Originally Posted by Nicola
She retired very early like all SA players in the 1970s...I wonder why all of them stopped in the early 20s. Boshoff retired after winning all three titles at the SA Open!!! Marise Kruger retired at 21 and Brigitte Cuypers at 23 or 24. Quite amazing, one should ask Ilana Kloss, a contemporary and the only one who is still involved in tennis I believe.
The 70s were a great time for SA tennis, they won Davis Cup and Fed Cup, at home in Jo'burg in 1972. I have some stories on the Fed Cup win, it was their biggest sporting triumph ever.
Boshoff opted for school. I was always under the impression that she believed she had achieved her full potential, giving her small size and particular game. Plus, she didn't seem to enjoy the travel.
Kruger's retirement was a surprise, but it came at a time when she was struggling to win matches. I saw it quoted where she believed she simply did not have the power to compete with the very best. And if she couldn't truly compete with the best day in and day out, she wasn't prepared to continue. She retired near the end of 1979, at the ripe old age of 21. Personally, I think she was demoralized by a first round loss to Glynnis Coles at Wimbledon that year. For a while, I thought it would be one of those gone today, back tomorrow decisions, but she never played again on tour.
Cuyper's retirement shocked me most of all. She had a pretty good 1978 up until the U.S. Open, where she lost to Wade in the second round. After that, she could hardly win a match, but she was always competitive for the most part. She played out the year in 1979 and called it quits. I've no idea whatever happened to her, although I think she may have wound up in the Chicago area for some reason.
As Preacherfan noted, we also can add Greer Stevens to the list of early retirements. Greer played long enough to buy a dairy farm and marry. That was her goal in tennis, at least by the time she returned to the tour after that ghastly knee injury in 1978. She returned to the tour an even better player than when she left. In only her second tournament back, she beat Chris Evert quite handidly in the first round of the Virginia Slims of Hollywood, Fla., right in Evert's backyard. Back then, nobody beat Chris Evert in south Florida. Greer continued to play amazingly well until she retired at the end of the 1980 season after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian. By then, she should have had enough for the dairy farm and then some!
As has been well documented, Linky was my favorite by far, with Kruger and Kloss a distant second. And as far as retirements go, Linky's ranks up there as one of the best of all time, as she went out by winning a triple at her home championships, the South African Open: singles, doubles with Kloss and mixed with Colin Dowdeswell. It also probably went down as one of her bigger paydays as the South African was part of the new Colgate Series Tour that year, with a purse of $35,000 that included $6,000 for the singles title and a share of $3,000 for the doubles title, plus whatever mixed offered. I don't know the prize money for the U.S. Open in '76, but I'd be surprised if the doubles afforded the winning team more than $15,000! And as we all know, Boshoff and Kloss were the U.S. Open champs in 76, beating Olga Morozova and Virginia Wade in lopsided 6-1, 6-4 final.
Oh, and by the way Nicola, many thanks for the articles you shared with me!