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View Full Version : Virginia Wade- Why was she named WTA Player of Year?


mistymore
Apr 15th, 2012, 05:20 PM
I dont understand how Virginia Wade was ever named the 1977 WTA Player of the Year. Evert was far and away the #1 player for the year. Wade wasnt even the computer #2 at years end, she was #4 behind Navratilova and King. I could see one arguing she was the real #2 that year, but she wasnt anywhere close to Evert. So what was it based upon.

Rollo
Apr 16th, 2012, 03:37 PM
I dont understand how Virginia Wade was ever named the 1977 WTA Player of the Year. Evert was far and away the #1 player for the year. Wade wasnt even the computer #2 at years end, she was #4 behind Navratilova and King. I could see one arguing she was the real #2 that year, but she wasnt anywhere close to Evert. So what was it based upon.

Good question Misty. As this was the first time the award was offered it was not meant to be a Wade=#1 type of acheivement.

I imagine it was more a tip of the hat to Virginia's special feat in taking Wimbledon that year, and as years went by it turned into a sort of this player is the #1 (or did best in majors) award.

Josus57
Apr 16th, 2012, 05:09 PM
I really like Virginia (She is my second favorite of all female tennis players), anyway moving on to my answer as to why - I believe it was winning the Centenial Wimbledon, and it was in front of the Queen of England. She conquered her nerves, and did what she always wanted to do.

laschutz
Apr 18th, 2012, 12:26 AM
agree with rollo it's kind of like the same thing between the most valuable player in baseball... it's not necessarily the individual achievement alone.. it's like the individuals' achievement in helping their team succeed..

it's common for certain players to have better years in every category but lose it to another player, because the first player who has better statistics played on a team that sucked and didn't do well and didn't go far...whereas a player who was up there in all the categories but not the leader if his team goes far then automatically he is seen as the most "valuable"player..

kind of stupid i think.. to me, the most valuable player is the best player with the best stats.. otherwise change it to the most valuable teammate award!

DennisFitz
Apr 24th, 2012, 02:27 AM
Good question Misty. As this was the first time the award was offered it was not meant to be a Wade=#1 type of acheivement.

I imagine it was more a tip of the hat to Virginia's special feat in taking Wimbledon that year, and as years went by it turned into a sort of this player is the #1 (or did best in majors) award.

It was the first time the WTA had a "Player of the Year" award. Hard to know now what the criteria was. But obviously, it wasn't for who was the best player of the year.

I think Virginia had a very solid year in 1977. No matter what the crazy WTA computer said back then, I say Virginia was #2 for the year.

And she might have had a legitimate claim to #1, had she not lost a tough match to Evert in the Colgate Series Championships in November. Evert barely won 1-6,6-4,6-4. Had Virginia won that match, and gone on to win the event, she would have 2 of the big 4 tournament wins that year, same as Chris. She also would have 2 wins over Chris in big tournaments, and 3 overall.

Alas, it didn't happen that way. But nice Ginny got one of those "Lifetime Achievement Awards" from the WTA for her most outstanding year.

Rollo
Apr 26th, 2012, 01:45 AM
I think Virginia had a very solid year in 1977. No matter what the crazy WTA computer said back then, I say Virginia was #2 for the year.

:worship:

And she might have had a legitimate claim to #1, had she not lost a tough match to Evert in the Colgate Series Championships in November. Evert barely won 1-6,6-4,6-4. Had Virginia won that match, and gone on tow int he event, she would ave 2 of the big 4 tournament wins that year, same as Chris. She also would have 2 wins over Chris in big tournaments, and 3 overall.


Not sure I'd put Wade at #1 had she won the Colgate, but it would have made things interesting! That is one match I would love to take a time machine in to see. The Wade-Evert Wimbledon semi had to be the match of the year for 1977-with this one a close second.

There was a boffo article on the match called "Midnight in the Oasis"-a popular song at the time. The event itself was in the desert, with the writer making the analogy that the Evert-Wade rivalry was an oasis in a year that was otherwise a cakewalk for Chris.

It was a night match in near freezing conditions-some people came bundled in blankets. Chris was 1-1 in round robin matches -and Wade's 1-0.

Ginny shot out to a lead by grabbing the first set. She had the crowd with her too-fans always cheered against Chris in those days. Then Wade argued long and hard over a call. In her own words, "I cooked my own goose", as after that the crowd support swung to Chris "a new experience" Evert remarked afterwards. A chagrinned Evert dug in and contested a few calls herself in her ladtlike fashion. Those who've seen the Evert laser looks at linesmen will know what I mean!

The match ended past midnight. When Chris won she celebrated more than usual and had a grin like a Cheshire cat. In the presser afterwards she said something like "There are some people I especially don't like losing to."

The drama had its final act when Wade found out she had no chance to make the final despite losing what was her first match. If she beat Fromholtz the next day Evert advanced-and if Wade lost Fromholtz got to the final.

By all account the volcanic Ginny threw one huge imperial snit fit at that one!

That's one performance I would have bought tickets for:)

Here's the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6lJ7NWxDws

DennisFitz
Apr 26th, 2012, 07:31 AM
:worship:



Not sure I'd put Wade at #1 had she won the Colgate, but it would have made things interesting! That is one match I would love to take a time machine in to see. The Wade-Evert Wimbledon semi had to be the match of the year for 1977-with this one a close second.

Agree with you. Ginny would have had a legitimate (semi-legitimate?) claim to #1. Still a longshot one, at best! I think the magazines and scribes would still have crowned Chris #1.



The drama had its final act when Wade found out she had no chance to make the final despite losing what was her first match. If she beat Fromholtz the next day Evert advanced-and if Wade lost Fromholtz got to the final.

By all account the volcanic Ginny threw one huge imperial snit fit at that one!

That's one performance I would have bought tickets for:)

The first year of the Colgate Series Championships. And the way the round robin groups were drawn up, you had Chris, Martina, and Virginia in one group (#1, 2, 3) along with Fromholtz who almost made the final.

Interesting aside is that the RR match between Evert and Navratilova represented the last time the two ever played a match that was not a semi or final.

alfajeffster
Apr 26th, 2012, 04:35 PM
...There was a boffo article on the match called "Midnight in the Oasis"-a popular song at the time...

I saw Diana Muldauer (sp?) live here in Reading, PA about 8 years ago. She came for one night during our annual Jazz Fest. Everyone remembered that pop song, but she turned out to be quite a jazz vocalist. "Send your camels to bed"!

DennisFitz
Apr 27th, 2012, 07:22 AM
:worship:


The match ended past midnight. When Chris won she celebrated more than usual and had a grin like a Cheshire cat. In the presser afterwards she said something like "There are some people I especially don't like losing to."


FYI: according to John Dolan's book, it was after their 1976 VS Philadelphia encounter when Chris uttered her line, "There are some people I don't like losing to....like Virginia."

Although I could see how Chris would have said the same thing after their 77 Colgate encounter, considering the circumstances. It was a satisfying win. And Ginny was her toughest rival that year.

And of course Chris never forgave Virginia for dethroning her at Wimbledon that year. She never lost to Ginny again! :bounce: :lol: :)

PamShriver
Apr 27th, 2012, 07:00 PM
So interesting that Chrissie would say those things since Ginny was almost embarrassingly laudatory toward Chrissie in her commentary. But then Ginny always seemed so gentle and demure up in the booth and heaven knows that wasn't the case on court.