Is Evert and Navratilova Greater Than Serena and Steffi?

AP Photo/Sal Veder

Is Evert and Navratilova Greater Than Serena and Steffi?

Not long before the Williams vs. Graf greatest argument, people were either camp Evert or Navratilova. Some argue that these ladies accomplished more than Williams and Graf. The tournaments won and dominance over the field backs this up.

Navratilova and Evert ended with 18 Grand Slam singles titles each. Navratilova has a more impressive title haul with an astounding 31 doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slams to go with her 18 singles titles. Nobody comes close to that from a Grand Slam perspective. If that’s not impressive, check out the fact that she won 167 overall singles titles in her career. That’s more than double Serena William’s 73 titles.

Chris Evert is no slouch compared to Navratilova either, as she took home 157 titles during her career. How dominant was Chris Evert? In the Open Era, Evert (89.96) had the best career winning percentage. She was better than Steffi (88.69), Martina (86.81) and Serena (85.28).

Also, both Navratilova and Evert top lists for most Grand Slam Semifinals. Evert (52) and Navratilova (44) handily beat Serena (38) and Steffi (37) in that department. This points to their incredible consistency when it really counted. Basically, if you were to beat either Evert or Navratilova in a Grand Slam, you’d have to do it in a Grand Slam semifinal. This is not the case especially with Serena, who has had many more early round heart breaks in her career. Steffi’s career was a lot shorter and was as consistent as Evert and Navratilova.

This is why we shouldn’t exclude Navratilova and Evert in the greatest ever conversations. I understand that everyone is always saying that the game is more modern, and players are bigger and better. Is that really true though? As competitors Navratilova and Evert would have probably adapted in this day and age and given Serena a run for her money. If you watch some of those old matches between Evert and Navratilova, you see that they were fit, strong and true professionals.


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