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Old Feb 7th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #2266
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by Jakebfletch View Post
I was just chatting with someone about 1979 and we were debating who we think should be crowned Queen of Clay for that year, between Chris and Tracy Austin. Chris won the French Open and Vienna, in the absence of Austin. Austin won Hilton Head and Rome, infamously snapping Evert's 125 match winning streak on clay, as well as beating the likes of Goolagong, Reid, Jausovec and Ruzici to win the titles. They also both helped the US win the Fed Cup on clay in Spain that spring too, so what do you think? Should we weight the French Open heavier or go with Austin's more impressive wins? Who was the Queen of Clay 1979?
Tracy the Queen of Clay for 1979? Me thinketh, NOT!

There was room for only one Queen of Clay, and she wasn't about to abdicate that year, especially to Tracy. Yeah, yeah, Tracy won the FCC (thanks to Chrissie starting her road to divorcing hubby #1) and the Italian Open. But, did Tracy enter the all important US Clay Courts that summer? Noooooooooooooooo.. And of course, Chris did, and won the event - over Evonne. Naturally, Tracy feared Chris in the all-important US clay Court title!!!

And yes, the French was one of the four major events for the year. Even if Tracy's momma wouldn't let her stay in Europe. Tracy had to finish her 11th grade algebra homework!!!

So Chris was absolutely Queen of Clay for '79!!!
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Old Feb 7th, 2013, 06:44 AM   #2267
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by daze11 View Post
We had to answer the question about WTT on Chrissie's facebook page, which they have since irritatingly erased by removing the 'message board' section of the pages! We had slightly different numbers on prize money than you have listed here Rollo - but I think we got that actually from a prior conversation on the topic here in THE BLAST... plus the book 'the art of team tennis' which says Jack Kramer (who turned out to be an arch enemy of the women's tour) worked to undercut the ITLF deal (which sanctioned WTT for $48,000 with the provision that WTT players could be excused from the league to enter the Italian and French Opens) - & persuading 14 European Federations to ban WTTers.

But anyway, this was what we wrote, with input from Steve Flink, Chris & others, regarding those World Team Tennis years:

"World Team Tennis was a very sticky situation. The French Open banned players who participated in World Team Tennis from playing, but only in 1974. The result of this is that Connors and Goolagong were banned. So Jimmy and Evonne sued to be allowed to play, as both were chasing Grand Slams. Connors then went on to win all 3 slams besides the French, so one can imagine how bitter he was. ‘Bitter’ and ‘Goolagong’ are two words that don't really go together, but still she did not return to Roland Garros until 1982.

So in retaliation against that decision by the French Federation, regarding those bans, certainly some players decided not to go back during those years. But as for Chris, she could in theory have asked for a modification of her contract with WTT in order to be able to play the French Open but she just was not interested, as she would not want ‘special treatment’ from what everyone else had to accept, plus she was clearly siding with the new WTA (which promoted the WTT) in building the new women’s circuit that was more determined to get higher prize money for the women & let them call more of the shots. In line with that, the money in WTT was just too much to pass up for a run at the French, which paid less than $6,000 to the winner. So the French Open's prize money was really representing the ‘old guard’ and so were in part responsible for the lowering in prestige of that event.

Add to this that already, the best female players were competing in WTT instead of the European tournaments on clay since the best players felt that they did not get enough money and recognition going that route. So this alone, with all other considerations aside, was enough justification to skip it, since Chris would have felt her wins at the French would have been cheapened, since the best competition was not there.

But the more positive spin is to see that in any battle, there are sacrifices, and by siding with the WTA that brought the prominence to the women’s game they were all striving for, that this is itself a worthy sacrifice of a few Grand Slam titles. It all goes with being part of foundational group laying the groundwork for the future of tennis, and Chris is certainly very proud of that."


Steve added separately, "Chris probably was sorry when her career was over that she missed out on an almost-certain three more French titles, but she had no incentive to play in such a weak field in Paris. In 78, for instance, there was that big struggle for No. 1 between her and Martina when Martina won Wimbledon and Chris took the Open. Even though Martina had won the Virginia Slims Championships in the spring, all of us considered the Colgate Series Championships in the fall to be the third biggest tournament of the year. Chris evened her record with Martina to 2-2 for the year by beating Navratilova in the Colgate final, and that was why our magazine (World Tennis), Tennis Magazine and almost all authorities gave Chris the No. 1 ranking for the year instead of Martina, who was ahead of Chris on the WTA computer. Chris winning again in straight sets in Tokyo at the end of the year further solidified it. So again, the French Open--- particularly for the women--- was hardly seen as a major in most of those years."

So anyway, I think we can agree, the Aussie Open even less so.... Chris actually stopped going because she was very similar in game & approach to Borg, and Bjorn basically said the tennis season is the only sport played year-round and his mind needed some kind of break in the year, and the AO being around xmas time then (late December), it was chosen as the time to 'take off'... Chris thought it was quite sensible & did the same. It did cost her the ranking on the Computer in 78 however because she did take off so much of the start of the year, and wasnt gaining points, even if everyone knew she was the best player still.

Its funny but back then 'human perspective' was still valued & honored, and not as much weight given to computerized interpretation. In any case, the computer nowadays takes way more variables into account, so who knows how it would have rated things back in '78. Chris would have been seen by today's computer as having played enough tournaments to have it not bring down her points, where then playing more equaled more points, period.
One thing about WTT and the women. It was BJK's baby. But she wasn't going to give up a chance at Wimbledon! I believe that after Billie won the French in 1972 (thanks to Chrissie not entering!) she didn't care about the event anymore. While the women weren't getting paid much (they weren't getting paid much outside of the V.S. circuit, really!), it was still a prestigious event. But WTT capturing most of the top women from 1974-1978 really hurt the women's game in Europe for a decade or more.

I agree with Steve Flink that Chris probably wishes she had played the French back then, along with all of the top women. Crazy, because from 1976-1978 Chris was virtually untouchable on clay. I think she might have been pushed, with perhaps a Barker, Jausovec, or Ruzici taking a set. But a set was all she would even contemplate giving up! No doubt Evert would have reigned supreme those years in Paris. Even in 1976, I don't think Goolagong would have been a match for Evert on red clay. And no way was Martina beating her in those years, even 1978. C'est la vie! I don't think Chris has regrets playing WTT, and being part of the gang at that time. She didn't have any hesitation once WTT folded, and the European events upped their prize money. Chris' successful 1979 European clay spring was a highlight of an otherwise spotty year for her.

I also believe that if Chris had played the French in 1978, and with all other results being the same, would have been an even more universal choice as #1 for the year. Even if her French win came against a "weakened" field. I also miss the days when the tennis mags and others compiled rankings lists. The WTA surely coudl have used those the last few years, to avoid some of the computer ranking debacles of Wozniacki ending the year #1, or even Azarenka last year, over Serena.
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Old Feb 7th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #2268
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by daze11 View Post
My take is that Hana could beat anyone in tennis history on any surface, if she was in the magic zone...It seemed she could do no wrong. Yet whats interesting about that series of matches was how easily Chris beat her at Wimbledon right afterward ~ when you'd think Chris would maybe have had those scores on clay & Hana the other scores on grass!

Another thought on Tracy/French Open 1979 is that Tracy was 16... never won a slam yet, and thats just a much more giant a stage to try to beat Evert on, especially if you beat her in Rome and she wants to annihilate you in front of the entire world, a habit for revenge that was her specialty. Kudos to Tracy she won the Us Open later in the year, but cant forget she was indeed the youngest ever champion. Her odds in Paris would not be too good.


Chris would have been in a good place for the Dec 1975 Aussie Open because she was in the midst of what would be an 8-match winning streak against Goolagong... if she was ever going to meet her successfully in Australia, that would be it. It was too early for Martina to trouble her and too late for Court to do so... and she'd be awfully motivated after losing that match to King at wimbledon when up 3-0 in the 3rd before Connors came in with a babe on his arm, after which Chris dropped 6 straight games... Another example where her instinct for on-court revenge would push her to remorseless levels of focus.

She was also on a major winning streak at the end of 1977, beating Wade, King, Navratilova while dropping only 1 set in 5 matches against that group ~ and with Goolagong out of the way makin' babies, she'd be a heavy favorite.
Evert did not play the Australian Open from 1975-1980. From 1975-1977 it was played in January (sometimes starting the last few days of December, but ending in January). In 1977, there were 2 Australian Opens; one ending in January, the other in December. Then from 1978 on, the event was played in November, and eventually into December, until 1987, when it moved back to January.

Here's my take on how Evert might have fared the years she didn't play:

1975 - A toss up if Evert met Goolagong in the final. (Navratilova upset Court in the QF and lost to Evonne int he finals. Morozova was also entered). Evonne had beaten Chris in the 1974 final, and beat Chris on grass at Forest Hills in September, and again indoors in the VS Finals. So I imagine Evonne had the mental edge at the time.

1976 - If Evert had played (and even if other top players did too), I believe it would have been another Chris-Evonne show. I give Chris a 55% chance of winning. Chris did beat Evonne just a week after the 1976 Australian Open, at the L'Eggs World Series 4 player exo. But that was on hard courts. And Evonne may have been tired from the post-Aussie trip. Still, Evert was playing well at the end of 1975, so I have to think she was mentally ready to beat Evonne on grass Down Under.

1977 (January) - With Evonne out due to her daughter's birth, I have to think Chris was the overwhelming favorite. Court did return for some of the pre-Aussie events. Martina won Sydney in December 1976. Even though Martina beat Chris in the first 1977 Slims event, I'm not sure Martina would have been up for toppling Chris in a major at that time. But you never know. I give Chris decent odds for winning that year. But I wouldn't argue too much if someone said Court, Navratilova, or even Fromholtz might have gotten the better of her that year.

1977 (December) - Evonne did return, and was on a tear that year. Chris had already committed to a break from the tour post-Colgate Championships. So it's somewhat doubtful Evert would have played that year. Given that she seemed a bit burned out, even had she played, this is one year I think she would not have won.

1978 - It really would have been very interesting if all the top women played Down Under that year. Many were there for the Fed Cup, and some of the warm up events. With Martina as reigning Wimbledon champ, plus Wade, Reid, Turnbull, and Fromholtz in the mix, it would have been a fun event. A toss up as to who would have won. Although I am pretty sure it would not have been Chris O'Neill.

1979 - This was the year that Evert played more tournaments and matches than any other year. Plus she got married. So I say it's doubtful Evert would have emerged victorious that year. Martina would have been the solid favorite on grass. And if Goolagong, King, Turnbull, or Fromholtz were also playing, it wouldn't surprise me if any of those players wound up winning.

1980 - A wild card year. First time many of the top the women returned, in an event played separately from the men. Martina played, but lost to Turnbull. Mandlikova won the event, as she was really starting to find her confidence. Evert would have been hard pressed to win the event. But, if Evert had burnt herself out at the end of 1980, who knows how her 1981 season would have turned out. And I bet Evert wouldn't trade her 1981 Wimbledon win over Hana for an Aussie triumph in 9180.

On balance, I say Evert would have bagged 2 more Aussie titles had she played the years between 1975-1980.
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Old Feb 7th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #2269
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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I'm pretty certain that Chris would've taken Roland Garros from 76-78 without much problem
I am so glad she didn't - three of my all-time favourites Virginia Ruzici, Sue Barker and Mima Jausovec would have been Slam-less.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #2270
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Not sure if this has already been posted but such great pictures, my favourite:


18-year-old, newly-turned-pro Chrissie Evert goofs with students from the Harkness Ballet school at New York's Waldorf Astoria.

Many others: http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/20...ris_evert.html
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #2271
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Chris Evert Tennis Tips: Basics of Forehand, Backhand & Serve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9WOcEIjGJQ
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 02:20 AM   #2272
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by LightWarrior View Post
Chris Evert Tennis Tips: Basics of Forehand, Backhand & Serve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9WOcEIjGJQ
Great video. You can really tell there she grew up with wood. Her strokes and game can be transferred to any racquet, surface. Fantastic technique.

I can't hit with eastern forehand especially with the racquet face straight, I tried it. I'll just spray errors everywhere. But I was hitting open stance and probably didn't have the footwork right.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 03:00 PM   #2273
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Chris Evert Tennis Tips: Basics (pt 2 of 2) ~ Return of Serve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD1n2e9ijaY
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #2274
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpaSFEjWG1k
At 2:40 with the bee (actually funny), Martina said "bite her" twice. That was NOT funny at all...
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 04:24 PM   #2275
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Good article on the Fed Cup presentation..
http://www.fedcup.com/en/news/articl...-chrissie.aspx
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #2276
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Is there any chance of seeing any of everts matches at the 89 fed cup on the great YouTube channel you have, daze?

Are there any interviews around with chris from this time? Her match vs conchita is a good one and it is easy to see chris managing , physically, another year or two on the circuit. Was she perhaps ever so slightly hesitant about retiring after playing so well here?
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #2277
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by jamesuk View Post
Is there any chance of seeing any of everts matches at the 89 fed cup on the great YouTube channel you have, daze?

Are there any interviews around with chris from this time? Her match vs conchita is a good one and it is easy to see chris managing , physically, another year or two on the circuit. Was she perhaps ever so slightly hesitant about retiring after playing so well here?
It's funny that you mention Chrissie playing for another couple of years because I was just thinking after watching some of her matches on youtube (thanks Daze!), that she when she retired she was the second hardest hitter on the tour after Graf. I know people think that Chris was of another generation---and truly her game at its best was one of control, accuracy and placement---BUT due to racquet technology she was forced to adjust her game to one that was much more blatant outright slugging of the ball and really at the end of her career, Graf was the only one who could outslug her when she was on. It's weird to think of Chris as a power baseliner but if you watch a lot of her matches toward the end of her career she was really clocking the ball, much more so than Sabatini, MJ Fernandez, Martinez, Sanchez and even Seles. I'd argue that she could probably compete with a growing Seles (Monica grew like six inches between '89-'90 and I think that's a huge reason her ranking rose so rapidly---and also why she had such an awful start to '90) and definitely had the stuff to compete with Capriati as well. She just was a lot more up and down by the end and would probably had more Anne Minter losses, but I wouldn't have been at all surprised if she had taken one from Graf had she stayed another year.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #2278
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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Originally Posted by jamesuk View Post
Is there any chance of seeing any of everts matches at the 89 fed cup on the great YouTube channel you have, daze?

Are there any interviews around with chris from this time? Her match vs conchita is a good one and it is easy to see chris managing , physically, another year or two on the circuit. Was she perhaps ever so slightly hesitant about retiring after playing so well here?
I doubt it. She really wanted to start a family at almost 35 yo.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:43 PM   #2279
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesuk View Post
Is there any chance of seeing any of everts matches at the 89 fed cup on the great YouTube channel you have, daze?

Are there any interviews around with chris from this time? Her match vs conchita is a good one and it is easy to see chris managing , physically, another year or two on the circuit. Was she perhaps ever so slightly hesitant about retiring after playing so well here?
that's a very good suggestion - she really played remarkably well in that fed cup... It's just that the ball is so much a whisper to see... Really hard to follow the match, with the camera way up high, away from the courts... But I'll see if theres a way to make it work!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:45 PM   #2280
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

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I doubt it. She really wanted to start a family at almost 35 yo.
agree... I htink she played that well BECAUSE she knew it was her last set of matches, and she wanted to be on. It's easier to sustain that intensity over a few matches, knowing nothing follows them, then to spread that out over 6 months or a year.
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