Tennis Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

9,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A window into a different world, and what tour politics were like way back in 1961- this from 'A Winning Faith', the biography on Margaret Court by Barbara Oldfield:

"Winning the Australian [Championships] for the second successive year in 1961 assured Margaret of a place in the Australian team to tour Europe, England and the United States. The vision of Wimbledon was so much closer and she was still only a teenager. However, nothing could have prepared her for the nightmare tour she would endure under the authority of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia's team manageress, Mrs. Hopman.

Even before she left Australia's shores for the first time, Margaret had been a little apprehensive about Mrs. Hopman's statement that she would bring the team home to show a profit on the budget allowance. Tennis in Australia, as in the rest of the world, was still an amateur sport, and appearance money for top players was about the only way a team could profit from touring certain countries. Margaret was aware that of the five women players on the tour, she was the only one to hold a Grand Slam title - so where was the profit going to come from?

Their first stop in Monte Carle at a luxurious castle with servants, was like a fairytale world to Margaret; she had never lived in such luxury before. It did not hinder her game in any way however, as she went on to win the Monte Carlo Open.

But in France, [at] their second scheduled city of the tour, the 'Cinderella to riches' bubble burst, with the team being accommodated in third class hotels in Nice, Aix-en-Provence and in Paris. A continental breakfast of croissants and coffee were all they were allowed to have, for it was part of the cheap package deal. Margaret, who was used to a huge breakfast of a grill and eggs, toast, juice and cereal, did not relish this type of breakfast.

Finally in Paris they revolted, and ordered steak and eggs for dinner one night, instead of the usual hotel special. A stiff reprimand followed, and the meal expenses were taken from the players' own pockets! Margaret couldn't believe the treatment the players were receiving. She felt Mrs. Hopman was going too far by not providing the correct food suitable for active athletes."
1 - 1 of 1 Posts