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OrdinaryfoolisNJ Jun 14th, 2007 06:45 PM

Rosebud - Rosie Casals
This is from the 1977 Virginia Slims booklet (event Feb 7-13, 1977 at Chicago)

ROSIE - Better Than Ever
by Rebecca Ripley

Though just a few moments earlier Chris Evert had ended their round-robin match at the 1976 Virginia Slims Championships by lacing one of her trademarked, two-fisted backhands down the line, Rosie Casals was in a talkative mood.

She had electrified the crowd in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and stunned Chris, with her dazzling array of shots, some of which were almost beyond description. The first time she maneuvered her racquet around behind her right knee and chipped a perfect drop shot over the net for a clear winner, most of the assembled crowed naturally assumed it was merely an amazing, instinctive reaction by a player caught badly out of position. Everyone else thought it was just plain good luck, and lots of it. Like holes-in-one, circus shots of the type Rosie had so casually executed aren't planned, they just happen. Or do they?

Both theories were blown right out of the water when she turned around and did it again, not once, but twice. And each time, her between-the-legs chip shots fell in for winners. Nobody, not even someone who has been described as a "human backboard," can defend themselves against such sleight of hand.

Rosie, however, dismissed her racquet wizardry during the post-match press conference.

"I was just trying to mess up Chris' fabled concentration, she said with a smile."

"It worked," muttered Chris. She looked very tired, and for good reason. Like many of her recent outings, this one had seen her fighting for her life. Her obvious relief more than matched Rosie's buoyant mood.

The players, seated in identical stuffed chairs, provided a startling study in contrast. For one thing, Rosie looked like she was on the verge of being swallowed by the colorful fabric. She is one of the smallest players on the cirucit, "5'2"1/4," and it was not difficult to imagaine her disappearing into the foam rubber depths of her chair.

And while Chris, impeccably clad in pink and white, sipped daintily from her soft drink and occasionally adjusted the thing gold braceletsthat encircled her left wrist, Rosie projected the image of a tough street kid. She was decked out in a black tennis dress and she wasn't sipping her liquid refreshment, she was positively guzzling it.

The questions from the press then began to focus on the technical aspects of the match and most of them were directed at Chris. Before long, the discusion concerning unforced errors, service breaks, ground stroke depth, and turning points trickled to an end and the clicking cameras began to sound less and less like a phalanx of machine guns. A self-conscious, foot-shuffling silence enveloped the tiny room and the press conference was on the verge of breaking up.

But, as we have said, Rosie Casal's was in a talkative mood. "C'mon, you people," she cried through a chrome forest of microphones, "let's have some more questions."

Her demand was met by a bit of nervous laughter, but further questions were not forthcoming.

"OK, said Rosie, "if you won't talk, I will."

It was a vintage performance. Casals was back and she was clearly enjoying every minute of it.

It wasn't always so.

Prior to the 1975 Virginia Slims season, Rosie had announced that she was going to play the first tournament, San Francisco, and then sit out the rest. She said she was tired and her game wasn't meeting her expectations, so she was going to take a break for a few months.

She had, after all, been playing almost non-stop for 16 of her 27 years. She had been introduced to tennis by her father when she was nine, but her initial involvement was as a spectator, a very, very reluctant spectator.

Manuel Casals used to drag Rosie and her older sister over to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park when he went out to play doubles with his friends. From the very beginning, however, Rosie wasn't content to hang around and watch the action, she wanted to participate. She finally got her chance a short time later when Mr. Casals gave each of his daughters a racquet. Her sister quickly tired of the game, but Rosie was hooked.

She spent every spare minute at the park's numerous tennis courts trying to rustle up a game with anyone willing to take on a tiny bundle of energy. And when she couldn't find a game, she'd spend endless hours hitting against the backboard.

Rosie's dedication and talent got her to Wimbledon and the other big tournaments while she was still in her teens. Along the way, she hooked up with billie Jean King and they became as formidable a doubles team as women's tennis is ever likely to see.

But whether she was playing singles or doubles, Rosie's particular brand of tennis has always been charged with more electricity than Con Ed ever dreamed existed.

She was, and is, an intense, instinctive, and creative player.

"Sometimes I think I'm too creative," she has said. "I'm always trying different shots, and sometimes I'll try a harder shot just because I know I can do it."

She has done it often enough to have won 25 Circuit tournaments, including the first one in 1970. And last year, Rosie made her Slims comeback a highly successful one by capturing third place at the Virginia Slims Championships. During the regular season, she reached the quarterfinals seven times, the semi-finals five times, and the finals once. *(Chris Evert beat her in the Detroit finals, the 100th virginia Slims event)*

Yep, Rosie's back, and she's better than ever. Her game is still a joy to watch. Just ask anyone who's ever seen her play.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ Jun 14th, 2007 07:31 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals

preacherfan Jun 15th, 2007 03:55 AM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
Very interesting article. I never saw Rosie play singles - just doubles late in her career. Sounds like she had the same problem Mandlikova had - too many options of what to do with the ball.

alfajeffster Jun 15th, 2007 03:36 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals

Originally Posted by preacherfan (Post 10973252)
Very interesting article. I never saw Rosie play singles - just doubles late in her career. Sounds like she had the same problem Mandlikova had - too many options of what to do with the ball.

That, and it was common knowledge on the tour that she was infinitely lobbable. I also think her close relationship to the, shall we say, sometimes overbearing Billie Jean King actually hurt her development process.

Rollo Jun 15th, 2007 10:13 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
Billie Jean once said that Rosie could have been a bigger threat in singles if she hadn't been a bit on the lazy side.

Rollo Jun 15th, 2007 10:35 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
Wasn't sure if this should go in 1977 or here-but here goes.

From an AP wire story: May 24,1977

Rosie Beats Foe to Punch

Tennis star Rosie Casals was arrested on an assualt charge after a minor automobile accident at San Francisco International Airport.

San Mateo sherriff Ricahrd Platt said that Casals, 28, and companion Sheri Barman, also 28, were taken into custody after Friday's incident. Miss Casals was released on her own recognicance. Miss Barman was released after posting $1,000 bail.

According to Platt, the two women had parked at the airport parking lot in front of a car driven by Glen Wolff, 30, of San Francisco. Wolff's car alledgedly brushed the fender of Miss Casals' car, according to Platt.

Miss Casals jumped out of her car, pulled Mr. Wolff out of his car, and began punching him and scratching his face, Platt said. An airport security officer, Bernard Sullivan, tried to break up the altercation and Miss Barman struck him, the deputy said.

Rollo Jun 15th, 2007 10:38 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
The Pasdena paper used the title "Rosie Goes on a Rampage":lol:

The story gets even more interesting. Casals jumped out of thee car "screaming profanities". The earlier article (above) makes it seem like she pulled Wolff out of his car-it seems that she started punching and hitting him as he was getting out of the vehicle.

When the airport policeman came to break it up Shari Barman ("who lives at the same address as Casals") jumped him from behind!

Wolff made a "citizen's arrest" of Casals while the security officer handled Sheri. Rosie posted the bond for Shari.

And here's the kicker: Rosie and Sheri were on their way to Los Angeles to play a World Team Tennis match. Rosie made the match, won her singles and doubles, and the LA Strings broke a 10 match losing streak!

trivfun Jun 16th, 2007 02:37 AM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals

Originally Posted by Rollo (Post 10979024)
The Pasdena paper used the title "Rosie Goes on a Rampage":lol:

The story gets even more interesting. Casals jumped out of thee car "screaming profanities". The ealrier article (above)makes it seem like she pulled Wolff out of his car-it seems that she started punching and hitting him as he was getting out of the vehicle.

When the airport policeman came to break it up Shari Barman ("who lives at the same address as Casals) jumped him from behind!

Wolff made a "citizen's arrest" of Casals while the security officer handled Sheri. Rosie posted the bond for Shari.

And here's the kicker: Rosie and Sheri were on their way to Los Angeles to play a World Team Tennis match. Rosie made the match, won her singles and doubles, and the LA Strings broke a 10 match losing streak!

Is her role model, Darlene Hard?

spiceboy Mar 14th, 2008 04:23 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals

Valley resident Rosie Casals was force in WTA's start

Rosie Casals, women's sports pioneer and tennis Hall of Famer, stood shoulder to shoulder with tennis great Billie Jean King at the dawn of women's professional tennis.

Casals, a resident of Palm Desert, counts five Wimbledon doubles titles with longtime playing partner King among her many accomplishments.

That the sun rose at all on a new era of women's tennis is a credit to the dedicated and tireless efforts of the dynamic duo.

After years of only being able to accept prize money "under the table," so as not to forfeit amateur status - "shamateurism," Casals calls it - a group of committed female players and supporters waged a hard-fought battle to attain professional status.

They emerged victorious.

In 1968, Casals, King, Françoise Durr and Ann Haydon-Jones became the first players in the open era to sign pro contracts.

It was a turning point that paved the path for the future of girls and women's sports, said Casals.

"I feel we started the process of letting women know they had choices," she said.
The quest for equality in women's sports raged on, as a nucleus of players - Casals and King were the ringleaders - pressed for more equitable tournament prize money in United States Tennis Association-sanctioned events.

It was in the 1970s, at a time when women across the country were feeling similarly empowered to liberate themselves from traditional - and at times oppressive - roles in society.

When Casals, King and others broke away from the USTA, Gladys Heldman, of "World Tennis" magazine and Virginia Slims stepped forward to help the women establish a tournament of their own.

"In the back of your mind, you knew you were making history," she said.

Casals won the inaugural Virginia Slims tournament in Houston in 1970.

The company's longtime sponsorship of the tour secured the future for women's professional tennis, Casals said.

"If it wasn't for Virginia Slims, women's tennis wouldn't be where it is today," she said.

Casals remembers first meeting Billie Jean King (then Moffitt) at a Pacific Coast Championship in the early 1960s.

She was wearing a Fred Perry shirt and was toting an impressive arsenal of tennis racquets.

"She had about six racquets under her arms," Casals said.

Casals and King became friends and before long, partnered-up to form one of the most successful women's doubles teams of all time.

Casals said their fiery determination and competitiveness wasn't just reserved for the opponents across the net.

"We battled on the court and off the court as well," Casals said.

Casals wanted to move quickly to make change.

"I was ready to do battle. I'm Latina," Casals said. "I said it the way it was."

King wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing.

"She had a lot of integrity," Casals said.
Eventually, a group decision, which included other players' input, was made - all in the interest of securing the success of women's tennis.

Casals did a lot of the heavy lifting behind the scenes, outside of public view, inspiring the troops, securing supporters and working the angles to move women's tennis to the next level.
She was in the trenches making change.

Meanwhile, King was busy on the front lines, handling public relations and the marketing of the women's game.

"People listen to No. 1," Casals said.

By virtue of King's standing in the tennis world - and the fact that she had the ear of the decision-makers, tennis fans and the general public - it didn't make sense for her to fight it out in the trenches, taking unnecessary chances of alienating people in the process of elevating the status of the women's game.

"I was the underlying factor," Casals said. "She was the voice."

If not for King's leadership and determination to expose, and eventually bust down the barriers of inequality and oppression in the professional sports world, women's tennis might still be in the dark ages, Casals said.

"I don't know who else could have done it, she said. "History is timing."

Rollo Mar 9th, 2009 08:11 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
A great article on Rosie:

Updated: March 3, 2009, 3:33 PM ET
Casals far more than King's sidekick By Joel Drucker
Special to Tewkesbury/Getty ImagesThe women's movement in tennis is largely due to Rosie Casals' inexorable quest.
"There are always two parties: the establishment and the movement."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A dream, a passion, a skill. These three Rosie Casals possessed.

Then history intervened.

"Tennis was all I ever wanted," said the 60-year-old Casals, an inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame who reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world in 1970. "In my little world, I wanted to be a tennis player. Even though there wasn't money in the game then, there was word of people who went to places like Wimbledon and Forest Hills. It was a great life."

Casals' formative tennis years came in her native San Francisco. A child of a working-class family, she played the game on the public courts of Golden Gate Park. And make no mistake -- she didn't merely practice, she played. Singles, doubles, mixed, against all shapes and sizes, Casals taught herself a game that blended movement, all-court tennis and a passionate instinct for creative shot-making that would in time overtake just about anyone who has ever walked on a court.

"It seemed that every weekend we were playing one another in the final of junior tournaments," said Lynne Rolley, a former Casals rival from the Bay Area who's currently the director of tennis at the Berkeley Tennis Club -- the spot that in those days was also the epicenter of tennis in northern California. "Rosie was nice, she was sweet -- but boy, could she play. Get her moving, and she was unbelievably dangerous."

It was at the Berkeley Tennis Club in 1964 that Casals first met a woman who would change her life -- a change that Casals greatly aided. Billie Jean Moffitt then was a 20-year-old who the previous year had been ranked No. 4 in the world. Casals was dazzled by Moffitt's world-class aura. "Everything, from the rackets to the custom-built clothes to the game, that was the big time," Casals said. Nearly five years younger than Moffitt, Casals that year dubbed her "the Old Lady." But perhaps at some level, the nickname was less a statement about age and more about Moffitt's obvious but then-nascent leadership skills, a drive to take charge that would become even more visible soon after she became Billie Jean King.

Back in those days, there wasn't even Open tennis. Occasionally, top names such as Moffitt might get an extra hundred bucks stuffed in their shoes from patrician tournament directors, but it was hardly an easy way to make a sustained living as an athlete. "The first year I traveled, I made $4,000 and thought I was rich," Casals said.

But even when tennis went Open in 1968, women were heavily outearned by men, in some events by a ratio of more than 10 to one. "We knew this wasn't right," Casals said. "Men were getting organized. It was time for women, too. We started squawking."

Then came a fortuitous confluence. The women's movement had gained steam throughout the '60s. As fate had it, 1970 would be the last year that cigarettes could advertise on television. One ascending brand of that time was Philip Morris' Virginia Slims, boosted by the slogan, "You've Come A Long Way, Baby." Gladys Heldman, the crusading publisher of the then-highly influential World Tennis magazine, was a longtime friend of Philip Morris CEO Joe Cullman. Cullman agreed to throw considerable dollars into a series of professional women's tennis events. Thus was born the Virginia Slims Tour.
As the world knows, the star was King -- the best player, the most visible spokesperson everywhere from congressional hearings to urban arenas.

But generals need colonels. Robert E. Lee had Stonewall Jackson. Martin Luther King Jr. had Ralph Abernathy. And for Billie Jean King, none stood taller alongside her than Casals. Starting with the kickoff of the Virginia Slims Tour in the fall of 1970 -- Casals won the first tournament that September in Houston -- the woman nicknamed "Rosebud" was front and center, not just as a self-proclaimed "militant activist" but also as a superb player. "We played our little bahoolas off," King said. The Old Lady played 210 singles and doubles matches in 1971, while Casals competed in 205. That was one of 12 seasons Casals ranked among the world's top 10 players.

All of this occurred at a time when the powers that be were threatening to ban King, Casals and their colleagues from Grand Slam events. "Rosie's a risk taker, a bit of a rebel," said Julie Anthony, another Casals rival who also was a pro in the early '70s. "She was willing to take chances. She and Billie Jean were the real pioneers. They were committed to making a real living out of tennis."
They also were aware they were a part of something even bigger. "The women's movement was getting attention then," Casals said. "So why not us? We didn't just play. This was a fight for what we believed was right. You get militant; you have to fight a bit. We promoted, we put on clinics, we talked nonstop with media. It was like a circus."
[+] Enlarge Evening Standard/Getty ImagesRosie Casals won 112 doubles titles in her career and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

In large part, the circus reached its zenith when King took on Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes held in September 1973. Earlier that year in May, King and Casals had flown back from Tokyo the day Riggs took on Margaret Court. Entering the Honolulu airport, they plunked a quarter into a box to watch TV, saw the last few points and then turned to each other in mutual recognition. "I told her, 'You're going to have to play him,'" Casals said.

Months later in the Astrodome in Houston, Casals stood alongside ABC play-by-play man Howard Cosell. Of course, she backed King. But she also predicted the score with exceptional accuracy. King won the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Casals' career continued for a long time. Although a knee injury hindered her singles results past the age of 30, Casals competed effectively well into the '80s. In 1988, at the age of 39, she paired with Martina Navratilova to win the last of her 112 career doubles titles -- a total exceeded only by Navratilova. It was fitting that precisely 50 percent of these victories came with King, with whom Casals won eight Grand Slam titles. But it wasn't just her on-the-court prowess that earned Casals a spot in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996. "She made the sport better for everyone," Rolley said.

These days, Casals runs a company called Sportswoman, a group that puts on various sports and charity events for corporations, often drawing on the many close relationships and business partnerships she has made from a life in tennis. Casals is particularly passionate about a newly formed WTA Tour alumni group that she hopes will provide a greater link between young pros and experienced former pros who Casals believes can offer wisdom in all sorts of areas.

One of Casals' most active years was 1973. She was the first winner of the Family Circle Cup, a singles event that offered the then-unmatched first prize of $30,000. She was in the thick of things at Wimbledon that summer when the WTA was formed. And then came the King-Riggs match.

Grace Lichtenstein wrote a great book about women's tennis during that year titled, "A Long Way, Baby: Behind the Scenes in Women's Pro Tennis." That the publisher had sought to crib an advertising slogan was a sign of how embedded the Virginia Slims brand was in the world of tennis and the ascending women's sports movement. But the publisher also made another choice. The woman on the cover is not Billie Jean King, Chris Evert or Margaret Court. It's Casals, snapping a serve, jumping up into the ball -- and looking to move forward.

Rollo Mar 9th, 2009 08:16 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
Daze found Rosie's website: which has a treasure trove of pictures and stats about the Rosebud.

Rollo Mar 9th, 2009 08:19 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
She doesn't look like a happy camper in this pic. It reminds of a story. Rosie had a lot of success vs Virginia Wade in thier career head to heads. Casals hated it when Wade gave her a "dead fish" limp half-hearted handshake after losing a math. Casals got her revenge though: Rosie wouldn't let go of Virginia's hand after winning one match-LOL!

newmark401 Jul 19th, 2009 04:24 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
This article by one Kim Chapin, published in "Sports Illustrated" in October 1966, catches Rosie Casals near the start of her career:

A Bright Future For Little Miss Bombshell

Only 5 feet 2 and 18 years old, Rosemary Casals of San Francisco hits the ball so hard and moves around the court with such agility it seems just a matter of time until she takes over as the next queen of tennis

At Wimbledon she indulged herself with bowls and bowls of strawberries and cream. She has been known to wake up her roommates for a casual swim — at 3 o'clock in the morning. She plays a mean piano and is especially partial to the Exodus theme. And Harry Hopman, the pooh-bah of Australian tennis, considers her the leading juvenile tennis prospect, not only in the U.S. but in the whole wide world.

The object of this overseas admiration (there is a lot of it here, too) is Rosemary Casals, a diminutive 5-feet-2-inch, 118-pound bundle of 18-year-old Spanish temperament who, until June of this year, had never had professional instruction of any kind. But her homemade strokes and a family-instilled philosophy have suddenly taken her very close to that last hurdle that separates the players of world class from the also-rans. During the season just ended, she had two wins over her close friend and unofficial mentor, Billie Jean Moffitt King (who shares with Nancy Richey the No. 1 ranking for women in the U.S.), and three excellent three-set losses to Maria Bueno, the world's best player. She also won the national hard-court doubles and the national indoor doubles titles, both with Mrs. King.

What makes all of this most surprising is that two years ago not many people outside her native San Francisco knew anything at all about Rosie Casals, and those who did tended to dismiss her for one reason or another. Nice girl, they said, with pretty fair strokes, but she's just too tiny for the big time. What will happen when she runs up against girls like Margaret Smith, who stands 5 feet 11? She hasn't had any big-time coaching and, after all, she's just a prodigy and everybody knows what happens to prodigies when they have to stop playing people their own age and mix it up on the world circuit. Now those same people are saying that young Rosie looks like the best U.S. girl since Maureen Connolly.

Miss Casals first picked up a battered tennis racket nine years ago when her father, Manuel Casals y Bordas, now 72, took Rosie and her older (by two years) sister Victoria to a handball court near San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, a 10-minute drive from their modest home on Grove Street. Papa Casals was born and raised in El Salvador, where he fancied himself a clever and quick-footed soccer player. He came to the U.S. when still in his 20s and continued to play the rough-and-tumble European-type soccer until he suffered a broken leg. A doctor told Senor Casals that he had to give up soccer or risk the loss of a leg. "I cried," he says. "Soccer was my life." In need of a sport, Senor Casals took up tennis, although by this time he was nearing 40. Quite naturally he did not develop into a classical player, but he learned a great variety of chops, spins and slices, and put his intelligence to full use.

Being older, Victoria was the better of the two sisters at the start, but that changed rapidly. "I liked to sing and dance and cook," Victoria says. "But Rosie could put her mind to five hours of tennis." Soon Casals was buying tennis shoes for Rosie while Victoria still shuffled around in sandals.

Although not a professional coach, Senor Casals did well by his younger daughter. "I'd rather have him coach me than anyone else," Rosie says. "He knows me so well, and I think it's easier for him to tell instinctively when something is wrong with my game. I've heard of tennis parents who put too much pressure on the kids, but that's not the way it is with my father and me."

At Golden Gate, Senor Casals quickly sent Rosie against male opponents, who liked her run, run, run style. Most of them, of course, could beat her, but the only time Rosie pouted was if she thought they were carrying her. She didn't like to get beat, but she wanted to win or lose all out.

All of these parental and public court factors show up in Miss Casals' game today, and were visible at Forest Hills during the U.S. nationals last month. More than one spectator was heard to remark, "She has a lot of courage," and that is an accurate summation of her game. Her forehand is hit with tremendous overspin; and when she serves, it is sometimes hard to believe that Rosie is not a man. Her service is rarely tempered and is hit with all the twist and body gymnastics of a Tony Trabert. These strokes, coupled with an uncanny ability to cover the court, give her about two-thirds (or perhaps four-fifths) of the equipment she will need to dominate women's tennis. The missing fraction is her backhand, which so far tends to be a defensive chop. Since such a shot seems out of character for Rosie, it is likely she will correct it.

Her size might seem a disadvantage, but all Rosie says is, "Sometimes I wish I were taller, but a lot of these big girls just can't get around. Lobs? Sure they're tough, but I can run down most of those that get by me."

Rosie's biggest plus is an inordinate amount of court intelligence and a wonderful court disposition that successfully straddles that fine line between players whose temperamental outbursts and court antics immediately classify them as juvenile boors and those whose blandness and mechanical competence give them absolutely no color at all. Again, the prime factor is the influence of Papa Casals. "Good manners are important," he says. "And all the top-ranked players, they get to talking to themselves. I tell Rosie that's no good. When you start talking to yourself you can't concentrate. Your brain has got to be free."

The result is a little girl with heaps of energy pulsating just below the surface. Rosie's court expression rarely changes — she looks a little frightened, as though she had just woken up from a nightmare, and a little truculent, as though she were about to kill the dream. Errors and passing shots are treated with equal impassiveness. The only emotion she displays is an occasional slap of her substantial thighs, a quick, almost unnoticed shake of a closed fist. Her hair, dark and close-cropped, is a bit frazzled from the moment she walks onto a court. This and her bouncy style of play give her all the color she will ever need.

Everybody who talks of Miss Casals is full of praise but, quite naturally at this point, retains some reservations. Hopman says, "She already hits harder and with greater variety than most players. Lack of experience in choosing the right ball to bear down on makes her erratic, but her court sense is so strong and her balance so good that it won't be long before she is able to control her tendency to overhit. If I judge her temperament right, she is going to have the confidence not only to attack courageously and go for the lines on her passing shots, but also to lob effectively in defense — and that is something the present top women players sadly lack.

"Rosemary is the tomboy type and a little wayward, and I think this will help her game, although I must add she is sure to shock a few officials before she arrives at the top."

San Francisco's Norman Brooks, a ranking senior player and northern California tennis official, says, "Rosie has picked up her game this summer. She has a natural feel and touch that do not come to other girls. The game is easy for her, but she hits shots so naturally that she often makes silly errors. I have noticed she isn't making so many loose mistakes anymore. Her problems were lack of concentration and tendencies to become lackadaisical and serve too quickly. Top competition has made her think harder. And another thing — Rosie used to be shy and silent, but now she is more gracious and meets people well. She is pleasant and very down to earth conversationally."

Mrs. King adds, "Rosie is a lot like Arthur Ashe — the more pressure there is, the looser she seems to get. I guess she gets tense just like everybody else, though she never shows it. She wants to be the best, and with her determination and potential I'd say she'll make it."

Everything that Rosemary does, both the good and bad, was much in evidence during the nationals, especially in her quarter-final and semifinal matches. In the round of eight she played fourth-seeded Francoise Durr of France, a deceptively bland player who serves the ball as if she is afraid of hurting it. A style like that is tailor-made for Miss Casals' powerful strokes, but early in the match Rosie tried to belt winners off Miss Durr's pitty-pat shots and quickly found herself down 4-1. Then she adjusted to Miss Durr's style, started hitting the ball more cautiously and went on to take a straight-set victory.

The next day against Miss Bueno, Rosie started slowly and was overwhelmed in the first set 6-2. But in the second she fought magnificently, extricating herself time and time again with confident placements. She passed Maria repeatedly and lobbed with precision. She won the second set at 12-10. In the third Rosie quickly broke Miss Bueno's service, but it just as quickly became obvious that Rosie had reached the end of the line and, after breaking back, Miss Bueno ran out the set and the match 6-3.

To date. Miss Casals' overall record is a kaleidoscope of inconsistency. Despite her wins over Mrs. King and Miss Durr and her three strong losses to Miss Bueno, she has losses to Tory Ann Fretz, Patsy Rippy and Kathy Harter, players she should defeat easily. And at Merion in mid-August she lost to Esme Emanuel before the quarter-finals of the girls' national tournament.

It was the same last year, and so now Miss Casals is ranked only 11th in the U.S. This year she should do much better, surely no worse than fifth, and quite possibly as high as third. Rosie, who is being helped by Doris Hart, a former U.S. national champion, is now playing in South America. This winter she will follow the sun to Australia and then to Africa as she takes part in her first full year on the world's circuit.

Miss Casals graduated from high school last June. An excellent student and a voracious reader, she eventually plans a medical career. "By the end of a year, though." Hopman says, "I feel she will be so well established as an international player that her appetite for championship laurels will have pushed thoughts of medicine out of her head."

Moments after Miss Casals had defeated Miss Durr at Forest Hills, Mrs. Hazel Wightman, the leading lady of U.S. tennis, worked her way through the crowd of well-wishers and lightly bussed Miss Casals on the cheek. Not a word was spoken, although a big smile crossed the tiny girl's face.

"There they are," a bystander remarked, "the oldest champion and the youngest."

Well, not quite yet. But check around in a year or two. Things just might work out that way.

samn Jul 19th, 2009 04:38 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
I remember Bud Collins in the commentary booth once referring to Rosebud as the greatest shotmaker women's tennis had ever seen. Dick "Oh, my!" Enberg was really taken aback by Collins' claim and seemed to have no idea what being a shotmaker meant. He thought that Collins was claiming that Casals had better groundstrokes than any other woman player in history. :lol:

newmark401 Jul 19th, 2009 05:35 PM

Re: Rosebud - Rosie Casals
I see the point you're making. I never saw Rosie play, but it's interesting that someone like Harry Hopman thought she had what it takes to get to the top.

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