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PamShriverRockz
Mar 2nd, 2003, 10:46 PM
I think Ann has been ignored too long.

Wimbledon champion in 69 (finalist in 67), French Open champ 61 and 66 (finalist further 3 times) and 2 time USO finalist.
Incidentaly Ann was also an international table-tennis player.

Yet she never gets the same attention as others. Ann is under-appreciated!

Zummi
Mar 4th, 2003, 03:06 AM
Her autobiography "A Game to Love" is a good read too. And she was ranked #2 in the world in table tennis (at the same time she was also in British top 10!)

How would Ann Jones rank among the greats of British tennis? I'd certainly rank her higher than most of her peers - Christine Truman-Janes, Angela Mortimer, Angela Buxton etc. But what about Virginia Wade?

Rollo
Mar 4th, 2003, 05:02 AM
Does Ann dish any dirt in her book Zummi?

Much as Virginia is my absolute all-time fav I'd rate her below Ann. They have the same number of slams at 3, but Ann was able to win on her worst surface (grass) while Virginia was more or less a sitting duck on clay. Factor in Ann's wins at the 5th major in her era (Italy) to Wade's none, plus all of Jones grand slam finals (again to zip for Wade) and it's no contest in my view.

Wade had a great quote in her book on Jones, saying something like her (Ann's) game was all cake with no icing, while Virginia's game was all icing with little cake.

I suspect Wade will be remembered more. Her "icing" being a flashy game and sparkling (or bitchy) personality. The irony is Jones was much more stereotypically British.

Zummi
Mar 6th, 2003, 05:07 AM
Yeah, I think Ann would rank higher too though didn't Virginia win the South African Open once?

Ann's book is very good. The only "dirt" per se would be the stories she had on Darlene Hard! Pretty funny. I enjoyed her autobiography the most of all the ones written by the British girls back then. It was also clear that she was not intimidated by the top players - Maria Bueno, Margaret Court or Billie Jean King. In contrast, peers like Christine Truman and Angela Mortimer were practically awe-struck by Maria Bueno, that is quite evident in both their books. Though Angela Mortimer's story of persistence and determination & hard work is touching. No one thought she'd amount to anything and she ended up the Wimbledon champion.

louloubelle
Mar 6th, 2003, 12:24 PM
A small description about Ann from Open Tennis from Richard Evans.

..... the big looping top spin forehand which always appears to be going out and always drops inside the baseline, the little slice backhand that looks like nothing and does terrible things to your game....'

PamShriverRockz
Mar 6th, 2003, 08:03 PM
I'd love to read Ann's book. I think she ranks higher than Virginia (sorry Ginny!) I agree with Rollo. Very tough player was our ann and her achievements in the game are fantastic. People never remember her though, and my sources tell me she has been seen emptying the bins at the Edgbaston tourny! (I'm not joking!)

bluepastures
Mar 6th, 2003, 09:13 PM
She's so helpful at Edgbaston. Last year on the Sunday of qualifying (after Saturday was a complete washout), I was trying to get hold of an order of play, before watching the play indoors.
Laughably I was told there weren't "any spare copies available" by one LTA official, but Ann got me one. Her dog (well I presume it's hers, it certainly followed her round all the time at the tournament!), a golden retriever is very cute too.

Rollo
Mar 8th, 2003, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the stories Pam and Blue Pastures. Sounds like Ann would be the perfect down to earth British housewife. "Emptying the bins"-LOL.

Ann always struck me as one of the plainest Janes around. Good for her that she finally landed her man. "Pip" Jones was older enough to be her father I beleive, but all the stories I've heard indicate it was marriage made in heaven and that Ann and Pip were the best company on tour.

PamShriverRockz
Mar 11th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Aww, Ann is a true legend. And she is so nice too, took a pic of her at Wimby for my mum and she stood there for me while I fixed my camera - so patient.
She should be made a dame!

Monica_Rules
Mar 15th, 2003, 05:28 PM
I have heard Ann's game being described as a brick wall.but she must have done more to win 3 grandslams and get to a few GS finals.

She is probably the best British player that has played since the open era!

Rollo
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:42 PM
There are some pics of Ann in the 60s pixies thread.

Late in her career Ann branched out and came to the net more. She credited her time in the 1968 4 woman pro group (with Casals, durr, And King) with making her more aggresive.

After her 1969 Wimbledon Ann stopped entering slams but continued to enter the odd event or two. She was on the 1971 Slims tour for example, where she managed to win the biggest prize money in one event (at the time)-the Slims of Las Vegas at Ceasar's Palace.

She won her last event at Torquay in 1975. This COULD make her the woman with the largest gap between first tournament and last tournament wins in singles events. She definitely won tournaments in 1957-and perhaps earlier.

Rollo
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:39 PM
Ann Jones on the cover of World Tennis-September 1967.

This is a Carribean event-the clues being the surface (hards court or gray clay) and the palm trees in the background. Notice the white ball and how she holds it while playing.

Zummi
Aug 8th, 2003, 03:32 AM
Here is what Ann had to say about her successful 1967 Caribbean tour.

I left for the Caribbean - to play at Tampa, Kingston, Barranquilla, Caracas, Curaçao and Mexico City via Dallas where Virginia [Wade] and I saw Maureen [Connolly] for a day. We incautiously spent the time riding so when we arrived in Mexico City we were so stiff that we could hardly play tennis!

Maureen had just come home after a very serious operation. We all knew she had cancer and the likelihood was that she wouldn't recover, although at this particular stage she was getting over the operation very well. She was quite happy and chatty. She was the type of person to cope with a situation like this. As one might expect from her tennis, she had the will to fight and hope she would be one of the few lucky ones.

I took seven out of the eight singles titles, losing only to Frankie [Durr] in the final of Kingston but beating a variety of people, Frankie, Virginia, Jan Lehane (now Mrs. O'Neill) and a few up and coming Americans. Virginia and I won every one of the seven doubles events. It was a very successful, but, as usual, tiring tour. There is a lot of late-night play and travelling frequently overnight to and from relatively inaccessible places.

macn
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:00 PM
Virginia Wade won the Italian Open in 1971! Ann made a great run at the Wimbledon title in 1969 beating Court and King along the way.

Rollo
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:26 PM
Thanks for Ann's description of her tour Zummi:)

Sounds like always had the highest respect for Mo Connolly-didn't she dedicate her Wimbledon win to her?

When I found out Court had 182 titles I figured no one could top it other than Elizabeth Ryan from the 20s and 30s. Zummi's post makes me think Ann may have even passed Court.

For one thing Jones had a LONG career. She started as early as 1956 and won her last event in 1975!

The other thing was she played a lot of local English events, the equal of say a Tier 4 or Tier 5 today. Jones also played year round, indoors in Europe, then to the Riviera (or the Carribean), to British clay, then Rome or Berlin, then grass, the summer, and finally she went back indoors for local English events!

Looking through her records from World Tennis she won more than 10 events a year lots of times.

tennisvideos
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:53 PM
Well it's good to see an Anne Jones admiration thread! She was one of Frankie Durr's regular doubles partners in the late 60s and apparantly they had a winning head to head record over King/Casals! I have their Wimbledon 68 Doubles Final on tape and they only just lost it 7-5 in the 3rd to King/Casals in a real thriller of a match.

I also enjoyed Anne's book.

I have to say, that of all the videos that I have watched, the 1969 Wimbledon Semi-Final where Anne beat Margaret Court (something like 10-12, 6-3, 6-2) was one of the best matches I have seen. Sure Margaret was coming back from her 2nd retirement, but no matter, she was playing rather well. But Anne was like a dog with a bone! She would not give up and played some astonishing tennis to gradually wear Margaret down. Some of the rallies were incredible. Forget all the hype which usually focusses on the great Grand Slam finals. This Semi-Final was one of the best women's matches I have seen - and Anne certainly deserved her Wimbledon crown that year even if the Final wasn't as exciting as the Semi.

Anyway, I will always have a soft spot for Anne, being Frankie's doubles partner. :)

Rollo
Aug 16th, 2005, 09:16 PM
I'll ressurect this one for Mr. Whiteside and add an article.


This is from the Rod laver tennis digest series that ran in the 1960s. The exact is unclear-but it's somewhere in the mid 1960s.

This gives insight into her tactics, priorities-and how Margaret Court to boot.

My Most Memorable Match by Ann Haydon Jones

The match I most remember....What a difficult title! For someone who has won Wimbledon-or at least reached the final-the choice would be easy, but unfortunately, I have never acheived that end and for me, no one particular match springs immediatelt to mind.

[Rollo note.....Ann recounts a couple of "milestones', including a heartbreaking semi defeat vs. Sandra Reynolds at Wimbledon in 1960--Even now, in my mind's eye, i can see that smash going an inch or two over the sideline and with it my chance for a 5-2 lead and a Wimbledob final.

From there, I would like to turn to a more cheerful topic and a championship I suceeded in winning, anmely the French. One always treasure happy times in one's memory, so perhaps this is the occassion I cherish the most. I was delighted to have my parents and several friends with me in Paris., as a happy state of mind always leads to better tennis from me.

I had a tough draw-often a good thing-and after i had disposed of Renee Schuurman in the round of 16 I came up against Margaret Smith. I would like to give this victory pride of place in view of the player she was subsequently to become.

In those days, however, it was her first European tour. No one here knew
A great deal about her play, although her reputation had already preceded her. But remember it was a reputation built-up in Australia and , unlike their men, the Austrailian women had never made a big impact on the world scene. .....

I was not expected to win, so i suppose this made me even more determined.
Christine Truman was the English favorite..but at this stage she lost to Yola Rameriez and I was now the sole British survivor.

How well I remember that boiling-hot Tuesday afternnon! I was determined to make Margaret fight every inch of the way and to keep her on court all afternoon if necessary. And that's how it turned out with a two-hours' tussle
in the strength-sapping sun.

i knew very well that i could not outpace Margaret, but I had carefully watched her earlier matches and realized that she did not like high topspin to her backhand when hit to a good length. This then, was to be the main point of my attack and i began to play upon the weakness. I also refused to give her any of the angles on which she thrives to open up the court with her punching cross-court forehand.

The rallies became longer and longer and fortunes fluctuated, but even in those days Margaret showed signs of tenseness and i was convinced I could win prvided i held on long enough.

i took the first set at 7-5. Then the tension mounted. Margaret edged out to a 5-3 lead. She was now in a strong postion to level the match at a set-all.
I could not afford to drop a single point. I mixed drop-shots with good length, and margaret, trying to hit her way through, made the errors.

I took three games to be ahead again, but in the 16th and 18th games Margaret was serving for the set. But she was tiring and wasted a set point on a double fault.

It was then my turn to see 3 match points slip away. By this time I was feeling the strain with twinges of cramp, but fortuneately managed to hide it.
Then in the 21st game the physical effort caught up with Margaret and she collapsed with a cramp in her right leg.

For 4 agonizing minutes Margaret received court-side attention. She then resumed, but she was limping a little and I knew my chance of victory had come.

I reached 40-love and 3 match points, but that short break its effect on me too and I stupidly missed two of these before Margaret hit out and I was through to the semifinal.

once I had margaret behinf me I had every confidence, but there were some moments of anguish before I beat Suzy Kormoczy 3-6 6-1 6-3 on my 5th match point for a place in the final against Yola Rameriez.

yola, unfortunately, played badly and left me with acomfortable 6-2 6-1 win to collect my first major lawn tennis title.

.......

alfajeffster
Aug 16th, 2005, 09:28 PM
This is the only pic I have scanned of Pip:


http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a223/alfajeffster/AnnBV.jpg

chris whiteside
Aug 16th, 2005, 09:28 PM
I'd love to read Ann's book. I think she ranks higher than Virginia (sorry Ginny!) I agree with Rollo. Very tough player was our ann and her achievements in the game are fantastic. People never remember her though, and my sources tell me she has been seen emptying the bins at the Edgbaston tourny! (I'm not joking!)

Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph the top selling broadsheet in the UK held a poll to find the top 10 British sportswomen of all time. Jones was the only tennis player to feature at #8. Rather surprising since while the public all seem to remember Virginia, as you say Ann is largely forgotten.

chris whiteside
Aug 16th, 2005, 09:40 PM
From there, I would like to turn to a more cheerful opic and a championship i suceeded in winning, anmely the French. One always treasure happy times in one's memory, so perhaps this is the occassion I cherish the most. I was delighted to have my parents and several friends with me in Paris., as a happy state of mind always leads to better tennis from me.

I had a tough draw-often a good thing-and after i had disposed of Renee Schuurman in the round of 16 I came up against Margaret Smith. I would like to give this victory pride of place in view of the player she was subsequently to become.


I think this match showed how inexperienced Margaret was on the International scene at that time.

How on earth a player of her all round court ability thought she would beat Ann by playing entirely from the baseline on a clay court is mind boggling.

chris whiteside
Aug 17th, 2005, 11:14 AM
Much as Virginia is my absolute all-time fav I'd rate her below Ann.


I always knew you were a person of great perception whose opinion is greatly revered, Rollo. ;)

Actually, I think it's pretty evens-stevens between them. Virginia had the US in addition to her Wimbledon plus the Australian which while being a great victory over Goolagong in the final was that year basically the two of them v a bunch of also rans while Ann had the 2 French titles.

Incidentally Virginia won the Italian title in the early 70s although along with the German Championships it suffered more than most from decimated fields in the years following the introduction of Open Tennis. She also won the South African. Jones had 6 other Slam finals as against nil for Wade although to a degree there is an element of luck in that. Being runner-up in a Slam looks good on your CV but is the beaten finallist necessarily any better than the player who lost to the Champion in the semis?

Overall Ann held a 16-7 h2h over Virginia although again you have to allow for the fact that many of her victories were while V was on the rise. The only year where V was demonstrably ahead of Ann was 1968.

I think 1970 gives a good snapshot of their relative merits. That was Jones' final full year on the International circuit (although she eschewed the Slams) but in their 6 meetings they split 3-3 with Ann winning the final at Eastbourne on grass.

Why I would rate Ann just ahead is their relative record in the Slams. If you discard the results before either player entered the top 10 plus V's after she had dropped out (and this is heavily to Ann's disadvantage), from entering the world's top 10 at the end of 1957 A was only beaten on one occasion by a non-top 10 player - Donna Fales in the US quarters in 1960. V's record from she entered the elite list at the end of 1967 shows a large number of defeats to lowly ranked players and not just on the clay of RG.

Andy T
Aug 20th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Hi all, the bitch is back...

I'd agree with the views expressed here that Ann was a notch above Ginny. Comparing their strongest surfaces, it seems that Ann was certainly one of the top claycourters of the 1960s who stood shoulder to shoulder with Marge, Nancy and Lesley Turner whereas Ginny was always one step behind the likes of Marge, BJK, Evonne and Chris on the grass.

Deep breath, Rollo: Ginny's Wimbledon win was in a year where Marge had gone, Evonne was out, BJK was coming back and Martina was not out of her "overweight cleaning lady in overalls and too much jewellery" phase. Her win over Chrissie means that she earned the title by beating the best player in the world but it was not a vintage year either. To me her US Open win (bt Casals, tegart, Jones & King) is the most impressive run by far of her three major titles.

Chris, what are their comparative h2h with Marge and BJK? I'd imagine that Ann posed them many more problems than Ginny.

It is incredible to think that until 78, she was the only left-hander ever to win at Wimbledon (though, as we know, natural leftie Marge was taught to play right handed).

Rollo
Aug 20th, 2005, 06:46 PM
It is incredible to think that until 78, she was the only left-hander ever to win at Wimbledon (though, as we know, natural leftie Marge was taught to play right handed).

Mo was a lefty too Andy-it was part of the ongoing conspiracy to keep lefties of the world from acheiving success:mad:

I hardly think of you as a bitch BTW-maybe a bitty B, but not a major B.

And frankly I don't think it's even close between Wade and Jones. Chris is just being nice to the mod!

Lets compare:

3 slams-all even. Edge to Wade for winning 3 out of 4, but Wade's were all
on grass, whereas Ann won on two surfaces.

Mini-majors: Jones won the Italian at least twice in years when it was the
5th biggest event-Wade won it in a year when it was minor event with a draw
of 16. Wade failed to ever win the Slims finales OR the Colgate/Avon events, a major setback considering most of these were indoors.

Advantage Ann.

IMO all those finals Ann got to DO make a difference. Wade often had her chances and blew them big time. To Casals in the US Open semis of 1970; to Morozova at Wimbledon in 1974. 1974 was particularly painful-as Wade would have had a good shot a Evert in the finals.

The kicker to me is this: on her worst surface (Grass) Ann won a major, often got to major finals, and beat King, Court, etc on it.

In contrast Virginia NEVER made the semis of the French, and never beat Evert on clay, though she did scalp Jones a time or two :)

Wade will always be my favorite, but I cut her no slack because of it.

chris whiteside
Aug 21st, 2005, 01:23 PM
Deep breath, Rollo: Ginny's Wimbledon win was in a year where Marge had gone, Evonne was out, BJK was coming back and Martina was not out of her "overweight cleaning lady in overalls and too much jewellery" phase. Her win over Chrissie means that she earned the title by beating the best player in the world but it was not a vintage year either. To me her US Open win (bt Casals, tegart, Jones & King) is the most impressive run by far of her three major titles.

Chris, what are their comparative h2h with Marge and BJK? I'd imagine that Ann posed them many more problems than Ginny.


I would entirely agree with you Andy that her USO victory in 1968 was by far her most impressive win beating that year's Wimbledon Champion, runner-up and one of the semi-finallists in succession. Having said that, she was the last one standing at Wimbledon '77 in a field which contained almost all the top 10 players at that time and you can only beat whomever you come up against.

I wasn't sure whether the data in World Tennis was up to October or December in 1970 but have now worked out it was October. So the final h2h between Jones and Wade was 18-9.

I am afraid the records of each against Madge and BJ makes depressing reading.

Jones v Court 3-9
Jones v King 9-29

I only have data up to the end of 1973 so Wade v King is incomplete but I was able to use Andrew's thread for that against Court.

Wade v Court 3-26
Wade v King 5-22 (end of 73 season)

For two of the leading players of the 60s Ann and Margaret played surprisingly few times but that was probably due to the BJK factor in that the seedings usually threw the two together before Ann would have come up against Madge and usually that meant curtains.

It is quite interesting that to the end of 1969 the score was 6-3 but then Margaret won the last 3 as Ann gradually receded although the Federation Cup final in 1971 was written about in glowing terms by the British press. 6-2 final set sounds quite conclusive but apparently it was only a matter of a couple of points either way and Margaret was pushed to the limit. 2 of Ann's 3 wins came in Slams though and she also led 2-1 in those events.

The King figures do not include the 4 women professional tournaments of 1968/9 which were not accepted for ranking purposes. The actual results are very hard to come by and I am sure there are many missing. I know Jones won several matches in 1968 but see no victories in 69 and overall I would think the percentages were pretty similar.

Billie Jean was Ann's scourge and more often than not was her nemesis in the Slams. A large part of the reason why they played so many matches was that as the leading players in the US and UK they regularly played each other in Wightman Cup and from 1964 onwards they always seemed to meet in the semis of the Fed Cup.

It would be interesting to know the final h2h for Wade/King. I know Virginia beat her a couple of times in 1975. She also had the misfortune to keep running in to BJ around the quarter/semi-final stage at the Slams.

It would look that Ann was able to hold her own a bit better with Margaret.

Andy T
Aug 21st, 2005, 04:55 PM
Thanks so much for this Chris. The following is probably incomplete but Ifrom what I can see in tournament play, Wade had 3 wins over King in 74 (sf Chicago, Hilton Head & Phoenix), 2 in 75 (sf Philadelphia and f Eastbourne) and 1 in 78 (RR Slims Champs). They didn't meet in the Fed Cup after 74 but I haven't checked for any Wightman Cup encounter. That makes 6 more wins.

King had 1 win in 74( sf Philadelphia), 1 in 75 (sf San Francisco), 2 in 77 (f London indoor & Wightman Cup), 1 in 78 (sf Houston), 1 in 79 (US Open qf), 1 in 80 (rr Avon Champs), and 1 in 81 (Dallas r16). That makes 8 more wins for an overall 11-30.

It seems that Virginia and Ann were more or less equally (un)successful against BJK. As you say Ginny did seem to run into BJK quite often in the majors. In 72 poor Ginny drew a QF vs a peak BJK in all three of the majors. Their h2h seems to even up a bit towards the end but this is perhaps understandable given BJK's knee problems, retirements and unretirements and the fact that Ginny was a good two and a half years younger.

Ann's lack of encounters against Madge is surprising given the consistency of both these women in reaching the latter rounds of the tourneys in the 60s, though the same is true of confrontations between Madge and BJK. I guess we should put it down to the structure of the game back then when players met frequently if they were tourning on similar circuits but hardly at all if they weren't. From what I've seen of their playing styles and temperaments, it doesn't surprise me tyhat Ann has a better record against Madge than Ginny, though.

PamShriverRockz
Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:52 AM
Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph the top selling broadsheet in the UK held a poll to find the top 10 British sportswomen of all time. Jones was the only tennis player to feature at #8. Rather surprising since while the public all seem to remember Virginia, as you say Ann is largely forgotten.

I missed this. OMG! I'm actually amazed, no one ever seems to have heard of her now...even though she's the best tennis player we've had in terms of what she has achieved IMO. I'm pleased to see she made the top ten!
(Incidentally just out of interest, who was number 1?)

chris whiteside
Aug 24th, 2005, 10:00 AM
I missed this. OMG! I'm actually amazed, no one ever seems to have heard of her now...even though she's the best tennis player we've had in terms of what she has achieved IMO. I'm pleased to see she made the top ten!
(Incidentally just out of interest, who was number 1?)


My memory is playing tricks, PSR. I was probably stunned to see Ann appear in the list as her achievements normally disappear under the cloud of sentiment attached to Virginia winning the title in the Centenary year. I think I was surprised that Paula Radcliffe was only #2 while I am pretty certain although not 100% that Mary Rand took the #1 spot.

chris whiteside
Oct 9th, 2006, 10:26 AM
In 1960 Ann decided to change her game to serve/volley and had a mostly successful year beating Darlene Hard 6 times out of 8 and splitting 6 matches with La Bueno. However, her worst results (despite a Wimbledon semi) came at the Slams.

She lost two long extended final set matches to Puzejova and Floyd (whom she had previously beaten that year 1 and 2) and which she would have been expected to win at the French and US Champs. In the Wimby semi she led Sandra Price 4-2 fs and a smash out by the narrowest of margins cost her a 5-2 lead.

There were specific reasons for the losses to Puzejova and Floyd. My knowledge of her game pre-1965 is based on what I have read in her book and tennis magazines but I have always assumed that it was the relative lack of success at the Slams in 1960 which made her revert to her defensive game.

Trivfun has just supplied a link to Press cuttings on Maria Bueno but in the report of Maria's 1960 semi win over Christine Truman there is also mention of the Reynolds/Haydon match. The view was that Ann was winning the match from the back of the court when she rallied from there and ended up losing by coming to the net! (So much for serving and volleying on grass.) This would tend to confirm why she reverted to her instinctive game.

I wonder what might have happened had she persisted with s/v? Maybe she would have won Wimbledon in 1962, but on the other hand perhaps the RG titles of 1961 and 66 would not have materialised? Maybe she could have coped better with BJK in the mid-60s?

Ah well, all hypothetical.

trivfun
Oct 10th, 2006, 02:07 AM
In 1960 Ann decided to change her game to serve/volley and had a mostly successful year beating Darlene Hard 6 times out of 8 and splitting 6 matches with La Bueno. However, her worst results (despite a Wimbledon semi) came at the Slams.

She lost two long extended final set matches to Puzejova and Floyd (whom she had previously beaten that year 1 and 2) and which she would have been expected to win at the French and US Champs. In the Wimby semi she led Sandra Price 4-2 fs and a smash out by the narrowest of margins cost her a 5-2 lead.

There were specific reasons for the losses to Puzejova and Floyd. My knowledge of her game pre-1965 is based on what I have read in her book and tennis magazines but I have always assumed that it was the relative lack of success at the Slams in 1960 which made her revert to her defensive game.

Trivfun has just supplied a link to Press cuttings on Maria Bueno but in the report of Maria's 1960 semi win over Christine Truman there is also mention of the Reynolds/Haydon match. The view was that Ann was winning the match from the back of the court when she rallied from there and ended up losing by coming to the net! (So much for serving and volleying on grass.) This would tend to confirm why she reverted to her instinctive game.

I wonder what might have happened had she persisted with s/v? Maybe she would have won Wimbledon in 1962, but on the other hand perhaps the RG titles of 1961 and 66 would not have materialised? Maybe she could have coped better with BJK in the mid-60s?

Ah well, all hypothetical.


You mentioned that she beat Darlene 6 out of 8 times. In reading excerpts by her, she mentioned that she figured out Darlene's game. I want to know what happened in the 1961 U. S. final when she got blistered by Darlene with the exception of the last three games.

chris whiteside
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:01 AM
She was one of Frankie Durr's regular doubles partners in the late 60s and apparantly they had a winning head to head record over King/Casals! I have their Wimbledon 68 Doubles Final on tape and they only just lost it 7-5 in the 3rd to King/Casals in a real thriller of a match.


Frankie and Ann had just formed their doubles partnership in 1968 after teaming up under George McCall's professional troupe. They won the French Champs beating Bueno/Richey and Casals/King. That 1968 Wimby final left me devastated. Leading 5-4 final set with BJ serving at 15-30 Frankie angled away a double-handed volley which beat both BJ and Rosie and agonisingly just landed the wrong side of the doubles line. That would have given them 2 Championship points.

In 1969 they were on a roll coming in to Wimby as South African, Italian and French Champions. Their early defeat to Michel and Hogan was one of the major upsets in women's tennis that year.

chris whiteside
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:22 AM
You mentioned that she beat Darlene 6 out of 8 times. In reading excerpts by her, she mentioned that she figured out Darlene's game. I want to know what happened in the 1961 U. S. final when she got blistered by Darlene with the exception of the last three games.

That was in 1960. I would think that by returning to her instinctive backcourt game she was unable to cope on grass with the power and agressive net attack of someone like Darlene who was playing at her best in late 1961. 1961 was a strange year for Ann too. Despite winning RG and being Runner-up at Forest Hills which gave her a high ranking she really didn't play that well with over 20 defeats during the year.

Although everyone, including all 7 members of The Blaster Panel's ranking Committee agreed that based on results over the whole of 1961 Angela Mortimer deserved the #1 ranking it was generally felt that Darlene was the best player in the world at the point of year end.

While it always took a really good player to beat her Ann was suscepible to a net rusher on grass. BJ had her taped to perfection - a hard serve to the backhand and a rush to the net to volley away the usually high return. In 1967 and 1968 for example when Ann reached the 67 Wimbledon final and 68 semi - on that occasion coming within a few points of beating BJ - although just being too strong tactically for them she came under heavy pressure from young aggressive American players with flashy strokes such as Casals, Eisel and Harter.

Players go through phases too. In 1964 and the first half of 1965 when she eased off and at best could only be described as a Housewife playing tennis she went on tour to South Africa with Maria and Darlene and was beaten 6 times by Darlene including a double bagel!

Andy T
Oct 10th, 2006, 03:15 PM
That was in 1960. I would think that by returning to her instinctive backcourt game she was unable to cope on grass with the power and agressive net attack of someone like Darlene who was playing at her best in late 1961. 1961 was a strange year for Ann too. Despite winning RG and being Runner-up at Forest Hills which gave her a high ranking she really didn't play that well with over 20 defeats during the year.

Although everyone, including all 7 members of The Blaster Panel's ranking Committee agreed that based on results over the whole of 1961 Angela Mortimer deserved the #1 ranking it was generally felt that Darlene was the best player in the world at the point of year end.

While it always took a really good player to beat her Ann was suscepible to a net rusher on grass. BJ had her taped to perfection - a hard serve to the backhand and a rush to the net to volley away the usually high return. In 1967 and 1968 for example when Ann reached the 67 Wimbledon final and 68 semi - on that occasion coming within a few points of beating BJ - although just being too strong tactically for them she came under heavy pressure from young aggressive American players with flashy strokes such as Casals, Eisel and Harter.

Players go through phases too. In 1964 and the first half of 1965 when she eased off and at best could only be described as a Housewife playing tennis she went on tour to South Africa with Maria and Darlene and was beaten 6 times by Darlene including a double bagel!

I'm sure this is in these threads somewhere but do you know what Ann's h2h vs Billie by surface was ? As one of Billie Jean's greatest strengths was the variety of serves she had in her arsenal, enabling her to keep the receiver on the defensive while she moved forward for the volley, I'd imagine that on fast courts, Billie has a clear edge. On slower stuff, however, I imagine that Jones, like Richey and Evert, was able to expose King's weaknesses. I'd be interested so see matches between these two to see how much BJK exploited Ann's backhand with an out-wide spin or kick serve on the deuce court.

Like BJK herself, Ann credited her improvement 68-69 in part to her time with McCall's touring troupe. It's a shame she didn't play full time in 70 and 71 as she could still have been a factor in the big events.

trivfun
Oct 10th, 2006, 03:46 PM
I'm sure this is in these threads somewhere but do you know what Ann's h2h vs Billie by surface was ? As one of Billie Jean's greatest strengths was the variety of serves she had in her arsenal, enabling her to keep the receiver on the defensive while she moved forward for the volley, I'd imagine that on fast courts, Billie has a clear edge. On slower stuff, however, I imagine that Jones, like Richey and Evert, was able to expose King's weaknesses. I'd be interested so see matches between these two to see how much BJK exploited Ann's backhand with an out-wide spin or kick serve on the deuce court.

Like BJK herself, Ann credited her improvement 68-69 in part to her time with McCall's touring troupe. It's a shame she didn't play full time in 70 and 71 as she could still have been a factor in the big events.

She got hurt before the 1969 U.S. Open. I think she could have done well. However, because of that Darlene Hard was able to participate in doubles with Frankie Durr who was Ann's partner.

Did BJK make Ann hit a backhand volley?

Andy T
Oct 10th, 2006, 04:04 PM
She got hurt before the 1969 U.S. Open. I think she could have done well. However, because of that Darlene Hard was able to participate in doubles with Frankie Durr who was Ann's partner.

Did BJK make Ann hit a backhand volley?

Before she had to pull out, Ann was seeded #1 - ahead of both King and Court - for the 69 US Open. BJK held no majors at that time but Maggie was reigning Aussie and French Champ, which would appear to give her the edge.

This is another one for the what might have beens: had Ann won that title, she'd have been acclaimed as #1 for 69, the first full year of open tennis, and completed her "big three collection" of RG, Wimbledon and Forest Hills and Madge would have ended just one major ahead of Steffi.

chris whiteside
Oct 10th, 2006, 05:54 PM
I'm sure this is in these threads somewhere but do you know what Ann's h2h vs Billie by surface was ? As one of Billie Jean's greatest strengths was the variety of serves she had in her arsenal, enabling her to keep the receiver on the defensive while she moved forward for the volley, I'd imagine that on fast courts, Billie has a clear edge. On slower stuff, however, I imagine that Jones, like Richey and Evert, was able to expose King's weaknesses. I'd be interested so see matches between these two to see how much BJK exploited Ann's backhand with an out-wide spin or kick serve on the deuce court.

Like BJK herself, Ann credited her improvement 68-69 in part to her time with McCall's touring troupe. It's a shame she didn't play full time in 70 and 71 as she could still have been a factor in the big events.

I don't know offhand, Andy but the overall h2h was 29 -9 in BJs favour - that doesn't include their meetings as members McCall's Pro Group - I'm sure there are many matches here which we don't have the results for and I have been unsuccessful in trying to get a complete list.

I don't believe Ann and BJ met too often on clay probably because BJ on the whole avoided the surface. She lost their Federation Cup final match in Berlin in 1967 but as Nancy Richey told us it was a most unusual surface - very gritty and totally unlike the normal continental claycourts. Ann won a claycourt encounter at Turin in 1966 and Wightman Cup match in Cleveland 1965 - although perhaps Cleveland was Hardcourt?

chris whiteside
Oct 10th, 2006, 06:12 PM
Before she had to pull out, Ann was seeded #1 - ahead of both King and Court - for the 69 US Open. BJK held no majors at that time but Maggie was reigning Aussie and French Champ, which would appear to give her the edge.

This is another one for the what might have beens: had Ann won that title, she'd have been acclaimed as #1 for 69, the first full year of open tennis, and completed her "big three collection" of RG, Wimbledon and Forest Hills and Madge would have ended just one major ahead of Steffi.

I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and say that I believe Ann chickened out of USO 1969. I think winning Wimbledon instead of lifting a millstone round her neck actually put more pressure on her. In the professional tournaments between Wimby and USO she had a few run-ins with linesmen and was very tetchy which you wouldn't normally associate with her. Of course, maybe her shoulder injury was beginning to trouble her again. This was the official reason for her late withdrawal from Forest Hills coming after the draw was made and she would have had to play Peaches Bartkowicz in the first round - she had had two tough encounters against Peaches there in 67 and 68. She also lost out that in being seeded #1 she was pitted against BJ in the semis and Margaret got the "easier" match. I suppose it is cynical not to believe what Ann said but I have always had this doubt in my mind as to what happened.

She initially said that while she wouldn't play Wimbledon again after 1969 she might enter other Slams, however as it turned out that was her last one.

I think too that at almost 31 she was starting to slow down a bit - e.g. Italian semi 1969 where Julie Heldman just simply outlasted her for her first ever victory over Ann. Certainly, while she played a brilliant match against Madge at Wimbledon in 69 and also reached the final at RG, similar to 61 over the course of the year she didn't play her best tennis. IMO 1960 and 1966 saw her play her best tennis.

Johnny O
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Players go through phases too. In 1964 and the first half of 1965 when she eased off and at best could only be described as a Housewife playing tennis she went on tour to South Africa with Maria and Darlene and was beaten 6 times by Darlene including a double bagel!

I am not entirely certain about this, but I remember reading in a book called either "Thirty-Love" or "Love-Thirty" which chronicled the top 30 players of the last 30 years at the time it was published (early 90's?) something about that Ann suffered a slipped disc around this time and almost had to quit playing. The profile wrote how her husband had encouraged her to return to the game once the problem was solved. I think that partially accounts for her lack of play and fall in the rankings in 64/65. She wasn't even seeded at W 65, despite which, she got to the last 16 and pushed Bueno, the top seed and defending champ, hard in the match.

chris whiteside
Oct 11th, 2006, 10:26 AM
I am not entirely certain about this, but I remember reading in a book called either "Thirty-Love" or "Love-Thirty" which chronicled the top 30 players of the last 30 years at the time it was published (early 90's?) something about that Ann suffered a slipped disc around this time and almost had to quit playing. The profile wrote how her husband had encouraged her to return to the game once the problem was solved. I think that partially accounts for her lack of play and fall in the rankings in 64/65. She wasn't even seeded at W 65, despite which, she got to the last 16 and pushed Bueno, the top seed and defending champ, hard in the match.


This was an injury sustained earlier in her career. Not 100% certain but I believe it was early season 1960 during the first set of a match against Angela Mortimer and Ann was forced to scratch. The injury was not properly diagnosed and seemed to clear up.

However, I believe it was not until early 1965 that the problem manifested itself and was discovered to be a slipped disc. Ann was forced to withdraw halfway through tournaments mid-season 65.

The Wimbledon seedings of 1965 caused some controversy. Below the top 5 there were a number of players who could have received one of the last 3 places. Van Zyl had beaten Ann in the Federation Cup but just a couple of weeks previously Ann had gained revenge on grass for the loss of only 3 games. Graebner had reached the final at Forest Hills the year before but hadn't done anything much in 1965. With nothing much between them you would think that given Ann's previous record (4 semis reached) and being the home player they would have gone with her. It would have been understandable had they decided to leave her out because of the injury because it was touch and go whether she was even going to be able to play. In the event because it was Wimbledon Ann had cortizone injections rather than miss it. However, in a strange twist Wimbledon who never made any comment on their seedings, issued a statement saying that Mrs Jones' slipped disc/neck injury was NOT a consideration in their list of seeds!

Maybe she was miffed at not being seeded because in losing to La Bueno in the L16 she played her best match in over a year. Later in the year after winning her matches in the Wightman Cup she was actually seeded #3 at Forest Hills! Unfortunately she was drawn against her nemesis BJK in the quarters although after a chance meeting with Maureen Connolly who gave her some coaching she was no longer quite the pushover for BJ on grass and the match hinged on the first set which went to 16-14 (sixteen-fourteen).

I'm no doctor and thought a slipped disc would more affect the back but apparently it was part of the problem with her neck.

After Wimbledon in 1966 although BJK was in pole position the #1 ranking was open for any one of five players - in alphabetical order - Bueno, King, Jones, Richey and Smith. Ann's injury resurfaced after her long semi-final with Bueno and she was forced to pull out of the Swiss Champs where in a small field she had been given a bye into the quarters. (In fact she had felt a few twinges in her quarter-final match at RG and at one stage had considered defaulting - what a disaster that would have been) It seemed to clear up so in August she went to the German Champs. However the weather intervened. A cold and rain hit quarter final match in which the players were consistently on and off court exacerbated the injury and Ann could hardly move her neck. There was a jarring every time she moved to the ball. She lost the first set 6-0 to La Bueno and with her mobility severely restricted it is a testament to her that she took the second set to 8-6.

To test the neck before going to the US she honoured her commitment to play in Moscow and struggled through a weak event but it was obvious that she was in serious difficulties and she was forced to cancel all her engagements until November.

Margaret Smith who had already announced her decision to retire at the end of 1966 called it a day after the German Champs and also decided not to go to the US (whether this was her original intention I don't know) but what had promised to almost be a World Championship decider at Forest Hills turned into something of a damp squib with both Jones and Smith missing.

But 1966 is the Mother and Father of all ranking list with four different Slam winners, Nancy Richey as runner-up in three of them and all five with excellent overall records.

chris whiteside
Oct 19th, 2006, 05:37 PM
Ann's 1960 season

Courtesy of Lance Tingay and AndrewTas




Ann, or Adrienne if one wishes to be legalistic, Haydon had her first full season as a lawn tennis player. Previously she lived in two worlds, that of table tennis as well, at which game she was just denied the statue of being the best in the world. Table tennis she gave up in the autumn of 1959, when she was 21 years old, the better to devote herself to lawn tennis. Then she had had three Wightman Cup ties behind, each time as the third singles player and each time with a victory, most notably in 1958 when her defeat of Mimi Arnold clinched Britain's first victory in that contest since 1930. During 1960 Miss Haydon met every one of the leading players of the world, a rare occurrence as anyone who has tried to compile a ranking list will admit. There were only two major performers she did not, at one time or another, beat, Christine Truman and the Hungarian Suzy Kormoczy, though it was a sad thing that in two important events, the French and American Championships, she should yield to two players, the Czech Vera Puzejova and the American Donna Floyd, below her basic stature. Miss Haydon’s deft left-handed skill had moments of frailty as well as many of great strength but then no amateur was invulnerable during 1960. The rejection of table tennis enabled Miss Haydon to begin early. Her tour of the covered court championships of Europe were full of successes. She won the Scandinavian and Finnish titles, beating Angela Mortimer in both finals. She yielded to Miss Mortimer in the French final but won the German against Sheila Armstrong. In the British Miss Mortimer won the final, but an injured back made her retire after one set. The Caribbean circuit that followed was mainly triumph. On the American mainland she won the Good Neighbour and Masters tournaments. She won in Puerto Rico, beating not only Miss Hard, but in the final, Miss Bueno. The Brazilian had her revenge in the finals at Barranquilla and Caracas, in which events she again beat Miss Hard. She won Kingston, Jamaica, with yet another win over Miss Hard in the final. Back in England Miss Haydon performed the remarkable feat of winning the women’s singles in the Tally Ho! Tournament at Birmingham without losing a single game in any match. She won the Sutton tournament soon after, then reached the final of the British Hard Court meeting at Bournmouth where Miss Truman was too severe. The final of the Italian Championships, which came afterwards, was her downfall also. After two splendid displays, first against Yola Ramirez and then, with an impeccability of form that I think was her highest point, against Sandra Reynolds, she had to submit in a long and grueling final to Mrs Kormoczy, the doughtiest hard court performer of all. Her hopes in the French meeting in Paris were dashed by Miss Puzejova, a most solid but not especially inspired hard court player. In this match Miss Haydon did not seem to know if she was coming or going and, indeed, with raging toothache she hardly did. Back of her home territory at Priory, Birmingham, she had a grass court win over Miss Mortimer and lost to Miss Bueno in the final. In the Wightman Cup, now as one of the top singles players along with Miss Truman instead of her old role as the number three, she did her duty nobly in beating Karen Hantze but could not sustain her previous record against Miss Hard. At Wimbledon she was the fourth seed for the women’s singles. As in 1958 she reached the semi-final. There, in a long, wavering and exciting match, her fires of inspiration faded when she was leading in the third set and Miss Reynolds had revenge for what had taken place in Rome. Subsequently Miss Haydon won the Malvern tournament and then, after County Week where she and Valerie Brewer performed their usual staunch work for Warwickshire, she went to America. At Orange she faltered and lost to Miss Hantze but the next week marked her success at the Essex County Club tournament at Manchester by beating Miss Hard for the fifth time. She and Diedre Catt reached the final of the National Doubles at Boston. In the National Singles at Forest Hills Miss Haydon was seeded second to Miss Bueno, a curious choice at the expense of Miss Truman. Since it meant a prospective semi-final against Miss Hard rather than Miss Bueno, the worse fortune was probably for Miss Truman. But the semi-final between Miss Haydon and Miss Hard never came to court. In the quarter-final Miss Haydon, upset by a high wind and more nervy than I have ever seen her before, yielded to young Donna Floyd, whom she had easily beaten in the Caribbean, after a waving contest. Miss Floyd had indicated her quality in the round before by beating Miss Hantze but all in all it was one of results which are not quite real. In a sense the season was one of sublime failure for Miss Haydon. Top success was denied her. Mrs Kormoczy- against whom she had another unsuccessful tilt in Budapest immediately after Wimbledon- never submitted to her. Nor did Miss Truman. The others did. Her comparative failure in the United States Nationals had brilliant compensation. Going on the Pacific South West meeting on cement in Los Angeles Miss Haydon became the first British woman to win the singles since Miss Dorothy Round in 1933. A fine semi-final victory over Miss Bueno was followed by another conquest of Miss Hard in the last match.”

Jakarta
Oct 20th, 2006, 02:53 PM
I have read it somewhere -- I think in a late '70s book about women's champions -- where some old hack wrote that the reason he believed Ann was not even more successful was -- and I kid you not here -- that she was relatively large breasted and that probably affected her play. A throwback to neanderthal times about women. :o

Of course, Ann's really great claim to fame is being the only top left handed woman of the modern game, who could win Grand Slams, until Martina N. came along.

trivfun
Oct 20th, 2006, 05:28 PM
I have read it somewhere -- I think in a late '70s book about women's champions -- where some old hack wrote that the reason he believed Ann was not even more successful was -- and I kid you not here -- that she was relatively large breasted and that probably affected her play. A throwback to neanderthal times about women. :o

Of course, Ann's really great claim to fame is being the only top left handed woman of the modern game, who could win Grand Slams, until Martina N. came along.


Billie Jean King apparently shared this view as well because in her 1973 book, she mentions about making large breasted women (her words well-endowed) to hit a backhand volley. "You can hit under them and over them but not around them" is her words.

Johnny O
Oct 20th, 2006, 11:56 PM
Billie Jean King apparently shared this view as well because in her 1973 book, she mentions about making large breasted women (her words well-endowed) to hit a backhand volley. "You can hit under them and over them but not around them" is her words.

That's a quote from Ann herself that she often told Billie-Jean! I think what she said was that you "can't hit through them." I don't think it's 'neanderthal' to point out that an athlete's physical build will certainly impact their style of play and their choice of shots. Talking tennis only, Rosie Casals has always acknowledged that her lack of height was a hindrance and Lindsay Davenport's opposite problem has often affected her mobility. A heavy chested woman will have to adapt her game to accommodate such an attribute. It's a fact of life.

trivfun
Oct 21st, 2006, 12:44 AM
In Ann's case, I think her being well-endowed caused her to have shoulder and back problems.

chris whiteside
Oct 21st, 2006, 10:15 AM
Possibly. I don't have enough medical expertise to give an opinion but unquestionably her large breasts were a handicap to a certain degree in volleying. As Johnny O points out other physical characteristics affect different aspects of other player's games.

Ann received the injury which affected her neck/shoulder around 1960 but it didn't really manifest itself until 1965.

I wonder is the fact that being left-handed used to be regarded as something of a taboo is part of the reason for the lack of such players? Margaret Court is obviously the greatest example of a Champion who was naturally left-handed but was trained to use her right hand.

Anyone know know of any other players who were forced to change their playing hand?

preacherfan
Oct 21st, 2006, 01:11 PM
Kimiko Date was naturally left-handed. I don't think being left-handed was traditionally accepted by the Japanese culture.

samn
Oct 21st, 2006, 02:10 PM
Anyone know know of any other players who were forced to change their playing hand?

Kimiko Date (naturally left-handed, played right-handed)
Sabine Appelmans (naturally right-handed, but played left-handed)

Martina Navratilova (right-handed in everything except tennis, but I don't think she was forced to play with her left hand)

alfajeffster
Oct 21st, 2006, 03:34 PM
...Martina Navratilova (right-handed in everything except tennis, but I don't think she was forced to play with her left hand)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Martina actually ambidextrous?

tennisvideos
Oct 22nd, 2006, 01:32 AM
I wonder is the fact that being left-handed used to be regarded as something of a taboo is part of the reason for the lack of such players? Margaret Court is obviously the greatest example of a Champion who was naturally left-handed but was trained to use her right hand.

Anyone know know of any other players who were forced to change their playing hand?

I only know of Ken Rosewall and Court.

Johnny O
Oct 22nd, 2006, 02:08 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Martina actually ambidextrous?

I don't think that she is. I've never seen her hit with anything but her left. Beverly Baker Fleitz is the only player I've ever known of who would change the racket from hand to hand depending on the shot. Martina may be ambidextrous off the court, but on it I think she's exclusively a leftie.

alfajeffster
Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:07 PM
I don't think that she is. I've never seen her hit with anything but her left. Beverly Baker Fleitz is the only player I've ever known of who would change the racket from hand to hand depending on the shot. Martina may be ambidextrous off the court, but on it I think she's exclusively a leftie.

I've never seen her hit with her right hand either. Surely there is a card-carrying Martina Navratilova fan out there somewhere who knows whether she's ambidextrous or not. My dad was, however in addition to swinging the baseball bat pretty much as well on both right and left, he did write and sign left-handed, indicating a decided preference in the balance of things.

trivfun
Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:36 PM
I only know of Ken Rosewall and Court.


Maureen Connolly as well.

newmark401
Aug 5th, 2009, 08:14 PM
David Gray (1927-1983), a British journalist and later General Secretary of the ITF, wrote this excellent report on the 1967 US Nationals women's singles final between Ann Jones and Billie Jean King. Although Ann lost, it is clear that she was a real fighter. She had a great rivalry with Billie Jean, who usually got the upper hand.


Without any doubt, the final of the US Championships, in which Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon title holder, beat Ann Jones, Britain's leading player, 11-9, 6-4, was the women's match of the year. There could hardly have been more emotion or drama and if, in the end, Mrs Jones failed - as she usually does when she plays the dynamic American - the contest must be reckoned as the finest losing battle of her career.

For most of the one hundred minutes of the match, she limped from a pulled thigh muscle. She saved nine set points before the first set was wrenched from her. In the middle of the second set she collapsed, and when she returned to the battle she edged her way back from 2-5 to 4-5, and saved four match points before the end. It was a far closer and more interesting encounter than the one she lost by 6-3 6-4 to Mrs King at Wimbledon, and it was a complete atonement for her dismal performance in the Wightman Cup at Cleveland a month ago.

Her injury was a disappointment. Her conquest of it roused the crowd and gave the match its depth. From the start it had seemed that she would have more chance of beating Mrs King here than at Wimbledon. Forest Hills, starved of American success, was crying out for the first home win in the women's singles for six years. At Wimbledon it had been Mrs Jones who was under heavy national pressure. Then Mrs King could hit freely, and bound confidently about the court. Today it was Mrs Jones who had nothing to lose, and some part of her Cleveland-battered lawn tennis reputation to regain. Yesterday both players had won their semi-finals easily, and by the same score, 6-2, 6-4 - Mrs King beat Francosie Durr, the French champion, and Mrs Jones defeated Lesley Turner, the Australian no. 1.

The start looked depressingly familiar. Mrs King took the initiative, and allowed Mrs Jones only two points out of the first twelve. At 2-0 and 30-love, with Mrs King serving, it looked as though we were going to see a match that was bleak as the day. A cold wind blew, and the court was damp and slippery. But suddenly Mrs King made a sequence of errors from the backhand ('The wind was bad,' she said afterwards. 'I can usually rely on my backhand, but today you would hit it in one place and the ball would be in another, and out before you knew what was happening') and Mrs Jones was back on level terms at 2-2. It was, however, in that fourth game that the injury occurred. She tried to smash, and slipped. By the sixth game, she was still hitting well, but the limp was noticeable. Some people remembered last year's Wightman Cup match at Wimbledon, when Mrs King had cramp in the final set against the British player, and went on to win. Then, Mrs Jones's concentration was broken. Today, as Mrs Jones ran for some shots, and hit others hard when the slightest chance of a winner presented itself, it was Mrs King who found it difficult to deal with the situation. 'I thought of the other match a lot,' she said. 'An injury like that makes you take chances, and she took hers well today.'

If Mrs Jones hit more winners than usual, and served better, she also used her strategy of furstration with all her normal skill. Mrs King found it difficult to get to the net, and she was given fewer chances of scoring than she had been at Wimbledon. She led 5-3, but then Mrs Jones's dogged streak showed itself. The British player saved one set point at 5-6, and no fewer than eight at 7-8. The break finally came in the twentieth game, after a bad bounce and a gust of wind had spoiled Mrs Jones's last shot in a rally. She might have even taken the lead in the second set. She had five points to break serve for 2-1, and failed. Then, after the fourth game had gone to deuce six times, and she had failed five times at game point, she turned for a backhand, and collpased. Immediately the court was full of officials, but she insisted on continuing. Mrs King broke for 3-1, led 5-2, found herself under pressure again as Mrs Jones counter-attacked, then needed four match points before the British player finally presented her with the title with a double-fault.

It had been a fine match. All that it had lacked was the spice of uncertainty. From the moment when Mrs Jones began to limp, Mrs King had always seemed assured of victory.

chris whiteside
Aug 6th, 2009, 01:35 PM
Strangely enough although Mrs Jones was almost unanimously ranked #2, her highest position ever, by the correspondents in 1967 her level of play was nowhere near that of 1966.

She lost to Wade for the first time at Bournemouth (clay) and also on clay to Judy Tegart.

Her Wimbledon final was a series of narrow victories and in an early round she was 0-3 down in the final set to Carole Graebner who was just returning from having a baby.

Although she had had a rare victory over Billie-Jean on grass at Beckenham prior to Wimbledon it was more because of a bad match by the American than a good one by Ann. It was a hot day with little wind so Mrs Jones' lob was the deciding factor.

The US final was unquestionably her best match of the year even though she lost it. I think the grass at Forest Hills had a higher bounce than Wimbledon which suited her better.

Of course, we've often heard players describing how difficult it can be to play an injured opponent.

Perhaps Ann should have tried BJ's tactics from the WC of 1966 and groaned theatrically each time she hit the ball. Maybe she could have broken Mrs King's concentration this time!

iainmac
Aug 6th, 2009, 02:00 PM
David Gray (1927-1983), a British journalist and later General Secretary of the ITF, wrote this excellent report on the 1967 US Nationals women's singles final between Ann Jones and Billie Jean King. Although Ann lost, it is clear that she was a real fighter. She had a great rivalry with Billie Jean, who usually got the upper hand.


Without any doubt, the final of the US Championships, in which Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon title holder, beat Ann Jones, Britain's leading player, 11-9, 6-4, was the women's match of the year. There could hardly have been more emotion or drama and if, in the end, Mrs Jones failed - as she usually does when she plays the dynamic American - the contest must be reckoned as the finest losing battle of her career.

For most of the one hundred minutes of the match, she limped from a pulled thigh muscle. She saved nine set points before the first set was wrenched from her. In the middle of the second set she collapsed, and when she returned to the battle she edged her way back from 2-5 to 4-5, and saved four match points before the end. It was a far closer and more interesting encounter than the one she lost by 6-3 6-4 to Mrs King at Wimbledon, and it was a complete atonement for her dismal performance in the Wightman Cup at Cleveland a month ago.

Her injury was a disappointment. Her conquest of it roused the crowd and gave the match its depth. From the start it had seemed that she would have more chance of beating Mrs King here than at Wimbledon. Forest Hills, starved of American success, was crying out for the first home win in the women's singles for six years. At Wimbledon it had been Mrs Jones who was under heavy national pressure. Then Mrs King could hit freely, and bound confidently about the court. Today it was Mrs Jones who had nothing to lose, and some part of her Cleveland-battered lawn tennis reputation to regain. Yesterday both players had won their semi-finals easily, and by the same score, 6-2, 6-4 - Mrs King beat Francosie Durr, the French champion, and Mrs Jones defeated Lesley Turner, the Australian no. 1.

The start looked depressingly familiar. Mrs King took the initiative, and allowed Mrs Jones only two points out of the first twelve. At 2-0 and 30-love, with Mrs King serving, it looked as though we were going to see a match that was bleak as the day. A cold wind blew, and the court was damp and slippery. But suddenly Mrs King made a sequence of errors from the backhand ('The wind was bad,' she said afterwards. 'I can usually rely on my backhand, but today you would hit it in one place and the ball would be in another, and out before you knew what was happening') and Mrs Jones was back on level terms at 2-2. It was, however, in that fourth game that the injury occurred. She tried to smash, and slipped. By the sixth game, she was still hitting well, but the limp was noticeable. Some people remembered last year's Wightman Cup match at Wimbledon, when Mrs King had cramp in the final set against the British player, and went on to win. Then, Mrs Jones's concentration was broken. Today, as Mrs Jones ran for some shots, and hit others hard when the slightest chance of a winner presented itself, it was Mrs King who found it difficult to deal with the situation. 'I thought of the other match a lot,' she said. 'An injury like that makes you take chances, and she took hers well today.'

If Mrs Jones hit more winners than usual, and served better, she also used her strategy of furstration with all her normal skill. Mrs King found it difficult to get to the net, and she was given fewer chances of scoring than she had been at Wimbledon. She led 5-3, but then Mrs Jones's dogged streak showed itself. The British player saved one set point at 5-6, and no fewer than eight at 7-8. The break finally came in the twentieth game, after a bad bounce and a gust of wind had spoiled Mrs Jones's last shot in a rally. She might have even taken the lead in the second set. She had five points to break serve for 2-1, and failed. Then, after the fourth game had gone to deuce six times, and she had failed five times at game point, she turned for a backhand, and collpased. Immediately the court was full of officials, but she insisted on continuing. Mrs King broke for 3-1, led 5-2, found herself under pressure again as Mrs Jones counter-attacked, then needed four match points before the British player finally presented her with the title with a double-fault.

It had been a fine match. All that it had lacked was the spice of uncertainty. From the moment when Mrs Jones began to limp, Mrs King had always seemed assured of victory.

Thanks for that Mark. What a great player Ann Jones was, able to get to the final of the United States Championships, and injured manage to get so close to BJK. A great effort.:worship:

iainmac
Aug 6th, 2009, 02:03 PM
Strangely enough although Mrs Jones was almost unanimously ranked #2, her highest position ever, by the correspondents in 1967 her level of play was nowhere near that of 1966.

She lost to Wade for the first time at Bournemouth (clay) and also on clay to Judy Tegart.

Her Wimbledon final was a series of narrow victories and in an early round she was 0-3 down in the final set to Carole Graebner who was just returning from having a baby.

Although she had had a rare victory over Billie-Jean on grass at Beckenham prior to Wimbledon it was more because of a bad match by the American than a good one by Ann. It was a hot day with little wind so Mrs Jones' lob was the deciding factor.

The US final was unquestionably her best match of the year even though she lost it. I think the grass at Forest Hills had a higher bounce than Wimbledon which suited her better.

Of course, we've often heard players describing how difficult it can be to play an injured opponent.

Perhaps Ann should have tried BJ's tactics from the WC of 1966 and groaned theatrically each time she hit the ball. Maybe she could have broken Mrs King's concentration this time!

I just love it Chris that you will not let 1966 go. I dont blame you- it was a disgrace. On a brighter note, what a player Ann was that in one of her lesser years she was still in two GS finals!!!!!Although I appreciate you mean in terms of her game it was not as greaat, and not her ranking/GS finals

chris whiteside
Aug 6th, 2009, 06:13 PM
I just love it Chris that you will not let 1966 go. I dont blame you- it was a disgrace. On a brighter note, what a player Ann was that in one of her lesser years she was still in two GS finals!!!!!Although I appreciate you mean in terms of her game it was not as greaat, and not her ranking/GS finals

IMO 1967 was a somewhat weak year for women's tennis.

Although some players could only have dreamt of a record like Margaret Smith's in 1966 by her own previous benchmark it was poor! - Australian Champion (for what it's worth), French and Wimbledon semis and German Champion (big event in the sixties) plus South African finalist. There is no doubt that her hand injury played a major part in this and her "retirement" from the women's game left a big chasm for 1967.

Although it would only become apparent as the year wore on 1966 also turne out to be Maria Bueno's swansong and although she remained in the top 10 she ws no longer a top 10 player. Nancy Rickey played a limited schedule and only played one of the Big Three Slams losing in 4r to Mary Ann Eisel and couldn't compete at Forrest Hills with a bad back.

Really Billie-Jean was #1 by a mile and only had to canter. She lost just 4 matches during the season. Whereas in 1966 the top 5 women only lost about half-a-dozen matches each in 1967 Jones #2 lost 12, Durr at #3 - 22 and Turner #5 - 15.

Players like Casals and Wade didn't really make the big strides forward that were expected and the depth was probabaly indicated that Judy Tegart was finally able to enter the top 10 just shy of 30 years old after playing her first Slam 10 years previously.

trivfun
Aug 6th, 2009, 07:32 PM
Lot of people talked about the semis between Serena and Elena Dementieva at Wimbledon. But 40 years, Ann and Margaret Court played a great semi as well.

iainmac
Aug 7th, 2009, 09:53 AM
IMO 1967 was a somewhat weak year for women's tennis.

Although some players could only have dreamt of a record like Margaret Smith's in 1966 by her own previous benchmark it was poor! - Australian Champion (for what it's worth), French and Wimbledon semis and German Champion (big event in the sixties) plus South African finalist. There is no doubt that her hand injury played a major part in this and her "retirement" from the women's game left a big chasm for 1967.

Although it would only become apparent as the year wore on 1966 also turne out to be Maria Bueno's swansong and although she remained in the top 10 she ws no longer a top 10 player. Nancy Rickey played a limited schedule and only played one of the Big Three Slams losing in 4r to Mary Ann Eisel and couldn't compete at Forrest Hills with a bad back.

Really Billie-Jean was #1 by a mile and only had to canter. She lost just 4 matches during the season. Whereas in 1966 the top 5 women only lost about half-a-dozen matches each in 1967 Jones #2 lost 12, Durr at #3 - 22 and Turner #5 - 15.

Players like Casals and Wade didn't really make the big strides forward that were expected and the depth was probabaly indicated that Judy Tegart was finally able to enter the top 10 just shy of 30 years old after playing her first Slam 10 years previously.

I see. And yet there were still a lot of players about who were historic figures. I guess the game was in flux with Court out of it, we have seen that before when there is almost confusion among the others when the number one dissapears- Connolly, Seles, Henin eg.

iainmac
Aug 7th, 2009, 09:54 AM
Lot of people talked about the semis between Serena and Elena Dementieva at Wimbledon. But 40 years, Ann and Margaret Court played a great semi as well.

I know it is talked about in reverential terms. I will have to try and get it. I have seen clips and for sure there are great rallies and Jones is in fantastic form.:worship:

chris whiteside
Aug 7th, 2009, 11:37 AM
Lot of people talked about the semis between Serena and Elena Dementieva at Wimbledon. But 40 years, Ann and Margaret Court played a great semi as well.

That is just so often the case with Slams in particular.

The semis are far better matches than the final but years down the line it is always the final which is remembered.

Billie-Jean said that Ann produced a rolled backhand passing shot all the time in practice but amazingly it was in this match against Margaret that she was able to produce it in match play for the first time - and on a couple of vital points. Dan Maskell was almost orgasming over it!:)

Because it was only in 3r it will never get a mention but there was a match between Jelena Jankovich and Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon in 2007 which I would have in my all time top 5 - it had absolutely everything.

iainmac
Aug 7th, 2009, 12:24 PM
That is just so often the case with Slams in particular.

The semis are far better matches than the final but years down the line it is always the final which is remembered.

Billie-Jean said that Ann produced a rolled backhand passing shot all the time in practice but amazingly it was in this match against Margaret that she was able to produce it in match play for the first time - and on a couple of vital points. Dan Maskell was almost orgasming over it!:)

Because it was only in 3r it will never get a mention but there was a match between Jelena Jankovich and Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon in 2007 which I would have in my all time top 5 - it had absolutely everything.

That is an amazing achievement to introduce a new stroke into your game as a veteran and in a Wimbledon semi final. That indicates the real depth there was to the Jones tactical brain.:worship:

newmark401
Aug 7th, 2009, 01:16 PM
Another piece from the book "Shades of Gray" which, unfortunately, doesn't include any of Ann Jones's big wins, not even her 1969 Wimbledon victory. But it does have this interesting description of her 1968 Wimbledon semi-final with Billie Jean King, who went on to beat Judy Tegart in the final that year. It shows again how tough Ann found it to beat BJK on the big occasion, especially in front of her home crowd.


The Fourth of July at Wimbledon: but the Americans only succeeded in half-celebrating the occasion. Judy Tegart will meet Billie Jean King, their champion and the winner of the title for the last two years, in the women’s singles final. It will be Australia v United States; amateur v professional; and tomorrow’s match may well turn out to be the most robustly aggressive women’s final for years. If you like to see women volley and smash, 1968 could be your year. Miss Tegart, attacking with more ferocity and control than one had ever seen from her before, beat Nancy Richey, the leading amateur, 6-3, 6-1, and Mrs King defeated Ann Jones 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, after the British player had served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.

Only the British will be disappointed by the way the affair ended. Mrs Jones, who lost to her great American rival in the final last year, seemed to have learned how to beat her in the course of her three months of professional touring. Before yesterday they had each won three matches, and for more than an hour on the Centre Court, it looked as though Mrs Jones, seven times a semi-finalist, and one of the finest hard-court players in the world, might have the best of all her chances of winning the greatest of the grass-court titles.

For those who have watched their other duels – at Wimbledon, in the Wightman Cup, and in the final at Forest Hills last year – yesterday’s contest seemed curiously unrelated to anything that had gone before. A stranger might have thought that Mrs Jones had a long record of confident aggression behind her and that Mrs King was habitually uneasy, and liable to miss her chances at the net. Mrs Jones spoiled as cleverly as ever, and volleyed more purposefully than she did in her amateur days. She had always been a shrewd strategist, using her head as well as her racket. Travelling with Mrs King seemed to have given her a new and deeper knowledge of where the American would place her shots.

She was tidy and efficient. Mrs King seemed depressed, and – this is a word which one never expected to use about her – lethargic. Before the tournament she had withdrawn from Beckenham and Queen’s, and flown home to California because she was feeling tired and ill. In her previous four matches she had not lost a set, but she had hardly seemed to be her normal self. No bounce; no zest; she wasn’t even talking to herself when she lost points; there was no sign of the old bespectacled eagerness or that hungry bird look which used to come over her face whenever there was a volley to be snapped up.

Mrs Jones won the first set, and moved easily, almost lightly, to 5-3 in the second. There were no agonized glances towards the players’ stand; her chin, which had drooped all the way through the final last year, jutted belligerently… and yet, as what seemed to be the finish drew nearer, memories of their past meetings, of long British leads which melted suddenly, began to rear ugly heads. ‘We are not safe yet’, said a tall man in a mustard hat and coloured suit. Suddenly it was noticeable that there was a briskness and determination in the way that Mrs King picked up the balls to serve in the next game. She won the ninth game of the set to love, for 4-5. (‘Ann played a bad game. She slugged every return.’ But you were getting your first serve in and serving harder, weren’t you? ‘It had to go in some time. It was getting late.’)

Then came the crisis. Mrs Jones served. At 15-all she hit a ball wide to Mrs King’s forehand. The shot might have beaten the American, but she scrambled it up for a lob. Mrs Jones might have killed the ball, and nearly did, but Mrs King, topping it slightly, drove across court from her backhand. It found a gap of about a foot between Mrs Jones’s forehand and the sideline, kept low, and skidded off the line – spectacular winner, and a warning of the challenge to come. The British player won one more point in the game and then lost the next thirteen. The sleeping tigress was awake. Mrs Jones began to look as if the ghosts of matches past were appearing before her one by one.

Regular readers can skip this paragraph. The final set followed a familiar pattern. Mrs Jones kept on volleying, but shots that had been going in fell out, and her first service lost its accuracy (‘A semi-final at Wimbledon isn’t the place to start practising your first service’, she said tersely.) She thought that she had still a chance at this time, but the Centre Court’s crowd quickly lost its optimism, and at 2-4 it was clear that the end was near. (‘When you are playing someone as good as that, if you don’t take the opportunity when it arrives, you don’t often get another chance.’)

At the end Mrs King looked so confident that you would not have thought that she had ever been in the slightest danger of defeat. Just one more near miss for Mrs Jones. In the end it was not even as close as their final at Forest Hills last September…

nelslus
Aug 7th, 2009, 02:28 PM
I know it is talked about in reverential terms. I will have to try and get it. I have seen clips and for sure there are great rallies and Jones is in fantastic form.:worship:
IF you ever find a copy of the Ann/Margaret Wimbledon match- let me know. Been dying to see this match. WISH that more of Ann's matches were available.

AND, btw- I am totally with Chris about the Jankovic/Safarova Wimbledon match. This was just an incredible match. I also still love watching all of Marion's 2007 Wimbledon match wins- and, of course, all of Venus' wins.

iainmac
Aug 7th, 2009, 03:06 PM
IF you ever find a copy of the Ann/Margaret Wimbledon match- let me know. Been dying to see this match. WISH that more of Ann's matches were available.

AND, btw- I am totally with Chris about the Jankovic/Safarova Wimbledon match. This was just an incredible match. I also still love watching all of Marion's 2007 Wimbledon match wins- and, of course, all of Venus' wins.

Nelslus especially for you I will endeavour to get a copy of the 69 semi final and I will forward. I didnt see the Jankovic v Safarova match- pity it must have been great the way you are all talking about it.:)

newmark401
Aug 8th, 2009, 05:42 PM
This piece by David Gray could be called "Before they were famous". It's a report on the girls' final from the 1956 British Junior Championships, when Christine Truman beat a certain Ann Haydon in a great match:

For those who like to look into the future the match in which C.C. Truman (Essex) beat the holder, A.S. Haydon (Warwickshire), 1-6, 8-6, 6-4, in the final of the girls’ singles at the Junior Lawn Tennis Championships was one of the most gratifying occasions that British lawn tennis has known since the war. There have been odd single encouraging events – Mottram beating Drobny, Wilson beating Patty, Miss [Angela] Buxton (a year or so before the time was ripe) reaching a Wimbledon final – but never before have the prospects of future success seemed so solidly and firmly founded as in this match.

To produce one young player of the promise of either Truman or Haydon is a piece of fortune that might hearten any country, but to produce two is to plant the hope of a large gathering of laurels. With every set today, as new perils were countered with new skills and as the game became sharper and fiercer, the Wightman Cup seemed to come a little nearer to Britain.

The quality of the match – afterwards strong men who do not usually waste superlatives on women’s lawn tennis were to be heard talking in hushed voices about the beauty of the stroke play – was the more remarkable because it was played in a sharp gusty wind and Haydon took the first set because she accustomed herself more quickly to this disadvantage. It was, however, a much closer thing than a 6-1 score suggests. Indeed, everything in the match was close and bitterly fought for. At this time, Haydon was imperturbable and relentless, maintaining an admirable length and floating the ball skilfully into the wind. Truman, with her long-armed grace, hit some hard and beautiful winners, but Haydon, who was less spectacular, won all the points she needed.

After this Truman made a new beginning in force and Haydon’s accuracy wilted under so much power. The certainty left her forehand drives and once she completely missed a smash. At 5-2, however, Truman relaxed a little and this small respite gave Haydon a chance to recover control. She won four games in a row and came within two points of victory, but Truman hit her way splendidly out of difficulty and at last realised that the way to break up the rhythm of Haydon’s steadiness from the baseline was to bring her into the net more often.

The final set was won when she took Haydon’s service in the ninth game. And the last shot of all contained the spirit of the whole game. This was a backhand volley from Truman, desperately made and desperately taken, which went into a foot of space between Haydon and the wide sideline. It was unanswerable. (‘A de Alvarez touch’, someone said afterwards.) Haydon, who had tried everything always, lunged at it but could make no return. There was a silence, and then as the applause came Haydon, who had come so very close to equalling Betty Nuthall’s record of winning three junior titles in a row, ran to the net to congratulate the winner with a smile as brave as the game she had played. This had been the kind of play that puts heart into those who play, those who coach and those who watch.

iainmac
Aug 10th, 2009, 11:50 AM
IF you ever find a copy of the Ann/Margaret Wimbledon match- let me know. Been dying to see this match. WISH that more of Ann's matches were available.

AND, btw- I am totally with Chris about the Jankovic/Safarova Wimbledon match. This was just an incredible match. I also still love watching all of Marion's 2007 Wimbledon match wins- and, of course, all of Venus' wins.

Nelslus, how famous was Ann in the United States?:help:

nelslus
Aug 10th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Nelslus, how famous was Ann in the United States?:help:
I can't really say, Iain. By the time I became a rabid tennis fanatic- around 1975 or so- Ann of course was no longer competing. Don't really have any idea how much of an impact she might have had in the US when she was playing- albeit I'd suspect she wasn't well known here at all, since as you might have gathered, most here only care about fellow Americans, in sports or otherwise (as Americans are also led to this by the media- which, ahem, doesn't EXACTLY do a great job with international news coverage.....) SO- tennis nerd that I am- I've come to love Ann from taking the time needed to read every bit of tennis history that I can get my grubby little paws on, and enjoying what coverage of Ann's matches that I've been able to find. LOVE Ann- such a class act.

iainmac
Aug 10th, 2009, 04:40 PM
I can't really say, Iain. By the time I became a rabid tennis fanatic- around 1975 or so- Ann of course was no longer competing. Don't really have any idea how much of an impact she might have had in the US when she was playing- albeit I'd suspect she wasn't well known here at all, since as you might have gathered, most here only care about fellow Americans, in sports or otherwise (as Americans are also led to this by the media- which, ahem, doesn't EXACTLY do a great job with international news coverage.....) SO- tennis nerd that I am- I've come to love Ann from taking the time needed to read every bit of tennis history that I can get my grubby little paws on, and enjoying what coverage of Ann's matches that I've been able to find. LOVE Ann- such a class act.

Well done Nelslus- that is really admirable and I am proud as a Brit that you appreciate Ann Jones so much. And I do feel that a great nation-the USA- is not well served by its media portrayal of foreign affairs.:sad:

chris whiteside
Aug 10th, 2009, 06:01 PM
From what I have read am I am led to believe that Tennis is not really regarded as one of the leading sports in the USA?

Is this a recent development and it was regarded much more highly in bygone years?

iainmac
Aug 11th, 2009, 09:27 AM
From what I have read am I am led to believe that Tennis is not really regarded as one of the leading sports in the USA?

Is this a recent development and it was regarded much more highly in bygone years?

It would be interesting to know.I imagine though that tennis followers would have been well aware of Ann in the United States?

nelslus
Aug 11th, 2009, 01:35 PM
My take is that tennis has been in a slump for quite some time in the US- sadly, since the peak in the 70's. However- I recently heard and/or read somewhere that Americans are starting to play more and buy more tennis equipment. So, perhaps the popularity of tennis is growing in the US.....My man and I have also had the chance to go to some much smaller tournaments here in Illinois and recently in Lexington, Kentucky. With this and our TV viewing- it's clear that there are loyal tennis fans in the US who will attend ANY tennis tournament- except strangely enough from what I've seen with many California tournaments. (NOT true of Indian Wells. Some friends and I have gone the last few years- and it's very well attended and just a wonderful tournament.)

As for Ann- of course, I agree, Iain, that anyone who truly knew tennis then and knows tennis now should know of Ann. And- I TOTALLY agree with you about US media. I do read Newsweek and The New York Times often, for example. But- I try to grab as much news as I can from the internet, with international news coverage. Frankly, to be fair, I don't trust ANY country's news sources to give me a complete picture on anything. You have to dig out the news from multiple sources- and still not assume that you are getting the whole truth. As sometimes it takes time- even much time- to pass, to find out more of the "real" truth about some stories.

iainmac
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:28 PM
My take is that tennis has been in a slump for quite some time in the US- sadly, since the peak in the 70's. However- I recently heard and/or read somewhere that Americans are starting to play more and buy more tennis equipment. So, perhaps the popularity of tennis is growing in the US.....My man and I have also had the chance to go to some much smaller tournaments here in Illinois and recently in Lexington, Kentucky. With this and our TV viewing- it's clear that there are loyal tennis fans in the US who will attend ANY tennis tournament- except strangely enough from what I've seen with many California tournaments. (NOT true of Indian Wells. Some friends and I have gone the last few years- and it's very well attended and just a wonderful tournament.)

As for Ann- of course, I agree, Iain, that anyone who truly knew tennis then and knows tennis now should know of Ann. And- I TOTALLY agree with you about US media. I do read Newsweek and The New York Times often, for example. But- I try to grab as much news as I can from the internet, with international news coverage. Frankly, to be fair, I don't trust ANY country's news sources to give me a complete picture on anything. You have to dig out the news from multiple sources- and still not assume that you are getting the whole truth. As sometimes it takes time- even much time- to pass, to find out more of the "real" truth about some stories.

Oh I quite agree Nelslus. I actually do really trust the BBC, but even with them I suspend belief at some of the items that they cover and how they portray. I am not criticising the United States. It is the greatest country in the world- well apart from Great Britain;)-but if something is the best all its standards have to meet that. And sometimes the US media and its politicians let their wonderful nation and people down. And that is good to hear that tennis may be on the move-it is scary what could happen once the Williams and Roddick disappear if someone does not emerge. Ann Jones- what a player though!!!!

newmark401
Sep 18th, 2009, 10:15 PM
Another one for the Ann fans. Her finest moment? The piece is taken from "The Fireside Book of Tennis".

------------

Ann Jones ends Mrs King’s Wimbledon reign, by Fred Tupper

Mrs Ann Jones ended today the three-year reign of Mrs Billie Jean King as Wimbledon’s women’s tennis champion. The 30-year-old British left-hander, a dogged competitor, won by 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes before 15,000 excited fans jammed around Centre Court.

Some of the fans had yelled “Out! Out!” at close line calls and at one point the yelling prompted Mrs King to curtsy to the crowd.

“The crowd was making the calls before the balls hit,” Mrs King said after the match. “The curtsy was a nice way of saying, be quiet.”

An official request for quiet came from the umpire, Laurie McCallum.

“I wanted to win fair and square,” Mrs Jones said. “I did not want the crowd to put Billie Jean off. I felt slightly embarrassed about being in England. I wanted to win, but I wanted to win fair and square.”

Mrs Jones was the better player and she became the first British woman to win since Angela Mortimer defeated Christine Truman in 1961. Mrs Jones had been in the semi-finals eight times in the last 11 years and lost to Mrs King in the final two years ago.

Her inspiration came from her tremendous victory over the world’s no. 1, Mrs Margaret Court of Australia, in the Wednesday semi-finals. Given little chance then, she blew a lead and lost the first set, but stuck to her guns and triumphed on persistence [10-12, 6-3, 6-2].

Early in the match, Mrs King dominated the court, serving well, volleying beautifully and finding openings for her backhand. At a game apiece, she was dead on target. She slapped a backhand down the tape, a backhand into the clear across court and another backhand through a hole for a service break.

Soon she was 5-3, with Ann serving. That backhand thumped into the corner to put her at set point and in some infighting around the net, Mrs King volleyed into open space for 6-3.

Mrs Jones had been having trouble reaching the low bouncers and was not swinging true on the shot. Mrs King had the first game of the second set at love and was at game point on Ann’s serve with a lob to the baseline and a wristy shot that slid over the net and dropped dead. But that game eluded her.

Three times she hoisted windblown lobs to deep court as Ann smashed back, curving one to the corner for deuce and starting a blazing run that gave her game after game. Mrs Jones was transformed now, coming in on everything and jerking Mrs King around the court with low, spinning volleys.

Billie Jean was at 2-1 with three points for the break and missed them all. She was down 1-4, and then pulled herself together. Sharp volleys and a forehand into the corner brought her to 2-4, deep serving to 3-4.

She was love-30, Ann serving, with 10 points in a row. It looked like a new game. But Ann rushed to advantage and a swinging southpaw serve pulled Mrs King far out of court and into error.

A forehand from the baseline was so accurate that Billie Jean could get only the wood on it as it thundered by. Set to Mrs Jones at 6-3.

Mrs King was 15-40, Ann’s service, in the first game of the decider on a backhand across court that nicked the line. The crowd didn’t like it. A group in the open stand behind Mrs King shouted “Out! Out!”. The umpire called for silence.

Billie Jean lost that game, then won the next, but she was demoralised. She couldn’t get her first service in. She lost her touch on the volley. Those spinners were fluttering around her shoe tops as she became enmeshed in a defensive web. She tried to blast her way out, but Mrs Jones was in control, with cheers driving her on. At 1-4, Mrs King flubbed some volleys and double-faulted on game point.

The match was there for the taking and so were the butterflies for Ann.

“I kept thinking of Nancy Richey,” she said, alluding to the quarter-final match in which she had led 5-1 and was pulled back to 5-all.

Ann served a wild game and lost it. She was soon at 15-40 with two match points. Mrs King saved them both with volleys and wristed a drop shot over for ad-in. The postponement was futile. At the third match point she double-faulted again. There was bedlam.

Princess Anne came on court to present the huge silver platter. Mrs Jones takes $3,600 for winning (Mrs King won $1,800). She receives honours as a Member of the British Empire next Tuesday. Her cup is full after 13 years of trying.

Rollo
Nov 8th, 2011, 01:41 AM
This picture is from the National Portrait Gallery


http://images.npg.org.uk/264_325/4/1/mw72341.jpg

Note the scoreboard, which indicates this was Ann's match vs Kathy Harter at Wimbledon in 1968. It was an early round match.