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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:25 AM   #1
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Bettina Bunge

How is it possible there is nothing here on maybe the best looking player of the late 70s-mid 80s? Maybe best of all-time? Too bad she couldn't break through and win a big event, that would have been great for the game. Absolutely gorgeous.

http://www.geocities.com/gardnergeoff/bunge.jpg

Last edited by WTT#1Fan : Jan 23rd, 2009 at 06:16 AM. Reason: add pic
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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Not only now, WTTfan, when Bettina was top 15 in 1987 and suddenly didn't play any tournament in 88 no one knew what was going on. She had lots of talent and beautiful technique, but was mentally far behind the players that were at the very top. 1982 was her best year, being no.6 in the world, winning a few tournaments and being a Wimbledon semifinalist. She was top 10 from 81 to 83 and top 15 from 86 to 87.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Robert1
Not only now, WTTfan, when Bettina was top 15 in 1987 and suddenly didn't play any tournament in 88 no one knew what was going on. She had lots of talent and beautiful technique, but was mentally far behind the players that were at the very top. 1982 was her best year, being no.6 in the world, winning a few tournaments and being a Wimbledon semifinalist. She was top 10 from 81 to 83 and top 15 from 86 to 87.

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I remember her playing well enough to reach a bunch of quarterfinals in 86 and 87. I think she lost in the quarters to Martina at Wimby in 87. But I only got to see her a few times back in 82 and 83.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:04 PM   #4
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It was 1986 when she lost to Martina, Hanafan, that was Bettina's comeback period after 2 rather weak years in 84 and 85. For a player that was in the top 15 for about 5 years her Grand Slam record isn't good: a Wimbledon semi and a quarter, no other quarterfinal. She's got a good Federation Cup record though and played a good doubles with Eva Pfaff. The best period of her career might be from January to April 1983: Constantly being at least in the quarterfinals at any tournament, wins over Kohde, Sukova, Turnbull, Barker, and Bassett. The weakest streak was late 85: In 6 tournaments in a row she won only 1 match.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 04:58 PM   #5
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Beautiful girl, nice strokes (kind of like a poor man's Goolagong) but just didn't have the head for going to the top. Defeated before walking on the court against Evert and Navratilova. You could see it in her eyes, she didn't think she could win. Also from the Carling Bassett school of rich daddy players.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:20 PM   #6
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Bunge was enormously talented, but suffered from injuries. I once read a report that she was an alcoholic as well, and she had to have some ear surgery at one point to save her hearing. I like the poor man's Goolagong reference.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:31 PM   #7
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I don't, I found Bunge much more enjoyable to watch, and I don't only mean her looks. I heard that alcoholic thing too, where do you know that from, Jem?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:25 PM   #8
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Bettina had a lovely fluid game to watch, though she never really had "it" and was always going to be a quarter finalist / last 16 type of player at tournaments though of course that is very respectable.

She was a glamour figure until she got a dodgy perm around '85 I think and I remember one wimbledon the UK tabloid papers focussing on her as she was rumoured to be dating John McEnroe. She was happy to play along for the publicity.
Her record against the elite of her time indicates she was never a real threat. I mean anyone who played Hana multiple times ought to have picked up one win - Hana couldn't have concentrated for every match they played

The head to heads with the elite of her time :

Navratilova 17 Bunge 0
Evert 13 Bunge 0
Mandlikova 15 Bunge 0
Jaeger 2 Bunge 0
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:25 PM   #9
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I couldn't stand Bettina Bunge! She always seemed to play her best against players I liked (like Sue Barker and Kathy Rinaldi). I saw several of her matches live in her heyday and I always felt people made too much of the Goolagong-comparisons even at the time - and also about her attractiveness! My abiding memory of her is that awful perm that someone mentioned! I also thought she was a petulant player - one of my favourite tennis memories to this day is at Wimbledon in 1981, when although seeded she ran into an inspired Sue Barker in the second round. Sue managed some revenge for some earlier losses and came back from 0-3 in the final set to win. Bunge got really rattled by the crowd's understandable support for Sue, and got more and more uptight, finally screaming and slamming a ball high out of the court, and as the match was played on Court Three, it probably landed several courts away!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:05 PM   #10
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Mirjanafan, you've made a big mistake : Bettina has beaten Hana in straight sets at the '82 Toray open in Tokyo, september 1982, SF...
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Old Apr 25th, 2004, 09:42 AM   #11
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An article in World Tennis magazine around mid to late 1987 (about the unglamorous aspects of womens tennis) alluded that Bettina herself admitted to having a few beers basically as a realise from the pressures and frustations of the tour.From what i remember about the article,it appeared photo's she saw of herself from the 86 Fed Cup made her rethink about her priororities to the extent she quit drinking.She had gotten out of shape and saw it in the pictures.
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Old Apr 25th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #12
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An article in World Tennis magazine around mid to late 1987 (about the unglamorous aspects of womens tennis) alluded that Bettina herself admitted to having a few beers basically as a realise from the pressures and frustations of the tour.From what i remember about the article,it appeared photo's she saw of herself from the 86 Fed Cup made her rethink about her priororities to the extent she quit drinking.She had gotten out of shape and saw it in the pictures.
I've still got that issue! "It Ain't All Glamour" is from the June 1987 issue, and Bettina says she'd begun having 'too many beers here and there. That kind of thing slowed me down in a couple of matches...the odd beer here and there was getting out of hand'. She also gave up caffeine: 'I used to drink coffee all the time. No wonder I felt uptight, nervous or irritable with all that poison in my system' - as I said earlier, I always thought Bunge was a really petulant, uptight player - maybe this was why!
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Old Apr 25th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #13
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I heard she had to quit vs. Mandlikova in the Fed Cup final 83 in the middle of the match because she simply couldn't stand the pressure of having to win the match any longer.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 04:57 AM   #14
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My fondest memeory of Bettina is from the year end Virginia Slims Championships in 1987 against Sabatini and it includes some of the most incredible points. Gaby won in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 if I recall but Bettina came up with some amazing shots, one where she delicately scooped up a backhand half volley from her shoestrings to save a match point.

The video tape also includes some other terrific matches from the Championship including Hanika-Evert (Sylvia won), Hanika-Reggi, Hanika-Graf, and Sabatini-Navratilova (Gaby won in a huge upset that catapulted her into the game's elite).
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Old May 8th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #15
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I don't, I found Bunge much more enjoyable to watch, and I don't only mean her looks. I heard that alcoholic thing too, where do you know that from, Jem?
Please see the reference to the World Tennis magazine article. That must be where I'm picking up this memory. I stand corrected -- a few beers is quite a bit different than an alcoholic, although one is too many for my taste!
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