Originally Posted by BTURNER
Yeah, being 32, 33 and 34 and loosing to a player of the talent of Graf could be sufficient excuse. Like any great player, she had days and matches where the years just slipped away and vintage Evert showed up and played very close to her best, but honestly those were the lucky days. If Evert met Graf 3 times in a year, what are the chances she'd be vintage on either April 23, July 29 and Setember 6? She hung on to #3 in the world because even on her flat days, she still made the rest of the women have to earn a lot of big points and they didn't have the firepower or confidence that Navratilova, Graf and few others did.
The question when dealing with an aging player is did they play well in a specific match, and you just can't tell squat from how well they played the tournament before, or the match before or the tournament after or the match after. If inconsistency from day to day is the major symptom, then the usual criteria for establishing a player's form could not be less informative. Its more about if they woke up with feel for the ball that morning than how they played that week or month. You have to actually judge the match itself.
By the way, of all the players in that top tenish range, Wade must have the depressing record against Evert. Other than Navratilova, Wade played her far more often than anyone at 46 times. Wade winning 6 is pretty dismal. She should have done a lot better, especially indoors and on grass.
1. Your point out what a terrible record Wade has against Evert overall only helps prove what I am saying. The fact Wade at age 33 in 1977 posted 3 wins and a win at Wimbledon over Evert, a player she is a woeful 6-40 against overall, only proves being 33 is not the huge insurmountable handicapt and disadvantage it is made out to be, especialy back in the days of the far less physical game of tennis where numerous players dominated and won major titles well into their 30s. It alone does not explain away her incredibly lopsided dominance at the hands of Graf from 86-89, other than it was once against a display that for her amazing consistency and longevity in the sport, her sheer level did not stack up with some others at their best, even more demonstrated by Navratilova and her 13 match win streak vs a more prime Evert.
2. According to you older players like Evert when she was being owned by Graf still have vintage days, and the biggest difference between them then and what they used to be is consistency. This I agree with, it is the same thing with Federer today. The difference though is Evert in that phase of her career never beat Graf (and in fact never beat Graf on a day she was holding a single WTA tour title), unlike Federer and Navratilova who in old age came up with big wins in their vintage days, so obviously even Evert's "turn the clock back" or "vintage" days which in almost 4 years of matches vs Graf had to come atleast once or twice still had her always losing and being easily dismantled by Graf, as the results vs Graf never changed.
Do remember Navratilova at ages 34-36 posted 2 wins over Graf and 4 wins over Seles when Seles was at her all time peak and dominating the womens game, so Evert and her absolute ownage at the hands of 16 year or older Graf aged 31-34 is not so easily explained just by "oh she was old".