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DennisFitz
Mar 21st, 2011, 06:03 AM
I liked Josusí post about surprise wins in the majors.

So I have my own poll/question, along that same line.

For the 1960s, 1970s, 1080s, and 1990s, which singles triumph in a major was the most surprising of that decade?


Here are my picks.

1960s

Iíll admit I am only going by what I read, so I claim no one expertise during this time. So Iíll say Ann Jonesí 1969 Wimbledon triumph, followed closely by Virginia Wadeís 1968 US Open win.

Jones had won the French already, but winning her countryís major was a huge accomplishment. And she beat Margaret Court and Billie Jean King (3 time defending champ) in the finals. Major pressure for her, and incredible to come through and take the title. Considering Margaret Court lost only 1 match in majors from 1969 through 1971 Australian, the Wimbledon semi win by Jones was a big win.

Wadeís initial major triumph was also a stunner. Seeded just 6th, she had to get by Rosie Casals, Judy Tegart, Ann Jones, and then defending champ Billie Jean King. Playing flawless tennis, Wade didnít lose a set to any of those opponents, many who gave her fits throughout her career.


1970s

Wadeís 1977 Wimbledon triumph has already been discussed. And it ranks right up there for the decade. But I also want to mention Evonne Goolagongís 1971 Wimbledon win. Evonne was seeded third, and had barely lost the Australian final that year to Court, so she was on the rise. Plus she came through a month earlier to win her first major, the French. But to defeat 3 time champ King in straight sets in the semis (the only time she ever beat King in a major), and then crush defending champ Court in the final was a masterful victory for Evonne.

However, there was one other major singles win in the decade which outranks Evonne and Virginiaís magical Wimbledon runs as most surprising in my book. Chris OíNeilís 1978 title trot at the Australian Open was the most surprising of the decade. I know the field was rather diluted that year, with no top 10 players. However, it was still a major. And OíNeil had never won a WTA Tour level event before (or after) her Australian win. And she came through 5 matches without losing a set. Although she didnít face the media spotlight that any of todayís players face when winning a major, it was still a singular moment for the unheralded Australian, who etched her name in tennis history as the lowest ranked woman to ever win a major.


1980s

Goolagong had a wonderfully surprising and inspiring title run at Wimbledon in 1980. With Evert, Navratilova, and Graf grabbing the majority of the major titles that decade, I would have to rate Arantxa Sanchez Vicarioís 1989 French triumph as the most surprising, with Hana Mandlikovaís 1985 US Open just behind it.

Sanchez was ranked just 10th in the world in June 1989. A straight set win over Chris Evert in her QF run the prior year, Sanchez was still much over matched against heavy favorite Steffi Graf, who seemed on a collision course to win an unprecedented second consecutive Grand Slam. Playing marvelous defense, and impervious to the pressure of a shocking win, Sanchez rallied from 3-5 in the final set to stun Graf and win her first major.

I think Hana keeping her cool to rally and beat Chris in a tough semi, and come back the next day and hold her nerve in a topsy turvy, tense battle with Martina in the finals of the 1985 US Open was also one of the most surprising major triumphs of the decade.


1990s

Another decade dominated by a few players winning majors. I think there are a number of contenders:

Conchita Martinezí 1994 Wimbledon win. Who would have ever thought the only major singles title Martinez would win was Wimbledon? And beating 9 time champ Navratilova in the finals? Martinez barely made it to her first ever final, having to go the distance in her 3 matches prior to the finals, including a 10-8 in the third win over Lori McNeil in the semi. Most thought she would be just happy to be in the finals. But she took advantage of her opportunity, and played the match of her life in shocking Navratilova.

The last few majors of the decade provided other surprises:
Steffi Grafís 6th French Open victory was one of the big surprises of the decade. Despite 21 major titles to date, Graf was not at her best going into Roland Garros. A tricky draw presented additional challenges, but Graf persevered. She beat #2 Davenport in the QF, #3 Seles in the SF, and in an emotionally charged final, shocked #1 and favorite Martina Hingis for her 22nd and last major win.
Serena Williams was on the rise, and entered her 2nd US Open as the #7 seed in 1999. But few expected her to be the first Williams sister to emerge in the winnerís circle of a major. First she escaped a tough tussle with future rival Kim Clijsters in the 3R. Then she rallied to beat former champ Seles in the QF, defending champ Davenport in a three set semifinal thriller. Then she turned back another former champ Martina Hingis to grab her first major in a very big surprise.

While Graf, Williams, and Martinezí wins were all impressive, and surprising, the one victory that caught everyone off guard in the 1990s was Iva Majoliís 1997 French Open championship run. A talented teen, Majoli had some decent results prior to 1997, but nothing that gave many pause to consider her a serious threat at any of the majors. As the #9 seed, Majoli had to overcome a huge deficit in the R16 against Davenport, not even considered a threat on clay. She also battled in three sets in the QF and SF to earn a spot in the final opposite heavily favored Martina Hingis, who ascended to #1 and hadnít lost a match all year. Majoli outhit and outplayed Hingis throughout the match, beating her in two sets to claim the most surprising win of the decade.

Sumarokov-Elston
Mar 21st, 2011, 07:23 PM
Regarding the 1970s, what do you think of Chrissie's win in Wimbledon 1974? Think of all the grass-court greats in the draw - and Evert had just won the French Open, which usually bodes ill for winning SW19, by keeping the winner so much longer on the clay courts. Of course, fate unexpectedly took out BJK and Evonne, but I do not think many would have put money on Evert to win Wimbledon in 1974 (sort of makes up for all those times she was denied because of Navratilova, the greatest Wimbledon champ ever).

To be honest, for the 1960s, I would put Wade's 1968 US Open win above Ann Jones' Wimbledon triumph. It was completely unexpected, and it demanded consistency from Wade to get past four greats, which was almost like asking the impossible!

austinrunner
Mar 22nd, 2011, 08:31 AM
One candidate: Karen Hantze Susman, Wimbledon, 1962 (seeded 8th).

chris whiteside
Mar 22nd, 2011, 02:34 PM
If Vera Sukova had not fallen down the stairs and injured her ankle the night before the 1962 Wimbledon final then we might very well be saying her victory there in 1962 was not only the most surprising Slam victory of the 60s but of all time.

In fact in the 60s there were probably more "surprising" winners at Wimby than in any of the other Slams.

We can look at this with hindsight and see what a player eventually achieved but in judging their victory we should really be looking at what their status had been up to that time.

Strangely the most surprising in Australia during the 60s was Margaret Court's first victory there in 1960 as she was coming from nowhere and beat the current world #1 Maria Bueno en route.

At Forest Hills there was only one surprise winner in the 60s and that was Virginia Wade because she had given no indication before then that she was a potential Slam champion and to do so by beating Rosie Casals, Judy Tegart, Ann Jones and Billie-Jean King in successive rounds was nothing short of amazing - almost enough to claim the overall title for the decade. I believe that this was an even greater achievement for her than her Wimby win in 1977.

At Wimbledon Angela Mortimer looks an unlikely winner in 1961 but with Maria Bueno and Darlene Hard both out of the field and Margaret Court on her inaugural year in International tennis quite literally 6 or 7 players could have won that event depending upon form on the day - that was probably the most open post-war Women's Slam of the three Major events.

Karen Susman's and Ann Jones' victories in 1962 and 1969 were certainly not expected but they weren't massively surprising either.

Karen was regarded as the best US Junior of her era and the general belief was that she had the game to go all the way. She was expected to achieve more than either Billie-Jean King or Nancy Richey. Most players take a year or two to come through before winning a Slam and when she won Wimbledon in 1962 many believed she was just fulfilling her potential. She went backwards after that probably because she decided to put her personal life ahead of tennis.

Ann Jones had certain things going for her in 1969 as opposed to previous years. Billie-Jean was always regarded as a major-road block on grass but Margaret Court was half-way to the Grand Slam and carrying added pressure. Moreover with Virginia Wade having won Forest Hills the previous year and with her game suited to grass everyone was looking to her as a potential home winner. This lifted an enormous amount of pressure from Ann's shoulders.

Maureen Connolly who had been responsible for Ann's renaissance in late 1965 and had become a personal friend and mentor in the following years sadly died just before the tournament began and this gave Ann focus and an added determination to win the title as a tribute to her.

I had a good feeling about Ann that year. At 7-1 she was a great bet. Although I don't often bet and still too young to go to the Bookies I got an older brother to put £1 (carefully saved from 3ds and 6ds) on her. My return of £8 was literally a fortune in those days.

Then we have RG. Unexpected victories were Ann Jones in 1961, Lesley Turner in 1963, Francoise Durr in 1967 and Nancy Richey in 1968. But surprising? Jones had been many people's favourite to win the title in 1960, Turner had been within one point of beating Margaret Court in the 1962 final, Richey had been Australian Champ in 1967 and a finalist at RG in 1966. The most unexpected win of those 4 was Francoise Durr in 1967 when "the big three" as they called them - King, Bueno and Jones all fell in the quarters within a couple of hours, Frankie herself accounting for Bueno. There had never been any indication before that Francoise could win a Major and there was the added pressure of doing it in front of her home crowd. Moreover she had to beat a former twice champion in Lesley Turner in the final. That comes close to being the most surprising Slam victory of the decade.

But there is one name missing from the list and it is this which I nominate as the most surprising Slam win of the 60s.................

to be continued

alfajeffster
Mar 22nd, 2011, 03:31 PM
"...Strangely the most surprising in Australia during the 60s was Margaret Court's first victory there in 1960 as she was coming from nowhere and beat the current world #1 Maria Bueno en route."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Margaret defeat Maria prior to that in 1959 in an exhibition or much smaller event? Maybe I'm thinking of Jan Lehane, but my failing memory seems to recall otherwise.

austinrunner
Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:05 PM
Virginia Wade's defeat of Billie Jean King in the 1968 US Open final was not a big surprise. King was playing on a badly injured left knee that required surgery.

DennisFitz
Mar 25th, 2011, 08:53 PM
If Vera Sukova had not fallen down the stairs and injured her ankle the night before the 1962 Wimbledon final then we might very well be saying her victory there in 1962 was not only the most surprising Slam victory of the 60s but of all time.

In fact in the 60s there were probably more "surprising" winners at Wimby than in any of the other Slams.

We can look at this with hindsight and see what a player eventually achieved but in judging their victory we should really be looking at what their status had been up to that time.

Strangely the most surprising in Australia during the 60s was Margaret Court's first victory there in 1960 as she was coming from nowhere and beat the current world #1 Maria Bueno en route.

At Forest Hills there was only one surprise winner in the 60s and that was Virginia Wade because she had given no indication before then that she was a potential Slam champion and to do so by beating Rosie Casals, Judy Tegart, Ann Jones and Billie-Jean King in successive rounds was nothing short of amazing - almost enough to claim the overall title for the decade. I believe that this was an even greater achievement for her than her Wimby win in 1977.

At Wimbledon Angela Mortimer looks an unlikely winner in 1961 but with Maria Bueno and Darlene Hard both out of the field and Margaret Court on her inaugural year in International tennis quite literally 6 or 7 players could have won that event depending upon form on the day - that was probably the most open post-war Women's Slam of the three Major events.

Karen Susman's and Ann Jones' victories in 1962 and 1969 were certainly not expected but they weren't massively surprising either.

Karen was regarded as the best US Junior of her era and the general belief was that she had the game to go all the way. She was expected to achieve more than either Billie-Jean King or Nancy Richey. Most players take a year or two to come through before winning a Slam and when she won Wimbledon in 1962 many believed she was just fulfilling her potential. She went backwards after that probably because she decided to put her personal life ahead of tennis.

Ann Jones had certain things going for her in 1969 as opposed to previous years. Billie-Jean was always regarded as a major-road block on grass but Margaret Court was half-way to the Grand Slam and carrying added pressure. Moreover with Virginia Wade having won Forest Hills the previous year and with her game suited to grass everyone was looking to her as a potential home winner. This lifted an enormous amount of pressure from Ann's shoulders.

Maureen Connolly who had been responsible for Ann's renaissance in late 1965 and had become a personal friend and mentor in the following years sadly died just before the tournament began and this gave Ann focus and an added determination to win the title as a tribute to her.

I had a good feeling about Ann that year. At 7-1 she was a great bet. Although I don't often bet and still too young to go to the Bookies I got an older brother to put £1 (carefully saved from 3ds and 6ds) on her. My return of £8 was literally a fortune in those days.

Then we have RG. Unexpected victories were Ann Jones in 1961, Lesley Turner in 1963, Francoise Durr in 1967 and Nancy Richey in 1968. But surprising? Jones had been many people's favourite to win the title in 1960, Turner had been within one point of beating Margaret Court in the 1962 final, Richey had been Australian Champ in 1967 and a finalist at RG in 1966. The most unexpected win of those 4 was Francoise Durr in 1967 when "the big three" as they called them - King, Bueno and Jones all fell in the quarters within a couple of hours, Frankie herself accounting for Bueno. There had never been any indication before that Francoise could win a Major and there was the added pressure of doing it in front of her home crowd. Moreover she had to beat a former twice champion in Lesley Turner in the final. That comes close to being the most surprising Slam victory of the decade.

But there is one name missing from the list and it is this which I nominate as the most surprising Slam win of the 60s.................

to be continued

Thanks for your post. A lot of great insight which I did not know. I can't wait to read about most surprising win of the 1960s.

DennisFitz
Mar 25th, 2011, 09:01 PM
Regarding the 1970s, what do you think of Chrissie's win in Wimbledon 1974? Think of all the grass-court greats in the draw - and Evert had just won the French Open, which usually bodes ill for winning SW19, by keeping the winner so much longer on the clay courts. Of course, fate unexpectedly took out BJK and Evonne, but I do not think many would have put money on Evert to win Wimbledon in 1974 (sort of makes up for all those times she was denied because of Navratilova, the greatest Wimbledon champ ever).

To be honest, for the 1960s, I would put Wade's 1968 US Open win above Ann Jones' Wimbledon triumph. It was completely unexpected, and it demanded consistency from Wade to get past four greats, which was almost like asking the impossible!

IMHO, I don't think it ranks as one of the most surprising wins of the 1970s or of Chris' career. Of course this is viewed with hindsight. But I think of her 1974 Wimbledon win as a natural progression. She was a SF in 1972, RU in 1973, so the next logical step was champion. She struggled mightily in the 1R against Lesley Hunt, but was pretty much smooth sailing after that. Chris had won the warm up tournament before Wimbledon that year. And I think winning Roland Garros - her first major - would have given her more confidence going into Wimbledon. (PS - 1974 was the 4th out of 5 years that a woman won the French and Wimbledon in same year.)

King and Goolagong were certainly considered threats, but Court wasn't in the draw that year. And I don't think many would have favored Wade over Evert that year. King and Goolagong's losses probably didn't hurt Chris. And it's true Chris didn't beat Evonne or Billie Jean on grass for 2 or more years. Still, I think Chris was a very capable grass court player, and on any day she could beat any of the top women.

chris whiteside
Mar 28th, 2011, 11:39 AM
"...Strangely the most surprising in Australia during the 60s was Margaret Court's first victory there in 1960 as she was coming from nowhere and beat the current world #1 Maria Bueno en route."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Margaret defeat Maria prior to that in 1959 in an exhibition or much smaller event? Maybe I'm thinking of Jan Lehane, but my failing memory seems to recall otherwise.

Good to see you about again alfa and that your health is holding up. Most of the regulars from your previous era ;) don't really post much now.

It could be that an exhibition match was played between Margaret and Maria but I have no knowledge of it.

Margaret did not go overseas until 1961 and Maria's first trip to Australia was the 1960 Season.

They had played in the semis of the South Australian Champs in Adelaide at the beginning of 1960 which Maria won quite easily 0 and 3. I believe this was their only prior meeting.

AndrewTas' comprehensive resume of Marageret's career (which included every aspect) has no mention of any prior exhibition match.

chris whiteside
Mar 28th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Virginia Wade's defeat of Billie Jean King in the 1968 US Open final was not a big surprise. King was playing on a badly injured left knee that required surgery.

I certainly agree that BJ's knee injury was a big factor in that final victory for Virginia but it was the run of four straight set wins over world class opposition (Rosie Casals, Judy Tegart - playing the best tennis of her career and Wimbledon finalist - Ann Jones and then BJ) which was the "surprising" aspect. Virginia looked a good quarter or semi prospect but unlike, say Karen Susman for example, had not been reckoned to be a future Slam Champion and had never shown any great consistency. She had gone into meltdown just a couple of months previously against Cristina Sandberg of Sweden in an early round at Wimbledon.

Billie Jean was in a class of her own in 1967 and in fact did well to hold on to her #1 position in 1968. When did the knee injury first begin to bother her? She hadn't played well at Wimbledon - in fact she got lucky at 4-5 15-15 in the second set of her semi with Ann Jones although Mrs Jones should really have closed that match out. As BJ herself said "I was very, very lucky".

Even so, she was still a cut above her competitors althoug Nancy Richey did get close to her.

Interestingly a lone world correspndent only ranked her #2 in 1968 - I was never able to find out whom nor which player he placed #1. Probably Nancy.

austinrunner
Mar 29th, 2011, 01:40 AM
The first public mention of King's knee injury was in late November 1967 at the New South Wales Championships.

irma
Mar 29th, 2011, 04:20 PM
What about Sabatini's us open win in 1990. Where people putting any money on her during that tournament especially before Monica lost?
I realize she was close to beat Steffi in 1989 too and was in the final in 88 of course, but I thought she was a bit in a crisis prior to the us open 1990 (despite reaching the wimbledon semi)

gabybackhand
Mar 30th, 2011, 05:54 PM
I think Gaby was much of a favorite or seen as a contender for the title in many other Slams (RG 87,88,91,92; Wimbledon 1991, Australia 91,92,95, US Open 91) more than that US Open. Despite reaching the semi at Wimbledon, she had had losses to Katerina Maleeva (in her best year OK, but still), and to a Rehe on her comeback after a long time off the tour. So Sabatini was not exactly a huge favorite that time, and Steffi was in a great form in the QF and SFs.

chris whiteside
Apr 8th, 2011, 06:12 PM
cont'd

Some may look back from a later perspective and think "that guy has lost his marbles" when I propose Darlene Hard's victory at RG in 1960 as the most surprising victory of the 60s in the Majors.

Darlene was generally one of the top 4 players in any year during her period in the game - she was also US Champion twice and Wimbledon runner-up two times.

Generally, though the very top players, as always, did well on all surfaces but IMO there was a slightly bigger demarcation then between grass and clay and simply Darlene with her serve and volley was pants on clay. The only other notable victory I can recall for her on clay was in the 1963 Italian quarters over Ann Jones. Ann later returned the compliment that year by beating Darlene on Forest Hills grass. Weird, you would confidently have predicted those results to be the other way about.

To give Darlene her due she did go to RG 6 times during her 9 Seasons of overseas play and she had once reached the quarter-final where she only narrowly lost to Vera Puzejova (Sukova). Darlene did have some weird ideas and could sometimes throw the head up so perhaps she decided she didn't like clay after that.

As one of the top players in the world she would get an automatic seeding. It turned out to be a strange tournament. The crass seeding of the French journeywoman Florence de la Courtie, who may have reached the bottom of the top 20 but never came anywhere the top 10, at #3 resulted in a lopsided draw.

On one side Maria Bueno a former Italian Champion and the world #1 looked a cert to reach the final. The three others regarded as most likely contenders all appeared in the other half.

Suzy Kormoczy the Champion in 1958 and runner-up in 1959 and many people's favourite sprained her ankle in an early round against a little known player and was forced to retire.

Then Ann Haydon who had had a terrific season in the Caribbean standing nose-to-nose with both Maria and Darlene and whose game was reckoned to suit clay was tipped by many correspondents to win her first Major. However, fate stepped in when just before her match with Vera Puzejova she developed a raging toothache and had no time to get treatment. She played through pain with her concentration shot and did well to even take take the match deep into a final set. Vera was of course a very fine claycourter but in normal circumstances Ann would probably have won.

Sandra Reynolds a semi-finalist the previous year and with the typical South African's booming forehand became a hot favourite for the final but in the semi couldn't seem to alter the pace or length of this shot and once Yola Ramirez became used to it she came through unexpectedly. Yola was a tough claycourt competitor but was never really regarded as a potential winner.

Meanwhile in the weaker half Darlene was up to her old tricks. The Italian Sylvana Lazzarino was leading by 5-4 in the final set when she was forced to retire sick. Then in the next round she stood match point down to Renee Schuurman. Renee totally muffed her next shot and Darlene stormed through to victory against a shattered opponent.

Maybe at this stage Darlene suddenly thought to herself that she could actually play on the red stuff because in the semis in an astonishingly reversal of roles playing serve-and-volley(!) she smashed Maria Bueno, who was missing every shot by yards, off court 3 and 2.

In the final Darlene gave a very controlled performance and was never really troubled by Yola winning 6-3 6-4.

Sher appeared at RG a couple of times after that before turning professional but was back to her usual clay court form losing early and was reckoned to have actually thrown a 4r match against Edda Buding.

It is amazing that when their careers were over Darlene had a Slam victory at the French on her resume while Maria Bueno, a three times Italian Champion missed out.

There was just no way anybody reckoned Darlene could have been French Champion in 1960 - but she was.

Personally I would rate this slightly ahead of Francoise Durr's victory at RG in 1967 and Virginia Wade's triumph at Forest Hills in 1968 as the most surprising Slam win of the 60s.

trivfun
Apr 8th, 2011, 09:41 PM
cont'd

Some may look back from a later perspective and think "that guy has lost his marbles" when I propose Darlene Hard's victory at RG in 1960 as the most surprising victory of the 60s in the Majors.

Personally I would rate this slightly ahead of Francoise Durr's victory at RG in 1967 and Virginia Wade's triumph at Forest Hills in 1968 as the most surprising Slam win of the 60s.

Could have said any better. Even Nancy Richey said it was a surprise.

tennisvideos
Apr 9th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Frankie Durr's win at Roland Garros may have been somewhat of a surprise at the time but in retrospect I don't see it that way.

One has to remember that she also took the German title that year in the lead up so was perhaps the form horse on the surface. Margaret Court was playing so that opened up the draw a little more. And when you take into account that Frankie was a semi finalist in 72 and 73 and losing in two tight sets to Goolagong and then losing to the great Chris Evert, she wasn't far off winning 3 titles there. So for me, it was nowhere near the surprise of Darlene Hard at the same tournament IMO. I like your synopsis of the Hard victory .. that one was genuinely a major surprise.

chris whiteside
Apr 9th, 2011, 06:12 PM
Frankie Durr's win at Roland Garros may have been somewhat of a surprise at the time but in retrospect I don't see it that way.

One has to remember that she also took the German title that year in the lead up so was perhaps the form horse on the surface. Margaret Court was playing so that opened up the draw a little more. And when you take into account that Frankie was a semi finalist in 72 and 73 and losing in two tight sets to Goolagong and then losing to the great Chris Evert, she wasn't far off winning 3 titles there. So for me, it was nowhere near the surprise of Darlene Hard at the same tournament IMO. I like your synopsis of the Hard victory .. that one was genuinely a major surprise.


I took the thread to mean "most surprising" at the time they won the event.

If you're looking at it from a retrospective angle then I agree it's not such a surprise.

Margaret Smith's retirement left a big gap in the women's game and I think most thought that the French title was Ann Jones for the taking in 1967.

Billie Jean was in a class of her own that year although the slow Continental clay was her one weak spot.

None of Jones, Durr or Richey really played like a world #2. The correspondents mostly sided with Jones as Wimbledon and US runner-up but when you consider Frankie was also US semi-finalist in addition to RG and German Champ it was very close. The problem was they all had too many losses many of them to players they should have beaten - maybe not so different from today after all.

trivfun
Apr 9th, 2011, 07:31 PM
Every talks about Virginia Wade's victory at Wimbledon or the 1968 U.S. Open but the 1972 Australian Open is a suprise, mind you that the talent pool was not that good. Still, Ginny beat Evonne Goolagong in the Finals when she was being coronated to win that final.

chris whiteside
Apr 11th, 2011, 12:40 PM
Every talks about Virginia Wade's victory at Wimbledon or the 1968 U.S. Open but the 1972 Australian Open is a suprise, mind you that the talent pool was not that good. Still, Ginny beat Evonne Goolagong in the Finals when she was being coronated to win that final.

Considering that Evonne was the current French and Wimbledon Champion and that she beat Virginia much more often than she lost to her throughout their careers that was a fantastic win for Wade.

It's hard to know how to put that tournament into perspective though given as you say the talent pool entered. Virginia's biggest problem during the first half of her career was consistency but you could almost have put the two of them straight into the final so in some ways it was almost a one-off exhibition match.

They were the only two top 10 players with the next strongest Gail Chanfreau and Helen Gourlay both of whom at best only flirted on the fringes of the top 10 at one stage. Olga Morozova was just appearing on the horizon and Karen Krantzcke had fallen well back.

I know some people take the view that you can only play those in front of you and that "a Slam is a Slam" but I find it almost impossible to know what merit to place in becoming Champion at some of the Slams of the era.

It's just a pity that the Australian LTA had gotten on their high horse and barred Kerry Melville, Lesley Hunt and Judy Dalton from competing because they played in Auckland instead of the lead up event in Queensland. That would surely have made a more interesting tournament.