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Wimbledon Memories: Evonne Goolagong



Evonne Goolagong

Wimbledon Memories: Evonne Goolagong

Gracefully Yours.

Sport so-often invokes life-long memories.

As the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships unfold; past champions subconsciously gather.

Throughout the modern-era; enthusiasts marvel at the collective achievements of the various Kings & Queens within SW 19.

With preference wholly subjective; famous names abound.

Borg; McEnroe, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Evert, Navratilova, Hingis, Graf, the Williams sisters.

But one thought abides – where have all the Australians gone?

Not so-long-ago; Rod Laver was king of the court; and remains alone in achieving a Grand Slam in regulation – Australian-French-Wimbledon-US Open (1969).

Nevertheless by 1971; Rod played second-fiddle to a fresh-faced stylist from New South Wales.

Contesting her Second Wimbledon Championships, Evonne Goolagong arrived as a live contender (having recently secured her first Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros).

Goolagong was enlisted as third seed, behind equality lobbyist Billie-Jean King, and world no1 Margaret Court.

The graceful Goolagong advanced unscathed to a semi-final encounter with Billie-Jean, whereby her American opponent was brushed aside in straight sets (6-4, 6-4). Simultaneously, top seed Margaret Court steamrollered her way to the final (losing a mere 15 Games in the process), affording minimum scope for a final upset.

Well acquainted with overcoming life’s obstacles; the young Aborigine dominated proceedings. And her fellow countrywoman Court, was comprehensively outplayed during a 6-4, 6-1 Victory.

The formidable Margaret Court remains the winning-most Grand-Slam (singles) title holder of all-time, with 24.

Evonne Goolagong, would in-time achieve a series of milestones in women’s tennis.

A Winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles – including 3 consecutive Australian Opens (1974-1976); the only player to win the French Open on her maiden appearance (1971), and a player who contested 18 Grand Slam singles finals.

Albeit; as with Bjorn Borg, the US Open title proved elusive (despite appearing in 4 consecutive finals in the early-to-mid 1970’s).

Perhaps her most notable achievement however, was in securing a second Wimbledon success in 1980, as a proud Mother.

Evonne Crawley (nee Goolagong), richly deserves her place in tennis’ Hall-of-Fame, and her efforts will hopefully inspire a resurgence in Australian sporting talent.


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Born in 1963, Peter attended St Mary's Leith High School. Peter worked within the plumbing industry before studying a degree in journalism within the University of Stirling. Peter has been a lifelong sports fan and has volunteered within the Edinburgh Soccer School's programme on numerous occasions.


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