1984 Wimbledon final - Navratilova & Evert - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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1984 Wimbledon final - Navratilova & Evert

well, i *FINALLY* got a really good copy of the 84 wimbledon final to enjoy, and it was an eye-opener. we all would remember that chris ran off to a 2-break 3-0 start, but since the copy i had of the match was harder to follow than most, i rarely gave it a good look.

chris completed that first set with only TWO unforced errors and more impressively, she won 16 of her first 20 advances to the net!! while martina was held to a tame 23 of 40 net points! miraculously, martina's sheer will gave her that set 7-6.

in fact, evert also had a real opportunity--hung up by a let cord--to have gone up 4-0 in the first!! it truly is a game of inches, and what ifs...but that tiebreak may well never have been reached.

my memory was also that chris stopped being aggressive after the first set, but rather, she did continue barreling into net, and in fact held a 15-40 advantage in one game and 0-40 advantage in another in two of martina's first three service games of the 2nd set. martina served brilliantly to squeak free, chris did not relent.

i wanted to post about it because chris' very close 1985 wimby final with martina was MUCH less aggressive than this one--although the quality of the 85 final was unbeatable, chris by no means stormed the net on every short ball--and this match, even more than i realized, was a champagne-dazzling predecessor to their classic 84 Us Open final showdown.

Even at 2-5 down in the third, Chris comes rallying back from 0-40 3-championship-point deficit to bring on a long thrilling deuce finish, again gaining break points, and pushing martina to win only after a 5th match point.

Alfa, have you seen this one??? I would have to think it would be your favorite chris evert match. i dont remember her ever being more aggressive...and her net skill is often surprising. but its interesting, i even got some clips of BJK before the match saying chris should stick to her bread & butter at the back of the court! what a reversal of personalities to have BJK say 'stay at the baseline' is the right ploy and have chris be the one who decides to rush net.

but for history's sake, this match brought their h2h rivalry to 30-all, and it certainly was a trend-turner. Definitely a worthy match for the 100-year anniversary of womens play at the Big W.

Last edited by daze11; Jun 13th, 2006 at 02:58 AM.
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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I remember watching this match at the time. Before the match started, I didn't have much hope for Chris winning, especially given that she had been soundly beaten in Paris 4 weeks earlier. However, as you say, it was a new Chris, really forcing herself forward in that first set. I think she surprised Martina a lot with the success she was having coming forward. That first set must rank as one of the best sets that the two have played against each other. I truly believe that if Chris had the confidence in herself in 84 that she did in 85 (ie having a couple of wins over Martina under belt), she would have closed out that first set.


I think that even though she was disappointed to have lost, this match really made her believe that she could once again beat Martina. Even though she was saying that she could in public, too many times, she looked already beaten before she went on court.

I love their grasscourt matches the most. Nearly all of their matches on grass have been closely fought, and many of them rank as classic matches in their rivalry.
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by daze11
...Alfa, have you seen this one??? I would have to think it would be your favorite chris evert match. i dont remember her ever being more aggressive...and her net skill is often surprising. but its interesting, i even got some clips of BJK before the match saying chris should stick to her bread & butter at the back of the court! what a reversal of personalities to have BJK say 'stay at the baseline' is the right ploy and have chris be the one who decides to rush net...
Daze, you're probably going to throw darts at me for saying this, but I'm so incredibly burned out on Chris/Martina matches. I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a little U.S. Navy tin can when this was being played, so no, I didn't catch it live, but have seen the highlights. It would be nice to see a match where Chris didn't stay back, but I have to admit, there are quite a few non-Chris/Martina show matches ahead of it on the wish list. Plus, I've never been particularly fond of watching Chris Evert lose. While she does it with the utmost dignity and class, you can tell there's that SNL locker-room kicking anger held inside, and I'm the kinda guy that always lets it all out NOW! Not sure if that's a good thing, but it's the way it is.

I have to laugh at Chris, though. A couple years ago she was doing HBO commentary and I think it was Dick Enberg who asked her if she listened to advice or read the tabloids before a match. She responded something to the effect that she never did, and gave the example that even on BBC radio, she'd hear Virginia Wade coming on saying "and I think Martina will beat Chris", and she'd have to quickly turn it off!

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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Daze, you're probably going to throw darts at me for saying this, but I'm so incredibly burned out on Chris/Martina matches. I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a little U.S. Navy tin can when this was being played, so no, I didn't catch it live, but have seen the highlights. It would be nice to see a match where Chris didn't stay back, but I have to admit, there are quite a few non-Chris/Martina show matches ahead of it on the wish list. Plus, I've never been particularly fond of watching Chris Evert lose. While she does it with the utmost dignity and class, you can tell there's that SNL locker-room kicking anger held inside, and I'm the kinda guy that always lets it all out NOW! Not sure if that's a good thing, but it's the way it is.

I have to laugh at Chris, though. A couple years ago she was doing HBO commentary and I think it was Dick Enberg who asked her if she listened to advice or read the tabloids before a match. She responded something to the effect that she never did, and gave the example that even on BBC radio, she'd hear Virginia Wade coming on saying "and I think Martina will beat Chris", and she'd have to quickly turn it off!
i loved that series with martina during SNL...more than the lockerroom, which was funny, the one where martina chases chris thru her retirement years til chris throws her off a mountain. then when martina hits the bottom, she screams back up, "Hey that was great! Now YOU try! c'mon CHRIS!!" and evert goes to the looney bin.

i also understand being burned out on those two...they are only the two best players of all-time. and it IS tiring.

i heard from steve flink--i was so excited by the match, i wrote him about it--and i dont think he'd mind me sharing his comments on it, which confirmed what BCP suggested regarding her confidence: "That 84 Wimbledon final was a much better performance than the score would indicate. When I was transferring my tapes several months ago I watched that match and many of the same things struck me. She approached very well, made a lot of solid, low volleys and deserved more than she got from that match. But coming off that 6-3, 6-1 loss at Roland Garros she did not quite believe yet that she could beat Martina. This one restored her conviction enough to set the stage for the U.S. Open."

I am actually surprised I got so excited seeing this, as I've had it a long time. BUT seeing the ball definitely makes a gigantic difference in appreciating the energy of a match!
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by daze11
...they are only the two best players of all-time...
You wouldn't happen to be a little jaded regarding this statement, now would you daze? Hey, at least it shows balls!

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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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You wouldn't happen to be a little jaded regarding this statement, now would you daze? Hey, at least it shows balls!
well, theres a clip of martina being interviewed the night before the match, and they mention that ted tinling--who i always considered a big fan of chris--had released some 'top 5 women of tennis' that he had seen in his life, and martina was #1. Chris was left off the list completely, to which martina said, "That is suprising because chris' consistency at the top alone would be enough to rank her #1 or 2, but its all so subjective."

I think everyone was so down on chris for getting blown out by martina earlier that year & having such a lengthy losing streak, she was really being dismissed. but while i'm sure he revised those sentiments later, i dont think any of us can doubt that chris' place in the history of the game will be seen beneath all the players more athletic than her. so SOMEBODY'S gotta say the truth.
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Chirs is game was like the 1977 Zenith television. This TV had a satellite adaptability, cable, phone adapter, and so much more. But for the average viewer, they just want uhf/vhf channels and cable at the time. That was Chris, she improved only when she was pushed to do so. She could had a better serve and was good volleyer with a great touch but stuck to the baseline. If she played in today's game, she would had to improve her game but when your 4th round opponents in majors is Joanne Russell or Jo Durie. Why?
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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Chirs is game was like the 1977 Zenith television. This TV had a satellite adaptability, cable, phone adapter, and so much more. But for the average viewer, they just want uhf/vhf channels and cable at the time. That was Chris, she improved only when she was pushed to do so. She could had a better serve and was good volleyer with a great touch but stuck to the baseline. If she played in today's game, she would had to improve her game but when your 4th round opponents in majors is Joanne Russell or Jo Durie. Why?
I agree to this to a certain extent, but I don't think that today's 4th rd opponents are comparatively any tougher than those that were encountered in the 80s. Groenfeld? Schiavone? Hantachova? Schnyder? not particularly better or worse than their 80s counterparts.
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:12 PM
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I agree to this to a certain extent, but I don't think that today's 4th rd opponents are comparatively any tougher than those that were encountered in the 80s. Groenfeld? Schiavone? Hantachova? Schnyder? not particularly better or worse than their 80s counterparts.
Schnyder is tough with that lefty kick serve and her stokes. Her problem is confidence and that idiot man who almost brought her down. Hantachova before anorexia was like Maria Sharapova--great serve and can hit down the line. Both are coming back, well. Groenfeld Schiavone they are 2nd and 3rd rounders but they are working hard , getting more power, and improving their game. I didn't see that with 3rd rounders and 4th rounders of Chris's time. Of course players of that caliber today have money, coaches, and videotape.
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Without labouring the point, 4th round encounters could have been against Kohde-Kilsch, Garrison, McNeil, any of the Maleevas, Bassett, Kathy Jordan, Rinaldi, Sukova, Sabatini, a whole raft of players, who I think were no worse, and in some instances better than the players out there now.

Schivone and greonfield are in the top 16 now and would be 4th material.
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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Without labouring the point, 4th round encounters could have been against Kohde-Kilsch, Garrison, McNeil, any of the Maleevas, Bassett, Kathy Jordan, Rinaldi, Sukova, Sabatini, a whole raft of players, who I think were no worse, and in some instances better than the players out there now.
you know, even the footage i saw of joanne russell from the 1980 us open against chris was quite impressive. she had a great approach to the net and was quite tenacious, though she did tend to get lulled into an errant shot from the baseline. but all i see from todays players is errant shots from the baseline...there is no premium from todays players on loose points...they think its excuseable, whereas it was not seen that way in chris' day. The 'go for broke' game of today is a bit desperate in nature...so its hard to prove they have the training to be disciplined, even though the quality of athletes, due to sheer numbers, is very good now.

chris did say, by the way, at the end of her career that she had NEVER considered herself the perfect player at any time in her career and was always aware there were many things she could improve on.
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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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you know, even the footage i saw of joanne russell from the 1980 us open against chris was quite impressive. she had a great approach to the net and was quite tenacious, though she did tend to get lulled into an errant shot from the baseline. but all i see from todays players is errant shots from the baseline...there is no premium from todays players on loose points...they think its excuseable, whereas it was not seen that way in chris' day. The 'go for broke' game of today is a bit desperate in nature...so its hard to prove they have the training to be disciplined, even though the quality of athletes, due to sheer numbers, is very good now.

chris did say, by the way, at the end of her career that she had NEVER considered herself the perfect player at any time in her career and was always aware there were many things she could improve on.
Joanne was a pretty good volleyer, and I still don't understand why a player like Jana Novotna, who could still be cleaning up, at least in the early rounds, at Wimbledon isn't out there exploiting all the unforced errors, especially on grass. You're right, though, Chris (probably more than any other champion) was the absolute best at staying within herself. Her game is perfectly suited for that, and hasn't changed all that much since she was a girl. It's one of the great tennis/accomplishments in history that Jimmy Evert was able to pick up on her strengths so early on, and hone them into near perfection, with a game that would last her a lifetime, and quite a long time at the top. It's a trade-off all of today's players have made, most without even being asked. The game they're learning and playing isn't made to last. It's made to burn brightly and burn out quickly.

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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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The game they're learning and playing isn't made to last. It's made to burn brightly and burn out quickly.
jesus, that is the truth. it really is.
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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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jesus, that is the truth. it really is.
I've actually learned to enjoy playing against consistent baseliners over the years. Not so much backboard pushers, but players like Evert whose strokes are so smooth and finely honed that they have the option of playing outside the hitting of the ball, and get into this flowing zone of tennis. It makes me realize pretty quickly in a match that this is not me, and my only option really is to rob time from their onslaught to rhythm. They force me to shorten points and try to end them at the net, because staying back is going to lose. I for one don't agree with Martina and Billie Jean when they say the serve-and-volley game couldn't be played with today's power. I think it could. We just haven't seen any young 6ft. girl with decent movement and good hands come up through the ranks being taught this style of play, and who is able to take the time it takes to master it. A shame, really, because players like Venus Williams should be playing serve-volley, not a bastardized version of what Chris Evert did, only with a bazillion more unforced errors.

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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2006, 11:59 PM
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I've actually learned to enjoy playing against consistent baseliners over the years. Not so much backboard pushers, but players like Evert whose strokes are so smooth and finely honed that they have the option of playing outside the hitting of the ball, and get into this flowing zone of tennis. It makes me realize pretty quickly in a match that this is not me, and my only option really is to rob time from their onslaught to rhythm. They force me to shorten points and try to end them at the net, because staying back is going to lose. I for one don't agree with Martina and Billie Jean when they say the serve-and-volley game couldn't be played with today's power. I think it could. We just haven't seen any young 6ft. girl with decent movement and good hands come up through the ranks being taught this style of play, and who is able to take the time it takes to master it. A shame, really, because players like Venus Williams should be playing serve-volley, not a bastardized version of what Chris Evert did, only with a bazillion more unforced errors.
you need the swing volley in front of the service line to the service box on the doubles side of the line. You deal with lobs, slice, and two handed power on the backhand side where in Chris's time, it was just one-handers mostly. Look at Nadal, in his final point against Federer concerning swing volley.
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