View Full Version : Greatest match of the 1980s: Evert vs Navratilova 1985, RG (footage)

Steffica Greles
Apr 9th, 2008, 01:56 AM
Greatest match of all time? Some would still say so.


Here's some context. I was only three years old, but I've read a great deal about this match nonetheless.

One year earlier, in the 1984 final at Roland Garros, Navratilova had affirmed her dominance by sweeping the former 'queen of clay' aside in an embarrassingly one-sided match. Some list Navratilova's performance that day as among the greatest of all-time; she had captured the tour's former leading player's last great bastion of strength: the clay court championship of the world.

Married, twenty-nine years of age, having lost ten matches in succession to Navratilova at that point (she would lose a couple more before she finally ended the sequence), the pressure was on 'Mrs Lloyd' to retire. Her game was looking increasingly light-weight, tired, and ineffective against the aggression of Martina Navratilova, who had taken athleticism beyond the bounds of femininity, to a level unprecedented at that point. People started to write Chris off. Besides, John Lloyd, Chris' husband, was at the end of his career, and it was customary for a 'lady' such as Chris Evert to move on to a new life in support of her husband.

This final was when, for me, Chris Evert proved that she was not only a great champion, but one of the great phenomenon's of women's sport.

Instead of retiring on her laurels, Chris faced up to the challenge, and by 1985 was once again threatening the number one ranking, which she seized from Navratilova for a time during that year.

In these clips you'll see a player quick enough, and powerful enough, particularly from the backhand side, to meet the challenge of modern tennis. Lesser women would have baulked, but not Chris.

Chris' last grandslam final was in 1988, aged 33, and she remained inside the world's top four for the rest of her career, even when Graf and Sabatini rose to prominence. She retired shortly before her 35th birthday, in 1989.

Watch these clips.

Chris hits a pretty mean ball on that backhand, one of the legendary shots of women's tennis.

Apr 9th, 2008, 02:22 AM
Thank you :)

I've already read a lot about this match but I've never really seen much from it.