Chris Evert- Underappreciated.

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
For Evert fans, and those who would like to know more about her.

 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
And the actual interview with Chris Evert

 

KG1965

Legend
For Evert fans, and those who would like to know more about her.

Chris and Margie, the GOATs
 

KG1965

Legend
You call Martina 'he' and I think believe PEDS, to put in context. Not critising you mate, but your opinion on Goats isn't based on common views.
I don't know where I wrote Martina "he", if I did I made a mistake.

My opinion on 2 Goats is not based on common opinion. I agree with you: I realized that most fans prefer S.Williams and Graf.
But the fans are 95% young.
It would be necessary to ask an opinion to 95% of those who are 50-90 years old. Then let's see what comes out.;)
 

BringBackWood

Professional
I don't know where I wrote Martina "he", if I did I made a mistake.

My opinion on 2 Goats is not based on common opinion. I agree with you: I realized that most fans prefer S.Williams and Graf.
But the fans are 95% young.
It would be necessary to ask an opinion to 95% of those who are 50-90 years old. Then let's see what comes out.;)

I apologise for the first bit then.
I meant most would put Martina ahead of Chris. Once Martina got in shape she was clearly the better player on 3/4 surfaces. I know it's muddied by the emergence of graphite, but I think she was dominating anyway.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I apologise for the first bit then.
I meant most would put Martina ahead of Chris. Once Martina got in shape she was clearly the better player on 3/4 surfaces. I know it's muddied by the emergence of graphite, but I think she was dominating anyway.
I'm not sure Martina was better than Evert on 3 out of 4 surfaces? She was definitely better on an indoor court, but, and I could be wrong, but I think Evert has one of the best hard court records out there.
I'm assuming your 4 surfaces are clay, grass, hard and indoors.

@BTURNER
@DMan
Edit: I think one of you posted about Evert's hard court record?
 
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Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I'm not sure Martina was better than Evert on 3 out of 4 surfaces? She was definitely better on an indoor court, but, and I could be wrong, but I think Evert has one of the best hard court records out there.
I'm assuming your 4 surfaces are clay, grass, hard and indoors.
I was no fan of Martina when she was winning, but I'm probably more neutral now. That said, her night and day physical transformation seemed suspicious to me at the time and still seems so today.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
I'm not sure Martina was better than Evert on 3 out of 4 surfaces? She was definitely better on an indoor court, but, and I could be wrong, but I think Evert has one of the best hard court records out there.
I'm assuming your 4 surfaces are clay, grass, hard and indoors.

@BTURNER
@DMan
Edit: I think one of you posted about Evert's hard court record?

It was carpet, but I guess indoor does just as well. Evert has a good record against weak opposition in the 70's. You can't overestimate how much Martina elevated the standard, and when she did, she dominated Chris everywhere but clay

And ironically I think the 84 French final shows genius no women has reached since.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
It was carpet, but I guess indoor does just as well. Evert has a good record against weak opposition in the 70's. You can't overestimate how much Martina elevated the standard, and when she did, she dominated Chris everywhere but clay

And ironically I think the 84 French final shows genius no women has reached since.
1984 French final - yes, Martina Navratilova was incredible. But testament to Evert that she came back to win it the following two years. That's quite special that she was able to turn a run of losses that would have seen many other players retire.
I'm still not convinced that Navratilova has a superior hard court record.
 

KG1965

Legend
I was no fan of Martina when she was winning, but I'm probably more neutral now. That said, her night and day physical transformation seemed suspicious to me at the time and still seems so today.
I apologise for the first bit then.
I meant most would put Martina ahead of Chris. Once Martina got in shape she was clearly the better player on 3/4 surfaces. I know it's muddied by the emergence of graphite, but I think she was dominating anyway.
This is for me a defining point, indeed the crucial point.

Given that Graf and Serena have played stratospheric tennis and are undoubtedly to be considered at the top of this sport.

I believe that if we go into the merits of Court and Evert's careers, we realize that
- Court has dominated not so much, but ... always (when he hasn't been a mother) and
- Evert has won an exaggerated amount of titles.

Then came Navratilova. But until the physical transformation of Navratilova, he was a very soft opponent for Chirissie.
I have never liked that transformation.
Martina's tennis is the most beautiful that I could observe among the females (and perhaps not only) but without the transformation she would always have cashed defeats.

Ultimately I normally exclude from any ranking an athlete who has had certain problems with doping, in this case there is no evidence against Martina but I am sure the same and therefore I cannot put her in first place. The best I can do is place she on the podium or top 5.
I am aware that it is a twisted and incorrect theory, but I cannot find a solution to the problem "almost certainty of doping but the absence of real evidence".

If by hypothesis I had a 99% feeling that Federer had been on drugs for many years, I certainly would not designate him GOAT, but I would put him in the top 5.
 
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BringBackWood

Professional
1) I consider Martina a woman obviously.
2) I have almost the certainty that Martina's fast physical transformation is a big problem for the overall evaluation of her results.

So why are you saying 'he' again above? Either it's a mistake which before you pretended, or it is to denote your suspicious and repulsion. If Martina doped I think it must have been unknown to her, because although I disagree with her many times, her voice rings of integrity everytime.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
So why are you saying 'he' again above? Either it's a mistake which before you pretended, or it is to denote your suspicious and repulsion. If Martina doped I think it must have been unknown to her, because although I disagree with her many times, her voice rings of integrity everytime.
I suspect the poster does not have English as a first language and it's a common mistake to say/write 'he' instead of 'she'.
I live in France and I've lost count how often the two are confused.
I give the poster the benefit of the doubt.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
So why are you saying 'he' again above? Either it's a mistake which before you pretended, or it is to denote your suspicious and repulsion. If Martina doped I think it must have been unknown to her, because although I disagree with her many times, her voice rings of integrity everytime.
The waters are muddied because some substances which can enhance performance were not always regarded as "banned", at least until later times.

So someone could perhaps use a helpful substance when it was still not banned. Tennis was a late sport to ban substances.
 

BringBackWood

Professional
The waters are muddied because some substances which can enhance performance were not always regarded as "banned", at least until later times.

So someone could perhaps use a helpful substance when it was still not banned. Tennis was a late sport to ban substances.
In which case you can't hold it against them.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
In which case you can't hold it against them.
You can hold it against them to some extent, because they were responsible for using the substance. Even if it wasn't banned YET, they must have known that

they were getting an unfair edge over their competitors.

I don't like it when they say "I did nothing against the rules", as if "the rules" define good sportsmanship.
 
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BringBackWood

Professional
You can hold it against them to some extent, because they were responsible for using the substance. Even if it wasn't banned YET, they must have known that

they were getting an unfair edge over their competitors.

I don't like it when they say "I did nothing against the rules", as if "the rules" define good sportsmanship.

Absolutely agree with your last sentence, but it is a slippery slope. Someone on an performance enhancing new diet that isn't well known may have an advantage over competitors.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Absolutely agree with your last sentence, but it is a slippery slope. Someone on an performance enhancing new diet that isn't well known may have an advantage over competitors.
Even the "performance enhancing diets" may contain substances which are worthy of monitoring and regulation.
 

DMan

Professional
I'm not sure Martina was better than Evert on 3 out of 4 surfaces? She was definitely better on an indoor court, but, and I could be wrong, but I think Evert has one of the best hard court records out there.
I'm assuming your 4 surfaces are clay, grass, hard and indoors.

@BTURNER
@DMan
Edit: I think one of you posted about Evert's hard court record?

Did someone call my name?

I did create this thread a few years ago. 'Chris Evert's hardcourt record ain't too shabby'. And yes, I rank Evert ahead of Navratilova on hard courts, looking at their career records on the surface.


Plus this:

A hard court career retrospective for Chris Evert. Chris was a "tough out" whenever she competed. That was absolutely and incredibly true as soon as she stepped on to a clay court. But after realizing what she achieved on hard courts, it's quite stunning to realize:
-> How few players were able to beat her once, let alone more than once on a hard court.
-> Never lost before SF of hard court event before 1987


Through the mid 1970s, the women had a smattering of pro events on hard courts. Most were in California and the southwest (Phoenix and Tucson), plus one Virginia Slims event in Hawaii. The US Open switched to hard courts in 1978, but wasn’t until 1979 that any sort of hard court series in the U.S. developed. The Miami event – first known as Lipton didn’t start until 1985, which was at the tail end of Evert’s career.


In 1973, Evert lost to Margaret Court in the finals of the first World Invitational Classic – the made-for-ABC TV exo – on Hilton Head Island in September. The event was staged on a hard court laid out over the Har-Tru, but switched to the natural Har-Tru clay surface the next year. Following that loss, Evert’s phenomenal hard court success began. She won the 1973 South African Open (which at the time was a main event for men and women) beating Evonne Goolagong 6-3,6-3 in the final. After losing the Italian, French, and Wimbledon finals that year, the South African Open represented Evert’s first big international tour title, and helped springboard her ascension to number one in 1974.


Competing regularly for the first time on the Virginia Slims tour in 1974, Evert started off the year by crushing Billie jean King on hard courts at the January Virginia Slims of Mission Viejo 6-3,6-1. This was significant in that King was raised on hard courts, and yet in their first H2H on the surface, Evert handily beat her chief rival on the surface King learned to play on. Chris won 2 other hard court events in 1974. In January 1975 she edged Billie Jean in an excruciatingly close final of the 4-woman event, the L’Eggs World Series, in Austin, Texas 4-6,6-3,7-6. She also claimed the Mission Viejo title again in 1975. At the start of 1976, Evert crushed Martina Navratilova and Evonne Goolagong with a loss of just 9 games in 4 sets against her top two rivals, scoring a 6-0 set against both to claim her second title at the big money event ($50,000 winner's purse) at the L’Eggs World Series. She won the Phoenix title in 1976. In the fall of 1976, the WTA held the Colgate Inaugural in Palm Springs, the launching pad for the Colgate series, the precursor of today’s WTA Tour encompassing the four majors and all other tour events. The Colgate event was the richest women’s prize money tournament to date, and featured all the top players – except Evonne Goolagong who announced she was pregnant. Billie Jean King came out of retirement to play in the event. Evert cruised to the hard court title, losing only 14 games in the event.


Chris amassed a 39 match winning streak on hard courts from November 1973 through October 1977 (which included straight set wins over Sue Barker (#4) and Martina Navratilova (#2) in the L’Eggs World Series event in April 1977. The streak was snapped by Dianne Fromholtz in the opening match of the round robin competition of the 1977 Colgate Series Championships. Evert rebounded by beating Virginia Wade and Martina Navratilova (6-4,6-1) to advance to the final from her round robin group, and then blitzed Billie Jean King 6-2,6-2 in the finals. In 1978 Evert won the two biggest hard court tournaments, the US Open played on hard courts at Flushing Meadows for the first time (trouncing Tracy Austin, Wendy Turnbull, and Pam Shriver in the final 3 rounds) as well as not dropping a set in winning the Colgate Series Championships in Palm Springs for the second year in a row, cruising by Martina Navratilova 6-3,6-3 in the finals.


Her hard court dominance continued into 1979, with the advent of more hard court tournaments. Evert won the Clairol Crown in San Diego (which replaced the L’Eggs World Series as the premier 4-woman big prize money event) triumphing over Austin and Fromholtz. Chris staged a dramatic come from behind win over Austin in the finals of the US Open warm up event in Mahwah, New Jersey, rallying from a 6-7, 2-4 deficit to win 6-7,6-4,6-1. In advancing to the 1979 US Open finals (via a 6-1,6-0 demolition of Billie Jean King in the SF), Chris extended her hard court winning streak to 26 matches. However, Austin surprised her in the US Open finals 6-4,6-3. Tracy Austin, who was raised on California hard courts, managed only 2 career wins (in 6 matches) against Evert on the cement. Evert would gain revenge following the first defeat, beating Austin 4-6,6-1,6-1 in the 1980 US Open SF. Austin was a streak buster again when she toppled Chris in the finals of the 1981 Canadian Open, ending Chris’ 23 match hard court streak. That represented Austin’s 2nd and final hard court win over Evert. Martina scored just her second win over Chris on hard courts in the SF of the 1981 US Open.


Following her defeat in the 1981 US Open, Chris did what she usually accomplished when losing a close match – going on a tear and ratcheting up more wins – this time 36 consecutive hard court wins from Oct 1981 – July 1983, annexing the Lynda Carter Maybelline Classic (Oct 81), Atlanta, US Open, Lynda Carter Maybelline, Florida Federal Open, 5 Fed Cup wins (1982), and 4 victories en route to the finals of the 1983 Virginia Slims of Los Angeles final, where she fell to Martina. Navratilova was the only player to beat Chris on hard courts from the 1981 US Open until Hana Mandlikova recorded the 1st of her only 2 wins over Chris on hard courts in the 1985 US Open semis.


Hard courts were the surface that Chris ended her long 13 match losing streak to Martina, defeating her in the finals of the 1985 Virginia Slims of Florida event. Martina beat Chris in the finals of the inaugural Lipton event in Miami 2 weeks later, but Chris won titles at the 1985 Canadian Open (where all the top players competed), as well as the 1986 Virginia Slims of Florida and 1986 Lipton, toppling Steffi Graf in straight sets in both events.

*MORE: Evert NEVER lost to King, Goolagong, Wade, or Jaeger on a hard court. As previously noted, King was raised on hard courts, and only managed to win two sets against Evert (both 6-4) and in 3 of the 5 losses to Evert on hard courts, King managed to win a total of only 9 games. Jaeger was good enough to win some sets but lost 8x to Evert on hard courts!


Bottom line: Chris wasn’t just tough on opponents on a clay court. She was nearly as ruthless and merciless on a hard court as well.
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
One of my all-time favorite players... Chris Evert. Everything an all time great champion should be, and more.
Unmatched consistency and nerves of steel. Sportsmanship. Maybe some others with better memories than mine, and history of the game, may remember, but I don't recall Chris ever choking? Challenging line calls? Rare. Maybe a grin and a shake of the head would be the the extent of her protest. I also don't recall Chris throwing tantrums, verbally abusing chair umpires or other players the way many players do today. The way Venus Williams conducts herself in a classy professional manner reminds me a lot of Chris. . All of those great matches against Martina. We haven't seen a rivalry like that....well, since they played 30+ years ago. Evert and Navratilova are co-goats in my book.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Did someone call my name?

I did create this thread a few years ago. 'Chris Evert's hardcourt record ain't too shabby'. And yes, I rank Evert ahead of Navratilova on hard courts, looking at their career records on the surface.


Plus this:

A hard court career retrospective for Chris Evert. Chris was a "tough out" whenever she competed. That was absolutely and incredibly true as soon as she stepped on to a clay court. But after realizing what she achieved on hard courts, it's quite stunning to realize:
-> How few players were able to beat her once, let alone more than once on a hard court.
-> Never lost before SF of hard court event before 1987


Through the mid 1970s, the women had a smattering of pro events on hard courts. Most were in California and the southwest (Phoenix and Tucson), plus one Virginia Slims event in Hawaii. The US Open switched to hard courts in 1978, but wasn’t until 1979 that any sort of hard court series in the U.S. developed. The Miami event – first known as Lipton didn’t start until 1985, which was at the tail end of Evert’s career.


In 1973, Evert lost to Margaret Court in the finals of the first World Invitational Classic – the made-for-ABC TV exo – on Hilton Head Island in September. The event was staged on a hard court laid out over the Har-Tru, but switched to the natural Har-Tru clay surface the next year. Following that loss, Evert’s phenomenal hard court success began. She won the 1973 South African Open (which at the time was a main event for men and women) beating Evonne Goolagong 6-3,6-3 in the final. After losing the Italian, French, and Wimbledon finals that year, the South African Open represented Evert’s first big international tour title, and helped springboard her ascension to number one in 1974.


Competing regularly for the first time on the Virginia Slims tour in 1974, Evert started off the year by crushing Billie jean King on hard courts at the January Virginia Slims of Mission Viejo 6-3,6-1. This was significant in that King was raised on hard courts, and yet in their first H2H on the surface, Evert handily beat her chief rival on the surface King learned to play on. Chris won 2 other hard court events in 1974. In January 1975 she edged Billie Jean in an excruciatingly close final of the 4-woman event, the L’Eggs World Series, in Austin, Texas 4-6,6-3,7-6. She also claimed the Mission Viejo title again in 1975. At the start of 1976, Evert crushed Martina Navratilova and Evonne Goolagong with a loss of just 9 games in 4 sets against her top two rivals, scoring a 6-0 set against both to claim her second title at the big money event ($50,000 winner's purse) at the L’Eggs World Series. She won the Phoenix title in 1976. In the fall of 1976, the WTA held the Colgate Inaugural in Palm Springs, the launching pad for the Colgate series, the precursor of today’s WTA Tour encompassing the four majors and all other tour events. The Colgate event was the richest women’s prize money tournament to date, and featured all the top players – except Evonne Goolagong who announced she was pregnant. Billie Jean King came out of retirement to play in the event. Evert cruised to the hard court title, losing only 14 games in the event.


Chris amassed a 39 match winning streak on hard courts from November 1973 through October 1977 (which included straight set wins over Sue Barker (#4) and Martina Navratilova (#2) in the L’Eggs World Series event in April 1977. The streak was snapped by Dianne Fromholtz in the opening match of the round robin competition of the 1977 Colgate Series Championships. Evert rebounded by beating Virginia Wade and Martina Navratilova (6-4,6-1) to advance to the final from her round robin group, and then blitzed Billie Jean King 6-2,6-2 in the finals. In 1978 Evert won the two biggest hard court tournaments, the US Open played on hard courts at Flushing Meadows for the first time (trouncing Tracy Austin, Wendy Turnbull, and Pam Shriver in the final 3 rounds) as well as not dropping a set in winning the Colgate Series Championships in Palm Springs for the second year in a row, cruising by Martina Navratilova 6-3,6-3 in the finals.


Her hard court dominance continued into 1979, with the advent of more hard court tournaments. Evert won the Clairol Crown in San Diego (which replaced the L’Eggs World Series as the premier 4-woman big prize money event) triumphing over Austin and Fromholtz. Chris staged a dramatic come from behind win over Austin in the finals of the US Open warm up event in Mahwah, New Jersey, rallying from a 6-7, 2-4 deficit to win 6-7,6-4,6-1. In advancing to the 1979 US Open finals (via a 6-1,6-0 demolition of Billie Jean King in the SF), Chris extended her hard court winning streak to 26 matches. However, Austin surprised her in the US Open finals 6-4,6-3. Tracy Austin, who was raised on California hard courts, managed only 2 career wins (in 6 matches) against Evert on the cement. Evert would gain revenge following the first defeat, beating Austin 4-6,6-1,6-1 in the 1980 US Open SF. Austin was a streak buster again when she toppled Chris in the finals of the 1981 Canadian Open, ending Chris’ 23 match hard court streak. That represented Austin’s 2nd and final hard court win over Evert. Martina scored just her second win over Chris on hard courts in the SF of the 1981 US Open.


Following her defeat in the 1981 US Open, Chris did what she usually accomplished when losing a close match – going on a tear and ratcheting up more wins – this time 36 consecutive hard court wins from Oct 1981 – July 1983, annexing the Lynda Carter Maybelline Classic (Oct 81), Atlanta, US Open, Lynda Carter Maybelline, Florida Federal Open, 5 Fed Cup wins (1982), and 4 victories en route to the finals of the 1983 Virginia Slims of Los Angeles final, where she fell to Martina. Navratilova was the only player to beat Chris on hard courts from the 1981 US Open until Hana Mandlikova recorded the 1st of her only 2 wins over Chris on hard courts in the 1985 US Open semis.


Hard courts were the surface that Chris ended her long 13 match losing streak to Martina, defeating her in the finals of the 1985 Virginia Slims of Florida event. Martina beat Chris in the finals of the inaugural Lipton event in Miami 2 weeks later, but Chris won titles at the 1985 Canadian Open (where all the top players competed), as well as the 1986 Virginia Slims of Florida and 1986 Lipton, toppling Steffi Graf in straight sets in both events.

*MORE: Evert NEVER lost to King, Goolagong, Wade, or Jaeger on a hard court. As previously noted, King was raised on hard courts, and only managed to win two sets against Evert (both 6-4) and in 3 of the 5 losses to Evert on hard courts, King managed to win a total of only 9 games. Jaeger was good enough to win some sets but lost 8x to Evert on hard courts!


Bottom line: Chris wasn’t just tough on opponents on a clay court. She was nearly as ruthless and merciless on a hard court as well.
That's a brilliant post.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
One of my all-time favorite players... Chris Evert. Everything an all time great champion should be, and more.
Unmatched consistency and nerves of steel. Sportsmanship. Maybe some others with better memories than mine, and history of the game, may remember, but I don't recall Chris ever choking? Challenging line calls? Rare. Maybe a grin and a shake of the head would be the the extent of her protest. I also don't recall Chris throwing tantrums, verbally abusing chair umpires or other players the way many players do today. The way Venus Williams conducts herself in a classy professional manner reminds me a lot of Chris. . All of those great matches against Martina. We haven't seen a rivalry like that....well, since they played 30+ years ago. Evert and Navratilova are co-goats in my book.
I agree, 100%.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Did someone call my name?

I did create this thread a few years ago. 'Chris Evert's hardcourt record ain't too shabby'. And yes, I rank Evert ahead of Navratilova on hard courts, looking at their career records on the surface.


Plus this:

A hard court career retrospective for Chris Evert. Chris was a "tough out" whenever she competed. That was absolutely and incredibly true as soon as she stepped on to a clay court. But after realizing what she achieved on hard courts, it's quite stunning to realize:
-> How few players were able to beat her once, let alone more than once on a hard court.
-> Never lost before SF of hard court event before 1987


Through the mid 1970s, the women had a smattering of pro events on hard courts. Most were in California and the southwest (Phoenix and Tucson), plus one Virginia Slims event in Hawaii. The US Open switched to hard courts in 1978, but wasn’t until 1979 that any sort of hard court series in the U.S. developed. The Miami event – first known as Lipton didn’t start until 1985, which was at the tail end of Evert’s career.


In 1973, Evert lost to Margaret Court in the finals of the first World Invitational Classic – the made-for-ABC TV exo – on Hilton Head Island in September. The event was staged on a hard court laid out over the Har-Tru, but switched to the natural Har-Tru clay surface the next year. Following that loss, Evert’s phenomenal hard court success began. She won the 1973 South African Open (which at the time was a main event for men and women) beating Evonne Goolagong 6-3,6-3 in the final. After losing the Italian, French, and Wimbledon finals that year, the South African Open represented Evert’s first big international tour title, and helped springboard her ascension to number one in 1974.


Competing regularly for the first time on the Virginia Slims tour in 1974, Evert started off the year by crushing Billie jean King on hard courts at the January Virginia Slims of Mission Viejo 6-3,6-1. This was significant in that King was raised on hard courts, and yet in their first H2H on the surface, Evert handily beat her chief rival on the surface King learned to play on. Chris won 2 other hard court events in 1974. In January 1975 she edged Billie Jean in an excruciatingly close final of the 4-woman event, the L’Eggs World Series, in Austin, Texas 4-6,6-3,7-6. She also claimed the Mission Viejo title again in 1975. At the start of 1976, Evert crushed Martina Navratilova and Evonne Goolagong with a loss of just 9 games in 4 sets against her top two rivals, scoring a 6-0 set against both to claim her second title at the big money event ($50,000 winner's purse) at the L’Eggs World Series. She won the Phoenix title in 1976. In the fall of 1976, the WTA held the Colgate Inaugural in Palm Springs, the launching pad for the Colgate series, the precursor of today’s WTA Tour encompassing the four majors and all other tour events. The Colgate event was the richest women’s prize money tournament to date, and featured all the top players – except Evonne Goolagong who announced she was pregnant. Billie Jean King came out of retirement to play in the event. Evert cruised to the hard court title, losing only 14 games in the event.


Chris amassed a 39 match winning streak on hard courts from November 1973 through October 1977 (which included straight set wins over Sue Barker (#4) and Martina Navratilova (#2) in the L’Eggs World Series event in April 1977. The streak was snapped by Dianne Fromholtz in the opening match of the round robin competition of the 1977 Colgate Series Championships. Evert rebounded by beating Virginia Wade and Martina Navratilova (6-4,6-1) to advance to the final from her round robin group, and then blitzed Billie Jean King 6-2,6-2 in the finals. In 1978 Evert won the two biggest hard court tournaments, the US Open played on hard courts at Flushing Meadows for the first time (trouncing Tracy Austin, Wendy Turnbull, and Pam Shriver in the final 3 rounds) as well as not dropping a set in winning the Colgate Series Championships in Palm Springs for the second year in a row, cruising by Martina Navratilova 6-3,6-3 in the finals.


Her hard court dominance continued into 1979, with the advent of more hard court tournaments. Evert won the Clairol Crown in San Diego (which replaced the L’Eggs World Series as the premier 4-woman big prize money event) triumphing over Austin and Fromholtz. Chris staged a dramatic come from behind win over Austin in the finals of the US Open warm up event in Mahwah, New Jersey, rallying from a 6-7, 2-4 deficit to win 6-7,6-4,6-1. In advancing to the 1979 US Open finals (via a 6-1,6-0 demolition of Billie Jean King in the SF), Chris extended her hard court winning streak to 26 matches. However, Austin surprised her in the US Open finals 6-4,6-3. Tracy Austin, who was raised on California hard courts, managed only 2 career wins (in 6 matches) against Evert on the cement. Evert would gain revenge following the first defeat, beating Austin 4-6,6-1,6-1 in the 1980 US Open SF. Austin was a streak buster again when she toppled Chris in the finals of the 1981 Canadian Open, ending Chris’ 23 match hard court streak. That represented Austin’s 2nd and final hard court win over Evert. Martina scored just her second win over Chris on hard courts in the SF of the 1981 US Open.


Following her defeat in the 1981 US Open, Chris did what she usually accomplished when losing a close match – going on a tear and ratcheting up more wins – this time 36 consecutive hard court wins from Oct 1981 – July 1983, annexing the Lynda Carter Maybelline Classic (Oct 81), Atlanta, US Open, Lynda Carter Maybelline, Florida Federal Open, 5 Fed Cup wins (1982), and 4 victories en route to the finals of the 1983 Virginia Slims of Los Angeles final, where she fell to Martina. Navratilova was the only player to beat Chris on hard courts from the 1981 US Open until Hana Mandlikova recorded the 1st of her only 2 wins over Chris on hard courts in the 1985 US Open semis.


Hard courts were the surface that Chris ended her long 13 match losing streak to Martina, defeating her in the finals of the 1985 Virginia Slims of Florida event. Martina beat Chris in the finals of the inaugural Lipton event in Miami 2 weeks later, but Chris won titles at the 1985 Canadian Open (where all the top players competed), as well as the 1986 Virginia Slims of Florida and 1986 Lipton, toppling Steffi Graf in straight sets in both events.

*MORE: Evert NEVER lost to King, Goolagong, Wade, or Jaeger on a hard court. As previously noted, King was raised on hard courts, and only managed to win two sets against Evert (both 6-4) and in 3 of the 5 losses to Evert on hard courts, King managed to win a total of only 9 games. Jaeger was good enough to win some sets but lost 8x to Evert on hard courts!


Bottom line: Chris wasn’t just tough on opponents on a clay court. She was nearly as ruthless and merciless on a hard court as well.
Excellent work here, sir. I wanted to look at this topic in depth myself but never managed the time. Great contribution.
 
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paolo2143

Professional
The gap between Evert and Navratilova is nowhere near as big as some people like to make out. Yes Martina really dominated Chris between 1983 and 1988, however Chris was a few years older and peaked earlier. I believe Chris won 8 of their first 11 encounters between 75-78.

I believe Chris was 7-3 ahead on Clay, Martina owned her on carpet and Grass (helped by fast grass at Wimbledon but Chris did pretty well on Austrlaian grass courts which played slower with higher bounce). Hard courts were pretty close encounters. However as others have pointed out if you watch the videos of Martina playing in 1978 right through to end of 1981 she did look as though she went through a pretty dramatic physical transformation in space of a year and by start of 1983 she looked so much more muscular and athletic.

Now it may have been purely down to extreme training and discipline, but as others have pointed out there were some rumours circulating back then, also some things which are now banned may technically not have been illegal back then. Regardless of reasons Martina went from being at same level as Chris & likes of Tracy Austin between 1979-81 to well above them in next few years and it was down to this increased athleticism and power.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
The gap between Evert and Navratilova is nowhere near as big as some people like to make out. Yes Martina really dominated Chris between 1983 and 1988, however Chris was a few years older and peaked earlier. I believe Chris won 8 of their first 11 encounters between 75-78.

I believe Chris was 7-3 ahead on Clay, Martina owned her on carpet and Grass (helped by fast grass at Wimbledon but Chris did pretty well on Austrlaian grass courts which played slower with higher bounce). Hard courts were pretty close encounters. However as others have pointed out if you watch the videos of Martina playing in 1978 right through to end of 1981 she did look as though she went through a pretty dramatic physical transformation in space of a year and by start of 1983 she looked so much more muscular and athletic.

Now it may have been purely down to extreme training and discipline, but as others have pointed out there were some rumours circulating back then, also some things which are now banned may technically not have been illegal back then. Regardless of reasons Martina went from being at same level as Chris & likes of Tracy Austin between 1979-81 to well above them in next few years and it was down to this increased athleticism and power.
You are off on the clay numbers. " They played 80 matches with Navratilova leading the head to head 43–37. Navratilova leading 36–24 in all finals. the two played against each other most on the faster court surfaces (grass and indoors) where Navratilova's offensive serve-and-volley style of play gave her the upper hand over Evert's counter-attacking baseline approach. Evert enjoyed her greatest success against Navratilova on hard courts and especially on clay courts. Navratilova led Evert 10–5 on grass; Evert led Navratilova 11–3 on clay courts; Navratilova led 9–7 on outdoor hard courts. Indoors, Navratilova won the majority of their matches, leading 21–14. Evert led their head-to-head in three-set match wins with 15–14, but Navratilova led 29–22 in straight sets wins. Navratilova was most dominant in encounters in Grand Slams, leading 14–8 overall and 10–4 in finals.

As a percentage, the disparity between these two on surface was greatest on clay with Martina barely squeaking out more than one match out of four while on grass it was a 1 match for every two for Martina. They evidently played a match on hard court indoors which Martina won, because the stats for hard court indoors was 9-9! Its interesting that of those 15 matches on grass, 12 went to a third set! That seems a real odd anomoly.
 
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paolo2143

Professional
The stats i gave you above were from official ATP site, however they actually played 80 times in total i believe and Martina only lead 43-37 in end.

Between 73 and 78 Chris absolutely owned Martina by 23-6 in h2h, this completely reversed in the period 82-88. I would say 79-81 Martina had slight edge
 

paolo2143

Professional
You are off on the clay numbers. " They played 80 matches with Navratilova leading the head to head 43–37. Navratilova leading 36–24 in all finals. the two played against each other most on the faster court surfaces (grass and indoors) where Navratilova's offensive serve-and-volley style of play gave her the upper hand over Evert's counter-attacking baseline approach. Evert enjoyed her greatest success against Navratilova on hard courts and especially on clay courts. Navratilova led Evert 10–5 on grass; Evert led Navratilova 11–3 on clay courts; Navratilova led 9–7 on outdoor hard courts. Indoors, Navratilova won the majority of their matches, leading 21–14. Evert led their head-to-head in three-set match wins with 15–14, but Navratilova led 29–22 in straight sets wins. Navratilova was most dominant in encounters in Grand Slams, leading 14–8 overall and 10–4 in finals.

As a percentage, the disparity between these two on surface was greatest on clay with Martina barely squeaking out more than one match out of four while on grass it was a 1 match for every two for Martina.

I was actually typing up my 2nd message as you posted. Yes the figures i quoted were from the official ATP site but they did meet 80 times in total and as i said story of two halves really. Chris owned Martina from 73-78 and it was opposite between 82-88.
 

BTURNER

Legend
I was actually typing up my 2nd message as you posted. Yes the figures i quoted were from the official ATP site but they did meet 80 times in total and as i said story of two halves really. Chris owned Martina from 73-78 and it was opposite between 82-88.
Had Chris won three more of those 80 matches it would have been a tie. Four and she would be the winner of the head to head.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
This article touches upon the theme of this thread:
The Guardian 2020

Just read this yesterday. Great article. Evert is SO under-recognized for the impact she had on the game, IMHO.
Perhaps because she was a quiet model of consistency, rather than an explosive sort.
But her game was insanely efficient and effective.
Other than Martina, and for a brief time, Tracy, no one could really touch her.
Graf, as well, only got the better of Chris towards the end of her career, not the earlier stages.
Hana could be a spoiler, now and again, because she could beat ANYONE on a given day.
But those days were few and far between.
 
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bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I'm always surprised the Slam final numbers in the rivalry are 10-4 in favor of Navratilova - that always jumps out at me. Yeah, the reasoning is "Chris was good enough to make finals on Martina's best surfaces; Martina didn't always make the final on clay; so there you go." But Evert was very much in many of those Wimbledon matches - she and could have picked up a win or two; and certainly those USO open matches in 1981 and 1984, for example. I guess I'm saying she wasn't overwhelmed - there were legitimate opportunities for wins such that loss can't simply be dismissed because Martina was such a great grass court/fast surface player.

Evert's consistency is truly amazing. I doubt we'll sever see that again.
 
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Navdeep Srivastava

Guest
She is most underappreciated while Graff is over appreciated and Martina ,Serena is more about on same level
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
I think if 1 of three things happened Chris would probably be even higher in regards. As it is now she is clearly a GOAT candidate but these 3 things held her back

1. She ended up with more majors than Martina- If she had won even 1 of those finals she lost the count would be 19-17 and she would probably be held up higher
2. She finished with a winning H2H over Martina- she at one point led their H2H 22-4 or something like that, but then Martina just slammed her. If Chris had managed to maintain even a SLIGHT lead here she would probably be held up higher.
3. The fact that Martina has more overall career titles than she does. For people who are all about wins those few extra titles of Martina's break ties in a debate so close as theirs

That being said, Evert was amazing and is clearly a top 5 all time player.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I think if 1 of three things happened Chris would probably be even higher in regards. As it is now she is clearly a GOAT candidate but these 3 things held her back

1. She ended up with more majors than Martina- If she had won even 1 of those finals she lost the count would be 19-17 and she would probably be held up higher
2. She finished with a winning H2H over Martina- she at one point led their H2H 22-4 or something like that, but then Martina just slammed her. If Chris had managed to maintain even a SLIGHT lead here she would probably be held up higher.
3. The fact that Martina has more overall career titles than she does. For people who are all about wins those few extra titles of Martina's break ties in a debate so close as theirs

That being said, Evert was amazing and is clearly a top 5 all time player.
Actually what would have made all the nonsensical GOAT posts redundant if:
1) Evert played the French from 1976-78, injury aside, that's 3 more majors in the bag. She was undefeated on clay during this period. She was a clear no.1 for most of that time span.
2) That she had played the AO more than 6 times in a near 20 year career.
3) That she'd had the benefit of court surfaces now - slower Wimbledon grass, AO on hard courts.

Job done :)
 

goldenera

Semi-Pro
As great as a champion as she was..one of the greatest ever for many aspects..to me her bestvrecord is being thecaechetype wild 1970 and early 80 woman
Terrific off courts life
 
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