EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Without meaning any disrespect to the year that was, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd both are eagerly awaiting the arrival of 1983.
Between them, the two dominant players in women's tennis split the four Grand Slam events in 1982, with Navratilova winning 15 tournaments in all and record prize money of $1,475,055. Evert had a match record of 75-6, and her bankroll added up to $604,458.
With all their bountiful success, both women envision bigger and better rewards in the new year.
'I'm ready for the challenge,' Navratilova said Sunday night after rallying for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Evert in the season-ending $300,000 women's tennis championship. 'I'm sure Chris will be more eager and I'll be just as eager. I won't settle for anything else. I'll be working very hard and it should be a heckuva year.
'She'll try to come back and I'll try to stay up there.'
The tournament is known as the Toyota Championships.
For Navratilova, more important than equalling her incredible match record of 1982 would be to capture the single big prize that has eluded her, the U.S. Open.
Evert, who by chance has happened to win the Open six times, including last September when Navratilova suffered one of her three losses for the year to doubles partner Pam Shriver, also is highly motivated to start over again. So much so that she is considering adding two or three tournaments to her early season schedule.
'I'm not disappointed,' said Evert, who dominated the opening set when she lost only three points in five service games. 'I'm very, very encouraged for next year. After the match I thought I should be disappointed but I'm not. The last six months I've played the best I ever had in my life and I don't feel like stopping now.
'When I'm playing at my best I still feel I'm as good or better than she-if I can put two sets together.'
Navratilova, for one, doesn't have long to wait before beginning her arduous schedule. She is due to play the first tournament of the year at Washington.
'This was such a huge match, and in two weeks we start the year all over again,' she said. 'All this hard work to settle accounts for this year, and now we have to start again. I won't even have two weeks because I'll have to get ready for the tournament.
'So I guess I'll get to rest on my laurels for one week.'
Along with all her other spectacular feats, Navratilova also became the first woman to rank No. 1 in both singles and doubles during the same year. To provide a proper sendoff to 1982, shortly after beating Evert, Navratilova returned to the court at the Meadowlands Arena and teamed with Shriver to win the doubles from Candy Reynolds and Paula Smith, 6-4, 7-5.
Writing the epitaph to the year that was, Navratilova said, 'I had the best year anyone's ever had.'