Navratilova and Evert careers without the other one?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by anointedone, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Oct 16, 2006
    Ottawa, Ontario
    What do you think the careers of either Evert or Navratilova would look like if the other didnt exist? To me it looks like Evert suffered much more from Martina than vice versa. Navratilova probably only lost out on 3 or 4 additional slams to Martina- 1974 French Open, 1982 Australian Open, 1985 French Open, and maybe the 1986 French Open. Evert though lost out on a whole lot more. Wimbledon 1978 and 1979 very likely, Wimbledon 82, 84, and 85 almost for sure. Likely the U.S Open in 83 in 84, and the French Open in 84. The Australian Open in 81 probably. Maybe although these one are a tough call the Australian Open in 85 and U.S Open in 81. She probably wouldnt have won all 11 but an additional 9 or even 10 is very possible.

    I did consider the semifinal matches between them but I cant think of any where the loser was likely to win other than maybe Evert having a shot of beating Austin in the 81 U.S Open final if she hadnt lost to Martina in the semis. Martina was not likely at all to beat Goolagong in the 75 U.S Open final on clay or the 76 Wimbledon final on grass. Goolagong was the better player at the time and owned Martina head to head around then. Martina also was not that likely to win Wimbledon 1980 as she was clearly out of of shape and form a the time and any of Austin, Goolagong, or Mandlikova (or based on some of her losses that year even the likes of Shriver or Turnbull) could have all taken her out depending how the draw shaped out. Australian Open 88 obviously she wasnt likely to beat Graf. As for Evert her only other slam semifinal losses to Martina were in 87 and 88, and each time Graf would have been waiting in the finals, and her last ever win over Graf was in early 86, so pretty obvious no in that case.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Sep 15, 2009
    You could even go farther and make a pretty good case that Navratilova benefitted from Evert and might even have won fewer slams without her: the defining aspect of MN's career, for me, is that she took totally committed training to a new level (as Lendl did for the men). Evert's looming presence had to be a major part of what motivated her transformation into the dominant player of the early & mid 80's.
  3. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Jun 25, 2007
    It is likely that if Martina hadn't been around that Evert just as easily could have ended up with less. I remember reading in several places that Evert said she was considering retiring around the beginning of the 80's, and that she felt burnt out, but Martina rising to offer a new challenge motivated her to stay. She could have won more slams without her around, but at the same time she could have just retired early and ended with fewer slams because she felt exhausted and didn't see anyone around who could challenge her.

    As for Martina...its tough to say. One could argue that Evert was a standard that Martina thought she could raise herself to. Although I have never seen anything of the sort I think in a way, that Chris and her dominance of the game drove Martina to finally get better, all the losses and beating that Evert gave her early in their H2H may have been what Martina needed to whip herself into shape. Without Chris...maybe she never becomes as good as she was at her peak, without a real rival maybe she just keeps floundering around like she did in her younger years, never realizing her true potential. In a way, both could have arguably held each other back, but both also could be argued to have motivated each other in their own ways to be the best.

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2007
    nature hates a vacumn. If Navratilova had not existed, the tournaments would have made one. Same is true for Evert.
  5. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

    Dec 15, 2008
    boredone is spot on here in my opinion. The two made each other. Martina and Evert had one of the best rivalries ever that constantly made one want to raise their game to catch the other. Had Chris not existed Martina might have not won more than 4 or 5 slams and had Martina not existed Chris would have probably retired in her early 20s like she planned feeling unchallenged. Evert had actually planned to retire in her early 20s originally but it was Martina that made her stay while Evert made Martina what she is had Martina not seen all the success Evert was having she would have never been as motivated. The two were just outstanding.
  6. davey25

    davey25 Banned

    Oct 5, 2004
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    It is too bad we cant say the same for Graf and Seles many years later. Seles admited Graf motivated her to get better to become as great as her and eventually even overtake her, and Graf admited Seles was motivating her to improve again to get back on top. Unfortunately they never got to play it all out like they should have.
  7. jrepac

    jrepac Hall of Fame

    Sep 8, 2009
    chris and martina

    were like Peanut Butter & Jelly...perfect together...

    early on, Martina saw Chris as an example of what her career COULD be like....took her some time to get her game and body into the great form she reached.....

    that in turn, inspired Chris to take it to a new level...

    while I do think Chris would have won Wimbledon several more times w/out Martina, and Martina at least 2 more FO's w/out Chris there, I think there was such competitive spirit and respect there that it made them both reach GOAT heights...

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