So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985 - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 2010, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

Just been thinking about how close both of these years were between Chris and Martina, and how Chris missed out being no.1 in both of these years. If Chris had beaten Martina in the Toyota Final, would she really have done enough to be no.1 that year? Ditto 1985 and the Australian Open Final? Which year did she have the stronger case for no.1?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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Just been thinking about how close both of these years were between Chris and Martina, and how Chris missed out being no.1 in both of these years. If Chris had beaten Martina in the Toyota Final, would she really have done enough to be no.1 that year? Ditto 1985 and the Australian Open Final? Which year did she have the stronger case for no.1?
I think Martina was definitely the #1 for 1982 even if Chris had won the Toyota Final. 1985 though Chris would have been the rightful #1 had she won the Australian Open final.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 2010, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

I recently watched that Toyota F for the first time only recently, and was surprised at what a great match it was. In contrast, I thought the 85 AO was really patchy and both were really nervous.

As I recall, though they were tied for GS in 82, Martina still had a better match winning % and more titles. Can't remember whether whether she would still have been ahead in the H2H for that year.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 2010, 09:46 PM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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I recently watched that Toyota F for the first time only recently, and was surprised at what a great match it was. In contrast, I thought the 85 AO was really patchy and both were really nervous.

As I recall, though they were tied for GS in 82, Martina still had a better match winning % and more titles. Can't remember whether whether she would still have been ahead in the H2H for that year.
To me Navratilova was far and away the best player of 1982. Even with a loss to Evert in the Toyota finals, Navratilova would have ended 1982 with a stupendous 89-4 record in singles. Besides MN, in addition to winning the French and Wimbledon, also dominated the Avon circuit and reached the Avon finals. Navratilova led the final head-to-head for that year 3-1, but I daresay it'd have been more lopsided had Evert not avoided having to play Navratilova on carpet by skipping pretty much the entire Avon indoor circuit.

Wimbledon final: Navratilova d. Evert 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Brighton final: Navratilova d. Evert 6-1, 6-4
Australian Open final: Evert d. Navratilova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Toyota Series final: Navratilova d. Evert 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Plus, Evert lost twice as many matches that year (3x Navratilova, 3x Jaeger) although Navratilova did have a couple of "bad" losses (1x Hanika, 1x Shriver). It's a shame that Evert lost to Jaegs in the semis of both Hilton Head and Roland Garros. I think Navratilova was ready to beat Evert on clay that season and could have done it at least once if not on both occasions.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

I'm not sure that a judgment can be made on what Martina would have done if Evert had gone to some finals. Based on those stats if Chris had beaten Martina, they would have been 2 GS each, even on H2H. Chris would only have had 2 more losses for the year than Martina, but as you say, Martina had some bad losses. Out of interest what were Chris's other two losses?

Last edited by BCP; Oct 9th, 2010 at 06:51 AM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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To me Navratilova was far and away the best player of 1982. Even with a loss to Evert in the Toyota finals, Navratilova would have ended 1982 with a stupendous 89-4 record in singles. Besides MN, in addition to winning the French and Wimbledon, also dominated the Avon circuit and reached the Avon finals. Navratilova led the final head-to-head for that year 3-1, but I daresay it'd have been more lopsided had Evert not avoided having to play Navratilova on carpet by skipping pretty much the entire Avon indoor circuit.

Wimbledon final: Navratilova d. Evert 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Brighton final: Navratilova d. Evert 6-1, 6-4
Australian Open final: Evert d. Navratilova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Toyota Series final: Navratilova d. Evert 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Plus, Evert lost twice as many matches that year (3x Navratilova, 3x Jaeger) although Navratilova did have a couple of "bad" losses (1x Hanika, 1x Shriver). It's a shame that Evert lost to Jaegs in the semis of both Hilton Head and Roland Garros. I think Navratilova was ready to beat Evert on clay that season and could have done it at least once if not on both occasions.
Navratilova ended up losing the Avon final to Sylvia Hanika of all people so dont be so sure Chris wouldnt have had a chance.

As for beating Chris on clay, the scores you show indicate Martina was still having a real battle with Chris even on her favorite surfaces so if Chris were in top form than unlikely probably. As it was though Chris losing to Jaeger twice in a row on clay indicates she was far from her best on clay this year.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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Chris would only have had 2 more losses for the year than Martina, but as you say, Martina had some bad losses. Out of interest what were Chris's other two losses?
Navratilova's losses
Avon Champs F (indoor): lost to Sylvia Hanika 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
US Open QF (hard): lost to Pam Shriver 1-6, 7-6, 6-2
Australian Open F (grass): lost to Chris Evert 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Evert's losses
Avon Series of Oakland F (indoor): lost to Andrea Jaeger 7-6, 6-4
Family Circle Cup SF (clay): lost to Andrea Jaeger 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
French Open SF (clay): lost to Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 6-1
Wimbledon F (grass): lost to Martina Navratilova 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Brighton F (indoor): lost to Martina Navratilova 6-1, 6-4
Toyota Series Champs F (indoor): lost to Martina Navratilova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

1985 seems a much closer year as you guys said before.

Navratilova won eleven titles to Evert's eight and had five losses to Evert's eight. Had Evert won the final in Kooyong, the record of losses would have been closer (Evert with seven losses to Navratilova's six). Their personal head-to-head for 1985 was 4-2 in Navratilova's favour, which, of course, would have been an even 3-3 if the Australian final had gone the other way.

Titles won

Navratilova
Hard: Lipton International Championships (Delray Beach), Lynda Carter/Maybelline Classic (Fort Lauderdale)
Clay: Tournament of Champions (Orlando), Virginia Slims of Houston
Grass: Pilkington Glass Championships (Eastbourne), Wimbledon, National Panasonic Women's Classic (Brisbane), Family Circle NSW Open (Sydney), Australian Open
Indoor: Virginia Slims of Dallas, Virginia Slims Championships

Evert
Hard: Virginia Slims of Florida (Key Biscayne), Canadian Open, Virginia Slims of New Orleans
Clay: Family Circle Cup (Hilton Head Island), German Open (Berlin), French Open
Grass: Virginia Slims of Newport
Indoor: Pretty Polly Classic (Brighton)


Losses

Navratilova
Hard:
Virginia Slims of Florida, Key Biscayne (F): Evert d. Navratilova 6-2, 6-4
Canadian Open, Toronto (QF): Claudia Kohde Kilsch d. Navratilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
US Open (F): Mandlikova d. Navratilova 7-6, 1-6, 7-6

Clay:
French Open (F): Evert d. Navratilova 6-3, 6-7, 7-5

Indoor:
US Pro Indoors, Princeton (SF): Mandlikova d. Navratilova 7-6, 6-0

Evert
Hard:
Lipton International Championships, Delray Beach (F): Navratilova d. Evert 6-2, 6-4
US Open (SF): Mandlikova d. Evert 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Clay:
Sunkist WITA Championships, Amelia Island (F): Garrison d. Evert 6-4, 6-3

Grass:
Wimbledon F: Navratilova d. Evert 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Australian Open F: Navratilova d. Evert 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

Indoor:
Virginia Slims of California, Oakland (F): Mandlikova d. Evert 6-2, 6-4
Virginia Slims of Dallas (F): Navratilova d. Evert 6-3, 6-4
Virginia Slims Championships (1R): Jordan d. Evert 6-2, 1-6, 6-2


Clearly Navratilova was much less dominant in 1985 than she had been in 1984 and it seems to me that the biggest fall she took was on hard courts, winning only two titles all year, and losing once each to Evert, Kohde Kilsch, and Mandlikova. As such the Kohde Kilsch match was Navratilova's only "bad" loss whereas Evert had two of those (the Jordan loss at the Slims and the Garrison loss in Amelia Island). Both of them, however, won at least one title on all four surfaces. Navratilova was the clear leader on grass (not losing a single match) and indoors, and Evert edged out her rival on clay. Hard courts were a bit of tossup, with each winning one big title (MN getting the Lipton and CE winning the Canadian) but losing at the US Open to the same player (Mandlikova).

Ultimately I think Navratilova still had the better year, especially since she also won the Slims title in MSG. I also wonder whether Evert would have made it to #1 at all that year had the diminishing returns ranking system not been in place.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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Navratilova's losses
Avon Champs F (indoor): lost to Sylvia Hanika 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
US Open QF (hard): lost to Pam Shriver 1-6, 7-6, 6-2
Australian Open F (grass): lost to Chris Evert 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Evert's losses
Avon Series of Oakland F (indoor): lost to Andrea Jaeger 7-6, 6-4
Family Circle Cup SF (clay): lost to Andrea Jaeger 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
French Open SF (clay): lost to Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 6-1
Wimbledon F (grass): lost to Martina Navratilova 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Brighton F (indoor): lost to Martina Navratilova 6-1, 6-4
Toyota Series Champs F (indoor): lost to Martina Navratilova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Thanks for this. This means that if Chris has beaten Martina, then it would have been 5 losses to 4, with Chris only losing to Martina and Andrea. A lot closer than what actually occurred surely?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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Navratilova ended up losing the Avon final to Sylvia Hanika of all people so dont be so sure Chris wouldnt have had a chance.

As for beating Chris on clay, the scores you show indicate Martina was still having a real battle with Chris even on her favorite surfaces so if Chris were in top form than unlikely probably. As it was though Chris losing to Jaeger twice in a row on clay indicates she was far from her best on clay this year.
also, chris was playing with wood while martina was playing with graphite at this point; even then, chris STILL beat her on GRASS at the aussie open. Hard to make any fargone conclusions about an evert/navratilova match up on clay where chris had the clear mental edge.

I dont think chris would have been #1 on the computer if she took that slims championships final, but yes she would have been number one on the slims/avon points for the year.

in '85, it is clear she would have been #1 on the computer had she won.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

I wonder how everyone would have felt had Hana won the 85 AO. It would have been really hard to rank the 3 then.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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also, chris was playing with wood while martina was playing with graphite at this point; even then, chris STILL beat her on GRASS at the aussie open. Hard to make any fargone conclusions about an evert/navratilova match up on clay where chris had the clear mental edge.

I dont think chris would have been #1 on the computer if she took that slims championships final, but yes she would have been number one on the slims/avon points for the year.

in '85, it is clear she would have been #1 on the computer had she won.
In 1985, had Evert beaten Martina in the Australian Open final, I don't think she would have been #1 on the computer. Martina had already overtaken Chris as #1 at the time of their Australian Open match, even though Chris was seeded #1, as seeds were made prior to Oz draw. Chris was defending champ, so she couldn't have increased her point average much. Martina, had she lost, would have improved from SF to RU.

Now if Chris had won the 1985 Australian Open, I think she would have had a legitimate claim to #1. Winning 2 majors to Martina's 1, beating Martina in 2 of those finals, with them having a 3-3 H2H for the year would have nudged Chris past Martina in my mind as #1.

In 1982, it would have been very interesting how year end rankings would have looked. A win in the Toyota finals would have meant 2-2 in their H2H. Each would have 2 majors, but Evert would have claimed a season ending championships, and a win over Martina to boot. Seeing that she was #1 the prior year might have meant she had the psychological edge. Some folks might have felt Martina again failed to 'seal the deal' and cement her status as #1.

Martina might have made her case for #1 in 1982 and 1985, even if she had lost the Toyota and Australian finals respectively. She still would have had a better W-L record, with more title and fewer losses in both years. In 1982, some would argue that Martina playing a full year, and only losing to Chris at the very end of the year would have meant Chris wasn't really the best player all year. In 1985, Martina won the VS Championships in March, while Evert lost 1R. One thing for sure is that Mandlikova's win over Evert and Navratilova in the US Open made the remainder of the year quite interesting.

However, Evert didn't win the Toyota or Australian finals, Martina did, and was definitely #1 for those years.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 2010, 02:29 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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In 1985, had Evert beaten Martina in the Australian Open final, I don't think she would have been #1 on the computer. Martina had already overtaken Chris as #1 at the time of their Australian Open match, even though Chris was seeded #1, as seeds were made prior to Oz draw. Chris was defending champ, so she couldn't have increased her point average much. Martina, had she lost, would have improved from SF to RU.

Now if Chris had won the 1985 Australian Open, I think she would have had a legitimate claim to #1. Winning 2 majors to Martina's 1, beating Martina in 2 of those finals, with them having a 3-3 H2H for the year would have nudged Chris past Martina in my mind as #1.
they discuss it in the commentary of the match...back then, the more recent 6 months somehow counted more --which is just nuts-- and because Navratilova had become the #1 ranked player, a win by chris would give her extra points for upsetting a player above her. (something about bonus points for beating top 10 players whenever ranked above you) It was absolutely factual that chris was #1 on the computer if she won that match, despite already being the australian open defending champion.

martina was furious about it of course, so her complaints to the press about possibly losing her #1 ranking were discussed during the match.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 2010, 06:22 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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they discuss it in the commentary of the match...back then, the more recent 6 months somehow counted more --which is just nuts-- and because Navratilova had become the #1 ranked player, a win by chris would give her extra points for upsetting a player above her. (something about bonus points for beating top 10 players whenever ranked above you) It was absolutely factual that chris was #1 on the computer if she won that match, despite already being the australian open defending champion.
Didn't know that. I guess the bonus points Chris would have gotten for beating #1 Martina certainly helped her cause, since they were more valuable than her 1984 win over Sukova (who I don't think was top 10 at the time).

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martina was furious about it of course, so her complaints to the press about possibly losing her #1 ranking were discussed during the match.
Not surprising Martina would have been complaining. Then again, had Chris won, Evert would have had 2 majors to Martina's 1, their H2H would have been even, but Chris would have triumphed in 2 major finals, including one on grass. It was obviously a very close year, and it really did come down to that one match.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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Re: So close, yet so far: 1982 & 1985

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I wonder how everyone would have felt had Hana won the 85 AO. It would have been really hard to rank the 3 then.
Actually it becomes easier for me to rank Navratilova at #1 if Mandlikova had beaten the Big Two again in Kooyong. In spite of winning two Grand Slams, Mandlikova would have been a relative flop at the other two Slams, losing to Claudia Kohde Kilsch in the quarters in Paris and, worse still, being beaten by Liz Sayers Smylie in the third round at Wimbledon. Across the four Slams and the Slims Championships, their records would have been (F,W,F,SF,W) for Navratilova; (W,F,SF,F,1R) for Evert; and (QF,3R,W,W,F) for Mandlikova. Taking the whole year into account, I'd still have to go with Navratilova as #1, Evert as #2, and Mandlikova as #3.

Navratilova would have been the only player to reach at least the semis at all five events. A Mandlikova triumph at the Australian would have given her a 2-1 head-to-head against Navratilova and a 2-0 record against Madame Evert Lloyd at "the majors" and the Big Two would have split their two meetings in the top five events. Although Mandlikova would appear to have performed the best when it mattered, I think her bad losses and her pedestrian record across the year (3 titles not counting the Aussie; 2 losses to Kohde Kilsch; 2 losses to Garrison; 1 loss each to Rinaldi, Lindqvist, Bassett, Karlsson, and Sayers Smylie) would need to count against her. (And you have no idea how painful it is for me to rank that Evert woman above my beloved Mandlikova )

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)

Last edited by samn; Oct 10th, 2010 at 09:18 AM.
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