BARTKOWICZ, “PEACHES” (Jane Bartkowicz)
Born 16 April 1949 in Hamtramck, Michigan
Married (1) Don Krot, divorced
Married (2) B Schafer
Active in the 1960s to 1971, then a brief comeback attempt in the mid 70s.
Nickname: "The Backboard"
Started tennis at age 7.
Solid as a brick wall from the baseline-one could depend on the ball always coming back. Under the tutelage of famed coach Jean Hoxie, she hit against wlls and backboards for hours on end. She once supposedly hit the ball 950 times in a row against a wall. She was he first US woman to suceed with a two-handed backhand, following Aussie Jan Lehane.
Peaches gave away nothing on court emotionally-one writer compared her to a Charles Addams (of the Addams family) character.
US Open QF in 1968 and 1969. Ranked #8 in the world in 1969. one highlight that year was in clinching the Federation Cup for the United States. In the deciding doubles Peaches and Nancy Richey upset Australia's Margaret Court and and Judy Tegart 6-4 6-4.
She was 7-0 in Fed Cup overall in her career. Peaches was never defeated in Fed or Wightman Cup play.
Peaches helped clinch the 1970 Wightman Cup with Billie Jean King in dramatic circumstances by winning the last doubles match. Peaches played back and King "up".
When the women started their own tour in late 1970 Bartkowicz was part of the "Original 9."
Bartkowicz retired as a player in 1971. She later expressed some resentment of Hoxie, who died in 1970, for pushing her too hard. Severe headaches led to her abandoning the game in 1971.
Involved in a hit and run drunk driving incident, she served some time in prison. After an aborted comeback in the mid to late 1970s she remarried and worked for the US government.
She has been enshrined in the United States Tennis Association/Midwest Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Jane "Peaches" Bartkowicz career thread:
Jane "Peaches" Bartkowicz career thread - TennisForum.com
Wiki Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaches_Bartkowicz
The Backboard: Why it Won't Come Back | General News - News | USTA Southwest
This site includes a five minute video tribute, featuring clips form the 1970 Wightman Cup.