1988 Wimbledon SF: Navratilova/Evert Post-Match Press Conference! - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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1988 Wimbledon SF: Navratilova/Evert Post-Match Press Conference!

I just got a hold of a post-match feature from the 1988 Wimbledon semis, with the ever-questionable linecall at 5-6 30-40 in the 3rd set. It's been edited from the full press conference, obviously, but they did a good job of nabbing the highlights and the general thoughts of both Chris & Martina right after the match.

enjoy...

EVERT:
I sort-of thought that ball was right on the line, so in that respect, um… (sighs) …. you know, I was just real surprised that the linesman called it out. But… you know, after thinking about it, it really doesn’t matter what I think because I’m not sitting there on the line, you know? He was just...he thought it was out and he called it out. So…you know, there’s nothing I can do about it.

NAVRATILOVA:
Well, I think that Chris thought the ball was good. I mean, she thought that….the guy didn’t make the call for a little while; it was a little delayed. So she first thought the ball was good; I mean I guess she thought it was good. And they didn’t call it for a split second. And she had already turned around and didn’t realize the guy called it out.
When the ball was first coming over the net, I thought it was good, then it clipped the net, so I thought it may go out. And when it landed it was…I was like, ok, call it please! I mean it was really close; I didn’t see any chalk but it could’ve been…it was really close, I mean.... I cannot say it was good, I cannot say it was out. It was, you know… what am I supposed to do?

EVERT:
I was so sure it was good (voice cracks)… I mean, I reacted, I went like that! (motions hands upwards) I was so happy it was deuce and I was totally unaware that he had called it out. And then I looked and I saw Martina like (stretches her arm out like a handshake) with her hand out like that (laughs), and then I, you know, I put two and two together and figured out the linesman had called it out. And I don’t usually question calls but that was so crucial, and I think that…I don’t know, maybe it was a mixture of hoping and seeing, but I really did think the ball was right on the line.

NAVRATILOVA:
Umm…Chris hit probably the best passing shots I think that she ever hit against me, I think she even passed better this year than last year. And that was an incredible match. So it’s a shame that somebody had to lose it; because it was really really close. And uh, if a couple of things had gone her way, she could’ve won it.

EVERT:
I knew, I knew she was beatable; today she was very beatable. And you know maybe I didn’t play aggressive enough on my returns. A couple of times when she served in the third set, I really sort-of just hit it back to her hoping she would miss it instead of just going for it. And that could have been one of the deciding factors right there.

NAVRATILOVA:
It feels like I’ve played ten matches already this week, it’s been really rough…with the interrupted matches, and today, another interruption (referring to the rain delay)... So I’ll be glad to get the day off, and get myself together. But uh, I’m very happy with the way I’m playing.

Announcer: So, now you know precisely what the fans were talking about today at the tournament: was the ball in or out?

[end of segment]
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, not to dictate how a thread directs itself...but to be clear, I didnt post this to elicit another round of "I think it was in"/"I think it was out"...though we're all free to do so--i think we've already covered that territory. But after all the conjecture by others, I thought the attitudes of the players only a few hours after it went down conveyed a lot and was clear enough so that it really brought the match back to life...I turned it on within an hour of posting it.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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I was rooting for Chris to win this match, but I knew deep down that Martina had a much better shot at taking Steffi out in the final. I couldn't tell from the tv replay whether the ball was good, or not, but I know Chris rarely complained about calls, while Martina often let her emotions take control.

Does anyone think Chris had a chance against Steffi on grass that year?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark37
I was rooting for Chris to win this match, but I knew deep down that Martina had a much better shot at taking Steffi out in the final. I couldn't tell from the tv replay whether the ball was good, or not, but I know Chris rarely complained about calls, while Martina often let her emotions take control.

Does anyone think Chris had a chance against Steffi on grass that year?
I think what pissed Chris off so much was that she knew full-well that may be her last chance to play in the final, which meant a lot to her, whereas Martina, she knew, would have quite a few more shots at it. The issue of whether she would win did not erase her desire, so late in her career, to make an 11th Wimbledon final.

But i do think Chris had a shot that year. ironically,I would not say so about 1987, which is a year i consider to be far better for Chrissie. But her confidence about Graf was low in '87 whereas in '88 she clearly looked forward to playing steffi, having renewed confidence specific to beating Graf.

After being down embarrassingly 1-6 1-5 in the Aussie Open final at the start of the '88 year, Chris began to find the chinks in the armour, and shockingly, reeled off 5 straight games to actually lead 6-5 in that set before Steffi pulled it all together, closing the deal 6-1, 7-6.

When they met at Lipton a few months later, Chris walked in with that 5 game run in mind, and was ready for "a war out there" which ended 6-4 6-4 in Graf's favor, but it was inspiring to Chris because only a few points really dictated who got the 1 break in each set; Steffi got them but she knew that was just the way of tennis...she came away KNOWING she was at a clear competitive level with Steffi.

Their next meeting didn't happen until the 1989 Boca Raton final, where she ended Graf's 44-set winning streak (and Graf had only lost about 7 games going into the final in her previous 4 matches, so she was playing very well) by taking the first set 6-4. A crucial call at 3-3 in the 3rd went against Chris, and she full-on yelled at the Chair in a way i have never seen her before or after, "I don't care if it's BRIGHT!" in response to the chair's excuse of the line call... a Chrissie equivalent to Connors screaming, "I'm an old man. I have to work twice as hard to win each point as he does...don't rob me of my points!" (paraphrase against Krickstein at the 91 Open). From there, she lost 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 but even steffi said after the match chris could easily have won.

While Chris & Steffi only met once on grass (89 wimb sf) where chris was crushed 1 & 2, Chris had been out for months, couldn't even play the warm-up tournament, played embarrassingly bad against Golarsa until she found her range iin the last few games of the match, and just wasn't at all tournament tough and her strokes unpenetrating and unhoned...it was not a fair statement of where her game was at, as evidenced by the quality in her demolision of Seles at the Open in September.

As it was, Steffi lost a set to Martina in the final, and prior to this 88 SF, Chris had beaten Martina twice in a row in straight sets, so comparing these factors, Chris had a shot. She was VERY determined, again, specifically to target steffi at that time, and she had more centre court experience. She's also under-appreciated as a grass court player, having NEVER failed to make the aussie open in any year she played (5 of those being on grass) and having a 5-5 head to head against one as great as martina on grass OUTSIDE of their wimbledon clashes.

With all that said, i wouldn't give Chris a 50/50 chance...she was 33...but I'd give her at the least a 39/61 chance, and when we're talking Evert, she could always come up with the big win.

Last edited by daze11; Oct 16th, 2004 at 06:06 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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I would have given Chrissie a shot to win the Wimbledon title in 1988. And I'd guarantee that Steffi would've respected playing either of the two champions in the final. Playing Chris on grass would have been a much different match and while I think that Steffi would have won, I'd give Chris at least a 30% chance to win that match.

I thought what pissed Chris off was more than just another missed shot at the final, but I wonder if Chris would've played in 1989 if her last moment on Center Court wouldn't have been a controversial one. When the match ended I remember immediately thinking that Chris would indeed be back in 1989, if for nothing else just to leave Center Court in a better way and one that was more customary for Chris.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2004, 10:52 PM
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Thanks for posting this post-match press conference Daze; it was insightful to read both players comments. I was particularly glad to see that Martina was fair enough to state that she herself wasn't so sure whether the ball was in or not.

Under the circumstances, Chris had to be peeved, yet still, once more she handled the matter with unmatched grace, class and maturity, leaving it somewhat open that on own her part that "maybe it was a mixture of hoping and seeing"...how many players would've said that?

Daze and HanafanGA, I agree, Chris definitely would've had a shot in the final IMO, even if the betting odds were against her. It didn't necessarily matter what surface the match was played on, if Chris played her best tennis (perhaps 5-10 % better than in her semi-final performance) and really went for it, she could've beaten anybody...

Just my opinion!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2004, 12:55 AM
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Hey Daze. Thanks for such a wonderful, insightful post. I agree that Chris probably had about a 39/61 chance and I think had she lead 6-2, 2-0 in that final (like Martina) she would not have fallen apart as soon as Steffi slammed a ball into the back wall in anger. Ah 1988!

But who knows? I am tipsy right now and just talking outta my ass again!

I am off to dinner. Toodles!
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