grand slam play.

    I guess for me, it comes down to this: as much as I love the French Open and each of the other slams, I'd rather have 9 Wimbledon titles than 7 French titles or 12 Australian, or even at least 4 at each slam. That's the ultimate in tennis, in my opinion. So my vote is for Martina.
     
    #33
  34. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    So if Venus wins 9 Wimbledons, and she very well could, would you even rather have her career over Evert, Court, and Graf's as well, even if she never wins another non-Wimbledon (also very possible even if she plays well enough to win 4 more Wimbledons she might well still never win another anywhere else). Just asking.
     
    #34
  35. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I'm probably the wrong person to ask that question as I stopped watching very much of womens tennis in 2000. I still prefer Martina's career and would also choose Graf and Evert over Venus' career too. Just because they each played in an era of variety in terms of style.
     
    #35
  36. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    If Venus wins 9 Wimbledons and no more non-Wimbledons she will go down as a grass court specialist only and it will undermine even further her abilities on other surfaces which are still very good (for a very brief time excellent) but still so far below her grass court abilities. It actually makes her look even more incomplete as she is already starting to look, relative to other greats of course. That is the reason I have a hard time even ranking her above Henin. Henin won 4 of her 7 slams at the French Open too, but atleast she won slams at both the U.S Open and Australian Opens, and had multiple other final appearances at the Australian, U.S, and Wimbledon. Venus has only 1 time past the quarters of both the Australian and French Opens.

    Atleast Martina equaled her 9 Wimbledons between the other 3 slams, winning a combined 9 French-Australia-U.S Opens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
    #36
  37. obanaghan

    obanaghan New User

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    Career means from day one to the end. For Evert that would be 1970-1989. For Navratilova that would be 1973-1994(or later.)

    Career is taking the whole work and averaging the scores like a semester of grades. Wording it towards career achievement helps Ever vs. Navratilova. Despite huge physical advantages and a great game from 1982-1987 for sure MN had a LOT of bad quizzes and tests along the way.

    1976 US Open. 1st round loss. She was a 2-time major finalist and a recent W SF and she lost first round. No sickness or injury was claimed just poor preparation.

    1977 loss to Wendy Turnbull at US Open; also who beat her at W? She was not a SF even.

    1978 loss to Pam Shriver. You are the W champion and you lose to Pam at 16?

    1979 loss to Tracy Austin. Again a two time W champ and you lose to another 16 year-old? I realize Tracy was great but it is a blemish. And yes it is a tarnish for Evert getting spanked in the final too!

    1980 losses at W to Evert, US to Hana and a well ignored loss to Turnbull at the Aussie. Trying to win a minor major and still lost to Turnbull as a two time W champ.

    1981 loss at the French, W and then choking at NY. By this point her game was gearing up. She beat Evert and then blitzed Tracy and lost it on a double fault. At least make her win it don't give it to her.

    1982 loss to Pam was at least a sickness this time but the Aussie Open win for Evert was lame too since she had a Yonex and Evert had a woodie.

    1983 loss to Horvath. This says a lot more than people think. How do you lose a match like this when you are so gifted? The defending champion and you lose to a modest player.

    Overall, I think Martina was a better player on her best day than Evert. However, looking at all the career matches even accounting for Evert's 4-10 in major finals and 37-43 h2h with MN, I think Evert's consistency and identical 18 majors gives her a nod when you look at the 1R losses etc. that do show up a lot on MN's record.

    If anything Evert's lower athleticism should count for more. She did just as much if not more with a lot less "talent".

    In majors Evert showed more variety believe it or not:

    Grass: Evert has 5: 3W, 2 Aussie
    Martina has 12: 9W, 3 Aussie
    Clay: Evert has 10: 7F, 3US
    Martina has 2: 2F
    Hard: Evert has 3: 3US
    Martina has 4: 4 US

    Martina won only 2 majors on her weakest surface. One of those involved a win over Chris, 1984.
    Evert however won 5 majors on grass. 2 of them involved wins over MN, 1976 and 1982.

    MN won 2/3 of her majors on grass. Granted Evert was almost as dominant on clay but 66% on one surface is a bit one dimensional over a career. Especially when from 1975-1987 and only 2 were on grass.

    The indoor numbers also hurt Evert.
     
    #37
  38. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    From DMAN on page one:"Another thing to remember is that Chris was rather selective about her appearances in majors. She played 1 in 1971, 2 in 1972, 3 in 1973 and all 4 in 1974. So while she reached the semis of her first major, she didn't win her first major until her 8 the event. The 3rd time Graf reached a Slam semi she was ready to win one. Martina won a Slam after reaching her 6th semi. Hingis, Seles, and Goolagong won their first major in their 2nd time to the semis.

    It would have been interesting if Chris was willing to put herself on the line in the majors in her early years, the way Martina did, and Steffi did, and so many other young players have done.

    No doubt Chris Evert maintained the highest level of consistency in the history of tennis. But ask Chris if she'd take a few early round losses in majros for a few more wins, and I guarantee you she'd take the trophies any time.

    As for Martina, and her early "dicey" years, she wasn't a top 10er until 1975 so it's no point in looking at events before then. She had a really bad loss at US Open 1976 1R. The Horvath and Zvereva French losses were "bad". But hardly something to cll dicey."

    Me, here! Somehow I missed this post. First, in those early years 71-73, She was not calling the shots, Jimmy Evert was. Second, it was a smart call! She was still young and her body was still developing. They just kept adding events that were a little further away from home each year, restricting the number of events. That other champions and talents either screwed up their brains, physches or bodies because of bad parental or player decisions is not to her detriment. Her knees, back and feet kept working sans surgery. Yep! not playing injured was also about not punishing the tools of the trade of one so young!

    Instead, remind yourself that virtually all those early slams she entered were GRASS. She stopped entering the Australian because of it was far less prestigious back then. She stopped entering the French because of WTT.

    Think of it this way. Evert entered 5 Australians on grass, got the the finals of all. Entered 4 US opens on grass in her young immature years. Semis each time. of the 18 Wimbledons she was a semifinalist on all but one. That's 27 semifinalist out of 28 events held on her weakest slam surface.

    As for the notion that we get to cherry pick which years of Martina are worth considering, Its silly. The years she was not in the top ten, both early or late in her career , she played professional tennis, walked on the court and performed and those results are just a much part of her legacy as any other! that is the whole point of looking at a career! Same is true of Billie Jean or Steffi Graf.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
    #38
  39. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    She was beaten in the quarters by 31 year old Betty Stove.
     
    #39
  40. VivalaVida

    VivalaVida Banned

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    Wow! I accidentally voted for evert.
     
    #40
  41. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Ok you are a little bit off the ball with some of these. The loses you point to in 1976 and 1977 were not exactly a shock. Yeah she was a slam finalist at the time but one of those was the french in 1975 where her draw to the final was borderline pathetic. In 1976 Martina was no where near in the shape she should have been able to be in which she herself admits and yet you chastise her for losing one match because she was a semifinalist at the previous slam. While you may as well chastise players like Evert, Graf, Court and quite a few others for they at different points did that as well.

    As for Pam and Tracy they were both phenominal as Teenagers. Pams problem was she never knew how to kick up her game and keep it up. Pam gave Evert a Hell of a time in her one slam Final when Pam was a teenager, should Evert be Chastised for that to, Pam was Several points worth of games from Beating Chris so I guess Evert should be blackmarked for that. Tracy was a teen phenom of the likes that Evert was and holds the 2nd highest number of wins against Martina right after Chris. You make it seem like Tracy slaughtered Martina, she beat her at the US Open in 1981 in 2 tiebreaks and up until that last tiebreak DF she was forced to play quite well to keep up with Martina and you wanna chastise Martina for being beaten by a player who beat her 12 other times? Tracy was a problem for Evert to, she snapped Chris's clay court win streak of 125 matches, and if you want to besmirch Martina you then need to besmirch chris for all her losses to Tracy ( and yes she had quite a few).

    You then choose to attack Martina for losing to Horvath, well in that Sense Graf should be similarly blackballed for losing to McNeil in the first rd of Wimbledon, and Evert for her 1983 Wimbledon Loss to Jordan due to food poisoing. You say Martina even sick should have lost, well what about Evert?. As for that Aussie you think a racquet is supposed to make all the Difference? Nav at the time was still adjusting to that new racquet, it took her a while to fully click with it, and Evert with her trusted woodie with which she was quite comfortable and deadly was obviously going to do well against someone who was using a racquet quite different from what they were used to.

    You want to say Evert's consistancy gives her and edge because she tied Martina in number of slams. Well what about this, you want to punish Martina for all her 1st rd losses and all her other early exits and yet she still got the exact same number of Majors as Evert did. Evert for her remarkable consistancy which you make out to be good then, why didn't she win more majors than Martina. Factoring in Martina's early loses I think it stands quite well that got the same number of slams as Evert did. As for the Wimbledon statement, the reason she is not punished for all her lopsidedness at Wimbledon is the fact that Everyone played Wimbledon. Its not like with Court and all her Australians at which for most the best players who weren't australian didn't even show up. Martina beat Evert in 4 Wimbledon Finals so its not like she wasn't beating the best out there.

    As for her only winning 2 majors on her weakest surface, not to be rude, but how many would it have taken to really make a difference. She made 6 French open finals, won 2. For a player on whom clay is her worst surface 2 slams on that surface, one of which was against that surfaces queen at the time in Evert ( who was experiencing similar racquet change adjustment troubles but cine you want to count the Aussie this one needs to be counted to) seems pretty good to me. Martina beat Chris at least once at Every major in the finals, Chris cannot say the same about her. Chris may have overall been more consistant, but at the end of the day all her consistantly landed her almost dead even with Martina in terms of career accomplishment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
    #41
  42. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Martina is obviously a great player, arguably the greatest ever, but she is often treated with kid gloves by her supporters in analyzing her career, similar to the ones she boldly told the press the Williams are treated with because they are black.

    That she was playing so well into her 30s is brought up, yet that she achieved 10% of what Graf, Evert, Court, and many others did from ages 18-25 is essentialy ignored. She is lauded for her longevity yet only results from age 25 onwards when her supposed "prime" began can count according to many, yet her losses to Graf from age 30 onwards dont count as that is no longer her supposed "prime". So essentialy she is somehow credited for the most longevity ever, despite only 5 years of what can be counted as her prime. Her dominance of Evert in years 1983 and 1984 is brought up, yet Evert who began her prime in her teenager is somehow not at all old in her own career at ages 28 and 29, when the extremely late blooming Martina herself is supposably too old at 30 and 31. Her performances even on the clay which favored Evert during her absolute peak are glorified, yet the many years she was ducking playing Evert on clay are largely ignored.
     
    #42
  43. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Evert was more consistent.
    Navratilova was hotter when she was hot.
    It's that simple, and completely depends on what you prefer. I preferred Navratilova's higher risk tennis game, but still enjoyed watching when Evert beat her, especially in the mid-80s when Martina was in her prime.
     
    #43
  44. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I rate Navratilova 3rd all time in singles behind Graf and Court. I rank Evert 4th all time in singles behind Graf, Court, and Navratilova. So I guess Martina by a hair for me.
     
    #44
  45. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Well I like your ranking, only I shove Wills up there at 3rd. Evert is RIGHT behind Martina in any ranking.
     
    #45
  46. obanaghan

    obanaghan New User

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    boredone3456, Yes I think hiccups count. The only two excuses for either MN or CE should be the 82 US for MN and 83 W for CE. Both were sick and it "probably" caused the loss.

    You make a good point that MN matched CE's numbers with more bad early round results. That is a good point but it is a career that we are looking at and I think the same logic used by World Tennis in 1981 for number one should be applied.

    That year the judges had 4 women each with a major title claiming to be #1.

    MN won the Aussie and was RU at the US
    Tracy Austin won the US
    Hana Mandlikova won the French over Evert in SF and was RU at W to Evert while beating MN at W
    CE won W, was RU at Aussie, and SF at both French and US

    Each had wins over the other.

    It came down to consistency. I believe in addition to making the SF or better of all 4 majors CE lost ONLY to Tracy, MN and Hana. These included a demolition of MN in a double bagel, winn 2 and 2 at W over H and a nail biter over Tracy. Yes she lost to them too but the other three had chinks in their armors.

    I am not saying that CE was better and maybe a formulaic approach would put MN over CE under any circumstances. I do think that she has a lot of bad losses that diminish her overall career and people only remember the phenomenal 1982-1987 years.

    Chris was at least up to the challenge to take the hits by Martina in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Where was MN in 1976-1980 other than the 78 and 79 W finals? Chris made the finals on grass far more than MN did on clay at the majors and might Chris have beat MN in 1978 or 1979 or 1980 in NYC? We will not know because MN was unable to reach her seeded place. I also disagree with those who say that MN started her career in 1975. She took CE to a tie break in 1973 in their first match. She was great then and those numbers count. Evert had a major SF in 1971, 2 in 1972 and 2 finals and a SF in 1973. MN matched nicley with 2 RU in majors in 1975 and a SF in NYC.

    People are right to discount Evert as too many times a bridesmaid but when she wins 18 majors over 13 years then she should get the respect and not be automatically relegated to just behind MN when all those bad losses are there.
     
    #46
  47. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    ^^^ I realize now I was unclear about one of my points and I will try to clear it up. From 1976-1980..Martina was not at all what she should have really been able to be. She was out of shape, her serve was substandard, she was not a good mover, her second serve was bad even her volleying which would be the staple of her game in the 80's had marked room for improvement at this time. To be sure, he game had a ton of holes in it throughout the 1970's that in some cases what she was able to acheive was sort of a miracle. She was still good, but not great and her game was sloppier than it would become once she got into shape. Its not a surprise she was not a tour deforce as a teen because she was all over the place.

    Losses at this time even given her rank to players like Turnbull who were far superior to her in the movement and maybe even the athletic department at this time shouldn't be looked at as ghastly. They were losses that were to be expected from a player who was not in the best of shape and who still needed to make improvements in their overall game. She did well at Wimbledon...but how should doing well on grass mean she should be doing well on al the other surfaces and majors when at the time she was not at all performing well because of what her game still needed?

    As for the hiccups, yes they mean something but every player has them. Evert, Graf, Court, Seles Henin, Serena every player who is whispered about as a potential great has loses to their record that are bad at the time they happened. No player is impervious, and even during their best years all of them suffered losses that could be made out as bad and signs of weakness. Every player has hiccups to their record...even the consistant (probably most highly consistant of all time) Chris Evert. I think your making to much out of them because given the right words any GOAT candidate can be made to look bad because of their hiccups.

    No question Evert was better on grass than Martina was on clay. That was due to Evert's crushingly strong passing shots, her deadly lobs and her amazing court coverage and anticipation. Serve and Volleying is not really the best strategy on clay in my opinion especially against a player of Evert quality.

    But even with that...6 French Open Finals is still a pretty amazing feet...well 5...the one in 1975 was just a poor route there. Even given Martina's avoidng clay (which even if she had played it more looking at the numbers as they are now Martina and Chris would have needed to face off probably about another 20 times at least with Evert winning almost 80% of them to make a marked difference) Martina is still dead even with Chris...as virtually deadlocked as you can be without actually being so.

    My point is...When in the case of tie it is possible to look at consistancy and use it as a breaker. In my opinion though, when they are tied and one is overall way less consistant then the other, I think that speaks more highly for the less consistant than the consistant one in terms of overall career accomplishment
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
    #47
  48. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    This is all true but being an underachiever in the early part of her career is still part of her early career, especialy when Evert, Graf, and Court were certainly not underachievers in the early parts of their careers. It is all about the entire body of work.

    All very true.

    McNeil on grass >> Horvath on clay. As well Jordan on grass >> Horvath on clay. Horvath is just a journeywomen who was never achieved anything other than that French Open run. She is not a noted streaky but dangerous player on certain surfaces like McNeil, nor a solid top 10 performer at the time like Kathy Jordan. That is why it was the ultra embarassing loss for a player of Martina's stature to endure in a slam event during clearly one of her 2 best years ever (94 for Graf and 83 for Evert are like their 9th best years ever).

    I would definitely think playing a rival with a graphite racquet while you are using wood is a disadvantage but of course it was Evert's choice to not switch sooner so it is what it is in this case IMO.

    Consistency is always a part of evaluating a player. Do you say it is wrong to punish Agassi for his inconsistency when he has the same # of slams as Lendl and Connors even with that. Things that are superior about Martina's career which allowed this tie inspite of her far inferior consistency are acknowledged- such as sheer dominance and dominance vs Evert during Martina's best years when Chris was still near her best are acknowledged already. However as these things are acknowledged other factors like Martina's consistency not measuring up to Evert's, and her relatively shorter prime should also be acknowledged.

    Another thing to remember is Evert lost out on alot more majors than Martina based on the status of slams in the 70s. Evert probably wins 3 more French Opens and maybe another 3 or so out of the 5 Australians from 75-80 had those events been regarded a they are today. Martina wins 0 French Opens those years she missed if everyone plays, that is pretty much a no brainer (in fact she probably doesnt even reach a final until her actual 1982 triumph). Maybe she wins another 1 or 2 Australians from 78-80 but that is it. Chris was hurt much more by the general status and Australian and French Opens she missed the years she did than Martina was.

    This is true but as for why Chris with her superior consistency didnt win more majors than Martina read above. Chris was the one hurt most by the Australian Open and to some degree French Opens status in the 70s, less so Martina who was much less a force overall in the 70s, especialy on clay. Also if you do a scenario where you take Martina out of the picture Chris gains alot more majors than vice versa. Chris was stopped many times by Martina during her absolute peak years of 1982-1985, so she was extremely unlucky in that sense too. Martina never had to endure this the same way vs Chris from 1974-1977 since she wasnt ever the 2nd best player during these years. Do a scenario where the Australian and French Open were similar status to today in the 70s and where 1 of Martina or Chris is out of the picture for the other the gap between the two would be now enormous in Chris's favor.

    Well Evert at Wimbledon, her weakest slam on her weakest surface, has a superior record to Martina at the French, her weakest slam on her weakest surface. Thus it is still something that can be pointed out in comparing the two.

    If Martina were good enough from from 75-77 while she was a top 5 player still, and during her slump in 1980-mid 1981 to reach Wimbledon and U.S Open finals vs Chris you can bet that stat of Chris never beating Martina in a final would change. Chris did beat Martina in many semis of Wimbledon and the U.S Open, would the result have been any different had they met in the final those times? Mind you Martina would have also lost to the player Chris beat in the final those times (usually Goolagong who was a superior player to Martina those years and owned her head to head around then as well). Martina could have reached finals to have a shot of playing Chris too if she wasnt losing in semis or quarters to teenaged Mandlikova, Wendy Turnbull, 33 year old Court, Betty Stove, Sylvia Hanika, and others at some of those.

    It isnt Chris's fault that Martina during her lower than prime years was losing in quarters and some semis mostly, while Chris for almost two decades was reaching final after final. In fact it is something that should be in Chris's favor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
    #48
  49. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Please, forgive me -- I don't comment on women's tennis since I don't know so much about it (although I'm a casual fan -- and admire great women's tennis) but you must talk more about Suzanne Lenglen. The talk about her is astonishing. Her records are beyond belief. You Wills-Moody fans -- every one who played both Wills-Moody and Lenglen were absolutely certain Suzanne was the stronger in every respect. In every respect.
     
    #49
  50. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Well they only played once and it was a very tough match, and I am pretty sure the belief at the time was it was more prime Lenglen than prime Wills. Granted it is only one match and Lenglen still closed it out in straights, just saying....
     
    #50

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