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post #16 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2003, 09:55 PM
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Great point Andy.... Goolagong was another who was underrated during her career. I know I posted that during her astonishing run between 1971 and 1976 she made about 16 Grand Slam finals out of 20 (or something very close to that). I will try to find my original post .....

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post #17 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2003, 10:29 PM
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Goolagong

I just found an old post I did on Goolagong... thought I should repost it in case any recent posters on the Blast of the Past wanted some info on Evonne.......

Evonne was a tremendous force in the 70s, esp between 71 and 76 which was just prior to her retiring to have her first child. And let us remember that the 70s was one of the periods of astonishing depth at the top of the womens tour - as Mark mentioned, there was Court, King, Evert, Goolagong, Wade, Morozova, Stove, Turnbull, Richey (Gunter), Reid, Barker, Fromholtz, Durr, Casals, Ruzici etc. For those who don't know much about the history of tennis all I can say is that I believe the early to mid 70s had arguably the greatest depth at the top of the game of any period in our games history - except probably the top 10 in recent years.... even that is debatable.

During an amazing run between 1971 and 1976, Evonne won Wimbledon in 71 and was runner up in 72, 75 & 76! 4 times finalist at Wimbledon in 6 years! Not only that, but during those 6 years she won the Aussie Open 3 times, and don't crap on about weak fields as she beat Navratilova, Evert and Tomanova - and was 3 times runner up (to Court twice and Wade). So that's 6 Aussie Finals in 6 years! She won the French in 71 and was runner up in 72 to King. I don't think she played again during the 70s there, and at the US Open she was runner up on 4 consecutive occasions - 73, 74, 75 & 76! Losing to Court, King, and Evert twice (on clay) - 3 of those finals were in 3 sets. On top of that she won the end of year Virginia Slims Championships twice beating Evert in the finals.

Then in 1977 Goolagong retired to have her first child. She came back of course but was beset by injuries. Who could forget the heartbreaking Wimbledon SF in 1978 when she led Navratilova 4-3 in the final set before her ankle gave way and she screamed in pain and limped through the remainder of the match. She finished the match in tears. It was so sad to watch. For her to come back and win Wimbledon in 1980 after having a child and coming back from injuries was a sensational effort and one of the most magical sporting moments I have witnessed in my life. Her semi-final win was one of the great Wimbledon matches when she beat Austin in 3 thrilling sets.

How is that for an astonishing record!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let us just summarise her 6 years between 1971 and 1976:

4 x Wimbledon Finals from 6 attempts including a win in 1971
2 x French Finals from 2 (maybe 3) attempts including a win in 1971
6 x Aussie Finals from 6 including 3 wins
4 x USO Finals from 5 attempts
2 x Virginia Slims end of season Championship wins from 4 attempts

So she was in the finals of 16 Grand Slams out of 20 during that 6 year stint!!!!!! AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me just repeat that amazing figure, because I never realised this before until I just typed it out tonight, and it is an amazing feat -

EVONNE GOOLAGONG MADE 16 GRAND SLAM SINGLES FINALS OUT OF 20 EVENTS IN A 6 YEAR PERIOD - and it was during a period of great depth on the womens tour.

Then she had her first child and basically was never the same again, with injuries playing a major role in the remaining years of her career.

I am not sure of Goolagong's head to head against the world's best prior to her first retirement in 1977, but I imagine it was very impressive!!! I would love it if someone was able to dig up those records.

Evonne Goolagong was a majestic and graceful artist. The only player who came close to her style was the legendary Maria Bueno.

Long live the legend of Evonne Goolagong.
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post #18 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 04:11 AM
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Great post, tennis videos. Even after her return, she did pretty well; between the Oz open in dec 77 and her wimbledon victory in 80 she had the following record:
2 Gs victories
sf at Wimbledon in 78 and 79
qf at Us open in 79
f in vs championships in 78 and sf in 80.
That is comparable to Austin (79-81) and Navratilova (78-80) with two Gs victories each.
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post #19 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 04:22 AM
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Thanks for re-posting your Evonne stats again, Craig. Truly amazing stats.

Another addition - I am almost positive that Evonne made the semi's of the french in 1973, losing to Court in 3.
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post #20 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark36
Thanks for re-posting your Evonne stats again, Craig. Truly amazing stats.

Another addition - I am almost positive that Evonne made the semi's of the french in 1973, losing to Court in 3.
She did but the score was 6-3 7-6.
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post #21 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:46 AM
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Evonne was a great player, nevertheless I cannot regard her as a no.1 cause she didn't seem to have that 100 and 10 percent toughness that Seles, Evert, Navratilova, King or Austin had.
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post #22 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Alfa, Austin might have won much more than 1,2 more GSs had she not been injured. After all she had overtaken Navratilova and Evert in 80,81.
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post #23 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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That's OK Robert... but Evonne was ranked #1 officially, and deservedly so. Who cares about toughness - it isn't the be all and end all. Natural ability has an impact as well, and very few in the history of the sport has as much natural ability as Evonne. Just because she wasn't as focussed as those others you mentioned doesn't mean she didn't deserve her time at #1.

As for Austin, she was a great player during 79, 80 & 81. So was Seles from 1990-93, so was Connolly from 51-53. Unfortunately, all of their careers were tragically cut short so sadly we shall never know how truly great they could have been.... and all three may have potentially challenged to be the greatest ever, certainly Connolly deserves her place at the pinnacle (along with the other legends) with her astonishing record.
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post #24 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 12:26 PM
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In her autobiography "Home", Evonne talks about the VS circuit in 1976, where she played consistently great tennis and ended the circuit (jan-apr) at the top of the points table. She was seeded #1 for the circuit championships, ahead of Evert, and she won them, beating Evert in the final. She actually wrote something about (I'm paraphrasing here) how thrilled she was to have climbed back to being number one in the world. At that moment (April 1976), she was reigning Australian and Virginia Slims champ and had been runner up at the 75 Wimbledon (to King) and the 75 US Open (to Evert). The WTA computer didn't put her at number one but she must have been so damn close all the way through 76 until her form fell off in the autumn (when she was pregnant).

For me, she should clearly be considered a former world #1. Comets shine just as brightly as stars, even if they don't last as long.

Last edited by Andy T; Nov 25th, 2003 at 01:17 PM.
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post #25 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Tennisvideos, Evonne was no. 1 in 1971? Who made the rankings back then? I thought the official ranking began in 1973, the computer rankings in 1975.

Referring to Austin I didn't want to go into deeper speculation, it just sound strange to me that IF you speculate to assume she would only have won 1 more major, due to the fact that she had been so succesful from 79 to 81.

By the way, I put Seles and Connolly in the same category. If you look at their Grand Slam records they are about the same (winning 8 in 3 years). And both got to the top of the game unbelievably fast, within less than 2 years after joining the tour.

Surely Monica lost a handful of more matches in her best years (in smaller tournaments) than Maureen did, but in the early 90s there's surely more depth in Tennis than it had been in the 50s.

Where do you see the difference between those 2 ?
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post #26 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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The rankings were based on opinions rather than fact before 1973. If we were to use today's ranking system for 1971 who would be the true #1. I think Evonne won 11 tournaments including the French and Wimbeldon. She made the finals of the Australian Open and didn't play the U.S. Open. King won 19 tournaments including the U.S.Open and a semi berth at wimbledon. She didn't play the Australian and French opens. Let's add up the numbers and put this debate to bed!

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post #27 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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Sounds good to me!
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post #28 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 04:15 PM
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FYI (from Tennislovers.com)

Unofficial world rankings for men and women determined by the London Daily Telegraph from 1914-72. Since then, official world rankings computed by men's and women's tours. Rankings included only amateur players from 1914 until the arrival of open (professional) tennis in 1968. No rankings were released during World Wars I and II.

Multiple winners: Helen Wills Moody (9); Steffi Graf (8); Margaret Smith Court and Martina Navratilova (7); Chris Evert Lloyd (5); Margaret Osborne duPont and Billie Jean King (4); Maureen Connolly, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles (3); Maria Bueno, Althea Gibson, Suzanne Lenglen, Lindsay Davenport (2).

Year Player

1925 Suzanne Lenglen
1926 Suzanne Lenglen
1927 Helen Wills
1928 Helen Wills
1929 Helen Wills Moody
1930 Helen Wills Moody
1931 Helen Wills Moody
1932 Helen Wills Moody
1933 Helen Wills Moody
1934 Dorothy Round
1935 Helen Wills Moody
1936 Helen Jacobs
1937 Anita Lizana
1938 Helen Wills Moody
1939 Alice Marble
1940-45 No rankings
1946 Pauline Betz
1947 Margaret Osborne
1948 Margaret duPont
1949 Margaret duPont
1950 Margaret duPont
1951 Doris Hart
1952 Maureen Connolly
1953 Maureen Connolly
1954 Maureen Connolly
1955 Louise Brough
1956 Shirley Fry
1957 Althea Gibson
1958 Althea Gibson
1959 Maria Bueno
1960 Maria Bueno
1961 Angela Mortimer
1962 Margaret Smith
1963 Margaret Smith
1964 Margaret Smith
1965 Margaret Smith
1966 Billie Jean King
1967 Billie Jean King
1968 Billie Jean King
1969 Margaret Court
1970 Margaret Court
1971 Evonne Goolagong
1972 Billie Jean King
1973 Margaret Court
1974 Billie Jean King
1975 Chris Evert
1976 Chris Evert
1977 Chris Evert
1978 Martina Navratilova
1979 Martina Navratilova
1980 Chris Evert Lloyd
1981 Chris Evert Lloyd
1982 Martina Navratilova
1983 Martina Navratilova
1984 Martina Navratilova
1985 Martina Navratilova
1986 Martina Navratilova
1987 Steffi Graf
1988 Steffi Graf
1989 Steffi Graf
1990 Steffi Graf
1991 Monica Seles
1992 Monica Seles
1993 Steffi Graf
1994 Steffi Graf
1995 Steffi Graf & Monica Seles
1996 Steffi Graf
1997 Martina Hingis
1998 Lindsay Davenport
1999 Martina Hingis
2000 Martina Hingis
2001 Lindsay Davenport
2002 Serena Williams
2003 Justine Henin-Hardenne

As you can see- Evonne Goolagong was considered #1 in the world for 1971. These rankings prior to the computer were the generally accepted standard. Obviously, much greater emphasis was placed on winning Wimbledon- however, it was THE world championships, and deserved this weighting.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #29 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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Thanks Alfa.

Wierd to see BJK at number 1 for 1974. I would have put her at 2 or 3.

Didn't Chris win 56 matches in a row that year (including the French and Wimbledon wins and a runner-up finish at the Aussie + Slims finale and semi at US)?

I think Evonne had a good argument for at least number 2 with the Aussie (over Evert) + Slims finale (over BJK and Evert) and the US runner-up (over Evert, snapping the streak).

If someone is going to be kind enough to run the 1971 numbers, can you do 1974 as well. I think it would be very interesting.
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post #30 of 68 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2003, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark36
Thanks Alfa.

Wierd to see BJK at number 1 for 1974. I would have put her at 2 or 3.

Didn't Chris win 56 matches in a row that year (including the French and Wimbledon wins and a runner-up finish at the Aussie + Slims finale and semi at US)?

I think Evonne had a good argument for at least number 2 with the Aussie (over Evert) + Slims finale (over BJK and Evert) and the US runner-up (over Evert, snapping the streak).

If someone is going to be kind enough to run the 1971 numbers, can you do 1974 as well. I think it would be very interesting.
I agree, it's a compelling argument that Chris Evert finished 1974 as the top player. Interestingly enough, the WTA Computer took over in 1975. I have a little problem with Martina Navratilova taking 1978 on the merit of her Wimbledon win over Chris. I'd say Chris should have been #1 at the end of 1978 as well.

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