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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 05:17 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Rollo
Chris-[/b]I'm glad Ann got her way. She won enough small events in her lifetime. I won't be surprised if we discover she won as many events as Margaret Court did.

I think leaving out the professional titles she will probably go past the 100 mark but certainly nowhere near the number (180+ isn't it?) which Margaret accumulated.
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Old Oct 7th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rollo
In the good old amateur days the Davis Cup and the Wightman Cup were sure tickets to travel abroad. Without the Wightman Cup most of the British women would never have made it to the United States at all. What a pity it didn't become the Federation Cup back in the 1920s.
Imagine if the Wightman Cup were played today and both countries sent in their best players (all of them healthy and injury-free). I'd pay to watch Team USA (Davenport, WilliamsX2, Capriati) take on Team GB (Keothavong, Baltacha, and umm... perhaps Jo Durie and Ginny Wade).
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #33
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USA and GBR still play the junior event

Britain won it 7-4 i think this year

Wightman cup could work, but USA would need to send players like Osteloh, Reeves, Rao, Ashley, Tu or some of their younger lot like Cochran, Avants to make it mroe interesting.

Still GBR would be guaranteed 2 rubbers, the ones Alex played
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 01:51 PM   #34
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In 1961 the British team included Angela Mortimer, Wimbledon Champion, Ann Haydon French Champion and Christine Truman, Wimbledon runner-up.

The US team was largely rookies. Karen Hantze, had been a Wimbledon and US quarter-finalist but the other members were untried - Billie Jean Moffitt (remember it is 1961!), Margaret Varner, Gwyn Thomas, Justina Bricka and captain Margaret duPont.

It was played on hard courts at Chicago and in the event the US swept the Brits aside 6-1 with Angela Mortimer defaulting from the final doubles.

But the main talking point was the exclusion of the US #1 (and then Forest Hills champion) Darlene Hard from the team. Darlene had been out for some weeks having contracted hepatitis while nursing Maria Bueno over the illness in Paris earlier that year.

When she heard that she had not been named to the team Darlene called the omission " a low blow" :

"They've pulled dirty strings to keep me off the team. They're playing politics and it really hurts, because after I've devoted my life to tennis they've stepped on me when I got to the top. In view of my health I asked only that I be invited to Chicago to practice with the team. I was willing to let the captain, Margaret duPont, determine whether I should be on the team, but I thought they owed me that chance. Last year I practically killed myself in those matches - and this is what I get."

When Bud Collins of the Boston Herald put this to duPont she was "surprised" by Darlene's outburst:

"The committee had been split but in the end felt she should have shown she was fit by playing a tournament or two. The previous year they had been stung by a member (Sally Moore) whom they took to Europe on her say that she was in condition. She wasn't."

Reporting back to Darlene, she told Bud that she had been playing at home for the last six weeks:

"seven sets a day. The Wightman Cup selection used to be cut and dried - if you had the ranking you were on. I worked hard and waited to get to the top. This is a low blow to my prestige. What other reward is there for a woman in tennis? The selectors say they are protecting my health. Why didn't they at least take a look at me? I thought they wanted the best team. Tennis officials have always considered me a rebel. I didn't dress right, then I was too fat, then they didn't like my friends. Maybe I didn't conform, but I've never committed a crime. The record shows I am the top player. Maybe Mrs duPont didn't want me around because she might have to play me instead of herself in the doubles."

This is what duPont said in her official match repotrt to the USLTA:

"After lengthy and considerable investigation, discussion and letter writing and telephoning, the USLTA Wightman Cup Committee on August 10th decided not to ask Darlene Hard ,our 1960 National Champion, to play in the Wightman Cup matches this year. Due to her attack of infectious hepatitis in June, the committee felt it would be injurious to her health to participate so strenuously in international matches and it was, therefore, for her own protection that the negative decision was decided upon. We had been unable to find any concrete evidence that Darlene had regained her health sufficiently to be physically fit for Wightman Cup play. She had not played since losing to Edda Buding in the French Championships in May (up to which time she had a poor record), and indeed could not even ascertain with whom she had been practicing in California.

Darlene's lack of cooperation with USLTA officials, who were trying to help her, was deplorable. She had not had a physical check-up after returning home and she sure gave us no opportunity of being SURE that she was physically fit. The risk to her health seemed too big for an amateur sporting association to take. The only possible factor in favour of Miss Hard's selection was her being the National Champion. Consequently, the question arises as to whether or not we should, in the future, HAVE to select a player merely because she has won a championship the previous year, despite a weak seasonal record, lack of recent tournament play prior to the Wightman Cup matches, uncertain health conditions, questionable behaviour, lack of cooperation with tennis officials, etc. [doesn't hold back with her punches, does she?] Following the final announcement of the complete make-up of the United States team, our Wightman Cup Committee, the Chairman in particular, were severly criticized by Darlene Hard in the press. However, it seemed the reasons for the Committee's decision should be stated and recorded here in this report, in an intelligent manner, rather than through the press."

When asked for her opinion Hazel Wightman, the 74-year old donor of the Cup (she is not a selector), tactfully stated that it was a shame to leave the Champion off the team, that she felt badly for Darlene, but that perhaps she should have given more tangible evidence that she was fit.

Perhaps spurred on by this debacle Darlene then proceeded to win four tournaments in a row - Essex, the US Champs, Pacific Southwest and Pacific Coast beating 6 of the world's top ten in the course.

Whether due to lingering bad feeling or not, it was not the last controversy involving Darlene and the Wightman Cup with trouble occuring the following year when the event was held in England. But that's another story........
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 05:48 PM   #35
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Bump for P/F.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #36
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i feel so sorry that i'm too young to know and appriciate things like these.
i hope one day i'll be able to chat with people while the youngster ranble over some new stars, and i'll now that great players played in my time as well.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #37
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The Wightman Cup...such happy memories...I keep asking Sue Barker for: The Wightman Cup, Revisted....
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #38
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Re: Wightman Cup

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Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post


In the 50s we had Angela Buxton, Shirley Bloomer, Angela Mortimer, Anne Shilcock, Christine Truman, Ann Haydon who could compete at the top level then into the 60s Jones, Truman carried on with players like Deirdre Catt and Elizabeth Starkie with help from Rita Bentley just outside the top 10. Virginia Wade came along to take over Ann's mantle with help from Winnie Shaw and Joyce Williams but already the field was getting thinner. Sue Barker flickered briefly and Michele Tyler just missed the top 20. Then in the 80s Jo Durie managed a top 10 placing with Anne Hobbs giving a little support although she was a top rate doubles player. But then Jo is out of the top 10, Annabel Croft breaks the top 30 Monique Jaever makes a small splash. Next comes Sam Smith who just falls short of the top 50 until today we can't even get a player in the top 100. It has just been a steady downward pregression.
Don't forget Sara Gomer, who made the Top 50
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #39
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Re: Wightman Cup

Here's the Wightman Cup Thread...
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #40
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Re: Wightman Cup

Grrrr!

What an unhappy start to Easter.(LOL)

I can only think of one year -

1966
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 12:24 PM   #41
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Re: Wightman Cup

Thanks for that and the Sue Barker threads!!!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:53 PM   #42
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Re: Wightman Cup

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Originally Posted by Declan View Post
I LOVED the Wightman Cup, particularly in the late Seventies and early eighties. In fact, Britain's 4-3 win over a red-hot American team in 1978 is right up there at my list of 'favourite sporting memories of all time' (along with Virginia Wade's winning Wimbledon and Mary Pierce's triumph at Roland Garros). Michelle Tyler's win over Pam Shriver was the springboard for the victory, Sue Barker and Virginia Wade both beat Tracy Austin, and the final doubles, when Wade/Barker won a three-setter over Chris Evert and Pam Shriver to win the Cup, was SO exciting! Unbelieveably the BBC stopped broadcasting it live at the start of the final set of that match, so I had to listen to the rest of it on the radio! The next night the BBC showed a special programme called "How We Won the Wightman Cup" so I did get to see it, happily! Two years later I sat in the television room by myself at University, screaming at the television set when an over-the-hill Virginia lead firm World No.1 Chris Evert 5-1 in the final set, which would have levelled the tie and brought it all down to the final rubber again! Alas it was not to be as one of Virginia's shoe laces came undone and distracted her on her second match point, then Chris roared back to win, and later blamed her lacklustre performance on problems with her period rather than Virginia's fine play! My final happy Wighman Cup memory is attending the 1986 tie at the majestic Royal Albert Hall in London, and being about the only Brit in the place willing Kathy Rinaldi to win over an on-form Jo Durie, which she happily did.

The Wightman Cup would have no place in the world game now, would it? Once the likes of Clare Wood became fixtures in the British team it was right to end when it did, although usually I'm a banner-waver for the traditions of the game. I can't see there being any tension or much chance of an upset in, say, a match between Lindsay Davenport and Jane O'Donoghue!!

My goodness does this bring back memories. It was my 11th birthday and I was just really getting into tennis. I remember being aware that Britain were 3-1 down going into the last day of the 1980 Cup.
The optimism of youth knows no bounds and I was sure it wasnt over. And of course Sue Barker played one of the best matches of her career to defeat that great player Andrea Jaeger. And then Virginia!!!! Young as I was I knew that Evert Lloyd would be a tall order. But my god when it reached 5-1 I was ecstatic. My mum and dad were amazed that their football playing son was now screaming for womens tennis. And when she lost that final set lead I was devastated. Went to my bed and never bothered with my birthday dinner or presents. I am sure that the momentum would have carried them over against Smith and Jordan.
I hope that Laura Robson makes it and that Anne Keothavong and co keep improving. With the decline in US tennis it might just be competitive again!!!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:15 PM   #43
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Re: Wightman Cup

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Originally Posted by AdeyC View Post
Don't forget Sara Gomer, who made the Top 50
Didn't Sara Gomer lose 6-0 6-0 to Evert at Wimbledon when Chrissie basically showed up in a wheelchair?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:37 PM   #44
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Re: Wightman Cup

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Originally Posted by Sumarokov-Elston View Post
Didn't Sara Gomer lose 6-0 6-0 to Evert at Wimbledon when Chrissie basically showed up in a wheelchair?
Hi there. It was 1 and 0 to Evert in 1987. Yes Gomer said she knew she would be thrashed when she saw the draw. Pathetic that she had that attitude and it is a shame because you know she was a talented player who was never at home with her height. Her psychology was the worst of any Brit I saw including Annabel Croft
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:59 PM   #45
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Re: Wightman Cup

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Originally Posted by iainmac View Post
Hi there. It was 1 and 0 to Evert in 1987. Yes Gomer said she knew she would be thrashed when she saw the draw. Pathetic that she had that attitude and it is a shame because you know she was a talented player who was never at home with her height. Her psychology was the worst of any Brit I saw including Annabel Croft
And yet she had so much talent and potential. She was 6'2" and a left-hander with a good serve. She had some good wins in her career (McNeil; Zvereva; Sanchez-Vicario; Manuela Maleeva; Linqvist etc) but she had her share of injury, and didn't have the killer instinct-just too damn nice!!
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