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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2011, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

I am taking a poll here, and asking for your opinion.

Which one of these surprised you the most?


A) Billie Jean King's 1974 U.S. Open:

B) Chris Evert's 1976 Wimbledon:

C) Virginia Wade's 1977 Wimbledon:

D) Martina Navratilova's 1978 Wimbledon:

E) Tracy Austin's 1979 U.S. Open:

F) Evonne Goolagong's 1980 Wimbledon:


For me, it was Evonne's triumph at Wimbledon in 1980. From the 3rd Round on, she had some tough opponents, as well as a unpredictable one, and a up coming star to be.

My second choice would be Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. That tournament, and her victory had a very surreal feeling to it, perhaps it was destiny, or was it that the stars and planets were all in align. It had me thinking of a line from an old Walt Disney movie Re: "The Sword In The Stone". I am not mocking religion when I write/say this quote:

"It's a miracle, ordained by heaven"

It just seemed unreal, the 100th Wimbledon, The Queen's Jubilee, and a British player winning a singles title.

Well, I hope to hear from many on this thread.

I do ask of you - PLEASE do not add any other matches to these 6 that I listed.

OK?

Thank You!

Well., actually - Thank You ALL - Twice:

The second "Thanks", is for the prayers, thoughts, and well wishes you extended to me, and the strength and compassion you gave and showed my partner during my recent medical procedures and ill health.

Joe

Last edited by Josus57; Jan 29th, 2011 at 09:07 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

hey josus57. I'd pick the same two as you but in inverse order.

I'd say both Evonne and Ginny were expected to reach the SF in 80 & 77 respectively but go no further and what makes Ginny's success more surprising was that Chrissie was such an overwhelmingly strong favourite for W77 that it was a huge shock (and blow for me - I was a big Chrissie fan at the time ) that Ginny won that SF and ultimately the title. It is to her eternal credit that she coped with the extraordinary pressure she must have been under, given the conjuncture of events you describe. Now, I'm so glad for her she won because with all that swashbuckling talent, she definitely deserved to lift the game's most prestigious trophy.

1980 was a bit of a dream-come-true scenario as well but for me the difference is that the odds were more evenly spread between the top 4 that year and Evonne had had an exceptionally good run through the autumn of 79, particularly vs Tracy, and ran Chrissie very close in Chichester just before.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2011, 05:14 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josus57 View Post
I am taking a poll here, and asking for your opinion.

Which one of these surprised you the most?


A) Billie Jean King's 1974 U.S. Open:

B) Chris Evert's 1976 Wimbledon:

C) Virginia Wade's 1977 Wimbledon:

D) Martina Navratilova's 1978 Wimbledon:

E) Tracy Austin's 1979 U.S. Open:

F) Evonne Goolagong's 1980 Wimbledon:


For me, it was Evonne's triumph at Wimbledon in 1980. From the 3rd Round on, she had some tough opponents, as well as a unpredictable one, and a up coming star to be.

My second choice would be Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. That tournament, and her victory had a very surreal feeling to it, perhaps it was destiny, or was it that the stars and planets were all in align. It had me thinking of a line from an old Walt Disney movie Re: "The Sword In The Stone". I am not mocking religion when I write/say this quote:

"It's a miracle, ordained by heaven"

It just seemed unreal, the 100th Wimbledon, The Queen's Jubilee, and a British player winning a singles title.

Well, I hope to hear from many on this thread.

I do ask of you - PLEASE do not add any other matches to these 6 that I listed.

OK?

Thank You!

Well., actually - Thank You ALL - Twice:

The second "Thanks", is for the prayers, thoughts, and well wishes you extended to me, and the strength and compassion you gave and showed my partner during my recent medical procedures and ill health.

Joe
Glad to see that you're back in the swing of things and over the worst of your ill-health, Josus.

You've asked not to mention any other matches but I do feel there are many bigger surprises.

Any of the players above was capable of winning a Slam and so none of them were really that surprising even though the particular player might not have been the favourite at the time but I suppose of those you would have to say Virginia because at that stage of her career you would not have expected her to beat Chris Evert in the semis.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Hi Joe

Welcome back! Glad you are on the mend after going through such a health scare.

I agree with both Andy and Chris in that I think the 77 win by Virginia was the biggest shock for me. I certainly did not expect her to beat Evert in the Semis based on Ginny's Wimbledon record and Chris winning there in 74 and 76. It was an incredible surprise. The whole scenario was like destiny as Andy T mentioned, esp with the Queens appearance etc. It just seemed as though it was all meant to be.

1980 was a wonderful surprise too but less unexpected with Goolagong's grass court pedigree.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Here's a big mod hug for you Joe We're so excited you are back with us and healthy



In hindsight 1977 was just destiny, but I think at the time it was a bigger shocker that Goolagong's 1980 win. If anything Barker was the Brit pick to take it farther that year. By the mid 70's Wade had become such a punchbag that Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap had a line that always made audiensces laugh-something on the order of "pigs will fly this year-and Ginny will win Wimbledon". After 1977 that was one line that had to change!

P. S. What a nice bit of nostalgia this year to see Kim Clijsters in green as a tribute to Evonne's "mum" win of 1980. I still prefer the Gong in green-but good on Kim nonetheless.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

I guess the reason I picked Evonne's and am realizing that I am definitely in the minority here with my choice, but Evonne's had not won a tournament at all during the year, and really didn't have any great results in 1980 till the British grass court tournaments. She was runner up to Chris in Chichester, and maybe was runner up in 1 other (maybe 2 tournaments) that year. She had some really bad loses early that year!

And, as I stated in my original post regarding - Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. That tournament, and her victory had a very surreal feeling to it, perhaps it was destiny, or was it that the stars and planets were all in align. It just seemed unreal, the 100th Wimbledon, The Queen's Jubilee, and a British player winning a singles title. I'm not saying it was fixed, and even in Virginia's autobiography "Courting Triumph"- she mentioned that Virginia Ruzici was reading cards for many of the players on a plane as they were traveling to a tournament. And, of all the dreams, or what have you - Virginia's (Wade that is) was the only one to come true.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2011, 09:53 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josus57 View Post

My second choice would be Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. That tournament, and her victory had a very surreal feeling to it, perhaps it was destiny, or was it that the stars and planets were all in align. It had me thinking of a line from an old Walt Disney movie Re: "The Sword In The Stone". I am not mocking religion when I write/say this quote:

"It's a miracle, ordained by heaven"

It just seemed unreal, the 100th Wimbledon, The Queen's Jubilee, and a British player winning a singles title.
An even better miracle for me would have been a Wade v Barker final

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

That is an entirely different thread. Who would have won, and I do believe that it was discussed in a earlier thread.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

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An even better miracle for me would have been a Wade v Barker final
With a win for Sue being the perfect outcome!

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 06:49 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

One thing the Goolagong and Wade wins had in common was the early climax for both women-both beat their nemesis in thrilling 3 set semifinals.

Thankfully for Evonne her body held up one last time. After 1978 her career was a stop and start rollercoaster ride. For two weeks in 1980 it all came together for her for one last hurrah.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2011, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

While I respect you, your opinions, and knowledge of tennis - I did state in my inital thread: "I do ask of you - PLEASE do not add any other matches to these 6 that I listed."

I was going to post another one along the same lines, and I was going to include the 2010 French Open Final in the thread with a few others, and now - I'm not sure if I should!

Last edited by Josus57; Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:27 AM. Reason: grammar and spelling
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2011, 07:19 AM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josus57 View Post
I am taking a poll here, and asking for your opinion.

Which one of these surprised you the most?


A) Billie Jean King's 1974 U.S. Open:

B) Chris Evert's 1976 Wimbledon:

C) Virginia Wade's 1977 Wimbledon:

D) Martina Navratilova's 1978 Wimbledon:

E) Tracy Austin's 1979 U.S. Open:

F) Evonne Goolagong's 1980 Wimbledon:


For me, it was Evonne's triumph at Wimbledon in 1980. From the 3rd Round on, she had some tough opponents, as well as a unpredictable one, and a up coming star to be.

My second choice would be Virginia Wade winning the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. That tournament, and her victory had a very surreal feeling to it, perhaps it was destiny, or was it that the stars and planets were all in align. It had me thinking of a line from an old Walt Disney movie Re: "The Sword In The Stone". I am not mocking religion when I write/say this quote:

"It's a miracle, ordained by heaven"

It just seemed unreal, the 100th Wimbledon, The Queen's Jubilee, and a British player winning a singles title.

Well, I hope to hear from many on this thread.

I do ask of you - PLEASE do not add any other matches to these 6 that I listed.

OK?

Thank You!

Well., actually - Thank You ALL - Twice:

The second "Thanks", is for the prayers, thoughts, and well wishes you extended to me, and the strength and compassion you gave and showed my partner during my recent medical procedures and ill health.

Joe
JOe - hope you are well.

Interesting poll question. I just didn't find the connection, or commonality among the 6 contenders you chose. For Wade and Goolagong, it was their last major triumph. Austin and Navratilova their first. And King and Evert's wins were not really that surprising.

But like you, and most, I'd have to agree that Evonne's and Ginny's were the most surprising, and for me, heartwarming triumphs.

It's hard for me to remember what I made of their triumphs at the time, apart from being peeved they each had the NERVE to beat Chris Evert en route to the title

Ginny's was a tennis fairy tale come true. But I think I recall not being all that surprised. Despite her numerous failures, she never gave up. And I think she had extra incentive to win. And perhaps Sue's rise in 197, the fact that more eyes were on Sue as potential champ, plus BJ King's return, the fascination with young Tracy, and the foregone conclusion Chris would repeat took some of the pressure off Ginny. And yet she had a tough draw. She faced Rosie in the QF, and I believe Rosie had beaten her a few times that year. And int he semis she had to get by Queen Chris. but what Virginia had working in her favor was that she had beaten Chris twice in the previous eight months, including a straight set win on the VS tour. And Chris was feeling the pressure in that match. And it was marvelous to see Ginny rise to the occasion, and play brilliantly, especially in the 3rd set, to seal the win. While Betty Stove might have seemed like easy pickings int he final, perhaps compared to a final against Martina or Billie Jean, Betty was still a dangerous opponent for Wade. And again Virginia came through like a champ, winning the final set 6-1, just like she had in the semis. Bravo Ginny!

But I think Evonne's 1980 triumph edges out Ginny's on my surprise-o-meter. Evonne had not won a tournament all year. She did struggle with injuries. And she couldn't even count a big win over Martina, Tracy, Billie Jean, or Chris that season to give her any real confidence she might be able to win the tournament. Evonne also had a very tough draw. She had to get by Stove in the 3R. And Betty had just beaten Martina at Eastbourne. Hana was avery dangerous R16 opponent, and she proved it by playing Evonne tough for a set and a half. Wendy Turnbull was no slouch in the QF. The there was the semi against Tracy. Evonne was the better grass court player. But it's nerves and execution that matter in a big match. Thankfully for Evonne she was able to come up with the goods and upend Tracy.

The reason why I think Evonne's win in 1980 was the most surprising of the lot you chose is that it didn't occur to me Chris would lose to Evonne that day. Chris was playing very well in her return to the tour that spring. She rediscovered her joy for playing. She hadn't lost in any match. And that included a tough 3 set win over Evonne in the Chichester final just a few weeks before. Chris had handily defeated Evonne the year before in the semis. And Chris bested Evonne in the 1976 Wimbledon final at a time when Evonne was playing the best tennis of her career. Apart from Chris' loss to Evonne in March 1978 Boston, Chris hadn't lost to Evonne in 4+ years. The motivation Chris had from beating Martina in the semis surely would carry over into the finals. And yet Chris came out extremely flat, and Evonne was at her brilliant best. As Chris has mentioned, she may have felt she won the title by virtue of her win over Martina and may have underestimated Evonne. I do recall being flabergasted when Evonne raced to a 6-1,3-0 lead. Chris losing 9 of 10 games in a major final ?! It was beginning to look rather embarassing for Chris. Then she raises her game, gets back in the match. At which time I did expect a full and triumphant recovery for Mrs. Lloyd. But Evonne held on, outplaying Chris at the end to earn a very, very well-earned triumph!

Despite the fact they beat Chris to win Wimbledon, I am very happy for Virginia and Evonne that they triumphed in very significant wins. Thoroughly well deserved, whether they were surprising or not!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

I remember both Wimbledons well (1977 and 1980).

In 1977, I felt the best two players were in the top semi (Evert and Wade). Personally, I was cheering for Evert against Wade, and Barker against Stove. In the final, I was for Betty, because I felt sorry for her!

In 1980, it was like a New Order. The young ones - Martina and Tracy - were seeded #1 and #2. The old girls, surely in the twilight of their careers, if not completely over the hill, were #3 and #4 (Chris and Evonne). Chris was not even allowed to play on Centre Court before her semi! But I still felt Chris and Evonne were playing better than Martina and Tracy, and I was not surprised when they both won. But I thought Chris would definitely win over Evonne, either in two or three sets.

I know Ginnie's win went down incredibly well with the crowd, but I always thought Evonne's win in 1980 was just as popular. Evonne was wildly popular, and as an Australian (aborigne) married to an Englishman, she was almost considered the equal of Ginnie anyway!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Re: Which Grand Slam Run and Title Won Surprised You The Most

Quote:
In 1977, I felt the best two players were in the top semi (Evert and Wade). Personally, I was cheering for Evert against Wade, and Barker against Stove. In the final, I was for Betty, because I felt sorry for her!
LOL-at least you were consistent! In retrospect i feel for Stove too. This was her shining moment and it was marred somewhat by the wildly partisan crowd.

Quote:
Evonne was wildly popular, and as an Australian (aborigne) married to an Englishman, she was almost considered the equal of Ginnie anyway!
Evonne was the little sunshine girl wherever she went. She had nearly full crowd support vs King and Evert in the US Open finals in 1974 and 1975.
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