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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:37 PM   #31
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1955

August 13 and 14

Venue: Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Louise Brough, Doris Hart, Dorothy Knode, Margaret du Pont (captain), Shirley Fry
Great Britain: Shirley Bloomer, Angela Mortimer, Angela Buxton, Patricia Ward

Non-playing British captain: Mary Halford
--

United States d. Great Britain 6-1

Louise Brough d. Shirley Bloomer (GBR) 6-2, 6-4
Angela Mortimer (GBR) d. Doris Hart 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
Brough/Margaret du Pont d. Bloomer/Patricia Ward (GBR) 6-3, 6-3
Dorothy Knode d. Angela Buxton (GBR) 6-3, 6-3
Brough d. Mortimer 6-0, 6-2
Hart d. Bloomer 7-5, 6-3
Shirley Fry/Hart d. Buxton/Mortimer 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 15, 1955

By Mary Hardwick

“Great Britain’s hopes of regaining the Wightman Cup were dispelled on the rain-soaked grass courts of the Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York, during the weekend of August 13 and 14, as a hurricane raged along the Atlantic Coast of North America. The storm broke on the Thursday night as the Davis Cup inter-zone final was due to start in Philadelphia. On Friday the courts at Westchester were awash and the British team went for final practice to the River Club (loose surface type of indoor courts) where many teams had sought refuge after days of August rain around New York.

“Play started on the Sunday, and in the worst conditions I had ever encountered for important grass court play; the fact that play was possible and the balls bounced at all was remarkable. Wimbledon champion Louise Brough opened the series against Shirley Bloomer, and it was soon apparent that Miss Brough was confident, composed and at the top of her form. Her big service, volleys, and sliced and chopped ground strokes were paying full dividends on the treacherous turf. She won the first set without much trouble. Miss Bloomer was obviously nervous, but showing grit and determination. She fought for every point in the second set up to 4-all when the Wimbledon champion broke Shirley’s serve for 5-4. She was behind 0-40 on her own serve, but served her way to victory at 6-2, 6-4.

“The second match saw the eclipse of Doris Hart; as excellently as Louise Brough took charge of the playing conditions, equally in reverse did Doris perform. Before play began we all felt that the conditions were right against Doris who for physical reasons can only play well when the foothold is sound. The score stood at 6-4 for Miss Mortimer, 6-1 for Doris and 5-2 to her in the final set.

“It had not been a good match, there were very few rallies, and points were won mostly on mistakes or uneven bounces. Suddenly Doris Hart gave away the next game for 5-3 and intended to serve out the match at 5-4, but she faltered, and Angela, sensing her chance, remained calm and resolute. With practically no rallies played it was suddenly match point at 6-5 for Great Britain, the most amazing finish to any match I have seen. After 5-2 Miss Hart had offered no resistance whatsoever.

“It was thrilling for Britain to be one match-all, but a strange way for it to happen. Then followed the doubles: Patricia Ward and Shirley Bloomer versus Louise Brough and Margaret du Pont. Great Britain led 3-0, hopes were high, but the great team of Brough and du Pont won six straight games for set at 6-3, followed in quick succession by another 6-3 set. The Americans played adequately but not spectacularly. They just got their first serves in and made sure they returned their opponents’, thus gaining an easy victory.

“Angela Buxton, playing in her first cup match in the USA, against Dorothy Knode (also playing her first cup match) opened the second day’s play. The American led 5-0 before Miss Buxton found any rhythm in her own game. She appeared to have no plan to counteract the sound and steady ground strokes of her opponent. She won three games in a row, but Mrs Knode was out at 6-3. With the second set very like the first – for neither player used the conditions to break up her opponent’s game –all the American had to do was to return the ball over the net and the English player would lose the point. I am sure Anglea Buxton will do better next time when she is able to concentrate on playing the ball.

“This match was followed by Louise Brough at the very peak of her game, overcoming Miss Mortimer, 6-0, 6-2. Louise played magnificently, as she had done on the first day. Her service, variation of spins, acute angles and supreme confidence exposed vividly the weakness of the English player’s service. Miss Mortimer served many double faults, and in the production of her backhand she was never able to swing the ball out of Louise’s reach as the Wimbledon champion sliced chopped and hit firmly into the corners so often to keep the ball bouncing only a few inches until it died into the wet turf.

“Shirley Bloomer did well against Doris Hart. She did not beat her as Angela had done, but in carrying her to 7-5, 6-3, it was perhaps the best match of the series. Shirley was 5-4, then 5-5 and 40-0 on her own service in the first set. They played evenly in the second to 3-3, and then the U.S. champion called on her experience to run out at 6-3. But the British girl is a real fighter, she is willing to scramble and moves well and easily around the court – and appreciates the first rule of lawn tennis: ‘get the ball over the net and into the court’. At the moment she has a decided forehand weakness. She balloons the ball out of court by drawing up and away too soon, but it appeared to me that she has the potential to become one of the best of our players at the present time.

“The final doubles saw Shirley Fry making her first tournament appearance this year. She was erratic, but had the energy and vitality to bolster a listless partner. Miss Buxton and Miss Mortimer reached 5-5 in the third set, but did not have the necessary finishing shots; and Miss Hart and Miss Fry won, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5; and America had won the Wightman Cup match by 6-1.
-----

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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:37 PM   #32
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1956

June 15, 16 and 18

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Louise Brough (captain), Shirley Fry, Dorothy Knode, Beverly Fleitz
Great Britain: Angela Mortimer, Angela Buxton, Shirely Bloomer, Patricia Ward

Non-playing British captain: Mary Halford
--

United States d. Great Britain 5-2

Louise Brough (USA) d. Angela Mortimer 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
Shirley Fry (USA) d. Angela Buxton 6-2, 6-8, 7-5
Beverly Fleitz (USA)/Dorothy Knode (USA) d. Shirley Bloomer/Patricia Ward 6-1, 6-4
Bloomer d. Knode 6-4, 6-4
Brough d. Buxton 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Mortimer d. Fry 6-4, 6-3
Brough/Fry d. Buxton/Mortimer 6-2, 6-2
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1956

Unsigned report

“For the first time since the war Britain’s women played the United States on level terms in the annual international match for the Wightman Cup. The first two singles matches fluctuated with the results of both in doubt up to the last point; and though America ultimately had the commanding lead of 3-0 by the evening, Great Britain won two singles on the second day and came within sight of victory in a third. At the end of a close encounter, the United States had forged ahead to win by five rubbers to two.

“Before the contest started those who study form closely expressed the view that the United States team was vulnerable for the first time for many years, and sure enough Great Britain was right in the fight from the start. Last year Miss Angela Mortimer had beaten Miss Doris Hart at 7-5 after being 2-5 down in the third set. Now history looked to be repeating itself when Miss Mortimer outplayed Miss Louise Brough off the ground and caught her at 5-all in third set after being 2-4 and 3-5 down. But Miss Brough’s fine serving came to her rescue in the pinch and she cut her errors from her ground-strokes to score a narrow win at 7-5.

“Miss Mortimer had started the match in fine style. She is developing a running forehand drive which she hits early and directs very close to the lines, going in to benefit from the volley openings he makes. But Miss Brough showed her volleying qualities as the reigning Wimbledon champion in raising her game after being a set and 1-2 down. Playing mainly from the back court, she soft-balled and sliced her way to 5-2 and levelled the match at 6-4. Then in the exciting third set she resisted Miss Mortimer’s pressure off the ground as she kept ahead up to 4-2 and 5-3, and found the necessary consistency to struggle out at 7-5.

“The match which followed between the second strings was even closer. Here again Great Britain assumed the role of attacker. Miss Angela Buxton served aggressively, hit well off the ground and was always searching for the opening at the net. After losing the first set her cause prospered so well that she got a lead at 5-4 in the second and persisted with a bold volleying game to level the match. In the final set Miss Buxton outplayed Miss Shirley Fry in the bouts of baseline driving and twice held match point at 5-3. On the second occasion her opponent’s return shot hit the very interception of the backhand line and the baseline, raising chalk. Miss Fry rallied in fine style at this reprieve and reeled off the points to win four games for match at 6-2, 6-8, 7-5.

“Miss Shirley Bloomer and Miss Patricia Ward did not find their 1955 form as a pair when facing Mrs Beverly Fleitz and Mrs Dorothy Knode. Their returns of service were unreliable and they were inclined to net their volleys. The American pair hit well off the ground and used the lob to good effect. On the run of the play their consistency rather than any individual brilliance earned them the match.

“Incessant rain caused the second day’s play to be postponed from the Saturday to the Monday, June 18, when Miss Bloomer kept Britain in the match by beating Mrs Knode, 6-4, 6-4. She had many more scoring shots, with a winning cross-court drive and a drop shot to bring Mrs Knode forward before using the lob as a winning gambit. Mrs Knode relied on her power of drive, but she could not match Miss Bloomer’s mobility or variation of tactics and was always struggling to get on terms.

“Miss Buxton well justified her promotion form third string to second string this year. She has never exploited the all-court game to such good effect in holding Miss Brough to the end of their third set, having a point for the 5-4 lead at one time. Miss Buxton went to the net early in the rally whenever there was the slightest opening and used her reach to good effect. Miss Brough had her big service at the spearhead of her attack, and at the crisis of the match she won three service games to love in third set. Even so, she had to raise her back-court game and pull out that little bit extra to ward off Miss Buxton’s finishing effort. At 4-all the result wavered, then Miss Brough’s volleys turned the match her way at 6-4.

“So the Wightman Cup remained in America’s keeping by 4-1, with two rubbers to be played. Miss Mortimer reduced the margin of Britain’s defeat by a fine exhibition of ground stroke play in beating Miss Fry in two sets; and in the last rubber Miss Brough’s net play in her partnership with Miss Fry overcame Miss Mortimer and Miss Buxton in two sets.

“Mrs F.T. Stowe, a vice-president of the Lawn Tennis Association, deputised for Viscount Templewood (LTA president) and presented the trophy to the United States captain, Miss Brough, on the court. He congratulated the winning team on their fine play, and thanked the public for the great interest they had taken in the match.”
-----

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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:38 PM   #33
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1957

August 10 and 11

Venue: Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, Pittsburgh (outdoors on clay)

Teams

United States: Althea Gibson, Dorothy Knode, Darlene Hard, Louise Brough, Margaret du Pont (captain)
Great Britain: Shirely Bloomer, Christine Truman, Ann Haydon, Sheila Armstrong, Anne Shilcock

Non-playing British captain: Mary Halford
--

United States d. Great Britain 6-1

Althea Gibson d. Shirley Bloomer (GBR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Dorothy Knode d. Christine Truman (GBR) 6-2, 11-9
Darlene Hard/Gibosn d. Sheila Armstrong (GBR)/Bloomer 6-3, 6-4
Ann Haydon (GBR) d. Hard 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Knode d. Bloomer 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
Gibson d. Truman 6-4, 6-2
Louise Brough/Margaret du Pont d. Haydon/Anne Shilcock (GBR) 6-4, 6-1
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 1, 1957

By Lance Tingay

“Great Britain, beaten 6-1 by the United States at Sewickley, did less well this year than last. The American team was less strong perhaps than many sides of post-war years and did not appear unbeatable. A gamble on the merits of our young and immature side did not come off, though doubtless the ‘blooding’ endured by the young team members, Miss Christine Truman, Miss Ann Haydon and Miss Sheila Armstrong, will add mightily to their strength of arm in future contests.

“It is noteworthy that the sole success gained by the visitors was had by one of the youngsters. Miss Haydon won the third singles match against Miss Darlene Hard with the same combination of shrewdness, tenacity and court-craft that took her to the last four of the French Championships in the spring. If, however, the eventual outcome was less good than was hoped, the contest itself was a stimulating one.

“The first aspect of the match to strike the visitor was the wonderful enthusiasm shown in Pittsburgh and in the surrounding district. A capacity crowd of some 2,000 may not appear much by the standards of Wimbledon; but it was a capacity crowd, nevertheless, and in marked contrast to the popularity of the Wightman Cup contest in recent times in the United States. In a tennis-starved area the visitors were taken to the hearts of all followers of the game, and in a more widely popular sense aroused a sense of worship when, prior to the contest, a visit to the local baseball game coincided with the first victory of the Pittsburgh Pirates over a long period. Rarely can visitors have had so many enthusiastic supporters for a win over an American side.

“The contest took place at the Edgworth Club in Sewickley, about fifteen miles from the centre of Pittsburgh, in an exclusive residential district. There was tremendous work put in by the organisers of the event to make it a success, and success it surely was. At the end the Mayor of Pittsburgh announced that he was asking the United States Lawn Tennis Association permission again to stage the Wightman Cup in two years’ time when the event would become part of the bicentenary celebrations of the steel city. With takings of $20,000 the contest was profitable on American soil for the first time for many years.

“The chief snag experienced by the British side was the unfamiliarity with the court, a hard surface constructed from slate and grey in colour. It combined with the ball to produce very fiery conditions with a lively high bound quite unlike anything experienced before by any of the players. Miss Shirley Bloomer found the high bound especially trying and it was not until the day before the start that she began to get the feel of it at all. Longer preparation – the team had four days’ practice – would probably be advisable in future years.

“Mrs Knode’s winning forehand

“The casting of Miss Truman as number two singles player was a bold move that did not come off. On the first day she was beaten by Mrs Dorothy Knode in the match which, if Britain were to stand a chance, she had to win. It is safe to say, however, that no one could have presumed Mrs Knode would play so well. On both backhand and forehand she produced a venomous sting of shot, and far from being dominated by the forehand of Miss Truman, herself dominated her young opponent with a baseline attack that brought havoc to the opposition backhand. There was a courageous comeback by Miss Truman in the second set when she saved match points at 3-5, but she was forced to yield in the twentieth game. Indeed she was so exhausted in last stages that she lost the last twelve points in a row.

“Miss Bloomer’s lack of confidence in her ability to master the unusual conditions was unfortunate for in the opening match Miss Althea Gibson proved more vulnerable against her than anticipated. Miss Bloomer took every advantage of Miss Gibson’s evident nervousness to win the second set, but she could not find the same sure touch in the final set. When lobbing up wind (there was a breeze to mitigate the great heat) Miss Bloomer checked the aggressive Miss Gibson most competently, but down win she never found real control.

“The doubles on the first day, where Miss Bloomer and Miss Armstrong lost to the Wimbledon champions, Miss Gibson and Miss Hard, was not an affair in which the British pair ever had a chance. The lack of a solid doubles partnership was an obvious British weakness which must have troubled Mrs Mary Halford more than any of her captain’s problems.

“Miss Haydon’s Fine Recovery

“At the start of the second day Miss Haydon put her best foot forward most ably and brought off the only British success. Against her compact soundness all round the court, Miss Hard proved vulnerable, and if Miss Haydon yielded little, the same cannot be said of the American. Six double faults made things relatively easy for Miss Haydon for Miss Haydon in the first set, and the ease of progress she had then did not help her when Miss Hard became more herself.

“Then, in a most exciting struggle, Miss Haydon gamely came up from 0-2 in the final set to win the next five games before getting out at 6-4. It was a close call at the finish, but Miss Haydon was never more resolute when her lead was in danger of slipping away.

“Mrs Knode’s defeat of Miss Bloomer made a victory certain for the United States. In a tremendous dour struggle, in which Mrs Knode in marked contrast to her tactics against Miss Truman did little more than lob, Miss Bloomer essayed the same wearing down tactics that had proved successful in the final of both the French and Italian Championships. Miss Bloomer achieved command slowly, won the first set after being 1-4 and 3-5 down, but was subsequently herself worsted in a long drawn-out war of attrition. The first two games of the last set lasted 14 minutes. Miss Bloomer lost both of them and it was too much for her reserve of energy.

“Miss Brough’s Unbeaten Record

“With the issue decided, Miss Truman then resisted Miss Gibson with noble courage, but without the flexibility in defence demanded if the aggression of the Wimbledon champion were to be thwarted.

“Then came the concluding doubles where Miss Louise Brough, again partnering Mrs Margaret du Pont, maintained her unbeaten Wightman Cup record against Miss Anne Shilcock and Miss Haydon. It was Miss Brough’s eleventh Wightman Cup tie and in it she achieved her 22nd victory. It was Mrs du Pont’s 17th individual win.”
-----

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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:38 PM   #34
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1958

June 13 and 14

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

Great Britain: Shirley Bloomer, Christine Truman, Ann Haydon, Anne Shilcock, Patricia Ward
United States: Althea Gibson, Dorothy Knode, Mimi Arnold, Karol Fageros, Janet Hopps

Non-playing captains: Mary Halford (GBR); Margaret du Pont (USA)
--

Great Britain d. United States 4-3

Althea Gibson (USA) d. Shirley Bloomer 6-3, 6-4
Christine Truman d. Dorothy Knode (USA) 6-4, 6-4
Bloomer/Truman d. Karol Fageros (USA)/Knode 6-2, 6-3
Knode d. Bloomer 6-2, 6-4
Truman d. Gibson 2-6, 6-3 6-4
Ann Haydon d. Mimi Arnold (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
Gibson/Hopps d. Anne Shilcock/Patricia Ward 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1958

By Brigadier Sir John Smyth, Baronet, V.C., M.C., M.P.

“The Wightman Cup returned to Britain after 21 consecutive defeats by the United States of America when our team triumphed at the All England Club, Wimbledon, on June 13th and 14th.

“The result of last year’s match, played on the hard courts of the Edgeworth Lawn Tennis Club, Sewickley, Pittsburgh, USA, had been a victory for America by six matches to one. And that certainly did not give us much cause for thinking that the long succession of defeats was likely to be broken this year.

“America’s two singles players were available and were selected again, as were their two defeated opponents, Shirley Bloomer and Christine Truman, for Great Britain. For the third single we again selected Ann Haydon, who had distinguished herself by scoring our only success last year in beating the Wimbledon runner-up, Darlene Hard. From the doubles players of last year, Miss Hard and Louise Brough had dropped out, and America had nominated their fifth-ranking player, Karol Fageros, and their sixth-ranking player, Mimi Arnold. At the eleventh hour they also included in their team Janet Hopps, ranked number 9. The latter had distinguished herself in America by two singles victories over the great Althea Gibson.

“There was one other American player, who, though unranked in 1957 owing to insufficient performance, would have been a certain starter for the Wightman Cup and Wimbledon had she been able to make the journey. And she was, of course, the hard-hitting, ambi-dexterous Beverly Fleitz – who had beaten Althea Gibson in straight sets in Puerto Rico in March and was showing great form. When, as a result of a telephone conversation between London and America, it had been finally ascertained that Bev could not make the trip owing to her inability to leave her young child, I thought we had, at long last, a chance to win the Wightman Cup.

“When the American team had been announced – but before Janet Hopps had been included – I told Mary Halford, our non-playing captain, at the finals of the Surbiton tournament, and I also told the editor of this journal a few days later that, in my opinion, the fate of this year’s Wightman Cup depended on the American captain, Margaret du Pont. If she should decide to play in one of the doubles, as I felt sure she would, we might well lose 3-4. If, on the other hand, she decided to stand down, we might possibly win 4-3.

“Margaret du Pont was fit and in full practice, as she showed from her long knock-up with her Wimbledon partner on the mornings the Cup matches were being played. But she decided that she would ‘give the younger players a chance’. And we can only be grateful for her noble decision.

“And so to the start of the Wightman Cup match at Wimbledon on Friday, 13th June. Now Althea Gibson is an extremely intelligent girl for whom I have great admiration. It had seemed to me from seeing her play this year that she realises that she has the weapons to beat all-comers on the Wimbledon turf in 1958, as she did in 1957, provided she can remain in complete control of her nerves and her temperament. In her first Wightman Cup match, against Shirley Bloomer, she showed herself to be in complete command. She was neither hurried nor worried. Shirley, of course, fought back gallantly and achieved some miraculous winners on the run. But she was ‘on the run’ throughout and constantly under pressure. It was not an encouraging start for Britain.

“Britain Takes Two Rubbers

“The next match, between the two second strings, Dorothy Knode for America and Christine Truman for Britain, was as delightful a contest as one could wish to see. Mrs Knode is a great fighter and a fine tactician, but Christine’s big guns were too powerful for her. Mrs Knode’s first service is an apology; her second is an invitation, and Christine accepted it avidly. She could run round her safe but defensive backhand and wallop it with her powerful forehand. There were, of course just about 17 years’ difference in the ages of the two players and that is a very great deal to give in women’s tennis – as, indeed, it is in men’s.

“This match to me was a pointer. It showed Mrs Knode to be every bit as good, if not better, than in her two recent victories over Miss Bloomer, and it showed Miss Truman to be physically and mentally much toughened and matured since last year.

“The double which followed, in which Miss Bloomer and Miss Truman beat Mrs Knode and Karol Fageros, 6-2, 6-2, has been described at best as undistinguished and at worst as much worse than this. Miss Bloomer, however, captained her doubles team extremely well and certainly gained the admiration of the crowd when, finding a frilly undergarment was descending quite early in the match, she just stepped out of it and handed it to her captain who was sitting by the umpire’s chair. The latter accepted it with complete confidence, knowing that its loss was not significant. Shirley appeared to move better without it.

“Mrs Knode’s Strong Backhand

“So Britain led on the first day by two matches to one – which hadn’t happened for a very long time. The second day’s play started with the single between Miss Bloomer and Mrs Knode. For some reason the British officials almost from the highest to the lowest were completely confident that this match was in the bag. Here were two mainly baseline players – though admittedly Miss Bloomer was ten years the younger – who played much the same type of game. Both are fine runners and fine fighters, but I considered that Mrs Knode’s more fluent stroking, particularly on the backhand, and her rather more intelligent tactical play would bring her victory. The fact that Shirley wasn’t feeling the best made her task more difficult and the score against her, 4-6, 2-6, heavier than it would have been it would otherwise have been.

“And now we come to the real drama of this year’s Wightman Cup match. The gloom in the British camp was heavy indeed. It really did seem, in the words of Henry Newbolt, ‘There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight/Ten to make and all the match to win’.

“The score was two-all with three to play. But in two of these the great Althea Gibson was engaged and the result appeared a foregone conclusion. The last time I had seen Christine play Althea she had been made to look like a helpless child. The first set went according to plan – Althea’s plan. She was pacing the match as she pleased with everything under control and she won it, 6-2.

“What changed the whole aspect of the match was nothing to do with strokes or tactics. It was Christine’s own mental reaction to the prospect of plodding along to inevitable defeat. She refused to accept it. She counter-attacked the big service, began to scramble and throw herself about the court, attacked with her own service and forehand; and above all she went in to the net on every good opportunity. Miss Gibson is not used to this treatment and neither her strokes nor her temperament are suited to it. Moreover, once again when it came to a final set, the difference of thirteen years in ages must have counted.

“Christine had got her teeth into the match and refused to let go. Errors started to flow from Miss Gibson under pressure. And, despite a nervous double fault at match point, Christine won a magnificent victory for Britain at 6-4 in the final set. I was reminded of the great victory of Betty Nuthall, when aged only 16, on this same Number One Court at Wimbledon thirty-one years ago against the American champion, Molla Mallory. Betty also lost the first set before hitting her way out of trouble to victory. Althea Gibson took her unexpected defeat extremely well and my admiration for her increased.

“Miss Haydon Plays A Vital Part

“I felt that the result of the Wightman Cup then depended on the next match, the third single between Ann Haydon for Britain and Mimi Arnold, USA, and we were lucky to have such a good player to represent Britain in a crisis. At first it looked easy for Ann. She led 4-0 and won the first set at 6-3. But Mimi is a grand little fighter. She slowed down the game, kept the ball in play, lobbed high and was prepared to run until the cows came home. She was, however, a very tired girl when she took the ten minutes’ rest at one set-all, but she still had lots of fight left in her.

“Ann looked a splendidly fit young athlete as she came out. And she needed all her fitness and her fighting spirit before the gallant Mimi would acknowledge defeat. And yet I felt Ann should have won more easily. She needs to get more speed and better placement on her ground strokes.

“And so Britain regained the Wightman Cup after 28 years’ endeavour – and her two youngsters, Christine and Ann, totalling only 35 years between them, had notched three points on their own and Christine had had a share in the fourth. In the remaining doubles, a very lackadaisical Miss Gibson, partnered by Miss Hopps, beat Anne Shilcock and Patricia Ward in three sets. I never set great store by a match played after the tie is decided, and it may be that our pair would have been able to pull out something more had the fate of the Cup depended on it. But Althea Gibson is a very powerful doubles player and Janet Hopps is pretty good too.

“A Tribute To Mrs Mary Halford

“In a close, nervy contest of this sort captaincy and the team spirit mean a lot. I have seen a good many Wightman Cup captains and, with the exception of the fabulous Hazel Wightman, I would say Mary Halford is about the best of them all. It is not easy for a captain to achieve the happy medium of making her team feel she is with them and part of them without giving the impression that she is fussy or bossy. Our winning British team was a happy family – and it was this which, apart from other factors, gave them the best chance of success. And don’t let’s forget the work Dan Maskell and George Worthington have put in over the past few years. And George Worthington is essentially the right coach for the big occasion. He doesn’t say much and he doesn’t fuss. He just gets on with the job.

“But although we may have had a certain amount of luck in that the full strength of the American team was not available, nevertheless this year’s Wightman Cup match was a landmark in the history of British women’s tennis, and our victory will give a tremendous fillip to the British game.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1959

August 15 and 16

Venue: Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, Pittsburgh (outdoors on clay)

Teams

United States: Beverly Fleitz, Darlene Hard, Janet Hopps (joint captain), Jeanne Arth, Sally Moore
Great Britain: Angela Mortimer, Christine Truman, Ann Haydon, Shirley Brasher

Non-playing joint American captain: Margaret du Pont
Non-playing British captain: Beatrice Walker
--

United States d. Great Britain 4-3

Beverly Fleitz d. Angela Mortimer (GBR) 6-2, 6-1
Christine Truman (GBR) d. Darlene Hard 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
Jeanne Arth/Hard d. Shirley Brasher (GBR)/Truman 9-7, 9-7
Hard d. Angela Mortimer (GBR) 6-3, 6-8, 6-4
Fleitz d. Truman 6-4, 6-4
Ann Haydon (GBR) d. Sally Moore 6-1, 6-1
Haydon/Mortimer d. Janet Hopps/Moore 6-2, 6-4
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 1, 1959

By Lance Tingay

“Great Britain failed narrowly in the defence on American soil of the Wightman Cup – a feat performed only once, in 1925 – when at the Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, a few miles outside Pittsburgh, the United States triumphed by 4-3. It was a close haul and had, for instance, Angela Mortimer been able to press ahead from four games-all in the third set against Darlene Hard, then the trophy would have remained in Britain for another year.

“But it was a fine contest and no one will fail to accord acclaim to whom it is outstandingly due – to the ambidexterous Beverly Fleitz whose tremendous form was the major contribution to the American effort. She devoured Miss Mortimer and she solidly beat Christine Truman with a punch and sting of shot that, had it been produced at Wimbledon, would surely have gained her the title there.

“Mrs Fleitz was, indeed, terrific, not only on one day, but two. She played lawn tennis that was virtually irresistible. Her command of searing, low-trajectory drives from both wings, shots that, certainly against Miss Truman, actually bounded on the sidelines an inhumanly large number of times, was the full flowering of her genius. What a contrast it was to her fumbling at Wimbledon!

“The tour de force by Mrs Fleitz was the imponderable factor that upset nearly all forecasts about the event. That a 4-3 win was likely was a reckoning made by nearly everyone since forces were obviously closely matched.

“As in 1957, when the tie was first played at Pittsburgh, the Wightman Cup was a great success in every way. There were packed galleries on both days and enthusiasm all round. I do not think it unfair to say the British girls were the more popular team for Beatrice Walter, who made a grand job of her first efforts as captain, led an entirely unified effort, a factor less obvious on the other side jointly captained by Margaret du Pont and Janet Hopps.

“The weather behaved itself with a grandeur of effort. On the first day the shade temperature – not that there was any shade near the court – was 106 and the heat on court, on which Miss Truman was destined to battle for about two-and-a-half hours in all, as high as 120 degrees. Then on the second day, which was hot but not to the same burning degree, the extraordinary match between Miss Hard and Miss Mortimer was interrupted in the second set by a thunderstorm of tropical density. The court was flooded, but thanks to its quick drying qualities and liberal use of burning petrol was rendered playable again in just over an hour and a half.

“Body Punch

“The tie opened with a body punch delivered by America to which no countering was possible. Mrs Fleitz rampaged through Miss Mortimer, 6-2, 6-1, and it was in every a booming victory. Mrs Fletiz wavered only to begin. Miss Mortimer actually led 2-0 and 40-15, but that was only because the American was finding her range. Mrs Fleitz then flogged the ball so punishingly that it was hard to see how any player in the world could have done much to stop it. Only one of the next six games went to deuce.

“Then came another brief faltering by Mrs Fleitz in which she yielded the opening game of the second set that was followed by a similar overwhelming display of killing driving power. She took another six games off the reel and that was that.

“Then came Miss Truman’s fine effort in which she beat Miss Hard, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, a match that illustrated to the full Miss Truman’s high capacity as a good match player just as it stressed Miss Hard’s incapacity to do herself justice on the big occasion.

“As I wrote at the time, Miss Hard played some great rallies, some great games, a fine set, but a bad match. She was tremendous at important points but all frailty at vital ones. With her fast service and ability to volley superbly well, it is difficult to see how she could have failed to beat Miss Truman by serving and coming net-wards against the British girl’s backhand. But when the chips were down and it really mattered Miss Hard lapsed into astonishing ineptitude. All this was in marked contrast to Miss Truman who took a lot of punishment yet was in full possession of all her strength when it came to the crisis of the third set. And, of course, with her fine forehand she was able to strike back punishingly.

“Miss Truman Levels

“Miss Truman gained the opening set after trailing 1-3. From there she climbed to 4-3 and though Miss Hard squared to four-all Miss Truman won the last two games of the set for the loss of only one point. But the second set moved right against her and, yielding the first four games, went virtually beyond the saving. In the last set came a danger spell when Miss Hard got the lead, 2-1, with her service to follow. After two deuces Miss Truman got back to two-all and moved ahead to 3-2. Then Miss Hard was three-all. Miss Truman yielded nothing, but Miss Hard yielded much. American frailty got no more games against British solidity. The tally of Miss Hard’s double faults was eleven.

“Miss Arth Outstanding

“So that was one rubber-all and no British supporter had hope that the doubles could be won for Britain. Nor was it, for Miss Hard and Jeanne Arth beat Miss Truman and Shirley Brasher, 9-7, 9-7, but it was a far closer contest than anyone expected, and had Miss Truman and Mrs Brasher been able to take either of the two set points they had at 7-6 in the second set the issue would have been very speculative.

“Miss Arth was the outstanding player on court. She alone went through the match without losing her service. Miss Hard wavered between uncertainty and brilliance. Miss Truman was the major strength on the British side. Mrs Brasher was adroit and pertinacious, but her service lacked penetration and, alas, she never found an adequate volleying touch.

“To begin, the British pair led 4-2, but this advantage they failed to press ahead when Mrs Brasher, after having one point for 5-3, yielded her delivery in the eighth game. The odd game lead was taken by the Americans and they eventually broke Mrs Brasher’s service again to take the set in the eighteenth game.

“In the second set the British rallied from 3-5 behind and, at 7-6, Miss Truman served for the set. Until this point she had not lost her service, but at 40-30 and again at advantage, stinging volleys from Miss Hard held back the prospect of a final set and with this peak of success came the end of a fine fighting British effort against the champions of Wimbledon and America.

“That was 2-1 in rubbers to the United States. On the next day the score shifted further against us, to 3-1 and the point of no return, when Miss Hard beat Miss Mortimer, 6-3, 6-8, 6-4.

“A Curious Match

“It was a most curious match, for Miss Mortimer came within sight of winning it after Miss Hard had been all over her. Indeed, Miss Hard, half-volleying and volleying with almost virile capacity, pinned Miss Mortimer right back to the depths of her defences and moved irresistibly to a lead of one set up and 5-0 in the second. At 5-1 she came within a stroke of winning, but hoisted a lob out of court. White-faced and tense Miss Hard was all uncertainty where before she had been all strength. Not until Miss Mortimer had climbed back to five-all did her mental muscles unlock and Miss Hard spurted to 6-5 before falling back to six-all.

“This extraordinary fluctuation of form had taken place under the edge of a threatening thunderstorm. At six-all and 40-30 to Miss Hard it broke. When play resumed Miss Hard – and you could have bet with certainty on it – double-faulted and Miss Mortimer had no great difficulty in taking that game and the next to make it one set-all.

“For Miss Hard the final set was an uneasy one. She built a lead of 3-1, began to waver once more, but pulled herself together sufficiently to keep the odd game lead. When, finally, she stood at 5-4, there was a hint of exhaustion about Miss Mortimer’s game and she yielded a love game on her service. So the errant genius of Miss Hard had its triumph. She delivered thirteen double faults during the course of it which, together with the eleven in her first singles and the eight in her doubles, made a grand total of thirty-two in her Wightman Cup effort.

“Irresistible Mrs Fleitz

“The Wightman Cup was lost when Mrs Fleitz, as irresistible as she was on the first day, defeated Miss Truman, 6-4, 6-4. Setting aside the early double faults by both players – five from Mrs Fleitz and seven from Miss Truman – this was a superb match on classic lines. The length and pace were impressive but, of course, whereas Miss Truman could equal the killing power of Mrs Fleitz on the forehand side, her other wing would function only on defensive lines. This was two big guns against one and the superior fire power gained the day. But Mrs Fleitz never dominated Miss Truman as she did Miss Moritmer, nor did she concede any games while she found her driving range. It would have taken little to disturb the balance of strength and turn it the other way

“Mrs Fleitz got ahead early to 3-1 and then never yielded the odd game margin in the first set. In the second set Miss Truman, taking two games running for the first time, came from 2-3 to lead 4-3, but it was at this point the physical toll exacted by her hard work of the day before brought its effect. With an obvious physical letdown by Miss Truman Mrs Fleitz was able to reassert her ascendancy to win the next three games. That, of course, was 4-1 to the United States and the Wightman Cup had gone back to its home.

“Both the following contests were ‘dead’ ones in that they could not affect the outcome. But I hardly think there was any doubt at all that they would have been won by Britain had the contest still been live. Ann Haydon devastated Sally Moore, 6-1, 6-1, and this was all British strength against American weakness. She presumably might have won even more one-sidedly had Miss Moore had to endure the tension of a match that mattered. Miss Haydon gave nothing and was highly competent all round the court. It was the third year running she had played the third string singles and the third year running she had gained a victory. That is a splendid record.

“In the last doubles Miss Mortimer and Miss Haydon beat Miss Moore and Janet Hopps, 6-2, 6-4, and here again the sad deficiencies of Miss Moore made the British task all the easier. There was never a doubt but that the British would win and then one realised to the full how near, when Miss Mortimer stood at 4 games-all in the final set against Miss Hard, Britain had been to keeping the Wightman Cup.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1960

June 10 and 11

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Darlene Hard, Karen Hantze, Janet Hopps (captain), Dorothy Knode
Great Britain: Ann Haydon, Christine Truman, Angela Mortimer, Shirley Brasher

Non-playing British captain: Beatrice Walker
--

Great Britain d. United States 4-3

Ann Haydon d. Karen Hantze (USA) 2-6, 11-9, 6-1
Darlene Hard (USA) d. Christine Truman 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Hantze/Hard d. Haydon/Angela Mortimer 6-0, 6-0
Truman Hantze 7-5, 6-3
Hard d. Haydon 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
Mortimer d. Janet Hopps (USA) 6-8, 6-4, 6-1
Shirley Brasher/Truman d. Hopps/Dorothy Knode (USA) 6-4, 9-7
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1960

By Maurice Brady

“Not since 1936, when Helen Jacobs and Sarah Palfrey defeated Kay Stammers and Freda James to secure the Wightman Cup for the USA, has the outcome of this annual friendly encounter depended on the last match. At eight minutes past eight, with the shadows lengthening on Court Number One, Shirley Brasher and Christine Truman secured their sixth match point against Dorothy Knode and Janet Hopps, and an uproar of cheering announced Britain’s victory, and a release of tension.

“When Ann Haydon opened proceedings on June 10th against America’s 17-year-old newcomer, Karen Hantze, it seemed that the English girl’s reputation for unbroken success in Wightman Cup singles was soon to be shattered. With a powerful, beautifully produced service, and a crushing net attack, Miss Hantze swept to 4-0. She kept her rival on the move, and although Miss Haydon was now paying more attention to the American’s weaker forehand, she could do no better than secure two games in the first set.

“The match continued to sway in America’s favour at the start of the second set. Miss Haydon was presenting her rival with a variety of pace and depth, but Miss Hantze’s close-quarter volleying was deadly. Her main weakness to double-fault in her anxiety to finish the match – eight times did she fail in this respect in the second set.

“Ahead at 5-4, she served two double faults. Breaking through again to lead 8-7, the American was foiled by her opponent’s doggedness. The initiative was now with Miss Haydon, and her pluck was finally rewarded with the capture of the second set (11-9) after two hours’ play.

“The third set was a formality. From 1-all, the English girl, now returning service confidently, raced through the last five games. Her young opponent obviously had shot her bolt in the second set.

“It seemed, at first, that Christine Truman would emulate Miss Haydon’s victory. Both she and Darlene Hard were employing the same tactic – to get to the net as quickly as possible on a forcing shot to the opposing backhand. There was some crisp volleying from both players – and also some costly errors. Miss Truman seemed to be heading for victory when she led by a set and 3-2, with her service to come. Here Miss Hard raised her game. Her backhand strengthened, her volleys were beautifully placed, and the next four games were the outcome of her efforts.

“The American, now on the crest of a wave, was soon 4-1 in the final set with her service to follow. A Truman revival levelled the score, but more net-rushing carried the day for Miss Hard, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“The doubles match (Hard/Hantze versus Haydon/Angela Mortimer) proved a fiasco. In twenty-six minutes the visitors had won, 6-0, 6-0. The Americans’ services provoked returns which gave them an easy shot to kill; their service returns produced defensive volleys which were soon smothered. This was the first ‘spectacles’ result in a Wightman Cup doubles.

“Miss Truman put new heart into Britain’s followers by her 7-5, 6-3 win over Karen Hantze in the first match on Saturday, June 11th. Her deep driving on the forehand opened the way for many successful volleys. The 17-year-old American fought bravely for the first eleven games, all of which went with service. Then, at 5-6, she faltered under the strain. A service ace was neutralised by a double fault, and a forehand volley, out of reach, gave Miss Truman the first set.

“Taking her opponent’s service in the fourth game Miss Truman also had two chances to lead 5-1. Miss Hantze gallantly brought her service power into play again, and pulled up to 2-4, but could not avoid defeat in the ninth game.

“As against Christine Truman, Miss Hard lost the opening set when opposing Ann Haydon. She never ceased to drive and volley to Miss Haydon’s backhand corner, but she lost her service when down 5-6 in the first set, and duplicated this in the second game of the next set.

“At this stage of the match, Miss Hard became a different player entirely. She regained her control and forced her way to 3-2. Then with a remarkable volleying display she lost only one point in the next three games to level the score. Nor did she stop here; for after the ten-minute interval, her form continued to improve, and she took the first four games, losing four rallies. Miss Haydon won the fifth game, but could find no answer to her opponent’s inspired attack in the next two games. The American won, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

“To keep the contest alive, Miss Mortimer had to beat Janet Hopps. She did this by the score of 6-8, 6-4, 6-1, after losing a chance of winning the first set when leading 5-4. From 4-all in the second set her baseline driving took nine successive games. Miss Hopps was a victim of cramp at the finish of the match.

“And so the last doubles, before a large, excited crowd. The Americans led 4-0 in the first set and 5-2 in the second. Miss Hopps was probably the best on court. Dorothy Knode is recognised as a singles player. The losers saved the match five times before Miss Hopps volleyed out and Miss Truman and Mrs Brasher hugged one another in delight.

“Darlene Hard was the most successful player in the contest. Three victories, together with her recent success in the French Championships, where she defeated Maria Bueno, make her a formidable favourite at Wimbledon.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1961

August 19 and 20

Venue: Saddle and Cycle Club, Chicago (outdoors on clay)

Teams

United States: Karen Hantze, Billie Jean Moffitt, Justina Bricka, Margaret du Pont (captain), Margaret Varner
Great Britain: Christine Truman, Ann Haydon, Angela Mortimer, Deidre Catt

Non-playing British captain: Beatrice Walter
--

United States d. Great Britain 6-1

Karen Hantze d. Christine Truman (GBR) 7-9, 6-1, 6-1
Billie Jean Moffitt d. Ann Haydon (GBR) 6-4, 6-4
Hantze/Moffitt d. Deidre Catt (GBR)/Truman 7-5, 6-2
Justina Bricka d. Angela Mortimer (GBR) 10-8, 4-6, 6-4
Hantze d. Haydon 6-1, 6-4
Truman d. Moffitt 6-3, 6-2
Margaret du Pont/Margaret Varner d. Haydon/Mortimer, walkover
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 15, 1961

By a Special Correspondent

“Probably never before in the history of lawn tennis was anything quite so unlooked for as the American win by 6-1 in the Wightman Cup. The strongest British side ever put forward – on paper, at any rate, for it consisted not only of the Wimbledon champion and Wimbledon runner-up, but the champion of France – faced the weakest-ever American side, a side without its top-ranking player and national champion, Darlene Hard, and without its next best player, Nancy Richey, who was laid up with a bad back. At the worst it seemed that the United States would win both doubles and have to give all five singles. Instead of which the disciplined young American side raced to a lead of five-nil before Christine Truman salvaged the only British honour from the wreck of hopes.

“A big question mark as to the reason for the unexpected British rout will forever hang over the Saddle and Cycle Club in Chicago, where the event was staged for the first time. What was probably a combination of over-confidence and reaction after Wimbledon brought the British side to about thirty per cent of its true capacity. And the inspiration of the event and the strong leadership of Margaret du Pont brought superb success to the teenage American side. It was a fine American triumph and a sad British disaster

“Conditions on the first day were not good. It was cold and there was a high wind blowing down from the Arctic wastes of Canada to make it anything but pleasant by the shore of Lake Michigan. Thus in uneasy circumstances Miss Truman met Karen Hantze in the first rubber. The actual start was odd, for Miss Hantze revealed her taut nerves by beginning with no less than four double faults. This inauspicious start belied what was to follow.

“Miss Truman led 2-0, having won the first seven points off the reel. But not long after she trailed 2-5. In the wind Miss Hantze was firm and resourceful. She lobbed superbly, either down wind or against it. Miss Truman found nothing but difficulty in hitting the ball. She pressed netwards always, but Miss Hantze was more circumspect, taking care to force an adequate opening before coming up.Nevertheless, Miss Truman, despite two double faults in that game, the tenth, where she saved a set point, hauled up to five games-all and got in front at 8-7. She held her own service on her third chance. That was Britain in front after 48 minutes and most who watched it imagined it to be the end of British difficulties.

“It is true to say that nothing went right for Britain from that moment onwards. In only fourteen minutes Miss Truman, without Miss Hantze playing appreciably better, lost the second set, 1-6. And not long after the ten-minute interval (officially extended to fifteen minutes by agreement) she was trailing 0-5 in the third set. She garnered one game from the wreck of her hopes, but a competent Miss Hantze, only nineteen years old, had scored first blood for America against a Miss Truman whose game had died after the first set.

“Then came Billie Jean Moffitt, seventeen years old, never before in the Wightman Cup, and with only one brief British trip behind her. Naturally she is an aggressive net rusher. Against Miss Haydon she favoured the soft ball technique and was a model of shrewd patience, reserving her firm blows (and how decisively she struck them) for the obvious opening.

“She soon led 4-1 against Miss Haydon, the champion of France, was caught at 4-all, but was out with the first set at 6-4. In the second set she trailed 1-4, but this resurgence by Miss Haydon was illusory. Miss Moffitt, hardly giving anything, crept up against a Miss Haydon who conceded much, and in the end took five games running to win the match.

“Only in the doubles on the first day did events follow prediction of form when the champions of Wimbledon, Miss Hantze and Miss Moffitt, beat Miss Truman and Deidre Catt (this pairing being a reversion to Junior Wimbledon days), 7-5, 6-2. It was a little unreal to see Miss Truman and Miss Catt build a lead of 4-0 in the first set, but they were hardly in the match thereafter. Indeed, they won only one more game before they were down 0-5 in the second set and the match a lost cause. They were out-generalled and outhit, two individuals made to run around by a pair.

“With that of course, the real issue of the Wightman Cup was over. America led 3-nil instead of Britain being ahead 2-1, and the task of winning all the remaining four matches was clearly a virtual impossibility. Nor did it ever begin to look like a possibility, for on the second day, a much brighter one, but still windy, Justina Bricka, eighteen years old, confidently took on the Wimbledon champion, Angela Mortimer, and won, 10-8, 4-6, 6-3.

“As in the Miss Moffitt versus Miss Haydon singles the imprint of Mrs du Pont’s tactical skill was clearly seen. Miss Mortimer was given no pace to thrive on and use to her own advantage. Miss Bricka slow-balled down the middle of the court and patiently waited for her openings before she opened up her shoulders. She was forthright and sure. Miss Mortimer was not.

“Indeed, Miss Bricka almost won the first set at 5-3 when she was three times at set point. In turn Miss Mortimer had her chances at 8-7, when she was twice at set point, but in the end Miss Bricka had the first set after 65 minutes’ patient hitting against one who lacked the stroke and power to force such openings that were there.

“Miss Mortimer, though well short of her best, hung on grimly. She managed to get to 3-0 in the second set and hung on to her lead to take it, 6-4, with difficulty. But when it came to the third set it was the patient Miss Bricka who leaped to 3-0 and Miss Mortimer never managed to bring the score level from that stage. Thus America regained the Wightman Cup with the first four rubbers.

“Nor was there much British solace afterwards. Miss Hantze, carefree and competent, rampaged to 6-1 and 4-0 with an impeccable display against Miss Haydon and eventually took the second set, 6-4 after being brought level. Miss Truman, more her true self, then was as good as Miss Hantze had been in beating Miss Moffitt in two easy sets and one could only wonder what the outcome would have been had she met her on the first day when the match was alive and when an opening British victory might have put different heart into the British team.

“In the last doubles Miss Mortimer and Miss Haydon should have played Mrs du Pont and Margaret Varner, but Miss Mortimer, with cramp in her feet and tired after her long singles, did not wish to play. So the match was conceded to the United States. This was unfortunate in one way for it denied Miss Varner the chance actually to play for the United States at lawn tennis and thus make herself a full international at squash rackets, badminton and lawn tennis, a record probably unique.

“The hosts at the Saddle and Cycle Club could not have been kinder to all concerned. The match, however, was not the success so far as spectators were concerned as it had been the previous two years in America at the Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, Pittsburgh. The chill weather of the first day was against a big attendance.”
-----

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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:38 PM   #38
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1962

June 15 and 16

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Darlene Hard, Karen Susman, Nancy Richey, Billie Jean Moffitt, Margaret du Pont (captain), Margaret Varner
Great Britain: Ann Jones, Christine Truman, Deidre Catt, Elizabeth Starkie, Angela Mortimer

Non-playing British captain: Beatrice Walter
--

United States d. Great Britain 4-3

Darlene Hard (USA) d. Ann Haydon 6-3, 6-8, 6-4
Karen Susman (USA) d. Christine Truman 6-4, 7-5
Margaret du Pont (USA)/Margaret Varner (USA) d. Deidre Catt/Elizabeth Starkie 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Hard d. Truman 6-2, 6-2
Haydon d. Susman 10-8, 7-5
Catt d. Nancy Richey (USA) 6-1, 7-5
Haydon/Truman d. Hard/Moffitt 6-4, 6-3
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1962

By a Special Correspondent

“The determined and purposeful United States Wightman Cup team, by winning the first four rubbers against Great Britain at the All England Club, Wimbledon, on June 15th and 16th, retained the trophy for another year. It was the visitors’ 28th win in the series.

“With the decision so quickly reached there must have been some relaxation on the Americans’ part and this, coupled with improved British play with less tension, brought victory to the home players in the three remaining matches. As it turned out the absence of Anglea Mortimer, unfit with an injured muscle, made no material difference, and Deidre Catt, who replaced her, won a fine victory over Nancy Richey.

“From the outset matters looked grim for the challengers as a commanding Darlene Hard won ten of the first thirteen games against Ann Haydon. Her services and smashes were lethal, and her pace off the ground forced weak returns which were despatched with destructive speed or delicate angles on the volley. But the fighting Miss Haydon never gave up. In the sixth game of the second set Miss Hard, pressing unduly, lapsed to four double faults to lose her service.

“Tensions rose to a pitch as Miss Haydon saved two match points at 3-5 and a most doubtful line decision in favour of the English girl’s smash made it 4-5. Shaken and increasingly unsteady the American again double-faulted to make it 5-all. She broke to 6-5, but her service, now punctuated liberally with double faults, brought uncertainty to her whole game. Dourly Miss Haydon took the set, 8-6.

“The ten-minute interval revived Miss Hard to her best again and her dominant attack, superbly varied, quickly brought her to 5-1. With victory so near she lapsed, possibly a little over-confident, and the never-ceasing efforts of Miss Haydon won her three games to trail at 4-5. At this stage Miss Hard showed signs of cramp in the left leg, but with the utmost resolve she served out the tenth game to love and the U.S. were one up after one hour and forty minutes of play.

“It took Karen Susman, the former Miss Hantze, just over an hour to beat Christine Truman, 6-4, 7-5. The latter started with promise, losing only one point in her first three service games. In the seventh game, however, she double-faulted twice and gave her rival the breakthrough she needed. Ahead at 5-4, Mrs Susman lost one set point with an anxious double fault, but recovered and an elegant volley drew first blood for America, 6-4.

“Miss Truman came straight back in the second set and went to 4-1 with the little American showing signs of fatigue. But a master backhand down the line encouraged her as she crept to 3-4. In the tenth game Miss Truman’s set point was answered by Mrs Susman’s beautiful backhand volley pass and as the American came on to level terms her confidence flowed back and it was with some ease she won the final two games for the set and match. It was Mrs Susman’s ability to open up Miss Truman’s backhand weakness that brought her victory. Drive and volley were directed to that spot until the English girl presented the weak return.

“The last match of the day, the double between America’s Margaret du Pont and Margaret Varner and the British pair of Deidre Catt and Elizabeth Starkie brought the U.S. to a 3-0 lead as the former won, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The losers won Miss Varner’s service twice in the second set. There was some ragged play in the final set and one wondered the British girls did not lob Miss Varner more frequently, so uncertain overhead was she at this stage. It was Mrs du Pont’s generalship and experience that counted in the last three games.

“Miss Truman proved no match for Miss Hard in the opening encounter the following day. Her backhand could not withstand the intensive volleying campaign of the American. Miss Truman’s two double faults and service break left her trailing 2-3, and despite Miss Hard’s three double faults following, the long game was hers for 4-2. Four times did Miss Truman have the opportunity to level the score. Another break, helped by a double fault, made it 5-3 and the American clinched the set after twenty minutes’ play.

“Nothing could now save Britain as Miss Hard, dominant in everything she did, raced to 5-2 and match point. A netted forehand and the Wightman Cup remained with America. The match lasted 41 minutes.

“The crowd’s spirits were raised when Miss Haydon survived a 10-8, 7-5 duel with Mrs Susman. The issue was really decided when the American failed to clinch the opening set after having three set points at 5-4. Miss Haydon duplicated the performance at 6-5.

“Miss Haydon’s win and the two subsequent British victories made the score look better for the record books, but it must be admitted that had they occurred when the match was still alive they would have ranked as far more praiseworthy efforts. Miss Catt played an attractive baseline match against Miss Richey, a player of similar strength. The rallies were packed with rhythm and purpose, and the crowd-pleasing Deidre emerged the victor, 6-1, 7-5.

“In the last rubber Miss Truman and Miss Haydon overcame Miss Hard and Miss Moffitt, 6-4, 6-3. Miss Truman was hit in the eye when a ball, smashed by Miss Hard, bounded off court into her face. She sportingly continued. How unlucky this popular girl is!

“Miss Hard emerged the dominant player. If she can maintain her form and eliminate her double faults, her chances of a Wimbledon victory are not remote. Mrs du Pont now holds the record for the expanse of years in Wightman Cup play. She was in the U.S. team of 1946 – sixteen years ago! Helen Wills Moody previously claimed the longest span. She competed in 1923 and as late as 1938 was still appearing in singles. That year she beat Peggy Scriven and Kay Stammers – both in straight sets.”
-----

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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:38 PM   #39
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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1963

August 9 and 11

Venue: Cleveland Skating Club, Cleveland, Ohio (outdoors on clay)

Teams

United States: Darlene Hard, Billie Jean Moffitt, Nancy Richey, Donna Fales
Great Britain: Ann Jones, Christine Truman, Deidre Catt, Elizabeth Starkie

Non-playing captains: Margaret du Pont (USA); Beatrice Walter (GBR)
--

United States d. Great Britain 6-1

Ann Jones (GBR) d. Darlene Hard 6-1, 0-6, 8-6
Billie Jean Moffitt d. Christine Truman (GBR) 6-4, 19-17
Hard/Moffitt d. Jones/Truman 4-6, 7-5- 6-2
Nancy Richey d. Deidre Catt (GBR) 14-12, 6-3
Hard d. Truman 6-3, 6-0
Moffitt d. Jones 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Donna Fales/Richey d. Catt/Elizabeth Starkie (GBR) 6-4, 6-8, 6-2
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 1, 1963

Unsigned report

“The record books will show that the United States of America defeated Great Britain by 6 rubbers to 1 at the Cleveland Skating Club, Cleveland, U.S., in the 35th Wightman Cup match. From all appearances an easy win to give the Americans their 29th win to the Britons’ 6th. But how close it was in the early stages and what a vast difference it would have made if Christine Truman and Deidre Catt could have swung their marginal matches against Billie Jean Moffitt and Nancy Richey respectively to add victories to the fine opening win achieved by Mrs Jones over Darlene Hard.

“Such comment is made to stress the closeness of the contest despite the final 6-1 score and not to claim any bad luck for the British. For wasn’t Miss Hard leading Mrs Jones 3-0 and 40-0 with her victory sign looming large ahead before the swing went the British way? It was just that whilst Mrs Jones made a magnificent and resolute recovery to defeat Miss Hard the same unyielding resolve gave Miss Moffitt her victory over Miss Truman and Miss Richey’s over Miss Catt. Again, it was this same strong fibre in the play of Miss Hard and Miss Moffitt that turned the tide in their favour against Mrs Jones and Miss Truman in the doubles after the British pair looked to be set for victory.

“It was an American win with merit and thoroughly deserving. And it was a British defeat, disappointing but gallant nevertheless. The last British win accomplished in America for the Wightman Cup was in 1923 and now the effort to break this record must wait until 1965.

“Mrs Jones was in faultless form in the opening singes against Miss Hard. She took just fourteen minutes to take the first set, 6-1, aided to a degree by the nervous, unsettled Miss Hard, whose double faults did little to help her. But with the start of the second set the American set about her task in a different vein altogether. Discarding her fast first service for one with plenty of spin she applied spin also to most of her ground shots, those with overspin coming high off the clay surface. Mrs Jones was faced with an entirely different proposition and in striving to cope with it the initiative slipped over to American.

“Back flowed Miss Hard’s confidence and soon she was in volleying control as the harassed Mrs Jones could make little headway with passing shots. In thirteen minutes the second set was marked up against her and she suffered the same pulverising fate in the first three games of the final set. Miss Hard served confidently to 40-0 and there seemed nothing to stop her.

“Then the miracle for Mrs Jones occurred. She dug her toes in, she lobbed beautifully to thwart Miss Hard in what seemed to be her victory run and she slipped in several beautiful passing thrusts. Suddenly Miss Hard heard the score called in her favour, 3-1, not 4-0. Disappointed, but striving all the harder she went to 5-3, but it was clearly Mrs Jones’s cycle now. She broke to level at 5-all, immediately dropped serve to trail 5-6, but then relentlessly exploited the crumbling resistance of her opponent and glorious victory was hers at 8-6.

“Both Miss Truman and Miss Moffitt started in fine form, Miss Truman looking the giant with her devastating service and forehand, with the nimble Miss Moffitt, full of spirit, running for everything and bringing off some spectacular low volleys which robbed her opponent of vital points she looked to have won. One service break sufficed for Miss Moffitt to take the opening set, 6-4.

“Then started the marathon second set, destined to be the longest ever played in this contest. For an hour and forty minutes the battle raged. Miss Moffitt earlier had more difficulty in holding service, but never permitted her opponent to wrest it from her. In this serve-dominating pattern the score mounted. Miss Truman trailed 0-40 in the fifteenth game, but served it out. In the thirty-second game Miss Truman had two set points, but Miss Moffitt saved them with her service.

“The American had her chance when she broke in the next game, but double faults then cost her her own delivery. In the thirty-fifth game Miss Moffitt broke again and this time the writing was on the wall. Miss Truman fought tenaciously to break service and save the position, but although she recovered two match points against her, she could not survive the third.

“Miss Hard and Miss Moffitt beat Mrs Jones and Miss Truman, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The British pair looked to have the advantage at the start. Good serving, astute lobbing and well-blended volleying paved the way for their 6-4 opening set. The Americans then became a more potent team, leaving fewer openings and applying their service-volleying campaign with more cohesion.

“The British girls had a chance when Miss Hard was within a point of dropping her service in the eleventh game, but she recovered and with Miss Moffitt in particular rising to the occasion the Americans levelled sets. Mrs Jones and Miss Truman went to 2-1 in the final set after breaking Miss Hard, but there it was that they faded from the picture. The Americans adroitly mixed lobs with short service returns and built up a relentlessly efficient net attack to win five games in succession and the match.

“Miss Catt played heroically to keep Great Britain in the picture, but she was opposed by the heroic resistance of Miss Richey, the present United States Clay Court Champion. It was a thrilling game to watch, with both girls battling mainly from the baseline with beautifully executed forehand and backhand driving of immaculate length. For one or other to dare to the net meant the suffering of a scintillating passing shot.

“Miss Catt’s shots carried an astonishing amount of speed and pace, but it was Miss Richey’s ability to turn so much venom to her own use with her returns that tipped the balance her way and gave her a widening margin of superiority as the match wore on. Six times did Miss Catt hold set point in the opening set, but to no avail. Over-eagerness with her superb backhand lost her first chances and Miss Richey’s good serving sufficed on the others.

“Miss Catt, quicker to start, led 4-1 and had a point for 5-1 before the full impetus of Miss Richey’s play took effect. At 5-4 Miss Catt was 40-0 and her other three set points came in the twenty-fourth game. She saved two set points before Miss Richey clinched the set. With this marathon over it was Miss Richey who kept the initiative to run through the second set with some margin.

“Miss Hard then beat Miss Truman, 6-3, 6-0, to gain the winning lead. Miss Truman’s reversal in form lay simply with her service. Nothing would go right for her in this department and her whole game suffered as a consequence. The top form of Miss Hard made the result inevitable. With the contest decided the two remaining matches went to the U.S., Miss Moffitt beating Mrs Jones, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, and Miss Richey and Donna Fales beating Miss Catt and Elizabeth Starkie, 6-4, 6-8, 6-2.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1964

June 12, 13 and 14

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Ann Jones, Deidre Catt, Elizabeth Starkie, Angela Mortimer (captain)
Great Britain: Nancy Richey, Billie Jean Moffitt, Carole Caldwell, Donna Fales (captain)
--

United States d. Great Britain 5-2

Nancy Richey (USA) d. Deidre Catt 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Billie Jean Moffitt (USA) d. Ann Jones 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Catt/Jones d. Carole Caldwell (USA)/Moffitt 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
Caldwell d. Elizabeth Starkie 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Richey d. Jones 7-5, 11-9
Moffitt d. Catt 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Angela Mortimer/Starkie d. Donna Fales (USA)/Richey 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1964

By K.W. Dyer

“On June 12th, 13th and 14th the 36th annual contest between Great Britain and the United States of America for the Wightman Cup was held at the All England Club, Wimbledon. This contest was inaugurated in 1923, the donor of the trophy being Mrs Hazel Wightman, U.S., herself a former international. Of these matches, with venues alternating each year between the countries and interrupted only once for the war spell from 1940 to 1945 inclusive, Great Britain have won only six times and with this latest U.S. victory the Americans have taken the trophy thirty times.

“At the end of the scheduled two days of play the United States had built up their winning lead of 4-1, but because of a long rain interruption on the Saturday, the remaining two matches were played on the following day, this being the first time at Wimbledon that a Sunday has been brought into use for a contest of importance. The final result was victory for the United States by 5-2.

“Before the respective sides had been chosen the holders looked to have a wide margin in their favour, for in addition to those finally selected there were Darlene Hard, U.S. number one, and Karen Susman, Wimbledon singles champion. Then Miss Hard turned professional, and Mrs Susman, out of play last year, was not selected. Prospects for Great Britain grew markedly brighter, especially with the return to form of Christine Truman. But alas, Miss Truman had to withdraw because of an injury, after which the home side’s greatest advantage appeared to lie in the fact that they were playing on their home ground.

“Amongst the well-filled stands of the Number One Court at Wimbledon there was a hope, though perhaps not an over-optimistic one, that Deidre Catt could place the challenging side one up with a win over the eye-shaded Nancy Richey. She had done it before on the same court two years ago without dropping a set so there were grounds for optimism. She started well, perhaps a shade too well, and her smoother hitting took her to 3-0. Miss Richey certainly had her problems at this time, often mistiming the shooting ball off the fast surface. Some British double faults aided the visitor to reduce the leeway, but Miss Catt went on to 5-1, her shots carrying beautiful length.

“Miss Richey, punching each shot with concentrated purpose, was finding her timing, but with Miss Catt 5-3 and 40-0 on her own service the American’s position looked insecure. But she battled back and the tenseness that had crept into Miss Catt’s approach certainly helped in the recovery. An apprehensive British player prepared to serve for the set at 5-4. She trailed 0-15 and 15-30, and had the first advantage against her, but on her own second advantage she clinched the set and one could sense a huge sigh of relief from British supporters.

“Miss Richey by now had gained full control over her shots, each one speeding to the allocated spot, deep and with tremendous penetration. Miss Catt ran and ran. Trailing 2-4 and facing her opponent’s serves she fought to save the position, but after four deuces it was 2-5. Then Miss Richey had her turn of the jitters as she erred on dealing with Miss Catt’s change to a slower pace, but Miss Catt, at 4-5 and 30-0, had her chances decisively wrecked as the American struck back four times.

“From 2-all in the final set Miss Catt gained only four points to find herself at 2-5. Again she fought back, aided by Miss Richey’s tenseness, but in the eleventh and twelfth games it was Miss Catt who became tentative and her chances of victory dissolved quickly.

“And so it was a disappointing one down for Great Britain as Ann Jones came on to see if she could level matters against Billie Jean Moffitt. Mrs Jones broke her opponent’s service in the opening game and this sufficed for her to take the opening set. Miss Moffitt’s troubles lay in her forehand, which went astray a good deal, but as the set progressed her service and volleying became more potent. Mrs Jones tried desperately hard, but she was forced into a defending role and was never able to emerge from it. The telling American service refused to falter and the early-hit chipped returns of service ruthlessly cleared the way for her spending volleying campaign. Miss Moffitt’s 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory was earned in every way on merit.

“The new combination of Mrs Jones and Miss Catt functioned splendidly. From the start the British girls played well and they exploited the shortcomings of Carole Caldwell persistently for the set. Then the Americans gathered their forces with unified strength and an exciting battle ensued. Despite an attack of cramp by Miss Moffitt, the sets were levelled. The third set saw Miss Catt dominating and, aided by the troubled Miss Moffitt, the set quickly went to the home team.

“The opening match of the second day was between two players indulging in their first Wightman Cup singles. Miss Caldwell beat Elizabeth Starkie , 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, but there was a time when the latter looked to be getting on top. Naturally enough there was much nervousness on both sides and the standard suffered as a consequence. After a poor start Miss Starkie came back strongly, but she could not save the set.

“But in the second set her offensive touch gave her a good margin over the American steadiness. Tuned as she was to the attack which brings her best results, Miss Starkie looked to be grooved for victory, but at the completion of the second set the American captain, as was her right, decided on the ten-minute break.

“On resumption Miss Starkie could not find her same inspiration and the steady play of Miss Caldwell sufficed to give the United States a 3-1 lead. No doubt the occasion was such that neither player seemed confident enough to embark on anything with imagination and as the god of fortune turned his back on one she had nothing telling with which to win his favour again and just had to wait and hope that her turn would come again. For Miss Caldwell came some decisive favours in the form of net-cords in the final set and some line calls must have had grating echoes for Miss Starkie.

“Then everything rested on the encounter between Mrs Jones and Miss Richey, and the latter’s 7-5, 11-9 victory was the final blow to Great Britain’s now remote hopes. This was a match which clearly showed the advantages which lie with controlled attack over high-degree accuracy which lacks the attacking flair. There is a rhythmic simplicity in Miss Richey’s backswing and follow-through for her ground shots that gives the onlooker a confidence in the outcome of her shots. The closely-watched ball is punched with so much meaning and authority to the allotted spot and the depth of length and direction of placement come confidently under her command.

“Try as she did, Mrs Jones could not throw her opponent off this aggressive pattern of play. Her recoveries were fine and certainly designed to make things as awkward as possible for Miss Richey, but so often she could not get them past the stage of delaying matters and into a period of initiative for herself. The American’s court coverage was smooth, rapid and instinctive, permitting her to deal effectively with her opponent’s placements and negative many well-placed drop shots.

“At 3-1 in the second set it seemed that Miss Richey’s victory march could not be stopped, her sharp volleying blending so efficiently with her other play, but rain then drove them to seek shelter and kept them there for two hours and forty minutes. On resumption Mrs Jones daringly stormed the net and these tactics at such a junction brought her back into the picture with a 6-5 lead. Faced now with the set close to her grasp a little over-anxiousness robbed her of a likely winner for 40-30, and a magnificent cross-court winner for the American ruined her chance and she was given no more opportunities to save the match. And so the Wightman Cup for yet another year was to remain in its home country.

“On the following day, a Sunday, the gates were opened for the public and about 500 enthusiasts saw the final matches. These resulted in Miss Moffitt beating Miss Catt, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, and Angela Mortimer and Miss Starkie recording Great Britain’s second win with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Donna Fales and Miss Richey.

“Miss Catt had her chances, but the sterner match-playing fibre of the Americans again showed up. Not only do they have little fear of losing, but they have none of the fear of winning which so often strikes the British player when poised with that winning margin. In the doubles Miss Mortimer displayed her characteristic steadiness and this, combined with the aggressive trend from Miss Starkie made them quite a formidable pair.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1965

August 7, 8 and 9

Venue: Howard T. Clark Court, Cleveland, Ohio (outdoors on clay)

Teams

United States: Nancy Richey, Billie Jean Moffitt, Carole Graebner, Karen Susman
Great Britain: Ann Jones, Elizabeth Starkie, Virginia Wade, Nell Truman Christine Truman

Non-playing captains: Margaret du Pont (USA); Angela Barrett (GBR)
--

United States d. Great Britain 5-2

Ann Jones (GBR) d. Billie Jean Moffitt 6-2, 6-4
Nancy Richey d. Elizabeth Starkie (GBR) 6-1, 6-0
Carole Graebner d. Virginia Wade (GBR) 3-6, 10-8, 6-4
Graebner/Richey d. Starkie/Nell Truman (GBR) 6-1, 6-0
Moffitt d. Starkie 6-3, 6-2
Jones d. Richey 6-4, 9-7
Moffitt/Susman d. Jones/Wade 6-3, 8-6
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, September 1, 1965

By Lance Tingay

“No Wightman Cup contest can have begun more calamitously than did the 37th of the series in Cleveland, Ohio, for Britain. The backbone of the British effort belonged to Christine Truman. That was obvious. At Wimbledon she had beaten two of the opposition, Carole Graebner and Nancy Richey. But the day before the draw and two days before the match, she hurt her ankle while practising with Maureen Connolly and was unable to play.

“Accordingly, Elizabeth Starkie was promoted to play two of the four top singles. Virginia Wade, cast originally solely as a doubles player, was brought in as the singles number three. The other novice, 19-year-old Nell Truman, whose sole raison d’๊tre in the team was as doubles partner to her elder sister, had to make up an impromptu pairing with Miss Starkie, which was every bit as ineffective as one would expect such a hastily contrived team to be.

“Despite the disaster Britain came out of the match with honour. The American margin of victory was 5-2. Britain won the first rubber when Ann Jones beat Billie Jean Moffitt. Miss Wade played a splendid, if losing, match against Miss Graebner on the second day, and on the third day Mrs Jones had her second win when she beat Nancy Richey in a stirringly good match. When the Wightman Cup was over the Americans had no hesitation in hailing Mrs Jones as ‘the player of the match’. I doubt if she had played so well since she had gained the French Championship.

“Any British Wightman Cup team goes to America knowing the odds are all against success. When Miss [Christine] Truman was reduced to merely being a limping spectator there was the feat that Britain would not be merely beaten, but utterly trounced. Out of the original British adversity came a fine fight against the odds that gave American spectators every cent of their 50,000 dollars worth.

“I mention the 50,000 dollars because the attendance over the three days was 14,633, an average of nearly 5,000 per day. The capacity at the Howard T. Clark Court is 6,000. That is the court that was built last year to stage the Challenge Round of the Davis Cup, a different venue from the Cleveland Skating Club where the Wightman Cup was held in 1963. The promotion of the event, though, still belonged to the Cleveland Skating Club and the man behind it all was a lawyer, Bob Malaga, who has boosted American lawn tennis enormously with his promotional efforts in the last year or two.

“I do not know if this was the most successful Wightman Cup ever staged in America, but it was certainly the most successful since the war. The colour and flamboyance of its presentation was almost embarrassing to staid British eyes, but it all fitted the American scene. The draw itself was so elaborately staged as almost to be worthy of a presidential nomination. The opening ceremony on the court was superbly done and even if British tastes in these matters would militate against paralleling it in England I hardly doubt that we could learn a lot by making more of the Wightman Cup and Davis Cup matches than we do.

“Mrs Jones opened the match by beating Billie Jean Moffit, 6-2, 6-4. There must have been a lot of British enthusiasts who thought, as I did, that Mrs Jones would never be able to beat Miss Moffitt again. She had lost so often. But on a slow court and in a high wind things could not have turned out better for Britain. Mrs Jones used the difficult conditions with superb adroitness. Miss Moffitt never found her control at all. Her service power deserted her. Her normal high volleying skill pretty well disappeared entirely. On the one side it was all British strength. On the other it was all American frailty. In just one hour Mrs Jones garnered one rubber for Britain.

“There was, though, no follow-up to this unexpected British success. Miss Richey, looking every inch America’s number one, devastated Elizabeth Starkie, 6-1, 6-0, the whole affair lasting 36 minutes. What can I say about a match like that? Miss Starkie was out-hit, out-paced and, I fear, outclassed. Had she been fitter – a high temperature plagued Miss Starkie throughout the event – I do no doubt Miss Starkie would have done better. No doubt Miss Moffitt would also have done better against Mrs Jones if she had not had a painful toe. Injury and sickness was a permanent background to the Wightman Cup this year.

“That was all for the first day since, at the request of the Americans, the Wightman Cup was extended to a three-day event. On the Sunday, after rain had delayed the start for about an hour, Miss Wade made her Wightman Cup debut against Mrs Graebner. She won the first set, 6-3, and in the second set was twice within a point of being 5-2. In the end Mrs Graebner won, 3-6, 10-8, 6-4.

“It might be thought that Miss Wade burnt herself out too soon. Her service power, her smashing and her volley power were very high. Her early dominance, though, was not dissipated by failings on her part. She could not win because Mrs Graebner, who had allowed herself to be swamped by the British attack, responded to the crisis by playing a good deal better. Her ground strokes prevailed in the end. The struggle before Mrs Graebner won the second set was a tremendous one. There was a seventh game (in which Miss Wade could get neither of chances to lead 5-2) of three deuces, an eleventh game of five deuces and fifteenth and sixteenth of four deuces. After falling to 4-5 Miss Wade never got ahead again.

“In the final set Miss Wade hinted at victory again by going to 2-0. Her aggressive tactics were still impressively effective, but the time when the American could not effectively counter them had long since passed. Then from 2-3 Miss Wade came up to lead 4-3 and only then had she shot her bolt. She could only play one winning stroke in the next three games. Miss Wade had lost, but the strength of her performance was such as to leave no doubt at all of her status as a worthy British Wightman Cup player.

“That, then, was 2-1 to America. It became 3-1 quickly when Miss Richey and Mrs Graebner beat Miss Starkie and Nell Truman, 6-1, 6-0. This was a curious Wightman Cup debut for Nell. It lasted 28 minutes and if she delighted the crowd with her personality she hardly showed them the lawn tennis she is really capable of playing. Miss Starkie and Miss Truman were an impromptu partnership and, I fear, they looked like one.

“A winning 4-1 lead for the USA was built after the first rubber of the third day, when Miss Moffitt beat Miss Starkie, 6-3, 6-2. Again it was windy. It was hardly a memorable contest and I daresay that had not British reserves already been fully drawn upon Miss Starkie would have been reckoned unfit to play.

“Then, curiously because the match as a live issue was over, came the finest battle of the Wightman Cup 1965 when Mrs Jones beat Miss Richey, 6-4, 9-7. A dead rubber it might have been, but no two women can ever have tried harder to win against each other. It was in every way a masterpiece effort by Mrs Jones. By tactical acumen she tamed an opponent with more telling strokes. Basically she did so by looping her drives down the middle of the court, top spun on the forehand, sliced on the other wing. Miss Richey had to make her own pace and she had to make her own angles. It was laborious and it was fascinating. The crowd loved every moment of it.

“After building a lead of 5-2, Mrs Jones took the first set in the tenth game. In the second set she was down 0-3 and hauled up to 3-all. It all took a long time. Then from 3-5 Mrs Jones came up to lead 6-5 after saving a set point against her at 4-5 when she teased an American backhand error.

“At 6-5, 30-all, within two shots of a British victory, came a dramatic moment when Mrs Jones, with a yelp of pain, fell prone on the court. It seemed she had hurt her calf muscle. But after some delay she was in action again, giving no more than a limp now and again. She kept in front and at 8-7 reached match point. She put a smash out after a rally of 34 shots. She reached match ball again. This time Miss Richey projected a backhand winner against a drop shot, the 27th stroke of the rally. Eventually Mrs Jones won her third match point when Miss Richey’s forehand found the net. The crowd, who were entirely on Mrs Jones’s side, cheered the winner for all the world as if it had been a decisive American victory.

“In the concluding rubber Karen Susman and Miss Moffitt beat Mrs Jones and Miss Wade, 6-3, 8-6, as I daresay they would have done in any case, whether the match were alive or dead. That was the American winning margin of 5-2. Had Miss Wade won, as she nearly did, it would have been 4-3. There was small possibility of Britain doing better than that.

“What if Christine Truman had been able to play? Who knows? This was Mrs Jones’s match. She has played 22 times [matches] in the Wightman Cup since 1957 and won 11. That is no bad record. In singles she has won 8 out of 15. In doubles 3 out of 7. A doughty performer!”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1966

June 10 and 11

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

United States: Nancy Richey, Billie Jean King, Mary-Ann Eisel, Jane Albert, Julie Heldman
Great Britain: Ann Jones, Virginia Wade, Winnie Shaw, Rita Bentley, Elizabeth Starkie

Non-playing captains: Margaret Varner (USA); Angela Barrett (GBR)
--

United States d. Great Britain 4-3

Ann Jones d. Nancy Richey (USA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Billie Jean King (USA) d. Virginia Wade 6-2, 6-3
Jones/Wade d. Jane Albert (USA)/King 7-5, 6-2
Winnie Shaw d. Mary-Ann Eisel (USA) 6-3, 6-3
Richey d. Wade 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
King d. Jones 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
Eisel/Richey d. Rita Bentley/Elizabeth Starkie 6-1, 6-2
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 1, 1966

By Alan Little

“Great Britain got within three points of winning the annual contest for the Wightman Cup, staged this year upon the lawns of the All England Club, Wimbledon, on June 10th and 11th. After leading by three matches to one, a position not achieved since 1928, they failed to win any of the three remaining contests although they came mighty close in two of the singles. A good-sized crowd enjoyed exciting and sometimes exhilarating play under sunny and hot conditions.

“The home side’s premiere player, Ann Jones, recent winner of the Italian and French titles, and unbeaten during the season, gave her country a fine start by gradually overcoming the dour Texan, Nancy Richey, after 90 minutes on court. It was quite fascinating tennis, with the sun-shaded, pokerfaced American definitely holding the reins during the first half of the encounter. She had Mrs Jones well pinned to the baseline with her fearless, rocket-like drives hit to good length, first to one side and then to the other. Mrs Jones retrieved fantastically well, but the force of her opponent’s strokes seldom allowed her to take the initiative. Two service breaks and America had the first set, 6-2.

“The balance of play changed many times in the second set. Mrs Jones managed to vary her game, enabling her to take the net position on occasions and put a good volley away or draw her opponent to the forecourt with a beautifully disguised drop shot. Miss Richey, on her part, countered by hitting the ball even harder and interspersing cleverly the well-projected lob. Service was broken six times out of the ten games played. In the last one Miss Richey, while serving, had five points to square at 5-all before the Englishwoman produced a backhand drop shot and then a decisive volley to clinch the set.

“After the interval fortunes swayed to and fro with Mrs Jones losing her service three times in succession, but managing to break back on each occasion. The turning point came in the seventh game when Mrs Jones rescued her service from 15-40. Miss Richey then lost control of her drives and, aided by a double fault, Mrs Jones broke through to love to lead 5-3. A game later Britain were one match up.

“Virginia Wade began disastrously against Billie Jean King, the former Miss Moffitt, by losing her first two service games to be 0-3 down in a matter of minutes. She atoned a little by pulling this back to 2-3, but the effervescent American showed no mercy and took the next three games with the loss of one point.

“It was a different story in the second set. Miss Wade, accustoming herself to the pace of the court, retaliated in good measure. Her powerful services and volleys, coupled with neat ground strokes, began to match the flashing drives and cat-like net shots of the American who, as time went on, began to slow up under this pressure in the humid atmosphere.

“Miss Wade lost her opportunity to make something of this set in the eighth game, when she fought hard to pull back a service break. Six times she stood at game point before Mrs King went ahead to 5-3. During this period Miss Wade played some delightful shots, but could never string them together to win the vital points. It was virtually the end. Miss Wade’s next service was returned so severely that she never won a point, and Mrs King was home, 6-2, 6-3.

“The following doubles was a sharp-shooting affair and full of interest throughout. Backed by the steadiness of Mrs Jones, Miss Wade was able to show her full range of shots from all parts of the court. Her service, made from a wide angle, constantly had the American pair of Mrs King and Jane Albert in trouble, and Mrs Jones was always there, correctly in position, to deal with the return. Miss Albert, making her debut in the competition, was undoubtedly the weak link in her side and not even the dashing Mrs King could quell the mounting pressure of the British.

“All four players were guilty of losing their delivery, but it was Miss Albert who erred the most – four times out of five. It all added up to a win to the British by 7-5, 6-2, and a comfortable lead going into the second day of 2-1.

“The first match on the Saturday brought together two 19-year-old players experiencing Wightman Cup status for the first time. Winnie Shaw, the first Scotswoman to make the grade, was expected to beat Mary-Ann Eisel of Saint Louis, for she had got the better of her twice in recent tournaments. She did not disappoint and, indeed, displayed fine courage and temperament in extending Great Britain’s lead to 3-1. Her passage was helped considerably by the number of double faults which flowed from Miss Eisel’s racket. In all she sent down nine, four of them on crucial game points.

“Miss Shaw started hesitantly, losing her opening service to trail 1-3. From then on, however, she generally took control of the match and never looked like losing. Her backhand return of service was most noteworthy and the policy of attacking paid so handsomely that she was able to break through twice to take the set, 6-3.

“The home player forged ahead to 2-1 in the second set. It may have been 3-1 if her concentration had not been temporarily upset at 30-all when a drive from Miss Eisel, which looked over the baseline, was given as good. Miss Shaw followed with a double fault. After exchanging services, a very determined Miss Shaw broke through again for 4-3. The American, hitting some fine passing shots, tried desperately to get even, but the Scottish girl, reluctant to submit, held her service with a terrific cross-court half-volley for 5-3. She then proceeded to take Miss Eisel’s delivery once more for the match.

“Miss Wade so nearly covered herself with glory in her memorable match with Miss Richey when she gave an exhibition of sustained tennis seldom seen from an Englishwoman. She also matched the American with her baseline driving, so much so, that on occasions it was Miss Richey who got impatient and, trying to force the issue, found the net. How tragic it was, then, having victory in her grasp, leading 5-3 in the final set with her service to come, she should falter.

“At the beginning Miss Wade, from 1-2, stormed ahead to take the first set, 6-2. But Miss Richey does not give up easily. Gradually she took a firmer control and with tremendous driving down both wings she gained the ascendancy to capture the first and seventh games for the second set, 6-2.

“After the short rest it was Miss Wade who settled down first to lead 3-0. Miss Richey’s dogged determination then allowed her to break through twice, but Miss Wade, just as stubborn, repaid in kind to reach 5-3. Suddenly Miss Wade went to pieces. The bite disappeared from her strokes and her service was lost to love. In the following game the American started with a double fault, but it made little difference for she was now well in command and reeled off the next three games for the match.

“British hopes were still high in the next match when Mrs Jones, steady as ever, broke through in the eleventh game to take the first set from Mrs King, 7-5. The American soon came zooming back to even at 6-2.

“The deciding set was packed with drama. Serving at 30-all in the fourth game, Mrs King was forced to attempt a backhand volley, but in doing so cramp seized her in the left leg. It appeared that all Mrs Jones had to do was keep the ball away from her opponent, but somehow Mrs King’s racket became a magnet for the ball. The American saved three game points to lead 3-2. Despite a double fault, Mrs Jones held her service for 3-all, but then allowed Mrs King the freedom of the court to progress to 4-3. She just could not make the American run.

“The next game was exceptionally tense. After reaching 40-0 on her service Mrs Jones frittered away three points for deuce and three advantages to lose the game. Mrs King’s fine lobs and outright winners had done the damage. In the final game Mrs King
flashed down four services to which Mrs Jones could only give token replies. The United States had fought back to 3-all.

“The final doubles was a complete anti-climax. Instead of a gripping struggle for the trophy it turned out to be so one-sided that the crowd were stunned into silence. On this showing the Americans, Miss Eisel and Miss Richey, were in quite a different class to Elizabeth Starkie and Rita Bentley, who could do no better than win three games.

“Such a sorry end. In choosing Miss Wade and Miss Shaw for the singles the selectors had made a bold move. What a pity their choice of youth was not extended further.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1967

August 12, 13 and 14

Venue: Howard T. Clark Court, Cleveland, Ohio (outdoors on cement)

Teams

United States: Billie Jean King, Nancy Richey, Rosie Casals, Mary-Ann Eisel, Carole Graebner
Great Britain: Ann Jones, Virginia Wade, Christine Truman, Winnie Shaw, Joyce Williams

Non-playing captains: Betty Pratt (USA); Angela Barrett (GBR)
--

United States d. Great Britain 6-1

Billie Jean King d. Virginia Wade (GBR) 6-3, 6-2
Nancy Richey d. Ann Jones (GBR) 6-2, 6-2
Christine Truman (GBR) d. Rosie Casals 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Casals/King d. Jones/Wade 10-8, 6-4
Richey d. Wade 3-6, 8-6, 6-2
King d. Jones 6-1, 6-2
Mary-Ann Eisel/Carole Graebner d. Winnie Shaw (GBR)/Joyce Williams (GBR) 8-6, 12-10
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, October 1967

By Lance Tingay

“The 39th Wightman Cup control was successful in every possible way except for the capacity of the visitors to make a close match of it. The three days at the Harold T. Clark courts in Cleveland Heights brought a total crowd of 16,001, not far short of capacity, and revenue of 50,000 dollars.

“All this stressed the efficiency of the promotion of the event under Bob Malaga. The United States beat Great Britain 6-1. This stressed the efficiency of the American team. What it stressed on behalf of the British team I hardly know.

“It was not an easy match for the British to play. Two years ago the court was fairly slow, certainly slow enough for Ann Jones to do very well. Between then and 1967, the same court was transformed into a dazzling green and red affair of fast cement which combined with the lively American ball to give all novitiates much to think about.

“Even so the inability of Mrs Jones to play to her full capacity rendered the British defeat wide than it might have been. This was the 11th Wightman Cup for Mrs Jones. It was the least successful she ever had.

“It fell to Virginia Wade to open the British effort on the first day when she was drawn against Billie Jean King in the opening rubber. The Wimbledon champion was very expert, very good and very ruthless. She beat Wade, 6-2, 6-3, and the British share of the match was small.

“Nancy Richeyfollowed this by beating Mrs Jones, 6-2, 6-2, It was, on Miss Richey’s part, a masterly performance in every way. She was outstandingly good with her accuracy, pace and firmness of driving. Two years before, when Mrs Jones played her in the Wightman Cup in Cleveland, a dour and notable British victory was achieved when Miss Richey was given no angles and nothing to hit.

“On this far faster court such tactics were not possible. Mrs Jones essayed a net attack to break the American down. This merely served to give the Texan a target for winning passing shots. Mrs Jones had nothing left to offer. The match, as a match of uncertain issue, ended as early as the fifth game of the opening set. This was won by Mrs Jones after nine deuces to reduce her deficit to 2-3, but afterwards she lost the next seven games.

“This, as it was the last time in Cleveland, was a three-day match and the first day accordingly ended with Britain two down and with only nine games on their side of the score sheet. Came the second day, Sunday, and it looked as if the visitors were in for a disastrous pasting.

“Christine Truman, playing at number three, heroically saved British honour and that after looking as if she would be utterly trounced by the tremendous energies and fantastic shot-making capacity of the exuberant Rosemary Casals. Miss Truman found footwork more than normally difficult on a court on which it was impossible to slide at all. She groped her way for the first three games, all of which she lost, and she lost the first set, 3-6, with Miss Casals looking an obvious winner.

“It was attack by Miss Casals without cessation. It was attack without cessation, too, by Miss Truman, though with so much less mobility that it seemed impossible for it to succeed. Then in the second set came six games all against the service. It left Miss Truman in front, 6-5. Miss Casals’ winners were then becoming few, those of Miss Truman more frequent. More frequent, too, were American errors. They had hardly existed in the opening set. Miss Truman got the service break and the second set was hers at 7-5.

“It now became possible to remember that Miss Truman had served her apprenticeship as a Wightman Cup heroine nine years before and that this was the novice effort of Miss Casals at only 18. Miss Truman boomed her winners more and more. Miss Casals – it is hard to say what she did. Lose her nerve, perhaps? Certainly her confidence ebbed and in little time Miss Truman stood 4-0 in the deciding set.

“The American began a desperate effort to come back. Deuce was called six times in the next game but, nevertheless, Miss Truman won it and that despite a couple of double faults. At 5-0 Miss Truman could scarcely lose for this was Miss Truman in full old-style glory, brave, rash, spectacular and lucky in that a shot off the wood was a certain winner.

“The sixth game was hilarious, though it would not have been had not Miss Truman been so far ahead. Miss Casals put over four services and on each one Miss Truman tried for an outright winning return. I suspect that fishermen in Lake Erie must have been startled at that moment, unless, as may have been the case, the British returns actually had momentum enough to go into orbit and upset the watchers at Cape Kennedy.

“Miss Truman had the first of her match balls at 40-15 in the next game. She won her fifth some time later after six deuces. It was a success everyone, including the American crowd, relished. It averted the threat of a whitewash. And, if it was to be Miss Truman’s last appearance in the Wightman Cup, it was a fitting victory for so brave a player.

“Mrs King and Miss Casals pressed on afterwards to beat Mrs Jones and Miss Wade. I feared they looked as if they would though, in masculine fashion, one break of serve decided the first set and one the second. [?]

“So it was 3-1 to the US at the start of the third day. It became 4-1, the winning lead, when Miss Richey beat Miss Wade. The Texan was much less formidable than against Mrs Jones on the opening day. She seemed afraid to hit the ball and to lack confidence. Miss Wade, although mixing winners and errors pretty freely, led 3-0 and won the first set, 6-3.

“The second set, more tightly fought brought Miss Wade to 5-4 with her service to come. She led 15-0 when strength became fragility. The next four points, and then four more after that belonged to Miss Richey, and Miss Wade did not win.

“Miss Wade did get to 2-1 in the third set, and it was round about then, when Miss Wade had played three very fine and decisive drop shots, that Miss Richey hurt her back. But Miss Wade was unable to carry her advantage further and she did not come within a point of taking any of the next five games.

“So the contest as a live issue was done when Mrs Jones came on to court against Mrs King. What are virtually exhibition matches are never easy to play. What effort Mrs Jones made to play this one was not evident to spectators and it was all over in 34 minutes.

“Mary-Ann Eisel substituted for the injured Miss Richey in the final rubber with Carol Graebner against Winnie Shaw and Joyce Williams. It was rather a lightweight contest, perhaps, but it would have been a fascinating one had the issue been alive. What would have been the outcome in that case I have no idea. Perhaps the Americans would have won it more easily. Possibly they would not have won it all. At any rate all four players obviously tried with zeal for personal satisfaction, even though their efforts could not affect the result of the contest as a whole, and the Americans got the palm. The Scots, with one set ball at 5-2 in the second set and three more at 10-9, doubtless kicked themselves for not taking the rubber to the final set.

“This is not the first account of a Wightman Cup disappointing to Britain. I doubt, short of the most outrageous luck, if the Americans were beatable by the British team under American conditions. But I must make the comment that it was odd to see, so far as one could observe, two British teams – Mrs Jones and Miss Wade for the one part, Miss Truman, Miss Shaw, Mrs Williams and the captain Angela Mortimer for the other.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1968

June 14 and 15

Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (outdoors on grass)

Teams

Great Britain: Virginia Wade, Christine Janes, Winnie Shaw, Nell Truman
United States:Nancy Richey, Mary-Ann Eisel, Jane ‘Peaches’ Bartkowicz, Kathy Harter, Stephanie de Fina

Non-playing captains: Angela Barrett (GBR); Betty Pratt (USA)
--

Great Britain d. United States 4-3

Nancy Richey (USA) d. Christine Janes 6-1, 8-6
Virginia Wade d. Mary-Ann Eisel (USA) 6-0, 6-1
Winnie Shaw/Wade d. Eisel/Richey 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Jane “Peaches” Bartkowicz (USA) d. Shaw 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
Eisel d. Janes 6-4, 6-3
Wade d. Richey 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
Janes/Nell Truman d. Kathy Harter (USA)/Stephanie de Fina (USA) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
--

From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, August 1968

By Alan Little

“The hands of the clock on the Number One Court of the All England Club, Wimbledon, showed just past ten minutes to eight on June 15th when the President of the Lawn Tennis Association, Sir Carl Aarvold, stepped forward to present the Wightman Cup to Great Britain’s Angela Barrett. It was the climax to two days’ absorbing play in which Great Britain’s overnight lead of 2-1 changed to 3-2 in favour of the United States before two thrilling matches gave the home country victory at 4-3.

“The professionals Ann Jones (GBR), Billie Jean King (USA) and Rosie Casals (USA) being barred from competing did little to distract from the interest shown in the match. If their absence tended to give Great Britain a slight advantage, few could grudge them victory for it was only their seventh win in 40 encounters since the trophy was donated by the American, Mrs Hazel Wightman, in 1923.

“For Angela Barrett it must have been a proud moment and, to some degree, a relief, knowing that her work as captain for five years had at last met with reward. The occasion must also have been memorable for Christine Janes, who was a member of the two other successful British sides since the war, in 1958 and 1960.

“All four British women had a hand in bringing victory, with Virginia Wade taking the lion’s share of the praise for winning three matches, two singles and a double. Miss Wade, who had not previously recorded a win in five singles outings since 1965, was in magnificent form on both days.

“Mary-Ann Eisel met the full force of the Wade bombardment on the first day when she was crushed, 6-0, 6-1, in just under 35 minutes. Miss Eisel could only win nine points in the first set. The only American resemblance of form was in the fourth game of the second set when she managed to win her service. Apart from this, her double faults and indecisive volleying and driving predominated. This was the heaviest defeat inflicted by an Englishwoman since the competition began.

“Later Miss Wade came back on court with Winnie Shaw to defeat Nancy Richey and Miss Eisel, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Again, Miss Eisel’s lack of form contributed largely to the Americans’ downfall.

“Miss Wade’s Great Triumph

“On the second day Miss Wade continued with the same brand of tennis but now met the dogged Miss Richey. In 1966 and 1967, Miss Wade failed when serving out to take the match against the same opponent. This time, however, she succeeded. Miss Wade won the first set, 6-4, the American the second, 6-2. The turning point in the deciding set was when Miss Wade’s out-manoeuvre of Miss Richey on two points enabled a breakthrough for 5-3. Bracing herself, Miss Wade then sent down three unreturnable deliveries followed by an American forehand overdrive and it was all over. The Kent girl was cheered off court.

“Mrs Janes was disappointing. Out of touch against Miss Richey for the first set she could find no answer to the American’s accurate and skilful driving. She won only her opening service, mustered only 11 points and out of the last 24 won just 3.

“Mrs Janes improved in the following set with her booming services and lusty driving coupled with the occasional unerring smash. In this mood she led 4-2 and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5, but Miss Richey drew level each time, running through the last eight points for the match

“If Miss Eisel showed bad form on the first day, she certainly showed a reversal against Mrs Janes. Her service was outstanding, and her forehand prepared the way for her deadly volleying. Mrs Janes was well beaten, 6-4, 6-3.

“A Puzzle For Miss Shaw

“The third singles, between Miss Shaw and Peaches Bartkowicz, a newcomer to the competition, was a dreary, long drawn-out affair. For too many errors were committed. Miss Bartkowitz, double-handed on the backhand, only left the baseline three times. Miss Shaw seemed unable to break the spell of long rallies and to bring her all-round game to bear. Constant service breaks occurred and out of the ten games played in the final set only the fifth was not conceded. This was sufficient to turn the match in the American’s favour, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. Miss Shaw must be puzzled why she was unable to win this match.

“The Deciding Match

“The final contest, in which Mrs Janes was joined by her sister, Nell Truman, against Kathy Harter and Stephanie de Fina, was great entertainment. Everything happened. Shots off the wood, mis-hits, players out of position and even falling over to avoid the ball. The Americans, not experienced as a pair, did not impress in the first set, but combined well enough in the second to even the score. The interval was extended because of the rain and when the players returned the light was very poor.

“Miss Truman was the first of the four players to hold service and this put the British ahead, 3-1. Miss de Fina then faltered again and Mrs Janes confidently steered the score to 5-1. At 5-2 Miss Truman served for the Cup, but alas she lost the game to love. Miss de Fina then served with no greater success, the final point being a beautifully hit half-volley by Miss Truman, which split the Americans down the middle. The crowd were happy and contented.”
-----

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Re: The Wightman Cup Thread – Reports, Results & More

1969

August 9, 10 and 11

Venue: Howard T. Clark Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio (outdoors on asphalt)

Teams

United States: Julie Heldman, Nancy Richey, Jane ‘Peaches’ Bartkowicz, Mary-Ann Curtis, Valerie Ziegenfuss
Great Britain: Virginia Wade, Winnie Shaw, Christine Janes, Nell Truman, Joyce Williams

Non-playing captains: Betty Pratt (USA); Angela Mortimer(GBR)
--

United States d. Great Britain 5-2

Julie Heldman d. Virginia Wade (GBR) 3-6, 6-1, 8-6
Nancy Richey d. Winnie Shaw (GBR) 8-6, 6-2
Peaches Bartkowicz d. Christine Janes (GBR) 8-6, 6-0
Janes/Nell Truman (GBR) d. Mary-Ann Curtis/Valerie Ziegenfuss 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Wade d. Richey 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Heldman d. Shaw 6-3, 6-4
Bartkowicz/Heldman d. Shaw/Wade 6-4, 6-2
--

From BP “World of Tennis” Yearbook (1970)

By Frank Rostron

“Whatever hopes Britain had of retaining the Wightman Cup – a feat the Mother Country had only once before achieved, at Forest Hills in 1925 – evaporated in the humid atmosphere of the Howard T. Clark Stadium at Cleveland Heights in the very opening rubber of the three-day programme.

“That was when Virginia Wade, heroine of Britain’s heady 4-3 victory at Wimbledon the year before, failed in a test of temperament against Julie Heldman, who had the disadvantage of playing in her first Wightman Cup as compared with Virginia’s fourth.

“Against this you might say we all knew any prospects of a first British victory for forty-four years in this event in America depended almost entirely on our wayward Miss Wade and she knew that herself. With some wishful thinking you could make out in advance a slender case for a 4-3 victory, but only if Virginia, still pridefully holding the United States Open title, could repeat her previous year’s three successes on Wimbledon’s Number One Court.

“Miss Heldman, who was herself so nervous in the uncomfortable, swirling wind sweeping the lively asphalt court that she served three wretched double faults in the fourth game of the first set, gave Virginia every chance by losing the first set, 3-6. The Kent girl had been playing with spasmodic dash; but now we felt she had everything under control. Yet against some safer, but moderate, serving and some cleverly controlled varieties of pace and length, particularly on the forehand, by the determined New Yorker, her hit-or-miss game disintegrated.

“Similarly, after she had bravely pulled up from 3-5 in the deciding set to lead 6-5, by controlling her net-rushing impetuosity, her brittle game snapped again in the face of the American’s subtle placing. With a series of demoralised mis-hits, both in the air and off the bouncy asphalt surface, causing groans by the small British contingent in the big crowd, she won one point in each of those games.

“We all knew that 3-6, 6-1, 8-6 victory, the first of Julie’s three wins which rightly won her the personal award for the outstanding player of the contest, meant a 34th United States victory. But by how much? A dreaded ‘whitewash’, with Britain zero for the eighth time, seemed not impossible.

“Winnie Shaw, with the same racy midcourt fluency of volleying that had so nearly upset Margaret Court in the Hard Court Championships at Bournemouth, played at her peak to reach two set points at 5-4 and five more at 6-5 against Nancy Richey, but was clearly beaten, 8-6, 6-2.

“Mrs Christine Janes, who as Miss Truman had unhappily ruined Britain’s bright chances four year earlier by injuring herself at Cleveland, made a thrilling first set effort, but was beaten, 8-6, 6-0, by the superb baseline driving and whacking return of service by ‘Peaches’ Bartkowicz. The cool Michigan girl, who won the last nine games in succession, frustrated Christine’s gambling volleying with tape-grazing passing shots consistently hitting the lines.

“That made it 3-0. But a tired Christine Janes, after only half an hour’s rest, was so helped by her sister Nell’s scampering volleying and by the tangled blunders of an inconsistent Valerie Ziegenfuss in the final set of a topsy-turvy doubles in which they were 1-3 down, that the Woodford sisters scored a surprise 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over over Mary-Ann Curtis and Miss Ziegenfuss to demolish fears of that humiliating ‘whitewash’.

“Then Virginia Wade did much to efface her first match flop with a far more worthy display of controlled attack to repeat her previous year’s win over Nancy Richey, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Match score now unbelievably: United States 3, Great Britain 2.

“But Julie Heldman confidently manoeuvred Winnie Shaw round the court to win the deciding singles, 6-3, 6-4, and finally, in an exhibition-type final doubles, partnered the baseline-hugging Peaches Bartkowicz to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Miss Shaw and Miss Wade.

“Once again, Ann Jones for Britain, and Billie Jean King and Rosemary Casals for the United States, were barred as contract professionals. But none could say the result might have been different. Even the ‘gate’, with 15,000 spectators paying, failed to reflect their absence, though the imminence of the Challenge Round of the Davis Cup in the same area six weeks later this time inevitably produced a ‘second-best’ production atmosphere.

“Can no other American city make the Wightman Cup pay?”
-----

Last edited by newmark401 : May 19th, 2014 at 12:23 PM.
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