I thought I would post the passages of Evonnes 1972 first ever clash against Chris Evert at Wimbledon. This match had the most hype and anticipation since Lenglen and Wills. I think it took a while coming also, they were drawn to play each other but either Chris or Evonne in a tournament prior was stopped by BJK, who no doubt was pleased to spoil the party!!
Taken from 'Evonne' - Evonne Gooloagong, Bud Collins and Vic Edwards.
So there we were in the semis after months of anticipation. The build-up was more like that for a heavyweight championship fight. Evonne Sing-a-long against the Ice Maiden... the South Sea princess vs. the American Girl Scout... Match of the Decade.
Teddy Tinling was as jittery as a cat with a hot tin of marijuana going through an airport search line. 'Never has there been anything like it' he said. And he goes back a long, long way. 'Great players have met before, but it's marvellous. It heightens the drama. The only thing I can compare it with is 1926, that one time Suzanne Lenglen, the great champion of the 1920's - perhaps the greatest of all - played young Helen Wills, who at 20 was on the way up as Suzanne's successor. That was splendid theatre - Suzanne won - but after all it was the final of a minor tournament at a small club in Cannes. Not a setting to be compared with this. Of course Evonne and Chrissie will play many times, unlike Suzanne and Helen, but we'll cherish the first'.
Teddy was taking it very personally. 'My prestige is on the line.... I'm a wreck'. he wailed. He felt himself to be in a very real competition too, since I was wearing his designs while Chris was showing off those of Mondessa Swift, an American. Teddy may have a little Aboriginal witch doctor blood in him. He can turn on the most frightening evil eyes this side of Dracula. He fastened them on Bobby Riggs throughout Billie Jeans victory over Bobby, and he flashed them at Mondessa while Chrissie and I were battling away at each other. He's too much of a gentleman to give Chrissie the evil eye however.
Teddy pointed out another similarity to the Lenglen-Wills confrontation. 'Evonne is dashing, gay and nimble like Suzanne. Chrissie is dour, withdrawn and mechanical like Helen. But make no mistake about Miss Evert. She may not be as graceful or as much fun to watch, but she's so determined that when she matures she may go years without losing, the way Wills did'.
More to come