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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(thank you HanaFanGA)- finally got the chance to watch the January, 1987 Australian Open final between Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova, and after having watched it 5 times (yes, over and over, the same shots, mental notes, and learning experience), I have to say it is firmly entrenched in my list of favorite matches. The thing that struck me was seeing Virginia Wade sitting there in the stands taking notes as part of her excursion into the realm of "Team Navratilova". I had no idea she was hired as such, and was wondering how this relationship came to be, and more importantly, what she contributed to the effort, as well as how long it lasted. Anyone?
 

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alfajeffster said:
(thank you HanaFanGA)- finally got the chance to watch the January, 1987 Australian Open final between Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova, and after having watched it 5 times (yes, over and over, the same shots, mental notes, and learning experience), I have to say it is firmly entrenched in my list of favorite matches. The thing that struck me was seeing Virginia Wade sitting there in the stands taking notes as part of her excursion into the realm of "Team Navratilova". I had no idea she was hired as such, and was wondering how this relationship came to be, and more importantly, what she contributed to the effort, as well as how long it lasted. Anyone?

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! This was Wade's first tournament as Martina's coach. I'm not sure about the beginnings of the relationship, but it didn't last very long. Randy Crawford was hired sometime before the Lipton tournament to replace Virginia.

Reportedly they just weren't on the same page. I believe what I heard was that Virginia asked Martina which tournaments she would like to win in 1987. Martina's reply was said with a bit of shock, "All of them."

:worship:
 

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alfajeffster said:
Enter Billie Jean Moffitt-King...

I have no doubt that Virginia could have positively contributed to Martina or any other top player. But perhaps BJK understood Martina best. Thus, BJK was more effective as a mentor to her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"She's like a finely tuned Ferrari. If everything is working, she's virtually unbeatable, however, if the slightest little thing is wrong, the entire performance suffers."- Virginia Wade on Martina Navratilova
 

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HanaFanGA said:
I have no doubt that Virginia could have positively contributed to Martina or any other top player. But perhaps BJK understood Martina best. Thus, BJK was more effective as a mentor to her.

I think BJK was a bit too close to Martina. Don't get me wrong, I think BJK is a great coach and could help a lot of today's players but with Martina it was too personal between them. I think Martina worked best with coaches who kept things on a professional level with her. For a while there Martina was looking too emotionally needy with all of her friends and what not in her friends box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Billie Jean King knew exactly how to pick my game apart, and she did it."- Martina Navratilova
 

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RoanHJ said:
I think BJK was a bit too close to Martina. Don't get me wrong, I think BJK is a great coach and could help a lot of today's players but with Martina it was too personal between them. I think Martina worked best with coaches who kept things on a professional level with her. For a while there Martina was looking too emotionally needy with all of her friends and what not in her friends box.

One of the great personal changes for Martina post-Judy Nelson was her willingness to do things for herself. But I don't think she ever rid herself of that sort of need to have supporters to look to for encouragement. So you may have a good point! ;)
 

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HanafanGA: I never knew that Virginia briefly coached Martina! Around this same time (1988) Wade released a teaching video entitled "Virginia Wade's Class" which I commented upon in detail on a recent Blast post. Seems to me such a bright (graduated with honors in mathematics from Sussex University), articulate, experienced champion like Wade would be a natural coach for a fellow serve and volley player. Needless to say, I'm curious as to why it didn't work out.
 

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Santorofan said:
HanafanGA: I never knew that Virginia briefly coached Martina! Around this same time (1988) Wade released a teaching video entitled "Virginia Wade's Class" which I commented upon in detail on a recent Blast post. Seems to me such a bright (graduated with honors in mathematics from Sussex University), experienced champion like Wade would be a natural coach for a fellow serve and volley player. Needless to say, I'm curious as to why it didn't work out.
I didn't see the 1987 Aussie Open live so I think the first time that I heard about Martina and Mike Estep parting and Virginia stepping in was in Tennis magazine a couple of months after the fact. But by the time that magazine came out, Wade was out as well. But, from what I remember, it was a mutually agreeable situation.

Randy Crawford then came in and worked with Martina at least through Wimbledon where Renee Richards was brought back into the fold. I don't recall Randy being with Martina at the US Open. I *think* I remember Martina wanting Renee to stay on full time but Renee was enjoying her work as an optometrist. So 1987 was year in which Martina never really got her coaching situation settled.

Maybe AndyT or some of our other Navratilova experts might can shed some light on what was happening at this time.
 

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alfajeffster said:
(thank you HanaFanGA)- finally got the chance to watch the January, 1987 Australian Open final between Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova, and after having watched it 5 times (yes, over and over, the same shots, mental notes, and learning experience), I have to say it is firmly entrenched in my list of favorite matches. The thing that struck me was seeing Virginia Wade sitting there in the stands taking notes as part of her excursion into the realm of "Team Navratilova". I had no idea she was hired as such, and was wondering how this relationship came to be, and more importantly, what she contributed to the effort, as well as how long it lasted. Anyone?
One of the most tough and consistent matches Hana ever played. I can recall she was very solid and kept the pressure on Martina apart from a laspe in the 2nd set in which she led Martina back in (can't recall exact stage)

Martina played no lead-ups and apparently needed a rest by skiing in Aspen. The more pessimistic media said that because Evert and Graf weren't playing then Martina thought she had the title in the bag and didn't need the preparation. Hana however played all warmups, won Queensland lost in Sydney to Turnbull.

Martina breezed through her matches, Hana struggled against Julie Richardson and Carling Bassett but smacked McNeil 60 60 in which she said that she thought she only made 2 mistakes for the match!!

Therefore when the final got tight, Hana was simply too match tough for her.

Yes the word is that Wade and Martina were on different wavelengths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
louloubelle said:
...Yes the word is that Wade and Martina were on different wavelengths.
Having had the fortune to have sat directly in the middle of "Team Navratilova", I can understand how Virginia must have wished she had a walkie-talkie in order to get through the many lines of communication Martina requires from her entourage during a match.:lol:
 

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Last night while watching the Oscars I took a peek at the Tennis Channel and caught the show Center Court which had on Virginia. Now this interview may have been an old one so many of you may have seen it I don't know. But for me it was a treat to see Wade. She looked good. Although she's starting to look like a female Ian McKellen. Anyway, she did point that she thought she had a lot of interesting matches with Billie Jean and how she liked to play Chris on the faster courts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I still don't get the TennisChannel, but have heard that DirectTV will be adding it some time in the next year, so am still hopeful on that one. Last week I did get to watch the Virginia Wade/Chris Evert 1977 Wimbledon semi again (thank you nelsus, I haven't forgotten you), and was really impressed by how she played. I've seen Chris play better, but to Virginia's credit, she took nearly all of her chances, and didn't miss a heck-of-a lot of first serves, approaches, or overheads. I had no idea how similarly Tim Henman plays stylistically in comparison. LOL at the Ian McKellen reference! Do you think Virginia is going to be writing any good "Frankenstein" memoirs re: the WTA tour any time soon?
 

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RoanHJ said:
Last night while watching the Oscars I took a peek at the Tennis Channel and caught the show Center Court which had on Virginia. Now this interview may have been an old one so many of you may have seen it I don't know. But for me it was a treat to see Wade. She looked good. Although she's starting to look like a female Ian McKellen. Anyway, she did point that she thought she had a lot of interesting matches with Billie Jean and how she liked to play Chris on the faster courts.
Since I no longer receive the channel, I've been waiting for someone to discuss Virginia's "Center Court with Chris Myers" appearance. It isn't old though - they just started airing it within the last two months.

Alphaj - Yes, I also heard that about Direct TV...also Comcast is said to be working out a deal with TTC as we speak, hopefully it actually pans out.
 
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