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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakarta
It would be interesting if she showed up for one of the over-35 events, like someone like Catarina Lindqvist, who shared her birthday, but I don't see it happening. Perhaps, despite her good looks, she was also someone not really comfortable with the spotlight (or maybe that was because she had received so much attention for being attractive, instead of a focus on her play). She wasn't a Temesvari or Carling, lapping up all the attention.


One thing I dislike is the kind of revisionism about her talent as a player. People have compared her to Katerina Maleeva on a thread here, but when it came to natural-born talent, it's kind of insulting to compare her game -- once seen, never forgotten -- to the Bulgarian's carefully honed, "manufactured" style. Yes, they had pretty much the same results at the grand slams -- fourth rounders -- but I think Bettina had the game for a grand slam but not the mental edge.

I think her failing was the mental side of things, and it got worse toward the end of her career (amid all those alcohol rumors, which now have a life of their own). If you look at her results early on, when she was still a teenager and new to the circuit, she could hold her own with Evert (that French Open near victory in 1980), Hana Mandlikova and Navratilova, before perhaps the pressure got to her. That also may explain her stupefying losses to people like the otherwise unexceptional Jolissaint, Pam Casale and Leigh Thompson, who could keep getting the ball back and put her under pressure until she folded.

The time I started watching, you couldn't see many of the early rounds like you do today. So, when Betina made the quarters or something, they would show her briefly and usually she did nothing spectacular and cut away to Evert, Martina, or a men's match. I did see her in full action about 3 or 4 times (thank God for ESPN and Cliff Drysdale). She was undescribable. It was as if she moved so people wouldn't look at her. Maria Bueno and Evonne Goolagong comes to mind when people describe her but Betina had more pop though. I dare go along the lines of Illie Nastase and Roger Federer, they could do so many things at moments notice.
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Old Aug 26th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #32
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Bettina Bunge

Does anyone have an update... all I know is that ear surgery (and some alcohol problems) helped to send her packing... and that she was not happy touring. Terrible loss-- one of the greats, with massive potential to go much higher.

And does anyone know the name of the great Village Voice sports writer {possibly a Joe someone or other} who followed her career so closely??

Last edited by yimyam : Aug 27th, 2006 at 03:53 PM.
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Old Aug 28th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #33
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Here is a copy from one of the archives blogs of Ladies of the Court.

BCPJan 26th, 2002, 01:25 AM
For all you Bettina Bunge fans out there I found an old article about her. It says that when she in the year that she reached the semis of Wimbeldon, she should have been excited, but she was actually terrified, because she was slowly going deaf, and she didn't want to go to the press conference because she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to hear the questions. Apparently the problem was that one of the bones in both her ears were not vibrating properly. It says that she avoided having the operation at first, but the problems got worse, and it was affecting her play, so she finally decided to have the operation.
There was no guarantee of success, and ever chance that she could lose her hearing altogether.

When she decided to have gthe operation, she was number six in the world. The first operation was unsuccessful, and left her in a lot of pain, and there was loud buzzing in her head. She had to have several more painful operations, and slipped out of the top 30 after months of recouperation. I think after that she fought her way back into the top 20.

I hope the problem has been fixed for her!
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Old Aug 31st, 2006, 08:05 AM   #34
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People have talked about the "alcoholism" rumor on a previous thread here. Apparently, Bettina referred to realizing she "was having a few too many beers" and that the partying was affecting her play in a 1987 or 1988 Tennis article.

But I don't think that was the major factor in her not fulfilling her potential. There were the injuries (ear, leg later on) but in my opinion it was more about her not being comfortable in the spotlight, and all the media and fan attention she got compared to other players. It was tame compared to the obsessive focus on Maria and Anna K today, but Bettina didn't lap up the attention like Carling Bassett.

I read a World Tennis article from 1982's Wimbledon where the writer talked about Bettina playing with a frown on her face, like someone who did not like the spectators' applauding interrupting her flow of play. Her talent got her very near to the top, but then she didn't really want to deal with the rest of the circus that comes along with being a top player, and an attractive one to boot.

And there is a 1983 World Tennis article, Bedazzled by Bettina, where she talks about her career and such.

Last I heard she was still living in Florida, playing golf but I don't know doing what else. She would be about 44 today.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 02:16 AM   #35
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Re: Bettina Bunge

I didn't know much about Bettina Bunge until Monica Seles talked about her.I remember Seles saying she was up 5-1 and lost the set 7-5 to Bunge.... Does anyone know how that match ended and if Seles came back and won??
I like how her name sounds though...
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #36
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Re: Bettina Bunge

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Originally Posted by Robert1 View Post
I once read that Navratilova and Evert wanted Bettina to play for the US team in the early 80s when it wasn't quite clear for which country she was actually playing.
Probably worth noting here that when Betina burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old, who toppled a seed at the U.S. Open -- believe it was Marise Kruger -- she was Peruvian. She represented Peru for a few years before switching to Germany. I was always under the impression that she grew up in Peru.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:31 AM   #37
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem View Post
Probably worth noting here that when Betina burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old, who toppled a seed at the U.S. Open -- believe it was Marise Kruger -- she was Peruvian. She represented Peru for a few years before switching to Germany. I was always under the impression that she grew up in Peru.

I was at that match and that's where I became a fan. I was wandering the outer courts around 8 at night and I stumbled upon the match. Here was this gorgeous blonde girl I had never heard of going toe to toe with a seeded player. I stayed to watch her and I never stopped.

Side note, and I hate to report this, but I've been told by reliable sources that she now plays for the other team.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 04:24 AM   #38
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Re: Bettina Bunge

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Originally Posted by bb6cats View Post
What do you mean "I've been told by reliable sources that she plays for the other team", what would be so bad about that? But I hate to break it to you, I know for a fact she has a boyfriend in Europe, and might as well be married to him. Sorry to burst your bubble. Also, amazing how wrong people are about the alcohol "rumour", that was not a problem for her on tour. Reliable sources tell me she doesn't even drink at ALL, so wrong again. Go back and read the World Tennis Cover article, her favorite drink is MILK.

I like my team and I like having people I'm a fan of on my team. Something wrong with that? Anyway, my reliable source is a former player who is still involved in the game on the journalistic side. Where's your info coming from?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:07 AM   #39
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Re: Bettina Bunge

The traditional team.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 10:29 PM   #40
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_nut View Post
I didn't know much about Bettina Bunge until Monica Seles talked about her.I remember Seles saying she was up 5-1 and lost the set 7-5 to Bunge.... Does anyone know how that match ended and if Seles came back and won??
I like how her name sounds though...
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Old Aug 11th, 2009, 04:38 AM   #41
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Here is an excerpt from a recent article from The Jakarta Post of Indonesia, written by Bruce Emond, who has written many excellent articles for this publication. The player in question has not been identified but read on and see if you can guess who it is:

Quote:
But not all the women players seek the fame and fortune that can come from selling their image. In the early 1980s, tennis’ glamour girls included “Darling Carling” Bassett, a blonde brewery heiress from Canada (she was later to suffer from anorexia and other eating disorders), and Hungary’s Andrea Temesvari, who was famous for wearing full makeup onto court.

And there was also another talented player who was pretty enough to gain a following. Her looks had already brought her success playing in Japan, always a receptive market for attractive young women players; she was ranked in the top 10 and had reached a major semifinal.

Except she did not want to be the center of attention. For her, being idolized for her looks – how others perceived her to be simply from her appearance – was a curse, and rising further in the rankings would only heighten her discomfort.

The player, who now resides in the US, is fiercely guarded about discussing her career. But today, 20 years since she retired due to injury, she says by email that she is glad she does not have to deal with the pressure and responsibilities that the game’s young stars face.

“I just wanted to go out there and play, I really couldn’t deal with everybody looking at me,” she says. “It got worse as my career went on. I really believe I was too sensitive to deal with it [the attention].”

Time and looking at the circuit from afar have helped give her a new perspective on tennis.

“It’s just a game,” she says. “People in tennis are so big on themselves, so I try to stay away from the tour. Even Roger Federer, he’s a great player and a nice guy, but he is just a tennis player. The real heroes are the people who do things for others, like the ambulance workers assisting people at accidents.”

For her, the price of fame and celebrity, even if it came with a bulging bank balance, was too much to pay.
I think Bettina is the unnamed player. Let's see -

Former top 10 player: check
Popular in Japan: check
Retired 20 years ago: check (retired in 1989)
Grand Slam semifinalist: check (Wimbledon 1982)

Link to the article: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...mour-game.html
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Old Aug 11th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #42
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Just looking at year end rankings, I am absolutely dumbfounded that for 3 consecutive years Bunge ranked in the top 10! OK, I could see 1982 when she recahed the Wimbledon semis (I believe the only time she ever got a Slam quarter) and she won 3 tournaments.

But in 1981 she didn't win a single tournament, and she reached other 2 finals. In the majors her best results were R16 at the US Open (winning all of 1 game vs Evert) and R16 at the French, winning 4 games vs Hana). 1981 was a really competitive year, and players like Jausovec, Ruzici, Barker and Marsikova weren't in the top 10. In 1983 Bunge won one tournament (and no other finals) and won one match in the majors, and she ranked #7. Number 7!!??!

Further proof how ludicrous the WTA rankings were back then!
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Old Aug 11th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #43
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zummi View Post
Here is an excerpt from a recent article from The Jakarta Post of Indonesia, written by Bruce Emond, who has written many excellent articles for this publication. The player in question has not been identified but read on and see if you can guess who it is:

I think Bettina is the unnamed player. Let's see -

Former top 10 player: check
Popular in Japan: check
Retired 20 years ago: check (retired in 1989)
Grand Slam semifinalist: check (Wimbledon 1982)

Link to the article: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...mour-game.html
No you are bang on there Zummi, I am sure too it has to be Bunge. It explains a lot about her reticence to give her emotions away. Is she gay? That may have added to her shyness and introversion?
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Old Aug 11th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #44
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Re: Bettina Bunge

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisFitz View Post
Just looking at year end rankings, I am absolutely dumbfounded that for 3 consecutive years Bunge ranked in the top 10! OK, I could see 1982 when she recahed the Wimbledon semis (I believe the only time she ever got a Slam quarter) and she won 3 tournaments.

But in 1981 she didn't win a single tournament, and she reached other 2 finals. In the majors her best results were R16 at the US Open (winning all of 1 game vs Evert) and R16 at the French, winning 4 games vs Hana). 1981 was a really competitive year, and players like Jausovec, Ruzici, Barker and Marsikova weren't in the top 10. In 1983 Bunge won one tournament (and no other finals) and won one match in the majors, and she ranked #7. Number 7!!??!

Further proof how ludicrous the WTA rankings were back then!
I agree, but are you sure she was top ten in 1981? I thought she peaked circa 12 or 13?
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #45
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Re: Bettina Bunge

She was ranked 9th on the WTA final rankings for 81 , and in C.M.Jones's ranking of the same year, was ranked 6th in the Under 21 catergory.
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