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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Margaret Smith rolls to an easy win to take the Aussie over fellow Aussie Lesley Turner. 30 of 32 women in the draw were Aussie.

At Roland Garros Smith drops sets to German Helga Schultze in the semis and Bueno in the final, but romps home in third set of both to claim the second leg on the slam.

Could the Aussie win Wimbledon and be 3/4 the way to a Grand Salm? The Bueno-Smith final si filled with glorious tennis mixed with a lot of errors. In the end Bueno wins a popular victory in 3 sets--on match point a daring half volley just drops over the net.

Bueno goes on to win Forest Hills over surprise finalist Carole Caldwell. A badly surnburnet Carole wins only 1 game in one of the most lopsided slam finals ever.
 

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A largely forgotten player from this era is Judy Alvarez. When Judy was left off the 1964 Wightman Cup team she drifted away from tennis

The url for this online article is:
http://tampabayonline.net/reports/top100/no70.htm

No. 70 Judy Alvarez
By H.A. BRANHAM of The Tampa Tribune
Judy Alvarez likes what she reads - her first invitation to Wimbledon.
Tribune file photo (1962)
Judy Alvarez: Jefferson '62Highlights: Reached a No. 6 national women's tennis ranking during the summer of 1964, when she beat two future Wimbledon champions … Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade. ... Played at Wimbledon for the first of three times in 1962. In her first-round doubles match she followed Rod Laver's match on Centre Court ... A three-time member of the Junior Wightman Cup team. ... As a junior growing up in Ybor City, honed her game in Tampa at old Cuscaden Park and Davis Islands Tennis Club and was taught by the legendary Maureen "Little Mo'' Connolly. ... State junior champion in '62. State women's champion '62-65. ... Won national Girls 18 doubles title in '63. ... Won the Orange Bowl International Junior Championships' 18s singles and doubles titles in '61, and finished second in '60. ... Named to Tampa Sports Hall of Fame. ... Graduated from the University of Tampa in '67. ... Having quit the world tour in '64, made a brief comeback on the Virginia Slims Tour in '71-72. ... After another lengthy hiatus from competition, became the nation's No. 1-ranked 35s player, winning the 35s' "Grand Slam'' … a sweep of all national championships. In the 40s, was No. 1 nationally and No. 3 in the world. ... Quit playing competitively in 1984, at the age of 41.
Today: Alvarez, 56, still owns and operates the Judy Alvarez Tennis Academy, the northwest Tampa facility she opened in 1973. Alvarez's focus these days is teaching, with small, beginning-level children her specialty. She has, though, worked with a number of promising juniors in recent years. "I really enjoy teaching the kids,'' Alvarez said. "It's like the second thing [after competition] that I enjoy now. Teaching kids, it brings out a lighter picture [of life] for me.'' ... Alvarez, who also teaches in South Tampa at City of Tampa-operated courts, is trying to sell her club and possibly move her instructional operation to another site. Alvarez does not plan a return to competitive tennis any time soon.

When assessing the tennis achievements of Tampa's Judy Alvarez, there are two keys: referencing the results and listening to the stories. Alvarez's remarkable rise on the women's world tour in the early 1960s must be remembered in two contexts - factual and fun.
Alvarez has titles and trophies, many of the latter on display at her northwest Tampa tennis club. She also has tales that take you back to when big-time tennis was genteel and, at times, uproarious.
Take Wimbledon, 1962 for instance. Alvarez's first appearance at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, a fortress of decorum that was downright stodgy and snobby 40 years ago. In the faux pas category, Alvarez quickly became the tournament leader.
Her first match was on an outside court. Good thing, too, because Alvarez, well, "snapped.''
"I go to serve, first time on a court at Wimbledon ... and my bra broke,'' Alvarez said, laughing. "All the [linespeople] on my court were women, and they looked around in their purses until one of them found a safety pin. Then they circled around me and held their coats out, so I could fix the bra. Well, I got it fixed but I went back to play and it came loose so I had to come over and fix it again.''

For a first-round doubles match, Alvarez and partner Carol Caldwell were put on famed Centre Court, right after a Rod Laver singles match. Alvarez looked ready, as she walked back to the service line to begin the match. Except for one thing. She had left her racket at her chair.
"When it was obvious I didn't have my racket, you could hear all this mumbling,'' Alvarez said. "Anyway, I got my racket and as I walked back out, I held it up so everyone could see it. Everyone applauded. Carol and I lost, but the crowd was behind us the whole time.''
There are other gems. Like the time at Wimbledon when a good friend and fellow player, having gone to see a London hypnotist to help her concentration, freaked out and couldn't play her match. She stood riveted at the back fence, claiming she had gone blind, and had to be led off-court by Alvarez.

As a teenager growing up in Ybor City, Alvarez spent many days catching a bus to the old Davis Islands Tennis Club. A good friend - and top rival - was future Tampa mayor Sandy Freedman.

"There was a whole crew of us back then,'' Freedman said. "I remember Judy's mother used to bring me pizza. But I don't know if she did it to weigh me down before I played Judy or what.''

Not all of the memories are good ones, of course. For Alvarez, 1964 forever will be bittersweet. She beat fellow Americans Billie Jean King, Darlene Hard and Donna Fales, only to be left off the Wightman Cup squad. Crushed by what she considered a political and perhaps discriminatory decision - Cubans weren't exactly commonplace in tennis - Alvarez quit the tour. She was ranked No. 6 in the U.S. at the age of 21.

"I could shoot myself for that, now,'' Alvarez said.

"I think Judy could've made a lot of money [if she'd kept playing],'' King said. "She was a great player, a very good athlete. And it was very important for her to be playing - it was important to me - because she was Hispanic.''

After a short comeback in 1970-71, Alvarez quit again to open Judy Alvarez's Club Tennis, a northwest Tampa facility she now is trying to sell.

At the age of 35, she came back and dominated her age group in the U.S. and internationally. Finally, in '84, she quit for good.

"And I think I kind of lost my identity after that,'' she said. "The competition was a big chunk of my life, and I had to put it away. I miss that a lot. "But I'll tell you, if I had to play now like I used to, I'd need a doctor to travel around with me, to keep me going.''
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Copied from the 60s Pixies thread. Much of this comes from World Tennis magazine.

#1 Lea Pericoli (Italian cutey) vs Karen Susman (USA-1961 Wimbledon champ)

Susman had a rep for stalling between points. The Italians had a rep among foreigners for, shall we say, creative line calling. Some Italian players actually overruled their own umpires when they felt the umps were too patriotic! Remember that in reading what follows fronm World Tennis-

It's second round match with Pericoli leading 6-4 0-6 4-3 when THE INCIDENT happened. Susman protested when she felt a ball was out that Pericoli hit. The ump gave Lea the point. "Karen told Lea she was cheat. lea told Karen she was playing the way the balls were called, whether good or bad. Karen replied that she had heard of this sort of thing in Italy. The match continued. Again Karen called Lea a cheat. This time Lea replied in Italian (If we could only get THAT quote!). Pericoli finally won 7-5 after Susman missed an easy ball on match point.

The match created such a controversy that Karen's husband Rod wrote the magazine-saying Karen never called Lea a cheat, calling the reporting biased, and claiming Pericoli pretended not to understand English when Susman appealed to her to overule the cheating ref.

Pericoli THEN wrote a reply to Rod.'s letter in which she stated Karen DID call her a cheater. According to Lea Karen said during a changover after winning the game containing the disputed point. "Bad luck, it does not pay to cheat, see?"

Don't ya love a good catfight?;)

I leave the last word on this match to Ted Tinling, who wrote of it in "Love and Faults".

Quote:
Karen Susman playing Lea Pericoli in Rome with 2,000 Romans cheering Lea's every shot. Karen questioning the 4th ghastly line call given against her. "I always play to the umpire's decision", said Lea with an angleic smile. "Have you no eyes, no conscience?, said Karen. Lea won the match
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The second was the women's doubles semi on an outside court.
Women never played center court at Rome in the 60s unless it Maria Bueno. Matches could start off with two fans and end that way (even the finals!) unless "drama" somehow enticed fans-then suddenly thousands would show up.

#2 seeds Lehane/Tegart vs. Lazzarino/Pericoli

The Italian team of Pericoli and Lazzarino were famous for beating opponents in Rome who were put off by their constant lobs and the shouts of the crowd. This was their most dramatic match and has a hilarious quote at the end.

Quote:
The Italian team has developed a lobbing technique that has to be seen to be believed. Tegart took most of the overheads as the Aussies won set one 6-3. But reinforements were at hand. A match was completed on the center court, and thousands of enthuisastic Italians rushed over to see their favorites. They proceeded, in typical Italian fashion to encourage their girls. Silvana (Lazzarino) sorrowful after missing a ball, turned her large, dark eyes to the crowd in consolation. She got it from thousands of cheering throats. "Dai, dai, Silvana!" they yelled. The Aussies remained remarkably calm through this demonstration and others which were to follow.

They kept coming in and smashing while their opponents lobbed higher and higher. Tegart smashed and smashed and smashed. The Aussies hit 400 overheads in one set. Every now and then the Italians would slam a low drive across the net.

The Aussies reached match point. A short lob went up over Tegart, who angled it sharplu crosscourt. People started to get up to leave, but to everyone's amazement the match was not over-far from it! Silvana, anticipating the angle of the smash, had taken off in the direction of the adjacent court as fast as her little legs could carry her and, with both feet off the ground she lobbed the ball over the head of the two astonished Aussies. It landed smack on the baseline. Those who saw that point will never forget it.

The games went on. 9-9 10-10. Finally the Itlains pulled out the second set at 12-10. The crowd now split into two segments. One part began to clap and cheer every time the Aussies made an error; the more circumspect Italinas tried to shush them. This, in turn so outraged the first group that they booed the second.

Other players came over to see what all the fuss was about, waiters who were supposed to be serving cappachinos hung over the balconies and journalists discussed the ethics of this sort of tennis. And all this time the Aussies smashed and smashed and smashed. Finally, as dusk was settling over the Foro Italico, the Italians won at 6-3 in the third. Lea said afterwards, "

If we play normally against these girls we have no chance. So we play abnormally-how you say, atmospheric tennis? :p
 

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The second was the women's doubles semi on an outside court.
Women never played center court at Rome in the 60s unless it Maria Bueno. Matches could start off with two fans and end that way (even the finals!) unless "drama" somehow enticed fans-then suddenly thousands would show up.

#2 seeds Lehane/Tegart vs. Lazzarino/Pericoli

The Italian team of Pericoli and Lazzarino were famous for beating opponents in Rome who were put off by their constant lobs and the shouts of the crowd. This was their most dramic match and has a hilarious quote at the end.

Quote:
The Italian team has developed a lobbing technique that has to be seen to be believed. Tegart took most of the overheads as the Aussies won set one 6-3. But reinforements were at hand. A match was completed on the center court, and thousands of enthuisastic Italians rushed over to see their favorites. They proceeded, in typical Italian fashion, to encourage their girls. Silvana (Lazzarino) sorrowful after missing a ball, turned her large, dark eyes to the crowd in consolation. She got it from thousands of cheering throats. "Dai, dai, Silvana!" they yelled. The Aussies remained remarkably calm through this demonstration and others which were to follow.

They kept coming in and smashing while their opponents lobbed higher and higher. Tegart smashed and smashed and smashed. The Aussies hit 400 overheads in one set. Every now and then the Italians would slam a low drive across the net.

The Aussies reached match point. A short lob went up over Tegart, who angled it sharplu crosscourt. People started to get up to leave, butbto everyone's amazement the match was not over-far from it! Silvana, anticipating the angle of the smash, had taken off in the direction of the adjacent court as fast as her little legs could carry her and, with both feet off the ground she lobbed the ball over the head of the two astonished Aussies. It landed smack on the Baseline. Those who saw that point will never forget it.

The games went on. 9-9 10-10. Finally the Itlains pulled out the second set at 12-10. The crowd now split into two segments. One part began to clap and cheer every time the Aussies made an error; the more circumspect Italinas tried to shush them. This, in turn so outraged the first group that they booed the second.
Other players cam eover to see what all the fusswas about, waiters who were supposed to be serving cappachinos hung over the balconies and journalists discussed the ethics of this sort of tennis. And all this time the Aussies smashed and smashed and smashed. Finally, as dudk was settling over the Fro Italico, the Italians won at 6-3 in the third. Lea said afterwards, "
If we play normally against these girls we have no chance. So we play abnormally-how you say, atmospheric tennis? :p
Rollo, thanks for these two articles on Lea Pericoli. They were so entertaining.
The Italian Open really has calmed down now but it was a brilliant and crazy tournament back then!!!
Funny I was thinking of Pericoli and Lazzarino the other day- didnt they reach the finals of the Italian five times?
The tactics sound so off kilter but effective. I think the match with Lehane and Tegart would have been a very interesting spectacle!!!!!
Pericoli is still a bit of a diva at the Foro Italico. She is usually involved in the presentations to the winner- and very much commands attention when she is on court.
Also she played up to a good age and was even leading Italy to the latter stages of the Federation Cup in Naples 1974 when nearly 40.
 

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Also she played up to a good age and was even leading Italy to the latter stages of the Federation Cup in Naples 1974 when nearly 40
Wow! I didn't realize she had played on that long. Lea always struck me as very feminine, truly the type who wouldn't get mussed up just for a point!

LOL at the pandemonium that must have broken out after Silvana chased down that smash! Lazzarino had a long career as well. She even made the semis of the French one year, yet never got much attention.
 

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Wow! I didn't realize she had played on that long. Lea always struck me as very feminine, truly the type who wouldn't get mussed up just for a point!

LOL at the pandemonium that must have broken out after Silvana chased down that smash! Lazzarino had a long career as well. She even made the semis of the French one year, yet never got much attention.
Yes she was good enough to beat players of the calibre of Pauline Peisachov and Michelle Gurdal in Naples that year when 40 but found Evonne Goolagong a bit too much!!!
Lazzarino got to the semis in Paris- impressive stuff.
Pericoli beat Billie Jean King at the Swiss Open when 35 and that is good going.
And I have just saw her on TV during the Murray Monaco match in Rome- for seventy four she is very glamorous!!!!!!
 

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In some ways 1964 was a transitional year for women's tennis.

Smith and Bueno more or less wrapped everything up between them with Lesley Turner a clear #3 and then a deep mire. Perhaps one of the year's more surprising results was Maria winning her semi at RG over Lesley. In compiling his world rankings Lance Tingay said that he "almost gave up in despair trying to fill the next seven places" in his top 10.

Darlene Hard a three times Slam Champion and twice Wimbledon runner-up had played in South Africa at the start of the Season beating Bueno twice, Jones six times and winning the South African Championships. Then she turned professional and was a big loss to the game as much for her mercurial personality.

Billie Jean King and Nancy Richey weren't quite ready just yet to step up into the superstar category, Ann Jones had her weakest year of her tennis career since making the top 10 as she didn't seem to be fully committed and was probably considering retirement, Renee Schuurman who had gotten married played sporadically at the beginning of the Season and then seemed to disappear overnight.

Karen Susman returning after her pregnancy in 1963 pushed Margaret Smith hard at Wimbledon, then beat her in one of the year's most unexpected results at Forest Hills. Was Karen going to fill the niche many had initially predicted for her and continue on from her 1962 Wimby triumph? No, for she then lost in the next round to Carole Graebner and was never really a force again, retiring in 1965 after being banned for 6 months by the USTA when she refused to play her 1st round match at Forest Hills because she hadn't been seeded.

Robyn Ebbern an attractive Aussie with an appealing game showed promise but fate conspired against her when she kept coming up against Smith and Bueno in quarters (although she did beat Maria in the Italian). This seemed to dishearten her and the only way was down. In the general melee Jan Lehane of whom greater things had originally been expected than Margaret Smith had a chance to perhaps advance her cause but couldn't really take it. She reached a world high ranking but after injuring her leg couldn't reach the same standard again.

The whole Season was probabaly summed up by Carole Graebner reaching the final of the US Championships.

Probably the most notable aspect of the year was the split among the correspondents as to who was the #1 player.

During this period I tend to look at the Ulrich Kaiser rankings as the most definitive. This was compiled from lists from correspondents al over the world and therefore IMO had some merit.

01 Bueno 125pts
02 Smith 124
03 Turner 102
04 Moffitt 81
05 Ebbern 61
06 Richey 53
07 Graebner 43
08 Jones 42
09 Lehane 31
10 Susman 26

So Maria had beaten Margaret by a margin of 7 panelists to 6 (although there may have been a couple of joint rankings). There was even a split between the two foremoat rankers of the day Lance Tingay going for Smith and Ned Potter of World Tennis siding with Bueno.

I would have to say I concur with Tingay on this.

This was his summing up:

Margaret Smith or Maria Bueno - who was the better player in 1964? Miss Bueno won the singles at Wimbledon and the singles at Forest Hills, the two premier meetings of the world. Furthermore the Brazilian beat Miss Smith in a memouthe supreme player of the year? The facts though are not as simple as that.

Here is Miss Smith's record in the six major championships:

Australia: Singles champion, doubles finalist, mixed champion.

Italy: Singles champion, doubles champion, mixed champion.

France: Singles champion, doubles champion, mixed champion.

Wimbledon: Singles finalist, doubles champion, mixed finalist.

Germany: Singles champion, doubles champion.

USA: L16 singles, Doubles champion, mixed finalist.


Miss Bueno's record is:

Australia: did not play

Italy: Singles quarter-finalist, mixed finalist.

France: Singles finalist

Wimbledon: Champion.

Germany: Singles finalist

USA: Singles champion.

Even allowing for the tremendous prestige of the Wimbledon and American singles titles there can be no doubt as to which is the more impressive record. What of the rivalry between Miss Smith and Miss Bueno, the one against the other?

They met four times during the season, thrice in major meetings. In the final in Paris Miss Smith won 5-5 6-1 6-2. In the Wimblwdon final Miss Bueno beat Miss Smith 6-4 7-9 6-3. In the Dutch Championships Miss Smith won 6-0 1-6 6-3. In the final of the German Championships Miss Smith won 6-1 6-4. That is three victories to one in favour of Miss Smith, two out of three in major events.

As for other losses Miss Smith yielded once to Miss Turner, once to Renee Haygarth, and once at Forest Hills to Karen Susman. Miss Bueno lost to Ann Jones and (twice) to Annette van Zyl in South Africa and to Robyn Ebbern in Rome.

In all this the balance shifts well in favour of Miss Smith. Her rivalry with Miss Bueno provided an entrancing motif to the 1964 season and though one is reluctant to deny the Wimbledon and American singles champion the distinction of being graded the premier player of the world that status cannot be taken away from Miss Smith without flying in the face of the evidence.

However, many had the upfront opinion that if you won Wimbledon and Forest Hills you were the #1 full stop.

The 1971 world rankings caused much furore and many letters written to World Tennis. One correspondent asked what if a player happened to play only two good tournaments in a year winning Wimbledon and Forest Hills but losing badly everywhere else. Would this player be #1?

The Editor of World Tennis was qute uneqivocal in his answer of one word namely: YES.

But to show the general inconsistency that year, Tingay ranked Helga Schultze of Germany #5 while Ned Potter didn't even include her in his top 15 players. Go, figure that one out.

Incidentally, since there seems to be much interest in Lea Pericoli, she married her long time sweetheart Tito Fontana on November 12 that year in Lugano!
 

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That was a great synopsis Chris. I'd forgotten just have much dissarray there was below the top level. Regarding the #1, I would have to concur with Tingay. Smith's 3-1 head to head and overall record just edge out Bueno's two majors IMO.
 

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I actually think that Lance Tingays rankings were a bit strange. As I got really into tennis the computer was already ranking everyone. When I used to read his rankings to me they bore no resemblance to reality. And it is quite ironic that he criticised those who automatically gave precedence to those who win Wimbledon and the US. I am afraid to say that there are countless examples of him doing the same. Virginia Wade number 2 in 77, Evonne Goolagong 2 in 1980. I wouldnt have thought that was accurate.
 

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I have never understood Lea Pericoli's motives. She must surely be either sadistic or masochistic.

I can understand you might want to play a certain style as your best chance to win a match but just what is the point of slow-balling and lobbing for 2 hours to lose a match 6-2 6-2 or something similar - seems pointless and does tennis no favours when you mor eor less know what the outcome is going to be.
 

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I have never understood Lea Pericoli's motives. She must surely be either sadistic or masochistic.

I can understand you might want to play a certain style as your best chance to win a match but just what is the point of slow-balling and lobbing for 2 hours to lose a match 6-2 6-2 or something similar - seems pointless and does tennis no favours when you mor eor less know what the outcome is going to be.
It does seem odd Chris,but I think that the Foro Italico is unique for the strangeness that it produces. Maybe not so much now but certainly in the 60s and 70s its style, umpiring, crowd etc were crazy. Maybe Pericoli tuned into the madness and did her own thing.
Did you ever see her play? I know that she got to the last 16 at Wimbledon 3 times. Surely to god she didnt play like that on grass?:):)
 

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I actually think that Lance Tingays rankings were a bit strange. When I used to read his rankings to me they bore no resemblance to reality. And it is quite ironic that he criticised those who automatically gave precedence to those who win Wimbledon and the US. I am afraid to say that there are countless examples of him doing the same. Virginia Wade number 2 in 77, Evonne Goolagong 2 in 1980. I wouldnt have thought that was accurate.
I too have issues with some of Lance Tingay's rankings although perhaps not to the same extent. At least he did always explain his reasons even if you didn't agree with them. To be fair in his day there probably was relatively more emphasis placed on the Slams in relation to lesser events.

Whenever pre-computer world rankings are quoted they are now always his lists and as such have more or less unofficially come to be accepted as official!!

He also ranked Virginia #2 in 1968 but he was not alone in that. There was wide disparity as to whom it should have been.

The Seagram Panel was set up in 1968 and although it only lasted two years could have been regarded as definitive. Fifteen International correspondents submitted their lists from which a composite was drawn.

Billie Jean King was #1 with 149 points but whereas you would expect the #2 to have towards a total of 135 the next three places were #2 Nancy Richey 118, #3 Margaret Smith 116 and #4 Virginia Wade 113.

Margaret Smith had actually reached only one Slam final, the much weaker Australian and had been beaten by Billie Jean in that.

It can be seen from the points totals that one brave wag had actually placed someone other than BJ at #1 and how can anyone have worked that out? Also there must have been some lists who had players such as Bueno, Jones and Tegart higher than Richey, Smith or Wade.


So it just shows how very different people's perceptions of rankings were.
 

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I too have issues with some of Lance Tingay's rankings although perhaps not to the same extent. At least he did always explain his reasons even if you didn't agree with them. To be fair in his day there probably was relatively more emphasis placed on the Slams in relation to lesser events.

Whenever pre-computer world rankings are quoted they are now always his lists and as such have more or less unofficially come to be accepted as official!!

He also ranked Virginia #2 in 1968 but he was not alone in that. There was wide disparity as to whom it should have been.

The Seagram Panel was set up in 1968 and although it only lasted two years could have been regarded as definitive. Fifteen International correspondents submitted their lists from which a composite was drawn.

Billie Jean King was #1 with 149 points but whereas you would expect the #2 to have towards a total of 135 the next three places were #2 Nancy Richey 118, #3 Margaret Smith 116 and #4 Virginia Wade 113.

Margaret Smith had actually reached only one Slam final, the much weaker Australian and had been beaten by Billie Jean in that.

It can be seen from the points totals that one brave wag had actually placed someone other than BJ at #1 and how can anyone have worked that out? Also there must have been some lists who had players such as Bueno, Jones and Tegart higher than Richey, Smith or Wade.


So it just shows how very different people's perceptions of rankings were.
Thanks for that Chris, I have a great respect for Lance Tingay and you are right he did explain in his presentation the rationale for his rankings. It is just that at times they made no sense. Mind you I feel that way at times with the computer and it dosent explain itself with the eloquence Lance did.
Those 1968 rankings do seem complicated. Apart from BJK at number one it is really confusing to analyse. I really am not aware of the results outside the majors so I am not sure how accurate his ranking of Wade at number two was. Mind you as she won the first US Open and the first open title at Bournemouth she has a good case there for that spot.
I feel though from the results I have seen that Nancy Richey deserved the spot on the basis of her consistency.
 

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One point which is interesting in Mr Tingay's analysis of 1964 is that he includes the German as one of the 6 major championships of the world but NOT the South African. Joe McCauley of World Tennis also listed these as the 6 majors in 1966.

I agree but I'm pretty sure the perception of many was that the South African would have been of more importance than the German.
 
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