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Old May 26th, 2004, 11:26 AM   #1
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1979 to 1981: Tracy Austin was the best.

Comparing the results of the 3 top players in those 3 years (Austin, Evert, Navratilova):

1. Tournament wins:
1. Austin (23 out of 49 = 46.9%),
2. Evert (22/47=46.8%),
3. Navratilova (29/64=45.3%)

2. On 17 occassions the 3 played the same event.
1. Navratilova had the best result 6 times (out of those 17), 2nd best 8 times.
2. Austin was the best 6 times, 2nd best 4 times.
3. Evert was the best 5 times, 2nd best 5 times.

3. Major tournaments: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, Australian Open, Avon Championships, Toyota Championships.
1. Austin won 5 (out of 12),
2. Navratilova 5 (of 15),
3. Evert 4 (of 14).

4. Matchrecord:
1. Evert 220:24 (90.2%),
2. Austin 212:24 (89.8%),
3. Navratilova 257:35 (88%).

5. Head-to-Head:
1. Austin (9:9 vs. Navratilova, 9:3 vs. Evert),
2. Navratilova (8:6 vs. Evert),
3. Evert

6. Consistency:
1. Evert (lost 5 times before the semis in 47 tourneys),
2. Navratilova (lost 7 times before the semis in 64),
3. Austin (lost 9 times before the semis in 49).
All of them lost twice before the semis at a major.

I thought these were the most important categories. Any other suggestions?

Austin leads in 3 of them, being last only once: 4 quarterfinal losses in 1981 spoiled her constency record. Altogether she's a quite clear number one.

It's close between Navratilova and Evert, Evert leads in 2 out of those 6 categories (Navratilova only once), but Evert played more tournaments when neither Navratilova nor Austin were around hence her better match- and constitency record. Still, Evert won Wimbledon 81 and US Open 80, the 2 biggest events, Navratilova only Wimbledon 79, so I'd give Evert a (close) number 2 spot.
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