"Our Ginny" The Virginia Wade Corner. - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2002, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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"Our Ginny" The Virginia Wade Corner.

Any thoughts, memories, pics, etc. of Virginia Wade? Virginia was my very first favorite, holding a special place in my heart. Yes she could be a bitch at times, but she was a royal bitch if you know what i mean, dishing out catty quotes with her oh so upper class British accent. She acted the way she did because she had a total passion and fiery beauty unmatched.

Virginia was an enigma if ever there was one. From posts and bits I 've read she is or was said to be a closeted lesbian, but she attracted a huge group of male admirers in her time and also dated a number of men. For some reason too she had an unusual number of obsessive followers.

The contrasts and mystery extended to her game and personality. She was a minister's daughter but was notorious for arguing calls and using unladylike language. She could be fire or ice. Charming or a hellion. Friendly (Francoise Durr was one of her good friends) or aloof and distant.

Wade had a fascination for cats, often comparing herself to a lioness. The year she won Wimbledon she changed her conservative ponytail hairstyle to a lion-like mane. I'll always think of Virginia when I see a graceful cat with eyes alblaze!
I love my "Ginny" Wade

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 2nd, 2002 at 06:23 AM.
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post #2 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2002, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Here's an article from about 1975 that captures some of her enigmatic personality.

Virginia Wade not 'with it,' but still winning i tennis
By Bill Nichols

Some days Virginia Wade is the finest woman tennis player in the world. Other days she's really with it.

But you'd better believe it -- Virginia has come a long way baby. She is one of the premier performers on the Virginia Slims circuit and can beat most players even when she's not really with it.

Ginny Wade is a semi-finalist in the $75,000 Virginia Slims tussle this week at the Coliseum after eliminating Laura DuPont, Bridget Cuypers and Mima Jausovec. But she's bored.

"I'm not really with it," she smiled. "I hope I can get with it before the week is out."

"Temporarily, I've lost my fascination for hitting a tennis ball."

Miss Wade, England's gift to the tennis world, looks at the game of backhands forehands, lobs and volleys, differently than most. She has said she would rather play beautiful tennis than win.

"In fact, if I'm really playing well, really hitting the ball, I can lose track of the purpose behind it all," she added.

She considers herself as being in a slump, even though she has reached the semis in the tour's first four tournaments this winter.

"One goes through these patches once awhile," she moaned. "You get stale. I need a vacation. I'm going to take three weeks off and go home and practice."

Virginia is a regular visitor to the area having been here several times with the British Wightman Cup team. And she has never failed to attract attention.

She has won here when maybe she should have lost. And, occasionally, she lost when she had no business going so, especially when she wasn't with it.

The daughter of an Episcopal archdeacon, she was a math major. She is a girl of many moods. These moods reflect on the tennis court.

When Ginny is mad and still in control of her wits she can make short work of any opponent, but sometimes her wits are not with her. But when you see her play, you're sure she's an art major -- or English, but never mathematics. She just isn't that precise.

Virginia has had an outstanding career, which includes capturing the United States Open in 1968 but you always get the feeling she should win every tournament.

She is powerful and possessor of all the shots. "I wish I had just some of her strokes," sighed Miss Cuypers. "I definitely need a little win. That would help no end."

If it isn't this week, she will win one day soon. It would do wonders for her disposition. And she may once again become fascinated with hitting a tennis ball.
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post #3 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2002, 01:10 PM
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Rollo, I was a huge fan of Ginny's. I have some photos and slides of her at the U.S. Open from the early 80's (gotta sort them out and scan them). This may take a while, but I promise they'll be posted!
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post #4 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2002, 06:35 PM
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Rollo, these photos are for you sweetheart!

Evonne Goolagong, winner of 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles

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post #5 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2002, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Now I'm in heaven Evonne. Thank you so much In
particular I love the one where she's volleying with her fingers stretched out on the other hand. A classic pose!

I remember a Teddy Tinling story about how women's tennis players are noticibly larger on their dominant side(guess Seles doesn't have that problem Well, Teddy said that in Virginia's case it was so extreme he had to sew extra padding on her left shoulder to even things out! Her booming serve must have put some muscles on her.
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post #6 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:30 AM
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Hi Rollo & Evonne

Love those pics! I have a couple of stunning pics of Ginny which I have scanned but when I go to post them it says the File size is too big. Do you have any tips so I can post them here?

I met Ginny at Wimbledon a couple of years back in the Players lounge. I was actually filming a little bit (although it wasn't allowed) and when I was scanning the area there she was with her back to me. She turned and smiled. I then asked if she could say something to all her fans at the Australian Tennis Museum on the video camera so she did a few takes but kept saying the wrong things and then she just burst into hysterics - laughing uncontrollably! She was very sweet indeed - in that moment anyway.

Frankie Durr has told me that although Ginny was one of her favourite doubles partners, she never ever got close to Ginny. Ginny just wouldn't let any of the players get close to her at all.

She was such a beautiful stylist. I have about 20 of her matches on tape and just love watching her play - very elegant. A few of the matches I have include her 77 SF win over Evert and a WTT win over Evert as well - both of them were stunning matches. Ginny actually beat Chris from the baseline in that Wimbledon Semi. The match featured some of the most wonderful rallies you would ever wish to see, and both girls were absolutely exhausted at various stages of the match, such was the ferocity of play.
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post #7 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:57 AM
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I always admired Virginia Wade and the manner in which she played. When she won Wimbledon in '77 I was shocked and very happy for her. I always wanted to see the semi win over Evert but it seems NBC only showed tennis during the weekend, and wasn't the women's final on Friday also???

I saw Wade play in person during the summer of '78 at the Oakland Coluseum. She was a member of the Golden Gators team and she faced Chris Evert in a singles set. I think Wade won, not sure. After the set my sister and I ran down to get Virginia's autograph. We asked and she replied, very sternly, "No, I can't do those". I was only 11, so I went through a period of hating the old crank. Then after all those losses to Austin, Jaeger and the kids I wanted Our Ginny to win again. Didn't Wade stick around until about '84 or so?
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post #8 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 07:03 AM
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Hi Mark

I have a WTT win by Wade over Evert, although I think it might be 77, so it might be a different one to the one you were at.

I envy you seeing all those oldies playing live, whilst I have only seen them on tape or in Veterans events. I would have preferred to see them live at their peak.
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post #9 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Is the WTT set you have a 6-0 whitewash of evert by Virginia Tennisvideos? If it is I promise you it's the 1977 WTT championship finals, where Wade shocked Chris in a pivotal match. Ginny must have relished that one

Do you have the Goolagong-Wade Wimbledon quarter of 75
Tennisvideos? I hear that was a classic. Evonne always gave Wade major problems.

Ginny made Francoise sound like a good friend in her autobiography, but Durr's version sounds more like the truth. There's a great section in a 1973 book about Wade, calling her a
"mystery woman". Be it a pysch job(which a lot of women did) or just part of her personality, it created an aura of intrigue around the Brit.

Sorry she turned you down Mark. [email protected] the "old crank" bit I must admit she wasn't so friendly when I got her autograph in 1983 at Wightman Cup-Martina was nicer and Pam Shriver was a riot, joking with me because I had snuck past security!
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post #10 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 07:25 PM
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Hey guys,

I think in '77 Wade was playing for the New York Apples? WTT was so much fun. I know it took away all the top players from the French Open and clay court season, but it made tennis accessible to US fans in certain areas on a weekly basis. Plus all those great match ups, Goolagong/Evert/Wade/King/Navratilova/Barker etc etc. I mean there have been a few years here and there where the top players only met once or twice during an entire year (1988/90/91/92 come to mind) so it was great to have these ladies facing off on a weekly basis.

I know WTT still exists but I think back in the 70's it was a really big deal. Strange how things change so much. I know everyone who played back then thinks "I could have won Roland Garros if I just didn't play WTT!".

Well, maybe not everyone.
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post #11 of 127 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2002, 02:16 AM
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Hi Rollo & Mark

The two WTT matches with Wade v Evert had each of them winning a match 7-5. Both great matches, but not the match you were discussing.

Yes, I do have the Wimbledon 75 QF with Goolagong beating Wade in an absolute thriller 57 63 97. Certainly a great match.

I know what you mean about WTT being huge in the 70s Mark. It certainly damaged the European circuit and French Open as you mentioned.

Last edited by tennisvideos; Apr 4th, 2002 at 02:32 AM.
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post #12 of 127 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2002, 01:52 PM
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Just read in an Old Chris Evert auto that said that Wade had fan that was obsessed with her. The fan was actually a gynaecologist who was so taken with Wade that he sent her a message saying that if she ever needed any medical help he would give it to her for free!!!! (Didn't seem that the guy was joking)
I wonder if Wade ever met him, to see if it was worth taking up the examination.

Always laughed at Wade coming down to Aust in 1972 and beating Evonne. Viriginia said something like that she didn't come down to win the Aust Open, she only came this far to beat Evonne in her own country because she was sick of people doing the same to her, in her own country.

There's more to life than just being happy.
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post #13 of 127 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2002, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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LOL at the gyno story
Ginny's win at the 72 Aussie was a rare one over Evonne, who always gave her fits. I have to get that 75 Wimbledon video!
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post #14 of 127 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2002, 08:36 PM
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What I admired most about Ginny (and there was a lot to admire) was her longevity. She kept on coming to Wimbledon right into the 80's. I recall a very nice performance on Center Court where she upset a player that I did not expect her to trouble. Zina Garrison was in tears when they shook hands. How old was she when she finally retired? I'm sure she thought about retiring many times, but a win over such players as Zina kept her going I guess.

I have her (auto)biography. I really should get around to reading it. I think it only goes up to 1977. Maybe Virginia should think about writing her memoirs. It would make a great read.
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post #15 of 127 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2002, 02:33 AM
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WOW! A whole thread dedicated to me lol All those pictures of me in fine form! Happy memories.

Seriously - I love Ginny, she's great, really great.
Although I'm too young to have watched her play at the time, I've seen many tapes of her and Anne Jones (I'm a huge Anne Jones fan). And her book Courting Triumph is really good Double Fault you are right, we need a more up to date version! I was lucky enough to meet Virginia at Wimbledon and she was really nice - I also saw her play with Pam Shriver last year in the seniors- talk about the dream team

-Only in the Centenary Year-
~At 14, one is particularly vulnerable to obvious temptations of the age, boyfriends, parties, etc. (Virginia Wade in 'Courting Triumph' The best book on earth)~
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