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Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:47 PM   #46
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

Yeah I've seen the Lehane thread before and know (like the Aussie) that you don't really rate her much.

If this record was applied to a player of today, would anyone think it was that bad, really??

Age AO RG WI US WR
16 R1 -- -- -- --
17 SF -- -- -- --
18 FI QF -- QF 8
19 FI R4 R3 QF --
20 FI QF QF R3 --
21 FI QF R3 -- 7
22 SF QF -- -- 10
23 -- -- -- -- --
24 R2 -- -- -- --
25 R3 R3 R4 -- --

I think she was a solid top 10 player for most of the early 60s. The world rankers of the time seemed to concur with the ranking positions she got, so there was no doubt at the time about her credentials.

Her game was limited and that prevented her from rising higher, as did injuries at the wrong time. Margaret Court thought Lehane was playing at her best ever standard just before 1963 Fed Cup/Wimbledon and that her injury cost Australia the Cup.

Jan's losses in overseas Slams - particularly before her layoff - were usually only to in-form top players:

French
60 lost to Maria Bueno
61 lost to Pilar Barril - wtf!
62 lost to Ann Haydon
63 lost to finalist Haydon-Jones
64 lost to Schultze
--
67 lost to Pat Walkden

Wimbledon
61 lost to 62 champ Karen Hantze
62 lost to runner-up Vera Sukova
63 retired injured to Darlene Hard
64 lost to Norma Baylon (injured requiring surgery)
--
67 upset 4th seeded Durr, lost to SF-ist Harter

US
60 lost to champion Darlene Hard
61 lost to finalist Ann Haydon
62 lost to finalist Darlene Hard

Last edited by GeeTee : Feb 2nd, 2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2010, 11:51 AM   #47
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Yeah I've seen the Lehane thread before and know (like the Aussie) that you don't really rate her much.

I wouldn't say that's exactly right.

She was a good player of a certain standard and unquestionably a top 10er but where I disagree with some others is that I don't believe she was really top 5 material - she did have some wins over higher ranked players but not consistently. Bizarrely when she returned to the game after the injury of 1964 in 1967 she had a 4-0 h2h over Francoise Durr who was world #3 that year.

In 1959 she was regarded as the next big Australian on the world stage and great things were expected of her. In my opinion it could very well be that she was affected adversely psychologically when within a very short space of time Margaret Smith stean-rollered past her and then a year or so after that Lesley Turner established herself among the world's top 4 players pushing Jan down to the Australian #3.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #48
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

hi TV seeing as you're in good form at the minute.

Bump
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #49
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
hi TV seeing as you're in good form at the minute.

Bump
ChrisThanks for bumping this one, very relevant as we have been talking a lot lately about the womens game in Australia in Lehanes era.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #50
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
hi TV seeing as you're in good form at the minute.

Bump
You are a bit of a aren't you Chris

I just watched a few clips last night and got a look at Lehane playing some points with Court against King & Susman (or Moffitt & Hantze as they were known back then). WIshed I had some more footage of Jan - she was a bit of a trailblazer in the womens game with the double handed backhand.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #51
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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You are a bit of a aren't you Chris

I just watched a few clips last night and got a look at Lehane playing some points with Court against King & Susman (or Moffitt & Hantze as they were known back then). WIshed I had some more footage of Jan - she was a bit of a trailblazer in the womens game with the double handed backhand.
CraigWasnt it Australian players anyway who first started to play double handed way before Connors and Evert. I cant remember but off the top of my head Vivian McGrath comes to mind. And of course Lehane. I wonder though if the double handed backhand in the era in which she played would have restricted her strokes, particularly on grass??
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #52
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

Jan's Slam record isn't included in the edition of Collins' Encyclopedia I have so I don't have her record to hand.

Obviously she has a good record at the Aussie but I have a feeling she was generally regarded as being one of the few Australians whose game was better suited to clay than grass.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #53
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Jan's Slam record isn't included in the edition of Collins' Encyclopedia I have so I don't have her record to hand.

Obviously she has a good record at the Aussie but I have a feeling she was generally regarded as being one of the few Australians whose game was better suited to clay than grass.
Its funny but actually Chris it seems to me that all Australian women of this era were great on clay. Court, Turner,Lehane and later Melville, Fromholtz and Goolagong. Actually I think that Australian women were great on the dirt.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 12:34 AM   #54
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Its funny but actually Chris it seems to me that all Australian women of this era were great on clay. Court, Turner,Lehane and later Melville, Fromholtz and Goolagong. Actually I think that Australian women were great on the dirt.
Yes I tend to agree. You see a lot of the girls actually grew up playing on a combination of grass and dirt courts which are even more slippery to play on than the European clay courts. I grew up on them myself. So it explains why so many could handle the grass and clay so well. And it was the same for the men - they generally had a good handle on both surfaces eg. Rosewall, Laver, Roche spring to mind.

Yes you are right Iain, I think the Aussies probably led the way in terms of double handed play ... there was Vivian McGrath, John Bromwich (double handed off both sides), John Brown (I think that was his name ... made a Wimbledon final), and Jan Lehane the first of the women that I am aware of.

Lehane played her double hander very close to her body so it really would have restricted her somewhat and i think it was probably her undoing on grass to a degree. I also think it was a case of the baseliner develops their game quicker - they don't have as much to refine, but the all court player takes longer to develop. So although she had the wins over Court in the juniors, once Court developed her all court game (rather quickly mind you) she then turned the tables and started to dominate Lehane. Mind you, Turner posed more opposition on clay for Margaret, but as we know, Lesley was one of the greats on clay in the early to mid 60s.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #55
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Yes I tend to agree. You see a lot of the girls actually grew up playing on a combination of grass and dirt courts which are even more slippery to play on than the European clay courts. I grew up on them myself. So it explains why so many could handle the grass and clay so well. And it was the same for the men - they generally had a good handle on both surfaces eg. Rosewall, Laver, Roche spring to mind.

Yes you are right Iain, I think the Aussies probably led the way in terms of double handed play ... there was Vivian McGrath, John Bromwich (double handed off both sides), John Brown (I think that was his name ... made a Wimbledon final), and Jan Lehane the first of the women that I am aware of.

Lehane played her double hander very close to her body so it really would have restricted her somewhat and i think it was probably her undoing on grass to a degree. I also think it was a case of the baseliner develops their game quicker - they don't have as much to refine, but the all court player takes longer to develop. So although she had the wins over Court in the juniors, once Court developed her all court game (rather quickly mind you) she then turned the tables and started to dominate Lehane. Mind you, Turner posed more opposition on clay for Margaret, but as we know, Lesley was one of the greats on clay in the early to mid 60s.
CraigGreat post. You know what I was thinking? Lehane and Court must be the most frequent pair to play off for the same GS title. I mean how often was it that they played for the Australian title? And I think it is easy to forget that there were great players, such as Bueno and Truman, down under when it came to be a Lehane v Court final.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #56
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Yes I tend to agree. You see a lot of the girls actually grew up playing on a combination of grass and dirt courts which are even more slippery to play on than the European clay courts. I grew up on them myself. So it explains why so many could handle the grass and clay so well. And it was the same for the men - they generally had a good handle on both surfaces eg. Rosewall, Laver, Roche spring to mind.

Yes you are right Iain, I think the Aussies probably led the way in terms of double handed play ... there was Vivian McGrath, John Bromwich (double handed off both sides), John Brown (I think that was his name ... made a Wimbledon final), and Jan Lehane the first of the women that I am aware of.

Lehane played her double hander very close to her body so it really would have restricted her somewhat and i think it was probably her undoing on grass to a degree. I also think it was a case of the baseliner develops their game quicker - they don't have as much to refine, but the all court player takes longer to develop. So although she had the wins over Court in the juniors, once Court developed her all court game (rather quickly mind you) she then turned the tables and started to dominate Lehane. Mind you, Turner posed more opposition on clay for Margaret, but as we know, Lesley was one of the greats on clay in the early to mid 60s.
Geoff Brown was the double-hander you're thinking of - John Brown came a generation later, and became better known as a tennis promoter.
I ballboyed for Jan Lehane at the Australian championships in 1961, and watched her play often. "Tenacious" was the word for her. Her game, as I recall, was really pretty similar to the double-handers we've seen in the past generation: fierce driving groundstrokes into the back corners of the court, not much variety or artistry, but quick on her feet, and as Adrian Quist said, played with a tigerish intensity. Against Margaret, though, that just wasn't enough. Margaret had such big weapons - that serve, superb volleys, and powerful, audacious groundstrokes - that she just blew Jan and pretty well everyone else off the court.

Re Australians on clay: in Melbourne at least, we grew up on clay, or en-tout-cas, as we called it, so it's no surprise that lots of Melbourne players got their best results on clay: Merv Rose, Peter McNamara, Nicole Provis Bradtke, to name a few.
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Old Jan 9th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #57
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Re: Jane Lehane O'Neill - Underappreciated or Over-rated

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Geoff Brown was the double-hander you're thinking of - John Brown came a generation later, and became better known as a tennis promoter.
I ballboyed for Jan Lehane at the Australian championships in 1961, and watched her play often. "Tenacious" was the word for her. Her game, as I recall, was really pretty similar to the double-handers we've seen in the past generation: fierce driving groundstrokes into the back corners of the court, not much variety or artistry, but quick on her feet, and as Adrian Quist said, played with a tigerish intensity. Against Margaret, though, that just wasn't enough. Margaret had such big weapons - that serve, superb volleys, and powerful, audacious groundstrokes - that she just blew Jan and pretty well everyone else off the court.

Re Australians on clay: in Melbourne at least, we grew up on clay, or en-tout-cas, as we called it, so it's no surprise that lots of Melbourne players got their best results on clay: Merv Rose, Peter McNamara, Nicole Provis Bradtke, to name a few.
Thanks Gumnut. Yes, you are correct it was Geoff Brown I was thinking of.

Pity there isn't any footage around of Jan playing ... I have footage of just about all the other great Aussie players except her. Just a few stills. You were lucky you got to see her play. She was unlucky to come up against the great Margaret Court as she was herself about to burst onto the world scene. Surely that must have dented her confidence. But I think she would have been a great claycourter in particular, and a very talented player regardless of surface as evidenced by her wins over such greats as Bueno, Hard, Jones etc.
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