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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #1
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R.I.P. Georgina Clark



LONDON, UK - It is with deep sadness that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announces the passing of Georgina Clark, who retired from the Tour in 2005 as VP of European Operations and served the Tour with distinction for 24 years.

Clark joined the Tour in 1981 as a Tour Referee and as her experience with the Tour progressed so did the esteem and respect she received from tournament staff, players and the media alike. Among her many achievements, she opened the doors for the Tour in Europe, having Princess Diana officially open the Tour's first European office in 1988. A mother of five children, warm, engaging but with an iron will, Clark was imbued with the pioneer spirit of the Tour and was the first woman to umpire a final at Wimbledon. She was also a strong amateur player and coach and a successful officer in many roles for the Tour.

"Georgina's love for tennis shone through her life and career," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "All those who worked with Georgina were privileged to be part of her passion and dedication to the women's game.

"She will be missed."



Georgina was the first female umpire at a Wimbledon singles final, at the 1984 final between Navratilova and Evert.



Steffi Graf, Princess Diana and Georgina.



Georgina and Lee Jackson.



Georgina with the Sanchez family and Jean Nachand.



Georgina presented Dominique Monami flowers and a framed photo during the Belgian's retirement ceremony in 2000.



Georgina and colleagues from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in New York City in 2003.



Georgina (top right) with former players and colleagues from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Her life



LONDON, UK - Cast your mind back to a late summer's afternoon on June 5, 1999 in Paris. Martina Hingis was in command of the French Open final against Steffi Graf, leading 64 20, when her forehand return was called out. What happened next cost the 18-year-old Swiss the match, and ultimately the one major title to elude her. In the space of less than a minute, calmness was replaced by madness, the chair umpire lost the ball mark, Hingis crossed the net and all of a sudden was one infraction away from being the first woman to be defaulted in a Grand Slam final.

Yet, who was on hand to restore order, to face a defiant Hingis in front of 16,000 screaming fans, and handle the situation with such grace, efficiency and authority, none other than Grand Slam Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Supervisor, Georgina Clark. Hingis quickly was sent back to the baseline, her tail between her legs, and a watchful eye was kept on the young upstart and proceedings as Graf came back to win what turned out to be her last major singles triumph.

That's just one of the many memories that will stick out in the mind amongst friends, players and the media, when Georgina Clark brings down the curtain on her long, illustrious and satisfying career at the end of the 2005 season.

Her love affair with tennis began at the age of 14, when she took up the sport. Within a few years she was competing at junior Wimbledon, but tennis aspirations were put on hold at the age of 19 when she got married. In less than eight years, she had one son and four daughters, but it was because of her children that she got back into the sport, playing a role in coaching them (and later Princes William and Harry, among others!)

In 1977, it was Roy Cope-Lewis, founder of the first Professional Tennis Umpires Federation, who discovered her talents for umpiring, and very quickly Clark was officiating at professional events around the UK and internationally. She went on to umpire many high-profile men's matches at the US Open, Wimbledon and the Stella Artois Championships. It was during one of her first trips to the United States that she met with Peachy Kellmeyer at Mahwah, New Jersey, in 1981 and they talked about her being a Tour Referee on the precursor to the main Winter Tour, the Avon Futures Circuit.

Georgina agreed and set off on New Year's Eve, 1981 to Fort Meyers, Florida, on a journey that would take her around the Globe many times, over the course of the next 24 years and almost a century of Grand Slam Championships later.

"I never would have thought when I spoke to Roy all those years ago it would have led to this, and I'm incredibly thankful to him. I'm also grateful to Peachy. I thought at the US Open when these two women with these strange names: Peachy Kellmeyer and Grenn Nemhauser, wanted to meet with me that this must be a joke, but it wasn't and I'm delighted to be where I am today."

Clark has witnessed many changes in the game in that time, including all 15 women to have been ranked No.1 in the world on the Tour's computer. Clark observed, "The power game has arrived. The athleticism and agility are the biggest changes in what I have seen. Also the depth in competition across the board is truly impressive. I'm very excited about where the sport is going."

During the course of her career, Clark received many accolades, including being the first woman ever to umpire a singles final at Wimbledon, during the Ladies' Centennary in 1984 between Navratilova and Evert. Other accomplishments include setting up the first European Headquarters for the Tour on June 10, 1988 at the Vanderbilt Club (now at the Bank of England Sports Centre at Roehampton) with Diana, HRH Princess of Wales and Graf on hand; receiving the Tour's David Gray Special Service Award in 1995 for devoting her life to the game; incepting the first Officiating Program at the Tour; being promoted to Vice President of European Operations of the Tour in 2001; having the walkway to the center court in Filderstadt named after her (Georgina Clark Way); receiving honorary membership to the Rotweiss Club in Berlin in 2002; and in 2003, she received the Prestigious LTWA Award for services, in particular to British Tennis, joining former recipients Virginia Wade, Billie Jean King, Fred Perry and Tim Henman.

Clark was recently honored on-court at her last official appearance at a European event, in Hasselt, Belgium. The Tour also held a farewell lunch in Los Angeles, at which all of her old Tour colleagues and friends such as Mercedes Paz and Barbara Jordan were present. Tour CEO Larry Scott also marked her numerous contributions to Women's Tennis.

Yet looking back over her career, Georgina will be fondly remembered, not only as the British Press dubbed her - The Banbury Mother of Five, but rather as an authority on fairness and rules of the game, a dignified figure clad in ankle length skirts and jackets, perched unobtrusively near the corner of a court, ready to pounce and restore order to the day's proceedings if necessary.

As she moves into the next chapter in her life, air miles, papers full of schedules and officials will be replaced by time spent playing bridge, gardening, seeing friends, her five children and 10 devoted grandchildren. Indeed, it was that motherly touch that nearly cost her an embarrassing moment on the old Court One at Wimbledon. Umpiring a McEnroe match, there was a disturbance in the crowd, where a woman fainted. Distracted from the rally in progress, a concerned Clark looked up, but by the time her eyes reverted to the match, she had no idea who won the point. In a few seconds that must have seemed like an eternity, Georgina wondered what she should do, but in a manner McEnroe was not known for, he walked up to the Umpire's chair to collect his towel and discreetly muttered "30-15". Order was once again restored.

*Article from 2005
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Her illness






The past was present with former Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Supervisor Georgina Clark, invited by AELTC Chairman Tim Phillips as a special guest for the exhibition held to help the All England Club to test the conditions on Wimbledon Centre Court during match play with the roof closed.


Those who know Georgina will know her as a familiar figure of the years at all the Tour’s events, perched at the corner of the main show court, astutely observing the players and keeping an eye the match. Sunday was no different as you will see from the picture attached what a terrific view she had from her special chair. It was also a special occasion, as it gave Georgina to say hello to many friends, but especially Stefanie, who she hadn’t seen in four years and Kim in three. It was an emotional reunion between these two old friends, as Georgina has known the 22-time Grand Slam singles winner for 26 years.

As many of you know, Georgina hasn’t been well since her retirement at the end of 2005. She was diagnosed in 2006 with Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare degenerative disease of the brain. The actor Dudley Moore had the same condition. The disease impairs movements and balance, which can lead to many inexplicable falls. Many people with PSP also experience changes in mood, behavior, and personality. Because it’s a motor neuron disease, all movements are affected and become worse over time, walking, swallowing, talking, writing, anything to do with movement becomes an even greater challenge. The frustrating aspect is that the sufferer is totally aware what is happening to them, unlike Parkinsons or Dementia.

Georgina still lives at home with a full-time care-giver for the last two years, and has regular visits from close friends, her five kids and eleven Grandchildren. She probably might not be able to visit Wimbledon this year, which made Sunday even more special.

If you feel like dropping her a note, her care-giver and family read to her. She can be reached at: 10G Chartfield Avenue, London SW15

6HF, UK. She sends her best wishes out to us all.

— John Dolan,
Senior Communications Manager, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour


*Article from 2009
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #4
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

The last article is particularly heartbreaking

May she rest in peace
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Very sad news indeed Spiceboy

Thank you for posting these articles.
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

RIP, Georgina.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 07:26 AM   #7
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Hats off to you, spiceboy. Very nice tribute to Georgina Clark. RIP.
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #8
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

RIP Georgina She was always on the tour since I began watching, so sad to see how frail she became.

Thanks for the articles spiceboy
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

I didn't even know she was ill.

RIP Georgina.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #10
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Here is Georgina at her best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5BdQSckYp0

She will be missed.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #11
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post


LONDON, UK - It is with deep sadness that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announces the passing of Georgina Clark, who retired from the Tour in 2005 as VP of European Operations and served the Tour with distinction for 24 years.

Clark joined the Tour in 1981 as a Tour Referee and as her experience with the Tour progressed so did the esteem and respect she received from tournament staff, players and the media alike. Among her many achievements, she opened the doors for the Tour in Europe, having Princess Diana officially open the Tour's first European office in 1988. A mother of five children, warm, engaging but with an iron will, Clark was imbued with the pioneer spirit of the Tour and was the first woman to umpire a final at Wimbledon. She was also a strong amateur player and coach and a successful officer in many roles for the Tour.

"Georgina's love for tennis shone through her life and career," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "All those who worked with Georgina were privileged to be part of her passion and dedication to the women's game.

"She will be missed."



Georgina was the first female umpire at a Wimbledon singles final, at the 1984 final between Navratilova and Evert.



Steffi Graf, Princess Diana and Georgina.



Georgina and Lee Jackson.



Georgina with the Sanchez family and Jean Nachand.



Georgina presented Dominique Monami flowers and a framed photo during the Belgian's retirement ceremony in 2000.



Georgina and colleagues from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in New York City in 2003.



Georgina (top right) with former players and colleagues from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
I remember her very well. That is sad she is dead, for all she brought to womens tennis I salute and say farewell to her.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #12
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post
Her life



LONDON, UK - Cast your mind back to a late summer's afternoon on June 5, 1999 in Paris. Martina Hingis was in command of the French Open final against Steffi Graf, leading 64 20, when her forehand return was called out. What happened next cost the 18-year-old Swiss the match, and ultimately the one major title to elude her. In the space of less than a minute, calmness was replaced by madness, the chair umpire lost the ball mark, Hingis crossed the net and all of a sudden was one infraction away from being the first woman to be defaulted in a Grand Slam final.

Yet, who was on hand to restore order, to face a defiant Hingis in front of 16,000 screaming fans, and handle the situation with such grace, efficiency and authority, none other than Grand Slam Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Supervisor, Georgina Clark. Hingis quickly was sent back to the baseline, her tail between her legs, and a watchful eye was kept on the young upstart and proceedings as Graf came back to win what turned out to be her last major singles triumph.

That's just one of the many memories that will stick out in the mind amongst friends, players and the media, when Georgina Clark brings down the curtain on her long, illustrious and satisfying career at the end of the 2005 season.

Her love affair with tennis began at the age of 14, when she took up the sport. Within a few years she was competing at junior Wimbledon, but tennis aspirations were put on hold at the age of 19 when she got married. In less than eight years, she had one son and four daughters, but it was because of her children that she got back into the sport, playing a role in coaching them (and later Princes William and Harry, among others!)

In 1977, it was Roy Cope-Lewis, founder of the first Professional Tennis Umpires Federation, who discovered her talents for umpiring, and very quickly Clark was officiating at professional events around the UK and internationally. She went on to umpire many high-profile men's matches at the US Open, Wimbledon and the Stella Artois Championships. It was during one of her first trips to the United States that she met with Peachy Kellmeyer at Mahwah, New Jersey, in 1981 and they talked about her being a Tour Referee on the precursor to the main Winter Tour, the Avon Futures Circuit.

Georgina agreed and set off on New Year's Eve, 1981 to Fort Meyers, Florida, on a journey that would take her around the Globe many times, over the course of the next 24 years and almost a century of Grand Slam Championships later.

"I never would have thought when I spoke to Roy all those years ago it would have led to this, and I'm incredibly thankful to him. I'm also grateful to Peachy. I thought at the US Open when these two women with these strange names: Peachy Kellmeyer and Grenn Nemhauser, wanted to meet with me that this must be a joke, but it wasn't and I'm delighted to be where I am today."

Clark has witnessed many changes in the game in that time, including all 15 women to have been ranked No.1 in the world on the Tour's computer. Clark observed, "The power game has arrived. The athleticism and agility are the biggest changes in what I have seen. Also the depth in competition across the board is truly impressive. I'm very excited about where the sport is going."

During the course of her career, Clark received many accolades, including being the first woman ever to umpire a singles final at Wimbledon, during the Ladies' Centennary in 1984 between Navratilova and Evert. Other accomplishments include setting up the first European Headquarters for the Tour on June 10, 1988 at the Vanderbilt Club (now at the Bank of England Sports Centre at Roehampton) with Diana, HRH Princess of Wales and Graf on hand; receiving the Tour's David Gray Special Service Award in 1995 for devoting her life to the game; incepting the first Officiating Program at the Tour; being promoted to Vice President of European Operations of the Tour in 2001; having the walkway to the center court in Filderstadt named after her (Georgina Clark Way); receiving honorary membership to the Rotweiss Club in Berlin in 2002; and in 2003, she received the Prestigious LTWA Award for services, in particular to British Tennis, joining former recipients Virginia Wade, Billie Jean King, Fred Perry and Tim Henman.

Clark was recently honored on-court at her last official appearance at a European event, in Hasselt, Belgium. The Tour also held a farewell lunch in Los Angeles, at which all of her old Tour colleagues and friends such as Mercedes Paz and Barbara Jordan were present. Tour CEO Larry Scott also marked her numerous contributions to Women's Tennis.

Yet looking back over her career, Georgina will be fondly remembered, not only as the British Press dubbed her - The Banbury Mother of Five, but rather as an authority on fairness and rules of the game, a dignified figure clad in ankle length skirts and jackets, perched unobtrusively near the corner of a court, ready to pounce and restore order to the day's proceedings if necessary.

As she moves into the next chapter in her life, air miles, papers full of schedules and officials will be replaced by time spent playing bridge, gardening, seeing friends, her five children and 10 devoted grandchildren. Indeed, it was that motherly touch that nearly cost her an embarrassing moment on the old Court One at Wimbledon. Umpiring a McEnroe match, there was a disturbance in the crowd, where a woman fainted. Distracted from the rally in progress, a concerned Clark looked up, but by the time her eyes reverted to the match, she had no idea who won the point. In a few seconds that must have seemed like an eternity, Georgina wondered what she should do, but in a manner McEnroe was not known for, he walked up to the Umpire's chair to collect his towel and discreetly muttered "30-15". Order was once again restored.

*Article from 2005
Thanks for posting the above article. I didnt know as much as I should re her life and this filled in some of the gaps for me. I love the McEnroe story. A gentleman eh???
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #13
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post
Her illness






The past was present with former Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Supervisor Georgina Clark, invited by AELTC Chairman Tim Phillips as a special guest for the exhibition held to help the All England Club to test the conditions on Wimbledon Centre Court during match play with the roof closed.


Those who know Georgina will know her as a familiar figure of the years at all the Tour’s events, perched at the corner of the main show court, astutely observing the players and keeping an eye the match. Sunday was no different as you will see from the picture attached what a terrific view she had from her special chair. It was also a special occasion, as it gave Georgina to say hello to many friends, but especially Stefanie, who she hadn’t seen in four years and Kim in three. It was an emotional reunion between these two old friends, as Georgina has known the 22-time Grand Slam singles winner for 26 years.

As many of you know, Georgina hasn’t been well since her retirement at the end of 2005. She was diagnosed in 2006 with Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare degenerative disease of the brain. The actor Dudley Moore had the same condition. The disease impairs movements and balance, which can lead to many inexplicable falls. Many people with PSP also experience changes in mood, behavior, and personality. Because it’s a motor neuron disease, all movements are affected and become worse over time, walking, swallowing, talking, writing, anything to do with movement becomes an even greater challenge. The frustrating aspect is that the sufferer is totally aware what is happening to them, unlike Parkinsons or Dementia.

Georgina still lives at home with a full-time care-giver for the last two years, and has regular visits from close friends, her five kids and eleven Grandchildren. She probably might not be able to visit Wimbledon this year, which made Sunday even more special.

If you feel like dropping her a note, her care-giver and family read to her. She can be reached at: 10G Chartfield Avenue, London SW15

6HF, UK. She sends her best wishes out to us all.

— John Dolan,
Senior Communications Manager, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour


*Article from 2009
What an awful illness this one is, poor woman to have retired and then diagnosed with this within a year, heartbreaking.
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #14
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

One last article about about Georgina and her views on that frenetic 1999 French Open final

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=390770
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #15
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Re: R.I.P. Georgina Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post
One last article about about Georgina and her views on that frenetic 1999 French Open final

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=390770
"In the third game of the second set the Swiss contested a call, which she had every right to do on clay, and Anne Lasserre dutifully descended from her umpire's chair to check. "Unfortunately she took her eye off the mark and picked the wrong one," said Clark. "It's something that is still used in umpiring schools. The ball had been in and Hingis was right."

Well, as much as I wanted Graf to win that final, I did always think Hingis was right and that the ball was in. It's crazy how much that final changed on that point but Hingis got too focused on one shot. She was a set and break up and then she mentally lost focus - and who worse to do that to, than Steffi?

Despite the fact she had a lot of experience in winning Slams by then, Hingis was still young. If she had been even 2 or 3 years older she might not have went so far to challenge that one shot - but then you remember Hingis was one of the oldest minds around even at 16/17. It's her "what could have been" moment. Graf took the advantage and won again and brilliantly. Nice to see though Georgina agrees that the ball was in. Hingis should have walked away.... but this one moment changed the whole match.

RIP Georgina
Thanks again spiceboy
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