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Old Apr 30th, 2002, 11:44 PM   #31
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Chrissie's last slam title:

Lloyd Wins French Open for 7th Time She Retains Title With Victory Over Top-Seeded Navratilova
The Los Angeles Times Jun 8, 1986; ELLIOTT ALMOND;

PARIS


They started this affair on March 22, 1973, at an indoor tournament in Akron, Ohio. An uneventful match of tennis was played, with the sport's No. 1 player beating a newcomer from Czechoslovakia, 7-6, 6-3.

The newcomer didn't care. She was thrilled to meet the champion. While learning the game in Prague, she idolized the champion, referring to her as "a blonde goddess."

But after 13 years of competition and genuine, heartfelt friendship, they both are champions. They are at the summit of women's tennis, if not the sporting world. They are Martina and Chris, Chris and Martina, whichever you prefer.

The fashionable talk in women's tennis circles may be the blossoming of youngsters Steffi Graf, Carling Bassett and Gabriela Sabatini, but when all is said and done, when it is time to watch a Grand Slam final, it is Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd who must be reckoned with.

When they met for the 69th time Saturday afternoon in the women's final of the French Open at Roland Garros Stadium, they showed what this venerable rivalry is all about.

They showed a friendship and respect that has been weaved together through years of bouncing balls and bouncing life styles. It's true, life's unfair. When they meet on center court it's sad someone walks away as the loser.

But not on Saturday. Not when Lloyd, after being given little chance to win an unprecedented seventh French singles title, started poorly and then played two flawless sets to bring the French to their feet with cheers as she defeated Navratilova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Navratilova leads the series, 36-33.

Lloyd, who has been in the news more for her comment on her unstable life, passed Bjorn Borg and Suzanne Lenglen with her seventh title. Yet, she seemed to let the moment pass as quickly as her radar-perfect shot flung by a stunned Navratilova.

Though a monumental victory in a monumental rivalry, Lloyd was content to outwardly play it cool. That's part of this Chris and Martina thing.

"I didn't want to make her feel any worse than she already did," Lloyd said. "I know how she is feeling. I didn't want to jump around out there after it was over. But deep inside, I am thrilled."

Lloyd, 31, has reason to be thrilled. She started so poorly that it looked as if the women's final was going to be as exciting as a marathon game of Risk.

Serving poorly, Lloyd seemed out of rhythm, something Navratilova has a habit of doing to opponents. Lloyd lost her first three serves and was incapacitated by Navratilova's strong left-handed forehand. She lost, 6-2, in less than 45 minutes.

But with the second set, Lloyd came to play. Navratilova did not play poorly, but it was one of those special days when Lloyd, weaned on the slow surfaces of Florida, was keyed to take command.

"I'm not unhappy with my playing," Navratilova said. "I have no reason to hang my head. She just played a great match. She made some unbelievable passing shots." Lloyd, fearing Navratilova's dreaded forehand, tried to work the ball deep to the backhand. The strategy was smart on paper, but on center court it was an entirely different matter. To make it work, Lloyd had to pinpoint each shot because of the stiff wind that swept up clay dust storms throughout the match.

To Navratilova's dismay, Lloyd was able to hit the baseline and keep the ball in play-not once, but almost at will. And when Navratilova, 29, tried her pat serve-and-volley attack, Lloyd answered with a passing shot.

As Lloyd began hitting shot after shot after shot in the second set, her confidence began to build. So did her first serve, which had failed her in the first set.

Except for a brief moment in the decisive set, Lloyd remained on cue.

Navratilova, however, said the third game of the third set was the match's turning point. Leading, 2-0, and serving against the wind, Navratilova failed to take advantage as Lloyd made the big plays to close it to 2-1.

"That was one of the few really poor games I played," Navratilova said. "That may have been the match for me. I could have taken a 3-0 lead with the wind."

Lloyd won her serve on four straight points to tie the set, 2-2. Navratilova won the next game, but that was it as Lloyd's strength increased as the match progressed.

"She seemed to win all the crucial games," Navratilova said. "She won all the turning points. I thought my forehand would be a good enough weapon against her. But I'm not used to running around that much; she was passing well.

"If I play like I did today, I'll win most of my matches. I would have won last year's final if I played this well."

Last year, Lloyd broke Navratilova's dominance of 13 straight wins over her by scoring a 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 victory in the French Open final. Navratilova defeated her in three sets in the Australian Open last December, and then again last March in a Virginia Slims tournament at Dallas, 6-2, 6-1.

Such losses left Lloyd outwardly despondent over her game, and she has contemplated retiring. At least those closest to her have suggested as much.

With the victory-Lloyd has beaten Navratilova 14 of 24 times in three-set matches-she may want to hang around a little longer. With days like this, there is no reason for Lloyd to think about anything but her next two-handed backhand lob, cross-court drive or robot-like baseline defense.

Of Navratilova, Lloyd said: "If I'm going to beat Martina, this is my best shot, on the clay. Her game is more effective on the grass . . . she rushes me more. No matter what happened today, Martina is still number one."

She also came to Navratilova's defense with regard to the hostile crowd, which decidedly favored Lloyd. After the match, Navratilova told the fans: "Last year, I spoke to you in French, but this year, I'm going to talk in English. It doesn't seem to help much, anyway. Maybe next year, I'll get a little more support."

Later, she said: "I don't know if I'm too strong for them, or too threatening. After last year, I thought they'd be more even. I don't know what I have to do."

What she needs to do is find a way to beat Lloyd here.

As it is, Saturday's victory was Lloyd's 18th Grand Slam title, and the 13th consecutive year she has won at least one major tournament, starting with the 1974 French Open.

And though Navratilova is the world's top-ranked player and Lloyd is No. 2, there's no denying that each has her own space in tennis history. For these two, sharing is a way of life.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 02:48 AM   #32
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Actually I thought Chrissie looked her best the summer of 1978. She was not bone thin like the 80's version, but kind of voluptous and sexy. She had just met John Lloyd and she actually looked happy on court.

But, yeah, Rollo...straight hair O N L Y ! Her mid-late 80's perms were the worst. Very BJK-Barbra Streisand 80's. Oy!
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Old May 1st, 2002, 04:49 AM   #33
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She did get very thin, didn't she Mark? In 1981 I thought she was border-line anorexic. Streisand-LOL
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Old May 1st, 2002, 07:11 AM   #34
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Hi guys Long time no post here. I feel like I'm letting the Chris fans down. Rollo, I liked her 1983 image, but the first time I saw her with her new haircut (for '84) she looked awesome. It was the Madison Square Garden final against Martina where she pushed Martina for the first time in ages. I think the score was 6-3, 7-5, 6-1. Martina was full of praise for Chris after the match (as always). It was the first time we saw Chris finally ditch the wooden racquet. I think the match took place in March '84.

As I said in the ladies thread, once Chris opted that whole perm look, she was kinda inconsistent. It sometimes looked good, but most of the time, it was prettyy bad. The worst was Wimbeldon '85. It looked like someone had put rollers in her hair, and vacuum sealed it into a tupperware bowl.

Thanks for posting the 86 FO article Rollo. It brought back a lot of fond memories. It's interesting to hear MArtina saying that the match was of a higher standard than the 85 final . Not in my opinion!

Chris fans, do you find that you have a photographic memoryof what Chris wore at each of the matches you have seen of hers, still after all this time?
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Old May 1st, 2002, 01:16 PM   #35
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Yes, all my visions are always of her in that mint green, pink outfit. I also preferred the pony tail look near the end of her career...

I have an old auotbiography of Chris called 'Chrissie' It dates around the John Lloyd era backwards so if anyones interested in anything she wrote about certain players matches ect..... then I'll gladly post.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 04:42 PM   #36
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Post away Louloubelle! You're always worth reading.

I wish I had a photographic memory what Chris wore. I tend to remember years more. I swear I can look at a Chris or Martina pic and guess the year.

I tend to remember little traits. The way she pushed her hair back in place before serving. The "yeah" when she got beat with a good shot(Martina did this too-today's women don't do it nealry enough IMO). The laser look in her eyes when she dressed down a linesperson without saying a word. The hunter moving in for the kill stare she used on opponents.

Wimbledon 85 was a bad hair event, huh ballchange?
I'll go back and look at some pics. Maybe we can have a Chrissie bad hair day pic contest

I didn't know Chris gave up her wood racquet in 1984. It makes sense, as that was the time she started serving bigger with more double faults. Martina was on fire that day in New York. I was amazed Chris was playing so well and stilll got beat.

I agree with Martina about the 86 French being a higher quality match. I won't swear by it because I don't have tapes, but I think 1985 was windier. Also, in 85 Martina was trying topspin a lot more, and her shots were landing shorter in the court. The 86 final was a rare case of Chris just taking Martina out IMO.

Of course 85 was more dramatic.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 08:21 PM   #37
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Thanks for the great article Rollo. I watched the 1986 Final a few months back. It was a high quality match indeed. The first set Chris couldn't serve to save her life. Some of the rallies belonged in todays game. The accuracy Chris displayed in that particular match was something else. The telecast screwed up the match point however.

Thanks for easing my curiosity. I agree too, Who can watch a five set match? Not me either.

louloubelle. I look forward to your posts. I've read "Chrissie" twice and the other book "Lloyd on Lloyd" But as usual the details are not with me right now, so your posts are eagerly awaited.

Hello ball change please. Don't think your absense hasn't been noted. Hope you're doing well. 85 was a year to remember THE HAIR!! lol@ the tupperware look!

On a side note. There has been some talk on the boards that it would be an idea for Chris to take the captaincy of the US Fed Cup team. What do you think? I don't think she could bear to leave her three sons. Do you guys think she would make a good captain? I'm not sure myself. Not that BJK is going anywhere. Just thinking out loud.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 01:17 AM   #38
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Louloubelle, your posts would be very much appreciated. As I said in the ladies thread, I rue the day I purged those books!


DoubleFault, I'm not sure how Chris would go as a Fed Cup captain. Do you think the players would find her a little annoying. She would probably spend most of the time recounting her best matches etc etc.....j/k. I really can't picture Chris in a coaching capacity, esp if she had to coach player that weren't her favourites.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 04:19 PM   #39
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I'm with ball change. Chris as coach doesn't seem a good fit to me. She seems to wrapped up in her kids and charities. That's fine, but leaves little fire in her for Fed Cup IMO. Pam Shriver would be a better pick.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 01:02 PM   #40
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Chris and Pam tended to only play Fed Cup when it suited their schedules. Especially Pam who really only played when Martina did. I can recall only once when she played without her!!
It seems a bit funny to have either of these two captaining this team when years back they didn't seem that passionate about the event!?
But who could blame the USTA for not throwing in someone with some pulling power after the previous fiasco with Capriati. I think however BJK will be there next year...

Anyway a Chris story. Her friend Janet Haas decided to throw a party before a Slims final that Chris was playing Martina. Anyway the likes of Rosie, Olga, Chris and even Martina were there so the atmosphere when Chris and Martina hit the court was very relaxed. Well Martina won in straight (this is during the time where Chris had the edge over Martina). Chris was angry afterwards allowing herself to party on and eating when she should've been psyching herself up for the match. To make matters worse her and martina were playing a doubles final against Rosie and Frankie Durr and so the atmosphere was a bit frosty before the match. Anyway Chris and Martina were wiped 60 75 because of this. Frankie Durrs dog Topspin often came onto the court with Durr and carried a racquet in it's mouth. As it happened on this day, to lighten things up Martina followed the dog with a racquet of Chris's in her mouth!! Martina's spontaniety melted any ice from earlier in that day!!!
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Old May 9th, 2002, 03:35 PM   #41
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Funny story louloubelle

Sorry, but I feel I must defend Chris a bit. She played Fed cup 6 consecutive years(1977-82) and played 1 year more than Martina AFTER Martina became a US citizen. At 40-2, Evert did her share in helping the US win 8 of the 9 Fed Cups she entered. Not too shabby

Martina's 3 Fed cups were together with Chris in:1982, 1986, and 1989. Chris and Pam were in the famous 1987 Fed Cup doubles when they barely lost to Graf and Kohde in a thriller.

In Martina and Pam's defense, most Fed cup ties in the past were on clay, not their favorite surface. Martina was 20-0 in Fed singles, and has the unique record of winning Fed Cup for 2 different nations!
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Old May 10th, 2002, 05:20 AM   #42
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Nice thread. Good posts.

Martina also played Fed Cup in 1995.

Pam has been on "two" Federation Cup teams without Martina - 1987 & 1992.
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Old May 10th, 2002, 02:21 PM   #43
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Yeah Chris has been a supporter and I did forget that she ended her career in Japan playing Fed Cup with Martina. But I can always remember Wendy Turnbull declaring her passion for Fed Cup but saying that her close friend in Chris Evert always thought that playing Fed Cup once every couple of years was OK which was what she done during the 80's. But as you say she played 10 years or so and that's not bad.
I think that I never really heard her, Martina or even Pam advocate for Fed Cup than the likes of Hana, Wendy Turnbull, Seles, ASV and I think that may have cost it some credibility over the years. That's why I wonder if they have the passion to convince the very best to play Fed Cup. Martina's reign as captain was very short.

Yes, Zummi I forgot Pam played in 1992 with the awesome US team of McNeil, G. Fernandez, Debbie Graham on clay!!!! It was the year that Aus made the final with Nicole Provis stunning Steffi Graf in the first rnd in Germany i think!?. The my biggest thrill in tennis ever. Pity I've only got TV highlights on tape. I think captain Wendy nearlly jumped onto the court before the final point had finished. Stubbs and Smylie scrapped over Rittner and Huber and then waltzed thru the final as below strength teams fell by the wayside. Spain smacked us in the final, but Australia's effort to get to the final was enough!!!!!
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Old May 10th, 2002, 08:31 PM   #44
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That was 1993 when Australia made the finals, Loulou. In 1992, the USA made the semis, which I thought was a great effort being that they were an all S&V-team playing on clay of all surfaces and managed to beat France in the quarters.

I'm not sure what Chris' reasons were but I certainly do not blame Martina for not playing Federation Cup more in the 80s and 90s. I don't think she ever felt appreciated as an American by the American public, especially during the 80s, and her three appearances in the 80s went by unnoticed. During her last couple of years on tour, she was playing World TeamTennis which coincided with Federation Cup - Billie Jean King, her coach at the time, had no problems with that decision

Pam's problem was that if she played it was usually only in doubles as there was always Martina & Chris ahead of her. And the few times she could have played singles when those two didn't play, the location/surface posed a problem. 1983 in Switzerland? 1984 in Brazil? 1985 in Nagoya? No wonder Martina, Chris & Pam didn't play those years.
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Old May 11th, 2002, 08:36 AM   #45
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Did Martina play singles or doubles in 1995 Zummi? I think location and timing had a lot to do with Fed Cup falling off in certain years. For a couple years it was right after Wimbledon and far away on clay(Zurich in 83 and Brazil in 84)-not good prep for the US Open. Martina's reasons for going to Prague in 86 are obvious, and in 1982 it was in California and good hard court practice for the US Open.

The worst Fed cup I can recall was 1988. It was at Flinders Park near Christmas time. There was maybe 1 top ten player.

Fed Cup has never gotten much press here in the US. The two biggest things I can remember are the Capriati controversy and 86, which got a lot of press because Navratilova was returning to her homeland. There's a nice Sports Illustrated article if you can get if Zummi.
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