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The Rivalry of the Century




The fairy-tale rivalry between Martina Navrátilová and Chris Evert will go down in history as the greatest-ever rivalry in womens tennis. How many players ever got to play each other 80 times? In the annals of sport, it is very rare to find a rivalry that matches this one.

The two first met in the first round of the 1973 Akron Open in Akron, Ohio. Chris, 18, was already a top 5 player and well-established on the tennis scene. Martina, 16, was in her first full-year on the short-lived USLTA Tour, and on her first visit to the United States. Evert won this first encounter 7-6(5-4) 6-3.

Over the years, the two would go on to meet each other 79 more times, culminating in their last meeting at the 1988 Virginia Slims of Chicago finals with Martina winning 6-2 6-2. They both had their highs and lows during this 16-year rivalry. At one time in the 70s, Chris had a 14-2 advantage over Martina. At another in the 80s, Martina won 13 consecutive matches over Chris. It is difficult to pick one match that could stand out as their greatest match ever. But the three that stand out in my mind include the 1981 US Open semifinal, Martina winning 7-5 4-6 6-4; the 1985 French Open final, Chris winning 6-3 6-7(4-7) 7-5; and the 1987 Wimbledon semifinal, Martina winning 6-2 5-7 6-4.

But despite their frequent battles on the court, the two remained close friends throughout and still do to this day. They both competed on the Legends Tour, with Team Evert going against Team Navrátilová. Tennis has been greatly fortunate to have had these two fine sportswomen - and their spectacular rivalry. Thank you, Martina and Chris!


A Complete Record of the Navrátilová-Evert Rivalry

Year   Place                                   Winner           Score
1973   Akron, Ohio, USA                        Evert            7-6 6-3
1973   St. Petersburg, Floria, USA             Evert            7-5 6-3
1974   San Francisco, USA                      Evert            6-7 6-4 6-1
1974   Italian Open                            Evert            6-3 6-3
1975   San Francisco, USA                      Evert            6-4 6-3
1975   Washington, D.C., USA                   Navrátilová      3-6 6-4 7-6
1975   Akron, Ohio, USA                        Evert            6-3 6-1
1975   Chicago, USA                            Navrátilová      6-4 6-0
1975   Philadelphia, USA                       Evert            7-6 6-4
1975   Los Angeles, USA                        Evert            6-4 6-2
1975   Amelia Island, Floria, USA              Evert            7-5 6-4
1975   Italian Open                            Evert            6-1 6-0
1975   French Open                             Evert            2-6 6-2 6-1
1975   U.S. Open                               Evert            6-4 6-4
1975   Atlanta, USA                            Evert            2-6 6-2 6-0
1975   Orlando, Florida, USA                   Evert            w.o.
1976   Austin, Texas, USA                      Evert            6-0 6-3
1976   Houston, USA                            Navrátilová      6-3 6-4
1976   Wimbledon                               Evert            6-3 4-6 6-4
1977   Washington, D.C., USA                   Navrátilová      6-2 6-3
1977   Seattle, Washington, USA                Evert            6-2 6-4
1977   Los Angeles, USA                        Evert            6-2 2-6 6-1
1977   Philadelphia, USA                       Evert            6-4 4-6 6-3
1977   Tucson, Arizona, USA                    Evert            6-3 7-6
1977   Colgate Series Championships            Evert            6-4 6-1
1978   Eastbourne, UK                          Navrátilová      6-4 4-6 9-7
1978   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      2-6 6-4 7-5
1978   Atlanta, USA                            Evert            7-6 0-6 6-3
1978   Palm Springs, California, USA           Evert            6-3 6-3
1978   Tokyo, Japan                            Evert            7-5 6-2
1979   Oakland, California, USA                Navrátilová      7-5 7-5
1979   Los Angeles, USA                        Evert            6-3 6-4
1979   Dallas, USA                             Navrátilová      6-4 6-4
1979   Eastbourne, UK                          Evert            7-5 5-7 13-11
1979   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      6-4 6-4
1979   Phoenix, Arizona, USA                   Navrátilová      6-1 6-3
1979   Brighton, UK                            Navrátilová      6-3 6-3             
1980   Chicago, USA                            Navrátilová      6-4 6-4
1980   Wimbledon                               Evert            4-6 6-4 6-2
1980   Brighton, UK                            Evert            6-4 5-7 6-3
1980   Tokyo, Japan                            Navrátilová      7-6 6-2
1981   Colgate Series Championships            Navrátilová      w.o.
1981   Amelia Island, Florida, USA             Evert            6-0 6-0
1981   U.S. Open                               Navrátilová      7-5 4-6 6-4
1981   Tokyo, Japan                            Navrátilová      6-3 6-2
1981   Sydney, Australia                       Evert            6-4 2-6 6-1
1981   Australian Open                         Navrátilová      6-7 6-4 7-5
1982   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      6-1 3-6 6-2
1982   Brighton, UK                            Navrátilová      6-1 6-4
1982   Australian Open                         Evert            6-3 2-6 6-3
1982   Toyota Championships                    Navrátilová      4-6 6-1 6-2
1983   Dallas, USA                             Navrátilová      6-4 6-0
1983   Virginia Slims Championships            Navrátilová      6-2 6-0
1983   Los Angeles, USA                        Navrátilová      6-1 6-3
1983   Canadian Open                           Navrátilová      6-4 4-6 6-1
1983   U.S. Open                               Navrátilová      6-1 6-3
1983   Tokyo, Japan                            Navrátilová      6-2 6-2
1984   East Hanover, New Jersey, USA           Navrátilová      6-2 7-6
1984   Virginia Slims Championships            Navrátilová      6-3 7-5 6-1
1984   Amelia Island, Florida, USA             Navrátilová      6-2 6-0
1984   French Open                             Navrátilová      6-3 6-1
1984   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      7-6 6-2
1984   U.S. Open                               Navrátilová      4-6 6-4 6-4
1985   Key Biscayne, Florida, USA              Evert            6-2 6-4
1985   Delray Beach, Florida, USA              Navrátilová      6-2 6-4
1985   Dallas, USA                             Navrátilová      6-3 6-4
1985   French Open                             Evert            6-3 6-7 7-5
1985   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      4-6 6-3 6-2
1985   Australian Open                         Navrátilová      6-2 4-6 6-2
1986   Dallas, USA                             Navrátilová      6-2 6-1
1986   French Open                             Evert            2-6 6-3 6-3
1986   Los Angeles, USA                        Navrátilová      7-6 6-3
1987   Houston, USA                            Evert            3-6 6-1 7-6
1987   French Open                             Navrátilová      6-2 6-2
1987   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      6-2 5-7 6-4
1987   Los Angeles, USA                        Evert            6-2 6-1
1987   Filderstadt, FRG                        Navrátilová      7-5 6-1
1988   Australian Open                         Evert            6-2 7-5
1988   Houston, USA                            Evert            6-0 6-4
1988   Wimbledon                               Navrátilová      6-1 4-6 7-5
1988   Filderstadt, FRG                        Navrátilová      6-2 6-3
1988   Chicago, USA                            Navrátilová      6-2 6-2

Navrátilová leads 43-37
Surface breakdown:
Cement: Navrátilová 9-7
Clay: Evert 11-3
Grass: Navrátilová 10-5
Indoors: Navrátilová 21-14

Year-by-Year breakdown:
1973: Evert 2-0
1974: Evert 2-0
1975: Evert 9-2
1976: Evert 2-1
1977: Evert 5-1
1978: Evert 3-2
1979: Navrátilová 5-2
1980: Tied 2-2
1981: Navrátilová 3-2
1982: Navrátilová 3-1
1983: Navrátilová 6-0
1984: Navrátilová 6-0
1985: Navrátilová 4-2
1986: Navrátilová 2-1
1987: Navrátilová 3-2
1988: Navrátilová 3-2

Grand Slam breakdown
Australian Open: Tied 2-2
French Open: Evert 3-2
Wimbledon: Navrátilová 7-2
U.S. Open: Navrátilová 3-1



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