HT Image
HT Image

Williams sisters still the ones to beat: Evert

The American siblings have clinched just four grand slam singles titles out of 17 in the last four years but Evert views them as the most likely winners when on top form.
By Mark Lamport-Stokes | Reuters, California
UPDATED ON FEB 11, 2008 01:07 PM IST

Serena Williams and her sister Venus are the greatest enigma in the women's game, according to former world number one Chris Evert.

Between them, the American siblings have clinched just four grand slam singles titles out of 17 in the last four years but Evert views them as the most likely winners in the big events when on top form.

"The question mark is always the Williams because they come in and out of the game," American Evert, 53, told Reuters in an interview.

"The big question is: `Are the Williams sisters healthy?'. They are injured or they are not focused or whatever. If Serena is healthy and she is focused, she is still the player to beat."

Tennis great Evert, who retired in 1989 after piling up 18 grand slam singles crowns, still monitors the game at the highest level.

"I watch the grand slams and I keep in touch with how everybody is doing," she said during last week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament where her fiance Greg Norman, also a former world number one, was competing.

Asked which women's tennis players particularly impressed her apart from the Williams sisters, Evert replied: "Maria Sharapova is an excellent pressure player and she reacts perhaps the best of all the current players.

"She is mentally focused but maybe not as quick as the others. But that is why she won this year's Australian Open, she was really focused.

"(Justine) Henin is very consistent and the two girls from Serbia, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, are doing great and adding a lot of colour to the game. But it really hasn't changed that much at the top, to me, in the last five years."

Evert had no hesitation when asked what gave her the most pride during her own glittering career which featured 157 singles titles and eight doubles crowns.

"What gives me the most pleasure is how consistent I was," she said. "I was in the top four, I think, for 18 years and I'm also very proud of my clay court record, having won 125 matches in a row.

"Just the consistency and I think I was 90 per cent in winning matches. I am very proud of my mental capacity and my focus."

Dubbed the "Ice Maiden" because of her calm but steely on-court demeanour, Evert launched her clay court run of 125 consecutive victories in August 1973.

Her record spell ended on May 12, 1979, when compatriot Tracy Austin beat her in the semi-finals of the Italian Open.

Her career win-loss record in singles matches was 1,309-146: a 90 per cent success rate which is unprecedented in both the men's and women's games.

Although current men's world number one Roger Federer is yet to win a French Open title to boost his overall grand slam tally of 12, Evert brackets him among the three best players in history.

"Pete Sampras is already up there, along with Rod Laver, and I think you would have to put Roger Federer in there as well," she said.

"Those three would have to be the best ever and Pete never got really close to winning the French and Roger has so I would put Roger up there, definitely," added the American referring to Federer's two final appearances at Roland Garros.

Twice married Evert, who announced her engagement to Australian Norman two months ago, remains closely involved with tennis through her long established academy in Boca Raton, Florida.

"It is a full-time thing with dormitories and schools," said Evert, who also has tennis centres being built in South Africa and Dubai. "It's only seven minutes' away from my house and I usually go there to coach three or four mornings a week.

"But the whole thing is a juggling act, trying to balance everything when I also want to spend a lot of time with my three children - and Greg."

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: File photo(REUTERS)
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: File photo(REUTERS)

Man United boss Solskjaer says he keeps in touch with Dortmund striker Haaland

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:55 PM IST
Haaland, 20, played for Solskjaer at Molde and the United boss was interested in signing the Norway international from Red Bull Salzburg in the January transfer window last year.
Close
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Czech Republic's Karolína Muchova in action during her quarter final match against Australia's Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Kelly Defina(REUTERS)
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Czech Republic's Karolína Muchova in action during her quarter final match against Australia's Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Kelly Defina(REUTERS)

No. 1 Barty loses at Adelaide International; Gauff into QFs

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:14 PM IST
  • Barty has stayed at No. 1 in the rankings despite not having played much at all in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Close
File Photo of Tiger Woods (REUTERS)
File Photo of Tiger Woods (REUTERS)

Lucky to be alive, Woods faces difficult recovery

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:06 PM IST
  • Woods was driving alone through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over a raised median and two oncoming lanes flipped several times before coming to rest on its side.
Close
File image of Hima Das.(Getty Images for IAAF)
File image of Hima Das.(Getty Images for IAAF)

In much-anticipated return, Hima could have 100m showdown with Dutee

By Avishek Roy
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:51 PM IST
  • Barring a few smaller meets in Europe, Hima did not compete much in 2019 owing to a persistent back problem.
Close
Arjun Atwal(Getty Images)
Arjun Atwal(Getty Images)

Atwal will play for Dad and Tiger as he joins Lahiri at Puerto Rico Open

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:15 PM IST
Atwal will be joined by Anirban Lahiri, who last featured on the PGA TOUR three weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open. The two last played at the same event in Bermuda, a holiday isle like Puerto Rico.
Close
File-This Dec. 19, 2020, file photo shows Tiger Woods.(AP)
File-This Dec. 19, 2020, file photo shows Tiger Woods.(AP)

Woods is awake and responsive, says Indian-American doctor Anish Mahajan

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:57 PM IST
Woods suffered serious leg injuries and was trapped but conscious when emergency responders reached the scene of his one-vehicle rollover crash on a stretch of road near Los Angeles in California known for speeding and accidents, authorities said.
Close
File image(FIA Formula E via Getty Images)
File image(FIA Formula E via Getty Images)

Formula E says future is stable even after Audi, BMW pull out

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:33 PM IST
  • While they were busy putting in the framework to get the seventh edition up and going, they received a setback when two of the biggest manufacturers—Audi and BMW—announced their decision to pull out from the sport at the end of this season.
Close
United States' Coco Gauff: File Photo(AP)
United States' Coco Gauff: File Photo(AP)

Coco Gauff advances to Adelaide International quarterfinals

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 04:47 PM IST
The 16-year-old American beat sixth-seeded Petra Martic 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the hard-court tournament at Memorial Drive.
Close
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Bajrang, Vinesh eye good outing on return to action in Matteo Pellicone

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 04:40 PM IST
The two Olympic-bound wrestlers, who had skipped the World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia in December last year, will look for a good outing at the international ranking series tournament.
Close
A view shows the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, U.S., where golfer Tiger Woods was taken to following a car crash, February 23, 2021. (REUTERS)
A view shows the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, U.S., where golfer Tiger Woods was taken to following a car crash, February 23, 2021. (REUTERS)

Tiger Woods out of surgery on leg after car crash

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 04:21 PM IST
Woods' Twitter account posted an update Tuesday night that included a statement from Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Close
File image of PV Sindhu.(AFP)
File image of PV Sindhu.(AFP)

All England draws: Sindhu gets easy passage to quarters, tough for Saina

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:44 AM IST
The 2021 All England Open will be the second tournament this year to offer ranking points to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, after the Swiss Open.
Close
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju(Twitter)
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju(Twitter)

Shorter quarantine period is being planned for shooting world cup: Rijiju

PTI, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:43 AM IST
The ISSF Combined World Cup will be held in New Delhi from March 18 to 29 with shooters from more than 40 countries, including UK and Brazil, taking part in the event.
Close
File-This Dec. 19, 2020, file photo shows Tiger Woods.(AP)
File-This Dec. 19, 2020, file photo shows Tiger Woods.(AP)

Woods faces hard recovery from serious injuries in car crash

AP
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 12:05 PM IST
A rod placed in tibia, while screws and pins were placed in ankle, the surgeon added.
Close
Britain's Andy Murray.(REUTERS)
Britain's Andy Murray.(REUTERS)

Murray loses 1st ATP Tour match in 4 months in straight sets

AP, Montpellier
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:48 AM IST
Murray’s lack of match fitness was apparent as he was beaten 7-6 (8), 6-1 by the big-serving Belarusian in one hour and 44 minutes in the first round of the indoor hard-court event in Montpellier.
Close
Indian football team. File(PTI)
Indian football team. File(PTI)

Indian football team to play friendlies against Oman and UAE in March

PTI
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:03 AM IST
It was in November 2019 that the Blue Tigers last played at the international arena -- in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Afghanistan (in Tajikistan) and Oman (in Muscat).
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP