kinvs vs court question: longevity?
hi everyone! after watching my 1982 wimbledon semi video of billie jean vs chrissie at the age of 38, it got me thinking about billie jean's long longevity to compete at the age of 38 and even the next year at the age of 39! against the best in the world and why margaret court did not do likewise?
the obvious answer i guess is that margaret had children and in terms of her physical self this weakened margaret? for example, towards the end of margaret's career she was racked with injuries, usually leg or ankle injuries, but then again, wasn't billie jean the queen of leg injuries and leg surgeries and yet she could still come back from them year after year?
also, even though court did have children, wasn't she always known as the strongest and fittest player of her time, more than billie jean, so if that is the case why could she not come back even after after children and be able to compete at the very top level until her mid to late 30's like billie jean?
perhaps margaret had too much pride and recognition of her long career and her records and what not, to come back as a 35,36,37,38 year old and a constant loser to evert, martina, and so on. she wouldn't be comfortable as an over the hill also ran? for margaret it was number 1 or nothing?
then perhaps margaret didn't need the money or the fame, was tired of it all, and wanted to spend more time with her husband and children and off the tour and the road?
so perhaps it was a combination of all these things that margaret didn't or couldn't play and compete well as old as billie jean did in 1982 and 1983 as a 38 and 39 year old.
however, there is a small snag i think in billie being able to compete with the best in 1982 and 1983.
that being her best results were on grass. she lost to sue mascarin! sue mascarin in straight sets on the hard courts of the u.s. open just a few months after defeating austin and giving evert a scare at wimbledon? even that was an anamoly since evert crushed king 2 and 2 later in 1982 on grass at the aussie and then a couple months later 1 and 1 indoors on carpet in early 1983.
billie jean did beat jaeger in 3 sets indoors before getting walloped by evert, so billie had great results occassionally during this period namely on grass and indoor courts that suited her game, especially at her age of 38/39. she had so much variety and was a queen of strategy she used her wiles and experienced to still win.
there is another comparison with margaret in this context. margaret while perhaps slightly overall better than billie and stronger, more powerful and faster than billie, by her mid 30's margaret knew she couldn't win this way anymore. and even though she had all these advantages over billie jean, billie jean i think was margaret's superior in variety and strategy, and it was these gifts that allowed billie jean to compete at her advanced age, whereas margaret could not?
king one of the greatest tacticians of all time used everything she had not only her physical skills but her mental strategic skills, when the physical self was not as good, the mental side was still at it's peak, this explains how she was able to beat and frustate opponents half her age. i don't think margaret even though she was a more all around player and like i said stronger, faster and more powerful than billie jean, i don't think margaret had or could use the mental side ( which was always her weakest part anyway) and use strategy to beat the players that billie jean could and did so late in her career.
i don't see a margaret being able to overpower the top players anymore nor can i envision margaret using tactics and wiles and it has to be said " the mind games" that billie used in her later years to win.
comments everyone! have a great day!