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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2004, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Anecdotes.

I couldn't think which thread this might be appropriate to, so if anyone has any stories funny or otherwise which don't seem to relate elsewhere, they could be posted here.

Maybe it has already been mentioned elsewhere but this came up earlier this year on a pairs edition of the British version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire".

They had reached 8000 and were going for 16000, when this came up:

"which female tennis star had just won her 46th grand slam title?"

The options given were Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Evonne Cawley. Much debate ensued between the contestants. They mused that it could not be Billie Jean King as she was too old and so was Chris Evert so they must have retired years ago. It might possibly be Martina Navratilova, but who on earth was Evonne Cawley, they had never heard of her? After a lot of agonising and soul-searching they decided it must be a trick question and plumped for Evonne! Of course, they dropped 7000 back to 1k!

At least Martina would be pleased she wasn't considered "too old" as she 's only two years younger than Chris but not everyone knows about the great and wonderful game of tennis!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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I wonder if they'd said Evonne 'Goolagong' rather than 'Cawley' whether the couple would have still gotten it wrong?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2004, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Here's an interesting letter written by Judy Tegart to World Tennis after the Bueno/Hard final at the Pacific Coast Tournament in 1963. It shows how some players can get away with things.

"I was playing Maria Bueno in the semi-finals of the women's singles in the Pacific Coast Championships. I had played very well and had a real chance to win the second set, only to have several outrageous calls against me. Even the crowd hooted and whistled. Maria eventually won, 6-3 7-5. I had the feeling that whenever Maria served, she was footfaulting, and after the match I asked one of the tournament officials if this was true. She said, "Yes, she footfaulted every time." So I asked her to speak to the woman on the line, who had been instructed on footfaulting, I might add, to find out why she did not "call" Maria. "Oh," she replied, "I did not want to upset her." NOW, I think the remark was very funny, but I didn't at the time. This woman, incidentally, is the mother of a prominent Northern California Junior.

The next day, Maria played Darlen Hard in the final. It was the worst tennis I have ever seen by two supposedly good players. The man on the line repeatedly called Maria for footfaulting. She got so upset that she threw the match."

Apparently, in that final both players were accused of throwing points and the line calling was even more excruciating than in the recent Williams/Capriati match.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2007, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Anecdotes.

According to Mark Lewisohn in "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions," on July 4 1969, The Beatles paused the dubbing session for their song "Golden Slumbers" to listen to Ann Haydon-Jones beat Billie-Jean King for the Wimbledon title, live on radio.

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2007, 07:11 PM
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Re: Anecdotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
I couldn't think which thread this might be appropriate to, so if anyone has any stories funny or otherwise which don't seem to relate elsewhere, they could be posted here.

Maybe it has already been mentioned elsewhere but this came up earlier this year on a pairs edition of the British version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire".

They had reached 8000 and were going for 16000, when this came up:

"which female tennis star had just won her 46th grand slam title?"

The options given were Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Evonne Cawley. Much debate ensued between the contestants. They mused that it could not be Billie Jean King as she was too old and so was Chris Evert so they must have retired years ago. It might possibly be Martina Navratilova, but who on earth was Evonne Cawley, they had never heard of her? After a lot of agonising and soul-searching they decided it must be a trick question and plumped for Evonne! Of course, they dropped 7000 back to 1k!

At least Martina would be pleased she wasn't considered "too old" as she 's only two years younger than Chris but not everyone knows about the great and wonderful game of tennis!
I'm sorry but it serves those dingbats right for being such morons
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Re: Anecdotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
According to Mark Lewisohn in "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions," on July 4 1969, The Beatles paused the dubbing session for their song "Golden Slumbers" to listen to Ann Haydon-Jones beat Billie-Jean King for the Wimbledon title, live on radio.
They had their priorities right!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Anecdotes.

It's funny how various things emerge years later in the course of conversation.

Becasue of the rain BBC were showing a documentary on Martina Navratilova last night and then Martina, whi is commenataing for the BBC this year, was sitting chatting to Sue Barker.

Billie Jean King had just returned from visiting the House of Lords and dropped into the studio.

The discussion came round to the setting up of the women's tour. Billie Jean is often criticised for hogging all the credit for this but when Sue mentioned her role she was quick to say that it wasn't just her and mentioned Gladys Heldman etc. She also said that other players were also involved mentioning one ny name: "Ann Jones was very instrumental in setting up the Tour and she never gets any credit."

The talk came round to Sue's introduction to commentating. Apparently Sue was always interested in this and intended it as a future career and Gerry Willimas of the LTA was encouraging her to go down this route. When she was playing WTT for Indiana Loves she was actually commentating as well not just on tennis but on other sports American Football, Baseball etc. At one stage Billie Jean said to Sue that she had paid the price in her tennis career for this.

I wasn't aware of this before but it could help explain why Sue faded away so badly and left the game quite young if her focus was no longer on the playing side.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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Re: Anecdotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
It's funny how various things emerge years later in the course of conversation.

Becasue of the rain BBC were showing a documentary on Martina Navratilova last night and then Martina, whi is commenataing for the BBC this year, was sitting chatting to Sue Barker.

The talk came round to Sue's introduction to commentating. Apparently Sue was always interested in this and intended it as a future career and Gerry Willimas of the LTA was encouraging her to go down this route. When she was playing WTT for Indiana Loves she was actually commentating as well not just on tennis but on other sports American Football, Baseball etc. At one stage Billie Jean said to Sue that she had paid the price in her tennis career for this.

I wasn't aware of this before but it could help explain why Sue faded away so badly and left the game quite young if her focus was no longer on the playing side.
I hadn't known that Sue was involved with broadcasting during her playing days either. It's in many ways a surprise that she has risen to be the BBC's no.1 woman sports anchor. Her start was disastrous and I note that they have always used her as an anchor and link person, never as a commentator.

They tried her out at Wimbledon 1984, when she was asked to commentate alongside Harry Carpenter for a few minutes during the Wade/Carlsson 4th round match on Court 2. It was made clear it was an audition, and they broke in to the coverage which was already being commented on by two of the regular team, probably Maskell & Jones. During the audition, Barker never said a word. Carpenter kept trying to prompt her, but she just mumbled "mmm's" and "errr's". It was embarassing and they cut her off after only a few minutes. Considering that the BBC will seemingly use ANYONE who once held a racket as a tennis commentator, even if they have heavy foreign accents that make them almost incoherent to UK viewers, the fact that this was Sue's one and only trial was very telling about what they thought of her skills.

She next surfaced on UK Channel 4 during their coverage of the tennis at the 88 Olympics, but that ended in embarassment too. She and the male tennis host - I think it was Simon Reed (Oliver's brother) - were having to fill in while waiting for a Mecir match to take place in Seoul. Sue was reliving a Mecir match from an earlier Wimbledon in full colour detail, describing shots, explaining points, recreating the tension.... until a viewer had to call in and point out that the match she was describing had never actually taken place. The sight of her red face remains me with to this day. That was the end of Channel 4.

Notwithstanding, I think she somehow then landed a multi-sport hostess position with Sky TV and that's where she built her reputation, before finally being poached by the BBC to anchor Wimbledon - when the BBC had lost all of their traditional Wimbledon anchors either to retirement or ITV. She seemed something of a desperate choice, but has proved incredibly successful and popular. Out of the ashes...

I heard someone called Sam Smith commentating at Eastbourne last week. Dear God. How boring is she? I assume it's the same Sam Smith who rose to the dizzying heights of number 8,967,698,392,984 in the world, thus making her British number one for all of ten minutes? Still, anything's better in the booth than Jo Durie!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Re: Anecdotes.

BBC, Bring Erin Andrews from America to the commentating, now!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Re: Anecdotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris whiteside View Post
It's funny how various things emerge years later in the course of conversation.

Becasue of the rain BBC were showing a documentary on Martina Navratilova last night and then Martina, whi is commenataing for the BBC this year, was sitting chatting to Sue Barker.

Billie Jean King had just returned from visiting the House of Lords and dropped into the studio.

The discussion came round to the setting up of the women's tour. Billie Jean is often criticised for hogging all the credit for this but when Sue mentioned her role she was quick to say that it wasn't just her and mentioned Gladys Heldman etc. She also said that other players were also involved mentioning one ny name: "Ann Jones was very instrumental in setting up the Tour and she never gets any credit."

The talk came round to Sue's introduction to commentating. Apparently Sue was always interested in this and intended it as a future career and Gerry Willimas of the LTA was encouraging her to go down this route. When she was playing WTT for Indiana Loves she was actually commentating as well not just on tennis but on other sports American Football, Baseball etc. At one stage Billie Jean said to Sue that she had paid the price in her tennis career for this.

I wasn't aware of this before but it could help explain why Sue faded away so badly and left the game quite young if her focus was no longer on the playing side.
I saw that too, Chris. It was interesting that Billie and Martina both kind of felt Sue could still have achieved a lot more. They did say they were really proud of Sue anchoring the BBC coverage every year though and Martina said they would be mad to sack her (as one tabloid suggested might be happening). Hopefully not though, as Sue is really good and has that rapport with other former pros like Martina, Billie, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors etc. that a non-tennis sports presenter like John Inverdale doesn't have. Sue has known these people for over 30 years, and it shows.
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