Re: Blast Encyclopedia of Female Tennis Players
Born 8 December 1945
Married Bernard L. Weiss, 30 May 1981
Julie Heldman was born into a tennis family. Her father Julius was a leading player in the 1930s and 40s. Mom Gladys was a former player who founded World Tennis magazine and helped give birth to the Virginia Slims tour.
Julie won the Canadian 18 and under singles in 1958 at age 12 and later won the US girls 15s and 18s titles. Over her career Julie won over 20 singles titles. She was ranked among America's top players for her entire career and reached a career high world ranking of #5 in 1969. She was a part of two victorious Federation Cup teams in 1966 and 1969. In 1970, Julie was one of the Original Nine who signed $1 contracts and joined the Virginia Slims tour.
Heldman's earliest singles wins came at Atlanta and Cincinnati in 1962. Whereas many of her contemporaries stayed closer to home, Julie traveled widely and won tournaments in many locations especially early her career. For instance, she toured Europe and won at Brussels, Naples, and Reggio Calabria in 1965. She also won tournaments in Switzerland, Argentina, Canada, Wales, England, Sweden, and the Soviet Union.
1969 was clearly Heldman's best year. She defeated #1 Margaret Court twice early in the year and won tournaments at Curacao (beating Court and Nancy Richey), Barranquilla (defeating Lesley Turner, Virginia Wade, and Peaches Bartkowicz), and Fort Lauderdale (defeating a very young Chris Evert, Court and Wade). She won the biggest event of her career at the Italian Open where she defeated #2 seed Lesley Turner Bowrey, #3 Ann Jones and Kerry Melville. She was ranked #5 for the year.
At Slam events, Julie reached the quarterfinals or better on nine different occasions and reached the semifinals of the Australian (1974 - her only appearance there), the French (1970), and the US (1974). She was a semifinalist three times in women's doubles Slam events (1965 US with Tory Fretz, 1966 French with Ann Haydon, and 1974 Australian with Judy Dalton).
From 1973 to 1975, Julie provided commentary for the U.S. Open on CBS Television, at the same time authoring articles for various publications, including her mother’s magazine, World Tennis. From 1975 to 1977, she was a member of the NBC Wimbledon telecast team. Covering the Avis Challenge Cup Tournament for NBC in 1976, Julie became the first woman to provide commentary on a men’s tennis event.
Julie is a member of the Stanford University Athletic Hall of Fame, the National and International Jewish Sports Halls of Fame, the ITA Women's Hall of Fame and the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame.
Heldman married Bernie Weiss in 1981 and has one daughter Amy Rebecca (b. 1987).