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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:35 AM   #2401
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

IT'S GAME, SET, MATCH AND CAREER EVERT BOWS TO GARRISON AND BOWS OUT FOR GOOD - AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE - CHRIS EVERT
Sun-Sentinel
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
By JIM SARNI, Staff Writer

FLUSHING MEADOW, N.Y. -- Chris Evert walked off the court at Louis Armstrong Stadium for the final time, through the tunnel under the stands, into the sanctuary of the empty referee's office. Someone closed the door behind her.

Ana Leaird, Evert's friend from high school and the public relations director for women's tennis, was the first to go in.

''The TV was on, and they were replaying the final point,'' Leaird said. ''I shut it off. Chrissie didn't need to see it. Then, we hugged each other. We knew this was it. What can you say? I said 'I'm proud of you, you've always been a champion.'''

''Too bad, I love you,'' Andy told his wife.

The defeat was too fresh, too frustrating.

''There's nothing you can say that can make me feel better,'' Evert said.

Jimmy and Colette Evert, her parents, her sister Clare and brother John, they were all with the tennis champion in the family, now, in the room under Louis Armstrong Stadium.

''There were a some tears,'' said Jimmy, who taught his daughter how to play at Holiday Park. ''Everyone had some tears.

''But it didn't feel much different. I was prepared. We've been thinking about this retirement for some time. I'm relieved, I think Chris is too, that it's over.''

-- It's over. Nineteen U.S. Opens, six championships. Fifty-six Grand Slam tournaments, 18 titles.

It ended where it began, at the U.S. Open. Evert was 16 when she reached the semifinals at Forest Hills and changed the sport forever.

It ended in the quarterfinals, one round earlier than some people expected. After Evert stopped 15-year-old sensation Monica Seles Sunday and played like she had not played in years, people started looking ahead, past Garrison, to a semifinal showdown with ancient rival Martina Navratilova. How fitting.

It looked like they were right, when Evert took a 5-2 lead in the first set. But Garrison, who is No. 5 in the world and believes she should be higher, started playing like she did last year, when she stunned Navratilova in the quarterfinals. And Evert started playing like the 34-year-old player who has not won a tournament this year.

''I'm not disappointed that this is my last match at the U.S. Open, but I'm disappointed in isolating this match and thinking how I played it,'' Evert said. ''Well, that's one of the reasons why I am retiring, because you play a great match two days ago and then I was a bit flat today. That has happened all year with me, and I think that's why it's time to quit.''

From 0-2, Evert won 20 of the next 25 points. Evert served for the set twice, but Garrison went on a streak, winning 16 of the next 20 points.

Evert held serve to force the tiebreaker. They split the first two points, then Evert double-faulted for the fifth time. Evert lost the next five points with errors.

Garrison broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set. Evert got the break back at 2-all. It was the last game Evert would win.

Garrison swept the final four games. Evert hit a vintage crosscourt forehand for break point at 2-5. It was the last point she would win at the U.S. Open.

Garrison saved the break point with a forehand net chord. Garrison sliced off a backhand volley for match point. Evert hit a forehand return into the net on the last shot she would hit at the U.S. Open.

Evert beat Garrison in the fourth round of the 1982 U.S. Open. Garrison evened the score seven years later, but this victory was worth more.

''It was the hardest match that I've ever played in my life,'' said Garrison, who was 1-9 against Evert before Tuesday. ''It might not be the way that I want people to remember me. When I went over and sat down, I thought about what had just happened. This is the last time that we'll see Chris here. She's been so much to the game. She's such a lady. To be the villain, to have to take her out of this tournament; it's good for me, but it wasn't good for me.''

Evert gave Garrison a warm hug as they left the court. All's fair in love and war. Garrison will be Evert's teammate at the Federation Cup, next month in Tokyo, Evert's official sayonara to the sport.

''Zina, the villain,'' Evert said. ''No, no. People won't think that. She's a nice girl.''

-- Evert waved to the crowd before she left the court. It was a simple wave, like the one on Centre Court, after she lost to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon.

''It was so typical of Chrissie,'' Leaird said. ''It wasn't a grand gesture, it was humble. Some people thought she would run over to her parents in the box. That's not Chrissie.''

The family gathering was held in the room under Louis Armstrong Stadium. From there, Evert faced the hovering cameras and the waiting media. The last press conference.

Evert stopped at CBS for one last interview, then was led back to the locker room, across the grounds of the National Tennis Center, walking with Mill, through swarms of admirers. Evert signed a few autographs on the run.

Evert went into the locker room while Mill stood outside and answered questions.

''I felt melancholy for her,'' said the former Olympic skier.

''It's the end of an era. I feel sad, because we had high expectations after the match with Seles. I was hoping in the back of my mind that it would be like Miracle On Ice, the American hockey team's victory over the Soviets. Zina would be a warmup for Martina. Chrissie could beat Martina and then Graf. She took Graf to three sets in Boca Raton... I guess it's too good to be true, to win the U.S. Open and retire. Chrissie is down about this match, but she can feel good about herself and this week.''

In the locker room, Evert talked with a trio of players -- Pam Shriver, Mary Joe Fernandez and Wendy Turnbull. Other players came by and patted her on the back. The match was an hour old, and it was getting cold.

Jennifer Capriati, 13, the junior star from Lauderhill, entered and hugged her idol.

''I'm sad,'' said Capriati, who will take Evert's place as the local heroine next year. ''At 5-2, I thought she was going to win. Bummer.''

Finally, it was time to leave. Evert packed her bags. She tipped the locker room attendants.

Before she walked out, Evert spotted Leaird and told her old high school friend:

''Run out and tell Andy I fainted.''

Leaird chuckled and went on her merry mission. She gave Andy the news.

''Really?'' Mill flushed and started toward the locker room door.

At that moment, Evert turned the corner with a big grin on her face. She saw her concerned husband and burst out laughing.

That's how Christine Marie Evert left her final U.S. Open. With a smile.

How Chris Evert has fared at the U.S. Open:

1971 Semifinals lost to Billie Jean King 6-3, 6-2

1972 Semifinals lost to Kerry Melville 6-4, 6-2

1973 Semifinals lost to Margaret Court 7-5, 2-6, 6-2

1974 Semifinals lost to Evonne Goolagong 6-0, 6-7, 6-3

1975 Champion defeated Goolagong 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

1976 Champion defeated Goolagong 6-3, 6-0

1977 Champion defeated Wendy Turnbull 7-6, 6-2

1978 Champion defeated Pam Shriver 7-5, 6-4

1979 Runner-up lost to Tracy Austin 6-4, 6-3

1980 Champion defeated Hana Mandlikova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1

1981 Semifinals lost to Martina Navratilova 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

1982 Champion defeated Mandlikova 6-3, 6-1

1983 Runner-up lost to Navratilova 6-1, 6-3

1984 Runner-up lost to Navratilova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

1985 Semifinals lost to Mandlikova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

1986 Semifinals lost to Helena Sukova 6-2, 6-4

1987 Quarterfinals lost to Lori McNeil 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

1988 Semifinals lost to Graf in a walkover

1989 Quarterfinals lost to Zina Garrison 7-6 (7-1), 6-2

The righ-handed, 5-foot, 6-inch, 125-pound tennis star, was born Dec. 21, 1954, in Ft. Lauderdale

-- Professional career started at the end of 1972 on her 18th birtday.

-- In 1974 she was the youngest to rank No. 1 since Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953.

-- Won at least one Grand Slam singles title for 13 consecutive years (1974-86), a record for men and women.

-- 1988 prize money, $698,649.

-- Sixteen-season total, $8,664,512

Major Singles Championships

Australian Open: 1982, 1984

French Open: 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

Wimbledon: 1974, 1976, 1981

U.S. Open: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #2402
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

END OF THE LINE FOR EVERT GARRISON DEFEATS HER IN LAST OPEN
The Miami Herald
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
JIM MARTZ Herald Sports Writer

Back home in Boca Raton two weeks ago, Chris Evert wondered how she should say farewell at the U.S. Open, her last major tournament. Do a football stadium wave? High-five the umpire?

When the moment finally came at 4:29 p.m. Tuesday, she did it in Chris Evert style.

She patted her surprise 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 conqueror, Zina Garrison, on the shoulder, shook hands with umpire Jane Goodman, put on a turquoise warmup jacket, stuffed her rackets in a bag and fondly waved to the Stadium Court crowd for the final time.

No schmaltz, no tears.

That is, none until she stepped into a U.S. Tennis Association office beneath the stands and met with her husband, Andy Mill, and her parents, Jimmy and Colette Evert. They closed the door.

"Everybody had some tears," Jimmy Evert said.

Probably including the fan who wore a "Chris 4 Ever" T- shirt and toted a sign saying, "Chris Is What America Stands For. God Bless U."

Two decades after playing her first match on the women's tour in her native Fort Lauderdale, Chris America, as she was dubbed by commentator Bud Collins, played her last one in a major tournament. It came in the tournament where the all the fame started in 1971 at Forest Hills when a 16-year-old Chrissie stunned the tennis world and reached the semifinals.

If Hollywood had scripted the closing scene, Evert, 34, would have bowed out in the semifinals against long-time friend/ rival Martina Navratilova, who Thursday night crushed Manuela Maleeva, 6-0, 6-0, or in the final against Steffi Graf, who dominates tennis today as Evert did in the 1970s.

Or maybe it would have happened in Sunday's fourth-round match against 15-year-old Monica Seles, a passing-of-the-torch story. But Evert played one of her greatest matches in defeating Seles, 6-0, 6-2.

That woke up the echoes, but they faded fast Tuesday as fifth-seeded Garrison played sensationally, chasing down shots to the corners, lobbing, volleying, seemingly doing everything right. And Evert, double-faulting six times and hitting 19 unforced errors, returned to the level that precipitated her decision to retire.

"No matter what match I had played, win or lose, it would be sad for me," Evert said, "because my career really started back here when I was 16. I have excellent memories of Forest
Hills and Flushing Meadow and I felt the crowd was great all week. And that is very special to me also."

At match point, one hour and 33 minutes into the match, Evert hit a forehand return of serve into the net. The crowd of nearly 20,000 went silent, then stood and cheered both players.

"Congratulations, you played well," Evert said to Garrison, who exactly one year ago pulled off a similar surprise in beating Navratilova in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

"That was the hardest match that I've ever played in my life because it was such an emotional match," Garrison said.

She felt she was the villain.

"When I went over and sat down, I thought about what had just happened," Garrison said. "This is the last time that we'll see Chris here. She's been so much to the game. She's such a lady.

"To be the villain to have to take her out of this tournament, it's good for me but it wasn't good for me."

Should people view Garrison as a villain? "No, no," Evert said, "and they won't. She's a nice girl."

Evert fell behind, 0-2, and broke Garrison twice for a 5-2 lead but couldn't sustain the momentum. It had been a matter of Garrison errors more than Evert winners.

Garrison, remembering a phone call Monday night from coach Willis Thomas of Miami, then virtually ran the table.

"He told me that I'm one of the fastest people on the court," Garrison said, "that there was nothing that Chris could hit that I couldn't get.

"He said, 'Don't feel like you have to go in and serve-and- volley her off the court. Just use your speed to get down everything that she got.' He also told me to attack her. It worked today."

It was only the second time in 11 meetings that Garrison had won. But she went into Tuesday's match feeling she had "a very good chance to beat her."

Said Evert, "She kept her cool. I was surprised. Usually she sprays the ball."

At 2-4, 0-15 with Evert serving in the final set, Garrison ended a long rally with a brilliant backhand crosscourt passing shot that left Evert shrugging her shoulders. Garrison fell on her back and laid on the court for several moments.

"I wanted to catch my breath," Garrison said.

Evert felt the turning point came when she failed to hold
serve at 5-2 in the first set.

"If I had won that game, it would have been a different story," she said. "So I'm not disappointed that it's my last match at the U.S. Open.

"I'm disappointed isolating the match and thinking how I played it. That's one of the reasons why I am retiring, because you play a great match two days ago and then I was a bit flat today. That has happened all year with me and I think that's why it's time.

"This year, I have had letdowns after big matches and that puts me right in with the average player."

Navratilova's 46-minute clobbering of Maleeva was the first "double bagel" this late in the tournament in 60 years. The last time a player failed to win a game in the quarterfinals or later was when Helen Wills blanked Molla Mallory in the semifinals in 1929.

"Watching Chris' match made me nervous," Navratilova said. "But I really wanted to be here and played my best in the tournament. Manuela obviously didn't play well."

Like Seles, Navratilova had mixed feelings about playing Evert this week.

"It would have taken all my mental powers to take our friendship away and try to beat her," she said. "It's a relief not to have to play her."

Evert wasn't relieved, though. "I'm not because of what I did two days ago. I thought I was just starting to play the kind of tennis that I could challenge anybody."

In the boys' tournament, Ivan Baron of Plantation got a rare chance for a junior player to appear on the Grandstand Court but lost to sixth-seeded Jonathan Stark, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Vincent Spadea of Boca Raton beat Wentzel Pretorius of South Africa, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-4. And Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons High graduate Ivan Trevino lost to No. 1 seed Niklaus Kulti of Sweden, 6-2, 6-3.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:39 AM   #2403
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

'RELIEF' IS THE WORD AROUND EVERT FAMILY
The Miami Herald
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
JIM MARTZ Herald Sports Writer

Lee Jackson, director of special services for the women's tennis tour, emerged from the women's locker room late Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Open and said with a stern face, "We need an ambulance."

Did Chris Evert collapse? Slit her wrists?

The players' lounge went quiet. Andy Mill looked solemnly toward the door. Then Chris Evert bounded out of the locker room grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"She put me up to it," Jackson said.

Evert, wearing an "Aspen Club" T-shirt and colorful print shorts, talked briefly to friends and worked her way past autograph seekers to the solitude of a limousine. And off to retirement, except for a few events such as the Federation Cup and exhibition matches.

"I think she's really going to be happy," Mill said a few minutes earlier. "There have been so many mornings that she didn't want to get up. When she finally said, 'I'm retiring,' there was relief.'

Relief. That was the operative word in the Evert family, too, after Evert lost to Zina Garrison.

"I've been preparing for it," Chris' father Jimmy, the director of tennis at Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park, said of her last tournament match. "Now that it's here, I'm relieved and I think Chris is, too. She's ready to go on to other things.

"On the whole it was a good tournament. I'm glad Chris played. After Wimbledon maybe it was time to bow out, but she wanted to play here. It was a good decision. All five of her matches were on Stadium Court, and that's reminiscent of her first year in the U.S. Open when she always played on Center Court at Forest Hills."

Chris' mother, Colette, added, "I was relieved. All the tension had gone, but I felt disappointed for her. She really felt she had a chance to get to the semis and live up to her seeded and go out like she did at Wimbledon in the semis. But Zina played well."

Jimmy's favorite memory of Chris' career: "The first time Chris won Wimbledon (1974) I was home in Fort Lauderdale and she called me after the match. She didn't say, 'Hi, dad,' but two little words, 'I won.' I was all choked up."

Colette's favorite: "I'm most proud of her graciousness. She's a real lady."
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:41 AM   #2404
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

EVERT AT A GLANCE
The Miami Herald
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Herald Staff

A brief look at the tennis career of Fort Lauderdale native Chris Evert , who lost in the U.S. Open -- her last major tournament -- Tuesday.

EVERT AND THE GRAND SLAM

* U.S. OPEN: Reached 9 finals, won 6 (1975-78, '80, '82)

* WIMBLEDON: Reached 10 finals, won 3 (1974, '76, '81)

* FRENCH OPEN: Reached 9 finals, won 7 (1974, '75, '79, '80, '83, '85, '86)

* AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Reached five finals, won 2 (1982, '84)

COMMENT: Evert won at least one Grand Slam singles title per year for 13 years (1974-86). Yet even with 18 Grand Slam titles, third behind Margaret Court's 26 and Helen Wills Moody's 19, Evert never has won the Slam itself -- all four tournaments in the same year. In fact, she never has won more than two Grand Slam tourneys in a year, accomplishing that feat five times. Evert has taken only five shots at the Slam, because she has played the Australian Open only six times (1974, '81, '82, '84, '85 and '89). Still, she won the Australian two times, and reached the final in her four other appearances. She reached the final of all four Slam tournaments only once, in 1984, winning only the Australian.

.900 WASN'T IN THE CARDS

Evert just missed becoming tennis' first .900 hitter, but what the heck, she's still the sport's first .899 hitter. Her match record of 1,304 victories and 145 losses gives her a winning percentage of .899. She went into the Garrison match at .900 (.8999 for those with calculators), but to stay at .900 she would have had to win three more matches -- which would have made her the Open champ.

A MATCHLESS RECORD

Evert is the runaway leader in both tournament titles, with 157, and match victories, with 1,304. Martina Navratilova is No. 2 in victories (1,197), winning percentage (.880) and tournaments won, 144. Tops among the men is Jimmy Connors, with 107 tournament titles.

FEAT OF CLAY

Evert has the best record on clay of any player for any single surface with a 125-match winning streak set from August 1973 to May 1979, until Tracy Austin defeated her, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, in the 1979 Italian Open semifinals.

EVERT IN THE OPEN

1971: Semis, l. to Billie Jean King, 6-3, 6-2. 1972: Semis, l. to Kerry Melville, 6-4, 6-2. 1973: Semis, l. to Margaret Court, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2. 1974: Semis, l. to Evonne Goolagong, 6-0, 6-7, 6-3. 1975: Final, d. Goolagong, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. 1976: Final, d. Goolagong, 6-3, 6-0. 1977: Final, d. Wendy Turnbull, 7-6, 6-2. 1978: Final, d. Pam Shriver, 7-5, 6-4. 1979: Final, l. to Tracy Austin, 6-4, 6-3. 1980: Final, d. Hana Mandlikova, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. 1981: Semis, lost to M. Navratilova, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. 1982: Final, d. Mandlikova, 6-3, 6-1. 1983: Final, l. to Navratilova, 6-1, 6-3. 1984: Final, l. to Navratilova, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. 1985: Semis, l. to Mandlikova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. 1986: Semis, l. to Helena Sukova, 6-2, 6-4. 1987: Quarters, l. to Lori McNeil, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. 1988: Semis, l. to Graf in a walkover. 1989: Quarters, l. to Zina Garrison, 7-6, 6-2.

PRIZE MONEY LEADERS

1. Martina Navratilova $14,625,161

2. Ivan Lendl $14,230,649

3. John McEnroe $10,484,987

4. Chris Evert $8,896,195

5. Jimmy Connors $7,929,137

CHRIS VS. . . .

Martina Navratilova 37-43, .463

Margaret Court *3-3, .500

Billie Jean King 19-7, .731

Steffi Graf 6-8, .429

Evonne Goolagong Cawley 26-12, .684

Tracy Austin 9-8, .529

* Women's International Tennis Association records are incomplete, because computers were not used to store records until 1972. So at least one Evert victory over Court, a 1970 7-6, 7-6 triumph in Charlotte, N.C., shortly after Court had won the Grand Slam, is not included.

LANDMARK VICTORIES

No. Opponent Yr. Tourney/Site

1 Ann Lentz '69 Ft. Laud.

100 M. Kroshina '73 New York

200 Sharon Walsh-Pete '74 New York

300 Evonne G. Cawley '75 Houston

400 Rosie Casals '76 Los Angeles

500 Nancy Richey '77 U.S. Open

600 Ivanna Madruga '79 French Open

700 Ivanna Madruga '80 U.S. Clay Courts

800 Wendy Turnbull '81 Australian Open

900 Pat Medrado '83 French Open

1,000 Pascale Paradis '84 Australian Open

1,100 Kathy Jordan '86 Oakland

1,200 Niege Dias '87 U.S. Open

1,300 Laura Golarsa '89 Wimbledon

1,304 Monica Seles '89 U.S. Open
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:42 AM   #2405
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Proud parents applaud
Evening Tribune
San Diego, CA
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
John Freeman, Tribune Sportswriter

Chris Evert played her final match at the U.S. Open yesterday, and Jimmy and Colette Evert were there to watch her, as they had been so many times before.

For Jimmy Evert, who still teaches tennis to kids at Holiday Park, a public court complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he taught Chris and the four other Evert children, there was a sense of relief mixed with sorrow.

"My goodness, there's been so much talk about it over the past year, I think I was ready for it," said Chris' father, a modest, soft-spoken man. "Maybe it won't hit me until tomorrow. I don't know."

As much as Jimmy agrees with Chris' decision to retire this year, he admitted to feeling a twinge of sadness.

"Oh, yes, but I'm sure this is the right time for her to bow out," he said. "You always hate to see good things come to an end. But they must."

Standing close by her husband's side, the effervescent Colette Evert offered her thoughts on Chris' final U.S. Open match.

"She was always so gracious, I thought," said Colette. "That's what I was always so proud of. I think she always tried to be a class act."

Jimmy agreed, when asked if there were any one aspect of his famous daughter that made him proudest.

"The way she's conducted herself," he said. "Certainly, she's well-thought of by just about everybody in the game. I think she's handled her professional life as well as her personal life just great.

"I don't know where it all comes from, but she's a great gal."

In her mother's view, Chris' new life away from tour competition -- she plans to play Federation Cup next month and a "farewell tour" with Martina is in the works -- will require some mental adjusting.

"Those artists who are excellent in their fields, like in music, the arts, theater and sports, they all have great highs and lows," said Mrs. Evert.

"But Chris has always been realistic about her life and very well-adjusted. I think if she was the type of person who sought all that adulation, it would be more of an adjustment."

The Evert clan included older brother Drew, younger brother John and two younger sisters Jeannie and Clare -- all of whom won at least one national junior tennis title.

"I'm kind of proud of that," said Jimmy. "I've always thought that was pretty neat."

And who gets credit for that?

"Well, I guess I sort of do," he said, barely able to pat himself on the back.

But, says Jimmy, you must remember that he's the coach who tried -- in vain, it turned out -- to switch Chrissie's backhand from a two-hander to a one-hander.

"I remember when she was about 11 or 12, we'd work and work on a one-handed backhand," said Jimmy. "Then I'd start my lessons and I'd peek down to the other courts and she was using the two-handed backhand.

"She just didn't have the strength to hit one-handed."

That single shot may be the most imitated shot in tennis, certainly in the women's game. Very few junior girls here at the U.S. Open, competing for national titles, hit single-handed backhands.

That wasn't so before Chris Evert came into prominence.

"I know I never saw any two-handed backhands when we were first married," said Mrs. Evert.

"My husband never taught it. He still doesn't like to teach it. But the girls are so young now and they insist that they want to play like Chris does."

Of course, it wasn't only the two-hander that Chris brought to her sport -- and to sports. There was so much more in a 20-year tennis career that knows no equal.

Let Bud Collins, tennis' celebrated pop historian for the Boston Globe and NBC Sports -- and Chris' confidant through the years -- put her career into perspective.

"She was simply a monument," Collins said after yesterday's match. "Where Billie Jean King was a battler for women's rights, Chrissie showed up and was a young woman with whom everybody fell in love, whether they knew anything about tennis or not.

"She was the first champion of the modern era who was able to blend femininity with a killer instinct. She was everybody's girlfriend, everyone's daughter, the girl next door.

"From 1971 on, we have followed her life and loves, from when she was the cute little kid to her love affair with Jimmy Connors, her marriages to John Lloyd and now to Andy Mill. She has lived her life for all of us to see.

"I think she's the closest thing modern America has had to royalty," Collins continued. "The greatest example was a year and a half ago for a White House reception for Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev.

"Raisa walked right over to Chris and said, 'I know you,' even though they had never met before. Other than Soviet athletes, I doubt that there'd be any other athlete, male or female, who would make that kind of an impression on the wife of a Soviet premier.

"Chrissie transcended sport and there simply aren't many athletes who do that."
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:46 AM   #2406
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

No headline available
The San Diego Union
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Barry Lorge

The end of Chris Evert's majestic major-tournament career came on a strangely unsettled afternoon at the U.S. Open. While her quarterfinal match against Zina Garrison slipped away, Evert kept looking up at the jets that roared over the National Tennis Center from nearby La Guardia Airport. As Evert lost her serve for 2-3 in the second set of Garrison's 7-6, 6-2 victory, a lone storm cloud drifted through a sky of blue and billowy cotton toward the stadium.

"Celestial symbolism?" a fellow who had watched Evert's romantic debut in the 1971 Open at nearby Forest Hills scribbled in his notebook. This week, he glanced back at what he wrote 18 years ago: "Great talents have only one springtime. Many summers may follow, but springtime can linger only in memory."

Evert did not win another game. She had memories, too.

"Win or lose, my last match would be sad for me, because my career really started here back when I was 16 years old and I reached the semifinals," she said.

The rain on her recessional poured from Garrison's racket in a torrent of bold serves and volleys, clever drop shots, dizzying speeds, spins and angles. By the end, Evert looked resigned to retirement. Repeatedly, she bit her lip and acknowledged shots she couldn't reach with a forlorn "Yup."

She has played 56 Grand Slam championships, reached at least the semis in 52 of them, won two Australian, seven French, three Wimbledon and six U.S. Open titles. Her overall singles record in the majors ended one match shy of a milestone 300th victory: 299-37. She finished 101-12 in America's tennis showcase.

Evert had beaten Garrison in nine of 10 previous meetings, but on this bittersweetly sentimental afternoon, a renowned Nervous Nellie took complete control of herself and the situation, and one of the most ironclad competitors of all time buckled.

Garrison -- after a balky five-game slide from 2-0 in the first set -- won 16 of 20 points and held together marvelously the rest of the way. Evert, who used to win with penetrating laser beams from the backcourt, lost the zip from her strokes and concentration after 5-2. One could see the light dimming, and felt melancholy.

She felt the old fire two days earlier, when she scorched 15-year-old Monica Seles 6-0, 6-2. Talking to Evert after practice Monday, you sensed how eager she was. But as mysteriously as the flame was rekindled -- "I don't know where it came from, because I haven't seen that form all year," Evert had said -- it flickered out yesterday. That is what bothered her most: the uncertainty of the tenacious willpower she used to count on.

"That's what makes you a champion," she said, getting to the heart of what distinguishes the Steffi Grafs and Martina Navratilovas. "There are a lot of players that can cause upsets and then, two days later, lose to someone ranked 100 in the world. That's why players like Steffi, and myself in the past, and Martina, have been great, because we have been able to take each match and isolate them and never have a letdown in a two-week tournament. This year, I have had letdowns after big matches, and that puts me right in with the average player ... Mentally, I cannot maintain that intensity every single match."

Historically, it was all wrong, the end of this saga that began 18 years ago, when an unseeded schoolgirl from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wearing ribbons and ruffles and a ponytail, turned the Open into a fairy tale before losing to the woman she would succeed as queen of tennis, Billie Jean King. A fitting farewell would have been Evert going out in a three-set semifinal against Navratilova, her great rival, or in the final against Graf, who at 20 is dominating the sport as Evert did at a similar age.

Or if you really believe in storybook endings, Chris would have won the championship. She denied it yesterday, but you could tell after Seles that such a fantasy had entered her mind.

The daydream vanished in a fractured fairy tale of Garrison winners and Evert errors. Andy Mill, the former Olympic skier who is Evert's Prince Charming, sat somberly in a courtside box with celebrity guests Ivana and Donald Trump, the limelight-loving tycoon who earlier had autographed dollar bills for stargazers.

Members of Evert's family were there, too: sister Clare, brother John, mother Colette, Chris' companion at many majors, and father Jimmy, the public-parks pro who started his five kids in tennis, and groomed Chris' game.

At the end, she walked slowly to the net, shook hands and put her racket into a big red equipment bag with her name on it. Her lips were tightly curled, but there were no tears. She put on her warm-up jacket, tucked the bag under her left arm, and finally smiled as she gave one last, loving wave to 20,000 idolators. They roared in appreciation. Walking off, Evert put her arm around Garrison and gave her a hug.

"What's made me most proud was her graciousness," Jimmy Evert would say later. "She's a great gal."

Papa didn't come to the '71 Open until the semis. He stayed home, giving lessons. Chris called to announce each victory. She came into that tournament with a 42-match winning streak -- several against pros she played as an amateur, but more in classics such as the Florida High School Championships.

At Forest Hills, she saved six match points against Mary Ann Eisel in the second round, and made stirring comebacks to upset two other players. "Cinderella in Sneakers," The New York Times called her before King -- whose autograph-model rackets Chrissie used -- shattered the glass sneaker.

Evert said then that she felt less crushed than relieved: "In a way, I'm looking forward to going back to school. It's been a really great summer. I've played well and had a lot of fun, and I hate to see it end. But summer vacations do end. It's a fact."

So do careers, and not always exactly as we'd wish. Yesterday, Evert sighed: "I'm not really relieved because of what I did two days ago. I thought I was just starting to play the kind of tennis that I could challenge anybody, and I did have high hopes for myself."

Still, her career has been an extraordinarily long and sunny summer. Ted Tinling, aficionado of women's tennis for 65 years, told a friend who watched Evert in '71 with him: "We saw the curtain go up, and now we've seen it fall. What a pleasurable performance it has been, and who would have imagined the play would last 18 years?"
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:47 AM   #2407
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Evert gone, presence remains
St. Petersburg Times
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
HUBERT MIZELL

She played tennis with style, won with class, and when Chris Evert occasionally lost, it was always with grace.

Even on Tuesday.

At the U.S. Open, a New York multitude stood to cheer a departing hero, much as the town must've hurrahed the final at-bat of Joe DiMaggio.

With style, class and grace, Mighty Chrissie had struck out. Victim of the fastballs, curves and drops of Zina Garrison.

The queen, leaving her last major court, bit a lower lip known for not quivering under pressure. Even on TV, you could see the cool, always focused Evert eyes beginning to blink, in order to not cry.

Gone never to be forgotten.

Christine Marie Evert Lloyd Mill wasn't history's greatest player, but nobody - male or female, ancient or contemporary - has more influenced a tennis generation.

Women adored seeing her play, and so did men. Parents coaxed their young to ''be like Chrissie'' in athletic approach and personal aplomb. How many thousands of little girls, and even little boys, have copied the two-fisted Evert backhand?

Beneath it all, there was an intriguing, ever-evolving, even-calculating woman whose offstage personality could be more devilish than her public could ever imagine.

''Chris tells the dirtiest jokes of anybody in the locker room,'' said a grinning Martina Navratilova, her closest tennis pal and ultimate rival. ''This is not Snow White we're talking about. Chris is a fun-loving gal, even a hell-raiser at times. The public really only knew her in part.''

There was so much.

First time I saw Chrissie up close was in 1971, coming through a gate at Fort Lauderdale airport, all giggly and red-faced, with ponytail bouncing. Dozens of classmates from St. Thomas Aquinas High School were there with banners, shouts and adoration.

The ''Evert Age'' had begun.

She was 16, and had rocked tennis while stealing America's heart by achieving the supposedly impossible: a kid in pigtails reaching the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

When the tumult subsided, and hometown chums gleefully dispersed, I followed the Everts home - daddy Jim, mom Colette, daughter darling, two sisters and a brother.

Chris was yet to make the inaugural dime of her $20-million fortune. Jimmy Evert was a $15,000-a-year municipal tennis instructor. The Evert half-dozen lived in a nondescript, 1,300-square-foot house within walking distance of dad's home court.

The evening was pure, simple, adorable and unforgettable. Chris's baby sister was 8, and using a fly swatter to knock pingpong balls around the living room. Swinging even that racquet with two hands, in the family tradition.

Chrissie's image, in mid-teens, was the product of loving but overly protective parents and strict Catholic education. So, when I asked her, ''How would you like to be described, but haven't so far?'' it was a surprise that the so-called Ice Maiden would blurt, ''Sexy!''

A hint, perhaps, of a rather rambunctious, curious teen-ager bubbling with eagerness to crack free of a youthful shell, and experience the world.

Once on the pro tour, Evert would be a woman of many romances. There was Jimmy Connors, and Burt Reynolds, and rock singer Adam Faith, and others. Eventually, she would marry John Lloyd, a handsome and likeable Brit who was a mediocre tennis pro. Later, Chris' love was Andy Mill, an ex-Olympic skier with cover-boy looks.

Chris Evert has lived the good, rich and exciting life, on tennis courts and beyond. She met the idols of Earth, the rich and famous, and a monarch or two. In public, Chrissie never disappointed us. In private, she seldom shortchanged herself.

Good stuff, on both counts.

Do not weep at what happened Tuesday in New York; let's instead celebrate. Chrissie at 34 was, in so many ways, exactly what she was in that U.S. Open at age 16.

Classy.

Competitive.

Graceful.

Admirable.

It's been marvelous, Chrissie, these past 18 years. Through all the Wimbledons, U.S. Opens, French Opens, Australian Opens and so much more. It's been our pleasure. Enjoy the next 50 or so, with Andy, and all that matters. You're going to miss tennis, but not half as much as tennis will miss Jimmy and Colette Evert's little girl.

Thanks for the memories.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:49 AM   #2408
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Evert's Career Ends In Quarterfinals - Garrison Bounces Legend in Open
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Ailene Voisin, Staff Writer

NEW YORK - As she walked out of the Stadium Court for a final time, engulfed in a rush of affection from 20,000 fans, Chris Evert looked up, waved, and with her taut, tired smile beginning to quiver, she suddenly understood.

It was time.

She had been a champion, a winner. But Zina Garrison had just pummeled her 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, rudely reminding her that, at age 34, she was a champion no longer.

"I'm not disappointed that it's my last U.S. Open," Evert said later, "but I'm disappointed thinking how I played it. And that's one of the reasons why I am retiring."

As recently as Sunday, admittedly tempted and teased by her brilliance in a victory over 15-year-old Monica Seles, Evert had begun to reconsider. She was still fit. She was still healthy. She was only 34. It was hard, she said, to walk away.

So Garrison, in effect, eased her out the door. In what she called the "toughest match of my life," the 26-year-old from Houston had to overcome the pro-Chrissie crowd, Evert and herself.

"I remember one time in Houston," recalled the fifth-seeded Garrison. "Lori [McNeil] and I went up to Chris in a tournament and got her autograph."

She looked up sheepishly and added, "I feel a little bit like a villain, but at least I'll be remembered."

Memories of Evert will include six titles at the U.S. Open, seven at the French Open, three at Wimbledon and two at the Australian Open, and an all-time record - for men and women - of 157 singles titles.

There will be visions of ponytails, hot pink skirts and polished nails, tales of her biting sense of humor and analysis of her revolutionary two-fisted backhand. And, yes, there will be mention of a feeble serve that remained an Achilles heel throughout a 19-year career -including her finale against Garrison.

In the critical first set, Evert double-faulted twice to lose the second game. After breaking back and gaining a 5-2 lead, she again double-faulted on the final point.

"Up until then, I felt that we were both tight," said Evert, "and Zina was the one who broke away and started just hitting out on the ball."

Garrison, a serve-and-volley player who slices and chips on her groundstrokes, also changed tactics. She attacked Evert's second serve with volleys into the corners and kept the pressure on with a variety of lobs and drop shots.

Her incredible quickness also enabled her to reach groundstrokes and run under lobs that ordinarily would have resulted in Evert points.

But in contrast to Sunday, Evert appeared a half-step slow and was far from sharp with her fabled groundstrokes.

"I had a good practice yesterday," she said, "but I can't sustain the intensity every single match. I had it against Seles, and that's the way I used to play. That is not happening anymore. You saw today - it was a matter of me being flat and Zina playing a great, great match. It boils down to that."

The crowd, perhaps sensing Evert's demise after a series of errors cost her the first-set tiebreaker, remained strangely subdued for the remainder of the match. An Evert winner was cheered, politely, but so were a number of brilliant responses by Garrison, including a cross-court passing shot that ended a lengthy rally in the seventh game of the final set.

The EvertEra ended with a forehand return that nestled in the bottom of the n et as the crowd rose for a standing ovation.

Evert hurried to the net and shook Garrison's hand, placed an arm around her shoulder, then walked over and impassively gathered her belongings.

A single question hung in the air as Evert scurried away: Would she cry? Rarely, since her first appearance her 19 years ago, has Evert, once known as the Ice Maiden, shared her emotions.

But this time, she cried. Not in front of the cameras or the crowd. But as she entered a room marked "private" to be with husband, Andy Mill, tears streamed down her cheeks.

Later, in the press conference, her eyes red-rimmed and her face scraped raw from the wind, she retained her composure, for the most part. But when asked if she would have preferred a final match against her longtime friend and rival, Martina Navratilova, Evert paused, then choked up.

"That would have been a nice way to end," she finally managed. "But I guess it doesn't really matter."

With that, she brushed at her eyes and left.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:53 AM   #2409
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Farewell Loss To Garrison
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
BRUCE JENKINS

THERE WAS a tremendous sense of regret among the tennis establishment yesterday as Chris Evert played her final match at the U.S. Open. "It wasn't supposed to end this way," they said to themselves around the players' lounge. "It's just so sad."

For a tournament that had begun to resemble some fiction writer's fantasy, Evert's 7-5, 6-2 loss to Zina Garrison in the quarterfinals certainly wasn't the appropriate result. The script had Chris storming right into the semifinals, where she would meet Martina Navratilova and . . . who knows? It seemed that something quite magical was in the air.

As a slice of real life, though, this match was rich in significance. Chris Evert discovered, one last time, that she can no longer summon greatness at will. And Zina Garrison just might have arrived as one of the game's elite players.

It's impossible to underestimate what Garrison accomplished. Staying on the court with Chris Evert - especially in a match she desperately wants - takes nerve, tenacity and a workable game plan. To actually beat Chris in this match, with virtually every caring spectator in Evert's corner, was nothing short of remarkable. Monica Seles, a wondrous young talent, couldn't do it. Even the great Martina might have come up short. Zina Garrison did it.

"It was the hardest match I ever played in my life," she said. "It was just so emotional out there. When it was over, I sat down and thought to myself what Chris has meant to the game. She's such a lady. For me to take her out . . . that might not be the way I want people to remember me."

THAT'S UP to Zina. She had a magnificent victory in the quarterfinals last year, too, fighting off a furious charge from Navratilova, but then she lost to Gabriela Sabatini. Yesterday, it was Garrison coming back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set, the variety of her game never better, the character in her face never more evident. She stood there alone, executing the strategy she'd assembled with her coach, Willis Thomas, and got the win she needed. Zina Garrison would savor the distinction of being the first black woman to reach this final in the "Open" era (1968 on). This time, she just might get there.

Thomas' prematch message was simple: "You're the fastest player on the court. There's nothing Chris can hit that you can't get. Mix up the pace, and use your speed to get everything back."

As she took the court, Zina couldn't help remembering her teenage days in Houston, when she and Lori McNeil stood anxiously around the local pro tournament, waiting to get Chris' autograph. She couldn't forget losing nine of her 10 career matches against Evert, most of them handily. Trailing 5-2 in that first set yesterday, she had to wonder if this match would be any different.

Then came the first sign of Evert's vulnerability. Instead of serving out the set, she double-faulted it away. Garrison, rejuvenated, started volleying with pace and deadly accuracy. She broke serve again for 5-5, then uncorked two consecutive aces to hold for 6-5.

"She turned on the steam," Evert said. "She ran down every ball and really kept her cool. Usually Zina sprays the ball around, but today she was consistent. She got everything back, deep, and she was so quick."

From the stands, Evert's mother, Colette, sensed that "Zina was just the better player today. She deserved to win. She hit drop shots, lobs, she came to the net, she stayed back, she did everything so intelligently. Chris was just moving from side to side, trying to stay in the points."

Evert managed to hold service and force a tie-breaker, but Garrison won it going away, 7-1. Now there was a genuine sense that Evert was in trouble, and while Garrison kept the pressure on, Chris stayed in that same, dull groove.

As the second set progressed, Garrison came up with some memorable shots - including a couple of delicately sliced drop forehands for cross-court winners. In breaking service for a 5-2 lead, she hit a fantastic backhand winner on the dead run, then collapsed in a combination of celebration and amazement. "Got a little extra rest, too," she joked afterward.

It was now evident that Evert just didn't have it. The crowd, while waiting to come alive on this gloomy, overcast day, never got the opportunity. When it came down to match point, Garrison ripped home a first serve and Evert's forehand return settled into the net. That was the match, in composite. It also summed up why Evert, at 34, is leaving the game.

"I had such a great match against Seles on Sunday, and today I came out flat," she said. "That's how it's been for me this year -play great, then have a letdown. That's why it's time. That's a big reason why I'm retiring."

Within moments after a warm handshake with Garrison, Chris was in tears. Bypassing the chance to see her parents, who were waiting in a courtside hallway, Evert grabbed her husband, Andy Mill, and disappeared into the tournament director's office, inside a door marked "Private."

"She cried," said Mill. "Not hard. She was just so disappointed with herself. She just wanted to be alone."

RED-EYED BUT composed, Evert spoke to the press for a few minutes. She said that despite winning the Open six times, her most memorable wins were the Seles match, just three days ago, and a 1980 semifinal against a hated rival, Tracy Austin, after trailing 4-0 in the first set.

"I was thinking I'd be relieved when it's over," she said. "After losing like I did today, I'm not relieved. I shouldn't have let that match get away."

Later, in the players' lounge, Chris was resplendent in a white T-shirt, advertising some establishment in Aspen, Colo., and flowery shorts. There was laughter and warm conversation, especially from Evert. She was handling it better than others.

"This is the day I hoped would never come," said Ana Leaird, the WITA's public relations director and a close friend of Evert's for 10 years. "I'm heading for the nearest bar."

Outside, it was mostly quiet. The day had not gone according to form. One man quietly removed a T-shirt that read, "Forever Chrissie. She's what America stands for."

True enough. But on the day when good, solid tennis surpassed the dreams and fantasies, Zina Garrison was America, too.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:57 AM   #2410
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Evert's loss brings out emotion of announcers
USA TODAY
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Rachel Shuster

NEW YORK - Her future TV colleagues welcomed Chris Evert to their ranks Tuesday by unabashedly breaking down when the winningest player in tennis history bowed out at the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Evert will join NBC as an analyst next season, beginning in April at the Family Circle Magazine Cup at Hilton Head, S.C.

``I was crying in there,'' CBS' Mary Carillo said after interviewing Evert for the network's late-night highlights show. ``I'm all upset. I'm really upset.''

More upset was the gang at cable's USA Network, which admirably stayed with Zina Garrison's 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory against Evert about 47 minutes past the scheduled 4 p.m. EDT signoff. (Bumped were game shows Chain Reaction and Bumper Stumpers.)

After the match, Evert unexpectedly walked into the USA Network studios - just as host Al Trautwig was saying goodbye above the musical strains of Billy Joel's She's Got A Way About Her.

Trautwig, also a little sad, began talking to Evert on-camera because interviewer Diana Nyad had left the studio. Nyad, not knowing Evert would be available, was so broken up she needed some fresh air.

But Nyad returned and picked up the interview, admitting to Evert and the viewers, ``This is very unprofessional, as a journalist, but I had to get away.''

By comparison, Evert seemed composed, relaxing a bit in the CBS studio when Tim Ryan cracked a few jokes. Evert even saved her best comments for the TV interviews.

``I'm a little shocked at the match, to tell you the truth,'' she said on CBS. ``I was up 5-2 (in the first set) and let it slip away. I keep thinking about it. I'm pretty mad about it.''

NBC analyst Bud Collins, covering the Open for his Boston Globe column, was asked how emotional he might have been if he was covering Evert's farewell interview for TV.

``I don't know. I didn't do it. But I wouldn't have cried,'' Collins said. ``Now, people did accuse me of being too nationalistic when (Michael) Chang won the French Open. I never thought I'd see that happen.

``But I don't think you should be crying. At the end, though, I probably would have said to Chris, `Thanks for a wonderful ride.' I think that's what Dick Enberg said to her at Wimbledon.''

- Collins recalled the first time he broadcast an Evert match, from the grass courts of the U.S. Open at Forest Hills in 1971 when he teamed with Jack Kramer for CBS. Evert withstood six match points against her to beat Mary Ann Eisel, a good grass-court player from St. Louis.

``I had heard she was a sensational player, and I was excited to have her on TV,'' Collins said.

``You could see she was very uncomfortable on grass but very determined. She had triple-match point against her and I said something like, `Well, she's had a nice tournament. I'm sure we're going to see a lot more of her.' Then, wow!''

- NBC Sports executive producer Terry O'Neil was trying to run an NFL Live pregame meeting, ``But she distracted the whole office. We were all watching.''

- CBS Sports officials said Evert would not be used as a guest commentator for matches this weekend.

- USA Network's evening program opened with a wonderfully sentimental tape tracing Evert's career.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 01:00 AM   #2411
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Game, Set, Match, Career
By GEORGE VECSEY
September 6, 1989
New York Times

rrChris Evert has always been her own best spin doctor, as they call those political aides who work the room after the boss's speech.

Yesterday, she immediately had the correct party vision of her 7-6, 6-2 loss to Zina Garrison, who was nine years younger, a microsecond more focused and a yard quicker.

''That's one of the reasons I'm retiring,'' Evert said, ''because you play a great match two days ago and then I was a bit flat today. That has happened all year with me, and I think that's why it's time.''

One could urge her, oh come on, Chrissie, come back and haunt the first week of the Open next year, and then start bushwhacking the seeded players the way you did with Monica Seles over the weekend.

But Evert has her standards, and she wouldn't try to fool a stadium full of spectators or a room full of journalists. She had a 5-2 lead yesterday, wasn't playing particularly well, and then Garrison put her away, intelligently and skillfully.

If this is the way it is, Evert didn't want to do it any longer. She has admitted hearing her biological clock ticking, as they call family planning these days, but she also hears her legs whining the way tires do when they've lost some tread.

She was discovering what all the middle-aged hackers in their designer tennis garb, sitting up in the stands, discover in their clumsy adventures on the court:

One day you can move a little, and the next day you cannot. Or you stop in the middle of a point to think about an appointment or a meal. Legs and concentration. They go together.

''Well, that's what makes you a champion,'' she said, characteristically pursing her mouth between phrases.

''There are a lot of players that can cause upsets, and then, two days later, lose to someone ranked 100 in the world. That's why players like Steffi and myself in the past, Martina, that's why we have been great because we have been able to take each match and isolate them and never have a letdown in a two-week tournament. This year, I have had letdowns after big matches and that puts me right in with the average player.''

If there is one thing Christine Marie Evert never was, it was average. She stood apart, cool and methodical as a teen-ager, poised and commanding as a young woman, and then, best of all, she re-created herself through exercise and more daring strokes in her final years, just to stay close to Graf and Navratilova. If she hadn't, it would have ended years ago. You know the Kurt

Weill song about September, the days dwindling down and all that. Evert set her own limits, announcing that this United States Open would be the last one.

She murderized young Miss Seles, 6-0, 6-2, and knew it was the best she had played all year, but she didn't kid herself about the next one.

Evert said she never looked ahead to a match with Martina on Friday, the last shootout that everybody wanted. And Graf? Evert might have snickered, as Virginia Wade did about her aspirations in her last Wimbledon a few years back: ''Oh, come on.''

But the tropism to victory that made her a champion made her think she could beat Garrison yesterday. Except that the young woman came to play.

Garrison had talked to her coach, Willis Thomas, Monday night, and he had told her: ''You are one of the fastest people on the court. There is nothing she can hit that you can't get.''

Knowing she had the tools to end Evert's career made Garrison describe herself as ''the villain.'' She was tentative until 2-5, but then her will and her youth and her strokes kicked in, and Chris Evert's career was over.

Garrison couldn't be a villain if she tried. Instinctively, she trotted off the court with almost no physical celebration, to honor the champion she had beaten.

Evert, in turn, yanked on her aqua warm-up gear and carried her red racquet case and waved her right arm as gracefully as she hit all those forehands over the years, and put her arm around Garrison when they approached the cameras.

Yes, she seemed to have tears in her eyes, but she said her sadness was more for her anticlimactic performance than for the end of her era.

Soon she will have to redefine herself again, as mother-commentator-housewife-businesswoman, however the mix turns out. But yesterday she walked off the court of her last Grand Slam tournament and knew she was still Chris Evert, the tennis champion, and that it was a wonderful thing to be.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 01:04 AM   #2412
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

It Just Can't Be Forever for Evert as Garrison Wins
September 6, 1989
THOMAS BONK
Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK — The Chris Evert era in women's tennis officially ended a 19-year run Tuesday, far off Broadway in a place appropriately called Queens.

On an unseasonably cool and windy day, Evert played her 113th and final match at the U.S. Open. And unlike the first one she played in 1971, she lost.

As a 16-year-old, Evert defeated Eda Budding. Her last match was a straight-set quarterfinal defeat at the hands of fifth-seeded Zina Garrison.

It was not a long goodby. Evert blew a 5-2 lead in the first set and fell, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, in 1 hour 13 minutes.

On her last match point at the U.S. Open, she stood there at the baseline to return serve, shifting her feet together as she always does, then sent a ball into the net.

She shook her head gently and ran to the net to shake hands with Garrison.

"Congratulations," Evert told Garrison. "You played well."

Evert packed her rackets, turned and gave a shy wave to the crowd. As she walked off the court with Garrison, they put their arms around one another for an instant and hugged.

Evert looked around one last time, then disappeared into a tunnel beneath the stands and was gone.

"Now, the sun has truly set," said Ted Tinling, a historian of tennis for more than 60 years.

If there is a moment that truly represents a passing of an era in women's tennis, this was it. But Evert's leave-taking was not unexpected.

Winner of 1,304 matches, 157 tournaments, 18 Grand Slam singles titles and six times the U.S. Open champion, Evert has not won a tournament this year and her ranking has fallen to an all-time low of No. 4.

At 34, Evert said she is no longer willing to put in the time to play at the level she wished. The outcome of her match against Garrison only reinforced her intention to make this year's Open her final major event.

"That's why I'm retiring," Evert said.

Evert turned back the challenge of 15-year-old Monica Seles in a fourth-round match two days earlier, but Evert was unable to come back with another such match at the same level.

"There are a lot of players that can cause upsets and then, two days later, lose to someone ranked 100 in the world," she said.

"That's why players like Steffi (Graf) and myself in the past, Martina (Navratilova), that's why we have been great, because we have been able to never have a letdown in a two-week tournament.

"This year, I have had letdowns and that puts me right in with the average player."

Evert isn't exactly through playing tennis. She is scheduled to play Federation Cup for the United States in Tokyo and she will probably play in a tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., next spring.

There is also a series of exhibitions scheduled in various series with Navratilova, sort of a Chris Across America tour.

But as far as competing seriously is concerned, Evert says she will never do that again.

Garrison, who was 15 when she got Evert's autograph at a tournament in Houston, felt slightly uncomfortable with her role in Evert's career.

"That was the hardest match I've ever played in my life," Garrison said. "It was so emotional. To be the villain, to have to take her out of this tournament . . ."

Next, Garrison has a chance to take out Navratilova. Navratilova, seeded second, won her quarterfinal over Manuela Maleeva, 6-0, 6-0, in only 47 minutes.

Navratilova was relieved that she avoided the task of playing Evert one last time.

"Obviously, emotionally, it'll be easier," Navratilova said. "It would have been the most emotional match of my life. I could do without it."

After Evert took a commanding early lead, Garrison vowed to run down every ball on the court. She took a lead in the tiebreaker when Evert double-faulted and was never challenged the rest of the match.

The key game in the second set occurred with Evert serving at 2-2, 30-30. She engaged Garrison in a 24-shot rally, the kind of points on which she used to excel, but this one ended when she took a short ball and dumped a backhand into the net.

On break point, Garrison finessed a forehand slice cross-court for a winner and a 3-2 lead.

Evert won only five more points the rest of the way. She was broken to 5-2 when Garrison hit a backhand passing shot down the line.

Now Garrison was serving for the match.

Evert held a break point, but Garrison hit another forehand slice winner for deuce then set up match point with a deft cross-court backhand volley winner.

One serve later, it was over.

"I knew no matter what match I played, win or lose, it would be sad for me because my career really started here back when I was 16 years old," Evert said.

"Gosh, I think that as I got older, the victories meant more to me because I was feeling more."

She said she was not glad it was over.

"I was thinking that I would be relieved when the tournament was over for me, but after you lose a match like today, I'm really not relieved because of what I did two days ago.

"I thought I was just starting to play the kind of tennis and I did have high hopes for myself."

She sounded sad, wistful, just like a champion accustomed to perfection and unable to find it. This was not the way she wanted it to end, but her expectations had been raised from the Seles match, so the eventual fall was longer.

Evert maintained her composure right after the match and in the interview room when she met the press. But on the way out, she reached for the arms of her husband, Andy Mill, and she cried.

It ended that way and women's tennis may never be the same, as they say.

Look at it this way, though: The sun might have set, but it was a long and marvelous day.
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Old Dec 10th, 2014, 06:08 AM   #2413
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Re: Chris Evert Thread



The caption for this read:
Quote:
Chris Evert

Christ Evert - who was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Rogers Cup this year - has often displayed a stylish and tasteful look on the tennis court, as shown here, in 1980 at the U.S. Open. So chic in 1987, she was forced to interrupt a game after losing a bracelet encrusted with diamonds on the court where she played.

Photo: Walter Iooss Jr. / Getty Images
Clearly we have

1) bad spelling with "Christ" Evert (though maybe that's subliminal!)
2) incorrect info-it's clearly a shot from Wimbledon-not the US open.

But could the part about losing the diamond encrusted bracelet be true? Anyone know more.?

It's a smacking good pic of Chris at any rate-both in her form and the great form on her backhand.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 12:16 AM   #2414
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
But could the part about losing the diamond encrusted bracelet be true? Anyone know more.?
The story has been around for a while, but there is no evidence it happened at the 1987 USO, and it certainly would have been mentioned in some primary source article or caught on VHS, especially given the slow news days on the women's side in the early rounds. There are some that say that it happened in the late 70s or early 80s.

Chris Evert's association with the re-branding the "eternity bracelet" as the "tennis bracelet" definitely predates the 1987 USO, but usually stated as because she wore one, no mention of dropping diamonds all over the court. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/17/st...-backhand.html

"At Camberg Jewelers, Shelia Camberg notes that the diamond 'tennis bracelet,' a narrow strip of diamonds worn with a wristwatch, has become almost a must among her clients. It was dubbed the tennis bracelet after Chris Evert-Lloyd was spotted wearing one on the courts." (PET ROCKS - The real jewels women want; Houston Chronicle, Wednesday, November 19, 1986; LINDA GILLAN GRIFFIN, Houston Chronicle Fashion Writer)

And: "The latest status symbol among the 'haves' is a tennis bracelet.

"You know, one of those simple gold bracelets with simple, sparkling diamonds all around that's meant to be an everyday accessory. Jewelers of America, an industry trade group, says the tennis bracelet 'has taken us by storm.' They credit the fad to tennis champions Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova, who regularly wear diamond bracelets on the court.

"Prices start at about $1,000.

"The 'have nots' might consider explaining that the bracelet aggravates their tennis elbow." (SERVICE WITH A STYLE; San Jose Mercury News, Wednesday, November 12, 1986; Mary Gottschalk)

Around about 1987-1988, she started to sell her own line of them.
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