Vicki Berner was born (1945) and raised in Britsih Columbia, Canada. At the age of 14 she took her first tour of the rest of Canada and the eastern US.
She played the tour in the 1960s, representing Canada in Federation Cup for much of the decade and entering Wimbledon 6 times in all. She also won a gold medal in the Jewish Maccabiah Games.
Vivk and Faye Urban are the last female Canadians to win their nations title. Faye beat Vicki to win the Canadian Open Championships that year, and together they won the doubles.
She became a pro in 1971, but as her pro career wound down she transitioned into a tour representative. By the mid 70s was a sort of den mother/tour director for the emerging women's pro tour. This started in 1974 as the director for the Slims Sattellite mini-Tour. Nicknamed "Bird Legs", she was fondly remembered by Chris Evert in her autobiography for her participation in the "Ladies of the Evening event in 1975.
By 1977 she was the USTA Women's tour director. She was part of a suit that year that the USTA fought with Renee Richards to try and prevent Richards from entering the US events. Affadavits from Berner and players Kristien Shaw, Francoise Durr, and Janet Newberry were submitted on behalf of the USTA. Ricahds won the case and was able to enter women's tour events in America.
In 1978 and 1979 she was the US Fed Cup captain.
Note the spelling of her name. She is without doubt a Vicki, and not Vicky.
Re: Vicki Berner
A profile from Canadian tennis Hall of Fame:
Year Inducted: 1995
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
DOB: July 26, 1945
Four-time Fed Cup team member.
Ranked Top 10 in Canada for 12 years, starting in 1961 and held the No. 1 position in 1971.
Won Canadian Open Women’s doubles title in 1963 and 1965-69 and the Canadian Open Mixed Doubles in 1963 and 1966.
Vicki Berner was a strong junior player and was the U18 national champion in 1960 and 1961. She was a graduate of Paul Willey’s junior development program in Vancouver and started to tour internationally at an early age.
Berner was a four-time Fed Cup team member with a 1-4 singles record and 3-3 doubles record. Between 1961 and 1973 she was ranked in Top 10 in Canada 12 times; she was in the top three seven times and held the No. 1 position in 1971.
She won the Canadian Open Women’s doubles title in 1963 with partner Susan Butt then again in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969 with Faye Urban. She won the Canadian Open Mixed Doubles twice with Keith Carpenter in 1963 and 1966. Berner was a finalist in the 1969 women’s singles at the Canadian Open.
In 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1972 she made it into the main singles draw at Wimbledon. She did not win a first round match, however, the following year, in 1973 Berner made it through to the round of 64. In 1968 and 1972 she made it to the round of 32 in women’s doubles at Wimbledon and in 1973 she made it into the third round. In 1968 she also made it into the third round of the Mixed Doubles with Keith Carpenter. Berner also found success at the U.S. Open as she had advanced to the R64 in singles at the 1971 and 1972. Also in 1971 she competed in the round of 32 of the doubles draw.
Re: Vicki Berner
Here a truly funny story that Daze originally posted in a thread about the "Ladies of the Evening"
so in that spirit, writes ChrisEvert:
"You won't find the "Ladies of the Evening" results in any USTA Media Guide. For the women on the tour, however, it became as eagerly awaited as a Virginia Slims final, an event that brought out the brightest, the best and most bizarre in everyone.
The idea blossomed during the Family Circle Cup at Amelia Island, Florida, in 1975. Many people now take credit for starting it, but Rosie Casals was more instrumental than anyone in getting the two "Ladies of the Evening," Peachy Kellmeyer and Vickie Berner, into a "championship match." Both were former players turned tour directors, whose after-hours reputations (Peachy with Michelob, Vickie with Dewar's Scotch) had reached legendary proportions.
Of course, Rosie could not just have Peachy and Vickie play a routine match. There had to be other conditions: On court changeovers, for example, Peachy was required to take a swig of beer while Vickie downed Scotch. Rosie also decided that everyone must be dressed appropriately, so she and Shari Barman, a friend, bought "Ladies of the Evening" T-shirts and acrylic pants. To make matters more interesting, Rosie got one-dollar donations from the crowd for prize money. Billie Jean, naturally, was the umpire, wearing two pairs of glasses, and Martina and I were designated as "coaches."
No two people ever looked less like Ion Tiriac or Robert Lansdorp. I wore an orange baseball cap with the peak backward, horizontal striped socks, hoop earrings and a T-shirt with the words "Bird Legs' Coach" across the front. "Bird Legs" was Vickie's nickname.
All of the players were involved. Betty Stove and Frankie Durr were ball girls, and others called lines. When Vickie started winning, the linesman simply ignored her serves and called faults.
I had a great time. I bandaged Vickie's knees, toweled her off, pinned up David McGoldrick's size 48 boxer shorts, and even played bartender. We had a cookout after the match, which Vickie won, and then decided that "Ladies of the Evening" would become a permanent fixture on the circuit.
Re: Vicki Berner
She's featured in a medical testimonial (unfortunately undated) which indicates she is or was living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Tennis Star gets her active life back
Pain caused by a blocked artery in her left leg forced Fountain Hills resident Vicki Berner to give up the Jazzercise class she enjoyed three or four times a week.
Because of her peripheral arterial disease—which occurs when a fatty material called plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your legs and arms—even walking too much was a problem.
That is, until Scottsdale Healthcare physician Walid Alami, MD provided a solution when others couldn’t.
“I was in agony. I had to stop because I’d be in tears by the end of my Jazzercise class. It was frustrating because I’ve been an athlete all my life,” says Vicki, a retired Canadian tennis star who played Wimbledon 10 times.
She went to one doctor, who performed an angioplasty, which involves inflating a small balloon inside the artery to open it up. It didn’t work.
Another suggested doing bypass surgery on the artery—something Vicki really didn’t want to do. She had experienced “a lot of pain and aggravation” after a bypass was performed on her right leg years earlier in New York. Vicki recalls spending five or six days in the hospital and another five or six weeks recovering.
By comparison, Dr. Alami’s expertise and use of minimally invasive techniques enabled her to be out of the hospital the same day with “instant” relief of her leg pain. Amazingly, Vicki played in her golf club’s championship tournament a couple days later—and won! She also was back to her favorite Jazzercise class within a week.
An interventional cardiologist, Dr. Alami performed an angiogram which revealed a complete blockage in an artery in Vicki’s left leg. He used a FlowCardia crosser device, which is a high-tech ultrasonic catheter, to break apart the calcified plaque from inside the artery. Then, Dr. Alami used balloon angioplasty—which involves inflating a tiny balloon inside the artery—to restore blood flow. Lastly, he inserted two self-expanding stents inside Vicki’s troublesome artery to keep it open and enable blood to flow.
“Dr. Alami explained everything and walked me through exactly what was involved. He was wonderful. I wish I would have found him much earlier,” says Vicki, who was referred to Dr. Alami by a golfing friend.
Vicki’s procedure was done at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, which Vicki notes is “beautiful with a great staff.”
“I feel like I got my life back,” she says gratefully.
Re: Vicki Berner
An article from the 1974 Ocala Star-Banner on her role as tour director.
Vicki Berner: Min-Tour's Mother Hen
From the Ocala Star-Banner, March 17, 1974
By Greg Larsen
What's it like playing mother hen, nursemaid, mother confessor, disiplinarian, and cashier to 50 tennis players?
"Sometimes it's a bit of a nuisance," says Vivki Berner, director of the Barnett-Bank-Virginia Slims Satellite Tennis Tour, "but overall it is a really enjoyable experience. It takes someone who has played the game."
Ms Berner, 28, spent 3 years on the main tour and realized, that although she could play with the top players, she would never make it as big time tennis player despite the fact she played Wimbledon seven times.
After spending last season on the major tour where she made it to the final 16 several times, the Vancouver, Canada, native decided to take the satellite offer when it came along."
"The money isn't really good right now," she admitted, "but it will get better in the future."
"Plus you get to meet so many people. I've been offered about 16 jobs in the past year."
On the major circuit a full-time public relations staff is on hand but Ms Berner must handle her own PR, arrange practice and dressing facilities, work up housing lists, organize linesmen and umpires, and crack down on players if they need it.
"Most of all it's just being here", she said. "It's a seven day per week job."
Since there are no training rules, court conduct is where the discipline portion of Ms Berner's job lies.
"Sometimes throwing a racquet can add to a match", Ms Berner said. "The fans like to see a little emotion."
"But when throwing a racquet is accompanied by cussing and almost hitting someone, I have to act." One girl in Ocala was fined for throwing a racquet.
The fans range from a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $100.
"We've been going for nine weeks now without rest,: Ms Berner added, "and the girls are getting a little tired and edgy. Most of them are real cooperative though."
It is often thought that foreign players are more tempermental, but Ms Berner disagrees. "No, I think the foreign players are a little cooler", she said. "As a whole, the Americans are a little more hot-tempered."
On the court, most of the girls seem firece competitors. The average age on the mini-tour is between 18 or 19.
"The girls aren't as tough as they look", Ms Berner said. "If you saw them at a cocktail party, you wouldn't recognize them."
Looking to the future, Ms Berner has her eyes set on a post higher up the administration ladder, perhaps major tour director.
But for now she enjoys being "Jill of all trades."
Re: Vicki Berner
The winning 1979 Fed Cup team coached by Vicki Berner.
Left to right:
Vicki Berner, Rosie Casals, Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Sharon Walsh.
Re: Vicki Berner
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