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I'm looking over their matches for that year and when I look at various record books, some have Goolagong ranked #1 and some have King ranked #1. I can't make a sound judgement on who was #1 until I finish looking at their matches for that year!
 

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I'd have to agree with Mark- Evonne Goolagong was in the final of the Australian Open, and won the French and Wimbledon. Billie Jean King has always felt this was the year she played the best tennis of her career, however, she really didn't start to dominate the tour until after Wimbledon, where she lost in the semis to Evonne.

I think the same thing with Kim Clijsters- while the tournament titles for the year are impressive, they shouldn't outweigh the majors- and Evonne is 2 to 1 compared to Billie Jean on the year.
 

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And in the major BJK won, there was no Court and no Goolagong! Court and Goolagong played the other three majors while King only played Wimbledon. Goolagong came damned close to beating Court in the Oz final too. The score: 26 76 75 to Court - apparently, Goolagong was cramping badly towards the end.
 

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Andy T said:
And in the major BJK won, there was no Court and no Goolagong! Court and Goolagong played the other three majors while King only played Wimbledon. Goolagong came damned close to beating Court in the Oz final too. The score: 26 76 75 to Court - apparently, Goolagong was cramping badly towards the end.
I just purchased a copy of the 1980 Wimbledon semis and finals, and the tapes arrived last night- and I am in GOOLAGONG TENNIS HEAVEN. That semi against Tracy Austin is a match I've never seen, and it is vintage Goolagong- I lost count of the high backhand overhead smashes she hit- one after another after another, as if it was the easiest shot in the book. Ah, they broke the mould with Evonne!
 

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That was a great match. Classic Evonne, going walkabout for a 6-0 (!) second set loss, and then pulling her game back together in the final set. I loved it. Tracy was numero uno at the time and Chris would take over the top spot in a month or two, so Evonne beat the best for that title.
 

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Mark36 said:
That was a great match. Classic Evonne, going walkabout for a 6-0 (!) second set loss, and then pulling her game back together in the final set. I loved it. Tracy was numero uno at the time and Chris would take over the top spot in a month or two, so Evonne beat the best for that title.
Evonne actually beat Hana Mandlikova in an earlier round, and I'm seriously thinking about purchasing a copy of that match too. Can you imagine the shots flying all over the court with those two? :eek:
 

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I think that semi match was the best match I saw that year (admittedly I 've never seen Austin-Evert semi at the US Open). As you guys say, she hit some sublime shots and proved, with wins over HM, TA and CE, her quality.
 

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Andy T said:
I think that semi match was the best match I saw that year (admittedly I 've never seen Austin-Evert semi at the US Open). As you guys say, she hit some sublime shots and proved, with wins over HM, TA and CE, her quality.
Oh, the Evert-Austin matches were so boring for me- no contrast in style, just patience, patience, patience, patience, 20 stroke ralleys from the baseline... :yawn:

Sorry, but there's no comparison for me. I thought what made the Goolaggong-Austin match so great was that even though Tracy bageled her in the second set, nearly all of those games went to deuce, and the quality of play was relatively high from both players through all three sets. Austin really turned on the gas- I forgot how much harder she could hit the ball than Evert, and her passing shots were terrific. It's a shame she didn't stretch and take care of her young body, because without injury, she would have gone on to take 1 or 2 more majors, I feel.
 

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Alfa, the Evonne-Hana match up (though tantalizing as it sounds) was kind of a dud. I watched it recently and they were both off their games. Still it is the only meeting between these two and just that fact makes it worth buying.
 

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Mark36 said:
Alfa, the Evonne-Hana match up (though tantalizing as it sounds) was kind of a dud. I watched it recently and they were both off their games. Still it is the only meeting between these two and just that fact makes it worth buying.
Thanks- I'll take your word for it. There are so many other matches that I know are great- I'll go for the obscure after my collection builds a little more.
 

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Wow, I didn't realise that was the only time they met in regular competition! Evonne did beat her 62 62 in a third place play off at the Citizen Cup exhibition at Palm Beach Florida in Spring 1982.
 

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I would love to see that match. Is that the exo that Mike Lupica (creep-o-la) wrote about in World Tennis mag, sometime in summer 1982, concerning Goolagong's 'successful' comeback. I think evonne took world number 1 chrissie to three sets on clay right after returning to the tour that year.
 

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Yep, that's the one, Mark. The score was 57 61 64.
At the end of that year she beat Austin 64 46 62 in Adelaide in another special team event (Commonwealth vs Rest of World)
 

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On the subject of years when the top rank was contested, I've also seen King ranked 1 in 1974 rather than Evert. Looking at the results of the big tourneys I even think there's a case for Evonne.

74 Oz Open -Goolagong d Evert. King dnp
74 RG - Evert d Morozova - King and Goolagong banned
74 Wimb Evert d Morozova. Goolagong lost qf to Melville, King lost qf to Morozova
74 US King def Goolagong. Goolagong def Evert sf
74 VS Champs: Goolagong def Evert. Goolagong def King sf
 

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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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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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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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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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Mark36 said:
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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