Reminisce: Evert vs. Goolagong
OK, all you oldie-goldies and lovers of women's tennis. I posted these results in the Chris Evert general message thread, and it got me to thinking it might be interesting to share memories about the matches we've seen the greats play over the years. I'll start by posting the Evert-Goolagong match results (incomplete list), and share a few thoughts about one of the matches now and others eventually when time permits.
1972 Wimbledon Grass (O) SF Evonne CAWLEY 6-4 3-6 4-6
1973 Australian Open Grass (O) FR Evonne CAWLEY 6-7 6-4 0-6
1974 US Open Grass (O) SF Evonne CAWLEY 0-6 7-6 3-6
1975 US Open Clay (O) FR Chris EVERT 5-7 6-4 6-2
1976 Wimbledon Grass (O) FR Chris EVERT 6-3 4-6 8-6
1976 US Open Clay (O) FR Chris EVERT 6-3 6-0
1978 Boston Carpet (I) FR Evonne CAWLEY 6-4 1-6 4-6
1979 Wimbledon Grass (O) SF Chris EVERT 6-3 6-2
1979 U.S. Clay Courts Clay (O) FR Chris EVERT 6-4 6-3
1979 US Open Hard (O) QF Chris EVERT 7-5 6-2
1980 Chichester Grass (O) FR Chris EVERT 6-3 6-7 7-5
1980 Wimbledon Grass (O) FR Evonne CAWLEY 1-6 6-7
1981 Sydney Grass (O) QF Chris EVERT 6-2 6-0
1983 French Open Clay (O) 32 Chris EVERT 6-2 6-2
I'll speak first to the 76 Wimbledon final. The tennis was a bit up and down, but I thought it was a classic. Hey, I was 15 and in love with Chris Evert! What I remember was that it was a very hot Wimbledon and it never rained. The courts played like a hard court. In fact, that was Borg's first Wimbledon win as well.
Chris started the match with a lot against her. Evonne had dominated the Slims tour that year, including beating Chris in the Slims final, and Chris had never beaten Evonne on grass. Plus, I seem to recall that Evonne had dominated their sets during the first half of the World Team Tennis season. I remember being nervous the whole first set because I knew Evonne seemed to have Chris' number in big matches. But Chris played a solid first set and won it. Then Evonne moved to a different plateau, took the second with relative ease and moved to 4-2 in the third. I despaired, thinking all was lost when suddenly Chris found her groove. I can't remember the various shots, but Chris's passing shots were suddenly on the mark, she kept Evonne on the baseline, and the match seemed incredibly close. Finally, Evert got to match point and struck a beautiful topspin backhand lob over Goolagong at the net. Goolagong (She was Cawley by then). Evonne merely turned her head, then smiled and congratulated Chris. Chris actually threw her racket when she won, very high in the air. I think I read once where that was the only time she ever did that in a match. I was thrilled! That's one of the wonderful things about youth, isn't it. Monica Seles is my current favorite, and even if she were to win another Grand Slam, I don't think I'd feel the same way as I did with Chris' Wimbledon win in 1976. Other thoughts on other matches?