Legends of Roland Garros number three: Chris Evert
We continue our “Legends of Roland Garros” series and next up is Chris Evert.
If Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay, then Chris Evert is the Queen of the Red Dirt.
You could argue that she’s the queen of tennis in general, although a few, Martina Navratilova especially, would surely have something to say about that.
Nevertheless, the achievements of Evert speak for themselves.
She was the first player to amass 1000 singles matches, has 18 major titles to her name, winning at least one a year for a record 13 years in a row.
She won 157 titles in her career, the second most in history, and was the first to surpass the 150-mark.
She finished her career with a win percentage above 90% – the only player to achieve it.
Her achievements on clay were truly stunning too, once enjoying a 125-match winning streak on the surface, and she lost just once in 198 matches on clay in eight years.
Record at Roland Garros
Evert won seven French Open crowns in 12 years.
That’s impressive enough, but it’s even more imperious when you consider she didn’t play the tournament for three of those five years when she didn’t win it.
The 1985 final looked like being a sad affair for Evert.
Her once incredible rivalry with Navratilova had descended into Navratilova domination.
By the time the pair met in the 85 French Open final, the Czech-born star had won 20 of their previous 23 matches, including at Roland Garros – Evert’s final remaining fortress – a year before in the final.
Having just turned 30, Evert’s career appeared to be in terminal decline.
However, Evert was far from a spent force. She took the first set before losing the second on a tie-break when she should have won it.
All eyes were on her to see if she still had the will to close out against Navratilova, and that will was severely tested throughout the decider.
She did miss her first match point, sending an attempted lob just inches too long, but a passing backhand bullet on her second match point restored her star and showed it still shone brightly.
“I am so glad I came along when I did, with Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Stan Smith as role models. And alongside me was Björn (Borg), Jimmy (Connors), and Martina. It was the tennis boom. It was personal, we were close to our fans, and we had enough money.” – Chris Evert
“She’s the most competitive athlete I’ve ever played against, without any question.”
– Billie Jean King
“Chris is an idol for me. (She) was head and shoulders above the rest, mentally. A champion on and off the court…just a good example for any young girl or boy to emulate.”
– Martina Navratilova
“She was an assassin that dressed just nice and said the right things and meanwhile just cut you to shreds.”
– John McEnroe
Andy Murray to miss French Open and start preparations for Wimbledon
The two-time Wimbledon champion is switching his focus to grass.
Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils expecting baby girl in October
Svitolina said in March that she would be taking a break from the sport.
Novak Djokovic claims record-extending 38th Masters championship with Rome title
If he’s not breaking records he is extending them.
Iga Swiatek sweeps to fifth straight WTA Tour title in Rome
Iga Swiatek make
British No 1 Cameron Norrie headlines field at Lyon Open
British World No 11 Cameron Norrie is…
Daniil Medvedev set for ATP Tour return at the Geneva Open
Daniil Medvedev returns to action and goes in search of a first title of 2022 in Geneva.
Stefanos Tsitsipas to face Novak Djokovic in Italian Open final
Stefanos Tsitsipas is 2-6 in his head to head record against Novak Djokovic.
Matteo Berrettini makes an announcement ahead of the French Open
Matteo Berrettini has given up on his effort to get fit for the French Open.
Iga Swiatek’s relentless winning run continues as she reaches Rome final
Iga Swiatek defeated Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to extend her winning streak to 27 matches.
Novak Djokovic joins an exclusive club as he storms into Italian Open final
The Serbian becomes the fifth man in the Open Era to reach the 1,000-wins milestone.