The articles on Russell were great to read. I loved her style and it is a shame that the weather at Wimbledon 82 was so bad and that there were so many matches crammed together. It detracted from her wins over Jausovec and Hanika, and meant she didnt play a show court for her quarter final. I LOVED THE QUOTE AFTER HANIKA SPOKE AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE!!!Joanne is probably best known for her TV commentary in the 1980s. She was also good enough tomake the quarters at Wimbleon in 1982 and win the doubles in 1977 with Cawley.
A really good team and for a good few years. They were the pair who famously played Sue Barker and Ann Kiyomura on the Centre Court when the crowd went crazy and ripped their cushions of the seats and threw them on court. After the referee suspended playy!!!!!Yes, she beat Ruzici 6-1 6-1 then.
They were sometime doubles partners too I seem to remember.
That is a great one, good for Russell. Nastase had went from being funny to being sad and annoying in the latter stages of his career. By 1985 he had retired from singles but yes he did go on playing mixed and some Davis Cup for a while.Here's a wire story about Russell from 1985
DON'T INVITE THESE 2 TO SAME PARTY; [SPORTS FINAL, C Edition]
Bill Jauss. Chicago Tribune (pre-1997 Fulltext). Chicago, Ill.: Sep 17, 1985. pg. 4
Copyright Chicago Tribune Co. Sep 17, 1985
Ilie Nastase has done a lot of name-calling in his stormy tennis career. Monday night, Nastase was on the receiving end.
"The guy's a pig. He has the manners of a goat," said Joanne Russell, Nastase's mixed doubles opponent last weekend in a tournament in Hilton Head, S.C.
Russell, who is playing in this week's Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament, charged that in Saturday's semifinal, Nastase "tried to take my head off with an overhead, called me every filthy name in the book and pushed me at the end of the match."
Russell and Ben Testerman teamed to beat Nastase and U.S. Open champ Hana Mandlikova. Russell refused to shake hands with Nastase after the match and said she will never play tennis with Nastase again.
"I shook Hana's hand and was about to shake Nastase's when I just said 'Yuk!' I'll never play him again. He essentially spit in my face."
Mandlikova said that playing with Nastase was "exciting, but he was just nasty."
Do tell us more! Did the crowd go bonkers because they paid money and the rain delay came early in the match, or was it that good a match?A really good team and for a good few years. They were the pair who famously played Sue Barker and Ann Kiyomura on the Centre Court when the crowd went crazy and ripped their cushions of the seats and threw them on court. After the referee suspended playy!!!!!
Hi Rollo, yes this made the news in Britain- here is excerpts from Tennis's Strangest Matches, excellent book by Peter Seddon.Do tell us more! Did the crowd go bonkers because they paid money and the rain delay came early in the match, or was it that good a match?
Hi Rollo, yes this made the news in Britain- here is excerpts from Tennis's Strangest Matches, excellent book by Peter Seddon.
As tennis fans know there is nothing like following a real ding-dong battle all the way to the final point, especially when it involves a British player snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
There's also nothing like the strange reaction of a perfectly respectable tennis fan when denied that ultimate pleasure.
The Centre Court crowd on the balmy evening of Tuesday 30th June 1981 was in fine mood as Britain's 'Devon Cream' girl Sue Barker and American Ann Kiyomura , seeded ninth, began battle with fourth seeds Jo Anne Russell and Virginia Ruzici(of course this is wrong Barker and Kiyomura were 4, Ruzici and Russell 9-IAIN)
But heads dropped as Barker and Kiyomura lost the first set 6-4 and trailed 5-3 in the second. The crowd,many of whom had gained belated entry to the sacred court only by dint of early leavers handing in tickets, prepared to gather belongings and troop home.
Who knows what galvanised the underdogs at that point, but galvanised they were as Barker and Kiyomura stormed back to take the second set on a tie break.
Now it was 'game on' and the crowd settled for the duration. Or so they thought. With the score at 5 all in the deciding set, with no tie break to come and a fading light, the fans looked on anxiously as the referee surveyed the skies:'We can see',they urged the officials, but to no avail as they were denied the climax they'd waited for. Play was called off at 935pm.
The British thing to do would have been to file away demurely but the crowd had gathered up a head of steam and bayed for somebodys blood. First boos and jeers rang out, then programmes and plastic cups were tossed on to the court, followed by the real heavy battery of a barrage of leather Wimbledon seat cushions.
The officials later claimed vindication as next day six more games were needed for Barker and Kiyomura to take the match with a 9-7 third set cliffhanger, this time in broad daylight. 'That's what happens when the hoi polloi are let in late in the day',some of the reactionaries were heard to mutter:'It wouldn't have happened in our day before the war', sniffed the old campaigners...........
Great story and very funny reaction!!!!
That was so crazy and unexpected wasn't it? I remember seeing the centre court in the news and it was a blanket of cushions!! Who said that the Italians were the only ones to throw objects on to court?I think I still have some of the newspaper clippings from 79-84, remember that Ruzici got hit by a cushion as running off the court (according to one of the papers - probably the Sun )
I'm pretty sure Joanne was never as high as 11, more likely high teens 16 or so. There were a few big names missing at the US Open of 1978 who would have been seeded ahead of her: King, Barker, Goolagong and this bumped her up a few spots. She was ranked 21 at the end of 1978 and the same at the end of 1980, and also 1981! 26 at end of 1982. (All year-end WTA rankings from ITF yearbooks.)I loved JoAnne. She was great! And her comment she made after the Hanika press conference at 1982 Wimbledon. It was classic JoAnne!!
I always enjoyed her commentary. She was much wittier and more insightful than Chris Evert was (and I was a Chris fan).
JoAnne did reach a career high singles ranking of #11. The WTA records don't go back that far, so their website says her career high rank was only 23. But JoAnne was seeded #14 at the 1978 US Open. I think 1978 was her best season. She did well on the Slims circuit, and had that big win over Martina at the FCC.