1970 Wimbledon Final- Margaret Court vs. Billie Jean King - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2006, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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1970 Wimbledon Final- Margaret Court vs. Billie Jean King

I've been watching the second set of this match for years, but never really had any chance until recently to see the whole, complete match before. I've had it now for a couple of weeks, and that first set is some of the best tennis I've ever seen two women play. Margaret's all-out attack in the first set features the best volleys I've seen her hit (out of the 5 matches I have on video). It's high quality stuff. Billie Jean should've put Madge away several times when Billie was serving for the set, and Margaret just wouldn't let her have it. Three times Margaret broke back and at one point Billie slams a ball into the court, causing quite a sound from the crowd. The second set totally pales in comparison, even though Billie Jean's drop-shot/lob desperation plays toward the end are very interesting.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Were they serve and volleying all the way or mixing it up on serve? Credit to Billie Jean for trying to mix it up-even if it dragged down the overall quality of the match.

Last edited by Rollo; Jan 9th, 2006 at 11:56 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2006, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
Were they serve and volleying all the way or mixing it up on serve? Credit to Billie Jean for trying to mix it up-even it dragged down the overall quality of the match.
The first set was non-stop serve and volley, and the really unique thing is both girls were basically playing the same tactics. It was soooo good to watch the whole court being used, and so many accurate lobs. One point in the second set is normally used in video collections of the greatest points of all time, but I think there is one in the first that is even better. Margaret charges into the net, hits a good deep volley, and Billie Jean hits a decent forehand passing shot, that Margaret reaches, but can't get any mustard on, and then, instead of nailing another pass, Billie Jean hoists a beautiful lob just over Court's backhand side, and within an inch of the line. This is where you can see (and Ann Jones commentary is spot on) just how quick Margaret really was. She raced back to the baseline, got to the ball in enough time to get aside of it and hit a driving chip down the line, which Billie Jean only just read at the last second (expecting a lob), and scurries over to the line and gets all the way down to the grass blades to hit the killer shot in the rally- a perfect forehand drop volley cross-court that brought gasps from the crowd, then a quick hush as sprinter Margaret raced in (hitting no less than 8 steps) and basically pushed the ball down the line past Billie Jean. It is nothing short of a spectacular point.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.

Last edited by alfajeffster; Jan 10th, 2006 at 11:19 AM.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2006, 11:47 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it Alfa. I just had Tilden over the other night and we watched it together. As you say, the first set was an absolute cracker and the amazing thing was the standard of defense as you say. So many accurate lobs that you would have sworn Chris Evert was on court that day.

And how fascinating was it when King started to drop shot towards the end of the second. That also showed of Maggs speed as she was able to get to most of them, even if she couldn't always make a play .. and the drop shots were of the highest quality.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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Well I certainly enjoyed Tennisvideo's hospitality and the opportunity to watch this match last week. I agree with all of Alfa's comments about the standard of play - especially the first set. Another feature was the overall intensity of the match - partly the closeness of the score throughout, the closeness of individual games (most of which went for three or four deuces), and also the obvious rivalry between the players.

How could Chris Evert ever have claimed that the match "stank" - as discussed in another section of the blast. What an odd thing to have said? Now let's talk about her finals against Morozova and Mandlikova - they were real stinkers!! Court v King is certainly one of the great Wimbledon finals.

I did notice that BJK was somewhat hampered by injury when she started drop shotting in the second set - she was moving ok, but wasn't pushing off on her serve. Anyway it is a wonderful and very exciting match - and I am thrilled to have finally seen it.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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It is one of the all-time great matches, and (like I knew it would) it leaves me wanting more than any other match-up to see more between these two competitors. I actually re-watched the first set again last night, and had to amend my initial post, as I had two separate spectacular points mixed together in that recount. Court actually won that particular point. It's watching tennis like that, where both players are evenly matched, and have all the shots (with the exception of Madge's topspin backhand, which I don't think she had in her arsenal) and are using them and the whole court with deadly accuracy.

Billie Jean's forehand volley, especially in the first set, is probably the best I've seen. She not only runs to the ball well no matter what the height, but she is so good at the short, quick punch without all that racquet movement that most people (myself included) experience on the forehand volley. It's a compact volley that is about as textbook as they come.

Regarding Evert's comment, all I can think is that maybe she only saw that second set, and the decline of King in the last few games?

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:19 PM
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Yes Alfa, I can only think Evert saw the latter parts on TV. And you have to remember, that both girls were under and injury cloud AND by the time King started to ease up on her serve and not follow it in (at 6-6 in the 2nd) they had already played the equvilent of 3 sets already -

The 14-12 first set is the equivilent of 7-6 7-6 and then it was 6-6 in the next set. And the many of the rallies were exhausting. To see Mags chasing down all those drop shots and lobs in the latter stages just highlighted her speed, stamina and overall athleticism like nothing else has. And it truly highlighted King's tennis brain. That she could still come up with magic when she was exhausted and push Court all over the place was quite amazing as well.

BTW, it was great to meet you Tilden and thanks so much for dinner! I look forward to our next Classic Tennis nite.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 2006, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisvideos
Yes Alfa, I can only think Evert saw the latter parts on TV. And you have to remember, that both girls were under and injury cloud AND by the time King started to ease up on her serve and not follow it in (at 6-6 in the 2nd) they had already played the equvilent of 3 sets already -

The 14-12 first set is the equivilent of 7-6 7-6 and then it was 6-6 in the next set. And the many of the rallies were exhausting. To see Mags chasing down all those drop shots and lobs in the latter stages just highlighted her speed, stamina and overall athleticism like nothing else has. And it truly highlighted King's tennis brain. That she could still come up with magic when she was exhausted and push Court all over the place was quite amazing as well.

BTW, it was great to meet you Tilden and thanks so much for dinner! I look forward to our next Classic Tennis nite.
Exactly, and not to add insult to injury (and daze11 knows this to be true), but Chris Evert doesn't exactly have the greatest memory when it comes to match detail. She's one of those champions who gets over a match she's watched or played, and then actually forgets most of it- doesn't stay completely in her mind at all. I wouldn't go to her for match detail for a 20 year old match if my life depended on it.

The other astounding thing about the 1970 final is beyond the scoreline. They played this match without benefit of chairs, or a 90 second (which is always longer than that these days) break at the change-overs. Play was continuous. It is a great testament to the often underestimated fitness of Margaret Court that she was still racing for those drop-shots and lobs that late in the match.

Seeing this complete match just reaffirms my belief that Billie Jean King is the greatest thinker in tennis. You can see throughout the match where she stays with a plan of attack, keeping the ball to one side or another against Madge, and just at the right time, shift to the cold inactive wing, and the momentum shift is palpable. It's an exhausting match to watch, really, because there aren't just two or three points that shine as outstanding examples of the complete game of tennis (as in the classic 1974 USO final), there are about ten in this match, and I'm not exaggerating!

So when is the next tennis video party in the states? I'll cook...

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of photos from the match:






There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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Great pics Alfa! And a Blast dinner to watch some classic matches would be wonderful wouldn't it!

My Chicago trip is in jeopardy btw as I have arthritis in my playing hand and wrist and unless I can cure it my playing days are in jeopardy. I am working on a cleansing eating plan first as that worked once before with my feet.

Anyway, back to Court v King ... pity we don't have more of their clashes on tape. I am sure there were many other great matches they played. Still, we are lucky to even have this really!
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisvideos
Great pics Alfa! And a Blast dinner to watch some classic matches would be wonderful wouldn't it!

My Chicago trip is in jeopardy btw as I have arthritis in my playing hand and wrist and unless I can cure it my playing days are in jeopardy. I am working on a cleansing eating plan first as that worked once before with my feet.

Anyway, back to Court v King ... pity we don't have more of their clashes on tape. I am sure there were many other great matches they played. Still, we are lucky to even have this really!
Oh that's too bad about Chicago. I haven't officially registered yet, but I already have two people I'm talking with about partnering. And we're even discussing tennis...

I know all about the arthritis. I was diagnosed with it last Summer after getting my first MRI thinking it was a miniscus tear. It turned out to be gouty arthritis in both knees, and I get it occasionally in my playing hand too. There's really not a whole lot you can do about it besides watching the uric acid levels through what you eat, however, I have been steeping a tincture for a month now, and have a couple of herbal recipes for them that I'm looking forward to using. That, and I joined the gym and have been slowly working out in the cardio room as well as the pool and the steam room. The steam room and the sauna seem to really be working well at keeping the arthritis from flaring up.

Re: King/Court, we've discussed this before, but I think some of the Virginia Slims indoor finals they played in 1973 must be fantastic tennis, all things considered. We do have to take what we can get, and thank you for making this experience possible TV!

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:30 PM
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Not sure if the photo of BJK is actually from "the match" - looks like she is playing on the old Wimbledon number one court!
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilden
Not sure if the photo of BJK is actually from "the match" - looks like she is playing on the old Wimbledon number one court!
How can you tell?

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 2006, 12:26 AM
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How can you tell?

Its the composition of the barrier between court and crowd, the proximity of the crowd, the fact that the first row of the crowd were seated (or appeared to be seated) lower than the court surface on number one court.

Compare the first two photos of BJK on that www.sporting heroes site of tennis players in the 70s. The first pic (the photo above) seems to be on court number one - whereas the second pic (taken in 1971) is definitely on centre.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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HEY, Bub- Ya BETTER come to my home town of Chicago (remember, we Chicagoans are a tough lot....and I'm originally from NY....grrrrr).....at least SOME of you all better show....

ARTHRITIS is your excuse?!?! Get thee to the miracle workers that worked on Roche (see all the help it did him at Wimbledon?!?!) Remember the courage of 2-feet-tall-thanks-to-the-growth-stunting-meds darling little Kerri Strug as she vaulted and made her perfect landing to win the gold for her team, even with her poor twisted, broken little ankle. You'd best come up with a BETTER excuse to miss Chicago..... This may be my one chance to run into some of you BFTP'ers. (I will post a separate thread at some point to see who's coming. I am finding it weird that you still can't buy tickets for those of us who shall remain in the stands.....)

Back to the main topic- I also wish I could see more than this match from their rivalry. I do recall this being an especially tense match. I'll watch it again at some point- but, I just hate seeing BJK in a losing match.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisvideos
Great pics Alfa! And a Blast dinner to watch some classic matches would be wonderful wouldn't it!

My Chicago trip is in jeopardy btw as I have arthritis in my playing hand and wrist and unless I can cure it my playing days are in jeopardy. I am working on a cleansing eating plan first as that worked once before with my feet.

Anyway, back to Court v King ... pity we don't have more of their clashes on tape. I am sure there were many other great matches they played. Still, we are lucky to even have this really!

Edit: No mo' goin' all gangsta Pixie Lamm on you ass. Now Nelslus All About Kübler-Ross'in' Acceptance in The BFTP Crib. Word.
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