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Old Jan 27th, 2002, 10:29 PM   #16
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Before Chris and Martina there was the 'Evonne and Chrissie' rivalry-with Goolagong cast as the heroine and Chris the villain.
I've heard that in the 1970's only two players could hit a drop shot with so much backspin that it often dropped over the net then kicked back over untouched. One was Ilie Nastase-the other
Evonne Goolagong.

After her injuries and motherhood drove her from the game the Goolagong family lived many years in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
She wrote about her decision to return to her Australia and her roots in Home! The Evonne Goolagong story.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 03:17 AM   #17
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When Billie Jean King was in her prime, she use to give Chris Evert fits in the Majors. Chris didn't beat Billie in the Majors until 1977. Billie also usually beat Evonne. From 1961 to 1965, Margaret Court beat Billie on a regular basis; however, when Billie got her game together, their head to head record was 12 to 8 in Billie's favor.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 03:37 AM   #18
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Hi Roscoe, I hear you about Hana! It was sure frustrating being a fan of hers! I liken her a lot to Zvereva. But at least Hana held it togetrher enough to take 4 majors.

It erks me to hear people on this board say that Chris and Martina had no competition, and how Chris could not cope on the circuit today. Sure the girls hit harder today, but they were brought up with powerful racquets and intense training programs. In addition, its crazy talk to say that Chris had no competition.

Do you guys think tha Chris was as dominant in the 70s as Martina was in the 80s, and Steffi was in the 90s?

BTW what was the relationship between Margaret Court and BJK like? Did BJK arrive as Margaret was winding down, or wewre they like a Chris/Martina, or Steffi/Monica rivalry?
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 04:13 AM   #19
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Billie Jean King was/is Catholic? I thought I remember reading she was raised Episcopalian...

Billie Jean King definitely got along much better with Chris Evert than she did Martina Navratilova, especially till she began coaching Martina. She knew Chris years before she knew Martina. Billie Jean & Chris had a special relationship since they were both the most popular/well-known tennis players in the USA in the 70s and had a lot in common.

Billie Jean liked Martina - as did most players. She used to practice with both Martina & Chris. Even during Wimbledon 1978, when she was supposedly helping Martina with a few pointers etc., she was also helping Chris out during her practice sessions. Martina & Billie Jean played doubles together from 1978 to 1980.

After that doubles partnership ended, Billie Jean was very angry at Martina for a long time after that. In her 1982 autobiography, you can detect the animosity she still felt towards Martina when she wrote about her. What's funny was that, she thought the 80s would be Chris & Tracy & Hana & Andrea; and she wasn't sure if Martina would be able to get in the mix. LOL @ what happened afterwards...

During her last years on the tour (1982-83), Billie Jean & Chris played doubles together on a number of occasions. Eventually, Martina & she did reconcile. And she ended up coaching Martina, beginning in 1989 till her retirement in 1994. Billie Jean has credited Martina with helping her come to terms with her sexuality. Still, she says she can't afford to be very open about it, even today, because of her business commitments and any negative consequences that may arise b/c of this issue. Also, Martina has strongly supported Billie Jean's WTT over the years and also stepped in to coach the U.S. Fed Cup team when Billie Jean wanted to take a one-year break. They are very close now, just as Chris is with both of them.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 04:18 AM   #20
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Thanks Zummi. I thought that that was the case. Do you know if BJK is still married to Larry, or if she isn't, what happened?
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 04:28 AM   #21
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The rivalry between Billie Jean King & Margaret wasn't like Chris/Martina or Moncia/Steffi - IT WAS WORSE!!!

Both players really disliked each other, despite the number of times they tried to downplay the "feud". Margaret Court was old school. She would have continued playing as an amateur and getting under-the-table money had Open tennis not arrived in 1968. She was not a risk-taker nor a feminist. A very religious and traditional-minded woman.

Billie Jean King was the opposite. Well sort-of. She also refused to identify as a feminist, but she was very determined to end the hypocrisy of "shamateurism" and bring tennis out in the Open. She really fought the tennis poobahs, who hated her guts, and eventually succeeded in her efforts when tennis went Open in 1968.

Later, Billie Jean fought a second battle getting women's tennis more exposure. Margaret Court never supported her in this. When she finally saw that the Virginia Slims women's tour was a success, she joined the tour and made a cool million dollars of it. Players like Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade were also in the same category, conservative & very proestablishment. Evonne, though, was more under the thumb of her then-coach, Vic Edwards, in the same way as Evert was controlled by her father.

Back in 1973, Billie Jean made the comment that the Court family was "Women's Lib" in action. Margaret was the breadwinner, travelling around the world. Her husband travelled with her, taking care of their son. This really got Margaret all riled up!! She responded that Billie Jean was jealous of her family life b/c she had had an abortion (in 1971) and was bitter about not having a family of her own. Meow!!

Court became a born-again Christian in the late-70s. Up to that point, she had been a very conservative Catholic. Virginia Wade said that Court was so conservative, she was opposed to the Second Vatican Council and she thought that the reforms introduced by the Church were a huge mistake. Needless to say, Billie Jean could not relate to this sort of thinking. And we are all aware of Court's homophobic comments directed at Martina Navratilova made in 1990.

In her 1988 book on women's tennis, Billie Jean said that there was no longer any frostiness between her & Margaret and that they enjoyed meeting each other at the many ceremonies & presentations they got to attend as former champions.

Btw, Maria Bueno never had a very good relationship with Margaret Court or Billie Jean either during the 60s & 70s.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 04:30 AM   #22
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Bcp, Billie Jean & Larry divorced in 1987.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 06:42 AM   #23
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Wonderful thread, Rollo, and many thanks for starting it. I got turned on to tennis in 1971 when Chris raced to the semifinals as a 16-year-old, and I've been a huge fan -- and avid follower -- ever since. At the present, I am going through my old collection of tennis magazines, dating back to 1975 when I first discovered such things existed (I was raised on a farm in south Georgia!) I'm actually tearing out the stories I want to keep and tossing the rest, and I'll try to share a few as we go along.

One of the things that I much admire about the women of yesteryear is how hard they had to fight for the right to play for pay. (These spoiled players today have no idea about the sacrifice and commitment it took to create their multimillion dollar tour, which is why I get peeved when today's stars withdraw on a whim and demonstrate no commitment to the game.) What struck me as amazing today was a story I came across about Mima Jausovec, the little Yugoslave who won the French in 1977 and was runner-up to Evert there in 1983. It seems Mima wanted a European tournament staged at her club in Maribor, Yugoslavia, so badly that she went out and did TV commercials for money that was donated to her club, so it could fund the tournament.

Now that is dedication!
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 06:57 AM   #24
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Hi Jem . I remember Mima. I also agree with you about what a struggle it was in the 70s. I have heard BJK and Chris, Martina & Pam, say over and over that the stars these days do little to put anything back into the game. There are a couple of other great "retro" threads on the board. There is a picture thread which Evonne Goolagong-Cawley has posted the most marvellous pictures, and there is a thread called Ladies of the court where lots of people have put in 70s and 80s stories.

Zummi, thanks for filling me in on the Margaret/BJK rivalry. I have never liked Margaret.

Also thanks for the update on Larry and BJK.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 07:05 AM   #25
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Discussion of BJK and Margaret Court inevitably leads to ......drum roll please,,,,,,,,, BOBBY RIGGS!!!! (aaargh). I have to admit that he is probably responsible for my initial interest in women's tennis. How he managed to defeat Margaret Court so easily and then be overwhelmed by Billie Jean confounds me to this day. Do you have these matches, tennisvideos?? I'd love to see those again. A TV movie about the whole Riggs "affair" was shown in North America last year and had Holly Hunter as BJK. Thought it was a fairly accurate depiction of those events given the constraints of the format. Despite his obviously selfish motives I think Riggs deserves a mention as a very important part of the history of women's tennis.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 09:38 AM   #26
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I'll second everything Zummi said about in his last large post Reading the 4 or so books they came out with one gets the impression Court and King hated each others guts! It all started when the chubby litle California kid shocked the #1 seeded Court in the first round of Wimbledon in 1963. King refused to accept Marge's dominance, so they were bound to collide. Ditto for Cort and Bueno, because school-girl Margeret Smith ruined Bueno's bid at the 1960 Aussie title. Court knocked Bueno out of the #1 spot, Bueno got it back. Court returned to #1-King knocked her out. Court got it back it again, etc. When you're talking women's tennis in the 1960's, Bueno, Court, and King were the big 3.

It's ironic that Court later criticized Martina, they had several traits in common. Court was so physically imposing one of her nicknames was "The Arm". She was the first ever female tennis star to pump iron, even endorsing a product of women's weights(Princess Barbells). See any shades of Martina there? They shared one other trait according to women on the tour, being prone to nerves. Not on the scale of Novotna, mind you, but when compared to their rivals(King and Evert) it was thought the later had the upper hand. court never had the succes she should have at Wimbledon, where Ted Tinling said "she saw
invisible vultures over Center Court".
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 10:06 AM   #27
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For you Jem

A little on Mima from the book "Inside Tennis", by Peter Bodo. I REALLY give this book a "thumbs up". It covers the 1978 season, with in depth looks at Evert, Navratilova, King, Goolagong, Austin, Shriver, Wade, Ruzici, Borg, Connors, etc.
The author knows the game and it's full of stunning pics, some in color.

On Mima. Bodo calls her "one of the most affable women on tour". She and best friend Virginia Ruzici had to play each other in the 1978 French final. This was th ematch Richard Williams says inspired him to pick a tennis career for his daughter afte rhaering the winner got $35,000. "Ruzici is pounding her extraordinary forehand all over the court, swarming over the ball with her aggressive, spidery style. " At 5'3'' poor Mima is run into the ground. A close(but clearly out) line call comes in the second set. "Jausovec looks at Ruzici, but if her friend has any feelings about the ball, she keps them to herself. Jausovec just shrugs and walks to the baseline to recieve serve. The match is all but over. The contested point and Ruzici's failure to respond have left Jausovec hurt and bewildered. She loses 6-2 6-2."

It gets messy playing a friend.

There's a funny description of a Durr match at Eastbourne. 35 year old Durr tries all her tricks, but her opponent is also a vet. Francoise Durr's on court monologues are something else.

After a dropshot doesn't bounce on the grass. "I can see why tennis is dying here".

"Oh fuck it anyway! I don't know why I'm here. Chrees Evert will win this tournament for sure!"

After another bad bounce."Oh, give a good bounce, fucking English!".

On match point. "I never like grass".
But when she loses, Durr leaves the court smiling. Crowds loved her despite all her antics
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 11:32 AM   #28
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King v Riggs plus some more on Durr

Roscoe

Yes I have King-Riggs match. You can email me.

Rollo, thanks for the story about Durr at Eastbourne... she certainly was very funny indeed.

I mentioned briefly that I have been friends with her for a few years and have interviewed her etc. Well a few years back at the Aussie Open we were having a hit - I wanted to film some of her shots again for posterity. Of course all the crazy shots were still in their full glory. Well we could only hit for about 15 minutes as it was about 43 degrees celcius which is about 105 degrees! It was shocking. After our hit we went to line up for a cab, and Frankie must have had about 30 flies swarming around her. I didn't have any. Anyway, I said to her "It must be your Perfume" (knowing flies like scents). She replied "But I'm not wearing any" !!!! We had a good old laugh at that. Then she told me a few stories how she and Teddy Tinling were always swearing "Fucking Flies" everytime they came to Australia. She's a doll.

Anyway, there is a little story I wanted to share with you on one of my favourites tennis starlets from the past.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 12:07 PM   #29
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Keep those Durr stories coming Tennisvideos. Tinling was some character too. If I could talk to only one person about women's tennis, he'd be it. Imagine knowing every great from Lenglen to Seles! His "bitch theory"(the idea that every #1 has to be more than a little on the selfish side) rings so true!

BTW, whatever happened to Durr's marriage? Kids? And do you have pics of the dog who used to carry her racquets on court?


I was wrong about King being Cathloic Zummi, She and Evert both mention the sense of a shared childhood, with lots of discipline and religion. King even wanted to be a missionary as a child. My old mind must have jumped from that to a shared religion

As for the King marriage, by 1973 they both wondered jokingly why they didn't divorce. Larry was seeing some other female tennis player and BJK was sharing a room with her hairdresser/Girl Friday/ girlfriend Marilyn.
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Old Jan 28th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #30
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Rollo

Frankie Durr is still happily married to Boyd Browning. Nice guy. He is upset that Frankie hasn't been inducted into the International Hall of Fame yet. She should have been.. she won the French Open in 67 as well as 11 Grand Slam Doubles titles (5 French Doubles in Succession with several different partners) and helped get French Womens Tennis to the level of success it now shares.

We have put a few submissions to the ITHF and they have nominated her but she hasn't been voted in yet. Will keep trying.

They have a teenage boy from Boyd's first marriage and a girl that Francoise had when she was in her mid 40s. I have a few pics of Frankie with her Dog "Topspin" carrying her racket! LOL So funny!

BTW, when I hit with Frankie, it was surprising how hard she hit! I mean her shots look so slow on video and TV but when you hit with her in the flesh, those shots carried some clout, so you can imagine how hard all the other players hit. And I play A Grade Mens in Sydney so it's not as though I can't play.
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