Anyway, after the match I cut the cake, and offered it around. Suddenly Chris piped up, "Pam, for those of us who aren't going to your party tonight—can we have a piece of cake, too?"
I was stunned. I almost dropped the piece I had cut. I know very well that even if I had invited her, Chris wouldn't drag into London from Wimbledon for any birthday party of mine two days before she plays No. 66 against Martina. So she's mad at me for something else. Will you please tell me why we women have to be such sensitive bitches sometimes?
I found out what was bugging Chris. In the press conference after Martina beat me I answered a rather obvious question by saying, yes, I certainly wasn't crazy about always having to play Martina in the big tournaments. Obviously, on the grass at Wimbledon, I'd rather play Chris than Martina—which certainly shouldn't come as a surprise to Chris inasmuch as she's lost all five times here that she's played Martina in the finals.
But the press kind of slanted my responses when it reported them to Chris. She got her nose all out of joint, and she even sent me a sharp little note lecturing me on "sour grapes."
Can't Chris understand? The questions keep coming about Navratilova and Evert Lloyd. I try to defend myself, uphold women's tennis and say that the other players aren't that far behind, when, in fact—at least at the majors—we're light-years behind. No one likes to admit they don't have a serious chance.
And Chris: How could she ever understand the frustrations of chasing opponents you never draw closer to? She's always been No. 1 or 2. She's always fulfilled the expectations of the public and herself. Can't she appreciate those of us who never fulfill expectations and begin to doubt that we ever will? Can't she try and understand what she and Martina do to the rest of us?
It's all over. One hundred and nine wins. Jordan and Smylie beat us 6-4 in the third. I'm sad. I'm proud. We won 109 in a row like champions and today we lost like champions. Kathy and Liz played the best match of any of our opponents, and they deserve the victory.
The only pain is that we were up 3-0 in the third set. Martina obviously had had a draining day, though. After all, she had taken three sets to beat Chris in a final only two hours before. I wasn't any rock myself, but this was one of those rare times when I had to get after Martina. When she was broken in that last set to bring them back to 3-2, she just put her head down. I could hardly get her to move. "Come on, let's go, Martina," I said. "Come on." It was all I could do to get her over to sit down for the changeover. We were still fine then. We were still on serve. But then Liz held serve and I lost mine, and it was over. For the first time in five years I left Wimbledon a loser all around.