Thanks for posting Chris and Steve Flink's take on the French-WTT situation Daze. One passage in particular caught my eye:
Chris would have felt her wins at the French would have been cheapened, since the best competition was not there.
In other words Chris didn't want to go "slumming" !-LOL.
Seriously though, one can see her point. As you mentioned, she could
have requested a special exemption to play the French, but it would hardly have endeared her to WTT. And winning a cheapy Roland Garros must have paled in comparison to keeping her clay streak alive.
People forget how catty the press was towards Evert at this point in her career. For many she was still the emotionless "hatchet woman" (that was really one nickname put on her) as opposed to "sunny" Evonne Goolagong. Had she entered and won RG in 1976 or 1977 its nor hard to imagine her getting flak for trying to "pad" her clay court streak.
And from 1976 to the 1979 French that amazing streak was more important than a missed French title or two.
Switching gears a bit, has anyone seen the 1981 win by Hana over Chris in the semis at the French? From the score it looks like an exciting match.