Love the Legends of Tennis
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Yes Robyn Ebbern made the top 10 in 64 and played a bit of doubles with Court winning a number of GS titles together including US 63, AO 62 & 63.
I really liked so many of the Aussie gals ... Judy Dalton who is such a lovely and fun woman. Very bubbly and down to earth. Have seen her matches when she was runner up in the 69 Wimbledon Singles and Wimbledon Doubles in 72 with Frankie Durr when they lost in 3 sets to King & Casals in a very tempermental match on Court 1. Durr & King were the girls chucking tantrums and Judy was as cool as a cucumber throughout. I'm still see her when I go to the Aussie Open and she's still just the same down to earth lovely gal. She also won the World Vets singles title for her age group a few years back but has since retired for good from the game. A traditional serve & volley stylist in the old Aussie tradition. She won the USO Doubles in 70 & 71 with Court, the AO in 64 & 67 (w.Turner) and 69 & 70 (w.Court), Wimbledon 69 (w.Court) and was runner up twice there and won the French in 66 (w.Court). World top tenner for 3 years.
Also loved Gail Chanfreau although I only really got to see her on video as she had retired when I started following the sport. Got to watch her play live in Perth at the World Vets Champs and boy what an unorthodox gal!!!! She used an extreme western grip back in the 60s when it was almost unheard of and had a frypan like forehand and a backhand similar to Kathy Jordan's funny looking one. Imagine her and Frankie Durr as a team - how unorthodox! And yet they had great success, winning the French Open Doubles together 3 times and a number of other titles around the world. She also won the French Doubles again in 76. A few scribes wrote about them being the most unorthodox doubles pair in the history of the sport with their bizzare shots. I got to meet Gail a few times and she's also lots of fun and very friendly as well. But her sister Carol Campling, who still lives here in Australia, is rather aloof and up herself.
I do hope Chris O'Neil never reads these threads as she is always trashed. She is one of the loveliest ladies I have ever met ... so sweet and HEAPS of FUN. You know, I don't think she ever really took her tennis too seriously. She is a great friend of mine and we have played together many times and she has recounted many funny stories from the tour. She used to get up to a lot of mischief .. once she said she turned up for a match at Wimbledon against Sue Barker and she was stoned and when she walked on to court she realised she was in exactly the same outfit (more of a rarity in the early 70s with lots of designer frocks) and she burst into hysterics and couldn't stop giggling for about 5 minutes with her friends who came to watch. I think she said she beat Sue in this match but I can't be certain.
Loved Lesley Turner as a player. Of course in real life she is a tough cookie and hard to get to know. A little aloof one could say. And my best friend's sister has played against her in the local Sydney comp in recent years and says she is the most competitive woman she has ever encountered. Hard and fierce as a competitor. But I loved her style, a very accurate baseliner who hit very flat strokes into the corners ala Chris Evert and Mo Connolly - although not quite as well. She, along with Anne Jones & Nancy Richey, were the premier claycourters of the 60s behind Margaret Court. She won 2 French Opens and went within an inch of winning another two - was Runner up in 62 to Margaret Court after holding a match point and lost to Francoise Durr 6-4 in the 3rd in 67. She also won a number of GS Doubles titles - 2 x French, 1 x USO, 1 x WImbledon and 3 x Aussie Open titles. World Ranked #2 in 63 and #3 in 64 & 65.
Kerry Melville (Reid) probably had the most similar style to Lesley Turner but she never reached the same heights despite being a perrenial top tenner. Loved the inside out forehand that used to pin her opponents into the backhand corner. Very flat striker of the ball as well. Gotta run but I was also fond of Turnbull & Fromholtz. Di Fromholtz was a marvellous player when she was on! She's still been playing in Australia in various events and just a few years ago she won a Challenger title here (not surprising in a way as the talent in Australia outside the top 100 leaves a little to be desired). I am sure some more people will contribute about her and the others and I haven't time to elaborate here. But there were lots of very good Aussies in the 60s and 70s who have received very little press even in Australia as they played second fiddle to Court & Goolagong who got all the attention....
Last edited by tennisvideos; Jul 11th, 2005 at 10:13 AM.