Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: United States of America
I've been fortunate enough to be able to watch two of her matches from the early to mid-60s, and she's playing against Margaret Court in one, and Billie Jean King in the other, both of whom were either at or very close to the top of their respective games. Maria's shotmaking is incredible. I am still unable to discern an identifiable weakness in her stroke production- from anywhere on the court. Lots of players have a big shot or big serve or great volleys. Maria had it all, and you could tell she had that artists temperament with her gift as well, sometimes trying for too much of a perfectly dazzling shot under pressure. That's what I like about her the most- you know from watching her matches that there's going to be a moment of "OH!" where she absolutely sparkles. In comarison to Goolagong, Maria was a much more aggressive player, with a better volley and a better serve. I think my favorite shot from her (and I hope to see so many more) is when Margaret Smith has Maria at the net, and hits the perfect lob- low with pace, and Maria races back to the baseline and cracks and forehand over the shoulder, which didn't win the point outright, but was enough of a shocker for Margaret for her to lose control of the point she should have won.
There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.