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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
didnt evert miss the french open in like, 76, 77 and 78? why was that?

no doubt if she had played she would have won each time - poor old Sue wouldnt have had it so lucky!
 

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She played World Team Tennis instead. :sobbing:

Just think if she'd played. She have more Slams than Navratilova.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i cant believe that! did she not realise that r9oland garros was more prestigious? i realise WTT was probly better paid, but still!

heres one fo rthe sue fans....

 

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was the fo even as valuable, ranking points wise, as wimby or the uso?
 

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i cant believe that! did she not realise that r9oland garros was more prestigious? i realise WTT was probly better paid, but still!

heres one fo rthe sue fans....

Well, Chrissie wasn't the only one. Quite a few of the top players played WTT instead of Roland Garros, Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong among them. Oh well, we don't begrudge good old Sue her slam title. ;)
 

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was the fo even as valuable, ranking points wise, as wimby or the uso?
It was considered important, but Wimbledon and the US Open were considered more important than the two other slams. The Virginia Slims Championships (todays YEC) was the third most important tournament, ahead of the French Open and the Australian Open. The only thing that is the same to today is that if given the choice of five career titles all the top players then would also have chosen those five, just like todays players would, but the ranking order would have been slightly different: 1) Wimbledon, 2) US Open, 3) YEC, 4) French Open, 5) Australian Open. That all changed in the 80's when all four slams became equally as important with the YEC as the number five of the list.
 

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Back in the 60's and 70's, the US Open and Wimbledon were the only two tournaments that really, REALLY mattered.

The French didn't really get complete attendance until the mid 80's, and the Australian didn't get complete attendance until the late 90's. Graf skipped it regularly, as did Novotna and several other serve and volleyers.

Peter Bodo (love him or hate him, he does have some astute observations now and then) noted during Miami that the field for Miami in the mid-90's was typically stronger than the women's field at the Australian and the men's field at Wimbledon.

It's really not a historical quest to win the 4 slams. Margaret Court is unique because she was one of the first players who competed in all four slams when she was fit to (not injured or pregnant).
 

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Also Navratilova missed many many many French Opens and Australian Opens throughout her career but hardly ever missed a US Open or a Wimbledon.

Players then didn't realize how their achievements would be measured, that's the problem. The Australian Open and Roland Garros were very weak tournaments compared to anything the United States or Wimbledon had to offer, so players avoided the trip. Can you imagine Sharapova skipping the Australian Open because the flight is long? Things have just changed so much.
 

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Back in the 60's and 70's, the US Open and Wimbledon were the only two tournaments that really, REALLY mattered.

The French didn't really get complete attendance until the mid 80's, and the Australian didn't get complete attendance until the late 90's. Graf skipped it regularly, as did Novotna and several other serve and volleyers.
I would date it slightly earlier than that though. From the 1980's onwards all the main contenders played the French and the Australian Open got a huge boost in 1987 when it became the first slam of the year. In fact, from 1981 onwards the big guns (Evert, Navratilova, Austin, Mandlikova, Jaeger) all took part in the AO.

Some players might have skipped those events, but in recent times you've also had claycourt specialists that didn't play Wimbledon or grasscourt specialists that didn't play the French, but that's because they figured that they didn't have a chance of winning anyway.

But I wouldn't exactly say that the French or Australian didn't matter previous to that. True, Wimbledon and the US Open were more important, but the FO and AO were definitely "the most important of the rest" so to speak (behind the YEC).
 

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Also Navratilova missed many many many French Opens and Australian Opens throughout her career but hardly ever missed a US Open or a Wimbledon.

Players then didn't realize how their achievements would be measured, that's the problem. The Australian Open and Roland Garros were very weak tournaments compared to anything the United States or Wimbledon had to offer, so players avoided the trip. Can you imagine Sharapova skipping the Australian Open because the flight is long? Things have just changed so much.
The flight wasn't the only (or even most important) problem. The fact that it was held during the holiday season was the main problem.

Roland Garros was only a relatively weak tournament in the mid-70's. Before and after that the draws (and especially the winners, virtually all of them ATG's) were considerably stronger, although maybe not quite up to 80's and beyond standard.
 

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The Australian Open's hugest hurdle was its tennis facilities. The press boxes were atrocious and it lagged behind the other majors in providing a championship venue. There was ZERO television coverage of the Australian Open in the states until Melbourne Park was completed in 1988, when ESPN began covering it.

With the completion of Melbourne Park, came the increased attendance.

I remember being young and having to wait until the following day after the finals to get results from the local newspaper. Sometimes the television sports guy on the local news wouldn't even mention the results.
 

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didnt evert miss the french open in like, 76, 77 and 78? why was that?

no doubt if she had played she would have won each time - poor old Sue wouldnt have had it so lucky!
The French Tennis Federation banned World Team Tennis participants from playing Roland Garros because they saw WTT as a threat to the European clay season. In 1974, Jimmy Connors won Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open, but was banned from the French.
 

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great convo in this thread.

guess it does happen every once in a long while. :)
 

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The French Tennis Federation banned World Team Tennis participants from playing Roland Garros because they saw WTT as a threat to the European clay season. In 1974, Jimmy Connors won Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open, but was banned from the French.
Thanks for pointing this out, Darrin. Jimmy really had a shot for the slam, so that was really too bad. Vitas Gerulaitis once had a fit too, because losing the ability to play those tournaments made him lose an end of year bonus!

Chris also said later that she felt that being banned from the French hurt her best chance (in 1976) to win a grand slam.

Chris played WTT for two reasons:

a. Money!!! :lol: She was very well paid (and deserved it)! She was the most valuable player, and when one looks at attendance records per match, Chris was a huge help increasing it league wide. The money was not only good for Chris, but it was guaranteed money for everyone involved (while it lasted).

b. Most of the top women had started playing WTT prior to 1976, and Chris wanted to be where the best competition was.

WTT was a huge help to several women with making their games more competitive, which they put to use at Wimbledon and the US Open. Both Evonne Goolagong and Chris said at various times that the practice and coaching in WTT helped them become tougher.

Remember, back then most players didn't travel with coaches. In WTT, they had daily coaching during the season (which was split into 2 -- spring and then after Wimbledon). Evonne pointed out that playing WTT helped her overcome being a "slow starter" because each event per team match was only one set, and one couldn't help their team win being a slow starter.

Chris credited Tony Roche (Federer's ex coach, but in 1976 the player/coach for the Phoenix Racquets in WTT) for hours of practice and coaching on her volley. She said when she first rolled into Phoenix, Roche told her that he was focusing on helping her win Wimbledon that year. She was much improved at net with Tony's help, and managed to outlast Evonne 8-6 in the third to clinch the Wimbledon title!
 

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(Referring to Australian Open) The flight wasn't the only (or even most important) problem. The fact that it was held during the holiday season was the main problem.
Chris has said a time or two that she didn't play the Australian Open in the 70's (except once as Chrissiefan pointed out), because it was scheduled in late December, which conflicted with Christmas and her birthday. Which she preferred to spend with her family.

I remember her playing the South African Open in December of 1973 when Arthur first made his historic visit to the event (and Chris and Jimmy got engaged). But wasn't the SA Open scheduled a little earlier in December than the AO back then?
 

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WTT. period. She could have won all 3, she was unbeatable in the true sense of the word in clay.
 
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