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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #1
country flag Nicola
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Sugar Circuit

Wonder if anyone has heard of the Sugar Circuit, a series of five events which used to be played in South Africa over December and January. It was very popular in the '60s and '70s, then it declined a bit.

I have the results of the last few years

1981
Bloemfontein F - B Mould d R Uys 76 62
Durban F - R Uys d B Mould 36 61 62
East London F - J Mundel d S Rollinson 76 75
Port Elizabeth F - Y Vermaak d R Uys 63 62
Cape Town F - R Uys d B Mould 62 63

1980
Bloemfontein F - S Rollinson d R Uys 61 26 63
Durban F - E Barrable d Ms Muller 36 64 64
East London F - R Uys d E Gordon 64 63
Port Elizabeth F - J Mundel d R Uys 76 64
Cape Town F - E Gordon d R Uys 46 64 64

1979
Bloemfontein F - L Charles d M Depalmer 61 61
Durban F - L Vlotman d A McDade 75 62
East London F - A McDade d L Zietsman 63 62
Port Elizabeth F - L Charles d Y Vermaak 62 36 61
Cape Town F - L Vlotman d L Charles 76 62
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 04:05 PM   #2
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Hi, Nicola,

I've most definitely heard of the Sugar Circuit. It was somewhat popular during the 1960s and 1970s. If you check the tournament finals thread in BFTP, you'll find most of the results for the Sugar Circuit tournaments over the years. As the 70s edged forward and the 1980s arrived, the circuit lost momentum. I'm not sure if the results you have above are posted in the WTA thread, as the circuit seemed more like a satellite tour at that point and did not have the same prestige as earlier. But certainly the circuit was a prime training ground for a lot of the good South Africans that emerged in the 1970s, including my favorite, Linky Boshoff. Check out Rollo's thread, and you'll see the list of winners and runnersup.
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #3
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I don't know when they began, Nicola but they were going throughout the 60s. In the late 50s a few South Africans made their way to the top of the game - Sandra Reynolds and Rennee Schuurman made top 10 and Bernice Carr-Vukovich was probably top 20. After these Annette van Zyl was a top player in the mid/ late 60s - she beat BJK to reach the semis at RG one year.

Possibly because there was strength in the home game they grew in stature. Hulett's one of the biggest sugar refineries in South Africa sponsored a couple of the events around 1962 and these were so successful that I think they expanded in 1963 and for a while I think there were 7 or 8 tournaments in total. Whether they were all regarded as the sugar circuit I am not 100% certain but they all followed one another. They were hit by the advent of open tennis in 1968 but I know there were 4 tournaments still taking place in January 1970.

Like Australia they paid a couple of top overseas players to come each year but would not have had the money to subsidise more than a few.

The stars who came in some years were:

1962 Ann Haydon, Christine Truman, Deirdre Catt, Elizabeth Starkie (Annette van Zyl, Sandra Reynolds, Renee Schuurman) - Catt and Sytarkie were two British players in the 60s who at one stage were on the verge of breaking into the world's top 10 but never quite made it.

1963 Maria Bueno, Darlene Hard,(Annette van Zyl, Renee Schuurman)
1964 Maria Bueno, Darlene Hard, Ann Jones, Elizabeth Starkie, Deirdre Catt, (Renee Schuurman, Annette van Zyl)

1965 Christine Truman, Francoise Durr, (Annette van Zyl)
1966 Francoise Durr, Ann Jones, (Annette van Zyl)
1967 Virginia Wade, (Pat Walkden, Annette van Zyl)
1968 Virginia Wade, Carole Graebner (Pat Walkden, Annette van Zyl)

Ann Jones who was looking for "easier" tournaments after 1969 went in 1970 with Peaches Bartkowicz and Pat Walkden competed.
They seemed to have lesser players from 1971 onwards, the results are not listed in the year books.
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Old Sep 12th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #4
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Hi Nicola.
Thanks for posting those results - most of them were new to me. There's a reasonably comprehensive set of results covering 1960-74 in the women's tennis finals database but after that it's a bit hit and miss. I can post them here if you want. If you discover any further results especially for the 73-8 period, post away!

As Chris said, in its heyday the circuit attracted big names and there were several additional tournaments (mainly in Transvaal)
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 01:57 AM   #5
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Does anyone know why it was called the "Sugar" circuit?

My guess is the big events were always held prior to the 1950s. Before the 1950s however travel to South Africa was just too time consuming [a slow boat] to make it worthwhile.

With air travel it became a viable circuit for international stars to play. The surface wouldn't hurt, as hard courts were fair to all. Throw in the exotic appeal of Africa and audiences eager for first class tennis and I bet it was smashing fun.
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 05:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
Does anyone know why it was called the "Sugar" circuit?

My guess is the big events were always held prior to the 1950s. Before the 1950s however travel to South Africa was just too time consuming [a slow boat] to make it worthwhile.

With air travel it became a viable circuit for international stars to play. The surface wouldn't hurt, as hard courts were fair to all. Throw in the exotic appeal of Africa and audiences eager for first class tennis and I bet it was smashing fun.
Were they actually cement courts? I think I remember reading they had a very high bounce. Maybe I'm being thick and cement and hard are the same?

Last edited by chris whiteside : Sep 13th, 2004 at 06:09 AM.
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #7
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I think I can go back a few more years. I will post the final results as soon as I can. I am certain that 1981 was the final year and that the results did count for the WTA rankings. I think Rene Uys got a ranking after playing this series. She went on to reach the R16 at Wimbledon in 1985, but like many other SA players, she retired very early (she was 20 or 21).
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #8
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If you have the Gordon Forbes' books (the best tennis books ever), there are a lot of references to the Sugar Circuit. It sounded like a lot of fun and I saw pictures of the circuit in the 1970s and there seemed to be a lot of parties going on.
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Old Sep 17th, 2004, 08:54 PM   #9
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1978
BLOEMFONTEIN F - L Vlotman d L Charles
DURBAN F - A McDade d L Vlotman 75 62
EAST LONDON - Rained out
PORT ELIZABETH F - B Hambridge d R Agassi (Andre's sister) 61 60
CAPE TOWN F - L Charles d R Agassi 63 64

1977
BLOEMFONTEIN F - L Vlotman d D Beillan 63 60
DURBAN F - L Vlotman d A McDade 63 62
EAST LONDON F - L Boshoff d A McDade 75 62
PORT ELIZABETH F - A Hobbs d A DuPlooy 61 26 63
CAPE TOWN F - L Boshoff d A DuPlooy 62 60

1976
BLOEMFONTEIN F - G Coles d Y Vermaak 62 61
CAPE TOWN F - B Dimitriou d S Mappin 63 63
PORT ELIZABETH F - Y Vermaak d A McMillan 62 62
EAST LONDON F - Y Vermaak d S Mappin 62 26 62
DURBAN F - B Dimitriou d A McMillan 61 62

Notes
Alison McMillan married and became Alison McDade
Brenda Dimitriou is the married name of Brenda Kirk, the 1972 Fed Cup heroine for SA (she won all her singles matches to help SA win the trophy)
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 11:23 AM   #10
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Thanks for posting these Nicola. If you find 73-4-5, I'd be really interested in knowing the results of those years too. I have some but not all.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #11
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I've just completed my "World Of Tennis" collection bar one (1992), and just got the elusive (and expensive!!) first edition, from 1969 covering the 1968 season. It has the Sugar Circuit results from the start of the year and the end. I'll do them one at a time:


SUGAR CIRCUIT 1967-8

Border Championships, East London, December 18-23 1967
Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. R.Bentley def
W.Shaw d. S. de Fina 6-1 6-2
P.Walkden d. E. Rademeyer 6-2 6-2
L.Godwin d. L. Roussouw 6-3 8-6
S/F:
Wade d. Shaw 3-6 6-4 7-5
Walkden d. Godwin 9-7 6-3
F:
Wade d. Walkden 6-1 4-6 6-4

Eastern Province Championships, Port Elizabeth Dec.26-30 '67:
Q/F:
P.Walkden d. S.de Fina 8-6 4-6 6-4
S.V.Wade d. F.Truman 6-2 6-4
C.Graebner d. C.Bell 6-1 6-4
A. van Zyl d. L.Roussow 4-6 6-3 6-1
S/F:
Walkden d. Wade 6-4 7-5
Graebner d. van Zyl 3-6 6-3 9-7
F:
Walkden d. Graebner 6-1 6-1

Western Province Championships, Cape Town jan 1-6 1968
Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. L.Roussow 7-5 6-3
C.Graebner d. W.Shaw 6-0 6-4
P.Walkden d. S.de Fina 6-2 6-2
A. van Zyl d. A. van Deventer 6-3 6-0
S/F:
Graebner d. Wade 7-5 6-2
Walkden d. van Zyl 6-4 1-6 6-4
F:
Walden d. Graebner 6-2 1-6 6-4

Orange Free State Championships, Bloemfontein Jan 8-13 '68

Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. L.Roussow 6-4 6-4
A. van Zyl d. S. de Fina 6-1 6-4
P.Walkden d. G.Delport 6-2 6-3
C.Graebner d. W.Shaw 12-10 6-2
S/F:
Wade d. van Zyl 5-7 9-7 6-0
Walkden d. Graebner 6-4 6-0
F:
Wade d. Walkden 6-3 6-3

Natal Championships, Durban Jan 14-16 '68

Q/F
A.van Zyl d. S.de Fina 6-0 6-2
P.Walden d. G.Delport 7-5 6-4
C.Graebner d. W.Shaw 6-4 7-5
S.V.Wade d. J.Johnson 4-6 6-1 6-2
S/F:
van zyl d. Walkden 8-6 6-2
Graebner d. Wade 6-4 6-3
F:
van Zyl d. Graebner 6-1 6-1
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 12:11 PM   #12
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SUGAR CIRCUIT 1968-9

Border Cahmpionships, East London: Dec '68

Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. L.Godwin 6-3 11-9
A.van Deventer d. M.Brummer 6-2 8-6
W.Shaw d. K.Harter 6-1 6-4
C.Molesworth d. W.Tomlinson 6-4 7-5
S/F:
Wade d. van Deventer 6-2 6-2
Shaw d. Molesworth 4-6 6-2 6-1
F:
Wade d. Shaw 6-1 3-6 6-1

Orange Free State Championships, Bloemfontein: Jan '69

Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. J.Rogers (no score given)
W.Shaw d. C.Molesworth 6-4 6-4
P.Walkden d. F.Truman 6-3 4-6 6-2
A.van Deventer d. L.Godwin 2-6 6-4 9-7
S/F:
Wade d. van Deventer 6-0 6-2
Walkden d. Shaw 6-1 6-3
F:
Walkden d. Wade 6-4 10-8

Eastern Province Championships, Port Elizabeth: Jan '69

Q/F:
S.V.Wade d. J.Rogers 6-1 6-3
K.Harter d. F.Truman 3-6 6-1 10-8
P.Walkden d. L.Godwin 6-0 6-3
W.Shaw d. B.Kirk 6-3 6-0
S/F:
Wade d. Shaw 6-4 6-3
Walkden d. Harter 6-3 6-4
F:
Walkden d. Wade 6-4 6-3

Western Province Championships, Cape Town: Jan '69

Q/F:
P.Walkden d. L.Godwin 5-7 6-2 6-4
W.Shaw d. J.Rogers 10-8 6-4
J.du Plooy d. F.Truman 6-1 6-1
S.V.Wade d. M.Brummer 8-6 6-1
S/F:
Walkden d. du Plooy 6-2 4-6 6-1
Wade d. Shaw 6-4 6-2
F:
Wade d. Walkden 6-4 6-1

NB: Only four results given for this season. Virginia won the Doubles at each of the four tournaments too, thrice with Winnie Shaw and once with Pat Walkden. She reached three Mixed finals too, winning twice!!
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