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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How about a nice Evonne thread? She was the greatest touch player of all time and the most graceful as well. Let's hear it for Evonne!
 

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Happy to chat more about Evonne... have to rush back to work just now but I will be back.
 

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Well,I've never had the chance to watch her play(too young).But I've read about her in magazines and tennis books and she caught my attention cause she looked so elegant on court and so beautiful,graceful woman.
What kind of play did she have?Does she play similarly to some of today's players so i can have an idea?For what i've read about her she was an artist of tennis.I read she won Australian Open,Roland Garros and Wimbledon.But did she ever win US Open?
Thanks for all the other fans for answering my questions.
 

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If you were to add more fluid movement and better volleys to Ruxandra Dragomir, you would have Evonne in a nutshell. Evonne reached the final of the U.S. Open four consecutive years without winning. She lost to Court in 73 (fantastic match), King in 74 (excellent match), and to Evert in 75, 76 ... the U.S. Open was unfortunaely her achilles heal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not to mention her lack of killer instinct. Evonne had Billie Jean on the ropes in that 1974 US Open final. She should have won it and could have taken either the '73 or '75 finals as well. She just didn't possess that intangible that King, Evert, Graf and Seles (pre-stabbing) had in abundance...complete lack of sympathy for the person across the net. Gaby was the same and it is one of the reasons I liked them so much, but it is sooooo frustrating as a fan and observer. You just want to scream at the tv..."kill them!"

:)

Evonne's game was so hard to describe. Someone once wrote that all her shots floated back across the court as if wrapped in feathery angel hair (or cotton balls?) and then died as soon as they bounced. Of course she could put a lot of pace on the ball as well, esp. her lovely topspin backhand. She was a pure joy to watch. I think her incredible court sense has been matched by only one other player, that being Hingis, who was slightly superior in that category.
 

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I have Evonnes first biography written in 1975. I got it a while back for a whole $1.50!!!! Anyway I will post some pages from the book, particuarly her first match against Chris Evert which had an anticipation rivalling Wills and Lenglens match apparently.
 

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Evonne used to train right next door to my house and my parents used to watch her heaps-hence, we ended up getting a tennis court as well :)
 

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I thought I would post the passages of Evonnes 1972 first ever clash against Chris Evert at Wimbledon. This match had the most hype and anticipation since Lenglen and Wills. I think it took a while coming also, they were drawn to play each other but either Chris or Evonne in a tournament prior was stopped by BJK, who no doubt was pleased to spoil the party!!

Taken from 'Evonne' - Evonne Gooloagong, Bud Collins and Vic Edwards.

So there we were in the semis after months of anticipation. The build-up was more like that for a heavyweight championship fight. Evonne Sing-a-long against the Ice Maiden... the South Sea princess vs. the American Girl Scout... Match of the Decade.

Teddy Tinling was as jittery as a cat with a hot tin of marijuana going through an airport search line. 'Never has there been anything like it' he said. And he goes back a long, long way. 'Great players have met before, but it's marvellous. It heightens the drama. The only thing I can compare it with is 1926, that one time Suzanne Lenglen, the great champion of the 1920's - perhaps the greatest of all - played young Helen Wills, who at 20 was on the way up as Suzanne's successor. That was splendid theatre - Suzanne won - but after all it was the final of a minor tournament at a small club in Cannes. Not a setting to be compared with this. Of course Evonne and Chrissie will play many times, unlike Suzanne and Helen, but we'll cherish the first'.

Teddy was taking it very personally. 'My prestige is on the line.... I'm a wreck'. he wailed. He felt himself to be in a very real competition too, since I was wearing his designs while Chris was showing off those of Mondessa Swift, an American. Teddy may have a little Aboriginal witch doctor blood in him. He can turn on the most frightening evil eyes this side of Dracula. He fastened them on Bobby Riggs throughout Billie Jeans victory over Bobby, and he flashed them at Mondessa while Chrissie and I were battling away at each other. He's too much of a gentleman to give Chrissie the evil eye however.

Teddy pointed out another similarity to the Lenglen-Wills confrontation. 'Evonne is dashing, gay and nimble like Suzanne. Chrissie is dour, withdrawn and mechanical like Helen. But make no mistake about Miss Evert. She may not be as graceful or as much fun to watch, but she's so determined that when she matures she may go years without losing, the way Wills did'.


More to come :)
 

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Part 2

Although they publicised her and read about her and watched her, the English did not wholeheartedly take to Chrissie. 'She's such an ice cold pro that we don't understand her' a friend said to me (He knew she was actually an amatuer, but she acted like an old pro when she played, all right) 'To us a 17 yr old should be a giggly school girl, not a self assured prima donna of Centre Court. She's so bloody unaffected and ruthless out there... she's inhuman'.
Well thats the way Chrissie affects you when she plays - 'a well trained poodle on parade, en route to winning the blue ribbon at a dog show' is the way Dave Anderson described her in the New York Times.

Moreover, the English are sceptical of her American successes. The English are sceptical of anything that happens in the Colonies. They didn't quite believe the tales of her staying at the baseline at Forest Hills grass to beat away her attackers with groundstrokes. They couldn't understand how partisan and adoring the American crowds had been. ('It's hard enough fighting Chrissie, but I couldn't fight 14,000 people too' wept Lesley Hunt, one of her US Open victims who left the court beaten and crying. 'It's an awlful experience to have everybody against you').

Chrissie's appeal was lost on the English. Their curiosity remained high but once again in Centre Court they were with me. Not so openly as the Americans had been for Chrissie. (They applaud my double faults!' blubbered Francoise Durr). I was their girl. It's a nice feeling, but I know it may change one day, when a new darling comes along. Billie Jean discovered that, and so have numerous others. Fans pay money, and the priviledge to be fickle comes with the ticket.
 

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louloubelle this is fantastic. I have read so little about this match, yet it was a very significant event at the time. Please keep it coming.

Love the stuff about Chris being like a prize poodle.
 

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Thanks - I just had to share this as I found the whole book really interesting, particularly with Bud Collins co-writing... I'm sure he's responsible for digging up all the quotes throughout. :)

Part 3

If we looked cool when we came out onto Centre Court, after Billie Jean had eliminated Rosie Casals in the afternoons first semi, it was strictly a pose. We were shaking. This was it. I wasn't relaxed the way I'd been against Margaret in the final a year before, knowing I had nothing to lose. Here I had the title to lose; I was being threatened by another wonder-child.

It wasn't a grudge match, thopugh, and I hope the press never builds our rivalry into that sort of thing. Chrissie and I aren't close, but we've always liked and respected each other. We're linked by our own attitudes and our ages: young women who go their own way. We've stayed aloof from the two women's unions that have sprung up while we've been on the scene, refusing to ally ourselves with any group or cause. Our money is handled for us and doesn't concern us. We're united by mutual admiration, and a desire to beat each other as badly as we can, while we're playing.
I enjoy playing her so much. I always know the score, which means I'm concentrating, responding to a challenge. She has said of me, 'I feel a good relationship with Evonne. I play hard as anything against Evonne, but I don't really enjoy beating her that much, and I don't mind losing to her. Not like I mind losing to Billie Jean or Margaret. I really savour victories over them. But with Evonne it's just comfortable. Oh, we try hard to beat each other, but it doesn't carry over, somehow. It's a very nice rivalry.'

The Very Nice Rivalry began with Chrissie and me asking about curtseying to the Royal Box. She was new to this. 'Just sort of bend your knees and bob' I said. I never do the very formal curtsey I learned when I made my debut at the Sydney ball with Trisha. That's a bit much. We're here to compete, not to dance and socialize. We bobbed. And giggled, knowing how awkward and silly we appeared. Two fine athletes who looked about as coordinated as the Tin Man when his joints were rusty. The story in the Boston Globe said we 'resembled a couple of Protestants trying to genuflect at Lourdes'.
 

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I just found out a cool little fact about Evonne.
In 1976 she lost to only two women-Chris Evert
and Betty Stove. She didn't lose to Stove until late in the season (November?) when she was already pregnant. Had Evonne managed to win her Wimbledon final with Chris she would have been #1 that year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah Rollo, Evonne really should have taken that match w/Evert at Wimbledon in 1976. I remember being all pissed off (at 9 years old!) when she lost 8-6 in the third. Evonne had been the top player on the Virginia Slims indoor circuit that winter/spring, beating Chris at least twice, including a three set thriller in the Championships in LA. I had just got addicted to tennis (and to Evonne) the year before, so i was no expert, but I felt the way she was playing that she had another Wimbledon all wrapped up. Oh well. I was really pissed after she got killed 2 months later in the US Open final 6-3, 6-0.

As for Evonne's record in 1976, it was truly amazing. Although I do believe that Evonne lost the Fed Cup final match 7-6, 6-4 to the venerable Billie Jean King. Perhaps that is not considered a tour match in the record books.

1976 was my favorite year of all time. It was disappointing seeing Evonne lose all but one of the big finals, but she made it to the finals of everything and was on TV practically every other weekend. When she was nearly popping her first child out she was still on TV, in spring 1977...from matches taped the year before and televised on ABC saturday afternoon's as a men's + women's WTT type event. Bjorn, Wade, Barker and Nastase participated as well, and there was mixed doubles so it was loads of fun and lasted for at least 2 months.
 

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Mark, its so funny to see how young you were and getting so pissed off! I can recall many of the same feelings. So you watched tennis as far back as 1976? My first match i ever saw was Austin vs Evert final 1979 and i was hooked. Plus had my first crush ever (on tracy!)

Mark do you have any evonne mathes on tape? Isnt she something...i have quite a few as well and i cherish them.
 

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mark, do you have any of Andrea Jaegers matches on tape? I only have one and its a really obscure match...but do have any thing she played against Chris or Tracy? What about Tracys semi final win over Martina at the 1979 US open? That i would LOVE to get my hands on.
 
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