1970s South Africans - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 2002, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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1970s South Africans

i wonder if someone knows anything about the many south african players that were in the top 30-50 at the end of the 1970s (marise kruger, greer stevens, linky boshoff, ilana kloss, brigitte cuypers, etc). they all seemed to retire at a very young age like 21 to 24. i only know about stevens who had a terrible knee injury and had to retire because of that. she's played the wimbledon legends doubles the last two years and i think she has a safari lodge or something in sa.
and annette du plooy is the fed cup selector for sa.

Last edited by Rollo; Jul 31st, 2006 at 09:09 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:03 AM
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Jem will know Monaco. When I "see" him crusing around the board I'll let him know you are here
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2002, 11:13 PM
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Jem come in-I've bumped it up for you

It's a pity some of the other great South Africans are little known or rarely discussed. Gordon Forbes(a South African) has written about the most touching and humorous book on tennis in the amateur days of the 50's when the men and women globtrotted the world together. It's called "A Handfull of summers-and when you think about it that's all these great athletes usually get
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 2002, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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That is such a great book. The best book I have ever read about tennis and one of the best I've ever read.
Forbes also wrote Too Soon To Panic which is a must read too.
I think he's now the head of Tennis South Africa.
It's a pity that a country with such a big tennis tradition is now struggling with no tournaments, no players (after Ferreira and Coetzer retire).
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 2002, 02:48 PM
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Greetings, Monaco,

I'm not an authority on South African tennis by any means, but I was a huge Linky Boshoff fan in the 1970s. Here's what I know about that era of South Africans:

Boshoff retired at the end of 1978 after capturing the singles, doubles and mixed doubles title at the South African Open, beating most of her major South Africans rivals along the way. What an exit! She is best remembered for her stirring run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1974 as a 17-year-old, beating Rosie Casals along the way. Boshoff also made the quarterfinals in Paris on one occasion and won the U.S. Open doubles title with Kloss in 1976, beating Wade and Morozova in the final. She retired to attend university classes in South Africa. I spoke with Ilana Kloss about her in 1998/1999, and she said Linky was happily married and the mother of three sons. Boshoff, by the way, was immortalized in a Peanuts cartoon in the 1970s. About her, Snoopy said, "She's only person that I'm taller than," or something like that, as well as, "How can you not love someone with a name like Linky Boshoff?" Boshoff herself once lamented that she would have given her right arm to be 5-foot-4. I think she was like 5-1-and-a-half.

As for Kloss, she plugged along for several more years and posted some decent results. She is now president or head of World Team Tennis.

Greer Stevens suffered a massive knee injury playing World Team Tennis in 1978, but actually played her best tennis after coming back from that injury in 1979. She posted big wins over Chris Evert, Tracy Austin and others, won one or two big tournaments and then retired at the end of 1980 to marry and run a dairy farm in South Africa with her husband. It was good to see her playing the Legends events at Wimbledon recently.

Marise Kruger was a big puzzle to me. I thought she had a decent shot of making the top 10, but she up and quit the game without hardly a word. I'm assuming she must have returned to school. She was a sweet girl, with good results, but her shots didn't have a lot of pace, which would have hurt her in the long run.

Bridgitte Cuypers won a futures' tournament and also seemed to play some tight matches against a lot of people. But here again, she seemed to up and decide to retire in 1979 without much fanfare. The last I heard, she was living in Chicago, but that was sometime in the early 1980s.

I think Cuypers and Kruger may have won a French or Italian doubles title in 1977 or 78, but don't have any records at hand to check.

One other player worth mentioning is Yvonne Vermaak, who played well into the 1980s and actually reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1983. Vermaak was a very steady player, but also very short like Boshoff. She finally retired

Unfortunately, because South Africa was prohibited from Fed Cup competition in the late 1970s/1980s, the ITF data base does not have records for Vermaak and Kruger. But they do have records on the others, and it's worth a perusal. Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2003, 01:02 PM
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World Tennis 1978 Yearbook

Does anyone have this? Are the results in there from the South African Open for 1977? I used to have those results, but tossed them sometime last year during a crazed rush to prove I did not keep the house cluttered with meaningless things. Actually, I really don't keep the house cluttered with hardly anything (my old tennis mags were the one exception). And I really did a number sending so many of them to the recycling bin!

Anyway, if anyone has those results, I would appreciate them. Thanks.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2003, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem
Does anyone have this? Are the results in there from the South African Open for 1977? I used to have those results, but tossed them sometime last year during a crazed rush to prove I did not keep the house cluttered with meaningless things. Actually, I really don't keep the house cluttered with hardly anything (my old tennis mags were the one exception). And I really did a number sending so many of them to the recycling bin!

Anyway, if anyone has those results, I would appreciate them. Thanks.
SAB Open Championships, Johannesburg 26th November-6 December

Quarter-finals:Sharon Walsh d. Marise Kruger 7-6 2-6 6-2
Brigitte Cuypers d. Jeanne Evert 6-7 6-0 6-4
Yvonne Vermaak d. Alison McDade 6-3 6-4
Linky Boshoff d. N. Scheepers 6-2 6-2 (I don't remember her!!!)

Semi-finals: Cuypers d. Walsh 6-1 7-6
Boshoff d. Vermaak 6-2 6-3

Final:Boshoff d. Cuypers 6-1 6-4

Doubles Final: Boshoff/Kloss d. Cuypers/Kruger 6-1 6-4

Mixed:Colin Dowdeswell/Boshoff d. Sherwood Stewart/Kloss 6-4 4-6 7-5
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2003, 07:01 PM
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God, Linky Boshoff was rocking out with her çřçk out in the tourney. A triple! Wow!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Wow, Declain. Many, many thanks for this! This was Linky's last tournament as a pro. It was a $35,000 tournament for the women, and she took home $6,000 for the singles title. It was a great way to walk into the world of retirement. Don't suppose, by chance, they had results from the entire tournament. Probably not, but I thought I would at least ask!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2003, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem
Wow, Declain. Many, many thanks for this! This was Linky's last tournament as a pro. It was a $35,000 tournament for the women, and she took home $6,000 for the singles title. It was a great way to walk into the world of retirement. Don't suppose, by chance, they had results from the entire tournament. Probably not, but I thought I would at least ask!

No, sorry: the "World Of Tennis" books didn't give full results until the 90s, worse luck... I too disposed of literally hundreds of fine-condition tennis magazines from the mid-70s onwards about 5 years ago, to de-clutter my home. To my now shame I threw them away, as it was in the days before eBay and I couldn't be arsed to find a seller.. I still have many, though, and when I've time I'll dig them out to see if by chance this tournament's results are somewhere. I have kept more from the late 70s than any other period, I must say...

Still on Linky, in the profiles entry for her in this 1978 book it says 'Won the championship of her country and then quit pro tour at least temporarily in order to complete university education'.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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1st RD

kruger - vlotman 75 36 62
mundel - charles
walsh - harter
cooper - wilkens 64 16 63

cuypers - summers 64 46 60
beillan - connor 60 64
j evert - hobbs 62 63
liebenberg - whitehouse 64 46 75

weiner - k boshoff 64 60
mcdade - mappin 61 62
harford - duplooy (1963 & 75 champ) 57 76 61
vermaak - sammel 63 64

kloss - dimitriou (maiden name kirk, the 1972 fed cup victory heroine) 26 76 76
l boshoff - eisterlehner 63 63
scheepers (mother of chanelle) - van der walt 61 36 61
coles - richey 76 63

2nd RD
kruger - mundel 46 62 61
walsh - cooper 63 63
cuypers - beillan 63 62
j evert - liebenberg 62 64

mcdade - weiner 62 63
vermaak - harford 63 63
l boshoff - kloss 61 60 !!!
scheepers - coles 26 62 75

the 1977 sa open was still part of the colgate series; from 1978-81 it became a minor event outside the series, it was resurrected in 1984 (won by chris evert) and was played as a $25k challenger in 1986-87...then it sadly disappeared
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2003, 09:57 PM
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Nicola,

Thanks ever so much for these results. Where in the world did you find them?

By the way, that wasn't nice of Linky to beat her doubles partner so badly, was it?!!!

It was indeed a great tournament for Boshoff -- what a send-off for her career.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2003, 06:28 PM
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I found them in a SA tennis magazine - along with a nice story on the 1977 SA Open. I have them all from 1974.

Boshoff played a couple of Sugar Circuit tournaments after Jo'burg. I don't have the results here with me. She defended her SA Open title in 1978 but lost in the QFs.

Boshoff-Kloss were a formidable team, the best in the world in 1976 and No. 3-4 in 1977. They won the SA Open as 17-year-olds in 1973 beating Evert and Wade in the final. In that tournament Kloss lost to Evert 6-4 in the third but never really confirmed her promise.

Another SA player who could have played longer and done better was Marise Kruger who got to No. 12 but retired at 21.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2003, 09:10 PM
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Nicola,

Any idea whatever happened Marise Kruger -- her retirement surprised me, and she went away without any word whatsoever. I saw her place once. She was consistent, but didn't have much firepower, even for back then.

By the way, are you certain it was Linky who defended her title in 1978, or was it another South African, Karin Boshoff, who made it to the quarterfinals that year. It's amazing to think that Linky, after a year-long layoff, could have made the quarterfinals, even in a diminished field. I think Bridgitte Cuypers won that title in 78, beating Tanya Harford in the final.

By the way, would you be willing to copy that article from 1977 and send it to me, assuming it's in English. I would gladly pay for copying and postage expenses. You can let me know via my personal email. Thanks again!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2003, 07:39 PM
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Quick question. Why were Boshoff/Kloss considered the best team of 1976? I know they won the U.S. Open and a couple of clay events.

Whereas Martina/Chris won Wimbledon, beating Boshoff/Kloss in straight sets in the semis (that was their only meeting that year). They also won the season-ending Colgate Championships over King/Stove in the finals. Besides a divided Eastbourne final, I think that was all they won together that year But it's still two of the four biggest doubles tournaments of the year. (King/Stove won the Bridgestone). Quality over quantity, no?
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