‘We Did Everything Together’ – Chris Evert Recalls How She and Martina Navratilova Went Together to the 1975 French Open Finals

Published 05/07/2022, 2:16 AM EDT

Over decades, the sport of tennis has seen a number of on-court rivalries. However, one rivalry that remains an all-time classic is Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova. Showing their remarkable skills on the tennis court, they time and again proved why they are referred to as two of the best women’s players. The two faced each other numerous times in their career while most of their meetings took place in the later rounds of the tournaments.

One such meeting took place in 1975 at the French Open finals. Being the top two seeded players, Chris and Martina faced no difficulty in cruising through the initial rounds to set up an all-American final between the two. As the tennis community knows, Chris won the finals in a hard-fought three-set battle. However, what many don’t know is how the two prepared for the finals.

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Recently, while being a part of a Podcast, Chris Evert recalled her French Open clash with Navratilova while talking about how the two did everything together.

Chris Evert reminisces her 1975 French Open clash with Martina Navratilova

Coming fresh from playing at the Rome finals, the two looked in good touch on the clay courts of Paris. Being in perfect shape, the two cruised through the finals with complete ease. Being two of the best players, it was nothing unusual that the whole world had their eyes on the finals. Recalling the time, Evert stated, “Martina and I played in the finals. The locker room had cleared out because it was the finals. We looked at each other…”

The two played one of the greatest matches in women’s tennis history that night.

In the present time, during a tournament, a player has a whole team which plans everything from start to finish for her/him. However, that wasn’t the case back then. As per Evert, she and Martina did everything together. Starting from practicing to interacting with the press, the two stayed together throughout the tournament.

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She added, “Martina and I practiced before the finals. We lunched together. I remember we had roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. We ate lunch together and then we played the finals. We each went to press. We then took a flight out of there together. So, we did everything together.”

 

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Why did the two take every step together?

At present, a player has a number of coaches and physios in his team. The team together helps in ensuring that the player is always at her/his peak while competing at an event. They also guide the players during their practice sessions. However, that was not the case during Evert and Martina’s time.

Opening up on the how the two prepared for their French Open finals, Chris expressed, “We didn’t have coaches. We didn’t have enough money to have a team or coaches or physios or anything like that. So, we pretty much practiced by ourselves. I remember Martina going, “Do you want to me serve anymore?” And I’m like, “Yeah I need to practice the out wide serve on the backhand”. Then I would save, “Do you need any more lobs?” And she would say, “Yeah I need a couple more lobs.”

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Revisiting the gracious rivalry of Evert and Navratilova

The two are undoubtedly legendary players of their time. In their gracious career, the two played each other a whopping 80 times. They first played each other in the 1973 Akron Open. Playing each other over the years that followed, they last faced each other at the 1988 Chicago finals. Counting on the clashes, Martina leads the head-to-head race 43-37.

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Ahmar Wasif

499 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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