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Old May 12th, 2004, 09:50 AM   #16
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Sounds as if they made a fuss out of not much. Didn't Evert use to smoke pot?
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #17
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Bedazzled by Bettina

Glad to find this thread, because I was a fan of Bettina Bunge when I was in high school in the U.S. in the 1980s. World Tennis did a cover story of her, titled Bedazzled by Bettina, around 1983, and talked about her potential. And last week, while I was having a racket restrung here at a tennis shop, there were old bound copies of the magazine, from the 1970s up to today. And there was the article! In another magazine story, about the 1982 Wimbledon, it talked about Bunge playing with a perpetual scowl on her face because the crowd's clapping interrupted her flowing game!
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #18
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I really admire what Bettina was trying to do because she was a first potential German to do something. To do a first is hard; Sylvia Hannika, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, and other Austro-German players had that problem and succumbed to the pressue. It took the power of Graf but look at Amelie Mauresmo for France. How many years it took to win that major. You can say about Justine and being the first Belgium but she was a special player as well as Serena Williams. If not been for her I don't think Venus would have won one major. For Kim Clijsters, it really was a burden to carry the country's flag.

I don't really subscribe to that theory of mental toughness. I think environment is a key thing. Steffi didn't care where she played nor did Serena, Justine, or Billie Jean King. The others like Evonne Goolagoong, Betina, Chris Evert, Margaret Court, and Virginia Wade did and that is not a good thing because media, fans, and atmosphere will bring you down. Luckily for Chris, she lived in the United States and so many many players before her who won like a Connolly, Wills, and others. Had she grown up somewhere else, I think she would won only the clay court tournaments and had a short career.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #19
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I don't know if she was really the first German, even during the Open era. I don't know much about her but I guess there was Helga Schultze (and also players like Katja Ebbinghaus) before her.

But the mental thing is interesting, because of a lot of people now putting her down as a lightweight player. I met a journalist last year during a tournament in Bali who said he knew Bettina well during the 1980s, and that she was playing golf in Florida the last time he heard. But he said that he felt she wouldn't have "wanted" to beat Martina in their Wimbledon semifinal in 1982 because of all the attention the win would have brought her, it would have been too much.

And she had inexplicable bad losses -- like going down to battling Pam Casale in Mahwah, and also to one-title wonder Leigh Thompson in the same tournament that makes you think she must have lacked some resolve or mental toughness.


I know she lost to Martina like 17 times (hence the famous "handshake" comment) but she ran her close several times. We also forget that Bunge was a more than adequate player on clay -- she won the German Open on clay (beating Rinaldi) and had a set and a break against Evert during a French Open (1980?). Evert won, and also took the title.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jakarta
I don't know if she was really the first German, even during the Open era. I don't know much about her but I guess there was Helga Schultze (and also players like Katja Ebbinghaus) before her.

But the mental thing is interesting, because of a lot of people now putting her down as a lightweight player. I met a journalist last year during a tournament in Bali who said he knew Bettina well during the 1980s, and that she was playing golf in Florida the last time he heard. But he said that he felt she wouldn't have "wanted" to beat Martina in their Wimbledon semifinal in 1982 because of all the attention the win would have brought her, it would have been too much.

And she had inexplicable bad losses -- like going down to battling Pam Casale in Mahwah, and also to one-title wonder Leigh Thompson in the same tournament that makes you think she must have lacked some resolve or mental toughness.


I know she lost to Martina like 17 times (hence the famous "handshake" comment) but she ran her close several times. We also forget that Bunge was a more than adequate player on clay -- she won the German Open on clay (beating Rinaldi) and had a set and a break against Evert during a French Open (1980?). Evert won, and also took the title.
She was the first German to win a Grand Slam since Cilly Aussem who won the French and Wimbledon in 1931 because Helen Wills was taking a year off due to her marriage. I remember that French Open against Chris. The problem was Betina, it looked like she was trying to get acceptance from the public never a good idea if you are trying to be a first hence her mental breakdowns. I don't care how good you are that quote sums it up "if you seek approval, you will never be free".
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #21
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She didn't win a Grand Slam -- her '82 semifinal at Wimbledon was her best showing -- but she won about six titles in all, including the German Open. I think the continuing interest in her is that she played a game you rarely see, maybe one player a generation, based on such fluid, natural talent.

The game of Yayuk Basuki, the former Indonesian number one, was like that, although she also had a killer forehand.

Does anyone know where I could get videos of Bunge playing?
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #22
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I have a few matches, Jakarta, in PAL format. Her game was beautiful, but Bettina didn't have the killer instinct and she couldn't handle pressure very well.

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.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #23
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Which matches do you have? And how could I get them? I tried to get her Navratilova semifinal from 1982, but I am not sure if they have it at the BBC. I assumed they did, but then again (Bettina's bad luck) the semi was put on Court One, due to the rain delays of that year. It is one of the very few years that has happened, a ladies' semi shunted off to another court.

So, again, what have you got, and thanks.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #24
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Bettina videos

Anybody got any videos of Bettina's matches? Or are their websites which allow them to be downloaded?
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 03:45 AM   #25
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Does anyone have an idea what she is up to now? She seems reclusive and i can't find any recent information to what she is up to in the 2000s.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #26
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Does anyone have an idea what she is up to now? She seems reclusive and i can't find any recent information to what she is up to in the 2000s.

http://tennisgirls.freeservers.com/photo3.html

Check out this website.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #27
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She was a cutey!!!!
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jakarta
She didn't win a Grand Slam -- her '82 semifinal at Wimbledon was her best showing -- but she won about six titles in all, including the German Open. I think the continuing interest in her is that she played a game you rarely see, maybe one player a generation, based on such fluid, natural talent.

The game of Yayuk Basuki, the former Indonesian number one, was like that, although she also had a killer forehand.

Does anyone know where I could get videos of Bunge playing?

Thanks for the correction. I think a lot of those losses to lesser players was due to alcohol. I saw a bio on her in wikipedia. It said that she was born in Switzerland and her father is German so chose to represent Germany. But that she moved to Peru and resided there for more than 13 years and later moved to Miami. So, she was never a person that had a true home. But hey, she is got a home in my world.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #29
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I hope Betina is invited to the US Open as a guest of something. That would be real cool.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 05:21 AM   #30
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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.
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