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Love the Legends of Tennis
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There has been so much discussion about the healthy state of womens tennis in recent years, and I can't help but agree. So many great personalities and the game has developed so much in terms of power. But we shouldn't forget that we did have a golden era of womens tennis, and that was in the early to mid 70s. Sure, it didn't have the depth of todays tour, for outside the top 10 it was a bit of a drop, but the stars in the early to mid 70s was mind blowing:

Chris Evert, Billie-Jean King, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Virginia Wade, Nancy Richey-Gunter, Olga Morozova, Martina Navratilova (who was #2 in 75) and a great supporting cast: Sue Barker, Francoise Durr, Rosie Casals, Betty Stove, Kerry Reid to name but a few.

The thing about the 70s was that there were so many different styles. You had your serve volleyers, all court players, and your baseliners. It was an era rich in talent at the top, and only in recent years has the womens tour surpassed these golden years in terms of a group rivalry instead of just one or two players dominating proceedings.

Thankfully for video and film we have been able to relive the great matches of the past and save them for future prosperity. Long live the legends from the golden era... :)
 

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Tennis videos. I agree. Check out the Ladies of the Court thread where lots of people have been recounting stories of the past....

BTW welcome to the board.:)
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the welcome Ball Change! Yes, I will check out that thread. I love discussions about the great players of the past as well as the stars of today.
 

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Agreed! Women's tennis was superb in the 1970s, as the Virginia Slims tour was beginning, and the players were beguiling. Still, I've always enjoyed the game, except for the period when Steffi dominated after Monica was stabbed.
 

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Welcome welcome tennisvideos:)
Those were the days-and as i only got into tennis in 1977 I missed a good part of them!:(
Call me an "old timer" but I enjoyed the variety of play in the 70's(as opposed to now) better. Kournikova-Henin and Capriati -Grande gave off visions of those golden days. I'm not even sure there's more depth now than then-look at this slam.

I'm looking forward to hearing about some of those old matches you have on tape. See you around!
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Rollo

Thanks for the welcome :)

Let's see, one of my favourite matches (and there are so many) would have to be when Virginia Wade beat Chris Evert in the 77 Wimbledon Semis. It was a match that Evert was heavily favoured to win and yet Virginia beat her basically at her own game - from the baseline! Sure, Ginny had a great serve and could volley with the best of them, but Chris kept her pinned to the baseline for the majority of the match and ginny was up to the task, running endlessly and placing the ball deep to the corners herself. The rallies were little short of astonishing and both players looked absolutely exhaused in the 3rd set and yet Virginia continued to push herself, I think knowing she was going to win.

There is no doubt that this match was Virginia's finest, far surpassing the quality of the final in which Wade beat Stove. Of course, both players got a standing ovation from the crowd which erupted in joy at the result.

Wade bt Evert 6-2 4-6 6-1.
 

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:mad: :mad: :mad: @ Virginia! j/k;)

tennis videos, how did you get vidoes of all these great matches? I thought videos were an 80's invention?
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #8
Ball Change, don't worry, I love Chris Evert too!

How did I get all these tapes.... let's see.... I have formed my own tennis video museum and by spending over $50,000 during the past ten years or so, and with the right connections and support, have managed to collect a huge library.

Who are your favourite players, past and present, male and female?

I guess mine have been (in no particular order):

Women: Bueno, Court, King, Goolagong, Evert, Wade, Seles, Durr and heaps more LOL

Men: Rosewall, Borg, Rafter.... now I also like many of the new ones like Safin, Hewitt, Haas etc.
 

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Ball change-don't you think a 70's thread is in order? Should it be separate from or part of your "Ladies" thread? I'm reminded of another book called "A Long Way Baby", which covered the women in 1973. I'm going to see if my library has it.

Tennisvideos, are you telling me you have videos of Maria Bueno?!! What was she like? I've got a lot of interesting article on Maria from my 1960's tennis mags, but i 've never seen her on tape. Was she really that graceful?

LOL @ The Wade-Evert match. Virginia was my first fav-and I hated Evert at the time, never knowing I would end up loving Chris in the end too.

If you sell any of those old tapes let us know:)
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Rollo

Yes I have lots of Maria Bueno matches. About a dozen I think including all of her Wimbledon finals wins, quite a few semis and some quarters. Plus a few doubles matches and her comeback matches at 76 Wiimbledon against Barker. She was truly one of the most graceful players of all time. Evonne Goolagong is the only player who compares to Bueno in style and balletic grace. Both are two of my all time faves, although Bueno was well before my time LOL. Just from watching her on tape.

You would never have known she was a lesbian, in fact I was in shock when the British press outed her in the early 90s. One of her special friends was the great American player Darlene Hard, herself a US Open champion and Wimbledon finalist, losing once in the finals there to Maria herself. Darlene took time off the tour for several months at one stage to try and nurse Maria back to health when she was very sick in the early 60s.

You are more than welcome to come and watch some of these with me if you live in Oz. Unfortunately due to copyright these rare classics can't be traded etc. However I am happy to trade with recent matches eg. from the 80s onwards.
 

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I wondered about Maria. Were her and Darlene a couple? I hope Maria's being outed by the British tabs didn't hurt Bueno's image in Brazil. They used to adore her there. Because she was so popular Maria was one of the few women to get rich from under the table monet in the amateur days. Poor Billie Jean king was getting lunch money for US events while Bueno got hundreds(or thousands if you believed some stories) for the same events.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am sure Darlene and Maria were an 'item' but it was never publicised. After Maria beat Darlene in the 59 Wimbledon Final, Darlene is all over Maria, showering her in kisses, hugs etc and even starts combing Maria's hair while they wait for the presentation! Hilarious... and sweet really.

I don't think the revelations of Maria's sexual identity would have hurt her as it happened so recently, and I don't think it made the press in Brazil. I think it was only the British press who made a deal of it.

I actually met Maria at Wimbledon in the mid 90s and got a picture with her. She had just finished playing a veterans doubles match (with Olga Morozova) and she was very sweet and stopped to chat for a few minutes. She had a miniature Wimbledon trophy with her and held that for the picture. When I say miniature, I mean it was about 3" high! LOL. Anyway, that was my brush with perhaps the most graceful player in the history of our sport. A true legend.
 

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If I'm ever in Sydney tennisvideos I'll take you upon that offer! Lucky you, meeting Maria! I sone of thosae finals the 1964 Wimbledon between her and Court?

From what I've read Darlene was a hard working girl who was never appreciated here in the US because she was a working class woman with a temper at times, much like Billie Jean King. She had to work as a waitress a couple of years in the off-season, not the sort the USTA big-wigs usually liked. She was one hte few women who were friendly with Althea Gibson.

In one infamous match she and Maria were BOTH trying to tank-hitting balls at linesmen and into the stands when they decided the line calls were just awful. This happened in Los Angles, where years later King and Caslas had another bizarre match in which Kinf defaulted in disgust at 6-6, then Rosie followed her off the court. A double default! :eek:

Darlene had a number of run-ins with Margaret Court where she actually cried on court. The year that she blasted Australian tennis officials for being stingy with expense money a big editorial in World Tennis called "Dear Miss Champion" told her she needed to be more "ladylike".

Sounds like Darlene and Maria had personality to spare.
 

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:eek: I never knew Maria was gay! I have got so much dirt on this board! Unfort, I don't know too much of the 70s players except the more famous ones. Any good Rosie Casals stories to share?
 

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OMG!!! :confused:
Maria is gay???
I never thought she is! WOW :eek: I'm really shocked as being a Brazilian and didn't know this! Well, actually I saw some matches of her on TV, when they made some specials for her. And I would never imagine that a girl, so feminine on court, would be lesbian!

You really caught me in surprise! ;)

She was a great player. Brazil is very bad on women's tennis nowdays.. The best ranked is 229, Joana Cortez :sad:... It's really sad, seeing a champion like Bueno was, and see today, how weak our tennis is :( We use to have a player who was almost entering at top 200 or 150, Miriam D'Agostini, who retired WTA due the less of support and sponsorships..
We had reasonable players at 80's endings, and beginning of 90's, but nothing compared as Maria :)

The tennis on 70's and 80's must have been great, I wish I could have born on that time, to admire the great tennis that it should be :)
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi BeCool

Yes, it is hard to imagine such a feminine and graceful player as Maria being a lesbian. But under that petite facade was a very tough warrier indeed. A marvellous player to be sure and true beauty. Do you have the Maria Bueno special on tape, it would be of interest? I have ordered a special on her career from a broadcast company to go with the complete matches I have of her. It's always good to see a career highlights tape when you don't have time to watch an entire match.

About Rosie, there are many fun stories about Rosie, she was certainly a character and such a bundle of energy on the court. One day when I have a bit more time I will try and post some stories on some of the stars from the 60s and 70s. Perhaps we should start a new thread called "You've Come A Long Way Baby... The Virginia Slims years"...

I have some great footage of Rosie.. one match she is playing Martina Navratilova for 3rd place in the 75? Virginia Slims championship Finals and she is wearing a red sequinned dress! Fantastic! Plus I have lots of Rosie in various Doubles matches with Billie-Jean, Wendy and Mixed with Nastase. She was a tremendous doubles player - a real dynamo to watch on court. I also have a few original Teddy Tinling dresses from Billie-Jean, Rosie Casals, Frankie Durr, Betty Stove and a jump suit from Nancy Richey. And no, I am not into womens clothes! LOL. Just a tennis collector from hell! They sent me the outfits in exchange for footage of themselves from the good old days. Can you believe most of those players didn't even have their own matches on video!

BTW, have you seen the 1973 USO Highlights tape which is in fact called "You've Come a Long Way Baby" and features strongly on the women. A great tape.
 

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Love the Legends of Tennis
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Discussion Starter #19
Ball Change, no need to be envious when you are just a one hour flight away from it! You are welcome to visit the 'musuem' anytime you like :)
 

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Unfortunetly, I never could tape the special.
But was really a good documentary, they showed some points of her matches on US Open and Wimbledon.
:sad:

But I hope they show again, so I can tape it hehehe

Tennisvideo, did u saw that classic match of Billie Jean King and that man (I forgot his name, Bobby, Bobby something :rolleyes: ) at that "Battle of Sex"?????

LOL

I saw some points, and Billie trashed him ;)
 
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