116. All in the family
There have been many family combinations to participate in women's tennis over the decades. These include:
: Pam & Tracy Austin; Elke & Kim Clijsters; Cathy Lee & Cindy Lou Crosby; Chris, Claire, & Jeanne Evert; Anna Maria & Anna Lucia (twins) & Cecilia & Elisa (twins) Fernandez; Andrea & Susy Jaeger; Barbara & Kathy Jordan; May & ? Langrishe; Marcie & Peanut Louie; Katerina, Magdalena, & Manuela Maleeva; Alisa & Kathy May; Anne & Elizabeth Minter; Jana & Martina Nejedly; Beth Norton & Sue Ming; Patty, Terri, & ? O'Reilly; Dally & Natacha Randriantefy; Elna & Monica Reinach; Lucia & Maria Romanov; Junko & Kazuko Sawamatsu; Jill & Joy Schwikert; Adriana & Antonella Serra-Zanetti; Laurie & Robin Tenney; Lillian & Maud Watson; Serena & Venus Williams.
: Shirley & Kate Brasher; Katerina & Katerina Jr. Bohmova; May Sutton & Dorothy Bundy; Gladys & Julie Heldman; Julia & Katerina, Magdalena, Manuela Maleeva; Junko & Naoko Sawamatsu; Charlotte Cooper & Gwen Sterry; Vera & Helena Sukova; Val Ziegenfuss & Allison Bradshaw.
: Rita & Andre Agassi; Ruta & Vitas Gerulaitis; Dana & Brad Gilbert; Jasly & Lleyton Hewitt; Thea & Goran Ivanisevic; Luke, Murphy, Rachel & Rebecca Jensen; Dinara Safina & Marat Safin; Stella & Pete Sampras; Emilio, Arantxa, & Javier Sanchez; Michaela, Malavai, Mashishka, & Mashona Washington.
117. Strange occurences
At Amelia Island, Liliah Osterloh and Anne Kremer were having unexpected difficulties with their serves. Double faults were piling up. They thought there was something wrong with the lines, and asked umpire Ted Watts to check them. He decreed that there was nothing wrong, and to play on. Afterwards, a check of the lines revealed that the service boxes were 3 feet too short.
At this year's Wimbledon, Watts was involved in another strange match. With Sprem serving at 1-2 in the 2nd set tiebreak, her first serve missed wide. Venus poked it back and Sprem swatted it into the opposite court. Watts called 2-all. Then, on the second serve, which Watts allowed from the same side, despite thinking it was 2-2, Venus grabbed the point. Only instead of a 3-1 lead, she was credited with a 3-2 lead. The score was never corrected as Venus lost the tiebreak and the match.
Gabriela Sabatini once served 7 double faults in one game-- and held.
In an early round Wimbledon match in 1957, Miss Amorin served 17 straight double faults.
And in a truly bizarre incident, in 1928 the mother of German player Cecille "Cilly" Aussem sent a letter to the German Tennis Federation alleging that Cilly's only two losses to German players came because her conqueror, Frau Von Reznicek was cheating by hypnotizing Cilly. When she learned of this, Von Reznicek confronted Mother Aussem and demanded a retraction. Mrs. Aussem refused, so Von Reznicek punched her. They wound up in court, with Aussem claiming assault and Von Reznicek claiming defamation of character.
118. Humorous occurences
During a match at Amelia Island one year, Amanda Coetzer hit a serve that stuck in the net, prompting the usual mirth from the audience. The ballboy dashed across and grabbed the ball out. But on his way across the court, his foot caught in the net. He stumbled, and wound up doing a complete somersault before landing on his feet and continuing to his position. This drew a round of applause.
At Wimbledon in the mid-90's, Steffi Graf was embroiled in a particularly difficult match when a fan yelled out "Steffi, will you marry me?". After a moment's pause, Steffi answered "How much money do you have?", to the amusement of all present.
During a tense struggle with Nathalie Tauziat, Venus Williams was thinking about the match so intently that when she sat down on the changeover, she missed the chair.
In a charity exhibition, the chair umpire mangled Elise Burgin's name, making it sound like "virgin". Her friend, Pam Shriver, loudly repeated "VIRGIN??" with more than a hint of disbelief, as an embarassed Burgin tried to hide at the back of the court.
After a match at Miami one year, young Monica Seles was interviewed courtside by Fred Stolle. Then the mascot, someone in a giant tennis ball costume, crashed the interview, bumping into Stolle and a startled Seles.
119. Fashion follies
Long before Janet Jackson made the term "wardrobe malfunction" part of the lexicon, tennis was providing plenty of fashion mishaps.
In 1979, Linda Siegel borrowed a halter dress from BettyAnn Stuart. However, due to their differences, it didn't quite fit. With the straps being loose, Linda's breasts came out, much to her embarassment, and the delight of photographers and male spectators. It was about 20 years before halter dresses returned to tennis. At a recent Australian Open, Venus Williams wore a top that featured her own innovation-- an "overbra", with a slit designed to show just a bit of cleavage. Obviously, she didn't testplay the design. The lower part kept pulling downward, and Venus had to keep pulling it back up throughout the match to avoid flashing the crowd. She thought she was successful. But a rapid photo lens caught one brief instant with her nipple exposed.
What goes up...:
A few players have been undone by the combination of broken waistband elastic on their tennis panties, and the law of gravity. These have included Margaret Court, Betty Nuthall, and, appropriately enough, Shirley Bloomer.
The bottom line:
The aforementioned BettyAnn Stuart had a warning for prurient Wimbledon photographers one year, when she wore tennis panties with the words "watch it" stitched across the back. A decade later, Barbara Potter showed up at Roland Garros with panties bearing the phrase "smart ass". These were both topped by a player at Wimbledon in the early 70's who had forgotten her tennis panties. She felt it would be too embarassing to wear just her regular underwear, so she opted to wear nothing at all beneath her skirt. (???)
At Wimbledon in 1983, Martina Navratilova was charging the net (what else is new?) when her wrap skirt began to unwrap. Martina managed to hold the wayward skirt in place while finishing the point. At the US Open a couple of years ago, Selima Sfar was down set point against Barbara Schett, when her skirt started to unravel. She had to chose between playing the ball, or grabbing the skirt. She chose the latter, surrendering the set in the process. Hard to fault her decision to protect her modesty... until the changeover. Sfar walked to her chair and changed skirts-- right there on court. (?!?) And she wasn't wearing shorts beneath it, like so many of her colleagues.
Nowhere have tennis panties been given as much scrutiny over the years as they have at Wimbledon. One would almost think they have a committee devoted to them. Only at Wimbledon could they decry non-plain panties for drawing attention to the bottom whilst remaining oblivious to the fact that their protestations were drawing even more
attention to it. What started with Gussy's lace in 1949, through Bueno's colors in the 1960's, continued into the 1990's.
For example, in 1990 Monica Seles came into Wimbledon on a lengthy winning streak. She had done so while wearing a pair of bright pink tennis panties. But the All-England Club made her change to white ones. She lost in the quarters. (Coincidence?
) In 1994, Lori McNeil was defeating Steffi Graf in a rain-interrupted match. During the rain delay, the AEC insisted that McNeil change from the turquoise tennis panties she had been wearing to white ones, lest western civilization collapse (or words to that effect). Talk about sticking your nose into someone's business. That same year, Katrina Adams was wearing one of FancyPants' new multi-colored patterned panties, which got frequent exposure on a wind day. She was summoned to the interview room, and asked a series of questions about them. Only at Wimbledon.
In 1985, Anne White played a match at Wimbledon wearing a white bodystocking. Amazingly, at a venue where they often complained about attire being too skimpy, here was a controversy about an outfit that covered from neck to wrists to ankles. Not long after, Barbara Potter was having back problems, and instructed by her doctor to keep a dry shirt on when possible. This necessitated several shirt changes per match. With a finite number of bathroom breaks (which might actually be needed), and the number of changes required, Potter decided it was too much of a hassle to dash off court every time. So she had the ballgirls hold up towels to form a changing area. Of course, that didn't deter the photographers.
Tennis has had an assortment of interesting personalities over the years. From the tempestuous, such as "Hurricane" Helen Kelesi or Irina Spirlea, to the kooky. Patty Fendick once had a post-match press conference which consisted of her entering the room, wondering aloud why a kamikaze would wear a helmet, then leaving. Angelica Gavaldon allegedly would kneel in a bathtub and pray with her coach. Gigi Fernandez mooned Mary Pierce in 2 consecutive matches. Maureen Drake has designed some of the most... unique tennis outfits ever created. And in a situation we hope remains unique, former tour player Regina Marsikova was jailed for manslaughter after driving while intoxicated.