Originally Posted by Rollo
The New York times report says Evert was suffering from a foot injury from the Italian Open, where she withdrew in the second round. Before the match with ASV she agreed to get a cortisone injection for the first time in her career.
"Throughout the first set Evert moved sluggishly, and her usually precise backhand was completely out of killer. Sanchez, on the other hand, showed the same rapid footwork and eagerness as her brothers have."
Down 5-1 in the second set-Evert saved two match points on winners-one shot had the younf Spaniard falling down on the clay trying to get it. Evert saved two more mps to force a tiebreak.
"But rather than lose heart, the frisky Sanchez met Evert's precision and power with equal force. At 3-3 in the tiebreaker, Sanchez stretched into a ballerina's split to reach a cross court shot and sent backa volley at a sharper angle that was impossible for Evert to reach."
Sanchez was exultant with the victory. "I happy to beat Chris Evert, because this is my idol all my life."
The score was 6-3 7-6. Evert was down 6-3 5-1 and then came back strongly a bit like in the AO 88 final to lead 6-5. I don't remember if she had set point but I do remember that on her way back to 6-5, she saved a string of match points. One of my friends saw the match live and said that Sanchez was begining to feel tired, had she lost the second set, she would have lost the match.
Evert was injured at the 88 FO. At the Italian Open, she had to walk over after the second round and go back to the States urgently to try to cure a bad heel. She was not sure of playing the FO until the very last moment, I think there was a news bulletin on the French radio on the Saturday before the start of the FO confirming that Chris Evert felt fine and would play the tournmanent. I watched her opening match agaisnt Judith Wiesner and she played very well. Next match against Romano, she was not that good , seemed to have difficulties to run and I thought that the injury could be back. After the Romano match, she asked for her next match to be 24 hour postponed and said that she was uncertain to play. Apparently ,she spent 24 hour in bed
to rest her foot and had several injections before the match....however, not enough.
I think it's a bit unfair to characterize Evert's loss against Sanchez as "call it a day or time for Evert to retire". Sanchez was by no means crap in 88 even though she was unseeded at the FO. She gave a non-injured Chris Evert a very hard time in the final of Key Largo a few months before the FO. Chris won 7-6 6-4 but had to put up a real fight to pull the match through. In the specific circumstances of the FO 88, Sanchez's win was no surprise.
Incidentally, I went to Roland Garros on the first Sunday and watched Aranxta cream Catherine Tanvier 6-2 6-0. They should have played on centre court but were shifted to Court number 2 because of the rain delays and Noah's interminable match agaisnt Emilio Sanchez.
Last, in October 87, 7 months before the FO drama, Aranxta and Chris played an exhibition in my hometown of Toulouse. Needless to say I was there
Chris easily won 6-1 6-3. When they shook hands, Aranxta kissed Chris on the cheek in a very warm mediterranean way. I thought it was a very nice gesture. Easy to guess that Chris had been Aranxta's idol. She then partnered Emilio for one set of mixed doubles against Chris and Illie Nastase. Nice memories.....