I think Virginia had a very solid year in 1977. No matter what the crazy WTA computer said back then, I say Virginia was #2 for the year.
And she might have had a legitimate claim to #1, had she not lost a tough match to Evert in the Colgate Series Championships in November. Evert barely won 1-6,6-4,6-4. Had Virginia won that match, and gone on tow int he event, she would ave 2 of the big 4 tournament wins that year, same as Chris. She also would have 2 wins over Chris in big tournaments, and 3 overall.
Not sure I'd put Wade at #1 had she won the Colgate, but it would have made things interesting! That is one match I would love to take a time machine in to see. The Wade-Evert Wimbledon semi had to be the match of the year for 1977-with this one a close second.
There was a boffo article on the match called "Midnight in the Oasis"-a popular song at the time. The event itself was in the desert, with the writer making the analogy that the Evert-Wade rivalry was an oasis in a year that was otherwise a cakewalk for Chris.
It was a night match in near freezing conditions-some people came bundled in blankets. Chris was 1-1 in round robin matches -and Wade's 1-0.
Ginny shot out to a lead by grabbing the first set. She had the crowd with her too-fans always cheered against Chris in those days. Then Wade argued long and hard over a call. In her own words, "I cooked my own goose", as after that the crowd support swung to Chris "a new experience" Evert remarked afterwards. A chagrinned Evert dug in and contested a few calls herself in her ladtlike fashion. Those who've seen the Evert laser looks at linesmen will know what I mean!
The match ended past midnight. When Chris won she celebrated more than usual and had a grin like a Cheshire cat. In the presser afterwards she said something like "There are some people I especially don't like losing to."
The drama had its final act when Wade found out she had no chance to make the final despite losing what was her first match. If she beat Fromholtz the next day Evert advanced-and if Wade lost Fromholtz got to the final.
By all account the volcanic Ginny threw one huge imperial snit fit at that one!
That's one performance I would have bought tickets for
Here's the song: