Originally Posted by Goosehead
if your friend 'really knows tennis' they shouldve mentioned how after the 1981 u.s open she had to be fitter and dedicated herself to a new fitness and diet regieme..evert readily admits she was caught out by this 'new martina' and after a few defeats new she had to either retire, accept she was never going to beat martina again, or up her own level of fitness and commitment to tennis which is what she did..
i think everts losing streak to martina was ended at the 1985 french open final..
you may be right about the raquets i dont know...but it was the other stuff that was the big reason for change..martina much like lendl for the men brought in a new era of dedicated non partying focused superfit tennis players.
Evert beat Navratilova at the Aussie in 1982 using her trusted woodie while Martina was using graphite. The racquet difference was a part of it although I am not sure how much. One could argue the reason for this Martina loss was her trying to adjust to graphite, and once she was used to it she started beating Evert consistantly while Evert had to come to grips and catch up. Arguably Martina switching first helped her big time in getting hers caught up in the H2H. It took Evert a while to adjust totally to the new racquet and Martina was the only one who could really exploit it. Martina handled the racquet change better and the power boost gave her even more confidence.
Martinas fitness definitely took Evert by surprise. Before all Chris had to do was lob and drop Martina or blitz the pass by her. Once Martina got fit she could make the move to net a lot faster and she couldn't be grinded out of a match. Chris knew she had to get fitter, plus she was so dog gone stubborn I do not think she wanted to quit admitting Martina had conquered her. Thats what made the 1985 and 1986 French finals so dramatic. 1985 was almost Everts revenge and last chance to win a major (or so it was thought).
Part of me says had Evert made the switch at the same time things might have worked out more in her favor historically...although I think also she was to stubborn to believe she needed graphite at all at first despite what she said to the public.