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Old Aug 24th, 2014, 06:52 PM   #2386
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

EVERT PREPARES FOR LAST HURRAH AT U.S. OPEN
The Palm Beach Post
Monday, August 28, 1989
DAVE GEORGE, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Today marks the beginning of the end, the opening day of Chris Evert's final U.S. Open. It's right there in the current Sports Illustrated, in a story written by Evert herself. "As for Chris Evert, serious competitor, yes, I guess I really am outta here."

Time, then, to look at where she came in.

It was at this same U.S. Open 19 years ago that New York City and the worldwide media kingdom it governs were introduced to one of the most popular and successful players in tennis history. It was a blind date between a 16-year-old stranger and a tournament that already had been jilted by both defending champions and most of the top male players of the day. And the result was so stunning that none of Evert's great moments since has surpassed it in significance.

"It seems so long ago," Evert said recently. "I have fond memories of Forest Hills, though. I was very successful there."

Evert, then a junior at Fort Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas High School, may have downplayed the magic of her Grand Slam debut but she was the only one. Before the two-week drama was over, she had charmed the international press, appeared on center court a tournament-record five times, coaxed a curious Vice President Spiro Agnew up from Washington for a firsthand look and come face to face with the most dominant, intimidating American player of the day -- dynamic Billie Jean King.

That Evert lost to King in the semifinals barely seems to matter anymore. The 1971 Open was Chris' coming-out party and the genesis of a South Florida sports legend. She became the symbolic re-creation of Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly, who at 17 became the youngest women's singles winner in U.S. Open history in 1951. Many teen queens have emerged since Evert, including Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger and the current world No. 1 Steffi Graf, but none has created as big a stir in her first major performance.

SHOWING ALL THE SIGNS

Evert's strong showing at her first U.S. Open wasn't a total surprise to tennis insiders because she already had excelled at the junior level, winning three USTA national titles for teenagers. One month prior to the Open she had stepped up into very elite major-league company by representing the U.S. in the Wightman Cup series with Great Britain. Evert didn't look dangerous with her flat, patty-cake serve and then-unusual two-handed backhand but she certainly was no weakling, even though no younger player ever had played in the Wightman Cup.

Evert beat veteran Virginia Wade in straight sets to clinch a 4-3 victory for the U.S., coming through at a time when King and Rosie Casals refused to play Wightman tennis because of what they construed as politics and pettiness within the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association.

Even so, Jimmy Evert, Chris' father, did not expect great things at Forest Hills. Jimmy was then and remains a tennis teacher at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale, where he had taught Chris since she was 6. Given Chris' rapid progress, she undoubtedly could have played at Wimbledon in June 1971 but her father decided against it. Evert was a clay-court specialist who later would achieve a record streak of 125 straight victories on clay as a professional. Both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open were grass-court events, since in those days the Open was played at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills rather than the cement-surface U.S. Tennis Center of today.

"I think she probably could have gone to Wimbledon had we pushed a little bit but she hadn't won the 18-and-under girls' championship yet," Jimmy Evert said. "That was sort of our goal, to win that tournament. We thought Wimbledon was too soon. As for the U.S. Open, we were almost looking forward to her playing just one match. When you get into the national championships and you're only 16 it's a different story. Chris had beaten some of those players earlier in the year on clay, but clay is an entirely different surface. On grass, I thought the minute she ran into a good serve-and-volleyer, that would be the end."

Jimmy Evert stayed home during the early stages of the Open, sending his wife, Collette, instead. There were lessons to teach, other sons and daughters to watch and still another significant reason to avoid the pressures of his daughter's biggest tournament ever.

"I also had some high blood pressure in those days," he said.

NO (CENTER) STAGE FRIGHT

Evert was assigned center court for her first match and seemed barely to notice, beating Edda Buding of West Germany 6-1, 6-0. The international press contingent was waiting for a story line to latch onto, particularly since defending champion Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Tony Roche and several other top men were skipping the event because of a dispute between their World Championship of Tennis officials and the USTA. Making matters worse, John Newcombe, the reigning Wimbledon champion and top seed, was upset in the opening round.

Evert's surprise win on center court, coupled with a five-set comeback on an adjacent court by an upstart college sophomore named Jimmy Connors, provided an early youth theme for the tournament. Evert left Forest Hills that afternoon not knowing what she had started. She stayed during the tournament, along with her mother, at the home of an aunt and uncle in Larchmont in Westchester County, N.Y., a 45-minute drive from the city.

"Chris and her mother stayed at our house in Larchmont for her first three years in the U.S. Open," said Merrill Sinnott, Evert's aunt. "Then when she was 18, her mother and father gave her permission to go into the city and stay at the players' hotel.

"That first tournament she played here was one of those things that turned into a fairyland. We'd drive home from the tournament every night and the kids in the neighborhood, some of them teenagers and some of them young ones, would be out in the street holding signs that said, `Welcome, Chrissie,' and `Larchmont Loves You.' "

The second-round match, again on center court, was more dramatic than Evert's first. Six times she had to fight off match points against Mary Ann Eisel of St. Louis but Evert prevailed in three sets, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. Other players were starting to take notice.

"Chrissie's very good," King said. "But I don't know how long she can do really well. Only time will tell."

Joyce Williams of England was not so reluctant to brand Evert something special, saying, "She has almost too much confidence. In a girl so young, it's almost eerie." The national wire services agreed, calling Evert "a frail little slip of a girl," and "a prim youngster, dressed in a blue-trimmed white uniform, her blond hair tied in a bow."

KEEPING HER COOL

While Evert was finishing her second-round comeback, fiery Pancho Gonzalez was made to wait in the wings until center court could be available to him. The skinny little Floridian was really starting to shake things up now, but she was not herself rattled.

"My father always told me if I got mad on the court, it would be to the other girl's advantage," Chrissie, 5-feet-4 and 105 pounds, said at a news conference. "He's right. Whenever I see my opponent making a show, I think, 'Aha, I've got her now.' "

Evert's Aunt Merrill also was amazed at Evert's calm and confidence in such extraordinary conditions.

"She drove down to the tournament with us every day and back home again," she said. "Even then we noticed that she never said, `I should have done this, or done that.' She never rehashed her matches on the way home."

Finally came the match that put Evert in the semifinals, a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over veteran Lesley Hunt of Australia. Characteristically, Evert struggled early. Again, however, her maddeningly steady baseline strokes won out. Jimmy Evert, who had been too far south to pick up the broadcast signal on Fort Pierce's Channel 34, could stand it no longer and bought a ticket for New York. Evert would play King next in the semifinals and he couldn't miss that. Neither, it seemed, could anyone else in the New York area with a passing interest in tennis. The match was a 13,500-person sellout in advance and Agnew was among the spectators. The crowd cheered Evert's every move but King, at the top of her game, handled the teenager easily, 6-3, 6-2.

"Don't let it bother you, Chris," said King, who beat Casals in the final for her second of four U.S. Open titles. "You've got your whole life ahead of you."

The encouragement was appreciated but not necessary. Evert was far from crushed by her Open experience, returning to win the tournament six times -- one-third of her 18 Grand Slam titles. Her 157 singles titles leads all professional players.

"Billie Jean was just too tough," Evert said afterward. "She was steady in the backcourt and good at the net. In a way, it was good for me to lose. It'll make me buckle down next time."

QUITE A HOMECOMING

Evert already had missed two weeks of school at St. Thomas Aquinas and students and teachers alike couldn't wait to get their celebrity back. A crowd of 1,500 met her at the Fort Lauderdale airport the night of her return. About 200 people -- including Gov. Reubin Askew -- attended a special welcome-home dinner at the Governor's Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Evert continued her calm approach to the proceedings, shaking the governor's hand and saying to him, "You have a strong grip there."

The next afternoon Evert was back on the courts, pounding away from the baseline in the hot sun as if the whole thing had been a dream.

"My big concern was hoping it wouldn't be too much too soon," Jimmy Evert said. "As it turned out, it really wasn't. She was able to handle it, being the mature person that she was.

"When I think back on it, I'm really surprised. We're pretty lucky, I guess."
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 05:51 PM   #2387
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

ENERGETIC EVERT GIVES HOUR LESSON TO SELES, 6-0, 6-2
The Miami Herald
Monday, September 4, 1989
JIM MARTZ, Herald Sports Writer

Take that, kid.

For one hour 13 minutes Sunday afternoon, Chris Evert's game came together again. The determination and groundstrokes returned to form. She felt "psyched up" and relaxed against 15-year-old Monica Seles.

The result was a surprisingly easy 6-0, 6-2 victory that kept intact Evert's string of always reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

"I haven't felt that all year," Evert said. "I felt great today. I just hope that I can keep it up."

Evert said she thought back to 1970 as she faced the ponytailed Seles on Stadium Court.

"I felt like Margaret Court out there, and Chris Evert was on the other side," Evert said.

In September 1970, the crowd cheered for 15-year-old Evert as she shocked Court, 7-6, 7-6, in Charlotte, N.C., shortly after Court won the Grand Slam. Sunday, an inspired Evert, 34, remained the crowd favorite in her 19th and final U.S. Open.

She was determined to beat an upstart teen-ager who defeated her in Houston in April. She never let Seles in the match, fighting off six break points in the fifth game.

"I kept thinking that isn't it ironic that I would draw Monica, of all people," Evert said after recording her 101st Open victory. "If this is my last big match, wouldn't it be even more ironic if she beat me?

"Maybe that was fate, and it entered my mind for one second. And all these things made me more determined.

"I just concentrated really well and moved really well. I don't know why it happened today. But I'm so pleased that it happened today."

Plantation's Jay Berger, seeded 11th, was pleased with his result, though not with his performance in defeating Pete Sampras, Mats Wilander's conqueror, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1, to reach the men's quarterfinals for the first time.

"I've kind of lost my game in the last few matches but fortunately I've been able win," said Berger, who next faces 14th seed Aaron Krickstein, a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 winner over Paul Haarhuis, the player who ended John McEnroe's Open.

Second seed Boris Becker beat Sweden's Mikael Pernfors, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1, and Yannick Noah continued his comeback from near retirement by upsetting 10th-seeded Alberto Mancini, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3.

Next for Evert is fifth-seeded Zina Garrison, who beat Donna Faber, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). If Evert wins, Martina Navratilova likely will be next.

Navratilova beat Regina Rajchrtova, 6-2, 6-0, to set up a quarterfinal against Manuela Maleeva, a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Natalia Zvereva.

The Evert-Seles duel, the most anticipated match of the first week of the Open, turned out to be one of the biggest mismatches. Evert, who practiced Saturday and Sunday with men's pro Jay DeLouie to get accustomed to facing a hard-hitting lefty, played nearly flawless tennis.

"It was a huge match for me," Evert said. "I felt like I deserved to win.

"I felt like I've been working really hard the last few weeks, and struggling a bit, and it is my last major tournament. I had a tough draw."

The crowd roared with every Evert backhand crosscourt winner, every drop shot. They cheered her patience in handling a barrage of Seles moonballs.

And they clapped when Seles made errors, a no-no in tennis etiquette.

"The crowd helped me a lot," Evert said. "If the crowd was all for her, which they may have been if I was 28 and not at the end of my career, it might have made a difference."

Seles, who played on Stadium Court for the first time, said she was somewhat overwhelmed by the atmosphere.

"It was pretty clear going into the match that everybody was going to be on Chris' side because this is her last tournament," Seles said. "I thought that was normal. But I've never been in this situation, so that was a little bit strange. If I made a good shot there were a couple of people for me."

Seles was more concerned that her own strong groundstrokes went haywire and that she squandered eight of nine break-point opportunities.

"I really could do nothing," said Seles, who soon will start the 11th grade at Bradenton Academy. "It's really not that discouraging because she played a good match, like Steffi Graf when I played her at Wimbledon."

Glad Evert is retiring?

"Yes and no," Seles said. "She's a tough player, and when a good player won't be there then I will win more. And the other way it is sad."

Jimmy Connors, who plays Stefan Edberg tonight in the fourth round, showed up for a 15-minute practice session to test his leg muscles that cramped after his victory Saturday over Andres Gomez.

He pronounced himself "OK" and said of the two-hour session in the trainer's room, "It's difficult to explain when you're lying there and all of a sudden you go rigid. I don't want to be rigid until I'm buried."

He said doctors put him on a new diet, "everybody's diet. I had meat, potatoes, pasta, cantaloupe, bananas, everything."

One day after his 37th birthday, he's delighted to still be able to play in his 20th Open because he relishes the atmosphere. "You open the gates and the people flood in," he said. "Everybody's pushing and shoving. I've always said that New York people are the most sportswise people in the world.

"And they understand what it's like to go out and break your back and to give for them."
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 05:53 PM   #2388
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Guess Monica Seles didn't get the memo that Christine Marie Evert eats moonballers for breakfast...

EVERT SAILS ON DEJA VU - CHRIS FEELS LIKE A TEEN-AGER AGAIN IN DISPATCHING SELES
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Monday, September 4, 1989
By Melissa Isaacson of The Sentinel Staff

Nostalgia hits Chris Evert often these days, and it hits her hard. Sunday, in the fourth round of the U.S. Open against Monica Seles, it happened again.

''I felt like Margaret Court out there,'' Evert said. ''And Chris Evert was on the other side.''

Evert was 15 the first time she played and defeated Court in the Carolinas International tournament in Charlotte, N.C., just after Court had won the Grand Slam. Nineteen years later, here was Seles, another 15-year-old primed for an upset and equipped to do it.

But unlike Evert, who seemed to take legend-toppling in stride back then, the pressure was too much for Seles to bear. Wilting under the pressure of playing her idol in Evert's last major tournament, Seles at least made the capacity crowd happy, losing, 6-0, 6-2, in 72 minutes.

''The whole match went by so quickly,'' said Seles, clearly in awe of the crowd's mammoth reaction to nearly every point. ''I just started missing the ball.''

For Evert's part, it was her most impressive performance thus far in the tournament. ''I certainly didn't expect to win by that score,'' she said. ''Up until two days ago, I didn't expect to win the match at all the way I was playing.''

Perhaps getting used to the sudden drama surrounding her matches here - or just simply finding her competitive juices again after a long layoff following Wimbledon - Evert looked rejuvenated.

''The pressure was off me a little because I opened the newspapers and read all these reports on how Monica was going to beat me,'' Evert said with a sly smile. ''If anything, that helped me.

''She probably felt the pressure because she had beaten me the last time in Houston earlier this year, and it was her first time on Center Court.''

But the biggest factor, Evert said, was that her famous power of concentration returned. With it came a game worthy of the fourth-ranked player in the world.

''I concentrated like a 17-year-old,'' she said. ''I don't know where it came from because I haven't seen that form all year.''

Seles tried valiantly to throw Evert off stride, using a variety of shots and changing pace. In several prolonged rallies, she resorted to the seldom-used ''moonball,'' popular in the '70s, loathed today.

''I was hoping she wouldn't hit shots like that the whole match,'' said Evert, who advances to the quarterfinals against Zina Garrison. ''It's not the way you want to lose a match. But it is effective.''

Actually, it was one of the few shots that seemed to work for Seles. But she abandoned the strategy fairly quickly. ''The crowd started booing when I hit moonballs,'' Seles said with her trademark giggle.

Today, Seles - a Yugoslavian-born Florida resident - starts the 11th grade at Bradenton Academy.

For Evert, 34, who said her reactions have suddenly gotten quicker over the last few days, the drama only continues to build toward an anticipated showdown with Martina Navratilova in the semifinals.

The nostalgia just won't go away.

''Two days ago when I knew I had to play Monica, I kept thinking that isn't it ironic that I would draw her of all people,'' Evert said. ''If this was my last big match, wouldn't it be even more ironic if she beat me? Maybe that was fate. It only entered my mind for a second. And all these things made me more determined than ever.''

Garrison advanced by beating Donna Faber, 6-4, 7-6. If Evert beats Garrison, she will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between Navratilova, who beat Regina Rajchrtova, 6-2, 6-0, and Manuela Maleeva, who beat Natalia Zvereva, 6-2, 6-0.

Wimbledon champion Boris Becker struggled again, losing the first set before taking 27 of 30 points in a crucial stretch to beat Mikael Pernfors, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

Becker will play unseeded Yannick Noah, who upset 10th-seeded Albert Mancini, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 11 Jay Berger stopped unseeded Pete Sampras, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 and will play 14th-seeded Aaron Krickstein, who beat Paul Haarhuis, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 05:55 PM   #2389
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Goodbye Girl? It`s Not Chris Evert Routs Seles To Reach Quarterfinals
September 4, 1989
By JIM SARNI
Sun-Sentinel

FLUSHING MEADOW, N.Y. -- Louis Armstrong Stadium was full, with some paying $100 a ticket. The U.S. Open press box was jammed, and a row of TV cameras lined the interview room.

Many thought this would be the end.

Instead Chris Evert wrote to be continued.

Evert smashed Monica Seles 6-0, 6-2 Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals of her final U.S. Open. The beat goes on.

Seles, the 15-year-old Yugoslav sensation, was supposed to bring the curtain down on the six-time champion. But the Chris Evert Farewell Open resumes Tuesday, with Zina Garrison next in the role of villain.

Garrison defeated Donna Faber of Bradenton 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Martina Navratilova topped Regina Rajchrtova 6-2, 6-0; and Manuela Maleeva ousted Natalia Zvereva 6-2, 6-0 in other matches Sunday.

``I knew I had to play a lot better than I did in my first three rounds and I did,`` Evert said. ``I felt really calm, because the pressure was off me a little. I`ve been reading all the stories about how Monica was going to beat me. I concentrated like I was 17 again. I don`t know where it came from, because I haven`t seen that form all year.``

Seles is one of the future stars of the sport, but she is only a kid, and Sunday, a nervous teen-ager was not ready to beat Chris Evert -- not in her last U.S. Open.

Seles did not want to play Evert, win or lose. And Evert wasn`t about to lose.

``I kept thinking, isn`t it ironic that I would draw Monica of all people, and wouldn`t it be even more ironic if she beat me,`` said Evert, who was the hot-shot teen-ager when she played her first Open.

``Maybe that was fate. All these things made me more determined.``

If it was fate, it was fate with a memory. In 1971, 16-year-old Chris Evert lost to Billie Jean King.

``This was a big match for me, a huge match for me,`` said the six-time U.S. Open champion, who has reached the quarterfinals 19 times in 19 tries.

``I really felt like I deserved to win this match. I said that against (Laura) Golarsa at Wimbledon, too. I felt like I`ve been working really hard the last few weeks and struggling a bit, and it is my last major tournament. I had a tough draw -- I sound like I just won the tournament -- it`s a big win for me. Let`s put it this way. I`m very pleased.``

This was not a flashback to Forest Hills, but to a match in Charlotte, where a 15-year-old from Fort Lauderdale stunned a Grand Slam champion, Margaret Court.

``I felt like Margaret Court out there and Chris Evert was on the other side of the net,`` Evert said. ``The crowd helped me a lot that day. If the crowd had been all for Monica, which it may have been if I were 28 and not at the end of my career, it might have made a difference. I felt really psyched up, and I felt the crowd was for me. That helped.``

Seles felt like the Cubs against the Mets at Shea Stadium across the street. The fans roared for Evert. Chrissie is forever their girl.

``If I made a good shot, there were a couple of people for me,`` Seles said. ``I knew that everybody would be for Chris, but I`ve never been in this situation, so that was a little strange.``

Evert got off to a shaky start. Seles elected to receive, and Evert double- faulted on the second point to fall behind love-30.

Evert fought back to deuce, then hit a backhand winner down the line in a long rally, the first of several tough exchanges that Evert would command.

Seles netted a backhand return on the next point, and Evert had a lead she would never surrender.

Evert broke Seles at 30, enduring a barrage of confounding moonballs, before Seles landed a backhand into the net. Evert held at 30, then broke Seles again, at love.

``At 4-0, I was really intense,`` Evert said. ``Then I got a little excited, and I thought `Chrissie, it`s 4-0. Anything can happen.```

Seles made her charge in the next game, taking Evert to break point five times. But Evert would not budge. She won the game with two forehand winners on the sixth deuce. Evert broke to complete the 32-minute love set.

Evert won the first two games of the second set, but Seles broke back at deuce for 2-1.

Seles could not secure a foothold. Evert broke back for a 3-1 lead, then held serve for 4-1. Seles held serve for the first time, but it was too late. Evert won eight of the last 10 points.

``It was my experience and I was more patient,`` Evert said. ``I had a lot of depth on my shots, and I kept her pinned on the baseline and just hit with her.

``In Houston (Seles won). She was more patient on the clay. Today the court was a little faster, and I just stayed with her. She was starting to pick up her game in the second set, but I kept the pressure on and didn`t really let her back into the match.``

``Chris wasn`t missing at all, and she was hitting every ball hard,`` Seles said. ``It`s going to be hard for other players to beat her when she plays like that. The crowd is going to be totally on her side.``

Now the onus -- who wants to be known as the player who beat Evert at her last tournament? -- is on Garrison.

``Tennis is tennis, someone has to win and someone has to lose,`` said Garrison, who is 1-9 against Evert (the victory was at Amelia Island). ``I`m so competitive. This is just another match for me.``

That may be, but let Garrison try to buy some tickets.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 05:59 PM   #2390
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

A PICTURE PERFECT DAY FOR CHRISSIE
The Record
New Jersey
Monday, September 4, 1989
The Record Staff

Chris Evert, dressed in hot pink and white with a hot-pink ribbon in her salon-streaked hair and a red racket bag slung over her shoulder, came out first.

A clot of photographers waited for her on the sizzling, green floor of Louis Armstrong Stadium. They had been there for some time, making sure they got the historic shot.

"Chrissie's Last Match." That would be the caption on the picture. Not Chris Evert or Chris Evert Mills, or Chris Evert Lloyd America's Sweetheart Mills. Just Chrissie, as it had been 18 years ago when she was a 16-year-old in pigtails making the first big noise of what would become a 19-year tennis symphony.

She obliged them, of course. She stopped and smiled and posed for posterity alongside her fourth-round opponent, Monica Seles.

Seles, a sort of Yugoslav Valley Girl, is 15. Evert was that age when she first beat an old champion named Margaret Court 19 years ago.

Four months ago, Seles, who wears a ponytail that looks as if it's on steroids, had dismantled Evert on clay in Houston. She's about 90 pounds of giggles and grunts, and she hits the fuzz off the ball.

Friday, Evert herself had said she didn't think she could beat Seles in this, her last Open. Seles had said she didn't want to play Evert, which should have been a hint, but who was listening?

No. This was it, and the photographers wanted their pictures as the paying customers more than 19,000 filled every seat in the house.

When the cameras had their fill of images, Evert sat down at courtside, her knees together, her racket bag on her lap. She sorted through her rackets, found one she liked, then stood up and took off her jacket.

They warmed up, the two of them: Evert the retiring Queen, Seles the upstart usurper. The public address announcer introduced them. Evert got a big cheer. Seles got polite applause. Then, at 1:19 of a dazzling Sunday afternoon, umpire Fran McDonell (who might have been a trivia answer, but wasn't) said, "Time."

Evert hit one last practice serve. Seles whacked it back. The digital clock on top the stadium ticked off another minute. And then Chrissie served for real.

She hit a forehand long: 0-15. She double-faulted: 0-30. Was this how it would end?

No way.

Seles hit a two-handed forehand long, then another. Evert's shots started dropping in. Seles started hitting moon balls big, ugly, arcing things that gave spectators grisly flashbacks of Andrea Jaeger.

Evert, gliding as if on roller skates, returned everything. Right corner, left corner, down the line, cross court. Seles (pronounced: DEAD MEAT), committing more errors than a typewriter with three stuck keys, folded like a Texas savings and loan.

Evert was so dazzling, you could almost see Seles looking at her racket and saying: "I don't think we're in Houston anymore, Toto."

The first set took 32 minutes: 6-0 Evert. The second set took 41 minutes and ended at 6-2.

What was supposed to be a nail-biter turned into a vintage Evert romp, which is to say it was positively boring and wonderful.

Martina Navratilova, who was on Stadium Court chopping up a hapless Regina Rajchrtova (pronounced: SAYONARA), 6-2, 6-0, wasn't the tiniest bit surprised.

"Chris is not going to lose to Seles today," Navratilova said in the interview room while the public vivisection of Seles was still under way.

She should have told someone sooner.

Evert, who was cheered like an abdicating monarch when she finished her little workout, said she didn't have Navratilova's confidence. But by Sunday morning, she said, calm had set in. She no longer thought of losing.

"I opened up the newspapers and read all these reports about how Monica was going to beat me," Evert said. "That helped me."

The legs may not be what they used to be, but there's nothing wrong with her pride. Or her humility.

"I don't know where it came from," she said. "I haven't played that well all year. I don't know why it happened today."

But we know. It happened because Evert isn't going to go out gagging on the butt end of her racket. She's always had more heart than anyone. Skills erode. Heart lasts forever.

Zina Garrison is next on the list of people who could be Evert's last match. Then it could be her friend and ancient rival Navratilova in what would be Evert's 18th semifinal appearance in 19 Opens. And then it could (could it really?) be Steffi Graf in the final.

Evert won't win it all, of course. Graf, if no one else, will serve her up like a plum pudding. But Evert wasn't supposed to beat Seles Sunday.

"I hope I can keep it up," she said as she gathered her things and left.

We hope so, too.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 06:01 PM   #2391
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Chris Evert Queen For a Day Again - She Overpowers Seles in U.S. Open
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Monday, September 4, 1989
Bruce Jenkins, Chronicle Staff Writer

As Chris Evert walked off the court yesterday, a brilliant and convincing winner, one had the feeling it's all being staged. In upcoming episodes, Martina Navratilova will get a severe case of nerves, Steffi Graf will pull a hamstring, and Evert will walk away from tennis with a U.S. Open championship.

It doesn't seem that far-fetched anymore. Evert called up a priceless bit of magic yesterday, surprising even herself in overpowering Monica Seles, 6-0, 6-2. Some 20,000 fans came to Louis Armstrong Stadium for a dethroning, and they got an execution instead.

"Deep down, I felt like I deserved to win," said Evert. "It was such a huge match for me. The way I played . . . I don't know where it came from. I haven't seen it from myself all year. I'm so pleased it happened today."

From everything Chrissie heard, the smart money was on Seles. "I read the papers and saw all these reports that Monica's going to beat me," she said. "I kept thinking, 'How ironic to draw her, of all people.' A 15-year-old, first-year player, just like I was once. Maybe it was fate. All these things made me more determined."

There was a long, scintillating point in the first game, the two players exchanging bullet groundstrokes deep into the corners. It appeared the match would last all afternoon, in its glory, just as the fans had anticipated.

But in the second game, Seles began an unfortunate tactic known as "moonballing." You saw it in the days of Tracy Austin and Andrea Jaeger. You might recall Elise Burgin using the strategy - high floaters from the baseline - with some success, against Evert earlier in this tournament.

It was one thing for Burgin, Evert's longtime friend and court opponent, to spring the moonball on Chris. The element of surprise seemed to work for a while. But Seles is just starting out. She's made her mark as a relentless blaster from both sides. That's what she does best. Evert stared down her moonballs with utter disdain, even when Monica offered up seven in a row, and refused to lose patience. The result was a clinic of Evert consistency - and a real lesson for Seles.

(Fran McDowell, the chair umpire, could use a lesson, too. Like some tennis novice, she pronounced Chris' name "Everett" throughout the match.)

Trailing 4-2 in the second set, Seles managed a couple of key points when her moonballs, pushed by a stiff wind, pinned Evert against the back fence and bounced high out of her reach. "Not a very dignified way to win points," Chris scoffed. But Evert won that game, too, exposing a Seles forehand that, on this day at least, left much to be desired.

An Evert-Navratilova semifinal seems pretty likely right now. Martina scored a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Regina Rajchrtova of Czechoslovakia yesterday, and she'll be heavily favored to steamroll Manuela Maleeva, who pounded Natalia Zvereva off the court, 6-2, 6-0.

Evert needs to beat Zina Garrison, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 victory against Donna Faber, and that hasn't been a problem in the past. Chris is 9-1 lifetime against Zina, losing only on clay during the 1985 WITA championships. In their most recent meeting, at the Lipton tournament this April, Evert won easily, 6-3, 6-1.

This is a different Garrison, though - at least according to Zina. "I'm a little older now, and a little wiser," she said. "My athletic ability has always been there, but I've gotten mentally tough. People have to deal with me now. I believe I can go out there and play against anyone - Chris included. I'm competitive always, on and off the court, so this is just another match for me."

The rest of the women's fourth round will be completed today, and that semifinal continues to look like Steffi Graf vs. either Gabriela Sabatini or Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Evert felt sympathy for Seles, saying, "It was her first time on the center court, she'd beaten me the last time we played (in Houston), the crowd was on my side, the wind was kicking up - it was all very different for her."

Seles admitted feeling nervous "and a little bit strange," and said, "You could tell right away how well Chris was playing. She just wasn't missing. It will be hard for anyone to beat her, if she keeps playing like this."

Even at the age of 34. Someone asked Seles what she'll be doing at 34, and she drew a complete blank. "I can't imagine," she said. "That's one more lifetime than I've already had."
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 06:02 PM   #2392
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

EVERT PUTS OFF RETIREMENT FOR ANOTHER DAY - VICTORY PUTS HER IN QUARTERFINALS
THE SEATTLE TIMES
Monday, September 4, 1989
Associated Press

NEW YORK - Chris Evert, playing nearly perfect tennis against a teen-ager who wasn't quite ready for prime time, postponed retirement yesterday and kept her dream of a final U.S. Open championship alive

Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, though, struggled again in his bid for his first U.S. Open title, losing the first set before taking 27 of 30 points in a crucial stretch to beat Mikael Pernfors 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

Becker's 3 1/2-hour victory put him into the quarterfinals against unseeded Yannick Noah, who upset 10th-seeded Albert Mancini 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Evert, 34, looked as youthful in pink and white, with a rose ribbon in her short ponytail, as her opponent, 12th-seeded, 15-year-old Monica Seles. But Evert showed greater patience and precision to reach the quarterfinals for the 19th straight year.

Evert, the fourth seed and six-time Open winner, moved Seles around the court like a puppet on a string, sending her chasing balls from corner to corner, in and out, to win 6-0, 6-2.

In rallies that sometimes lasted more than 50 shots, Evert matched the moonballs and power strokes of the grunting, squealing Seles, and wore her down with angled and deep shots that frequently kissed the lines.

``I don't know where it came from,'' Evert said. ``I haven't seen that form all year.''

The only trouble Evert encountered came in the fifth game of the first set when Seles had six break points on Evert's service. But Evert hung in, while Seles wasted her opportunities with forehands in the net, and capitalized on her first advantage to put the game away.

``I felt if she had won that game, she would have gotten back in there,'' Evert said.

Evert said she felt like Margaret Court, the former Open and Wimbledon champion who was at the peak of her career when Evert first played and beat her at age 15.

``Up until two days ago, I didn't expect to win the match, the way I've been playing,'' she said.

``When I first saw that I would be playing her, I said, `Isn't it ironic. It would be my last big match, and I'd lose to her.' Maybe that was fate . . . it entered my mind for one second. All those things made me more determined. I concentrated well, I moved well. I'm so pleased it happened today.''

Seles said Evert ``wasn't missing any balls at all. She was hitting hard on every ball. She doesn't feel any pressure on herself and it will be hard for other players to beat her if she plays like that.''

Evert said Seles probably will be one of the world's top three women players within the next few years, but may have been bothered by the crowd cheering for Evert.

Evert, who received standing ovations from the packed crowd on her entrance and exit, next faces fifth-seeded Zina Garrison, who beat Donna Faber 6-4, 7-6.

If Evert survives that match, reaching the semifinals for the 17th time, she would go against the winner of the quarterfinal match between No. 2 Martina Navratilova, who beat Regina Rajchrtova 6-2, 6-0, and Manuela Maleeva, who beat Natalia Zvereva 6-2, 6-0.

Becker, the men's second seed, survived a five-set match in the second round, a four-setter in the third round and the four-setter in the fourth against Pernfors, the two-time NCAA singles champion from Georgia, who beat Becker in the quarterfinals of the 1986 French Open.

Becker's blazing first serve was off target in the first set and beginning of the second set.

``I've had better days with the serve,'' said Becker, who finished with a sub-par 47 percent of first serves. ``Sometimes (my toss) goes too high, sometimes it goes too low, sometimes it goes to the right. I didn't serve well at all.''

His serve began to find its mark in the key seventh game of the second set after he shook off some soreness in his neck.

That game went to seven deuces, including five game points for Becker, before he finally held to go up 4-3. Becker then broke an exhausted and foot-sore Pernfors at love, and held again to take the set.

Becker kept up the assault in the third set, giving up only two points in winning the first four games, and wasn't threatened again.

``Before in Grand Slams, I've had quite easy draws,'' Becker said. ``In this Grand Slam, I've had a tough draw. That's too bad. I have to make the best of it, and I'm happy with the way I'm fighting on court. The bottom line is winning when you're not playing well.''

Noah, who recently had considered retiring, said he has nothing to lose against Becker.

``I'm glad I'm there, and I'm playing to win,'' Noah said.

``He's a strong player and we know each other.''

Noah said he decided to keep playing tennis and hired Dennis Ralston as his new coach. ``I'm playing the way I love to play, I'm giving it everything I have and I feel wonderful,'' Noah said.

Jay Berger, the 11th seed, stopped unseeded upstart Pete Sampras, the 18-year-old who beat defending champion Mats Wilander.

Berger's 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 victory put him into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event for the second time. He lost to Becker in straight sets at the French Open this year, and lost in the round of 16 at the U.S. Open in 1985.

-----------------------------------------------------------

U.S. OPEN/ At a glance

-- TV schedule: KIRO-TV (channel 7), 11:30 a.m.; USA, 4 p.m.

-- Recap: Chris Evert managed a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Monica Seles, defeating the teen-ager who beat her earlier this year, the loss that convinced Evert to retire from tournament tennis.

-- Upset: Unseeded Yannick Noah advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 10 seed Alberto Mancini.

-- Statistics of the day: Martina Navratilova has won two of her matches in 45 minutes, one in 51 minutes and the other in 53.

Michael Chang, the youngest male player in the field at 17 years, 6 months, has reached the fourth round in his past four Grand Slams.

Boris Becker made just 47 percent of his first serves, compared to 71 percent for Mikael Pernfors. Despite Pernfors' edge, Becker won the match.

-- Today's featured matches: Jimmy Connors meets third seed Stefan Edberg for a berth in the quarterfinals. Connors holds a career 5-3 edge, but Edberg has won their past two meetings. No. 9 Tim Mayotte goes against No. 7 Michael Chang. Women's top seed Steffi Graf meets Rosalyn Fairbank.

-- Quote of the day: ``They are animals. I played like an animal all my life. Being put in a cage with these people is a lot of fun.'' - Jimmy Connors on why he enjoys playing in New York
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Old Yesterday, 02:02 AM   #2393
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Re: Chris Evert Thread

Her ironic that Chris got pumped up for the Seles match and then fell in a surprise loss to Zina. By the late 80s there were too many flat days like the one she had vs Garrison. You can see it slowly happening to Serena too.

1989 was a good time to go. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house the day Chrissie packed up her racquet for good at the Open.
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