Legendary Chris Evert Tops Margaret Court!!!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by rogerfederer26, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    The details of the head to head record between Evert and Court is below. While Evert was 12 years younger than Court and therefore probably fits into the 'next' generation of players, I find the following interesting about this statistic:

    1. Evert was just under 16 and Court 28, when Evert first met and
    beat Court
    2. Evert won the first 3 matches in straight sets!!
    3. While Court barely beat Evert in one clay court match, Evert seems to have more than held her own against Court on grass. In fact, in the 1973 Wimbledon, she beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. I have seen the first set of this match, and trust me - Evert destroyed Court with lobs, service returns and passing shots.

    Looks like Evert easily handled Court's serve and did not allow Court to play her serve and volley game. And when Court attempted to do so, she was punished.


    Thoughts?


    1970 Evert beat Court 7-6, 7-6 (1970)
    1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-3 (1972)
    1972 Evert beat Court 6-3, 7-6 (1972)
    1972 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)(grass)
    1973 Evert lost Court 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 (clay)
    1973 Evert beat Court 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 (grass)
    1973 Evert lost Court 5-7, 6-2, 2-6 (grass)
    1973 Evert lost Court (scores unknown)
    1975 Evert beat Court 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
    1975 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-2
    1975 Evert beat Court (scores unknown)
    1977 Evert beat Court 6-1, 6-3
    1977 Evert beat Court 6-3, 6-4


    Evert leads 9-4.
     
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  2. Mad iX

    Mad iX Semi-Pro

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    Last match they played was in 1977, well before I was around to see it.
    It probably concerns me as much as it does Court.
     
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  3. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Well said..:)
     
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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1973 Evert lost Court 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 (clay)

    I find it interesting that in 1973 Evert lost to Court (7-6, 6-7, 4-6) on clay, also considering the age difference. Clay was Evert's best surface, because she grew up playing on it.

    Does anyone know if it was Har-Tru or red clay down in Florida?
     
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  5. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    I am probably wrong. But doesn't Florida have red clay?
     
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  6. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I filled in the blanks for you.

    1970 Charlotte, NC SF W 7-6, 7-6
    1972 Bonnie 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
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
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  7. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Mostly in the USA we have green clay, although some very wealthy people probably have red clay courts on their property. Maybe they did play professionally on red clay in the US at one time, but I doubt it. I myself would be interested to know the answer to that.
     
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  8. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Also in 1972, Evert beat King 6-1, 6-0 on clay. If Court or King weren't playing their very best serve/volley game, then they got destroyed by Evert. Margaret did have an advantage over King in that she had better groundstrokes and was a much better clay court player than Billie Jean and could challenge Evert on clay whereas Billie Jean could not.

    Chris loved to use the lob as an offensive weapon, rather than defensively as had been the norm for most of the women. I also have seen that 1973 Wimbledon semifinal match and Chris put on a devastating display of offensive lobbing and was able to handle Margaret's serve with ease.
     
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  9. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Here's Evert's head to head against King:



    vs. BILLIE JEAN KING (USA)

    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


    Evert leads 19-7
     
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  10. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Evert was a wonder on court in that she brought some new strategies to the table. She had the most steely baseline play I have ever seen, sadly most of the matches I have seen have through youtube or taped by people...as I was only born in 1987. She was so destructive because the minute you came to net...she hit that amazing lob and forced you back and many times off balance as she used it in such a new way and that allowed her to attack. Court wasn't used to this style at all and thats why Evert was so strong against her and many other women on the tour until they were able to figure out her strategy and adapt their game a bit. I think this is why many women don't come to net very often and we see a lot of baseline rallies in today's game.
     
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  11. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Hard to believe that a top player in her prime would have a winning record against a top player in the twilight of her career (after 2 kids.)
     
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  12. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Well a players prime is always subjective. In the case of Evert-Court there were a fair number of matches that probably favored Court or Evert in that regard. Obviously 1970 and 1971 should clearly favor Court. 1972 and 1973 is more subjective. 1975-1977 should favor Evert obviously.

    In the case of Evert-King more of their matches should favor Evert in theory since King stayed much longer then Court past her prime, but very young Evert still had some good success.

    I wouldnt say there is too much conclusive from the head to heads, but they are still impressive on Evert's behalf nonetheless. It is always fun to see the matchups of the new breed and the old gaurd. Discussing who the matchups should favor remind me of discussions who the Navratilova-Graf or Graf-Evert matchups in the late 80s were supposed to favor. One player on the way up still, one player having been at the top for awhile but starting to reach a more advanced age.
     
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  13. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Interesting comments. It sounds like Chris's offensive lob was a very effective weapon against both women when they tried to attack.
     
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  14. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    They went 4-4 while Margaret was still in her prime and while Evert hadn't really yet reached her prime, including wins for Evert the first three times they played in straight sets and Evert's very first win over Court was in '70 which was Court's Grand Slam year. After '73 Court was no longer really in her prime.
     
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  15. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Evert had the best offensive and defensive lobs ever in the women's game and probably the best dropshot as well.
     
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  16. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    In Navratilova's autobiography there is an entire chapter just about Chris and Martina said that during the 70s when Chris completely dominated their rivalry, Evert was able to beat her so much because of the lob. Martina said she would get so tired from having Chris run her ragged back and forth from baseline to net and back again trying to retrieve Evert's lobs that she would just run out of gas.
     
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  17. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    That match was Evert's 1st slam final, while it was Court's 28th. Court was the #1 seed at that event. And she won 3 of the 4 slams that year. Its interesting in retrospect, but I doubt anyone considered it a surprising result at the time, its not like Evert was unbeatable on clay yet or was #1. And Court did win 5 FOs, so it wasn't exactly a weak surface for her.

    here's a excerpt from chrisevert.net on their first meeting, when Evert was still an amateur:

    "in 1970, 15-year old pony-tailed amateur Christine Marie Evert bounced into a small tournament in North Carolina and defeated the number one ranked women’s professional player in the world, Margaret Court, by the score of 7-6 7-6. Court had just recently completed her Grand Slam, a feat that had been accomplished only 5 times in the history of the sport. It was the first tournament Chris had ever gone to without her parents. When she phoned her father to tell him what had happened, he fell on the floor and needed to be told 4 times before his ears allowed the news to reach his brain. Understandably, this is still one of Chrissie’s most cherished wins."

    http://chrisevert.net/history.html
     
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  18. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    A most interesting read. Some standouts:

    "but in 1981, having won by double their head-to-head meetings, Evert handed Navratilova the heaviest humbling of her career, 6-0 6-0 in the Amelia Island finals"

    "As the 1984 season closed, with the Australian Open, Evert won her 1000th career match, the first player ever to do so. . . "

    "Chris Evert’s final tournament match victory came at the 1989 US Open, the place where her fame began, beating Monica Seles 6-0 6-2 in what was one of the cleanest, most punishingly well-played matches of Chris’ 20-year career."

    Has anyone else won 1000 career matches? Laver? Rosewall? Federer? I wonder?
     
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  19. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I know for sure that Lendl and Jimbo did.
     
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  20. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I would take a guess and say Navratilova did as well....but I am not 100% sure
     
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  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I can well imagine that Lendl would, and Connors probably too. Martina yes, also; she played forever.

    (Is she still playing mixed doubles or something?)

    Others?
     
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  22. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    Margaret Court had a losing h2h against Evert and Nav

    Nav-Court h2h:

    1974 AO QF Nav beat Court. ( 64 63 )
    1975 Chicago F Court beat Nav (63 36 63 )
    1975 Boston SF Nav beat Court (36 61 64 )
    1975 Wim QF Court beat Nav (63 64 )
    1975 USO QF Nav beat Court (64 62 )
    1976 Sydney QF Nav beat Court ( 63 64 )
    1977 L.Angeles SF Nav beat Court ( 57 64 64)


    h2h: 5:2
     
    #22
  23. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Navratilova
    1440-243 singles win/loss record
    1044-183 doubles win/loss record

    Evert - 1309-146 (.900 highest Open era win/loss percentage)

    Connors - 1222-269 (record of ATP events Singles wins) #1 most all-time in ATP Wins

    Lendl - 1070-243 singles win/loss record
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
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  24. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

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    Question:

    Wasn't Chris Evert ranked #1 from 1973-1978?

    I do know she and Martina Split the *biggies* in 1978, Martina N. winning W and Chrissie winning US Open. IIRC, Martina did win the WTA tour championship that year. So was Martina # 1 in '78........?
     
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  25. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

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    Interesting also the NOTE that an aging Chrissie dominated Steffi Graff in their first 6 matches (all in straight sets!!!) including a 62- 63 cremation at the French Open............

    1985 MIAMI HARD (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2
    1985 HILTON HEAD CLAY (O) S C. EVERT def GRAF 6-2 6-1
    1985 BERLIN-GERMAN OPEN CLAY (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 7-5
    1985 FRENCH OPEN CLAY (O) R16 C. EVERT deat GRAF 6-2 6-3
    1986 VS OF FLORIDA HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-3 6-1
    1986 MIAMI HARD (O) F C. EVERT def GRAF 6-4 6-2
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
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  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Do you know when Graf first defeated Evert at HH on clay? 1986 (Thank you WTA)

    I saw this match in TV. It was quite a surprise to everyone, and marked the rise of Graf as a contender. Particularly because it was Evert's best surface: clay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
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  27. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

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    Graff didn't beat Evert until 1986, when Chrissie was, what 31 years old....? ;o)
     
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  28. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Evert was #1 from 1974-78 then in '80 and '81
    for a total of 7 year end #1 rankings
     
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  29. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Is that a record?
     
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  30. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    She wasn't #1 in '78, and there was no computer ranking before '75, so she officially she only has 5 year end #1's.

    you call yourself a graf fan?;)
     
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  31. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    This quote is from Steve Flink about Evert:

    "To the vast majority of experts, she finished seven years (1974-78, 1980-81) at No. 1 in the world, which is a substantial accomplishment."
     
    #31
  32. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Sorry, embarassing brain cramp there. ;)
     
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  33. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    LOL, Moose is right about this one. grafrules, you better than anyone should know that Steffi had 8 year end #1 rankings, 1987-90, 1993-96.
     
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  34. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Martina officially retired from tennis completely last year at wimbledon...not this most recent wimbledon, the one before it. she was attempting to break her tie with king for most overall wimbledon titles...which she was unable to do.
     
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  35. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    Chris summed it up best at the time, “I’m at a new stage of my career. It’s called End of Career.”
     
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  36. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    I still remember a genuine tantrum by Graf during one of those early losses to Evert (Key Biscayne 1986 I think). She was livid and almost in tears over a call, pleading with the umpire and throwing her arms in anger and frustration. Graf really lost it.
     
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  37. ATPballkid

    ATPballkid Professional

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    Court was the top women's player for 1973 with 3 of the 4 Grand Slam singles titles.

    Evert was the top women's player for 1974 with 2 of the Grand Slam singles titles (French and Wimbledon) ... a runnerup finish at Kooyong and a semifinal finish at Forest Hills ... she also won Foro Italico in Rome and the Family Circle Cup at Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island.

    HOWEVER ... the year end rankings from the WTA did not begin until the WTA was formed in November 1975.

    SO THE ANSWER WOULD BE:

    Evert was #1 in women's tennis for 4 consecutive years starting with 1974 and running through 1978, and she was #1 on the WTA computer rankings to close the years 1975-1978.
     
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  38. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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  39. rwn

    rwn Semi-Pro

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    Court 24, Evert 18. End of story.
     
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  40. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    Excellent post!
     
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  41. rogerfederer26

    rogerfederer26 Rookie

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    Big Madge was highly overrated. Evert will always be greater than her.
     
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  42. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    I am not a Court fan.. I just remind you dreamer's that facts are facts.. Court has her name on more GS trophies than anyone else, and also won the year Grand Slam.. Martina didn't do that, and so have trouble understanding why you want to make her out to be someone she is not?. A clear second she is. But to say she is the best?.....

    And I don't care all that much for Court, and although I am Australian. If the facts were in favour for the other players, then I would be pushing their causes aswell... But facts are facts and history is history. You cant change them....
     
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  43. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Then answer a question for me. Why isn't Margaret Court universally considered to be the best ever by all the tennis experts? I haven't seen one expert in the last 20 years consider Court to be the GOAT. Most experts pick either Graf or Navratilova as the GOAT, I am just following their sage advice.
     
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  44. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    I know you didn't asks me the question, but I think the reason Court is not talked about like Laver, Graf, Navratilova, is because of the era she played in and the number of AO, with few of the top women attending.

    To me Navratilova is the one (together with BJK) who did the most for women's tennis, but to me she is not the greatest player. She needs too much confirmation of her own greatness and so do her fans. I have never heard Steffi Graf or Monica Seles talk, discuss, or mention that they belong in the greatest list of women's tennisplayers. I consider Martina the greatest rival to the greatest player. Martina is the only player Graf tied with in their head to head. Martina's game (even when she was passed her prime) gave Steffi a lot of trouble on Steffi's favorite surfaces: fast courts.

    I do feel Chris Evert tops Court, because of her rival Navratilova and her wins against players like Seles, Graf, Sabatini.
     
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  45. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    That is exactly the point. Despite her record I have hardly heard anyone pick Court as "the" best ever. It is hard to tell for sure unless you polled a large group of tennis experts or took an exact survey, but my general impression is it seems Navratilova and Graf at the moment get the most talk, then Evert with some as well.

    Now with Court having the most singles slams in history, and being 6 clear of Evert and Navratilova both, then why does hardly any expert pick Court as "the" best ever. Could it actually be that what many of us are saying, that the Australian is considered to be an incomplete and not fully recognized slam event at the time? Is it just coincidence the women with the most singles slams in history and the most doubles slams in history (for those who value that as well) is picked by almost no expert as the very best player ever? I dont think it is because she is Australian or played in the 60s, Rod Laver did and he still has many experts picking him as the best ever.

    I am not looking to diss Court. She was a fabulous player, one of the best ever for sure, and she brought power and athleticsm and attacking style tennis to new heights, preceding Navratilova doing the same in the next era. I am just saying people should stop and think, with her record why does she get almost no talk as the best ever among experts. What other reason would it be expect what we are all here saying about the Australian Open and its merits back then.
     
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  46. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    She did not finish '78 #1.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WTA_number_1_ranked_players

    First, I have no problem with you considering Court the best ever, but it is quite misleading to imply that she is the consenus #1 among writers, former players, most true experts etc & that any one who thinks otherwise is living in a dream world.

    This isn't an "American" bias(which you seem to mention in every other post), I have quite a few books, magazines, that cover so many non-American's opinions & overall Court does not come out #1. Even Fred Stolle & Laver are on record as saying they consider Navratilova & Graf the best ever. Please provide your sources that back up Court as #1, instead of just reciting "most majors" etc every other post. Until recently the 'most majors' label had no real importance among players, writers, etc. Hardly anyone made any mention of the Emerson record when Borg was getting close(Emerson even claimed to not know he had the record!. I wonder if Court knew she had it.) Evert skipped the FO 3 times in her prime. Borg missed many majors. The fact that so many top players(men & women) rarely played more than 3 majors a year for most of a decade should tell you something about this record pre 80s/90s.

    Laver still comes out #1 in virtually all polls of experts(including those involving Americans), so for you to imply that Court is the female equivalent of Laver is a bit of a stretch(though she was obviously great), and that its just 'American bias' that she isn't the clear #1 is BS frankly.
    Just look at who Laver beat(& the amount of tough matches he had) to win his Grand Slam & the amount of tough matches/great players Court faced in her campaign. Not all Grand Slams are equal.

    Laver had incredible competition & incredible depth in his time(the early open era had many upsets, 5 setters, etc, it was no cakewalk)

    The level of womens tennis did not. Male players sounded disgusted that women could get equal prize money(much moreso than today). Womens players basically had byes until the QF(& check out the draws in Court's time, none were 128 draw, some were even only 32!)
    That started to change in the 70s, with Evert & Navratilova started playing 128 draws.

    And the fact that 2 of the best players of alltime played each other in their primes so many times, does elevate their standing. If you take away one, the other would have a ridiculous total. In no other rivalry can you take away one player & the other basically has 30 majors! I don't think Court ever had to deal with that sort of epic rivalry. And Evert had another classic rivalry with Goolagong.

    anyway, please cite any polls(even australian ones) or players that consider Court #1. I'd really like to know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007
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  47. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Well as far as the rivalry part Court did have an all-time great rival in King as well, and she also had Bueno who is probably close to Goolagong.
     
    #47
  48. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The relative weakness of the Australian Championships is a factor, no doubt. However, there has to be more to it than this. If you play the what-if game with history, then I think you can bring Court's total down to 18 and no lower. I say that because she won 5 U.S. Championships and 5 French Championships. So if the Australian had all the competition of the U.S., let's say, then Margaret Court wins about 5 Australians -- and I would not go any lower considering that it was her homecourt championship. In the what-if game, she would probably have won at least 5. And that brings her down to 18 -- not enough to tell us why Navratilova gets so much talk as GOAT while she doesn't.

    I don't think the what-if game should be taken that seriously, but that's the result I would come up with.

    I think some of the factors that Moose mentions above are more decisive -- the quality of depth in Navratilova's time being greater than in Court's time (apart from the rivalry with King, which Court won).

    That is more than enough, in my opinion, to explain the disparity between the reputation of the two women.

    Of course, that means that any player before Court, such as Lenglen and Moody, are also out of the running. So if those two ladies show up on some GOAT lists as #1 (I don't know how much they do), well then we've still got more explaining to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007
    #48
  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    This is very tricky. Chris lost 10 finals to Navratilova, so that would give her 28. Martina lost four finals to Chris, which would give her 22.

    We can play with those numbers further, but a real problem I see here is that Martina and Chris had basically no other serious competition between Austin's fall from the top and Mandlikova's win at the 1985 U.S. Open. Between that event and Tracy's last final (81 USO), Chris and Martina met in 9 finals (with Martina winning 7). But if all the competition of 1979-81 continued until Graf's time, and/or Hana had been a more consistent player, Chris and Martina would not have met in so many finals. Then you take away one rival and you get much less than the numbers I gave above -- certainly well below 30.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007
    #49
  50. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    How was Australian grass playing in the 1960s?

    Can anyone here speak knowledgeably about the suitability of Court's game on Australian grass, as compared to Wimbledon grass or Forest Hills grass?
     
    #50

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