Hilarious how deeply Chris downplays her abilities

Just listening to the commentary of the Gauff-Kenin match right now it is stunning. Patrick McEnroe asked both Evert and Shriver who he was commentating with how they feel they would have done at 15 vs Gauff right now at 15. Shriver said "can I pick the surface" and she said on grass she is pretty sure she she would win at 15 over Gauff at 15. Evert by contrast said there is no way she would stand a shot. Then when McEnroe talked about more modern technology and training like Gauff said she was like "well who knows, but Guaff even then would have way more power, and she is way more athletic than I ever was. It would only be a matter if I could outsmart her which I doubt." Pretty hilarious the slamless (in singles) Shriver would be the one so confident she would come out of ahead of the young phenom at the same age, while the All Time great Evert downplays having any chance.
 

atatu

Legend
I was surprised that Chris was so humble but I think she's right. Shriver, however is delusional, she'd get bageled by both of these players on grass with modern rackets at 15.
 
I was surprised that Chris was so humble but I think she's right. Shriver, however is delusional, she'd get bageled by both of these players on grass with modern rackets at 15.
Well atleast one of them has to be wrong (possibly both) that is for sure. Those things are so hard to guage but it isn't possible for Shriver to be doing way better than Evert against any said person I don't think. :-D

Evert post career has been the most unassuming champion, I honestly wish she talked up herself a bit more. Shriver has always been full of confidence, and predicted better of herself throughout her own playing career than she managed, and it was one of her strengths, both a strength and weakness, but I think it helped her more than it hindered her.

PS- Shriver did have an extremely big serve even at 16, presumably did at even 15. It might have been the best that particular stroke ever was with her future shoulder problems.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Women's tennis before Graf and Seles was liked 4.0 rec league quality lol. They just tapped it back and forth.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
I could probably agree with Evert until she said she wouldn't be able to outsmart Gauff.
She either has low self esteem or she's full of sheet and looking for false dawn humility points....with all due respect to one of my former faves. Evert would also have a huge advantage in mental strength under pressure.
 
I could probably agree with Evert until she said she wouldn't be able to outsmart Gauff.
She either has low self esteem or she's full of sheet and looking for false dawn humility points....with all due respect to one of my former faves. Evert would also have a huge advantage in mental strength under pressure.
It is really hard to guage what it is. I don't think low self esteem. It might be false humility, it might be bending over to promote the game to drum up interest, it might be just genuinely being super modest, it might being overawed with what equipment and modern training has done to todays game.

The last part about not thinking she could outsmart Guaff was really baffling. She is a mature player for her age, but I don't see a whole lot of tactical nuances in her game at this point.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I've noticed that Evert often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about her record despite it being one of the finest ever achieved by any woman player. I recall one commentator asking her how many titles she had won at some prominent event (she had won quite a few) and she just shrugged and said she could never recall numbers.

Modesty genuine or false? Maybe she just feels uncomfortable singing her own praises and prefers to let others do the talking (might have been brought up that way).
 
I've noticed that Evert often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about her record despite it being one of the finest ever achieved by any woman player. I recall one commentator asking her how many titles she had won at some prominent event (she had won quite a few) and she just shrugged and said she could never recall numbers.

Modesty genuine or false? Maybe she just feels uncomfortable singing her own praises and prefers to let others do the talking (might have been brought up that way).
The frustrating thing is I think it leads to people underrating her. Whenever the GOAT debate comes up it is Graf, Serena, and Navratilova. Evert is barely mentioned, and some of it is I think her downplaying herself so much in her commentary it causes others to underrate her by extension.
 
I've noticed that Evert often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about her record despite it being one of the finest ever achieved by any woman player. I recall one commentator asking her how many titles she had won at some prominent event (she had won quite a few) and she just shrugged and said she could never recall numbers.

Modesty genuine or false? Maybe she just feels uncomfortable singing her own praises and prefers to let others do the talking (might have been brought up that way).
evert does have a pretty poor memory. Back when she was playing, during press conferences she would be asked about some of her stats and she had trouble remembering much of anything. Often she’d ask Steve Flink(a prominent American journalist who was great at stats) the answer to the question. She would say “Steve knows more about my career than I do”

hard as it may be to believe, many athletes do move on from their careers rather quickly. Sampras also has a poor memory, I recall an interview when he was inducted into the HOF and he often mixed up the dates on when he won certain majors etc
 
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Mainad

Bionic Poster
evert does have a pretty poor memory. Back when she was playing, during press conferences she would be asked about some of her stats and she had trouble remembering much of anything. Often she’d ask Steve Flink(a prominent American journalist who was great at stats) the answer to the question. She would say “Steve knows more about my career than I do”

hard as it may be to believe, many athletes do move on from their careers rather quickly. Sampras also has a poor memory, I recall an interview when he was inducted into the HOF and he often mixed up the dates on when he won certain majors etc
Forgetting dates is understandable but I'm willing to bet neither Pete nor Chrissie forget how many Majors they won. ;)
 

GS

Professional
My favorite Evert stat is her 125 claycourt match wins in a row, the longest single-surface winning streak in the Open Era, male or female. (She lost just 8 sets back then.)
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Evert is ridiculously humble. She got a taste of the power game before retiring...and more than held her own. She's certainly one of the smartest players ever to set foot on the court, in terms of how she works a point.
 

BH40love

Rookie
Just listening to the commentary of the Gauff-Kenin match right now it is stunning. Patrick McEnroe asked both Evert and Shriver who he was commentating with how they feel they would have done at 15 vs Gauff right now at 15. Shriver said "can I pick the surface" and she said on grass she is pretty sure she she would win at 15 over Gauff at 15. Evert by contrast said there is no way she would stand a shot. Then when McEnroe talked about more modern technology and training like Gauff said she was like "well who knows, but Guaff even then would have way more power, and she is way more athletic than I ever was. It would only be a matter if I could outsmart her which I doubt." Pretty hilarious the slamless (in singles) Shriver would be the one so confident she would come out of ahead of the young phenom at the same age, while the All Time great Evert downplays having any chance.
Evert just hyping up the coco train even more.
 
D

Deleted member 735320

Guest
Both Shriver and Evert had better stats at 15/16 then Coco.

In 1978 at barely 16 Pammie beat the reigning Wimbledon champion(MN) to reach her only major final where she played very respectable tennis.(Don't have a Pam story at 15)

In 1970 just weeks after She Who Must Not be Named won the Grand Slam, Chrissie played her and beat her in straight sets at 15, 2 months shy of 16.

Both girls and at 15 and 16 they were girls beat their much more accomplished and older opponents 7-6, 7-6.
 
Both Shriver and Evert had better stats at 15/16 then Coco.

In 1978 at barely 16 Pammie beat the reigning Wimbledon champion(MN) to reach her only major final where she played very respectable tennis.(Don't have a Pam story at 15)

In 1970 just weeks after She Who Must Not be Named won the Grand Slam, Chrissie played her and beat her in straight sets at 15, 2 months shy of 16.

Both girls and at 15 and 16 they were girls beat their much more accomplished and older opponents 7-6, 7-6.
In fairness teens succeeding in tennis was WAY more prominent and frequent back then, than it is today. On both the mens and womens side, to a much greater degree the mens, but even the womens. Tennis has gotten a lot older.
 
I actually tend to agree with Pam she would have a good shot vs Gauff at the same age on grass. She did not say she would on clay or a slow hard court, in which case I would say she was crazy, I might be in the minority but I could for sure see translated into the same era her standing a good shot vs Gauff at the current age on grass and possibly carpet. Gauff did beat a nearly 40 year old WAY past her prime Venus at Wimbledon, which I don't think is that big a deal, and something I could also see a 15 year old Shriver possibly doing. I do expect Gauff to age much better than Shriver with her shoulder problems, and some of her technical limitations, restricting her amount of future improvement, but just at that age I don't think she said anything far fetched.

Which makes Evert being so dismissive of herself all the more hilarious.
 
I wish they had asked Martina that question instead. I am sure she would have say she would beat everyone, including Hingis, Seles, Capriati, at 15 even though at 18 she was a 300 pound buffalo who could barely move around the court.

It is just so interesting how different some of the ex players are in this regard. Shriver and Evert's differing answers really highlight that.
 
I'm not surprised Shriver said she would beat Gauff when at 16 she had made a USO Final, beating Navratilova in straight sets and then pushing Evert in a tight 2 setter. She probably figures if at 16 she could do that she could beat 15 year old Gauff at that age.

Evert has also always been the more humble of the Evert/Navratilova pair...I'm not surprised she is so humble here, especially talking about a young up and coming American player.
 
I wish they had asked Martina that question instead. I am sure she would have say she would beat everyone, including Hingis, Seles, Capriati, at 15 even though at 18 she was a 300 pound buffalo who could barely move around the court.

It is just so interesting how different some of the ex players are in this regard. Shriver and Evert's differing answers really highlight that.
Martina would likely say that not only would she beat her, she would give a match analysis on how many games Gauff MAY be able to get off her. If Martina were to say Gauff could beat her 15yr old self...she would add the qualifier of how out of shape she was in her younger days in comparison to her fitness level in the 80's.

Shriver has always been VERY blunt in everything she says, she told you literally what she felt. By asking if she could pick the surface she understands herself and Coco enough to give a real honest answer. Chris is just playing the "she is a young American we have to hype her as much as possible game"..plus everyone who knows Chris's career is like "Chris is hilarious we know the truth". Don't be fooled, Chris knows it as well and even if Gauff managed to beat her ONCE...Chris would have done everything possible to stop it from ever happening again.
 
Martina would likely say that not only would she beat her, she would give a match analysis on how many games Gauff MAY be able to get off her. If Martina were to say Gauff could beat her 15yr old self...she would add the qualifier of how out of shape she was in her younger days in comparison to her fitness level in the 80's.

Shriver has always been VERY blunt in everything she says, she told you literally what she felt. By asking if she could pick the surface she understands herself and Coco enough to give a real honest answer. Chris is just playing the "she is a young American we have to hype her as much as possible game"..plus everyone who knows Chris's career is like "Chris is hilarious we know the truth". Don't be fooled, Chris knows it as well and even if Gauff managed to beat her ONCE...Chris would have done everything possible to stop it from ever happening again.
I agree with everything you said, and I like that Shriver specifically asked if she could pick the surface. I think believing she would beat Gauff at the same age on grass, and possibly some other faster courts, isn't far fetched at all. If she had said clay or rebound ace I would probably say she was totally off, but she didn't.
 
I agree with everything you said, and I like that Shriver specifically asked if she could pick the surface. I think believing she would beat Gauff at the same age on grass, and possibly some other faster courts, isn't far fetched at all. If she had said clay or rebound ace I would probably say she was totally off, but she didn't.
If she said she would beat her on clay I would be asking for Shriver to have her head examined LOL.
 
D

Deleted member 735320

Guest
While you cant use time travel and have 15 year-old Pam, Chris and Coco meet and play on a variety of surfaces, you can compare the caliber of their wins against the big guns of the day. If Coco makes a major SF from this year's French through next years Aussie or better yet a major F then she matched what Evert and Shriver did in 1971 and 1978. Evert didn't exactly meet the gauntlet of top opponents in that US Open run. BJK settled the issue convincingly. Shriver on the other hand was the 16th seed and did not drop a set until the 7-5, 6-4 loss in the final to Chris. She beat Reynolds, Walsh, Jeanne Evert, Reid, Hunt and Martina along the way.
 

BTURNER

Legend
With Shriver, a lot depends on the grass itself, and how it is playing. The old grass courts would have been a definite advantage to Shriver. Everything she hits has real underspin on it, and if the weather is damp and that grass is the same stuff they used to play on and if that grass is a beat up as it used to be in the second week of play, she'll be slicing deep down the center, taking angles away, where all the guys have torn the turf into potholes lumps of dirt and debits. She has that long reach, and that great height.

She won't be hitting much after a bad slithering barely noticeable bounce. Somebody else will.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Chris had a lot of pride as a player as well she should. Her self deprecating way today is the sign of a secure person who does not feel the need to defend her record in any way. I also suspect she's a genuinely nice person.
Oh she is very proud of what she did. There is an old-fashioned word that applies here. Evert is being gracious

gra·cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs \

Definition of gracious


1a : marked by kindness and courtesy a gracious host
b : characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding gracious living
c : graceful
d : marked by tact and delicacy : urbane




Gracious. I can see how some people might be confused by the behavior. Not a particularly common trait in athletes, celebrities or society in general, and now it is actually given a very different interpretation these days, as something almost disingenuous, but in a previous generation, it represented a form of politeness and courtesy to avoid 'bragging' etc. but I am sure Jimmy and Colette knew what it meant and taught it. .
 
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Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I was surprised that Chris was so humble but I think she's right. Shriver, however is delusional, she'd get bageled by both of these players on grass with modern rackets at 15.
Evert has a remarkable eye for the game, no doubt.

Shirver is delusional indeed. She said that in light of the fact that Killer Cahill said when he was on tour his first serves weren't as fast as some of Gauff's second serves!
 
Evert has a remarkable eye for the game, no doubt.

Shirver is delusional indeed. She said that in light of the fact that Killer Cahill said when he was on tour his first serves weren't as fast as some of Gauff's second serves!
Wouldn't modern equipment be part of that last point though? Modern equipment, coaching, and training techniques. I mean Brenda Schultz in her late 30s returned to break her own former serve speed WR and Venus's new one (Venus rebroke it after she left again).

In every sport that has time measurements people today are much faster than the 80s, minus womens track and field which was the most doped pursuit outside of cycling and modern baseball.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Evert genuinely doesn't care to be remembered as the best, and is happy to be in the conversation.
I also agree her memory of her accomplishments is not great - she couldn't remember who she beat to win her first Wimbledon! But, l think that's healthy to not be all consuming about her former glory days.
That said, if Evert, whilst playing, had been asked a similar question her response would have taken place on court - she probably faced more teenage prodigies than most. Even Austin, who greatly troubled her, she found an answer to.
I also think it's, in part, because she gave so much to the WTA as an adult player that it's ingrained to promote them. Few no.1s since Navratilova and Evert have given back to the game as they did whilst at the top.
As an Evert fan it's a tad annoying she doesn't give herself props, but far better she's not a bitter former champion.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Oh she is very proud of what she did. There is an old-fashioned word that applies here. Evert is being gracious

gra·cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs \

Definition of gracious


1a : marked by kindness and courtesy a gracious host
b : characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding gracious living
c : graceful
d : marked by tact and delicacy : urbane




Gracious. I can see how some people might be confused by the behavior. Not a particularly common trait in athletes, celebrities or society in general, and now it is actually given a very different interpretation these days, as something almost disingenuous, but in a previous generation, it represented a form of politeness and courtesy to avoid 'bragging' etc. but I am sure Jimmy and Colette knew what it meant and taught it. .
The perfect answer to the OP.
I would just add, when the day comes, I imagine this word will be used in the Evert obituaries. And, all will comment on her class, sportsmanship and sheer professionalism on court. And that she was one of the best to ever play the sport.
I imagine that's good enough for Chris Evert.

There's a reason she remains the only person to be the sole inductee for her year of inclusion in to the International Hall of Fame.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Just listening to the commentary of the Gauff-Kenin match right now it is stunning. Patrick McEnroe asked both Evert and Shriver who he was commentating with how they feel they would have done at 15 vs Gauff right now at 15. Shriver said "can I pick the surface" and she said on grass she is pretty sure she she would win at 15 over Gauff at 15. Evert by contrast said there is no way she would stand a shot. Then when McEnroe talked about more modern technology and training like Gauff said she was like "well who knows, but Guaff even then would have way more power, and she is way more athletic than I ever was. It would only be a matter if I could outsmart her which I doubt." Pretty hilarious the slamless (in singles) Shriver would be the one so confident she would come out of ahead of the young phenom at the same age, while the All Time great Evert downplays having any chance.
Those were some of my favorite remarks by Evert the whole tournament. I don't mind Shriver's comments though. Everyone has "deer in the headlights" moments, and to keep the conversations interesting, talking heads often exaggerate their feelings and intentionally take positions opposite the other talking head.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
"Then when McEnroe talked about more modern technology and training like Gauff said she was like 'well who knows, but Guaff even then would have way more power, and she is way more athletic than I ever was. It would only be a matter if I could outsmart her which I doubt'

If you gave them both wood rackets with those quarter sized sweet spots, , I sure know where my bet goes, and it is 100% with that 15 year old Evert because I have no doubt about who outsmarts who in those longer laborious rallies. One of the reason Chris started playing pro events like Charleston where she beat Court, is because there were no fifteen year old players regardless of their talent, anywhere, that offered any challenge to her, nor were there many 16 or 17 or 18 year olds.

We have to remember that tennis like any sport, is not just about athleticism, its about temperament. The game itself, including its tempo and mindset has to suit the personality of the person playing it for them to do well. And the tempo of this sport has dramatically changed with modern equipment. There no longer is a surface, or a scenario where you have to patiently wait for an opportunity to plan and then be aggressive . Now you are aggressive, looking for the winner, in your frame of mind, from the first swing to the last in virtually every rally. Its not even a choice or a decision, to wait for opportunities, or short balls to 'go for it'.

I really don't think we should presume that all players of today would really like and enjoy playing wood racket tennis, or vice versa round after round. And if they don't enjoy it, they won't work hard to master it.
 
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mxmx

Hall of Fame
What I notice in the match is mature and tactical play. For example the great approaches, volleys and overheads and return placement. To me modern players lack some of this kind of maturity. The groundstrokes not on the same standard as Coco in this match...but this does not make me believe Coco would necessarily win.

But if Coco is mentally confident and relaxed, she may win.
 
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BGod

Legend
6 consecutive Finals at 2 Slams and 7 consecutive at another.

I think she downplays her career because she wants to enjoy her post-playing life and maybe recognized Graf, Navratilova and Williams are objectively ahead by a good margin and she doesn't really care much about being a strong #4 or whatever.

But Pam Shriver is delusional about her singles ability because of her prowess in doubles. 21 Doubles Slams including a Calendar and streaks of 7, 4, 4 at individual Slams and 9 overall.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
6 consecutive Finals at 2 Slams and 7 consecutive at another.

I think she downplays her career because she wants to enjoy her post-playing life and maybe recognized Graf, Navratilova and Williams are objectively ahead by a good margin and she doesn't really care much about being a strong #4 or whatever.

But Pam Shriver is delusional about her singles ability because of her prowess in doubles. 21 Doubles Slams including a Calendar and streaks of 7, 4, 4 at individual Slams and 9 overall.
Except that one's tennis record and legacy does not merely consist of what tournament you win and when you win it. You make zero distinction between a loss in the perennial round of Wimbledon to the third seed Mandlikova, and one in the first rd of Wimbledon to Bertha Bigbutt, and almost no notice of how often you got upset in a first or second or fourth before you ever saw a seeded player. To understand a players entire playing record and legacy, you have to turn it all upside down and put those wins and runner-ups in the context of all those losses accrued from the day they joined the tour, to the day they retired.

And that is when you those fault lines in the careers of Graf, Court, Navratilova, and Williams. Do you have any clue how often Serena never even came near the semifinal of one of those Wimbledons.
 
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suwanee4712

Professional
I saw Bertha once. She had a great backhand. ;)

On Shriver, she may not be the best to listen to on tv. And people do love to underate both her singles and doubles prowess, but she was legit. Easily one of the best tactical players I've ever seen. Which is why, if we were talking about 70's and 80's standard equipment, Shriver would beat a lot of today's players.
 
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FD3S

Hall of Fame
Can't say I'm surprised. From what I've heard about Jimmy Evert, he did an excellent job in raising Chris to be proud of her abilities and results while avoiding the ego that might normally come with both.
 
I saw Bertha once. She had a great backhand. ;)

On Shriver, she may not be the best to listen to on tv. And people do love to underate both her singles and doubles prowess, but she was legit. Easily one of the best tactical players I've ever seen. Which is why, if we were talking about 70's and 80's standard equipment, Shriver would beat a lot of today's players.
Shriver's biggest problem was she relatively useless against the very best. I call that the Conchita Martinez syndrome, although it is even worse for Conchita than her as Conchita was generally higher ranked/more successful in singles and still had similarily abysmal records against the very best as Shriver had.

vs Navratilova: 3-39
vs Graf: 3-12, but 1-12 if we start from the 85 U.S Open onwards (at that point Graf was even in her first slam quarterfinal, 16, ranked outside the top 10, and title-less).
vs Evert: 3-17; all 3 wins starting when Evert was already 32.
vs Austin: 2-11

I don't know her exact record against Hana off the top of my head but it is quite poor too.

A player between 0-2 singles slams who had more success against the very top players will generally get more respect. It is why Sabatini and Novotna get more respect than Martinez by a long ways, even though their singles achievements in the same era are similar. It is why Pierce gets so much respect, and is sometimes overrated by people, she did win 2 slams but only 18 titles, but against big names she came up big quite often. It is one reason someone like Stosur who despite her 1 slam has a more modest singles career than even Shriver in many ways, is probably more respected, she has quite a few big wins over big names and a respectable nearly equal record vs Serena, including beating her in a slam final, and beating her during one of her peak dominant periods in another slam.

It is also one place her contemporary of similar singles aptitude Sukova has a big edge on her. Shriver was generally higher ranked and probably more consistently good, but Sukova has more big wins over big names, particularly in slams, and this led to her reaching 4 slam finals to only 1 for Shriver. Minus Sukova's record vs Graf who she lost 21 matches in a row against after her lone win in their first match when Graf was 14.

Of course that speaks nothing to her chances vs Gauff with both being 15, as there is no saying for certain Gauff is on her way to being a major great player or not (hopefully but it far from set in stone) and even if she does become that it does not mean they weren't comparable at such a young age perhaps. I imagine Shriver would have some wins over Evert if they were the same age, and would definitely have a lot of wins over an overweight Navratilova in their teens if they were the same age, but her talents were limited in certain areas so she did not have as much room for growth to come as many of her peers.
 
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flanker2000fr

Professional
It's kind of interesting that, watching a lot of tennis in the 80's, Evert was coming across as very confident, and Navratilova always had this hint of emotional frailty about her. Fast forward 35 years, and it's Evert who is completely unassuming about her achievements, while Martina talks hers up a lot.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
It's kind of interesting that, watching a lot of tennis in the 80's, Evert was coming across as very confident, and Navratilova always had this hint of emotional frailty about her. Fast forward 35 years, and it's Evert who is completely unassuming about her achievements, while Martina talks hers up a lot.
I think the answer is in their personalities: Evert, shy but secure as a youngster with a very grounded home life. Navratilova, a complex persona from a controlling State background plus, I would assume, confusion with her sexuality. Winning was a state of mind for Evert. Trying to win was a complex problem for Navratilova until she found her way.
And that is why, I suspect, that once Evert's focus had shifted to motherhood, her priorities changed and being considered the best to have ever played was considerably less important than being considered one of the best. And, as commented above, she is a product of her upbringing.
Navratilova has always been vocal for causes she believes in. And one of those is her legacy. And if she herself believes herself to be the best ever, that's her prerogative- and with justification.
 
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