Chris Evert plays her final match as a professional, defeating Conchita Martinez 6-3 6-2 to help the United States to a 3-0 victory over Spain in the final of the Federation Cup in Tokyo.

Chris Evert:

If this is it, I think I’m going out on the highest note possible. I came here thinking this is my last tournament scheduled for this year, and maybe forever, and what better note could there be to end it on, playing on a great team for my country.

Martina Navratilova:

I think all of us really wanted to win it for Chris, but she won it for herself, too. She won all her matches so she played a huge part in it. It was great to be on the team with her.

Austin wins the match, and Navratilova wins the heart

Excerpts of The 100 greatest days in New York sports by Stuart Miller

“At Wimbledon, the French and Australian Opens, there can be no final set tiebreaker, but at the US Open it’s do-or-die. And in 1981 Tracy Austin and Martina Navratilova squared off in the first final set tiebreaker.

Austin had won the Open at 16 in 1979, but in 1981 she’d been sidelined by sciatic nerve injuries. Navratilova had won Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open in 1981 but was still an erratic, emotionally vulnerable player.
She’d been an American citizen that summer, endured tabloid stories about her sexuality, finally subdued rival and top seed Chris Evert in the semis, and was desperately eager to win.

Navratilova seemed to have the trophy in her grip after grabbing the first set 6-1. But Austin, noted for her steely determination and concentration, began grinding away. Navratilova’s aggressiveness and gambling proved her undoing as she blew several break points with unforced errors – she’d make 43 to Austin 17 by day end.
Austin snuck off with the second set 7-6, 7-4 in the tiebreaker.
The third set was equally tight. Down 6-5, Navratilova committed 8 unforced errors and double faulted twice, but saved 3 match points to force another tiebreak. Then Austin showed her greatness, switching suddenly from hitting short to Navratilova’s backhand to slamming balls deep to her fierce forehand. This bold move rattled Navratilova, who fell behind 6-1, then double faulted.”


Read More

Excerpts of The 100 greatest days in New York sports by Stuart Miller

“She turned head because she was a pretty, young thing, but she captivated everyone because of her gutsy play and icy determination.
Chris Evert was not the first teen prodigy, but in an era filled with veterans like Billie Jean King and Margaret Court, along with one-handed backhands, serve and volley tactics, and uncertainty about the viability of the women’s tour, Evert revolutionized the women’s game.

On September 4, 1971, in her first Open at Forest Hills, this 16 years old perky blonde with a 12 tournaments, 44 match winning streak landed on the stadium court for her second round match against fourth seed Mary Ann Eisel.
Her wins had largely been against lesser lights or on clay, which favored her relentless baseline game. But on grass against one of the surface’s top players, she was unable to simply grind down her opponent. And so, Evert, an amateur who had taken 2 weeks off from high school in Fort Lauderdale for this tournament, seemed headed for home.

She lost a close first set 6-4 and trailed 6-5 in the second when Eisel stockpiled 3 match points. As television announcers Bud Collins and Jack Kramer gave her a warm ‘nice try kid’ sendoff, Evert suddenly showed Forest Hills and a national television audience that she had the makings of a champion.
On Eisel’s first effort, Evert set the tone, whistling a big backhand service return down the line. Then on a second serve, Evert mashed a crosscourt forehand passing shot. Evert easily captured the tiebreaker then crushed her demoralized foe 6-1 in the third set.

King who’d come over to watch the rookie, was impressed by how she handled the pressure, saying later:

A star was born in my eyes that match


Read More

The Museum holds personal collections of equipment, dress and archive material relating to Wimbledon champions, pioneer players and stars of the court from each generation. This collection is continually updated with new material from competitors on the current professional circuit.

If you enjoy tennis, history of tennis and want to know more about Wimbledon behind the scenes, a visit to the Wimbledon Museum is a must-do. You can also take a Wimbledon guided tour, read my recap here.

A few pics of the player memorabilia collection.

Wimbledon Museum

Outfit worn by Bjorn Borg when he won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon victory in 1980: close-fitting Fila shirt, short shorts, headband, wristband, socks and Diadora shoes.

Wimbledon Museum

Wimbledon Museum
Read More

This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

What do tennis stars Chris Evert and Guillermo Vilas, ski icon Marc Girardelli and F1 champion Alain Prost have in common? These sporting legends have all been sponsored by italian sports-lifestyle brand ellesse.

The ellesse name is based on the initials LS of its founder, Leonardo Servadio, an Italian tailor with an innovative approach to styling and manufacture.
In 1959, Servadio created a revolutionary stretch ski pant which established ellesse among the elite alpine social circles, making it the ultimate aspirational brand.

The famous half-ball ellesse logo combines the trips of a pair of skis with a cross section of a tennis ball, to symbolize the brand’s heritage in these sports. The ellesse brand is often cited as one of the first ever brands to feature their company logo on the outside of the clothes, a move copied by brands worldwide ever since.

Evert Ellesse Vilas

Read More

20080826-DSC_0711

Site: USTA Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, NY
Dates: Monday, August 29 – Sunday, September 11 2011
Qualifying Matches: Begin Tuesday, Aug. 23 through Friday, August 26
Main Draw: Thursday, August 25. Main Draw begins Monday, August 29
US Open official website: http://www.usopen.org/

Follow our US Open coverage on Tennis Buzz and join our US Open forum.

Tickets:
They can be purchased in person at any Ticketmaster outlet location or by visiting the Box Office located at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Read More