Ladies of the Court - Page 62 - TennisForum.com
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post #916 of 929 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Bumping it back up. Man, 20 yrs has flown by. I remember buying LOTC during a business trip to Milwaukee in '91.
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post #917 of 929 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Chris and Martina kidding around at Wimbledon in 1985. Martina would win the final 2 days later.

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post #918 of 929 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 2013, 09:18 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court



Tracy Austin in 1981 amidst her comeback from injury.
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post #919 of 929 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Great pics and good to see these threads still in circulation

Fave recent players: .. Seles .. Hingis .. Serena .. Venus .. Federer .. Roddick .. Hewitt .. Haas .. Rafter .. Safin .. Radwanska ..
60s/70s: Evonne Goolagong .. Francoise Durr .. Chris Evert .. Margaret Court .. Nancy Richey .. Maria Bueno .. Billie-Jean King .. Lesley Turner .. Virginia Wade .. Ken Rosewall .. Rod Laver .. Bjorn Borg ..
Entertainers: .. Diana Ross .. Dionne Warwick .. Shirley Bassey .. Randy Crawford .. Burt Bacharach .. ABBA .. Woody Allen .. Maggie Smith .. Gena Rowlands .. Judy Davis .. Heath Ledger .. Little Britain ..
Inspiration: .. Jeshua Ben Josepth .. Conversations with God .. Abraham with Esther & Jerry Hicks .. P'taah ..
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post #920 of 929 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

A FANTASTIC video with an "insider' view of the tour from 1987.

What follows is a video promoting a WTA "Summer Camp" where players learn about promoting the tour.

You'll Go A Long Way Baby

https://archive.org/details/tobacco_mgq23e00
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post #921 of 929 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2016, 03:28 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

An article about Leigh-Anne Thompson, the pride of Newport News, Virginia

Where Are They Now?: Courting Family Life

December 18, 2005|By DAVE JOHNSON, djohnson@dailypress.com | 247-4649

Back in the day, Leigh Thompson was crossing the globe and trading shots with Chris and Martina. But she'll take this settled-down lifestyle any day over the busy pro tennis lifestyle.

She's a stay-at-home mom, which means she's a chauffeur/cook/nurse/counselor/ you-name-it to her 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. A mini van is her office, the chores are endless and she doesn't get paid a cent. It's fulfilling, but it isn't glamorous.

Then again, she's seen glamorous. Two decades ago, Leigh Thompson was one of the fresh faces in professional tennis.
Before she even graduated Ferguson High in 1982, she left Newport News to see the world. France, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Australia ... all before her 21st birthday. She played on the red clay at Roland Garros, the grass at Wimbledon, the cement at the National Tennis Center.

Her game, crisp and clean, was a thing of beauty. With a slim build and a wicked two-handed backhand, she was part Chris Evert, part Tracy Austin.

"She was so graceful," says Bill Shivar Jr., who began coaching Leigh when she was 11. "I thought she was capable of being a top-10 player."
Shivar's father, who founded Centre Court Racquet Club in Newport News, went even further.

"I've been watching tennis players for 70 years," Bill Shivar Sr. says. "She had the most natural talent I've ever seen. I really thought she'd go on to become one of the best players in the world."

Instead, Leigh developed tendinitis in her right shoulder and arm, which sent her ranking into a tailspin. Six years after her breakthrough championship at the United Jersey Classic, and five years after peaking at No. 27 in the WTA rankings, she was done. She played her last match on July 10, 1988 -- at the age of 24.

Ah, what might have been. We might be saying that, but she isn't. Now Leigh Coss (she was married 13 years ago), she has no desire to go back.

"Oh, my gosh, I've never been happier," Leigh says. "I really don't know how I did that life. I saw the world, and I would have never been able to do that otherwise. I met great people and had great coaches. And I really do believe it's such a great sport. There were so many plusses, but it was so grueling. This is what I want."

Living three time zones away in California, Leigh has not picked up a racket in 10 years. She doesn't even watch tennis on television, except for maybe the final set of a Grand Slam tournament.

"If you didn't already know," says Jon, her husband, "you'd never think she used to be a professional tennis player."

She used to be so good, in fact, that many of her classmates at Ferguson didn't know. She played on the school's tennis team for one spring, as 16-year-old sophomore in 1980. But by that point, she already was well known on the national juniors circuit. She turned pro at 17, though she still managed to graduate with her class in '82.


After winning three qualifying rounds, Leigh played in the U.S. Open in September of 1981 -- four months shy of her 18th birthday.
She beat Sandy Collins and Kim Shaefer, each in straight sets, to advance to the third round. She was up a set over 12th-seeded Bettina Bunge, but her ride ended with a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 loss.

Had she won, Leigh would have played a fourth-round match against Evert on center court. It would have been a Welcome to Tennis moment, to be sure.

"Ohhhh," she says. "I wasn't nearly ready for that."

After playing in two finals, Leigh won her first championship in August of 1982. The United Jersey was a hard-court tune-up for the U.S. Open, and although the field did not include top-flight players like Evert and Martina Navratilova, it was a pretty big deal.

Unseeded and 18 years old, she knocked off No. 1 seed Andrea Jaeger in the second round. She dropped one set in six matches and defeated Bunge for the championship.

"It was completely surreal," Leigh says. "My average paycheck at that time was something like $9,000. This was $22,000. But it wasn't the money, it was the thrill of winning my first tournament. I was surprised but elated."

The elation was brief. Less than a week later, Leigh lost to unseeded Elise Burgin 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the U.S. Open. In her next three tournaments, she failed to get past the second round. That's professional sports for you -- up one minute, down the next.

The United Jersey turned out to be the pinnacle of Leigh Thompson's career. She made it back to the third round of the U.S. Open in '85, where she lost to Catarina Lindqvist. But by that point, the tendinitis was getting worse. The constant travel didn't help.

Leigh gave the Open another try in 1986 but lost in the first round to Patty Fendick. She played two International Tennis Federation events over the next 21 months, and that was it.

"She was really gifted," Shivar Jr. says. "I mean, there were times when she made it look so easy. She would make somebody who was really good look really bad. But she just didn't get to play long enough to reach her potential."

Leigh had her moments. Some of the bigger names she beat included Evonne Goolagong, Helena Sukova and Jaeger. She was 0-3 against Evert and Navratilova, who in that era seemingly only lost to each other.
While she had incredible talent, Leigh acknowledges she didn't always have that edge every athlete needs.
"It fluctuated," she says. "Sometimes I wanted to win more than anything -- but not always. I didn't have what it took to be one of the top five players in the world. The injury, that set me back a little bit. But I was pretty much so sick of travel when that happened, anyway. It was sort of a life-saver for me."


Her playing career over, Leigh enrolled at the University of Maryland and taught tennis on the side. She met Jon, a former tennis player himself at the University of North Carolina, and they were married in 1992.
Tennis is part of her past. The last time she and Jon played, the match ended after he did a celebration dance after winning a point. Leigh is a stay-at-home mom and proud of it. She cooks, she cleans, she volunteers at her children's school. When she has free time, she prefers hiking to anything involving a racket.
Life is nothing like it was two decades ago. And that suits her fine.
"We just got back from a family vacation in Italy," she says. "And all the way over there, I was thinking, 'How did I do this for so many years? This flight is killing me.' I mean, 14 straight hours! I wouldn't go back if I could. I don't miss that life at all." *
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post #922 of 929 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2016, 11:16 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

A White House function circa 1981

Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin, Rosie Casals, and Ronald Reagen.

Looks like Andrea Jaeger to the left of Pam, but I am unsure. My best guess (and it's only a guess) is this was after the 1981 Wightman Cup. At any right Austin looks awesome here!



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post #923 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 01:56 AM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Great photo. If this was 1981 would it have been after Pams fabulous tirade against Tracy at the Canadienne? I wish that was on tape! Also, the Whightman cup! would Ronnie and Francie have even noticed? Wasn't this about the last year anyone competed in it?
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post #924 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 02:07 AM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

My lazy arse looked it up and the last time anyone that was anyone played was 1985!! Martina actually played in 1983, but Christine Marie and Virginia played all the way up to '85. After that the only thing of note was capriati terrorizing the Brits as a 13 year old in the very last comp in 1989.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wightman_Cup
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post #925 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

There's a detailed thread on the history of the Wightman Cup in this very site, here: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More
-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark43 View Post
My lazy arse looked it up and the last time anyone that was anyone played was 1985!! Martina actually played in 1983, but Christine Marie and Virginia played all the way up to '85. After that the only thing of note was capriati terrorizing the Brits as a 13 year old in the very last comp in 1989.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wightman_Cup
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post #926 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 03:59 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

There's a detailed thread on the history of the Wightman Cup within this very site, here: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More
-----


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark43 View Post
My lazy arse looked it up and the last time anyone that was anyone played was 1985!! Martina actually played in 1983, but Christine Marie and Virginia played all the way up to '85. After that the only thing of note was capriati terrorizing the Brits as a 13 year old in the very last comp in 1989.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wightman_Cup
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post #927 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 09:17 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
A White House function circa 1981

Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin, Rosie Casals, and Ronald Reagen.

Looks like Andrea Jaeger to the left of Pam, but I am unsure. My best guess (and it's only a guess) is this was after the 1981 Wightman Cup. At any right Austin looks awesome here!

On September 15, 1981, Reagan and his wife Nancy hosted a U.S. Tennis Association contingent to the White House that included U.S. Open champions McEnroe and Austin and the U.S. Davis Cup and Wightman Cup teams. Said Reagan of the 1981 U.S. Open finals, “Nancy and I watched the TV Saturday and Sunday and the matches were so breathtaking I nearly turned blue.” Stan Smith and Marty Riessen hit tennis balls for the assembled group on the White House tennis court – highlighted by Smith hitting a ball that broke through the flimsy, deteriorating net. “I don’t oversee the operation as closely as my predecessor” said Reagan of the White House tennis operations. Nineteen-year-old Shriver proudly told Reagan during the 90-minute visit, “This was my first election and I voted for you, sir.” Ashe then chimed in to Reagan, “Well I didn’t vote for you. But I’m all for you, and I hope your policies work, Mr. President.”

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post #928 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2016, 09:22 PM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

https://reaganlibrary.archives.gov/a...hs/sports.html

This page has a couple other pics of the event.

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post #929 of 929 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2016, 12:56 AM
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Re: Ladies of the Court

Thank you for the links and info guys. Mac and Tracy look pretty cute. I had no idea Francy was so tall! She towers above Austin and all the gals save for Pam 'republican4eva' Shriver! And what the hell is Andrea holding here? Was this a prelude to the end? Is it a <GASP!> adult diaper for Ronnie?
https://reaganlibrary.archives.gov/a...e/C3868-13.jpg

(My 13 year old self started calling Nancy 'Francy' during the election year 1980. I thought she had a freakishly large head, so it just seemed to stick, freaky Nancy=Francy. But then she immediately replaced all the White House China and linens etc to a tune of several hundred thousand dollars and Francy stood for Fancy Freaky headed Nancy. Still works for me to this very day!)
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