Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
Navratilova dominated an era with no competition, even less than Federer. 1983-1987 was truly the ghost age of the WTA. Almost no talented players in the top 10 outside of Navratilova, a clearly past her best Evert, an erratic Mandlikova, and a very young Graf in 86 and 87. 1983 was the biggest joke ever for the WTA, reporters were irate at the disgustingly low level of play at the U.S Open that year, and even unfairly grilled Martina about it as if it were her fault that her producing the best ever tennis by a women to date coincided with a lackluster Evert, and overall such a hopeless lot of girls to play against. Evert and Court are the ones who make the least sense for Federer to be above, yet Evert is shafted behind Navratilova despite achieving as much or more in singles vs much tougher competition (speaking of her 70s and early 80s achievements) just due to being seen as dominated by Navratilova during Martina's prime, and Court is shafted due to the Aussie Open status. It all becomes complicated.
I do agree for the record that Evert, Navratilova, Graf, and Court should all be above Federer, but there would probably a riot if the top 4 were all women, as people know if the men and women played one another the men would slaughter the women. At best people would insist the men should be on par with the women in the rankings, even if the best women have more achievements than the best men. People would also insist the reason the women have more achievements is the competition is so much less amongst the women (even for what constitutes a strong field for women, and a weaker one for men), and that this is only proof of that fact. That is why men and women lists should not be mixed in the first place. It was almost like they were too lazy to do 2 lists of 100 players, so just made it easier by mixing them.
You are probably right that some were too lazy to do two lists of one hundred but I think it would have been better to have a separate men's and women's list of fifty apiece.
Evert's top years had some fabulous players. If you include 1973, she had to battle Court, King, Goolagong, Navratilova, Wade, Casals, Barker, Stove, Austin among others in the 1970's. Despite that she won about 90% of her matches in her career and 154 tournaments I believe.