Martina N./Billie Jean/Jennifer - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Martina N./Billie Jean/Jennifer

I had some interesting thoughts about these 3 last night and interconnectivity. BJK just turned 60 during Fed Cup.
Fourteen years ago, in early 1989, MArtina sought Billie Jean's help with her floundering game. Billie Jean was 45, going on 46 at the time, and she told MN it would take a year for her to be able to win Wimbledon singles again, and she was right. At the time in 1989 they started working together, BJK was 6 years removed from the Wimbledon semifinals herslf, and there was no indication she would play pro tennis again.

In 2003, Martina Navaratilova, at ages 46 and 47, won several doubles titles, including 2 GS mixed doubles, and even made the finals of the US Open ladies doubles, and continues on for another year, with more titles likely! In 1989, no one would have expected BJK to return to pro-level competition, and at a younger age than Martina now is, winning!

Then again, in the spring of 1990, BJK did polay one more pro doubles match, losing in the first round of a tournament in Florida, one which was the professional debut of a precocious 13-yr old. And who was BJK's partner you ask...none other than her favorite Fed Cup "team player", 13-yr old Jennifer Capriati.

No real point here, just thinking that BJK seemed like an old lady in those days, and here is her "protege" MN winning events past the age BJK was then.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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In the "old lady's" defense- Billie Jean Moffit was playing the finals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships in 1963 and 1965, and remained at or near the top of tennis with very few breaks from 1963-1985. It took Martina nearly 4 years to get to the top, and once she got there, she was pretty unstable until Julie Anthony got ahold of her and worked Martina's body into the physical machine it remains today, and still, she took a few more extended breaks from the game than Billie Jean did.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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Interesting..... It would be great if Martina N, who is pretty good friends with both BJK and Cappy, could get these 2 to sit down and sort out their differences.... enodgh time has passes since Fed CupGate..... It would be great to see Cappy playing Fed Cup again!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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alfa, I think you are referring to Nancy Lieberman- (Kline), rather than Julie anthony, who shaped Martina into a champion. Julie Anthony helped out Gigi Fernandez, primarily.

And yes, BJK competed well for an extraordinary number of years and made the semi's at Wimbledon at both ages 38 and 39, defeating the reigning US Open champ, Tracy Austin, in the quarters at age 38. And she was gone from the singles scene only after age 39, which was older than MN was when retiring, so I am not saying she was not a terrific "old lady" player, but rather noting how remarkable it is Martina is competing well at her current age, in comparison to another somewhat recent case of an "aged" player on tour, and then the fact of the strong links between MN and BJK....well, i just thought it was a more interesting thread than "What's your fave's step-mom's great aunt's favorite ice cream flavor and will she eat it in 2004?"
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:09 PM
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Martina was ranked in the top 5 for 20 straight years from 1975 to 1994 (save for one week in 1991 & the final two weeks of her singles career in 1994). That is no different from King's run - and King spent a year & half off the singles scene (between 1976-77) and then took most of 1981 off too. Martina took no breaks off the tour during her 22 year singles career. Certainly not as many & nowhere near the lengths of time as King.

Btw, King/Capriati did win their first round match in Boca Raton in 1990. They lost the next one

And good post, WrB. I think it is nothing short of amazing what Martina has been able to accomplish this year at 46/47.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrB
well, i just thought it was a more interesting thread than "What's your fave's step-mom's great aunt's favorite ice cream flavor and will she eat it in 2004?"
Yes, it is a more interesting thread. Another long-lasting great lady of tennis was (is) Margaret Osborne duPont. She began playing the USLTA and world tennis circuit just after WWII (1946), and was still playing the U.S. Open Women's Doubles draw in 1968!

I stand corrected on Nancy Lieberman. So what is your fav's step-mom's great aunt's favorite ice cream?

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:19 PM
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hmmm interesting - Billie does seem old Maybe Martina can help Jen now with her game

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:41 PM
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maybe billie should make a comeback! and team with martina n!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:58 PM
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Ooh, a thread about me and how good I am. Shout it loud - I'm the best!

Jennifer Capriati is my idol
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billie_jean_king
Ooh, a thread about me and how good I am. Shout it loud - I'm the best!
Well, you do have the most chins.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 12:15 AM
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It's called muscle.

Jennifer Capriati is my idol
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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I do not know my fave's stepmom's great aunt's favorite ice cream flavor or whether she will eat it in '04, nor do i know my fave's favorite shoelace color, but i do know that if these kids today would play smart schedules and remain healthy for a full year, that '04 could be really fantastic!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrB
I do not know my fave's stepmom's great aunt's favorite ice cream flavor or whether she will eat it in '04, nor do i know my fave's favorite shoelace color, but i do know that if these kids today would play smart schedules and remain healthy for a full year, that '04 could be really fantastic!
I agree- imagine if all the top 10 players only played limited schedules like the Williams Sisters, and they were all at peak performance levels for all 4 majors. I can't wait for the Australian Open to start! I'm actually thinking about going down again this year. It's expensive from my part of the world- but what great tennis 2004 AusOpen will be!

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billie_jean_king
It's called muscle.
Come on, Billie! Make a comeback!
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