I stand corrected. I didn't know the Italian was held after the French that year. I could've sworn Chrissie mentions in one of her books she and her mother had split leading up to the French. It must have been another tournament.
Yes, the Italian was definitely held after the French in 1973. Anyway, it's worth reproducing what Rex Bellamy had written about that amazing French Open final between Chris and Margaret in 1973:
"... Mrs Court’s astonishing competitive qualities, her refusal to accept defeat even when logic most firmly insists on it, have never been better demonstrated than they were today. She missed her chances in the first set, when she won 11 of the first 12 points, led 4-1, had two set points at 6-5, and in the tiebreak led 5-2 with two services to come. She looked done for when she played a loose service game to go 3-5 down in the second set. In retrospect, the next game was the key to the match. Miss Evert made two errors on each flank to lose the game to love.
"Even so it seemed unreasonable that Mrs Court, conceding 12 years and 5 months, should come back to win. Yet she won a thrilling tiebreak game in which three successive shots (two of them Mrs Court’s) hit the lines after Miss Evert had led by five points to four. Then Mrs Court came out for the third set, in which the odds favoured the younger player, and somehow found the reserves of strength and stamina to increase the pressure. She led 4-1. Miss Evert fought back to 3-4, then made three errors to go 3-5 down. There was a lot of excitement to come. But Mrs Court was the sounder in the last trembling crisis. The last two points were decided by backhands down the line. Mrs Court hit one in, Miss Evert hit one out.
"Even then, when it was over, we could hardly believe that Mrs Court had come back from a set and 3-5 down to win. She has been (and remains) one of the greatest players in the game. No woman can challenge her impact on the records. Yet in our awed respect for this astonishing woman we can also admire the remarkable qualities of her precocious rival. Miss Evert reached the last four of her first two United States Championships and did the same last year at her first Wimbledon. Here, competing for the first time, she lost only 14 games in the five matches she played to reach the final; and then, amid the daunting immensity of the colourfully crowded centre court, produced her best tennis (at least, for much of the match) against a player whose very name must frighten any youngster conscious of what happened in all our yesterdays.
"As a spectacle the match lacked enchantment. Such splendour as there was arose from the dramatic fluctuations of the score, from the admirable resolution, wit and skill of both players, and from the relentlessly gruelling nature of the duel between them. Miss Evert imposed a highly concentrated, pounding pressure that induced either error or impatience, or both. She kept changing the pace and exploring the full width of the court. She grunted with effort.
"If Mrs Court stayed back she risked being out-rallied. If she went to the forecourt she risked being passed or lobbed. All the time she was subjected to a nagging assault on her backhand. Yet she gritted her teeth and sweated it out. She attacked whenever she dared. She realised that Miss Evert’s service was vulnerable. In the third set, in particular, she exploited her obvious advantage in playing the “big” game. But to the last it was a desperately close and exciting match."