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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #1
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1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

1976 was memorable for many reasons...

Billie Jean King and Margaret Court were seemingly gone for good in singles..though Billie jean played doubles and World Team Tennis.

Were the middle of the pack ready to mount a challenge?

#1 challenger Navratilova started out the year with a bang, but ended it in a mess, crying on court after being upset at the US Open.

Tried and true Virginia Wade had her moments, but inevitably ran into buzzsaws Evert and Goolagong.

Bright young things Sue Barker and Dianne Fromholz livened up the odd event or two. Sue won the French and Fromholtz stunned Evert once.

Oddest newsmaker of the year was Renne Richards, a transexual who sued for her right to play. By year's Richards won her case, though she was still limited to events in the United States. The controversy of the year would carry over well into 1977.

When it was all said and done though two names dominated everything.

Chrissie and Evonne.

Evert only lost a grand total of 4 times all year and took every major event she entered except for the Virginia Slims Championships.


TennisFan Put together a great thread on 1976 VIRGINIA SLIMS RESULTS at:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=103198

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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

The Renee Richards story dominated much of the summer. Richards wasn't able to enter the US Open in 1976-events like the one at Orange were not considered part of the bigger women's tour. Notice Gladys Heldman was an early backer on Renee. Later in the year Heldman organized a series of events. When the WTA told her she couldn't allow Richards to play Heldman told them to take their santion and shove it-thus at least two Hawaian events in December (Renee won one event) were non-santioned.

September 06, 1976

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...1523/index.htm

She'd Rather Switch—and Fight

Transsexual Dr. Renee Richards didn't win the Tennis Week Open, but she won some friends and influenced some people

Ray Kennedy


At first, it seemed like a put-on. A transsexual tennis player? A 6'2" former football end in frilly panties and gold hoop earrings pounding serves past defenseless girls? A 42-year-old Yale graduate, Navy veteran, devoted father and respected eye surgeon reaching the semifinals of the $60,000 Tennis Week Open in South Orange, N.J. and demanding to play in the U.S. Open at Forest Hills? In women's singles? Who ever heard of such a thing?
In the past month, practically everyone. And certainly last week there was no escaping the extraordinary spectacle of Renee Richards, nee Richard Raskind, and her assertion that "anatomically, functionally, socially, emotionally and legally I am a female." While conceding that her action might be "mind-boggling," Richards proclaims that she is embarked on a crusade for human rights, a quest "to prove that transsexuals as well as other persons who are fighting social stigmas can hold their heads up high."

If tennis seems a rather fragile or inappropriate vehicle for carrying such a weighty message, it nonetheless provides, as Richards is well aware, the kind of exposure that attracts disciples. After one match last week, Dr. Roberto Granato, the urologist who performed the "sex-reassignment operation" on Richards a year ago, rushed onto the court, embraced his former patient and exclaimed, "Oh, Renee, this is going to help so many people!"

Not everyone is so enthralled. When the Richards controversy surfaced, the U.S. Tennis Association countered by requiring that all women entrants in the U.S. Open take a sex chromosome test, a standard that Richards rejects as "inconclusive at best." USTA President Stan Malless says, "It's all a joke to some people, but it really isn't funny. Everything's being publicized from Dr. Richards' point of view, and I'll bet she/he has a book half written already. Publicity-wise you couldn't ask for more."

The revelation that Richards' Hollywood lawyer, Greg Bautzer, is indeed peddling a book by Richards does not enhance her crusader's image. Still, the fact that there is a body of opinion, both legal and medical, that not only supports her stand but also could have an impact on all sports, dissuades any inclination to dismiss Richards as a self-promoting exhibitionist.
At the Orange Lawn Tennis Club last week, reactions to Richards' crusade seemed to ricochet about like volleys across the sex barrier, veering from astonishment to suspicion, sympathy, resentment and, more often than not, utter confusion.

Caroline Stoll, a tiny 15-year-old who agreed to play in the Tennis Week Open after 25 of the 32 women players dropped out to protest Richards' appearance, got closest to the nitty-gritty. While walking off the court after losing to Richards in three sets, she looked up at her towering opponent and boldly asked, "Are you in it for the money?" "That's absurd, Caroline," said Renee. "I make $100,000 a year as an eye surgeon. Would you change your sex for $1 million?"

Later, after joining Richards at a press conference, the teen-ager voiced the one general sentiment that prevailed throughout the tournament. "Wow!" she exclaimed. "Did you see those forearms? That's where she gets all that power and spin on her serves. It's unfair."

How unfair was obviously very much the issue (how many would have bothered to complain if Richards had been a transsexual midget with a gimpy backhand?), yet it was an issue that many women players seemed reluctant to contemplate. After all, as the foremost champions of equal rights in sports, how would it look if the WTA firebrands suddenly changed their rallying cry from YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY to YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR, RENEE? The usually outspoken Billie Jean King, for one, wasn't speaking out on this subject; incommunicado all week, her silence said more about the sensitivity of the subject than any words could convey. For one thing, if she did comment adversely on Richards' intrusion, some cynic would surely point out that Bobby Riggs' sex did not prevent King from playing him for the right amount of money.

Those WTA women who did speak were often in sharp disagreement. "By law, Renee is a woman," said Gladys Heldman, the founding mother of the women's pro circuit. "She has all the rights of a woman, except in tennis. Should she have to compete against men? Of course not. Then what's she supposed to do?" Rosie Casals countered, "As far as I'm concerned, Richards is still physically a man and that gives her a tremendous and unfair advantage. This has got to be stopped. Tennis is my profession, and this is a threat to it."

Richards would rather listen to Ilie Nastase. "That crazy maniac Romanian said it all," she declared. What Nastase said was, "If she wears a dress, why not? Now you see how strong the woman players are. She could be their mother, yet they complain. They're afraid."

Partly, it is a fear of the unknown. Since 1972, when Richards was ranked sixth nationally in the men's 35-and-over division, her weight has dropped from 180 to 147 pounds, mostly because of a loss of muscle. Though the female hormone, estrogen, that she takes has further reduced her strength, quickness and endurance, no one can accurately assess how much and to what extent her game has been diminished. Gene Scott, chairman of the Tennis Week Open and the doctor's frequent opponent over the past 15 years, says, "Basically, Dick Raskind never played the power game as a man. But the motion of her serve has changed now, and her mobility is nowhere near what it was."
That was achingly clear in the opening round when Richards shut out a jittery Cathy Beene in the first set, but then, panting and perspiring in the 90° heat, had to ward off near exhaustion to win 6-2. Against Caroline Stoll, Richards was much crisper in her attack, but seemed to occasionally dally before she finished off the youngster 6-2, 0-6, 6-1.

The suspicion that Richards was holding back, playing only as hard as she needed to, was confirmed in many players' minds when she met Kathy Harter in the third round. Once ranked fifth in the U.S., the lanky Californian pressed Richards from the outset, and the doctor responded with her strongest shots, a crackling topspin backhand, a deadly volley and, when she needed it, a flat, hard serve. And Richards needed it, especially in the second-set tie breaker; she finally won 6-4, 7-6.

Watching the match, Linda Thomas, one of the quarterfinalists, said that she had been reading up on transsexualism to better understand the issues—and her possible opponent. After watching Richards hit one of several backhand zingers down the line, she said, "What woman have you ever seen hit a shot like that? Each day she comes out with something new. She's definitely not showing us all she's got."
But in the semifinals, when Richards had to give all that she had, it was not enough. In a duel in the sun that lasted more than two hours, her invincibility gradually drained away like a melting Popsicle. Deftly working her from side to side and setting her up for drop shots, 17-year-old Lea Antonopolis figured that the quarter of a century in age difference would take its toll. And so it did, as the score reflected: 6-7, 6-3, 6-0. Leaving the court to a stirring ovation, Richards was suddenly just one of the girls. That she was not even one of the better girls was reconfirmed the next day when 18-year-old Marise Kruger, a South African who has never been heralded as the next Chrissie or Billie Jean, blew Antonopolis aside in the finals 6-3, 6-2.

After the Antonopolis match, Richards denied that she had ever had an advantage over the other players in the tournament—although allowing that if she were a 22-year-old transsexual, "Then you'd have a very tough thing to deal with, but my feeling is that that's her advantage and she's entitled to it. All good athletes have some physical superiority. That's what makes champions—advantages."
Richards' childhood advantage was that she grew up playing tennis in Forest Hills, N.Y., "the only place," she ironically notes, "that doesn't recognize my rights." In high school she played end on the football team, swam the backstroke and was the leading hitter and pitcher on the baseball team. "Once," she recalls, "after I pitched a no-hitter and then relieved in another game and struck out the side on nine pitches, the pro scouts were knocking my door down."

Yet as long as she can remember, Richards says, "I wanted to be a girl. I dressed up in my mother's dresses and when I went to bed I'd pray to be a girl." At Yale, where she played on the tennis team, Richards says she became expert at "overcompensating to conform to society's image of the macho male."

A graduate of the University of Rochester Medical School in 1959, Richards set up practice in Manhattan. She continued playing tennis, winning the New York State clay-court title in 1964. Two years later she went to Casablanca because "that was the only place they were doing sex-change surgery then." But dissatisfied with the medical standards there, she left and lived in Europe as a woman for one year—a preparation that is required by most sex clinics.

After returning to New York, Richards married a model in 1970 and fathered a son. "The marriage was a kind of backlash thing," she says. "My wife and I were narcissistic mirror images of one another." Shortly after their divorce last year, Richards underwent the sex-reassignment operation in New York and, after a month of convalescence, returned to her practice. By day, wearing a wig and a suit, she was Richard Raskind, by night Renee Richards. "It was not easy," she says. "Not easy."

Discarding her past, Richards moved to Newport Beach, Calif. in February, joined the John Wayne Tennis Club and settled into a new life. Things went smoothly until some tennis friends encouraged her to enter a tournament in La Jolla. After she won easily, a local newscaster checked out reports that a "mannish" woman had invaded the tournament, and a call to the University of Rochester blew her cover. Richards recalls, "I said to myself, 'O.K., now damn it, they're putting my private life out in the street. I'm going to pursue every right I possess to prove I'm a woman and a tennis player.' "

And so she did. Inspired by the letters she began receiving from transsexuals, she mounted a crusade for "all ostracized persons." While the WTA did not ban Richards from the Tennis Week Open, it withdrew its sanction and encouraged its players to stage a walkout lest their participation be interpreted as approval in the event of a lawsuit. Tournament Director Scott, who as a lawyer had gotten "gynecological certification" that Richards is a woman, scoffs, "The women players are always talking about sex discrimination but when it comes to a real issue they run and hide. If we followed them we'd still be reading by candlelight."

Though Richards says that she will take legal action only as a last resort, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment may do the job for her. In fact, new developments in sex research also threaten the validity of the chromosome test used by the USTA as well as in the Olympics. "We're finding that sex determination is a lot more complicated than we thought," says John Anderson, the U.S. Olympic doctor.
What these developments bode for the future of sports is anybody's guess. Short of holding a Transsexual Open, Dr. John Money of the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins Medical Center goes so far as to suggest, "We may be fast approaching a time when women's tennis as well as other sports will have to be divided into weight classes, just as in boxing and wrestling."

For the moment, though, Renee Richards is in a class by herself. Before returning to Newport Beach last week, she avowed, "I'm going to keep playing in as many major tournaments as I can, including the Australian Open in December. But regardless of how I do, I know that I've already made my point. I've won that game and now I can go home a happy woman."
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

Renne at Orange, August of 1976.

Image from pro.corbis.com

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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

Evonne drew first blood in 1976 by winning the much devalued Australian Open and then the Virginia Slims Championships. The Slims title was the first leg of the so-called "Triple Crown", which comprised the Slims, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

A measure of the event's importance was Evonne's SI cover for wiining it:

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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

The article from SI:

April 26, 1976
A Net Gain For Concentration

Crediting a blissful marriage, Evonne Goolagong has abandoned her infamous 'walkabouts' in favor of knocking about former nemesis Chris Evert, who once again bit the Sporteze in a rouser of a match

Joe Jares


With Billie Jean King and Margaret Court both in semi-retirement, Evonne Goolagong and Chris Evert are easily the two best women tennis players in the world. During the last few years they had met 26 times, with Evert holding a six-match edge. But last week Goolagong went into the Virginia Slims Championship in Los Angeles with 15 straight match wins, one of them over Evert earlier this month in Philadelphia. Now, as they faced each other across the net, the question to be settled was, who is really No. 1?

MONDAY
Never mind that among the flags hanging from the rafters of the Los Angeles Sports Arena there was one from Austria but none from Australia. Evonne Goolagong, of the Barellan, Australia Goolagongs, who was the tournament's No. 1 seed, merely kidded officials about the goof. Never mind that on the Sporteze carpet used for the matches balls were slowed up as if they were bouncing off a surface of green Cream Of Wheat. And never mind that the overhead lights at one end of the court made the server want to confess all her crimes or apply suntan lotion.

All irrelevant. What actually mattered, and what might affect the outcome of the $150,000 tournament, was that Goolagong was happy. She used to travel the circuit with the gruff tennis teacher who discovered her, Vic Edwards, but now she roams the world with her husband of 11 months, Roger Cawley, and the change in her has been startling.

People on the Slims tour say that these days Goolagong (that is still her court name) is actually paying attention when she's out there with a racket in her hands. No more of the infamous "walkabouts," in which this richly talented woman would suddenly lose her concentration and start wondering what flavor of ice cream that man in the front row was eating. And no more halfhearted practices. Cawley, once a junior player in England, is her practice partner now and she enjoys the workouts. It has paid off. This season Goolagong won five regular Slims tournaments (Chicago, Akron, Dallas, Boston and Philadelphia), clinched the Silver Ginny trophy for most points on the circuit and, according to one Slimsite, was "unbeatable."

And what of Chris Evert, who until recently had defeated Evonne in eight straight matches? Well, she had won four regular-season tournaments (Washington, D.C., Detroit, Sarasota and San Francisco), but she lost in the first round in Boston after taking a layoff, and then was beaten in straight sets by Goolagong in the Philadelphia final. So Evert went into Los Angeles as the second seed and a bit shaky in the confidence department.

All the seeds advanced the first night, Evert over Lesley Hunt, Virginia Wade over Betty Stove, Rosemary Casals over Terry Holladay and, in a battle of European teen-agers, Britain's Sue Barker, 19, over the U.S.S.R.'s Natasha Chmyreva, 17. Chmyreva is almost certainly a future champion if her national association will give her some freedom, but that is unlikely. Her older countrywoman, Olga Morozova, spends four weeks on tour, is called home for a month, tours for a month—bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic until she feels like an Aeroflot stewardess working double overtime.

TUESDAY

Apparently there had indeed been too much bouncing for Morozova. She was the only seeded player to be eliminated, beaten by Francoise Durr, the Algeria-born Frenchwoman who did not take a lesson until she was 19 and consequently has a limp-wristed backhand and a pittypat serve that makes purists cover their eyes. Marita Redondo, third-seeded Martina Navratilova and Goolagong all won.

Even at this point nobody in the arena had much doubt that Goolagong and Evert would be the finalists on Saturday. The Czech expatriate, Navratilova, had not played a tournament in a month because she hurt her left ankle while tossing a football around. She was also suffering from tendinitis in her left wrist (she is left-handed) and she was an easy 20 pounds overweight.

WEDNESDAY
Round-robin play started in both the Gold group headed by Goolagong and the Orange group headed by Evert. Goolagong turned out to be not quite as untouchable as some people thought. Redondo, a 20-year-old from National City, Calif. with a ripping forehand, took a set from the favorite—the first in 17 matches—but was done in by 51 unforced errors and five double faults.

"I just sort of feel glad that I've actually had a long match for a change," said Goolagong.
The most exciting tennis of the night was seen by practically nobody. Sue Barker, 5'5" and about 110 pounds, beat countrywoman Virginia Wade for the first time in her life, but the match lasted until 1:53 a.m. Thursday and went to five match points. Barker is a blonde pixie, the freshest thing out of Devonshire since cream, yet she hits her forehand with the power of a stevedore.

THURSDAY
Wade managed to lose her second match of the day, to Casals, and with it any chance of making the final, but the best match again involved Barker, who forced Evert into three sets before Chris won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

"I felt kind of numb out there and that was a bad sign," said Evert, "so I had to start psyching myself up. I tried to get very mad. I have a tendency to sometimes dislike my opponents. That's part of the killer instinct. I want to beat them. With Sue it's tough to do that. She's not the type you want to hate out there."

Evert is somewhat of a loner on the tour. For a while she hung around with Navratilova, showing the teen-age Czech around America so to speak. But, Slims people say, that stopped when Navratilova beat her in straight sets in the Houston final. It was understandably difficult for Evert to build up a killer instinct when a pal was across the net. Her best friend is Kristien Kemmer Shaw, who isn't nearly the threat that Navratilova is. Evert spent her spare time in L.A. with Shaw and her husband. Or she stayed alone in her room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, tournament headquarters. Her relationship with ex-fiance Jimmy Connors is still in limbo.

"One thing I have learned is that it is tough to have success without someone to share it with," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I would like to have someone to share everything with, but still retain my independence. In the future I think I will have a really nice security with someone, but right now I don't want that."

Goolagong's 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cynthia Doerner was her 16th in a row without losing a set. The last set, and the last match, she lost was in San Francisco six weeks before, to Evert.

She said she was "not really interested in men now. I have better things to do than go out with men I meet at tournaments who I'm not really attracted to."

Sitting in a room overlooking the palms of Beverly Hills on the afternoon before the Barker match Chris discussed the troubling notion that maybe she is losing her concentration at the very same time that Goolagong is gaining hers.

"I've thought about that," she said. "She's won four tournaments in a row and she's really starting to concentrate a lot more now. Before she never concentrated. On the other hand I've been brought up to concentrate and part of my reputation is based on my intense concentration.

"I really think it's mentally very hard to keep up this playing every week, and I think one factor is I've just had tennis, tennis, tennis my whole life and now I'm starting to branch out in different areas and it is taking away a little bit of my concentration on the court. So I have to learn just to put everything into those two hours that I'm spending in a match.

"I've signed with the Phoenix Racquets of World Team Tennis. I went to visit Kristien last summer for two weeks after Wimbledon and I stayed in Phoenix and traveled with the team to some away matches and practiced with them, just so I could get a feeling of what I was about to get into. I loved it, I really loved it. The only bad thing will be the traveling, but I'll get to have my own place in Phoenix.

"I like Phoenix. It's warm and it's small. San Francisco had the rights to me and were coming down and talking to my dad and myself, but they just wanted too much, too much of my time. It's a big city and they had big ideas. I wanted more of a low-key city, and Phoenix seemed to fit.

"But I think probably the team itself is most important. You know you're going to be living with the people so you have to get along with them, and I got along beautifully with everyone on the team."

FRIDAY
The Cawleys arrived in Los Angeles a week before the championship, hoping to bask in abundant sunshine. They rented an apartment at the Marina City Club in Marina del Rey, but they didn't do much lolling in the sun. They wandered about instead, visiting Disneyland, Marineland and Universal Studios. They hit a number of different restaurants but returned several times to Chianti, a fashionable Italian place on Melrose Avenue where Goolagong always ordered veal.

Playing the first match for the third straight night, Evonne beat Navratilova as expected and was out on the town with Roger while the matches continued into the evening.

"I get out more than I used to," she said. "When you travel by yourself you usually just stay in your hotel room because you can't really go anyplace alone. Most of the girls go back to their rooms and watch TV and it is pretty boring. But Roger and I go to the movies, try different restaurants and sightsee. It's so much easier.

"You always have to have somebody close to you. Otherwise you go berserk. It's much easier for me that we don't have a home. I don't look forward to getting back anywhere. I don't get homesick for anywhere. I just think it's very important being happy on the tour and I find I'm much more relaxed about it now than I ever have been. When I finish playing I seem to be able to forget the match very quickly. We just get away from it and enjoy ourselves."

Evert did not have it so easy in her last round-robin match, being extended to three sets by Wade. Both women complained about the court, which Wade called "stodgy."

"It's very hard to put a ball away on this court," said Evert. "I was hitting with my backhand as hard as I could and Virginia didn't have any problems with it. Usually that's how I win a point—hit a backhand hard and place it. But it's really been tough."

SATURDAY
To satisfy CBS, the Goolagong-Evert final was taped at 11 a.m., about the time they had been getting out of bed the previous five mornings. There was more at stake in this match than pride and prize money. Two gifted tennis players faced each other across the net, that was evident. But the fans probably didn't realize that they were also watching two conglomerates scratch and shove for better position in the marketplace. The Wall Street Journal should have had a reporter at the press table right next to the fellow from Tennis U.S.A.

Goolagong is the touring pro for the Hilton Head Racquet Club and endorses Cole of California tennis dresses, Dunlop rackets, Romika tennis shoes (in the U.S. and Britain), Dunlop-made tennis shoes (in Australia), Samsonite luggage and King Koil mattresses. Evert is under contract to the chichi Ford modeling agency in New York and endorses Puritan tennis dresses, Wilson rackets, Converse tennis shoes and Borden's cheese. An Evert cosmetics endorsement is imminent.

Goolagong was the obvious favorite of the crowd. Evert might have been seeded second, and ranked second on the 1976 prize-money list, but to the fans Goolagong was the underdog. Evert has followed the same path as Billie Jean King, from amazing teen-ager to queen of the game, at least in the fans' minds, and they enjoy seeing her dethroned. After all, cute little Chrissie is a mature 21 now and has won $703,262 the last three years.

Evert started out tenaciously, like a bulldog refusing to let go of the postman's ankle. Six times in the first game she had break point on Goolagong, who tried desperately to shake her off but couldn't. On the seventh Evert finally broke, then held her serve and led 2-0. Evert fans—and there were quite a few—must have settled back in their seats at that point and figured that their heroine was going to win her fourth Virginia Slims championship in five tries. Instead, Goolagong won six of the next seven games to take the first set 6-3.

The second set began with the same pattern. Evert was broken in the first game but shrugged it off, calmly sipped tea during the change of sides and determinedly moved to a 4-1 lead, once unleashing a patented Evert Grade A backhand passing shot down the line. But Goolagong was playing beautifully, too, floating about the Sporteze as if it were a meadow and she was dancing in Les Sylphides, gracefully hitting forehands and backhands with accuracy and power. She won four straight games, took a 5-4 lead and was serving for the set, for the match and for all the chips, marbles and mattress sales.


But Evert is not a bad athlete either, blessed as she is with the kind of determination one normally associates with star marathon runners and middle linebackers. She had to break to avoid losing the match, and that is what she did, thanks in part to another laser-beam backhand down the line and a Goolagong forehand into the net that the players would call "loose," meaning sloppy or careless. Evert held, broke again and won the set 7-5 to even the match.

For the most part the third set was Goolagong's all the way. She served nicely and was never in too much danger of being broken. Some of the rallies were exciting thrust-and-parry, teeter-on-the-brink tennis that elicited huzzahs from the In-person crowd, which included the usual Hollywood hackers—Johnny Carson, Lloyd Bridges, Bill Cosby, Robert Shaw. Evert had to struggle a bit to hold her serve and finally was broken in the seventh game. In the ninth game, with Evert behind 3-5 and serving, she staved off two match points but finally succumbed on a Goolagong overhead smash.

Ripley's Believe It or Not should note that Evonne actually had concentrated for a full hour and 57 minutes in winning her 20th match in a row, the only lapses coming when she twice started to serve from the wrong side, which didn't embarrass her at all. She explained that she let others worry about the score while she thought about what she had just done or was just about to do.

"I thought this was one of the best matches we've had because both of us played well consistently right up to the last point," said Evert. "We've had matches where it's gone three sets, but the sets that I've won, Evonne just wasn't playing as well, and the sets that she won, I wasn't playing as well.
"We always seem to have close matches. I think Evonne definitely has gotten more consistent. That's where I was able to beat her before, by trying to outsteady her, but you can't outsteady her anymore because her ground strokes are so good. So I think I'm going to have to develop a better net game and a better serve."

Goolagong, winner of the Australian and the Slims and the likely favorite at Wimbledon this summer, was off to her greatest start ever, better even than 1971, the year she won Wimbledon.
And she couldn't leave center stage without another plug for wedded bliss: "I've never worked harder really," she said. "Everything's paid off. I put everything into my practices and I think my husband's given me a lot of confidence."

Richer by $40,000, the Cawleys went off to the marina to change for dinner.

Last edited by Rollo : Feb 10th, 2009 at 10:48 PM.
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

LOL at this Evert quote fabout Barker from the article:

Quote:
"I felt kind of numb out there and that was a bad sign," said Evert, "so I had to start psyching myself up. I tried to get very mad. I have a tendency to sometimes dislike my opponents. That's part of the killer instinct. I want to beat them. With Sue it's tough to do that. She's not the type you want to hate out there."
Interesting too about Evert distancing herself from Martina when the Czech became a "threat".
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 02:33 AM   #7
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

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But Evert is not a bad athlete either, blessed as she is with the kind of determination one normally associates with star marathon runners and middle linebackers.
Does anyone else remember young Evert once referring to herself early on when fresh on the tour as a slow white girl? I seem to remember a comment like that from her, but then her dad did an interview around the same time where he said that Chris was a much better athlete than she gave herself credit for.

I thought that Chris was starting to push it a tad with her weight beginning in 1976 (which really got out of control starting in 1977 for a couple of years), but she was on top of it awesome that year -- especially in this match which she lost to Evonne. Of course, wasn't "Sporteze" known as Evert's worst surface?!!

I was able to see this 1976 LA match again recently, and was awed at how Evonne and Evert were all over the court, and I remember being a little surprised at how well Chris hit overheads and played net, and also reminded of how smooth Evonne was.

I seem to remember that joining the Phoenix Racquets of World Team Tennis (with their coach Tony Roche) is what Chris credited for helping her win Wimbledon that same year against Evonne (another tight match - although I don't remember the level of play at Wimbie being as high as the LA match). I remember Tony marveling how the other players went home while Chris wanted to stay and practice and improve at the net (they should have been working on her serve too!)! Those were the days when WTT was more than just a glorified several week exho. The downside to WTT -- Chris -- who at the time was the best clay courter could not play the French because of WTT!

How many GS did Chris and Martina (and others) miss because of either not playing the AO during the 70's, or being kept out of the FO due to WTT? For Chris I seem to think it was 11 AO's and 3 FO? I imagine both Chris and Martina's slam count would be higher today had they played those events...
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #8
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

What an absolutely wonderful read! I am at home with a bit of the flu today and that is just what I needed. A wonderful tennis story. Thanks Rollo! How I loved the Slims events of the 70s and WTT and all that. And the Evert - Goolagong rivlary is one of the most thrilling in tennis history IMO. The contrast of styles and the strategies and tactics employed by both just mesmerise me.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #9
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

Are the Round Robin results from the 76 Slims finals available? I really want to see Frankie's scores
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #10
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

How many GS did Chris and Martina (and others) miss because of either not playing the AO during the 70's, or being kept out of the FO due to WTT? For Chris I seem to think it was 11 AO's and 3 FO? I imagine both Chris and Martina's slam count would be higher today had they played those events...[/quote]




Something good came out of that exile. When Virginia Ruzici won the 1978 French and 30 grand, Richard Williams took note.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #11
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

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I imagine both Chris and Martina's slam count would be higher today had they played those events...Something good came out of that exile. When Virginia Ruzici won the 1978 French and 30 grand, Richard Williams took note.
That's not the tournament Richard had in mind. Yes, Ruzici won in 78, but the total prize money for the entire tournament was $35,000 -- the absolute minimum for inclusion in the Colgate Series. The $30,000 Richard heard about was a VS $150,000 tournament somewhere along the line!

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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 06:07 AM   #12
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

Another 1976 memory for you, Rollo. It was the year Maria Bueno returned. She beat Mona Guerrant and made the Wimbledon round of 16 as a 36-year-old. In honor of your thread, I watched her fourth-round match tonight against Sue Barker. It was not scintillating tennis, but I had to hand it to Sue. She gutted that one out, because she was playing dreadful. Her forehand was hit or miss. She was down 6-0, 2-0 when she ran off a string of nine straight games before Maria held for 1-3 in the third. Maria came close to getting the break and back on serve, but Sue held her nerve and polished off the former champion. Through most of the first set and a half, Barker could barely raise her head it seemed. She was a wreck, playing awful. I think it was her first time on Centre Court. Bueno certainly played the role of aging diva. Admittedly, I don't know much about Bueno. I've seen her play just two matches -- the one against Barker which NBC showed years ago and, I believe, the next year against BJK in the third round. The match was played in 106-degree heat, so the court played pretty fast. And Bueno certainly showed flashes of brilliance. She cracked off four or five aces and made some good volleys. But really, the match was entirely in Sue's hands. For example, I think the second set ended with five or six straight Barker forehand service returns that were either errors or winners, with Bueno doing nothing but starting the point with her serve. Sue never seemed settled, but she did get it together in time to snare the win. Does anyone remember if BJK and Bueno played on Centre Court the next year?
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #13
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

Also, in honor of this thread, I watched the 76 VS San Francisco final in which Evert beat Goolagong. I believe this was Chrissie's eighth or ninth straight win against Goolagong, including a win in the U.S. Open final in 75 and sound 6-0, 6-3 thrashing a few weeks earlier. When you consider all that, it's interesting to note that Goolagong would suddenly be considered the world's best player a few weeks later on the strength of just two consecutive wins against Chris in the VS of Philadelphia and the VS Championships. It just goes to show how fickle the "No. 1 ranking can seem" in the eyes of the media and public. Chrissie would rectify the situation over the summer at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, but looking back, what are your thoughts? Were folks wrong to annoint Goolagong the new No. 1, as they seemed to do?
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #14
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

1976 VS Championships: Los Angeles
First Round:
Goolagong def. Doerner 6-1, 6-2
Navratilova def. Meyer 6-3, 6-2
Redondo def. Jausovec 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Durr def. Morozova 7-6, 6-3
Evert def. Hunt 6-3, 6-3
Wade def. Stove 6-2, 6-4
Casals def. Holladay 7-6, 6-3
Barker def. Chymreva 4-6, 6-0, 6-3

Round Robin
Gold Group
Goolagong def. Redondo 6-4, 5-7, 6-4; Navratilova def. Durr 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Goolagong def. Durr 6-2, 6-2; Navratilova def. Redondo 6-3, 6-3; Goolagong def. Navratilova 6-4, 7-5; Redondo def. Durr 6-1, 6-3.

Orange Group:
Evert def. Casals 7-5, 6-4; Barker def. Wade 7-6, 7-6; Evert def. Barker 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; Casals def. Wade 6-1, 7-6; Evert def. Wade 6-3, 3-6, 6-1; Casals def. Barker 7-5, 6-4.

Final:
Goolagong def. Evert 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 06:27 AM   #15
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Re: 1976: The Ev and Chrissie Show

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I am at home with a bit of the flu today and that is just what I needed.
I'm at home, too, tennisvideos. Unfortunatly, I'm recovering from surgery yesterday to remove a mass from my scrotum. It turned out to be a hydroseal, which they drained and repaired. It's kept me off the tennis courts since the end of November, so I'm very glad to have it behind me. Of course, it's been a tough day, with some swelling and pain. Besides a vasectomy some years ago, this was my first time having surgery where they put you to sleep and put a tube down your throat. Not to mention the two-inch scar down my privates. Yikes! I'm just glad it wasn't serious. And I think tennis actually caused the problem -- running for a shot I should have just said the heck with and tearing something in the process! If I seemed a bit daft in my posts these last 24 hours, blame it on the painkillers!
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