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That should raise a few eyebrows.:)

However, 'Greatest' is a very vague and subjective word. So let me be very clear on the specific definition I'm using of 'greatest of all time'. And it is NOT based simply on GS singles titles.

By 'Greatest', in this instance, I mean, the player who has had the greatest impact on how the sport is played today. Unless you go back to the pre-Chris era, it's hard to appreciate how much of an effect she had. In an era of serve-and-volley tennis, she played on the baseline. She hit the ball hard, (given wood rackets) and she was terrifyingly accurate. It was said Chris Evert could hit a hundred balls into a one foot square at the corners of the court a hundred times in a row. There were days when she simply didn't miss.

Understand, I was a Billie Jean King fan. And, in those days, baseline play was considered inferior to serve-and-volley play. So I did NOT admire Evert's game when she suddenly showed up. And I sure wasn't happy with the way she knocked around the rest of the tour. She was a machine, pure and simple. She ran the baseline and hit corner to corner til she hit a winner or the opponent came in and she passed them.

She's the model of today's player.
  • One handed forehand, two-handed backhand. She was the first big time player of the two-handed backhanded.
  • Fit, she could run all day, even pre-Navratilova.
  • Hit hard. This was NOT a 'hit-and-giggle' tennis player.
  • Stay on the baseline
  • Pass anybody who dared to come to net
  • Practiced a LOT. (There's a story about BJK consoling Rosie Casals after an Evert butt-whipping by telling her "It's okay honey, she's probably hit more balls than we have.")
  • Dad as coach.
When you look at all the great players, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, King, Court, Lenglen, THE player who more players modeled themselves after than any other was Evert. It was like every little girl athlete in America wanted to be Chris Evert.

She was also, in that pre-Internet era, a celebrity. Chris Evert exhibition matches were televised.

Yes, 18 GS singles titles help make her case too. But when you look at how today's players play, (as I said to Chrissie-fan) it's as if they cloned Chris Evert a couple hundred times, and then fed growth hormones to the new resulting children. That's 85% of today's tour.

The player who's game is the model for Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchova, Mary Pierce and on and on and on is Chris Evert.

She's the prototype.

There's no case for anyone else having as great an impact on HOW the game is actually played today.

So.....

Chris Evert is the greatest tennis player of all time. :)
 
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i just love chris, her career, and mostly how she impacted the game. she's such a great athlete too, and she's rarely given credit for that. she was just always in position and never scrambling. also her ice cold demeanor was just so amazing.

tennis, especially in america may have never reached the level it has if she had never played. (of course the same can be said of bjk, nav, seles, anna, the williams sisters). i just tend to think evert's contribution is so often overlooked.
 

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I have no problems with this line of thinking- afterall, she was my first favorite player... of course these kinds of things are extremely subjective and whatever criteria you come up with Chris as the best ,some one can think of twice as many reasons why Navrat, Steffi, or even WS are the greatest of all time.

One thing not on your list that is very much a stapple in todays game would be fitness and athlectness of much higher degree than Chris ever displayed. Navrat is probably the trailblazer with regards to fitness (although Steffi took it to another level). Steffi is the trailblazer with regards to an agressive game built solely around the baseline (again, another stapple in todays game). While Chris was effective from the baseline, she applied more strategy than aggression. And I would say that Monica would be the trailblazer with regards to players having power off both wings (which again, is another stapple in today's game.)

We are where we are today because of a lot of players- not any one single player. Some players obviously have contributed more than others, but it's definitely building on the shoulders of others...
 

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Gee,thanks Volcana,I almost get a little bit misty eyed reading this ;) . Maybe I should post a "Volcana is the greatest poster" next,because as always your post is well argued and hard to disagree with,even if I would be a fan of someone else. :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :smoke:

Volcana said:
That should raise a few eyebrows.:)

However, 'Greatest' is a very vague and subjective word. So let me be very clear on the specific definition I'm using of 'greatest of all time'. And it is NOT based simply on GS singles titles.

By 'Greatest', in this instance, I mean, the player who has had the greatest impact on how the sport is played today. Unless you go back to the pre-Chris era, it's hard to appreciate how much of an effect she had. In an era of serve-and-volley tennis, she played on the baseline. She hit the ball hard, (given wood rackets) and she was terrifyingly accurate. It was said Chris Evert could hit a hundred balls into a one foot square at the corners of the court a hundred times in a row. There were days when she simply didn't miss.

Understand, I was a Billie Jean King fan. And, in those days, baseline play was considered inferior to serve-and-volley play. So I did NOT admire Evert's game when she suddenly showed up. And I sure wasn't happy with the way she knocked around the rest of the tour. She was a machine, pure and simple. She ran the baseline and hit corner to corner til she hit a winner or the opponent came in and she passed them.

She's the model of today's player.
  • One handed forehand, two-handed backhand. She was the first big time player of the two-handed backhanded.
  • Fit, she could run all day, even pre-Navratilova.
  • Hit hard. This was NOT a 'hit-and-giggle' tennis player.
  • Stay on the baseline
  • Pass anybody who dared to come to net
  • Practiced a LOT. (There's a story about BJK consoling Rosie Casals after an Evert butt-whipping by telling her "It's okay honey, she's probably hit more balls than we have.")
  • Dad as coach.
When you look at all the great players, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, King, Court, Lenglen, THE player who more players modeled themselves after than any other was Evert. It was like every little girl athlete in America wanted to be Chris Evert.

She was also, in that pre-Internet era, a celebrity. Chris Evert exhibition matches were televised.

Yes, 18 GS singles titles help make her case too. But when you look at how today's players play, (as I said to Chrissie-fan) it's as if they cloned Chris Evert a couple hundred times, and then fed growth hormones to the new resulting children. That's 85% of today's tour.

The player who's game is the model for Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchova, Mary Pierce and on and on and on is Chris Evert.

She's the prototype.

There's no case for anyone else having as great an impact on HOW the game is actually played today.

So.....

Chris Evert is the greatest tennis player of all time. :)
 

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i think that winning more than half the tournaments she entered over 19 years of top level play and making at LEAST every semifinal of EVERY grand slam she entered for the first 16 years of her career (with only 1 exception, due to food poisining! :eek: ) is a good indication of the consistency you are talking about, and why she could never be discounted from any best-ever discussion.

but i am not convinced she can soley be counted as the prototype for todays players--or would want to be--because chris was a thinker not a bruiser...a chess-player as much as an athlete. she hit lobs & drop shots and mixed up her pace & down the line and cross court shots with regularity to always construct a point with variety, and in ways which gave her the upperhand both in positioning and being in control of a rally.

she did hit very hard from the baseline but unlike a great deal of top players today, those shots were always hit with great purpose...and so many players today are gunning for winners the whole time, entirely lacking patience (and often skill) to wait for an opening. evert would never even WANT to win a match by brute force...she would want to dig inside and earn a victory that was rewarding for reasons other than just winning. This may separate her from the current players the most...dignity, class, honor, and an intense disdain for "getting it easy".

If she ISN'T the "best" player, I would say she was the greatest "champion" the sport has ever seen. Possibly in any sport.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
daze11 said:
but i am not convinced she can soley be counted as the prototype for todays players--or would want to be--because chris was a thinker not a bruiser...a chess-player as much as an athlete. she hit lobs & drop shots and mixed up her pace & down the line and cross court shots with regularity to always construct a point with variety, and in ways which gave her the upperhand both in positioning and being in control of a rally.

she did hit very hard from the baseline but unlike a great deal of top players today, those shots were always hit with great purpose...and so many players today are gunning for winners the whole time, entirely lacking patience (and often skill) to wait for an opening.
Modern science has yet to perfect the cloning process. We require more time. Additional facilities. LARGE :devil: amounts of research money...
 
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Volcana said:
That should raise a few eyebrows.:)

However, 'Greatest' is a very vague and subjective word. So let me be very clear on the specific definition I'm using of 'greatest of all time'. And it is NOT based simply on GS singles titles.

By 'Greatest', in this instance, I mean, the player who has had the greatest impact on how the sport is played today. Unless you go back to the pre-Chris era, it's hard to appreciate how much of an effect she had. In an era of serve-and-volley tennis, she played on the baseline. She hit the ball hard, (given wood rackets) and she was terrifyingly accurate. It was said Chris Evert could hit a hundred balls into a one foot square at the corners of the court a hundred times in a row. There were days when she simply didn't miss.

Understand, I was a Billie Jean King fan. And, in those days, baseline play was considered inferior to serve-and-volley play. So I did NOT admire Evert's game when she suddenly showed up. And I sure wasn't happy with the way she knocked around the rest of the tour. She was a machine, pure and simple. She ran the baseline and hit corner to corner til she hit a winner or the opponent came in and she passed them.

She's the model of today's player.
  • One handed forehand, two-handed backhand. She was the first big time player of the two-handed backhanded.
  • Fit, she could run all day, even pre-Navratilova.
  • Hit hard. This was NOT a 'hit-and-giggle' tennis player.
  • Stay on the baseline
  • Pass anybody who dared to come to net
  • Practiced a LOT. (There's a story about BJK consoling Rosie Casals after an Evert butt-whipping by telling her "It's okay honey, she's probably hit more balls than we have.")
  • Dad as coach.
When you look at all the great players, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, King, Court, Lenglen, THE player who more players modeled themselves after than any other was Evert. It was like every little girl athlete in America wanted to be Chris Evert.

She was also, in that pre-Internet era, a celebrity. Chris Evert exhibition matches were televised.

Yes, 18 GS singles titles help make her case too. But when you look at how today's players play, (as I said to Chrissie-fan) it's as if they cloned Chris Evert a couple hundred times, and then fed growth hormones to the new resulting children. That's 85% of today's tour.

The player who's game is the model for Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchova, Mary Pierce and on and on and on is Chris Evert.

She's the prototype.

There's no case for anyone else having as great an impact on HOW the game is actually played today.

So.....

Chris Evert is the greatest tennis player of all time. :)

And Dick Fosbury is the greatest high-jumper of all time, Dumbo .....
 

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So because she is the "prototype" of today's players, that makes her the greatest player of all time? Huh?

Let's separate two items here: She may be the most influencial player of all time (still extremely debatable, especially these days when it's girls like the Williams sisters and Sharapova who are the main promoters for the women's side of the sport), but that doesn't make her the greatest PLAYER of all time.
 

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faboozadoo15 said:
i just love chris, her career, and mostly how she impacted the game. she's such a great athlete too, and she's rarely given credit for that. she was just always in position and never scrambling. also her ice cold demeanor was just so amazing.

tennis, especially in america may have never reached the level it has if she had never played. (of course the same can be said of bjk, nav, seles, anna, the williams sisters). ....


Yeah, Seles and Anna. With a combined zero Wimbledons. Top level.
 

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Paialii said:
She may be the most influencial player of all time (still extremely debatable, especially these days when it's girls like the Williams sisters and Sharapova who are the main promoters for the women's side of the sport)
Doesn't matter. Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry are the most influential artist in the history of the rock era of popular music although most contemporary artists are influenced by other artists from their own time. But Elvis and Chuck "changed the rules" so to speak and made everything that came after them possible,so that those later artists ARE influenced by them,even though they may not even be aware of it themselves. Similarly Evert "changed the rules" of how the game is played and opened the door for all those other players to follow,as described by Volcana. :smoke:
 

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Paialii said:
So because she is the "prototype" of today's players, that makes her the greatest player of all time? Huh?

Let's separate two items here: She may be the most influencial player of all time (still extremely debatable, especially these days when it's girls like the Williams sisters and Sharapova who are the main promoters for the women's side of the sport), but that doesn't make her the greatest PLAYER of all time.

:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
 

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Dick Fosbury was the most influential high jumper of all time, everyone's model now. Was he the best ever? He was nowhere close to even being the best of his time..
 

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Keep in mind that the advent of graphite racquets in the 80's meant that most players coming along would be baseliners, though Chrissie did it with wood. So technology helped push many others onto the particular trail she'd blazed.

daze, Martina II may have been the best "point constructor" since Chris, but was simply outgunned starting around the time Serena won the '99 USO. Justine is IMO the "power hitter" who does that best these days.
 

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But Volcana's original post is about "most influential",not necessarily "the best." Besides,there's no such thing as "the best ever",and if there is it must be Helen Willis who didn't lose a single match for seven years (in fact she lost only two sets for that entire period). Of course if you bring that up a zillion people will argue that "competition was tougher later on in history" or "they hit the ball so much harder today."........There's always some argument one can come up with to suggest that one all time great was better or inferior than the other. Fun,and I love those kind of debates,but in the end it's nothing more than speculation. Graf,Evert,Court,Seles,Willis,Connolly,Navratilova,Lenglen and King are way up on Mount Olympus as far as I am concerned,they have the resume to prove it.:smoke:

ys said:
Dick Fosbury was the most influential high jumper of all time, everyone's model now. Was he the best ever? He was nowhere close to even being the best of his time..
 

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Volcana said:
That should raise a few eyebrows.:)

However, 'Greatest' is a very vague and subjective word. So let me be very clear on the specific definition I'm using of 'greatest of all time'. And it is NOT based simply on GS singles titles.

By 'Greatest', in this instance, I mean, the player who has had the greatest impact on how the sport is played today. Unless you go back to the pre-Chris era, it's hard to appreciate how much of an effect she had. In an era of serve-and-volley tennis, she played on the baseline. She hit the ball hard, (given wood rackets) and she was terrifyingly accurate. It was said Chris Evert could hit a hundred balls into a one foot square at the corners of the court a hundred times in a row. There were days when she simply didn't miss.

Understand, I was a Billie Jean King fan. And, in those days, baseline play was considered inferior to serve-and-volley play. So I did NOT admire Evert's game when she suddenly showed up. And I sure wasn't happy with the way she knocked around the rest of the tour. She was a machine, pure and simple. She ran the baseline and hit corner to corner til she hit a winner or the opponent came in and she passed them.

She's the model of today's player.
  • One handed forehand, two-handed backhand. She was the first big time player of the two-handed backhanded.
  • Fit, she could run all day, even pre-Navratilova.
  • Hit hard. This was NOT a 'hit-and-giggle' tennis player.
  • Stay on the baseline
  • Pass anybody who dared to come to net
  • Practiced a LOT. (There's a story about BJK consoling Rosie Casals after an Evert butt-whipping by telling her "It's okay honey, she's probably hit more balls than we have.")
  • Dad as coach.
When you look at all the great players, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, King, Court, Lenglen, THE player who more players modeled themselves after than any other was Evert. It was like every little girl athlete in America wanted to be Chris Evert.

She was also, in that pre-Internet era, a celebrity. Chris Evert exhibition matches were televised.

Yes, 18 GS singles titles help make her case too. But when you look at how today's players play, (as I said to Chrissie-fan) it's as if they cloned Chris Evert a couple hundred times, and then fed growth hormones to the new resulting children. That's 85% of today's tour.

The player who's game is the model for Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchova, Mary Pierce and on and on and on is Chris Evert.

She's the prototype.

There's no case for anyone else having as great an impact on HOW the game is actually played today.

So.....

Chris Evert is the greatest tennis player of all time. :)

Back then Jimmy C was my favorite Player. I didn't watch many womens matches. But when He and Chrissy became an Item I started watching
and she became my Favorite women player. Saw her play some good
matches. As a youngster I was frustrated when she would lose to Nav
But loved that Roland Garros where she upset Nav and reclaimed the
Number 1 spot.
 

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Interesting, you didnt mention her mental toughness. That, IMHO, was her greatest virtue. She was a fortress who just didnt know the meaning of the word choke.

Also, you didnt mention her drop shot. She could hit that shot like no one else.

Had she most impact? I agree she's close. But while she paved the way for all the back court players, her back court game is not really a model for todays.

She was more of a counterpuncher, not really like the all-out offensive clobbering of of the first ball that goes on today.

Most posters here have no idea how much of a golden age it was when she sparred with MN. THose were such great matches. The power in the game today is great, but I think it takes someting away from point construction. and goddammit, there are no serve volley:counterpunchin' baseliner rivalries anymore.
 
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