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View Full Version : Goolagong gets No. 1 ranking, 30 years late


grafrules
12-27-2007, 10:15 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AuMIE4zrIlRBAFzzSUYzh9g4v7YF?slug=ap-goolagong-topranked&prov=ap&type=lgns

Evonne Goolagong gets No. 1 ranking, 30 years late
By DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer
December 27, 2007

SUNRISE BEACH, Australia (AP) -- Evonne Goolagong finally made it to No. 1, although the honor was 30 years late in coming.

The Australian tennis star was told by the WTA Tour that she should have been top-ranked for a two-week period in 1976. That was a stretch in which she was in the middle of winning six tournaments, including the Australian Open and the season-ending Virginia Slims Championship.

But when some tournament records were transferred to a computer in 1976, all of Goolagong's points were not entered and she never received the top ranking, the WTA said.

The WTA has amended its records, making Goolagong the 16th No. 1 player since the introduction of tour computer rankings in 1975.

Two weeks ago, the 56-year-old Goolagong received a trophy from the WTA that is now displayed in her oceanside home.

"I'm very proud of the achievement," Goolagong told The Associated Press. "I was on a roll for that stretch in 1976. It was a great surprise to hear after all these years."

A recent search of the rankings archive in St. Petersburg, Fla., found several paper records were missing between April and July 1976.

Rankings were calculated twice weekly until 1990 -- they are done weekly now -- and it was discovered Goolagong overtook Chris Evert by 0.8 points after the Aussie's victory in the Virginia Slims in Los Angeles in late April 1976, before Evert regained the crown May 10.

"Unfortunately our record-keeping wasn't perfect in those early days of women's tennis and our ranking system was viewed as a means of just accepting tournament entries," WTA Tour chief executive and chairman Larry Scott said.

"It wasn't until the early 1980s that the media and players started to pay attention to the changes in the rankings during the year as opposed to only the end-of-season rankings."

Goolagong reached the finals of 16 of 24 Grand Slam singles tournaments from 1971 to 1976, winning five of them. She won Wimbledon titles nine years apart -- in 1971 and 1980 -- to equal Bill Tilden's mark for having the longest gaps between championships at the All-England Club. She has seven Grand Slam singles titles overall.

Goolagong retired in 1985 and lived in the United States -- at Hilton Head, S.C., and Naples, Fla. -- until moving back to Australia in 1992.

Now, Goolagong is frequently seen power walking in the streets around her Sunrise Beach home north of Brisbane. She and husband Roger Cawley organize tennis camps for Aboriginal youths. During next month's Australian Open, 15 young athletes from across Australia will be flown in for a camp outside Melbourne.

For the record Goolagong was probably the obvious #1 in 1971 when she won the French Open and Wimbledon titles. However there was no computer ranking back then, so with this she gets her only period, belated, as having been ranked #1 since computer rankings came out.

urban
12-27-2007, 10:26 AM
Nice to hear, but a bit late. Her backhand was a dream, i have never again seen such a smooth movement, not even by Mandlikova.

grafrules
12-27-2007, 10:56 AM
Nice to hear, but a bit late. Her backhand was a dream, i have never again seen such a smooth movement, not even by Mandlikova.

I always think of her and Mandlikova together for some reason. Both outrageously talented, both had incredible careers with 7 and 4 slams respectably, but both are still considered underachievers by some people, despite their success amidst very bad luck to be in the incredible eras of first Court-King and then Navratilova-Evert. Both considered mentally fragile and inconsistent to a certain degree, which is believed to have led to their presumed underachieving. Both comfortable playing on all surfaces, both comfortable playing from the baseline or the net, both incredibly fluid in their movement and shotmaking. Both capable of "in the zone" type performance were it is hard for even one of the aforementioned greats to contain them.

Steve132
12-27-2007, 04:39 PM
I always think of her and Mandlikova together for some reason. Both outrageously talented, both had incredible careers with 7 and 4 slams respectably, but both are still considered underachievers by some people, despite their success amidst very bad luck to be in the incredible eras of first Court-King and then Navratilova-Evert. Both considered mentally fragile and inconsistent to a certain degree, which is believed to have led to their presumed underachieving. Both comfortable playing on all surfaces, both comfortable playing from the baseline or the net, both incredibly fluid in their movement and shotmaking. Both capable of "in the zone" type performance were it is hard for even one of the aforementioned greats to contain them.

Excellent comparison. Goolagong and Mandlikova had a lot in common. Mandlikova had a MUCH better serve (especially second serve) but Goolagong performed more consistently in big matches.

suwanee4712
02-10-2008, 06:44 AM
Evonne's even temper also helped her whereas Hana's sometimes bad temper worked against her. Evonne was like a willowy little girl floating around the court not as concerned about whether or not she won as she was with the pure joy of hitting the ball and doing with it what she wanted. Hana was more like the mad artist that often times was her own worst enemy. She also carried unrealistic expectations from herself and from the press that Evonne didn't seem to be burdened with.

But they both could move, that's for sure. I agree with the poster that ranked Evonne ahead of Hana in this category. Although I think the period of Hana's career that included graphite racquets creates some of that margin of difference. I'm not sure that there was much difference in the grace and fluidity of strokes and movement between the two when they both played with a wood racquet.

I do think I would give Hana a slight edge as a shotmaker though. These are probably the two best female players to watch when they were on their game.

CEvertFan
02-10-2008, 10:23 AM
Goolagong was a very graceful player with beautiful strokes but her lack of mental toughness was her weakness. Imagine what she would have accomplished if she had the mental toughness of a player like Evert. Nice to see that she did indeed attain the #1 ranking even if it was brought to light many years after the fact.

IMO, Evonne was one of the most enjoyable players to watch when she was on.

stormholloway
02-12-2008, 04:19 PM
Hell, maybe they'll tell me I was number one at some point.

federerfanatic
02-13-2008, 10:49 AM
The interesting thing is Evonne had her best year ever as a 19 year old in 1971. That was the only year she won two slams. It was the only year she beat King and Court back-to-back in slams. It was the only year she was #1 for the overall year(well the unofficial non-computer #1 anyway). I think when she had that year so young alot of people were predicting her to win many more slams then she did, and to possibly be the heir apparent as the top women player over the next decade. Then when Evert became a bit more known I think people were predicting a cliose rivalry between them at the top for many years to come. Although she would have a great career neither of these predictions came to pass. She did never have quite the career and live up to the expectations people had for her at that point.

stormholloway
02-13-2008, 12:31 PM
I thought she was hot in her heyday. She had the best name on tour as well.

boredone3456
02-13-2008, 02:13 PM
Although I am to young to have her actually play, I have seen tapes of her matches and always though she was such a great mover and shot technician, hitting great shots from everywhere. the mental toughness thing was also an issue, but also her shots, especially as she progressed in her career, seemed to hang loose and not have the bite they should have or could, and that hurt her ball control and power...but thats just my interpretation. Obviously being in the era she was didnt help either, and the fact she could always hold her own against players that had so much more grit than she did was amazing. I am glad she finally got recognized because lord knows she derserves it

Rabbit
02-13-2008, 02:26 PM
Goolagong always reminded me of Nastase from strictly an athletic standpoint. She had it all, great movement, great strokes, great anticipation. And, like Nastase, the big weakness in her game was her mental toughness. The difference between she and Nastase being of course that she would just kinda look aimless and as though she wasn't paying attention to anything. Nastase would pay attention to everything except his own situation.

CyBorg
02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
In terms of recordkeeping tennis is at the very bottom of all the top sports.

Seacoast Stringer
02-14-2008, 02:37 PM
.......
IMO, Evonne was one of the most enjoyable players to watch when she was on.

Yeah, growing up she was was definitely one of, or the, most graceful, classy and fun players to watch.

kiki
09-28-2013, 06:34 AM
Evonne's even temper also helped her whereas Hana's sometimes bad temper worked against her. Evonne was like a willowy little girl floating around the court not as concerned about whether or not she won as she was with the pure joy of hitting the ball and doing with it what she wanted. Hana was more like the mad artist that often times was her own worst enemy. She also carried unrealistic expectations from herself and from the press that Evonne didn't seem to be burdened with.

But they both could move, that's for sure. I agree with the poster that ranked Evonne ahead of Hana in this category. Although I think the period of Hana's career that included graphite racquets creates some of that margin of difference. I'm not sure that there was much difference in the grace and fluidity of strokes and movement between the two when they both played with a wood racquet.

I do think I would give Hana a slight edge as a shotmaker though. These are probably the two best female players to watch when they were on their game.

Absolutely.Add two more players: Bueno and Hingis.But Esther is basically a preopen era and Martina a post modern times era.

I think you had to be basically a unique specimen to distinguish themselves, like they did, in an era that went from Court till early graf and with great champions such as King,Evert,Navratilova and Austin in the field.

Vegito
09-28-2013, 04:18 PM
We wil have pretty similar news about Guillermo Vilas soon.

hoodjem
09-28-2013, 05:33 PM
We wil have pretty similar news about Guillermo Vilas soon.Vilas
Vilas
Vilas

Vegito
09-28-2013, 08:56 PM
Vilas
Vilas
Vilas

What are you meaning?

hoodjem
09-29-2013, 07:05 AM
What are you meaning?

That I hope something similar will happen to Vilas, also.

jean pierre
09-29-2013, 08:11 AM
That I hope something similar will happen to Vilas, also.

It would be a great thing. For justice.

kiki
09-29-2013, 10:58 AM
http://youtu.be/p5qIbLLaYgg

I had almost forgotten what a wicked sliced BH with amazing effect

Xavier G
09-30-2013, 05:00 AM
Just looking at Goolagong's stats for 1976 again and she had a pretty good year. Won the AO and even more impressively back then, winning the VS Champs over Chris Evert, plus a host of other titles, and of course runner-up finishes to Chrissie at both Wimby and the US Open. The W Final went to 8-6 in the final set. Ice cool Chris was just too focused and determined in the end.

kiki
06-21-2014, 07:35 AM
This is close, the 76 year is thrilling because we also had the Borg-Connors affair.

IMo, Borg had a better season overall than Connors and Id still place Evert ahead because a W&FH double is better than an AO&VS double.Sadly enough, because Evonne deserved another season like 71 ...