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Evonne was a great player, nevertheless I cannot regard her as a no.1 cause she didn't seem to have that 100 and 10 percent toughness that Seles, Evert, Navratilova, King or Austin had.
 

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Alfa, Austin might have won much more than 1,2 more GSs had she not been injured. After all she had overtaken Navratilova and Evert in 80,81.
 

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That's OK Robert... but Evonne was ranked #1 officially, and deservedly so. Who cares about toughness - it isn't the be all and end all. Natural ability has an impact as well, and very few in the history of the sport has as much natural ability as Evonne. Just because she wasn't as focussed as those others you mentioned doesn't mean she didn't deserve her time at #1.

As for Austin, she was a great player during 79, 80 & 81. So was Seles from 1990-93, so was Connolly from 51-53. Unfortunately, all of their careers were tragically cut short so sadly we shall never know how truly great they could have been.... and all three may have potentially challenged to be the greatest ever, certainly Connolly deserves her place at the pinnacle (along with the other legends) with her astonishing record.
 

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In her autobiography "Home", Evonne talks about the VS circuit in 1976, where she played consistently great tennis and ended the circuit (jan-apr) at the top of the points table. She was seeded #1 for the circuit championships, ahead of Evert, and she won them, beating Evert in the final. She actually wrote something about (I'm paraphrasing here) how thrilled she was to have climbed back to being number one in the world. At that moment (April 1976), she was reigning Australian and Virginia Slims champ and had been runner up at the 75 Wimbledon (to King) and the 75 US Open (to Evert). The WTA computer didn't put her at number one but she must have been so damn close all the way through 76 until her form fell off in the autumn (when she was pregnant).

For me, she should clearly be considered a former world #1. Comets shine just as brightly as stars, even if they don't last as long.
 

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Tennisvideos, Evonne was no. 1 in 1971? Who made the rankings back then? I thought the official ranking began in 1973, the computer rankings in 1975.

Referring to Austin I didn't want to go into deeper speculation, it just sound strange to me that IF you speculate to assume she would only have won 1 more major, due to the fact that she had been so succesful from 79 to 81.

By the way, I put Seles and Connolly in the same category. If you look at their Grand Slam records they are about the same (winning 8 in 3 years). And both got to the top of the game unbelievably fast, within less than 2 years after joining the tour.

Surely Monica lost a handful of more matches in her best years (in smaller tournaments) than Maureen did, but in the early 90s there's surely more depth in Tennis than it had been in the 50s.

Where do you see the difference between those 2 ?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
The rankings were based on opinions rather than fact before 1973. If we were to use today's ranking system for 1971 who would be the true #1. I think Evonne won 11 tournaments including the French and Wimbeldon. She made the finals of the Australian Open and didn't play the U.S. Open. King won 19 tournaments including the U.S.Open and a semi berth at wimbledon. She didn't play the Australian and French opens. Let's add up the numbers and put this debate to bed!
 

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FYI (from Tennislovers.com)

Unofficial world rankings for men and women determined by the London Daily Telegraph from 1914-72. Since then, official world rankings computed by men's and women's tours. Rankings included only amateur players from 1914 until the arrival of open (professional) tennis in 1968. No rankings were released during World Wars I and II.

Multiple winners: Helen Wills Moody (9); Steffi Graf (8); Margaret Smith Court and Martina Navratilova (7); Chris Evert Lloyd (5); Margaret Osborne duPont and Billie Jean King (4); Maureen Connolly, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles (3); Maria Bueno, Althea Gibson, Suzanne Lenglen, Lindsay Davenport (2).

Year Player

1925 Suzanne Lenglen
1926 Suzanne Lenglen
1927 Helen Wills
1928 Helen Wills
1929 Helen Wills Moody
1930 Helen Wills Moody
1931 Helen Wills Moody
1932 Helen Wills Moody
1933 Helen Wills Moody
1934 Dorothy Round
1935 Helen Wills Moody
1936 Helen Jacobs
1937 Anita Lizana
1938 Helen Wills Moody
1939 Alice Marble
1940-45 No rankings
1946 Pauline Betz
1947 Margaret Osborne
1948 Margaret duPont
1949 Margaret duPont
1950 Margaret duPont
1951 Doris Hart
1952 Maureen Connolly
1953 Maureen Connolly
1954 Maureen Connolly
1955 Louise Brough
1956 Shirley Fry
1957 Althea Gibson
1958 Althea Gibson
1959 Maria Bueno
1960 Maria Bueno
1961 Angela Mortimer
1962 Margaret Smith
1963 Margaret Smith
1964 Margaret Smith
1965 Margaret Smith
1966 Billie Jean King
1967 Billie Jean King
1968 Billie Jean King
1969 Margaret Court
1970 Margaret Court
1971 Evonne Goolagong
1972 Billie Jean King
1973 Margaret Court
1974 Billie Jean King
1975 Chris Evert
1976 Chris Evert
1977 Chris Evert
1978 Martina Navratilova
1979 Martina Navratilova
1980 Chris Evert Lloyd
1981 Chris Evert Lloyd
1982 Martina Navratilova
1983 Martina Navratilova
1984 Martina Navratilova
1985 Martina Navratilova
1986 Martina Navratilova
1987 Steffi Graf
1988 Steffi Graf
1989 Steffi Graf
1990 Steffi Graf
1991 Monica Seles
1992 Monica Seles
1993 Steffi Graf
1994 Steffi Graf
1995 Steffi Graf & Monica Seles
1996 Steffi Graf
1997 Martina Hingis
1998 Lindsay Davenport
1999 Martina Hingis
2000 Martina Hingis
2001 Lindsay Davenport
2002 Serena Williams
2003 Justine Henin-Hardenne

As you can see- Evonne Goolagong was considered #1 in the world for 1971. These rankings prior to the computer were the generally accepted standard. Obviously, much greater emphasis was placed on winning Wimbledon- however, it was THE world championships, and deserved this weighting.
 

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Thanks Alfa.

Wierd to see BJK at number 1 for 1974. I would have put her at 2 or 3.

Didn't Chris win 56 matches in a row that year (including the French and Wimbledon wins and a runner-up finish at the Aussie + Slims finale and semi at US)?

I think Evonne had a good argument for at least number 2 with the Aussie (over Evert) + Slims finale (over BJK and Evert) and the US runner-up (over Evert, snapping the streak).

If someone is going to be kind enough to run the 1971 numbers, can you do 1974 as well. I think it would be very interesting.
 

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Mark36 said:
Thanks Alfa.

Wierd to see BJK at number 1 for 1974. I would have put her at 2 or 3.

Didn't Chris win 56 matches in a row that year (including the French and Wimbledon wins and a runner-up finish at the Aussie + Slims finale and semi at US)?

I think Evonne had a good argument for at least number 2 with the Aussie (over Evert) + Slims finale (over BJK and Evert) and the US runner-up (over Evert, snapping the streak).

If someone is going to be kind enough to run the 1971 numbers, can you do 1974 as well. I think it would be very interesting.
I agree, it's a compelling argument that Chris Evert finished 1974 as the top player. Interestingly enough, the WTA Computer took over in 1975. I have a little problem with Martina Navratilova taking 1978 on the merit of her Wimbledon win over Chris. I'd say Chris should have been #1 at the end of 1978 as well.
 

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I always thought Martina deserved the number one spot in 1978, since she dominated the (Evert-less) Slims tour and played consistently well the entire season.

Chris played wonderful tennis, but probably 30 matches less than Martina. They were equal in terms of majors, 2 a piece. What was their head to head? 2-1 for Evert? Didn't World Tennis or Tennis Magazine give Evert the nod in their year-end rankings?
 

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Mark36 said:
I always thought Martina deserved the number one spot in 1978, since she dominated the (Evert-less) Slims tour and played consistently well the entire season.

Chris played wonderful tennis, but probably 30 matches less than Martina. They were equal in terms of majors, 2 a piece. What was their head to head? 2-1 for Evert? Didn't World Tennis or Tennis Magazine give Evert the nod in their year-end rankings?
I believe WorldTennis did give Evert the nod- Rollo, correct me here if I'm wrong. The majors, however, went as follows:

French Open: Virginia Ruzici def. Mima Jausovec
Wimbledon: Martina Navratilova def. Chris Evert
U.S. Open: Chris Evert def. Pam Shriver
Australian Open: Chris O'Neill def. Betsy Nagelsen (moved back to Dec)

Martina only made it to the Wimbledon final that year!
 

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78 went down to the wire. Martina had Wimbledon (def Evert in f) and the Slims champs but Chris had the US plus the colgate champs (def Nav in final). Their h2h was 3-2 to Chris. Chris won 7 tourneys /11 (3 losses & conceded a w/o) and Martina won 11/18 (7 losses).
 

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This was the last year of World Team Tennis - so nobody big played the French, and the Aussie dropped by the wayside after Goolagong got preggie/injured. The majors in 1978 were really Wimbledon, US Open, Virgina Slims Champs and the Colgate Champs.

Both won 2, beating each other in finals. Chris had one more win over Martina, but Martina had 4 more titles. Chris had the better winning percentage and ended the year on a much higher note, but I would still give it to Navratilova for her year long consistency. She had the year's biggest winning streak: 35 matches = 7 tournaments won in a row

Did anyone happen to see that strange match they played a few weeks after the US Open in Atlanta? 7-6 0-6 6-3 to Chris. I was thrilled after MN won the middle set in a blow out, thinking she had the match. But as usual, CE never gave up. One of their oddest matches, by far.
 

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For me it's Martina by a whisker too, for the same reasons. The ITF designated Evert as world champ but the WTA computer had Martina just ahead. MN had the better record on grass and indoors but CE was still top on clay and cement.
 

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Andy T said:
For me it's Martina by a whisker too
:lol: You mean the furry-legged feminist in her was strong enough to pull her past ChrisAmerica by an unkempt armpit?
 

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You Wicked person alfa!!!!! Yep - us lefty sexual devients have to stick together!
 

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Enjoying all this discussion... keep it going guys.

Robert - The only reason I separate Connolly and Seles is that Monica continued her career and it is a tragedy that she has been unable to replicate her earlier form due to a considerable number of factors. So I will always rate Connolly that little bit higher, her career was almost flawless.

Monica holds a special spot in my heart, and I will personally always regard her as one of the greatest players for her remarkable achievements prior to the stabbing. In fact, if it wasn't for Monica my interest in womens tennis during the 90s would have waned considerably.

And by 71 World #1 I did mean the official unofficial rankings as posted by Alfajester :)
 

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Ok, I understand your point. A bit of a pity is that Monica now is considered by many not as great as she would be if she had not came back. Your opinion reveals that, too. Her career was almost perfect before the stabbing, so many look at her later results as spoiling factors for her records. But wasn't it an achievement alone to come back? This is so underrated. Also, her results after the stabbing alone are good enough to become a name in the record books. When Monica came back she was mentioned along with Navratilova, Evert or Court. These days, many don't do that. Well, many who don't know much about Tennis.
 

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Here is Goolagongs record for 1971. Kings record will be sent soon.

Year Round Tournament Player Score
1971 2R WA CHAMPS STOVE 86 62
1971 3R NSW OPEN STOVE 64 36 75
1971 W VICTORIAN COURT 76 76
1971 W CHRISTCHURCH STOVE 61 64
1971 RU AUCKLAND COURT 36 76 62
1971 W NSW HC
1971 RU AUSTRALIAN OPEN COURT 26 76 75
1971 QF DURBAN ORTH 26 75 64
1971 RU SOUTH AFRICAN COURT 63 61
1971 W SUTTON WILLIAMS 75 26 63
1971 W GUILDFORD COOPER 64 63
1971 3R HURLINGHAM DALTON 3 SET
1971 RU BOURNEMOUTH COURT 75 61
1971 W FRENCH OPEN GOURLAY 63 75
1971 RR NOTTINGHAM LOST COURT 64 60
1971 W WIMBLEDON COURT 64 61
1971 RU DUBLIN COURT 63 26 63
1971 QF HOYLAKE HOGAN 60 46 62
1971 W LEISTER HOGAN 62 61
1971 W HILVERSUM SANDBERG 86 63
1971 RU TORONTO DURR 64 62
1971 W EDINBURGH DURR 60 64
1971 SF BILLINGHAM HELDMAN 60 75
1971 SF WEMBLEY DURR 64 64
1971 RU ABERAVON WADE 76 63
1971 W TORQUAY DURR 61 60
1971 SF LONDON HELDMAN 60 06 61
1971 W QUEENSLAND GOURLAY 62 76
1971 W AUSTRALIAN HC SCHALLAU 61 61
 
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