Is this the most solid consistent record for a # two player in a season?

BTURNER

Legend
People normally think of 1984 as a relatively 'poor' year for Chris, because they are once again only looking at the Evert-Navratilova rivalry and the fact she was #2. She never threatened for # 1, never took it from Martina even for a single week, never beat her and only took one set in 6 meetings. That's pretty depressing.


But lets turn it upside down and look at what never happened and what almost never happened. Its actually pretty astounding in its consistency even for Evert. Its a 69-8 win loss record (89.6%? math not my strength).. She reached the final of every tournament she entered including every slam, save the 1984 Eastbourne, where she reached the semis and lost to Kathy Jordan. She enters 14 tournaments and gets to the semis of every single one and the finals of 13.


She actually only lost to three people the entire year. Jordan x 1, Maleeva x 1 (final in Rome), and the rest of her losses were to the #1 in the world, Martina x 6. 6 of her 8 total losses were against the best player on the planet in arguably her most dominant year, herself with only two losses on record that season.

Think about those sentences again. That has to be one of the best years for a # 2 ever. There was as much distance between the #3 through the #100 and Chris Evert, as there was between Evert and the #1. That has to be one of the best years for a # 2 ever. Here are her Head to Head v the top ten in 1984.
1​
0-6​
2​
xxxxxx​
3​
1-0​
4​
0-0​
5​
2-0​
6​
4-1​
7​
4-0​
8​
2-0​
9​
1-0​
10​
1-1​
 
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Xavier G

Hall of Fame
I've always thought of 1984 as being a strong tennis season for Chrissie. She was consistently good as always and had a successful year by most standards, winning the AO at the end of it.
It's just that she was dominated by peak Martina in their meetings, including the other high-profile Slam finals, but Chris was by far the next best and a clear no.2.
 

suwanee4712

Professional
If Chris' 84 was a bad year then sign me up.

There's a quote from Chris around Wimbledon-ish saying that if not for Martina she herself would be dominating tennis. By record that is certainly true. My only small caveat to that is that Martina was the one pushing her to get better and better. 83 and 84 are bridge years for her and for the rest of womens tennis. Without those years would Chris have stuck around for two of the brightest jewels in her crown? The 85 and 86 French.

Would she even be interested in working so hard and so differently in 84 to have all of that success?

Any way that you slice it, though, Chris was correct. There's no doubt that there was still a large gap in between Chris and everyone else not named Martina.

You've caught me at just the right time for this as I've just completed a lot of research on 84.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
If Chris' 84 was a bad year then sign me up.

There's a quote from Chris around Wimbledon-ish saying that if not for Martina she herself would be dominating tennis. By record that is certainly true. My only small caveat to that is that Martina was the one pushing her to get better and better. 83 and 84 are bridge years for her and for the rest of womens tennis. Without those years would Chris have stuck around for two of the brightest jewels in her crown? The 85 and 86 French.

Would she even be interested in working so hard and so differently in 84 to have all of that success?

Any way that you slice it, though, Chris was correct. There's no doubt that there was still a large gap in between Chris and everyone else not named Martina.

You've caught me at just the right time for this as I've just completed a lot of research on 84.
I like to think that if Martina had not been there beginning in the late seventies, someone would have filled the vacuum on the other side of the draw, gotten more experience, more big match play and become the threat that would have driven Evert to accomplish more. Someone is going to gain a lot of confidence when they start grabbing Martina's titles, and her place in the draws. Practice in big venues, in big matches produces big players, and big play. The question is who would have seized the moment and had the talent to. Obviously Hana, but are there other candidates? Would Zina have blossomed, or Maleeva, or Helena, Basset, or maybe Catarina Lindquist, or Claudia or even Pascale Paradise or Andrea Tomesvari? I just have trouble seeing Shriver or Jordan successfully revamping those groundies sufficiently to make huge improvement, and some of these players have pretty limited games. Any ideas?
 

skaj

Legend
Venus in 2002 was pretty good, although she was also #1 that year for a couple of months. Henin in 2006 was at number 2 at one point I think, great season, but she was moving up the rankings(ended the year as number 1). I don't know how many times it happened that one player was at number 2 throughout the whole season. Sanchez Vicario in the 90s comes to mind, but she wasn't as great.
 
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suwanee4712

Professional
I like to think that if Martina had not been there beginning in the late seventies, someone would have filled the vacuum on the other side of the draw, gotten more experience, more big match play and become the threat that would have driven Evert to accomplish more. Someone is going to gain a lot of confidence when they start grabbing Martina's titles, and her place in the draws. Practice in big venues, in big matches produces big players, and big play. The question is who would have seized the moment and had the talent to. Obviously Hana, but are there other candidates? Would Zina have blossomed, or Maleeva, or Helena, Basset, or maybe Catarina Lindquist, or Claudia or even Pascale Paradise or Andrea Tomesvari? I just have trouble seeing Shriver or Jordan successfully revamping those groundies sufficiently to make huge improvement, and some of these players have pretty limited games. Any ideas?
There's no telling what extra experience in big matches and the confidence gained from a big win would have done for several of these players. But as impressive as your list is to me, I can see why each one never could break through to the very top. Only Helena strikes me as a player that would be able to do it (on a small scale). Maybe Maleeva because of her mind and her ability to work hard.

The real winners would've been Chris herself along with Austin. With no Martina, I could see BJK taking advantage on the faster surfaces. That void might've motivated her to improve upon her own record considering her sacrifices for the tour probably cost her a few chances.

I think Jaeger might've been more motivated as well. She definitely had the physical skills to do it. A focused Jaeger could've won the two slam finals she reached. My big regret is never seeing another late round grand slam matchup between Jaeger and Mandlikova after the 80 US Open.

Bunge is always going to stand out as a possibility for me because of her sheer talent. What if she beats a name player like BJK in the semis at Wimbledon 82? She would have the talent to beat Chris in the final, but not the mind. But would that experience make her more dangerous down the road?

I think Shriver was smart enough to win a slam, and that becomes easier for her with no Martina who was just as smart but so much better physically. If her final round opponent is Maleeva or Sukova, my money would be her.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Chrissie said at one point before Martina got in shape she was ready to retire because there was no challenge for her. If Martina wasn't around/didn't get it shape Chrissie probably retires by 1980-1982ish. Chrissie motivated Martina to get into shape because Martina was sick of her running her all over the place with lobs and drops, Martina motivated Chrissie to stay when she got in shape. Literally without one we never would have had the other to the extent that we did.

You take them both out of the Equation in the 80's, or at least Chris say Martina is still playing but never gets in shape and suddenly I would expect players like Shriver and Sukova at least to get a couple majors. Even the German ladies of the time, the eldest of the Maleeva sisters, and a whole host of other probably could get a one off major in the 80's.
 

BTURNER

Legend
There's no telling what extra experience in big matches and the confidence gained from a big win would have done for several of these players. But as impressive as your list is to me, I can see why each one never could break through to the very top. Only Helena strikes me as a player that would be able to do it (on a small scale). Maybe Maleeva because of her mind and her ability to work hard.

The real winners would've been Chris herself along with Austin. With no Martina, I could see BJK taking advantage on the faster surfaces. That void might've motivated her to improve upon her own record considering her sacrifices for the tour probably cost her a few chances.

I think Jaeger might've been more motivated as well. She definitely had the physical skills to do it. A focused Jaeger could've won the two slam finals she reached. My big regret is never seeing another late round grand slam matchup between Jaeger and Mandlikova after the 80 US Open.

Bunge is always going to stand out as a possibility for me because of her sheer talent. What if she beats a name player like BJK in the semis at Wimbledon 82? She would have the talent to beat Chris in the final, but not the mind. But would that experience make her more dangerous down the road?

I think Shriver was smart enough to win a slam, and that becomes easier for her with no Martina who was just as smart but so much better physically. If her final round opponent is Maleeva or Sukova, my money would be her.
I had forgotten Bunge. She really did have the talent to make a serious move, and Shriver was always dangerous of grass or carpet, as was Sukova. Not sure Jaeger ever really wanted the golden ring. I just think she would have found a way to self sabotage. I am surprised you don't see more in Zina. She was able to beat Hana and Evert on clay, Martina on hard courts, and Graf and Sukova at Wimbledon. She clearly was one of the best athletes on the court, had the shots, and talent to attack, and the speed and scrappiness to defend. I think consistency, confidence and a little luck would have made her a contender anywhere except Paris. She would be my pick after Hana who should really find her game and confidence earlier. My problem with Hana is that fragile body of hers. I see her as a possible Bueno getting great runs between career hampering injuries over and over again. I swear that Hana girl slipped and fell once in nearly every match I saw!
 
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boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Jaeger didn't want to win. She admitted in an interview years later she tanked big matches to avoid being #1. She was pretty much forced into the game by her dad and finally found peace when she was able to get away from that and discover her faith and really pursue her desire to help others. I remember reading her account of what happened the night before her Wimbledon final and how she felt so awkward going to Martina for help that she pretty much didn't even try to win the match.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Jaeger didn't want to win. She admitted in an interview years later she tanked big matches to avoid being #1. She was pretty much forced into the game by her dad and finally found peace when she was able to get away from that and discover her faith and really pursue her desire to help others. I remember reading her account of what happened the night before her Wimbledon final and how she felt so awkward going to Martina for help that she pretty much didn't even try to win the match.
Why did Andrea need to go to Martina for help in the first place?
 

skaj

Legend
Does anyone have the statistics for how many players were at number 2 throughout the whole season?
 

suwanee4712

Professional
I had forgotten Bunge. She really did have the talent to make a serious move, and Shriver was always dangerous of grass or carpet, as was Sukova. Not sure Jaeger ever really wanted the golden ring. I just think she would have found a way to self sabotage. I am surprised you don't see more in Zina. She was able to beat Hana and Evert on clay, Martina on hard courts, and Graf and Sukova at Wimbledon. She clearly was one of the best athletes on the court, had the shots, and talent to attack, and the speed and scrappiness to defend. I think consistency, confidence and a little luck would have made her a contender anywhere except Paris. She would be my pick after Hana who should really find her game and confidence earlier. My problem with Hana is that fragile body of hers. I see her as a possible Bueno getting great runs between career hampering injuries over and over again. I swear that Hana girl slipped and fell once in nearly every match I saw!
You're right. Champions ultimate get through because of hard work and willingness to be aggressive when the time is right. Zina fits that mold a little more than Maleeva, although Maleeva ultimately committed to and became more aggressive later in her career. they were both hard workers. Maleeva's career arc was actually a lot like Zina's who was also a baseliner, but was smart enough to understand she needed to add more dimensions to her game.

I never liked Zina's serve or her forehand, but I loved her backhand especially up the line. And few people understood angles on the volley as well as Zina did, a trait shared with Kohde. Both closed well on the net and angled their volleys beautifully against players who didn't lob well or forgot to lob.

Good call.
 

suwanee4712

Professional
Jaeger didn't want to win. She admitted in an interview years later she tanked big matches to avoid being #1. She was pretty much forced into the game by her dad and finally found peace when she was able to get away from that and discover her faith and really pursue her desire to help others. I remember reading her account of what happened the night before her Wimbledon final and how she felt so awkward going to Martina for help that she pretty much didn't even try to win the match.

True. Which is why I qualified my statement about a focused, and motivated Andrea. But you're right, most of the time she didn't want to be there. She just did not fit into that world. Thankfully, she did get something out of it and realized the good that could come from the platform tennis have her.
 

suwanee4712

Professional
Why did Andrea need to go to Martina for help in the first place?
It's bizarre. The only thing I can think of is that Martina was next door. If it had been Chris next door she may have gone to her.

I also find it bizarre that Martina did not react. Tough spot to be placed.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
It's bizarre. The only thing I can think of is that Martina was next door. If it had been Chris next door she may have gone to her.

I also find it bizarre that Martina did not react. Tough spot to be placed.
That was the year Chris got sick and lost in the 3rd round to Kathy Jordan, so Chris was probably by that point long gone from the area. Billie may have still been around after losing the SF, but King had allegedly made an offhand comment that she didn't plan to sweat much against Jaeger so Andrea may not have at that point really wanted to go to her. Martina was by that point representing the USA so Andrea probably felt she was the only one left she was comfortable with. Martina not reacting..well....I could see a couple reasons. Jaeger at that point was barely an adult as she would have turned 18 in June that year, she may have known her dad from team events or whatever and knew there was nothing she could do to help her. She did let Andrea into the room, but she probably had no clue what to do to help her. She was trying to prepare for the match, and Martina has always been about Martina. She may have not wanted to break her focus on winning.

Either way I've read different versions of how it went down. One was that Andrea felt awkward even going and couldn't believe Martina even let her in the room and that she felt horribly guilty she disturbed her and lost the final on purpose. The other was that Martina let her in and actually convinced her dad to let her back in the apartment and the emotional fatigue of the whole thing led her to doing poorly in the final. I think its a combination of both. Martina is very much ego-centric but I would hope she wouldnt have ignored Andrea's situation. Andrea probably didn't try very hard in the final as a result of her own guilt. That being said I don't think she would have won the final playing 100% anyway.
 

BTURNER

Legend
That was the year Chris got sick and lost in the 3rd round to Kathy Jordan, so Chris was probably by that point long gone from the area. Billie may have still been around after losing the SF, but King had allegedly made an offhand comment that she didn't plan to sweat much against Jaeger so Andrea may not have at that point really wanted to go to her. Martina was by that point representing the USA so Andrea probably felt she was the only one left she was comfortable with. Martina not reacting..well....I could see a couple reasons. Jaeger at that point was barely an adult as she would have turned 18 in June that year, she may have known her dad from team events or whatever and knew there was nothing she could do to help her. She did let Andrea into the room, but she probably had no clue what to do to help her. She was trying to prepare for the match, and Martina has always been about Martina. She may have not wanted to break her focus on winning.

Either way I've read different versions of how it went down. One was that Andrea felt awkward even going and couldn't believe Martina even let her in the room and that she felt horribly guilty she disturbed her and lost the final on purpose. The other was that Martina let her in and actually convinced her dad to let her back in the apartment and the emotional fatigue of the whole thing led her to doing poorly in the final. I think its a combination of both. Martina is very much ego-centric but I would hope she wouldnt have ignored Andrea's situation. Andrea probably didn't try very hard in the final as a result of her own guilt. That being said I don't think she would have won the final playing 100% anyway.
Martina is also a very empathetic compassionate person and she tends to lead with her heart. My guess is that her first reaction was to let her in and listen, but her second reaction was to ask advice herself, from her coach or her girlfriend on the phone. It would not surprise me if she found a way to make a quick phone call, and whoever she called was not as empathetic and compassionate a person.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
There's no telling what extra experience in big matches and the confidence gained from a big win would have done for several of these players. But as impressive as your list is to me, I can see why each one never could break through to the very top. Only Helena strikes me as a player that would be able to do it (on a small scale). Maybe Maleeva because of her mind and her ability to work hard.

The real winners would've been Chris herself along with Austin. With no Martina, I could see BJK taking advantage on the faster surfaces. That void might've motivated her to improve upon her own record considering her sacrifices for the tour probably cost her a few chances.

I think Jaeger might've been more motivated as well. She definitely had the physical skills to do it. A focused Jaeger could've won the two slam finals she reached. My big regret is never seeing another late round grand slam matchup between Jaeger and Mandlikova after the 80 US Open.

Bunge is always going to stand out as a possibility for me because of her sheer talent. What if she beats a name player like BJK in the semis at Wimbledon 82? She would have the talent to beat Chris in the final, but not the mind. But would that experience make her more dangerous down the road?

I think Shriver was smart enough to win a slam, and that becomes easier for her with no Martina who was just as smart but so much better physically. If her final round opponent is Maleeva or Sukova, my money would be her.
Bettina Bunge had so much talent, but I'm not sure she could have made the leap as her game was figured out pretty quickly.
However, l admit my distaste for her far right politics might be colouring my judgement.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
That was the year Chris got sick and lost in the 3rd round to Kathy Jordan, so Chris was probably by that point long gone from the area. Billie may have still been around after losing the SF, but King had allegedly made an offhand comment that she didn't plan to sweat much against Jaeger so Andrea may not have at that point really wanted to go to her. Martina was by that point representing the USA so Andrea probably felt she was the only one left she was comfortable with. Martina not reacting..well....I could see a couple reasons. Jaeger at that point was barely an adult as she would have turned 18 in June that year, she may have known her dad from team events or whatever and knew there was nothing she could do to help her. She did let Andrea into the room, but she probably had no clue what to do to help her. She was trying to prepare for the match, and Martina has always been about Martina. She may have not wanted to break her focus on winning.

Either way I've read different versions of how it went down. One was that Andrea felt awkward even going and couldn't believe Martina even let her in the room and that she felt horribly guilty she disturbed her and lost the final on purpose. The other was that Martina let her in and actually convinced her dad to let her back in the apartment and the emotional fatigue of the whole thing led her to doing poorly in the final. I think its a combination of both. Martina is very much ego-centric but I would hope she wouldnt have ignored Andrea's situation. Andrea probably didn't try very hard in the final as a result of her own guilt. That being said I don't think she would have won the final playing 100% anyway.
Evert always stayed at their home in Kingston after her marriage to Lloyd.
I only know this because I played at the same local club where she practiced many years later.
Also, Evert would have stayed for the Wimbledon fortnight as John Lloyd won the mixed that year - with Wendy Turnbull.
 

Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
Does anyone have the statistics for how many players were at number 2 throughout the whole season?
Not many I think - Nadal in 06,07, Evert in ‘84, Martina in 88,89 and ?

maybe Borg in 76 and 78? But the rankings weren’t weekly then.
 
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boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Evert always stayed at their home in Kingston after her marriage to Lloyd.
I only know this because I played at the same local club where she practiced many years later.
Also, Evert would have stayed for the Wimbledon fortnight as John Lloyd won the mixed that year - with Wendy Turnbull.
I never actually knew that :)
 
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skaj

Legend
Not many I think - Nadal in 06,07, Evert in ‘84, Martina in 88,89 and ?

maybe Borg in 76 and 78? But the rankings weren’t weekly then.
Nadal had better seasons of course since he actually won slams plus more titles, but I understand that the emphasis here is on consistency(I think he had some early rounds losses on hard courts).
 

suwanee4712

Professional
Evert always stayed at their home in Kingston after her marriage to Lloyd.
I only know this because I played at the same local club where she practiced many years later.
Also, Evert would have stayed for the Wimbledon fortnight as John Lloyd won the mixed that year - with Wendy Turnbull.
Come to think of it, I think I remember seeing Andrea sitting with Chris during the mixed final. Andrea was friends with Wendy so that might be why.
 
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