Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: United States of America
I'd have to say from reading the books that the first golden age for the women was 1920-1928, when Helen Wills Moody, Suzanne Lenglen, Molla Mallory, and Hazel Hotchkiss Whitman were all dazzling the world's tennis stage during a wild and impetuous flapper era. In the words of Norma Desmond: "they had faces then".
Bill Tilden and the Four Musketeers were all the rage at the same time, and tennis was in vogue. It was very much a rich man's game, however, wealthy jazz babies were all most people clamored about during that decade. Think Great Gatsby.
After that, for the women, my vote goes for the great tennis boom of the mid-1970s. There was a stretch between 1970-1975 when Court, King, Goolagong, Navratilova, Evert, Wade, and many other greats were all playing arguably the best tennis women have ever played.
For the men, my vote goes with 1954-1962, when the Australian Dynasty ruled. I've said it before, and am only saying it from having seen precious few film clips, but I don't think any man has ever played tennis as well as Lew Hoad when he was on. Couple that with the great Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Neale Fraser, the pro talents of Pancho Gonzalez, and the emergence of Rod Laver (not to mention Americans Tony Trabert, Vic Seixas, and Jack Kramer).
There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.