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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:12 AM   #1
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Eastbourne

Does anyone have any Eastbourne thoughts/memories to share?


Austinrunner gave me the idea for this thread when he asked about Sue Barker, the 1973 winner at Devonshire Park. Sue did win the event (ending Jun 22), but we need more scores if anyone has them!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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Re: Eastbourne

Here's an article about Virginia Wade from last year, sharing her fondest memories of sunny south England.

http://archive.theargus.co.uk/2005/6/9/101898.html


Eastbourne will always be special for Wade

From the archive, first published Thursday 9th Jun 2005.


Virginia Wade will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her Eastbourne triumph next week.

Wade overcame the legendary Billie-Jean King 7-5 4-6 6-4 in an epic 1975 final in blustery conditions at Devonshire Park. She has retained her connections with the ladies international event since then as a player, involved in competition and exhibitions, television commentator and sponsors' ambassador.

But the memory of her first taste of on-court success at Eastbourne, now called the Hastings Direct International Championships, still blows her away. The year before she had lost to Chris Evert in the final in the first year of the championship. Wade, the 1977 Wimbledon champion, said: "It would always be windy on finals day at Eastbourne.

"That's what it was like when I played Billie-Jean. It was a long difficult match and the ball was blown around.

"Billie-Jean was at the height of her powers, as was Chrissie when we played 12 months earlier. Billie-Jean was always tough on grass and the year I beat her she went on to win Wimbledon. The fact I beat her proved I was playing good tennis. It was the first year I felt I was ready to win Wimbledon. I went on to the quarter-finals at the All England Club in the following fortnight. I was stopped by Evonne Cawley in an amazing match. Both of us played well and I lost 8-6 in the third set. She got the decisive break with an amazing passing shot. I remember coming off court thinking it just wasn't my day and that I couldn't have done any more."

Wade recalls how her Eastbourne epics set the tone for drawn out finals.
She said: "There were so many other long finals. Everybody was getting ready for Wimbledon and didn't want to leave everything on court but those finals were so intense. I remember thinking about whether I should be playing these sort of matches just before Wimbledon. But it has always been such a great tournament. I took it for granted I would get close to the final so I ploughed through the week winning and having fun.

"It was also fun off court. Eastbourne was a relaxing town. It had lots of good restaurants and plenty of lovely walks along the prom. I mainly stayed in a hotel close to the venue but rented a flat once or twice. I didn't hang out with the likes of Billie-Jean. We all had our own friends but we seemed to get on okay. The fans were great. Many used to book their holidays so they could spend a few days at the tournament.
They could get really close to the players. Now they have improved the facilities it is even better for the crowd."

Wade would recommend the tournament to today's stars.
She said: "Some players choose to practice at Wimbledon instead of playing Eastbourne but they run the risk of peaking too early.
"But at Eastbourne there is less chance of that happening because it is away from Wimbledon, has a relaxed atmosphere and you build up by playing matches."

This year's entries include Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo, Daniela Hantuchova, Alicia Molik, Elena Likhovtseva, the French Open semi-finalist, and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Wade said: "Kim has made a phenomenal return with her back-to-back wins at Indian Wells and Miami. She's tough, a terrific player and a very nice person.

"I like Svetlana too. You get some players who get involved in extra-curricular activities. But Svetlana is one who concentrates purely on her tennis. She is such a down-to-earth girl."

Wade hopes the big names don't pull out, as they have done in the past.
Jusine Henin-Hardenne was originally entered next week but withdrew after winning the French Open on Saturday.

Wade said: "Eastbourne has suffered a lot. Some players let the side down. They say they are going to play and the tournament promotes that. So when they pull out late it is so much more damaging to the event than had they not entered in the first place."

Wade will return to Eastbourne next week to commentate for BBC TV and act as a Hastings Direct ambassador.
She is best known, of course, for flying the Union Jack across the tennis courts of the world as a player. She won the US and Australian Opens, in 1968 and 1972 respectively, but her greatest triumph was winning the Wimbledon crown in the Queen's Jubilee year at the 17th attempt.

She said: "I was on my own as far as British players were concerned until Sue Barker came along and she took the pressure off me from 1976 onwards. Sue coming on the scene was a big help."

But Wade cherishes her Eastbourne memories too. She loves the place.
It was an affair which began in the late Sixties when she played for Kent at Devonshire Park in division one of County Week.

She said: "My county always finished mid-table and I enjoyed it. I have had a long association with Eastbourne."

Wade will be 60 on July 10.
She smiled: "How do you like that! There's not a lot I can do about it. I try to stay in great shape. I still play tennis and remain pretty active. I don't think I've changed much in what I do and how I look."
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:22 AM   #3
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Re: Eastbourne

Here's an article that took me by surprise..Steffi Graf blowing her top on court vs. Kournikova in 1998... This was the match where Anna injured her thumb and may have never been the same again.

http://archive.theargus.co.uk/1998/6/19/199938.html


Angry Graf in umpire bust-up

From the archive, first published Friday 19th Jun 1998.


GRUMPY Steffi Graf blew her top at court officials as she tumbled out of Sussex's top tennis tournament.The angry German superstar asked for Welsh umpire Andrew Wynne and the line judges to be changed.Her request was refused and she went on to lose 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in an incident-packed quarter-final against Anna Kournikova at Eastbourne's Direct Line Insurance Championships.

Graf normally keeps her emotions in check. But she exploded as yesterday's showdown with teenager Kournikova moved towards a gripping climax in the third set.Seething at what she considered to be one bad call too many, Graf spoke on centre court to the women's tour director Brenda Perry.

The former world No. 1 later revealed: "I was asking to get the umpires changed. She said they could only change one.I can't recall ever asking that. There were too many bad calls. You accept a few, that happens on grass, but not that many.It's just frustrating. You have a professional approach and you expect that from umpires as well."

It was an uncharacteristic outburst by Graf and Kournikova admitted: "I was a little bit surprised by the way she reacted to those calls.I think there were also some calls which should have gone my way."

The rumpus overshadowed a titanic two-hour tussle, Kournikova battling back after Graf took the first set tie-break 7-4.

The injury-plagued German struggled with her serve and was unhappy with her own form, although she paid tribute to her 17-year-old Russian rival.
" I had my chances, but I didn't take them," she said. "Anna really went for some good shots. She took more risks than I did, approached very well and really played a good match. I played tentatively at times. I didn't really go for my forehand and I didn't really step into the ball, which I'm not happy about.
I haven't played a top player for a while and it felt from the beginning of the match that it wasn't as smooth."

Steffi's strop wasn't the only drama. Kournikova dashed to hospital for an X-ray on her right hand after falling midway through the final set.

She has dropped out of the doubles but is fit to play in the semi-finals of the singles today.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:36 AM   #4
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Re: Eastbourne

I went to the Eastbourne final in 85 & 86. Although I am not certain I didn't go other years too. The first year I was hoping to see Evert vs Navratilova, but Kathy Jordan knocked ever out in a windswept semi final and so I saw Martina thrash Kathy for the title. The next year Martina beat Helena Sukova for the title. It was always really windy there and I think the players really struggled to cope with that. There was also some bickering between Martina and Jo Durie going on when they played the doubles final. Jo really used to play up her "Britishness" which always seemed to annoy Martina. I remember they traded some barbed remarks at the trophy ceremony after Shriver and Martina beat Durie and Ann Kioymura for the title. It's a great little tournament. Glad to see it's still going, but it's a shame so much of the top talent stays away/
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: Eastbourne

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the 1979 Final between Chris and Martina thorugh the Chris Evert site. What an incredible match! 13-11 in the 3rd to Chris, and the standard of play was high throughout. Chris even made an incredible stab volley winner, followed by an ace in the closing stages of the 3rd set.

Tracy and her mum were in the audience watching.

It is easily my favourite Chris & Martina match- I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Kornikova's defeat of Graf was certainly a shock to the system. I remember at the time likening it to capriati's defeat of Navratilova at Wimbeldon. Only difference is that Jennifer went on to be world no.1 and to take 3 GSs............

Last edited by BCP : Nov 2nd, 2006 at 12:13 PM.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Eastbourne

I remember watching a final with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario playing Martina Navratilova, and while I can't remember who won the first set, Arantxa was up a break playing very aggressive, serve-and-volley tennis, and forcing the great champion to pass her, which she was obviously having difficulty doing regularly. Then, just when she should've have kept going with the winning game plan, Arantxa reverted to her usual baseline play, and Martina, being the astout on-court observer she was, grabbed the match by the you-know-whats and took it to her opponent. It's beyond me why so many girls get so tentative about net-rushing on grass, all because one passing shot gets by.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 02:37 PM   #7
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Re: Eastbourne

from memory, I believe Pam Shriver skipped Eastbourne for Biringham. I remember her winning there a lot. How did Hana do at Eastbourne?
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 03:13 PM   #8
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Re: Eastbourne

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Originally Posted by BCP View Post
from memory, I believe Pam Shriver skipped Eastbourne for Biringham. I remember her winning there a lot. How did Hana do at Eastbourne?
Pam was a regular at both, though she loved Birmingham the week before as she won several titles there.

Jeff, Martina won the match with Arantxa 6-4 6-4 that you're referring to.

The weather is usually a nightmare at Eastbourne for tennis. If it does stay dry and sunny there's normally a gale blowing in from the sea anyway. There's some good memories from this event, including the fact Seles lifted her only grass court title at Eastbourne.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 03:21 PM   #9
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Re: Eastbourne

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Originally Posted by BCP View Post
from memory, I believe Pam Shriver skipped Eastbourne for Biringham. I remember her winning there a lot. How did Hana do at Eastbourne?
I don't remember Hana doing well at Eastbourne except for a couple of times. If you look at her record, she was never one to put much stock in tournaments leading up to grand slams. She never won the Canadian, Italian, or German Opens. Nor did she win Eastbourne. The Aussie circuit seemed to be her exception.

I think she got to the finals in 1983 and lost to Martina. She also had a titanic tussle with Austin there (maybe in 1982?) when she was making her first comeback.

I remember her losing early in 1986 which was odd considering she'd just had a good French and would go on to the Wimbledon final. She lost early in 1987and then withdrew from Wimbledon.

I think it might have been 1983 also that Hana and Andrea Jaeger teamed up in doubles there. I'd love to see that. She was in the midst of some interesting partnerships at the time with Casals, Nagelson, and Ruzici before settling with Sukova and Khode for a while.

P.S. I've always wanted to see Sukova's 1987 Eastbourne matches vs. Chris and Martina. And Eastbourne and the Queens Cup were always tournaments that I wanted to visit.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:16 PM   #10
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Re: Eastbourne

Thanks HanaFanGA. I don't recall Hana doing well at Eastbourne at all. As you say, surprising given her Wimbeldon record. I also would have loved to have seen her and Andrea playing doubles..... only to see which one would put the other off her game first and to hear what they would have to say to each other about it!

Those 87 matches of Helena's v Chris and Martina- I assume she beat one in the SF and lost to the other in the final? What were the scores?

Poor old Helena. She really deserved to win at least 1 GS. On her day, she was one of the few players that could trouble both Chris and Martina.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 06:38 PM   #11
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Re: Eastbourne

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Originally Posted by BCP View Post

Those 87 matches of Helena's v Chris and Martina- I assume she beat one in the SF and lost to the other in the final? What were the scores?
SF: Sukova d Evert 4-6 6-4 8-6
F: Sukova d Navratilova 7-6 6-3

Quote:
Poor old Helena. She really deserved to win at least 1 GS. On her day, she was one of the few players that could trouble both Chris and Martina.
Well, it was more like at any given time, she could trouble one of the Big Two but not the other. I mean, look at the pattern of her Slam finals:

1984 AO: defeated Navratilova (#1), lost to Evert (#2)
1986 US: defeated Evert (#2), lost to Navratilova (#1)
1989 AO: defeated Navratilova (#2), lost to Graf (#1)
1993 US: defeated Sanchez-Vicario (#2), lost to Graf (#1)
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 08:29 PM   #12
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Re: Eastbourne

Quote:
Originally Posted by samn View Post
SF: Sukova d Evert 4-6 6-4 8-6
F: Sukova d Navratilova 7-6 6-3



Well, it was more like at any given time, she could trouble one of the Big Two but not the other. I mean, look at the pattern of her Slam finals:

1984 AO: defeated Navratilova (#1), lost to Evert (#2)
1986 US: defeated Evert (#2), lost to Navratilova (#1)
1989 AO: defeated Navratilova (#2), lost to Graf (#1)
1993 US: defeated Sanchez-Vicario (#2), lost to Graf (#1)
Thanks for the Eastbourne info Sam. I don't think that I knew helena did the back toback there. Probably the only time in her career she achieved it.........
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:17 PM   #13
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Re: Eastbourne

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Originally Posted by BCP View Post
Thanks for the Eastbourne info Sam. I don't think that I knew helena did the back toback there. Probably the only time in her career she achieved it.........
Yes, and she joined a very elite group of players (Goolagong, Austin, Mandlikova, and Graf) who beat Evert and Navratilova in the same tournament.
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #14
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Re: Eastbourne

Quote:
SF: Sukova d Evert 4-6 6-4 8-6
I head she hit 20+ double faults in that match, and winning it.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #15
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Re: Eastbourne

2 things which I really loved at Eastbourne, the 64 draw and the no final set tiebreak.
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