Originally Posted by BTURNER
It's not the losses on clay in '84, and '87 but the scores that kill me. In none of those three matches, did Evert get 3 games in any set. Evert did not have much trouble 'adjusting' on her way to Martina. More telling: She did not do any better in the second sets than the first. She's got the feel of that racket by then. Evertfan, I absolutely think this was mental in '84. Evert was looking for rock bottom vs Martina, before she could climb back up.. To get down there, her supremacy on clay had to be crushed like everything else was. Each match she played thereafter built back some of the confidence, she had thrown away or Martina took away.
Oh no doubt about that. Evert had never before been in the position of being beaten so many times in a row (it went to 13 before she broke through again - the next closest was Tracy Austin with 5 in a row) so that had to play a big part in where her head and game were at during that time period. Evert was the one used to doing that to other players, not having it done to her.
I think once she came to terms with the fact that Martina could beat her on any surface then she was she was able to face Martina without so much "baggage". Finally deciding to get more fit and strong by going into the gym also helped her a lot too and it made her career last longer than I think it would have.
They both have always said that the other made them a better player and I agree with that - they each pushed the other to get better.