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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 06:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mark36
Thanks for your BJK story Craig! It sounds like Billie had a crush on you! I love your grandmother's comment!

I always fail to mention that besides screaming at me in 1981, I also had the pleasure of catching up to Billie J in Oakland in 1991 after Navratilova beat Seles in the Bank of the West classic. I was back stage waiting for the players to appear from the interview room and BJK walks out. Of course I was all over her like white on rice and she was very nice.

I just like the screaming Billie Mean story better.

On another note...BJK number 1 in 1971? No way! How dare she try to steal Evonne's thunder!
To be fair, Billie Jean isn't trying to 'steal Evonne's thunder' in claiming that No.1 ranking for 1971! The quote from her first autobiography goes:

"I'd won nineteen of thirty tournaments and dominated the Virginia Slims tournament, and as a surprise little bauble I'd played in enough of the ITLF tournaments to pick up that title too. But when the various world rankings came out for 1971, Evonne Goolagong was No.1 and I was No.2. I was happy for Evonne -after all, she'd won two major championships in the space of a month- but I was disappointed because it meant a lot of people, including the ones who did the rankings, didn't really give full credit to the Slims tour. I felt that being able to play good tennis week in and week out ought to mean as much as winning major titles. Maybe more, even. But a lot of people didn't see it that way'.

Actually, I disagree with her here; Evonne's Championship record clearly elevates her to World No.1 for 1971 in my mind - but I wanted to point out that she wasn't just petulantly claiming she was No.1 and giving Evonne no credit.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 12:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Declan
To be fair, Billie Jean isn't trying to 'steal Evonne's thunder' in claiming that No.1 ranking for 1971! The quote from her first autobiography goes:

"I'd won nineteen of thirty tournaments and dominated the Virginia Slims tournament, and as a surprise little bauble I'd played in enough of the ITLF tournaments to pick up that title too. But when the various world rankings came out for 1971, Evonne Goolagong was No.1 and I was No.2. I was happy for Evonne -after all, she'd won two major championships in the space of a month- but I was disappointed because it meant a lot of people, including the ones who did the rankings, didn't really give full credit to the Slims tour. I felt that being able to play good tennis week in and week out ought to mean as much as winning major titles. Maybe more, even. But a lot of people didn't see it that way'.

Actually, I disagree with her here; Evonne's Championship record clearly elevates her to World No.1 for 1971 in my mind - but I wanted to point out that she wasn't just petulantly claiming she was No.1 and giving Evonne no credit.
How many tournaments did Evonne win in 1971?
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 01:36 PM   #18
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I think Evonne won around 11 (9 are listed on the women's finals database but there were more) but I don't know how many tourneys she played. Don't you sense sth bitchy in King's "after all, she'd won two major championships in the space of a month" when she goes on to say that she was "play[ing] good tennis week in and week out". It was as if Goolagong did nothing else that year. Also, I don't see how she concludes that people weren't giving credit to the slims tour just because she wasn't #1. Sure they had King, Casals, Richey, Jones and Durr but not Goolagong, Court, Wade, Niessen-Masthoff or Morozova.

I'd say Evonne kept that #1 ranking until May '72 as she added a final at the Oz Open and the South African Championships to her belt before clearly ceding top spot to King at RG and then Wimbledon.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 02:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Andy T
I think Evonne won around 11 (9 are listed on the women's finals database but there were more) but I don't know how many tourneys she played. Don't you sense sth bitchy in King's "after all, she'd won two major championships in the space of a month" when she goes on to say that she was "play[ing] good tennis week in and week out". It was as if Goolagong did nothing else that year. Also, I don't see how she concludes that people weren't giving credit to the slims tour just because she wasn't #1. Sure they had King, Casals, Richey, Jones and Durr but not Goolagong, Court, Wade, Niessen-Masthoff or Morozova.

I'd say Evonne kept that #1 ranking until May '72 as she added a final at the Oz Open and the South African Championships to her belt before clearly ceding top spot to King at RG and then Wimbledon.
Evonne's 11 tournament wins were a mixed bunch -including minor British tournaments like Sutton (beat Jill Cooper and Joyce Williams) and Guildford (beat Shirley Brasher and cooper again), as well as some 'bigger' events like Leicester (beat Dalton and Hogan). She won the Dewar Cup in Edinburgh (beat Jackie Fayter and Francoise Durr) and Torquay (beat Julie Heldman and Durr again). She also won New Zealand (beat Kathy Harter and Betty Stove) and Holland (beat Kora Schediwy -I don't remember her!! Just looked her up: the German No.5- and Christina Sandberg). She also won at Melbourne (beat Winnie Shaw and Margaret Court), perhaps the biggest win outside the Slams. So perhaps not quite as consistently good as Billie Jean that year, and with fewer quality wins( she also lost to Court a handful of times, as well as Durr and Heldman twice each, Virginia Wade, and Patti Hogan) - but I still feel as if the two Slams trump King's record.

Last edited by Declan : Nov 20th, 2003 at 02:24 PM.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Declan
Evonne's 11 tournament wins were a mixed bunch -including minor British tournaments like Sutton (beat Jill Cooper and Joyce Williams) and Guildford (beat Shirley Brasher and cooper again), as well as some 'bigger' events like Leicester (beat Dalton and Hogan). She won the Dewar Cup in Edinburgh (beat Jackie Fayter and Francoise Durr) and Torquay (beat Julie Heldman and Durr again). She also won New Zealand (beat Kathy Harter and Betty Stove) and Holland (beat Kora Schediwy -I don't remember her!! Just looked her up: the German No.5- and Christina Sandberg). She also won at Melbourne (beat Winnie Shaw and Margaret Court), perhaps the biggest win outside the Slams. So perhaps not quite as consistently good as Billie Jean that year, and with fewer quality wins( she also lost to Court a handful of times, as well as Durr and Heldman twice each, Virginia Wade, and Patti Hogan) - but I still feel as if the two Slams trump King's record.
And let's not forget that she beat Billie Jean King and Margaret Court back-to-back to win that Wimbledon title in 1971- not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination- even King's!
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 03:42 PM   #21
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Margaret Court's supporters - and the lady herself - are aways very quick to point out that she was pregnant while playing that Wimbledon final, and attribute the loss to that. When I was looking up Evonne's record earlier today I was surprised to see ALL the top women, including Court, played the Rothmans North of England championship AFTER Wimbledon. Court beat Julie Heldman in the Quarter-Finals before losing 6-2 7-5 to Billie Jean in the semis. (Evonne was elevated to second seed after her Wimbledon triumph but lost to Patti Hogan in the Quarters.)
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 04:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Declan
Margaret Court's supporters - and the lady herself - are aways very quick to point out that she was pregnant while playing that Wimbledon final, and attribute the loss to that. When I was looking up Evonne's record earlier today I was surprised to see ALL the top women, including Court, played the Rothmans North of England championship AFTER Wimbledon. Court beat Julie Heldman in the Quarter-Finals before losing 6-2 7-5 to Billie Jean in the semis. (Evonne was elevated to second seed after her Wimbledon triumph but lost to Patti Hogan in the Quarters.)
I agree with you Declan, It's funny that the excuses come out when she lost; however, when she beat the other top players no excuse at all!
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #23
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Patti Hogan? Jeesh. Evonne must have been celebrating a little too much after the Wimby win.

I think the fact that Evonne made the finals of all three slams she played, winning two put her in the top spot, period. BJK probably should have been ranked 2, not 3.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 05:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Declan
Margaret Court's supporters - and the lady herself - are aways very quick to point out that she was pregnant while playing that Wimbledon final, and attribute the loss to that. When I was looking up Evonne's record earlier today I was surprised to see ALL the top women, including Court, played the Rothmans North of England championship AFTER Wimbledon. Court beat Julie Heldman in the Quarter-Finals before losing 6-2 7-5 to Billie Jean in the semis. (Evonne was elevated to second seed after her Wimbledon triumph but lost to Patti Hogan in the Quarters.)
The same could be said of any player's supporters- naturally they are going to see things through rose coloured glasses when viewing the record books. Billie Jean King is Billie Jean King's greatest supporter, and the chief mastermind behind what is now viewed as "the history of women's tennis". Bud Collins has, on rare occasions, pointed out conflicting historical fact directly attributable to Billie Jean and/or her WTA coterie, and it's one of the reasons you rarely see them together in the commentary booth. He can deal with the clay minds of Evert and Austin- who need the feed in their ear to be able to present their views on the history of the sport, however Billie Jean needs no such feed- she has always had an agenda, and has never hesitated to grasp any opportunity to forward it.

P.S.- Margaret Court lost the finals of the Singles, Doubles, and Mixed at Wimbledon in 1971. I'd say her timing definitely was off. She was fit, and she played, and lost. It's okay (whether you're a fan or not) to suggest this may be the reason. It's not as if she found she was pregnant before Wimbledon, and chose to abort the fetus in order to compete...
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 06:24 PM   #25
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The same could be said of any player's supporters- naturally they are going to see things through rose coloured glasses when viewing the record books. Billie Jean King is Billie Jean King's greatest supporter, and the chief mastermind behind what is now viewed as "the history of women's tennis". Bud Collins has, on rare occasions, pointed out conflicting historical fact directly attributable to Billie Jean and/or her WTA coterie, and it's one of the reasons you rarely see them together in the commentary booth. He can deal with the clay minds of Evert and Austin- who need the feed in their ear to be able to present their views on the history of the sport, however Billie Jean needs no such feed- she has always had an agenda, and has never hesitated to grasp any opportunity to forward it.

P.S.- Margaret Court lost the finals of the Singles, Doubles, and Mixed at Wimbledon in 1971. I'd say her timing definitely was off. She was fit, and she played, and lost. It's okay (whether you're a fan or not) to suggest this may be the reason. It's not as if she found she was pregnant before Wimbledon, and chose to abort the fetus in order to compete...
Isn't it funny that her timing was good enough to get to the three finals that year! Her timing must have suddenly evaporated in the finals.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 06:39 PM   #26
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Isn't it funny that her timing was good enough to get to the three finals that year! Her timing must have suddenly evaporated in the finals.
Morning sickness, you know? Alright, I concede, if you go out there and play, you're fit. That's the Aussie credo isn't it? In Margaret's absence from the tour after Wimbledon, the door opened wide for Billie Jean King to play the best tennis of her career. She should be thankful she had that opportunity!
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 07:18 PM   #27
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I agree with MACN. In her two GS wins and one final Evonne beat Shaw, Durr, Hunt, Richey, King and Court, she beat Wade in the sf of the South African Open, defeated Wade and Durr in the Nottingham round robin tournament and Wade in the sf of the Canadian Open. In Fed Cup 1971 (played 26/29 dec 1970, she beat Wade and Durr as well. I can find 13 defeats (Court:5, Stove, Orth, Hogan, Durr: 2 Heldman: 2 and Wade).
King had 12 losses (Durr:4, Melville, Niessen-Masthoff, Goolagong, Court, Jones, Casals, Nell Truman and Evert), so was far from invincible. Her US Open title was hardly as tough as Goolagong's triumphs in London and Paris - the only seeded player she met was Casals in the final.
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Old Nov 21st, 2003, 03:03 AM   #28
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Andy T: Thanks for sharing those stats... great to know that Frankie beat Evonne twice during her great year in 71, including the Canadian Open Final, and that Frankie beat Billie-Jean 4 times in that same year.

Billie-Jean once said that Frankie Durr may have been the greatest player ever if she had of been coached correctly. Then again, she may not have been as good... and I know we wouldn't have been blessed with that extraordinary style! So I am happy she was never coached in an orthodox manner

Macn - Margaret Court made those 3 Wimbledon finals on sheer ability. But there is no denying her timing was not there, and I think I can only attribute it to her being pregnant. I have all 3 of the matches on video and some of her timing was so way off it was unbelievable. She looked very flush in the face that day, and utterly bewildered herself as to how she could be playing so badly. Many times she just stopped and seemed to be wrestling with her confusion - she would shake her head and have a look of complete shock. I have never seen her do this before or since - and I have about 20 of her matches on tape, including a couple of other matches that she lost and there was no such problem with timing etc.

Also have to agree that Evonne deserved the #1 ranking in 1971. God bless her.

Aflajester - loved your quote "Billie Jean King is Billie Jean King's greatest supporter, and the chief mastermind behind what is now viewed as "the history of women's tennis"."

That is so true. And I know that Nancy Richey is not impressed with Billie-Jean's view of history. Nancy herself had a great deal to do with the foundation of the women's tour, and in fact was the first player to be approached to play Bobby Riggs (but it fell through) etc. and yet she never gets any mention of her early work in the history books. Nancy indeed thinks that most of the credit should be given to Gladys Heldman, not King. Not saying that BJK hasn't done a lot for women's tennis at all - in fact I do love her greatly and know that she has done a TREMENDOUS amount for womens tennis and the game in general. It's just that some of her peers agree that she has taken some of the truth into her own hands and given it the Billie-Jean makeover.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #29
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this is one of the funniest threads. billie jean was much MUCH tougher and meanier than i originally thought, as a youngster.

i recently saw 'billie jean king: rogue champion' and i had never found her physically attractive before this docu, so i really appreciate mark's photos there!! but when she first came along, she had a heavy accent and spoke like a slow-speaking tough boy with great insight about how her "momma had sewn me a pair of shorts and they wouldn't let me be in the group picture because it wasn't a skirt. And i just thought that was stupid and didnt matter"...and i kinda had BJK grow on me a bit after that.

her husband was also quite a looker in his young days. (not that BJK was ever a 'looker'!) you'd have to be a full-on lesbian to decide he wasn't good enough. or maybe it was a really good camera angle.

anyway, i think there may be some more room for people to share stories of BJK being rude or ignoring people. in the docu, they interview people who liked her well her first year on the circuit, and decided she was awful by the 2nd & 3rd year, and decided not to vote for her anymore. it was kind of cute the way they thought they could take a stand against her somehow...just because she wanted to be taken seriously. and because she was a super-brat before McEnroe was even thinking tennis.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 09:21 PM   #30
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this is one of the funniest threads. billie jean was much MUCH tougher and meanier than i originally thought, as a youngster.

i recently saw 'billie jean king: rogue champion' and i had never found her physically attractive before this docu, so i really appreciate mark's photos there!! but when she first came along, she had a heavy accent and spoke like a slow-speaking tough boy with great insight about how her "momma had sewn me a pair of shorts and they wouldn't let me be in the group picture because it wasn't a skirt. And i just thought that was stupid and didnt matter"...and i kinda had BJK grow on me a bit after that.

her husband was also quite a looker in his young days. (not that BJK was ever a 'looker'!) you'd have to be a full-on lesbian to decide he wasn't good enough. or maybe it was a really good camera angle.

anyway, i think there may be some more room for people to share stories of BJK being rude or ignoring people. in the docu, they interview people who liked her well her first year on the circuit, and decided she was awful by the 2nd & 3rd year, and decided not to vote for her anymore. it was kind of cute the way they thought they could take a stand against her somehow...just because she wanted to be taken seriously. and because she was a super-brat before McEnroe was even thinking tennis.

Poor Mark! I still feel bad for him.
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