Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated
Here are some early newspaper results/quotes about Jan:
Nov 1958: SA Championships: Runner-up to Sandra Reynolds (RSA) 46 26
Jan 1959: Australian Champpinoships: Lehane cuased the biggest shock when she defeated top-seeded Sandra Reynolds 63 64. She came into tennis two seasons ago and learned the game on a dirt court around her hometown of Grenfell, about 200 miles from Sydney.
Her coach Vic Edwards described her as a "female John Bromwich" and does not think she should go overseas for at least another year. he believes she must prove herself the best in Australian before tackling overseas events.
She shocked Reynolds today with a steady flow of winners from both sides, playing mostly from the baseline but showing good control and scoring with well hit volleys on her occasional ventures to the net.
Apr 1959: Ranked #2 Australian and #1 junior at age 17.
NSW Championships - 18 year old Jan Lehane, the star performer of the series, defeated Mary Reitano 63 36 61, winning simply because she refused to lose. At times she looked second rate against Mrs Reitano's adroitly placed dropshots and beautifully angled backhands. But she never stopped fighting and doggedly kept plugging the ball back. Undoubtably she is the most unorthodox player I have ever seen in top-class women's tennis. She had to cover a great deal of territory today because her ground strokes are played from a cramped position near her body. This means she has a restricted reach and must run well to get into position and hit her drives. (Adrian Quist)
Despite winning the Queensland and NSW titles, Lehane has been seeded third for the Victorian championships, despite beating world stars Truman and Bueno in recent tournaments.
I cannot recall any other girl with her amazing ability to keep the ball in play or to create such a mental complex against her opponents (Adrian Quist)
Victorian SF - Lehane lost to Truman 75 57 06. Truman moved in on Lehane's service, punching it either down the line or across court and gradually the Australian lost confidence. She then started to bustle her shots and created her own errors.
Feb 1960 - AO Final - Lehane held a point in the first set for a 5/2 lead but Smith won with a great passing shot and from that stage she had a definite edge. Unless Lehane can learn to volley and play short balls, she will have great difficulty keeping level with Smith.
Nov 1960 - NSW Championhips - Jan Lehane scored her first victory over Margaret Smith in more than a year, winning the NSW Championships in straight sets. Smith was definitely the better shot maker but could not match the tenacity of her little opponent who swung the ball about the court and picked up match points on Smith's errors.
Oct 1964 - The LTAA has lifted the ban on Jan Lehane, one of a number of Australian players who were banned in March this year.
Jan 1965 - Jan Lehane left hospital last Friday after a second serious knee operation. Doctors have advised that her chance of coming back to international competitions rests on extensive treatment in the next six months and she has been advised not to play tennis in this time. The 23 year old missed part of an overseas tour last year when she suffered a recurrence of a knee injury at Wimbledon. She cut short her tour and returned to Australian in August for an operation to remove a cartilage in her left knee.
Miss Lehane defied doctor's advice and returned to tennis in the recent Manly seaside event. She severely damaged the cartilage in her injured knee and also damaged ligaments.
What an interesting woman she sounds- thanks for the post. I tske it her career was finished after the Manley event? What an injustice that she never got an Aussie Open title.