Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by CEvertFan, May 19, 2009.
Anyone else watching the Navratilova/Evert '86 French Open final that's currently on Tennis Channel?
why would they show this match when the '85 final was better?
Yep, watching right here.
This one was a good one too. Better consistent quality. The '85 final was more up and down from both women. More drama certainly in the '85 final but not necessarily better quality.
:shock: When did Evert ever have 5 double faults in 3 service games? Probably never. No wonder she lost that first set 6-2, her serve was not working at all.
What would you say the reason for that is (I can't watch the match)? Nerves? Slow start? Bad conditions?
I got this match on tape. The last two sets may be some of the stuff a woman has produced on clay. Can't say Martina didn't bring her 'A' game that day. that's how you get a 6-2 set over Evert who of course ws playing dismal tennis. Evert just showed who's boss at the latter stages of sets 2 and three.
As for the serving Lionheart. All of the above!!
PS anyone care to tell me Evert can't volley after watching this?
That was a beautiful forehand drop volley from Evert with her serving at 3-1 15-0 in the second set. Evert also ripped a swing backhand volley before it was popular to do so. She could volley.
There were a couple of differences between the 85 and 86 French. Martina put more top on her backhand (fewer slices) and Evert had both more power and top on her forehand. Martina said post interview she had never been passed so well by Evert in any match. Evert also seemed to dictate more during the rallies and kept Martina deeper, so she had to make fewer glorious but low percentage passes than in 85.
geez, the female announcer's voice is REALLY annoying
That would be JoAnne Russell, a former pro player. I found her to be annoying and very funny at the same time. Kind of kooky.
I never got the funny part. Despise her asinine commentary. She is the pits of all time.
The asinine part was the funny part. She's a hoot. Not a good commentator though by any means.
Did Chrissie use a Pro Staff 85?
Evert played superbly in the last two sets. She kept the ball deep to Martina's backhand, pinning her to the baseline, attacked the net at opportune moments and passed so well when Martina did come to the net. Martina's drop shot was very effective in the early stages of the match but she made the tactical wrong choice to stay back instead of charging the net. I don't think I've ever seen Martina hit so many topspin backhands in a match before and I have never seen Evert hit so many balls to the Navratilova backhand and avoid the forehand almost completely but it worked.
Bud Collins asked Martina why she did not come in more. ( He always thinks EVERYONE should come in more) Martina said Evert was passing too well and keeping her too deep. " Well you just can't come in on anything..." She could not find an answer. I am not sure what backhand Martina should use against Evert on clay. The slice does not stay low enough and bounces up enough that Evert isn't troubled but it stays deep and steady. The topspin can push Evert out of her comfortable strike range, but occasionally lands short letting Chris dictate or come in. I think what I am saying is that Martina, like virtually everyone else is stymied by Evert's A clay game. that is a very long line of players, but Martina caused her more trouble than any of them and when Evert was not confident ( 84'), and Martina was at her top, could kill her.
Evert's road to the final was actually much more difficult in '86 than it was in '85.
In '85 Evert didn't lose a set in getting to the final:
R128 H2H THOMPSON, JANINE W 6-2 6-1
R64 H2H BONDER-KREISS, LISA W 7-5 6-3
R32 H2H KANELLOPOULOU, ANGELIKI W 6-3 7-5
R16 H2H (11) GRAF, STEFFI W 6-2 6-3
Q H2H PHELPS, TERRY W 6-4 6-0
S H2H (14) SABATINI, GABRIELA W 6-4 6-1
F H2H (1) NAVRATILOVA, MARTINA W 6-3 6-7(4) 7-5
But in '86 she had two 3 setters before the final:
R128 H2H CALMETTE, CECILLE W 6-0 6-1
R64 H2H HERREMAN, NATHALIE W 6-2 6-1
R32 H2H SMITH, ANNE W 6-3 6-1
R16 H2H (9) SABATINI, GABRIELA W 1-6 6-3 6-3
Q H2H (13) BASSETT-SEGUSO, CARLING W 5-7 6-2 6-1
S H2H (5) MANDLIKOVA, HANA W 6-1 6-1
F H2H (1) NAVRATILOVA, MARTINA W 2-6 6-3 6-3
She absolutely destroyed Mandlikova in the semis though.
Jo Anne Russell the dreadful commenator would fit right in with the ESPN funny farm of commentators today. If she replaced Pam Shriver then it would nothing but clowns. I think one reason the Evert-Navratilova rivaly was so great was their styles were so contrasting. Another reason is both were willing to adapt and make the adjustments even during a match to try and change things if they were losing.
Chris didnt play that well for her standards at the 86 French until the semis. She lost the first set 6-1 set to barely 16 year old Sabatini, but of course Sabatini even in her prime was almost always too scared and mentally weak to beat the big girls in slams even on their off days. Chris even lost a set to Carling Bassett, albeit Bassett was another teenaged rising star at the time, just below the Graf-Sabatini level at the time. Then in the semis vs Mandlikova she was in killer form and destroyed Hana, and Hana was just coming off a huge win over Graf in the quarters when Graf had come into the event as the favorite to some. She was unusually up and down that second week though. Some sets she played she seemed more unfocused than usual and just making silly errors, than she snapped out of it and was her usual self.
Whenever I bring up Carling Bassett I remember that time period Canadians had Bassett, Kelesi, Hetherington doing really well in doubles. No great players but alot of pretty good players on tour who were known commodities in the tennis World. A far cry from today.
I think I read the Hana had hurt her hand/ sprained a finger during th late stage of her match with Graf or in practice, and that played a role in her loss to Evert.
She also reinjured the hand running for a good shot that Evert hit. How bad the injury was I don't know but it had to be a factor because she only played one handed.
I think '86 in general was the beginning of the end for Chris and her unmatched mental toughness/focus. She started to not be able to sustain it all the time like when she was younger and it was just starting to show in a few losses she had that year and got a little worse in '87 and '88 and by '89 she was pretty much done mentally. For her to sustain her mental focus for so long though is one of the things that really always impressed me about Evert.
Well Said. Evert mentally reminds me of a brick wall. She was damn near impossible to crack and even if you beat her in straights you really had to work for every single point to get that ball by her. She never gave away anything. In the later 80's, after over a decade on tour her mind was probably exhausted. Keeping a steely demeanor during amatch is tough enough but to do it for a whole decade is impossible. By 1987 and 1988, in the matches I have seen, she didn't have that same fire she did even 2 or 3 years before and then in 1989 it was probably just enough was enough. Given the high mental focus Evert had, I always admired the fact that she never burned herself out earlier and was able to remain so consistant for so long.
It was more like 17 years, not just a decade. I won't count '89 because that was the ONLY year she didn't win even one tournament and she was definitely mentally burned out by that time. Even in '88 she still had her moments - beating Navratilova in the AO semis in straight sets for one example, pushing Navratilova to the limit in the Wimbledon semis for another.
She had two good matches in '89. Obviously the 6-0,6-2 win over Seles who had beaten her earlier, and her 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 LOSS vs Graf. First set Graf had lost since the November prior. Match was not decided until late in the 3rd. Evert played consistently well throughout both. Otherwise she might as well not have played.
Hana slipped on a serve and volley point early in the 2nd set vs. Steffi. It was determined later that she had a hairline fracture in her pinkie. But she played on vs. Graf and wasn't going to default a slam SF.
Chris ripped a shot that sent Hana wide early in their match and Hana slipped and put her hand down to keep herself from falling. That aggravated the situation. But Hana herself said that she was only affacted when she hit her forehand volleys.
When I watched that match, my opinion was that Chris was going to win that day no matter what. Hana did not play that badly. In fact, she deserved a better score than 6-1, 6-1. Almost every game went to multiple dueces. And she actually hit quite a few stunning winners throughout the match.
In true Evert form, she won all the big points - and I mean all of them. The injury didn't help Hana. But Chris was just too good.
I remember the 86 French well. I thought Graf was going to win the title before the event. The funny thing is that it seems all great players in their first couple years of contenders dont win the big events as often as they should. Graf should have won more than 1 slam title in 86-87 based on her overall play those years but never played as well in slams, especialy in semis and finals, as she did in non slam events. Evert should have won some slam titles in 72-73 based on her play in non-slam events but likewise didnt perform as well vs Court and King in slams as she did in non-slam events. Martina even could have done better in 75 and 77 in slam events based on her non slam events performances, and underperformed at both Wimbledon and the U.S Open both those years. It seems a common pattern with the up and coming player to underachieve at slams their first couple years as contenders.
Russell rules! As a former pro, she knew the ins and outs of the game, and told it like it was. And she had a great sense of humor. There's a reason she stayed on the air for as long as she did - even though she wasn't a household name - she was good!!
I suppose I liked Joanne because she was one of only a few that I was exposed to back in those days. Once in a while I would get to listen to Virginia Wade or BJK. However, I had to be older and know more about the game to really appreciate those two. Joanne was just one of the guys in her swaggering, self-depracating way.
It did annoy me though when she would seem to be rooting for Chris, which happened on many occasions. I wanted her to leave the rooting up to me, the viewer. Although I loved BJK's analysis, I didn't like that about her either when she started rooting. The funny thing is that when she was helping Martina out, she did a great job of not appearing biased and only brought up her relationship with her when the lead guy was disclosing the situation.
Russell seemed very biased towards Steffi Graf actually. She always rooted heavily for Graf when she began to play Martina or Chris. When Sanchez won the 89 French final she seemed to be dismissive of Sanchez's impressive performance and focused mostly on how poorly Graf was playing, even when it looked like Graf would probably win.
no, she was terrible. no real analysis and ridiculously poor attempts at humor.
I agree 110%. She was ok if you were to sit down with a beer and watch tennis with on your couch, although even then for me she would be kind of annoying.
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