Interesting musings. However, one has to remember that Court was suffering at that Wimbledon with a virus (and a bad back I think) and really didn't have the energy to fight such a tough battle in that Semi against Evert. This was validated by the fact that Court beat Evert on clay in the French Open Final and also on grass at the USO and finally on hardcourt in the WITC Final. So Court definately had the wood on Evert in that season, and had she have been healthy I also believe she could well have won that Wimbledon Semi.
The other thing to note, is that prior to Court retiring to have her 2nd child, she was 4-4 in her clashes with Evert. She only faltered in her battles with Evert after coming back in 1975. No surprises there - after 2 births Court was just a shadow of her former self. At the end of 1973 Evert was interviewed in the WITC Finals and she said she always had really tough matches with Court. Whoever won usually won in a tight encounter. But she said she either won easily, or lost easily to King. And I think that was more surface related. So to suggest that others gave Evert a tougher time is not accurate.
Court was one of the few women (along with Richey) who could really push Evert in a baseline battle and it was a shame Court had to retire in 71 and 74 because I think their rivalry could have been a magic one during that time period if you look at the great clashes they had against each other in 1973:
1970 Charlotte, NC SF EVERT 7-6, 7-6
1972 Bonne Belle Cup EVERT 6-3, 6-3
1972 Indianapolis, IN SF EVERT 6-3, 7-6
1972 Newport, RI SF COURT 6-3, 6-0
1973 French Open F COURT 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1973 Wimbledon SF EVERT 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
1973 U.S. Open SF COURT 7-5, 2-6, 6-2
1973 Hilton Head, SC Final COURT 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
Hi tennisvideos thanks for such a great and informative posting. Sorry, but I still disagree and think Evert ranks above Court as the greatest singles player because although Court balanced up the record, remember Chrissie was nowhere near the peak of her powers and even then could challenge Court to tough three setters up to 73.
Also what I find intersting is that Chrissie performed well against Court, King & Goolagong on grass even though it was her worst surface. This was in a era when grass was the dominant surface and she was not that accomplished volleyer 71 -73. Wimby 74 - 76 showed how much she had improved. I really have enjoyed watching the emerging Chris Evert develop into a great champion during this period.
The players I would rate above Chris would be Wills Moody, Lenglen, Connolly, Graf, Navratilova & King because of their dominant Wimbledon singles records wins! Venus & Serena's records unfortunatley, could challenge Chrissie's record, although I don't feel they are consistent enough across the surfaces.
I also feel if Tracy's career had not been blighted so much she would easily have swung the Evert-Navratilova dominance, as in her heyday she hammered them both easily and until end 81 was a dominant force. Shame her career was cut short. At the time Tracy was not fully appreciated and looking back I am saddened how her career ended. I have noted that women's tennis is marred by short careers and bad luck: Connolly, Austin, Jaegar, Seles, Capriati and Lenglen to name but a few.
I do feel Court and Evert are similar in their mental attitude and demeanour on the the tennis court. Neither had the histrionics of King or Navratilova - who quite frankly used to irritate me with their glares, scowles, fist-pumping and jumping up and down at times!
Watching Margaret play I felt she was a very respectful player of the opponent. Although, in her biography she was was not very complimentary of Maria Bueno, implying Maria was a bad loser. Chris and Margaret both seemed to be very cool and calm about the court. Also they played with grace and style. Chris had a lot of respect for Margaret but rates her above BJK in her 82 biography, putting her money on BJK to win in their matches. Margaret also in Virginia Wade's Ladies of the Court 1985
, says of Chris, "...she will go down in history as a great player, so many records and match winning streaks, that alone tells the class of the player"
It is okay to agree to disagree! That is the interesting thing about reflections on rankings and players
If we all agree it would be boring! Also it is nice to get different opinions on these postings and I have really enjoyed communicating with Chris Evert Enthusiasts and other tennis fans.