April 1979 - I remember that time SO clearly, and every single player on this list!
Sue Barker - back in the Top Ten after a disappointing 1978 - she'd recently secured her only career win ove Chris Evert.
Kathy May at 17 - she'd just married Brian Teacher, who'd win the Australian Open the following year. She was in the Top Twenty for four years, (peaking at No.10), despite always seeming to play a restricted schedule, and won the US Clay Courts title in 1976 as well as twice reaching the Quarter-Finals at Roland Garros and once at the US Open. Oh, and she was one of the few players to defeat Martina Navratilova in a first round! (Dallas Virginia Slims, 1977). She re-joined the tour in 1990, for one tournament,after a 10-year absence and could still beat Alexia Dechaume.
Betty Ann Stuart at 34! She had returned at the start of '79, and this was to be about the longest consistent spell she ever spent on tour! She was always off getting married or having children! She married Phil Dent the following year and gave birth to Taylor Dent in early 1981. She was SO sexy! (Despite having the worst cellulite I've EVER seen on a professional sportswoman - but it didn't matter!)
Michele Tyler at 38! Fantastic looking girl, shortly to retire at the age of 21! This despite peaking at 23 just a few months earlier and achieving career wins over Billie Jean King (6-3 6-0!), Tracy Austin and Pam Shriver. She just couldn't stand the grind of the tour, and went to work part-time at Selfridges department store around this time. I've often wondered what became of her.
Francoise Durr, in her last season as a singles player. I'd have loved to have caught her win over Rosie Casals at Eastbourne that year, the last time those fantastic, unique contemporaries played each other.
Lesley Hunt! A tough Aussie, four-time -I think - US Open Quarter-Finalist who just disappeared around this time, and I literally never saw her mentioned again, to see why she'd retired -although I noticed in a "World Of Tennis" yearbook reference section a few years ago that she'd married for a second time.
Aleida Spex! The only black Cuban I ever saw play tennis; she had an even shorter career than Michele Tyler!
Thanks Brian for stirring up these old memories!