Re: New Book On Women S Tennis
Hi Folks, quick update.
Thanks for your feedback. No one source is infallible, lets be clear on that. I have done my best to eliminate those errors but any volume of work will inevitably contain a few annoying typos, which i am hoping keen eyes on here might even spot. I didn't mean to turn the spotlight on WT Magazine (a terrific resource, which thankfully includes many first names), but while they rarely got scores incorrect (Richey v. Jones 1969 Vegas being an obvious example), they had an annoying habit of not confirming players who had byes or only including results of top players (see Caribbean circuit occasionally, the Irish, German and RSA Opens). Sometimes they didn't like to include the local players who only played once in a blue moon. Similarly the NY Times or any news outlet. Sometimes the Times wasn't even on-site and received the results via the local press officer or via an agency.
I was fortunate that I was able to cross reference with some accurate sources - from the players, with John Barrett and Alan Little at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Library and to obtain actual draw sheets themselves throughout my tenure at the WTA, which helped the cause endlessly. If in doubt I could choose from one of the five leading UK newspapers tended to cover the sport nationally and internationally, and was able to cross reference these from the thousands of international titles stored in all local languages on microfilm at the British Library.
I'll give you an example. One of the most difficult dilemmas I had was with the longest final in the Open Era (the 3 hour, 50 minute 1975 German Open final between Tomanova and Sawamatsu). All of the German press in Hamburg, World Tennis (US), Tennis World (UK) and World of Tennis annual reported the score as 7-6 5-7 10-8, when I had only the actual draw sheet saying 6-4 6-7(5-7) 10-8, the DTB annual and Matchball Italy magazine saying something similar. It turned out to be latter after several phone calls to Germany and speaking with Miss Tomanova herself. Apparently the media on-site got bored with the match and its endless rallies on Centre Court so they went over to Court No. 1 to watch the men's doubles final and reported the score incorrectly from the press officer -- after the two ladies had shook hands!
Regarding the George McCall pro Tour, while this revolutionary at the time and was considered to feature the first pro "events", in speaking to BJK now, the players themselves considered them "one or two night exhibitions" and not proper tournaments - similar to the Gunze, Clairol, Lion Cup events in the 1970s, early 1980s. Players and media look back on them as exhibition/limited entry events, by today's standards. I had this quandry when I started at the WTA, whether to discount the money and titles (Navratilova agreed with me), but in talking to Steve Flink and Bud Collins extensively, it would mean changing too many numbers for Evert, Navratilova, Austin and King (who were chiefly affected) and it was agreed to leave the numbers as they were, while recognising the fact that they weren't legitimate tournaments, since none of them were even counted on the WTA rankings post 1975. As such they are classified as "Special Events" separately in my book.
One of the primary reasons I wanted to write my book now was to take advantage of the sources I had available to me (former journalist Gerry Williams was invaluable in clarifying Dewar Cup history, as was John Barrett and his lovely wife, not to mention all the other players and officials), while they were still alive and I could ask them first hand for their recollections. History at best can be confusing and its funny how rules evolve and adapt over time.