Chris Evert's Grand Slam history
Chris Evert won eighteen grand slam singles tournaments in her career (two Australian Open's, seven French Open's, three Wimbledon Championships', and six US Opens), and was runner-up in sixteen other finals ( giving her 34 finals appearances). Evert competed in 56 Grand Slam singles tournaments, reaching the semi-finals or better in 52 of them. Evert only lost twice in a grand slam tournament before the quarterfinal round, losing at the 3rd round stage at Wimbledon in 1983 and the French Open in 1988.
- 1 1971–1973: Early Grand Slam career, gaining her stripes
- 2 1974–1976: Started amassing Grand Slam victories
- 3 1977–1979: The Ice Maiden legacy achieved with continued Grand Slam accomplishments
- 4 1980–1982: Achieving her stature amongst the greats in the game
- 5 1983–1986: Becoming the all-time great French Open champion and clay-court player
- 6 1987–1989: The decline, and the conclusion to a career
- 7 Career statistics
- 8 References
- 9 External links
1971–1973: Early Grand Slam career, gaining her stripes
1971: The first Grand Slam foray
Evert won 46 straight matches and 12 tournaments, which started February 21, 1971 and went through till the semi-finals of the 1971 US Open. In those semifinals, Evert lost to Billie Jean King, which in the first service game for her she got in a love 40 hole, but was able to win five straight points to take the game, but Evert's demeanor would quickly change with a bad baseline call. This allowed King to take charge of the set and win the next four games in a row from 2–3 games advantage to Evert, which Evert's serve got broken by King in the seventh and ninth games, and the first set was hers 3–6 losing only nine points in the four games. During the second set, King would hit a drop shot winner and from that point onwards Evert lost her games flow pattern and poise, and started hitting errant shots outside of the court. This match was played before a sellout crowd of 13,500 fans in attendance, which included then-Vice-President Spiro Agnew, which King said to Evert at the end of her first lost in a Grand Slam that "Don't let it bother you Chris. You've got your whole life ahead of you."
1972: Continued growth in Grand Slams
Evert made her first semifinal at The Wimbledon Championships in 1972, which was a match that had a serve and volley player in Evonne Goolagong versus the baseliner Chris Evert. The match looked like it was going to the steely-eyed Evert, which she was up one-set to none and three-games to love in the second set and 30-love on Goolagong's service, but Goolagong reigned her focus back in and went on a comeback trail. At that point Googlagong would find a way to hold serve, and in the next game broke Evert's serve off a smash by Evert with a backhand winner to get to 3–2 in the second set. After that, Googlagong started bring Evert into net passing her with cross court shots to win the second set. In the third set, Evert and Googlagong had two tense games at 3-all in the third and pivotal set, which both held serve and leveled at 4-all, but from that point onwards Evert only won one point in the next two games and lost the spot in the finals. Evert had a great post match quote on Goolagong, "But I will be playing Evonne many times again, and next time the pressure will be on her. There are plenty more Wimbledons ahead."
In the 1972 US Open, Evert lost in the semifinals once again, but this time it was worse because she lost in less than an hour. Evert lost the spot in the finals to Kerry Melville, who won the match by a score of 6–4, 6–2, and this was due to the fact Evert's "...shots just weren't working."
1973: A year of close misses in the Grand Slam Tournaments
Evert playing in her first ever grand slam final at the 1973 French Open was defeated by Margaret Court in a hard fought match that Evert said Court “Gut-sing out the match,” which Evert lost 7–6(7–5), 6–7(6–8), 4–6.
Then, Evert went on to Wimbledon in 1973, where she made the final against Billie Jean King, which was delayed a day, and Evert said “I was up for the match a little better yesterday…Today I wasn’t 100 per cent eager to play.” The result of the unreadiness was a lopsided first set 6–0, with “a stream of forehand errors in the 17-minute” set. During the second set, King broke Evert serve to go up 2–0 before a rally by Evert, which took her to 4–3, but she ended up losing her service game in the ninth game of the set to allow King to lead a 5–4. King eventually won the set in the twelfth game at 7–5, which gave her the 1973 Wimbledon title, and Evert said of King “she was too tough…She didn’t make a single. She played great.”
At the 1973 US Open, Evert started off hot by winning the first two games, but Court quickly stormed back to win the next five games, which allowed her to fend off Evert in a narrow win of the first set 5–7. Evert made many passing shots against Court in the second set, which was due to poor tactics by her opponent by coming into net, and this made Court’s error total go up allowing Evert to string together five straight games in a 6–2 set. Conversely, Court went back to the game plan she used to win the first set in the final and decisive third set. During the set Court won the first game and Evert took the next, which Court would win three games in a row breaking Evert’s serve in the four game and going out to a lead of 4–1, which during one game in the Court fell behind 15–40, but would get lucky when Evert missed a smash and the next point was won by Court win an ace. The set and the finals appearance eventually went to Court, who defeated Evert 2–6 in the set.
1974–1976: Started amassing Grand Slam victories
1974: Grand Slam breakthroughs
At the 1974 Australian Open, Evert would face her foe again from the 1972 Wimbledon semi-finals in Goolagong. Evert hit a bad lob shot at 5–6 in the first set tiebreaker, which ended the set at 6–7(5–7). So, Evert had to win the second set to continue to a pivotal third set, which she stormed out to a 4–1 advantage in the set. Googlagong would make a comeback to 5–4 in an attempt to win the match in two sets, but Evert would not let her with a backhand winner that took the second set away from Goolagong 6–4. In the decider set, Evert would be no match for Goolagong because as in her words she played "...a bit sloppy...", which allowed for Googlagong who Evert said "...played better than me" to take the set in a resounding 6 games to love fashion for the championship.
In the 1974 French Open, Evert would play good friend and doubles partner Olga Morozova in the final, who just happened to be her doubles partner at the event, which they won doubles together as a team. In the final, Evert dominated the first set to the tune of a 4–0 lead before Morozova was able to get on the board on her third service game, which was the fifth game of the set, but Evert would win the set 6–1. The second set was just an inkling more competitive because Morozova broke Evert's serve in the fifth and seventh games of the set, but would never hold onto her serve during the entire set, which allowed Evert to win it at 6 games to 2. This was the first ever Grand Slam victory for Evert that came because Morozova was regularly going to the net, which gave Evert ample room to pass or lob, and Evert did that to get effect in "the biggest title I've ever won" stated Evert.
Evert went on to win the doubles title at the French Open partnering with Olga Morozova, who defeated the team of Gail Lovera and Katja Ebbinghaus by a score of 6–4, 2–6, 6–1, and this was her first women's doubles title for her career.
Onto the 1974 Wimbledon Championships, Evert made it to the final to again play friend Morozova. The first set went to Evert in decisive fashion with a 6-games-to-love win to go one set up, but during the second set Morozova would make it competitive in spurts, which was to win two games twice during the set. The final set score was 6 game to 4, which gave Evert the title and her first Wimbledon crown, and the championships point was won on a double fault by Morozova.
1975: First-time winning her national open
At the 1975 French Open, Evert made it to the final to play Martina Navratilova, which this was their first evert encounter in a grand slam final. During the first set, Evert was rather shaky and did not play up to the best of her abilities and lost it 6 games to 2. Conversely, Evert regained her focus to rally in the next two sets to win the title and match 2–6, 6–2, 6–1, which this was her second French Open title in a row.
Evert and Navratilova partnered up to win the women's doubles title by beating the team of Julie Anthony and Olga Morozova 6–3, 6–2, who was Evert's winning doubles partner the year before at the French, and this was her second women's doubles title and second French Open.
The 1975 Wimbledon Championships had Evert faced off against Billie Jean King in the semifinals, which saw Evert win the first set because of the fine groundstrokes she was hitting. King got a pivotal service break on the Evert serve in the first game of the second set, which proved decisive, which Evert showed her poise by breaking back in the fourth game, but this was not enough to get it done against the tenacious King, who broke back in the fifth and seventh service games. During the last set Evert was a cruising up three games and had a 40 to 15 point lead in the set, but King would not be denied, which Evert never once again won a game in the match and lost it in 6–2, 2–6, 3–6.
Evert versus Goolagong was the match for the 1975 US Open title, which the first set went to the superbly playing Googlagong in five games to seven. Goolagong was playing a slashing and attacking style of game during the first set and into the first part of the second set, but Evert fought back with a track down ever ball mentality, which this allowed Evert to win the second set six games to four. In the final set, Evert was down one game to two, she rallied off five more games in a row to win six games to two. To this, Evert responded "I was down on myself the whole match. I felt the pressure. But after two-all in the third set, I don't know what happened but I got more confident. I knew if I could stay in there I could win the match." This is exactly what she did, and this was her first-time that she won the US Open, which is her national open.
1976: A two slam year
In the final of the 1976 Wimbledon Championships, Evert faced off against old rival Goolagong. The first two sets were won via a break of the other opponent and Evert took the first set 6–3, which then Goolagong took the next set 4–6 in order to force a pivotal third set. During the roller-coaster decisive set there was plenty break of serves for both opponents, which the set lasted 50 minutes. Goolagong quickly ran out to a quick 0–2 lead in the third set, which she broke Evert in the second game of the set. Evert would break in the third and fifth games in order to take a marginal advantage in the set of 3 games to 0. Goolagong would not let the break lead stand for Evert and quickly broke back in the sixth game on Evert's serve for a tie at 3 games all. At this juncture of the set, Evert's game was looking better and more attuned to hitting better shots at the baseline and at the net. In the next two games both would hold serve to level the set at 4 games all, but in the ninth game Evert broke Goolagong to take a 5 games to 4 lead, which allowed her to serve for the match. Evert failed to maintain her nerves on serve and Googlagong forced her into three straight unforced errors that narrowed the set to 5 games all. Goolagong would hold her serve in the next service game to take a 5 to 6 games advantage, which Goolagong did not give Evert a single point during this game, and now in the next game Evert was just serving to stay in the match. Evert would show the steely-eyed determination, which she became known for, and held serve in the game to stay in the match and level it at 6 games all, and in the subsequent game Evert would again break the serve of Goolagong in order to serve for the match. In the fourteenth game, Evert would finally put away Googlagong on the only match point for the American with a lob shot, which Goolagong failed to reach the shot, and this was the second Wimbledon Singles title for her career.
Evert and Navratilova partnered up to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon by beating the team of Billie Jean King and Betty Stöve 6–3, 6–2, which this was Evert's third women's grand slam doubles title.
At the 1976 US Open, Evert faced off against Goolagong again for the second-time in a slam final in 1976. The match was basically a systematic trouncing by Evert against Goolagong, the only thing in question was a suspect line call that went in Evert's favor, but being a good sport Evert asked the umpire to reassess the call and gave it to her opponent. From two games to three advantage Goolagong in the first set, Evert took the next ten games off her opponent and took the title and championship. Goolagong could not give any competition to Evert in the final, which she lost for the second year in a row to Evert, which made Evert's record against her 18 to 11. She would lose only 12 games at this US Open on her way to the title. It is the least amount of games lost by a Grand Slam Champion. Evert would say after this win, which was her second slam title of the year that "this has to be the best year of my life."
1977–1979: The Ice Maiden legacy achieved with continued Grand Slam accomplishments
1977: Error's on one, Aces on another
Chris Evert could not manage to defend her Wimbledon title the year before at the 1977 Wimbledon Championship's. Evert would not even make it to the final having been ousted by Britain's Virginia Wade in the semi-finals. The match was lost by Evert in 2–6, 6–4, 1–6, which Evert amassed 25 unforced errors mostly due to a poor forehand shot, and her serve was not much better having made six double faults. Evert said of her poor showing that "I could not reach deep inside of myself and pull out what I needed to win the match."
Ever since losing in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Evert had an intense focus on Forrest Hills, which this marked the third year the US Open would be conducted on clay at the 1977 US Open. Evert made it to the final to face Australian Wendy Turnbull, which Evert would put her focus into practice and win the final by a score of 7–6, 6–2. Evert said of winning all three events at the US Open contested on clay that it was very important to do so because Evert said "I want to stay on top, to be No. 1, and to be No. 1 I think you have to win a major title. This was my chance." This was Evert's third consecutive US Open victory, and her seventh grand slam title for her career.
1978: Fourth consecutive national open
The 1978 Wimbledon Championships saw Evert face-off against Martina Navratilova for the very first time in a grand slam final. Evert showed her experience by winning the first set in six games to two fashion, but the young relentless Navratilova though shaken and stirred by some misfortune early rallied back to win the second set against Evert 4 games to 6. Eventually, Evert would succumb to the young-gun Navratilova in the third set 5 games to 7. At the end of the match, Evert told the press of Navratilova that "she played her best when she got behind. She never got flustered. In the past, I've been the consistent one when the going got tough. Today it was different."
At the 1978 US Open, Evert would play sixteen-year-old Pam Shriver in the final. Shriver showed Evert she was to be taken seriously in the match by winning her first service game at 15 points for Evert, which was the first game of the match. Evert would have a hard time shaking Shriver off during the first set because of mostly double faulting three-times in one game in the eight game of the set to allow Shriver to break back to level the set 4-games all. Evert would lose the next game to go down 4 games to 5, which she said "I was disgusted with those three double-faults...when I get nervous, serving is one of the first things that goes. But even at 5-4, I felt very confident. I didn't think there was any way I could lose." During the subsequent game, Evert would only lose one point on serve to get the match back level at 5 games-all. In the critical 11-game, Evert would show why experience matters and broke the youngster's serve, which allowed Evert to win the opening set 7 games to 5. Evert and Shriver would battle to an even 4-all in the second set before the youngster showed her inexperience by having a 40 to love game, and simply put Shriver could not close it out against the relentless effort of Evert. The points after this was the following: Evert winning on a forehand return, then made a winning volley, then got deuce with a galloping forehand up the line, Shriver won the next point with a booming service to get the advantage with a volley, Shriver on game point lead her forehand astray, lastly Evert won the game by hitting two unreturnable returns. In the tenth game of the set, Shriver tried her best by getting most shots back, but Evert still won the set 6 games to 4, which gave Evert her fourth US Open title in a row and first one on the hard DecoTurf. Evert later said "I felt hungary to win...When the chips were down, I went for passing shots and made them. I hit the lines."
1979: Thrice at the French
In the final of the 1979 French Open, Evert and Turnbull had a close match for the first four games, which they tied each other at 2-all. After that Evert sailed to victory of Turnbull by taking the next ten games in 90 degree weather to take the title in just a mere 63 minutes. Evert said of winning her third French title that "this is a good tournament for me to win because I haven't done anything spectacular this year...it should help to build my confidence before Wimbledon although playing on grass will be completely different."
At Wimbledon in 1979, Evert would again take on Navratilova for the title in the finals. In the first set Evert got down love to 3 games, but fought back to 5 games to 3, which Evert got the break of serve with a double-fault from Navratilova. This was inconsequential because Navratilova broke Evert and served for the set, which Evert lost 6 games to 4. The second set pretty much went by the same pattern a 5 games to 3 lead, then a break for Evert, which was insignificant again because Navratilova broke again to serve and win the match against Evert. This was the second straight year Evert lost to Navratilova in the Wimbledon final, which to that she said "whenever I am tentative I lob...with Martina that means the point is over, because she is so devastating overhead."
Evert would make the final at the 1979 US Open, which this time she would face American Tracy Austin. This would mark the first-time that Evert would lose in the final 4–6, 3–6, which snapped her four consecutive streak at the US Open.
1980–1982: Achieving her stature amongst the greats in the game
1980: Two more slam titles
At the 1980 French Open, Evert faced the 1978 French Open Champion Virginia Ruzici in the finals. Evert and Ruzici had many exchanges that lasted about 20 to 30 shots, which went back-and-forth between deuce and advantage for over an hour, but most of those exchanges Evert won just by looking at the scoring line 6 games to love in the first set and two games to love to start the second set. After a weird line call, Evert lost her serve for the first-time in the match in the third game of the second set, which she would go on to drop the next subsequent two games in order to fall behind 2 games to 3. Evert would not let this get to her, and would win the next four games to with her fourth French crown, which Evert is noted to have said "at the start of this year. I didn't know what my future would be...but this win has give me my confidence back in time for Wimbledon."
Evert would make the finals at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, which she would play Goolagong again for the title. This time Goolagong had a plan to play more aggressively, which this allowed her to win the first seven points against Evert, and Evert lost her first two service games in the match to be in the hole love games to three. In the fourth game, Evert would get her only game of the set that came off a break of service from Goolagong, but this set would be over in a half hour with an Evert loss of 6 games to her one. The second set was delayed by rain partly the way through, but when they returned to the court it would be a more of the same. Evert had a hard-time maintain her serve by hitting a drop shot from the baseline in the fourth game of the set. At 4 games to three, Evert was up a break in the set, but Goolagong would break her serve to level the set at 4 games-all. In the next game, Evert would be unable to convert on three breakpoint opportunities, which would prove costly later on. Evert would eventually find herself in a must win tiebreaker, but would lose 4 to 7 points in the breaker.
The 1980 US Open final saw Evert face Czechoslovakian Hana Mandlíková, which Evert stormed out to a 4 games to 2 advantage in the first set only to lose five out of the next six games. Evert was broken in the last game of the set at love to lose it 5 games to 7. The second set started off via a break of serve for Evert to lead 1 game to love, which she would never relent from that point forward. Evert would win the next two sets in a thrashing fashion only losing one game each in both sets. So, Evert went on to win her fifth US Open title in six years having only lost in the previous year to Austin in the finals during this timespan.
1981: third Wimbledon title
At the 1981 French Open, Evert failed to make the finals, which she lost out to Mandlíková in the semi-finals, by a score of 5–7, 4–6. This meant she failed to defend her two previous titles.
The 1981 Wimbledon Championships, Evert beat Mandlíková in the final. Most of the pressure was the fact of the dodgy weather overhead, but this would not materialize into anything; by the time Evert looked up a mere hour later she had her third Wimbledon title in tow with the match score at 6 games to 2 for both sets. The only major struggle happened in the second game of the first set in which Evert survived two break points to level the set at one game all, and in the subsequent game broke her opponent's serve. In addition, Evert had many 40-love points on her serve and love-40 points on her opponent's serve that made way for her to play freer and more aggressive because she said "winning Wimbledon is no easy thing." Evert said of herself being perceived by her opponent that "she thought I was getting older and better...her instinct told her it would be my year."
Evert did not make it into the final at the 1981 US Open, for the first-time in seven years, because she lost in the semi-finals to Navratilova in three tight sets 5–7, 6–4, 4–6.
Navratilova and Evert met for the 1981 Australian Open finals. The match's decisive set was up-and-down for both ladies, but Evert had an opportunity to win the match at four games to three, after having trailed Navratilova two games to three, and breaking her opponent's serve and holding serve herself. But the unstoppable unrelenting fight in Navratilova made Evert play "...tentative instead of hitting out, and I do that when I am nervous." So, Evert lost the match in three sets 7–6, 4–6, 5–7.
1982: Career Grand Slam year
The 1982 Wimbledon Championships saw Evert play in the finals in an attempt to defend her title from the previous year, and her opponent was Navratilova, who was a past two-time champion from 1978 and 1979. This match was another three-setter for the rivals, which saw in the third and deciding set Evert go ahead to a two games to one advantage after breaking the serve of Navratilova. But Evert would not win another game for the rest of the match and lost 6–1, 3–6, 6–2, which she said "Martina played well under pressure and she won the match. I didn't give it to her."
At the 1982 US Open, Evert had an easier time in dispatching her opponent Mandlíková in the final, than she had two years prior. It was due to a high propensity of double faults and errant shot making, which allowed Evert even though some suspect serving of her own was able to preserve games on her racket. In the fourth game of the match, Evert had a break point against her serve, but would not give it up. After the match was knotted at 3-games all, Mandlíková was serving in the seventh game of the match, which she was incapable of holding serve. In the next subsequent game, Evert was faced with three break points on serve. Yet, unlike the Czechoslovakian, was able to fend off the points, which was a game consisting of five deuce points. In the ninth game of the set, Evert broke Mandlíková again, which came off of a backhand volley in the net, and the set was won at six games to three in just 33 minutes. The second set lasted only 31 minutes, and Evert won it in a romp at six games to one in a total match time of 64 minutes. This win gave her the sixth US Open title for her career, which was over an eight-year timespan, which Evert said "the first time you win Wimbledon or the US Open is really a thrill, but I appreciate and maybe have a place in history by winning a sixth, so I can understand that a little better."
Evert went into the 1982 Australian Open, having never won the tournament down under, which she wanted to rectify that fact and the gap on her grand slam resume. Evert's opponent in the final was Navratilova, who was the defending champion. The final was tied as one set apeice, and went into the pivotal and crucial third set, which in the second game Evert broke Navratilova to go up two games to none. But in the third game, Evert failed to hold serve and lost the game. Subsequently, Evert quickly took the break advantage back in the fourth game to lead three games to one, and held serve to go up four games to one, which Evert said "I thought...this is it." Evert would quickly come back to reality, when feisty Navratilova, held serve in the sixth game of the set, then broke Evert in the seventh game of the set to narrow the gap to four games to three. All this time, Evert was thinking about last years final, which eluded her grasp. This one would be different however because in the eight game would break Navratilova, and the ninth would go to 30-love on a splendid crosscourt forehand, which at match point she hit a blazing winner to the other side of the court. This was Evert's first Australian Open, which completed her career grand slam, and her fourteenth slam title for her career just ten days before her twenty-eighth birthday. Later, Evert told reporters "I have wanted this tournament so badly. Then it was over and I had won it...it was a very emotional moment for me because this title meant so much...the Australian title has been the missing link in my career. I am not thinking about retiring, but I would have hated to look back in 10 years and see something missing from my career."
1983–1986: Becoming the all-time great French Open champion and clay-court player
1983: Another French title, another a final
The 1983 French Open final saw Evert play the 1977 French Open champion in Yugoslavian Mima Jaušovec. In the final Evert would show why she was the best clay court player of her generation. Even though both players are specialist on this surface, it was Evert that played all of her range of shots better from the backhand to the drop shot. This final only took 65 minutes to play in hot weather, which on deuce point Jaušovec played a drop shot that Evert guided over the net for a winner. On the subsequent match point, Evert gave her back some of the same medicine and Jaušovec hit the approach shot into the net. Evert won the French Open for the fifth-time in her career, which was her 15 slam title.
Evert made it to just the third round at the 1983 Wimbledon Championships, which she lost to Kathy Jordan, and the score of the match was 1–6, 6–7. She had requested to have her match moved to the following day, but was denied. She was recovering from the a stomach virus.
At the 1983 US Open, Evert made it to the finals to play nemesis Navratilova, which this was the first-time encounter for both in a US Open final. In the first set, Evert got beat by Navratilova by a score of six games to one. The second set saw breaks of serve being exchanged at the start of the set, which Evert got her serve broke in the first game of the set and was down quickly down love-two. But, Evert would fight back to win the next three games breaking Navratilova's serve in the fourth game to take a marginal lead of three games to two, which in the seventh game broke Evert's serve to take a four games to three lead. In the ninth game, Evert was down love-40 points, which because of three Navratilova mistakes on her backhand wing. This let Evert get the game back to deuce, but Evert lost it when a lob went long to give Navratilova a match point and when a backhand sailed over the line the match was finished.
1984: A slew of finals, then finally another title
During the 1984 French Open, Evert would go on to play in the final against her arch-rival Navratilova. From one all game apiece in first set, Evert had three break points in the third game on Navratilova's serve, but could not convert on a single one. In the subsequent game, Evert saw her serve get broken by her opponent, which allowed Navratilova to go up one game to three. Evert could not manage to break Navratilova's serve in the set, which was soon over in 36 minutes time. The collapse was complete for Evert because in the second set she could not manage to win one point on her serve, and that would lead to her losing to match 3–6, 1–6 in 63 minutes.
At the 1984 Wimbledon Championships, Evert would play adversary Navratilova for the fourth-time in a Wimbledon final, which she lost all previous attempts. Evert surprised everyone going up three games to love in the first set, but Navratilova would tough it out, and won the tiebreaker with an ace. The second set was more competitive than the score line showed, Navratilova putting the match away on the 6th match point 6–7, 2–6.
The 1984 US Open had Evert taking on Navratilova for the third-time in a slam final in the season, This result was not much different from the other three, only it took Navratilova three-sets to put away Evert in 4–6, 6–4, 6–4 fashion.
Evert got to the finals of the 1984 Australian Open, where she faced Czechoslovakian Helena Suková, and Suková took the first set in a nail-biter with a tiebreak over Evert six games to seven. In the second set, Evert and Suková held service in the first three games, but in the fourth and sixth service games of Suková's, she would be broken and Evert took the set six games to one. The third set was just as lopsided because Evert broke third and fifth games, but Suková would get one break back in the seventh game. This would not be enough because Evert would finish the match off in the eight game by breaking Suková's serve to take the set six games to two, for her second Australian Open title, and sixteenth slam victory. Evert said of not playing her rival in the finals "I suppose it was a bit of an anti-climax, but I fought that feeling. I wanted to still be hungry," which gave her the motivation to win the title. During this fortnight Evert became the first player in the open era to win 1,000 matches. She ended the tournament with a winning record of 1,003 - 97.
1985: Two finals, and a French Open title
At the 1985 French Open, Evert would play her antagonist in Navratilova in the final for the third time here in Paris at Roland Garros. In the first set, Evert would take the first three games, which Evert held her serve steady, and she broke Navratilova during the second game. Evert would lose her serve in the fifth game of the set that gave her opponent a chance to level the set at three games-all, and she did just that. To wrap up the set, Evert would rally off the next three games to take the set six games to three, breaking Navratilova in the eight game. In the second set, it would be rather competitive with many ebbs and flows, even more so than the first set. Evert would hold serve in the second set all the way until the eighth game, which Navratilova broke her serve to get back on serve, and would hold in the ninth game to take a five games to four advantage. This set was still in doubt because both could not manage to hold serves and in the eleventh and twelfth games both would take turns in breaking each other's serves. This sent the second set to a tiebreaker, which Navratilova would roar out of the gates with a four to one points advantage, and Evert could not manage to get back in the breaker that ended seven points to four. In the 52 minute third set, Evert would storm out to a three games to love advantage, but knowing Navratilova, Evert found herself in a tumultuous battle for the title because her opponent would break back to level the set three games-all. Evert managed to stave off a crucial break point opportunity in the seventh game of the set, when Navratilova guided her forehand into the net, and the score went to four game to three. Evert broke Navratilova in the eighth game of the set, which allowed Evert to serve for the match at five games to three. Evert would be incapable to serve out the match during the ninth game, which Navratilova broke, so this made the score five games to four. In addition, Evert would serve twice for the match, but was broken at 15 and love in those games. This failure to convert would cost Evert some grief by having in the eleventh game, which was because she got down love-40 on serve. It took some fantastic shot making in order to divert having to break to stay in the match, which it a twist-of-fate Evert would break her opponent in the subsequent game to take the lead at six games to five. Evert serving for the match at 30-all hit a winner crosscourt, and at match point went down the line, which then the championships was hers after a two-hour and 52 minute final tussle of the clash-of-the-tennis-titans. Evert said "when I hit the last winner down the line I was really proud of myself...I never gave up and when I finally got to match point I went for a winner and I hit it. I had held my emotions in for so long that I really kind of let go." This title was her sixth French Open title and 17th slam for her career.
The 1985 Wimbledon Championships final saw Evert play Navratilova for the fifth-time at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). In the first set, Evert broke Navratilova in the third game of the set, which allowed her to go up on serve. This would not be an uncomplicated set though for Evert because at five game to four with her serving for the match she had many complications. Evert took the first point of the game on a volley that her opponent hit into the net. Evert would find herself in a bind on break point in the first set, which Navratilova hit a backhand volley, but Evert reached it with a forehand shot. Then she had to stave off another break point with a speedy forehand. On the first set point, Evert misplayed a forehand to deep, and lost the point. The second set point was played out by a weakly lobbed shot by Evert was tracked down by Navratilova, and her opponent played another lob back, which Evert played horridly overhead smash shot. This was still barely strong enough to force a measger return by Navratilova, which Evert volley the ball into the corner to take the opening set six games to four. In the second set, Evert could not get her playing level back from the first set. Evert was at one-all love-30 on Navratilova's serve, but was unable to get a break point off of her, which in the subsequent game her opponent would break her serve and the score line was one game to three instead of the other way around. Evert now found herself at two games to four and love-30 down, and got lambasted by four Navratilova winners. At five games to three, Evert had two break points, but could not convert, which Evert lost the second set three games to six. In the decider set, Evert was quickly put on the defensive by Navratilova in the first game, which she was down 15 points to love. At this juncture, Evert saved those two break point opportunities, but on deuce came to net and got passed, which set up a three-times-a-charm break point and her opponent capitalized on the opening. Evert could not get back on track because of the relentless nature to Navratilova's game, which in the last game was plagued by bad line calls and lost the set two games to six. In the end, Evert never won a final appearance at Wimbledon against her arch-enemy Navratilova in all five-time they pair played in them together.
Evert did not make the final at the 1985 US Open, which marked the first-time since 1981 that she did not make the final, and she lost out in both years in the semifinal rounds. This year she lost out to Mandlíková, whom she beat in the finals of the 1980 and 1982 US Open's, which the score of the match was 6–4, 2–6, 3–6.
In the final of the 1985 Australian Open, the defending-champion Evert would play Navratilova for the third-time at the event, and for the third-time in a grand slam final this year. Evert would get steamrolled by an attacking serve-and-volleying player in the first set in only 28 minutes by Navratilova, who won the set six games to two. Conversely, the second set was a much more competitive game that saw Evert win the set in six games to four. The last set saw Evert lose in quite the same fashion she lost the first in two games to six.
1986: Last moment of glory, record seventh French Open title
At the 1986 French Open, Evert asked for and received a Wednesday start (due to her left knee). She play her long-time foe Navratilova for the last time in a grand slam final. In the first set, Evert double faulted four-times in the first two games of the match, which basically let Navratilova have the first set in only 30 minutes time. In the second set, Evert dealt with the weather conditions better, which consisted on high winds, and was able to break Navratilova's serve in the fourth game of the set. That break of serve allowed Evert to get out to a five games to three lead, which it gave her an opportunity to serve for the set. In the ninth game of the set, Evert would find herself into a love to 40 hole, but would save all three break points, which was done with an ace and a stop volley shot to win six games to three. During the third set, Evert gave up a break of serve first on her first service game, which was the second game of the set to go down love to two games. Evert would not allow this to stand and quickly broke back in the third game and held her serve in the next to tie-up the set two games-all. Evert would not let Navratilova back into the match after that because of her sublime playing, which allowed her to take the third set six games to three. This would be an all-time and Open Era record seventh French Open title for Evert, which brought the French Open record between the two, three to one title advantage in Evert's favor in the finals when they played in them.
Following her French Open victory she would only play in 3 more WTA tour events, which included 2 Grand Slams. Evert could not manage to make the final at the 1986 Wimbledon Championships because she lost to Mandlíková by a score of 6–7, 5–7 in the semifinals, whom she defeated for the 1981 Wimbledon title in the final. In the 1986 US Open, Evert lost in the semifinals to Suková, which the score was 2–6, 4–6. Immediately following the US Open Evert was off tour for 6 months due to a troublesome left knee (chrondomalacia patella) that had been plaguing her throughout the spring and summer.
1987–1989: The decline, and the conclusion to a career
1987: A year of two semifinals, and a quarterfinal
Evert was unable to defend her title in the final of the 1987 French Open because she lost in the semifinals to Navratilova, who she beat the past two years in the final in 2–6, 2–6. At the 1987 Wimbledon Championships, Evert again lost in the semifinals to Navratilova by 2–6, 7–5, 4–6. The 1987 US Open saw Evert lose to Lori McNeil by a score of 3–6,6–2,6–4. The loss was especially sad, as it was the first time Evert had failed to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Open. Her loss in the quarterfinals ended an amazing streak of 16 straight semifinal appearances at the U.S. Open.
1988: The last finale
The last grand slam final Evert made in her career came at the 1988 Australian Open, which she faced Graf in their first of only two meetings in a grand slam tournament. After playing 3 games, there was a rain delay of 1 hr & 23 mins to close the roof. Making it the first time a Grand Slam final had been played indoors. Graf beat her 6-1 in the first set. Evert was 5-1 down in the second set, but came back to force a tiebreak, losing three points to seven.
At the French Open, Evert lost in the third round (bothered by a troublesome bone spur in her heel), which marked the first-time she had lost before the quarterfinals since Wimbledon in 1983, and only the second time for her career. Evert lost to Navratilova at the 1988 Wimbledon Championships in a three set match in the semifinals 1–6, 6–4, 5–7, the match ended on a controversial line call. Lastly, Evert was forced to withdraw from the semifinals of the 1988 US Open, with the flu.
1989: Retirement from the slams
Evert decided that 1989 was to be her final year on tour; she made three finals at the beginning of the year (taking Graf to three sets in the Virginia Slims of Florida). She pulled out of the clay court season after a few uncharacteristic losses. She also withdrew from the Wimbledon warm-up with an inner-ear infection that made her doubtful for Wimbledon. At the 1989 Wimbledon Championships, Evert lost out in the semifinals to Graf with a scoreline of 2–6, 1–6. The last slam singles event Evert played in was the 1989 US Open; her fourth-round match with Monica Seles was a highlight.[according to whom?] It was a well anticipated match because of her loss to Seles on clay in the final of Houston (in the spring). She showed all the characteristics that made her a great champion,[according to whom?] defeating Seles, 6–0, 6–2. She was flat for her quarterfinal with Zina Garrison and lost by a score of 6–7(1–7), 2–6. She said after the match that it highlighted the reason she was retiring.
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