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Few if any players have earned the reputation for mental toughness that Christine Marie Evert held.

At the 1971 US Open "Chrissie" mania exploded after she saved 6 match points vs Mary Ann Eisel on national television. Poms pom socks, straight hair, and a ponytail pulled at the heartstring of the crowds, which adopted her as a heroine.

Many things would change after 1971 for Chris; going from high flying adored darling to the coolness of the British public, which dubbed her "Ice Dolly".

From 1974 to 1978 Evert ruled all before her. It was this period that saw fans at their coolest, naturally rooting for her foes because a crowd likes the underdog.

With the rise of Tracy Austin and later Martina Navratilova from 1979 Evert went from favorite to crowd favorite once again. That same year her marriage to John Lloyd helped with the English public.

Whatever the year two things remained unchanged. On court she was a lady. No telling umpires to F off or over questioning of calls. Chris wore ruffles rather than ruffled feathers.Then there was her mental toughness. Inside the dainty exterior was a woman of iron and ice. Many was the time Evert snatched victory out from the jaws of certain defeat.

Perhaps it is fitting that Evert's birthday falls on the first day of winter, for her coolness under fire proclaimed that the Icewoman Cometh.

Here are some of her matches from match point (or points) down.

1971: US Open 2R: d. Mary Ann Eisel 4-6 7-6 (5-1) 6-1-saving 6 match points in the 2nd set.

1973: World Invitational: d. Billie Jean King 4-6 7-6 6-1-saving a match point in the 2nd set.
 

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Perhaps it is fitting that Evert's birthday falls on the first day of winter, for her coolness under fire proclaimed that the Icewoman Cometh.

Here are some of her matches from match point (or points) down.

1971: US Open 2R: d. Mary Ann Eisel 4-6 7-6 (5-1) 6-1-saving 6 match points in the 2nd set.

1973: World Invitational: d. Billie Jean King 4-6 7-6 6-1-saving a match point in the 2nd set.
Rollo, if my memory serves me right, the Ice Queen saved two match points against the Fire King in that 1973 match. On the first match point, she stormed the net! On the second, BJK served a double fault, I think, LOL.

Other memorable matches which spring to mind are against Navratilova at Eastbourne in 1979 and against Wade at the Wightman Cup in 1980. And I think Lesley Hunt may have had match points against Evert in their second-round match at Wimbledon in 1974...
 

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She's 62, right? Hard to believe.
Crazy isn't it Mark? Let's all stay 40 something or even 30 something-ok? At least in out hearts.

Rollo, if my memory serves me right, the Ice Queen saved two match points against the Fire King in that 1973 match. On the first match point, she stormed the net! On the second, BJK served a double fault, I think, LOL.

Other memorable matches which spring to mind are against Navratilova at Eastbourne in 1979 and against Wade at the Wightman Cup in 1980. And I think Lesley Hunt may have had match points against Evert in their second-round match at Wimbledon in 1974...
I watched the match last night.

Your memory serves an ace Sumarokov-Elston!

Those two match points were exactly as you called them. Pancho Gonzalez made some cute comment after Evert smacked the volley for a crisp winner.

It still took several deuces for Chris to hold to get to 4-5. King doubled on match point at 5-4, but again it took Chris several more deuces before she broke.

King even led the tiebreak 3-2. At 3 all she served and came in twice in a row. Both times Chrissie put the ball at her feet and King was forced to half volley.

A disgusted King slammed the ball into the stands after losing the set. I love how you called her Fire King Sumarokov-Elston!

Other things I noticed....how great Billie Jean's backhand was. She could do anything with the ball. Topspin came easy. She pushed Chris off court several times with powerful cross court shots and then the putaway volley. Just as effective was a chip to entice Evert into no mans land.

The 2nd thing was Chris finally serving with only 1 ball in hand. In early matches she served with two balls and threw the second behind her after first serves-LOL>
 
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