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Old 03-02-2004, 08:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Posts: 12,478
Default A blast from the past

Last night on the Tennis Channel, they continued with the WITC tournament. This broadcast was from 1975. It featured a 29 year old Virginia Wade playing with an 18 year old Bjorn Borg. They were against Stan Smith and Billie Jean King.

The interesting thing was Borg. He was dressed in Fred Perry clothes and Tretorn shoes. There was no headband and no beardage. He looked as though he hadn't started shaving as a matter of fact. His racket was also a Slazenger Challenge 1, I believe. From the sound of him hitting the ball, it didn't appear that it was strung at the high tension he later became famous for. Pancho Gonsalez was very complimentary of Borg saying that he was a "good" player with a lot of potential and a great attitude on court. Borg was the reigning French Open champion from '74, I'm not sure if this broadcast was prior to the French Open of '75.

Borg blasted balls at Billie Jean King and she handled them routinely. I had the opportunity to speak with her steady mixed doubles partner, Owen Davidson, and he said he'd never seen any woman handle the pace of a man's shot like Billie Jean King. For the record, these two won a Grand Slam (all four in a year) in mixed doubles. She was also the firecest competitor that he said he'd ever seen regardless of gender.

Oh, Stan Smith and Billie Jean King beat Wade and Borg in straight sets.
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