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Natasha Chymreva celebrated her 50th birthday last year (28 May 2008). When she first appeared in the mid-1970s, Chris Evert thought she was more talented than Martina. She won the junior Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open in 1975 (first person to ever win 3/4 of a junior Grand Slam), successfully defending her Wimbledon girl's crown in 1976. But then the Soviets were yanked off the tour by their own federation, plus Natasha seems to have had some run-ins with Olga Morozova, due to some heavy treatment Olga had herself suffered at the hands of Natasha's father Yury (what is it with Iron Curtain countries and family feuds?).

Some pictures of Natasha from 1975:

http://visualrian.ru/images?text=чмырева&section=photo
 

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Chymreva played well in the Russian WTT team (I still think this notion was rather bizarre!) and the 1978 Fed Cup team in Australia where they reached the semis.

I seem to recall the Russians were pulled off the tours/some ITF comps because of the South African controversies of the time (which had led to African boycotts of the Montreal Olympics). They didn't want anything to affect their 1980 Moscow Olympics but, ironically, it was the US who led the 1980 boycott (and for payback got an Eastern Bloc boycott of their own 84 Games).
 

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Chymreva played well in the Russian WTT team (I still think this notion was rather bizarre!) and the 1978 Fed Cup team in Australia where they reached the semis.

I seem to recall the Russians were pulled off the tours/some ITF comps because of the South African controversies of the time (which had led to African boycotts of the Montreal Olympics). They didn't want anything to affect their 1980 Moscow Olympics but, ironically, it was the US who led the 1980 boycott (and for payback got an Eastern Bloc boycott of their own 84 Games).
In our hopefully more enlightend times isnt it really sad and pathetic to think how politics interfered with sport so much in the 1970s?
When one thinks of it this effectively finished Chymrevas career and you are right the way she and Morozova played in the 78 Fed Cup revealed the wasted abilities.
And when the Soviet Union re-appeared at the 81 Fed Cup in Tokyo they routed MandlikovaTomanova and almost saw of Wade/Barker. But again players like Elisenko and Cherneva/Salnikova were really held back by the politics of the time.
 

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I would love to be able to get the DVD of the Morozova - Chmyreva match on the Wimbledon Centre Court in 1976. Hard to believe that was the last time they both played there. Chmyreva was only 20!!!
Olga is a very nice lady, I have her book in Russian and would love to be able to read it but my Russian is terrible...
 
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