Crazy article. I would bet anything that Evert has no memory of this(her memory about her career is shockingly bad). For those that don't want to read the whole article, the gist of it is that women's players back then felt that clay made their game look bad/boring etc. Imagine the clay GOAT raising concerns about a major using clay as a surface! To her credit, I guess she cared more about the image of women's tennis than having a surface that favored her. But the USO didn't cave and she ended up winning 3 USO's on green clay, so I guess its moot point.
Top women tennis professionals are prepared to boycott the United States Open championships at Forest Hills, Queens, this year unless a faster playing surface is used for the tournament at the West Side Tennis Club.
At a meeting yesterday in Boston, 32 members of the Women's Tennis Association said they preferred a synthetic surface, Sporteze, over the Har‐Tru composition clay courts that will be installed for the first time at this year's championships. The event formerly was played on grass.
“We have not said we would boycott,” Chris Evert, the first vice president of the association and the world's top‐ranking player, said by phone from Boston, where the women are involved in the national indoor championships. “But that was the general feeling. All of the girls, without taking a vote, agreed to play another tournament rather than play on clay at Forest Hills.”
Miss Evert said the association was seeking to have the Sporteze synthetic sur face, which plays considerably faster than clay, laid over the Har‐Tru courts for the Open.
Bill Talbert, the tournament director, said such a move was impossible. Talbert also chided the women professionals for their attitude.
“The U. S. Open was the open that first did for them what they wanted — equal money,” he said. “If the U. S. Open has so little meaning that they aren't that concerned, what are we all doing? If they play on HarTru, I can't believe it's going to hurt them that much.”
The fear of unfavorable publicity from dull matches on clay that could damage the credibility of the women's tour in the future was given as one of the reasons behind the unanimous accord reached at yesterday's W.T.A. meeting. Mrs. Billie Jean King, Rosemary Casals and Evonne Goolagong were among those in attendance.
“Women's tennis is more exciting on a faster surface,” Miss Evert said. “Men's tennis is more exciting on a slower surface.”
Miss Evert said the association “had offers from other places in New York to hold a separate tournament,” although she declined to name the specific site or sponsor.
“All of the girls want to play Forest Hills,” Miss Evert said. “We're taking a chance, we realize that. They may never want us back if we boycott it.”
Miss Evert, a Floridian who is at her best on slower surfaces such as clay, said she would be “willing to stand by any W.T.A. decision.” On the question of whether the association's demand for a faster surface was aimed at cutting into her dominance, she said: “I wouldn't want to think that. Even if they do think that, they wouldn't admit that.”
Miss Evert said a final vote by the entire association would be taken in May if no agreement could be reached with United States Open officials. Even then, it is uncertain whether all members of the association will follow the vote, as was shown in the recent controversy for equal prize money at Wimbledon. Although the association voted overwhelmingly to boycott the Wimbledon event if no agreement could be reached, only three of the top 10 women (Mrs. King, Miss Casals and Kerry Melville) were believed to be committed to the boycott.
Miss Evert found one note of irony in the women's demands.
“I think the men will be happy if we don't play,” she said.