Chris Evert-Lloyd

Navratilova Edges Evert to win Australian Title – On this day in Tennis History

With tennis being in its off-season – wait, tennis has an off-season? – we thought we would give you daily content courtesy of Randy Walker’s book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY, so you can have your daily tennis fix. ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.TennisHistoryBook.com), makes for an ideal companion for the tennis fan and player. It fits perfectly under your tree or in a stocking for the Holidays. The following are events that happened ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY….

December 7

1985

Martina Navratilova defeats Chris Evert Lloyd 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to win the Australian Open in Melbourne for her 17th victory over Evert Lloyd in the last 19 matches and her third career Australian singles title. “That was tough on the nerves,” says the 29-year-old Navratilova after the match. “It seems Chris and I always play great matches. Even though I lost the second set, I felt in control. I knew this was it. I knew it was for the No. 1 ranking. I was going to go after it, and I did.” Navratilova previously wins inAustralia in 1981 and 1983. Says Evert, the defending champion, “After the second set, there was a lot of pressure on both of us, and she handled it better.” In men’s singles, Mats Wilander advances into the final, finishing up a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 rain-delayed victory over unseeded Slobodan Zivojinovic of Yugoslavia. The other men’s singles semifinal between Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg is suspended due to rain after only 10 minutes of play, Edberg leading 2-1.

1987

Ivan Lendl defeats Mats Wilander 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to win the year-end Nabisco Masters Championship for a fifth time. Says Lendl, ”Today may have been the best I hit the ball and moved. I think I still can get better, though. I can work on new shots and my physical strength and conditioning.” Wilander implements a more aggressive strategy against Lendl, coming to net more often and using his one-handed chip backhand in an attempt to close the gap between he and Lendl. Earlier in the week, Wilander says that his goal is to become the No. 1 player in the world. Says Wilander, “I tried to come in on his backhand, but that didn’t work. After a while, you don’t know what to do. A couple of times I was thinking, ‘he’s just too good for me.’” Says Lendl of his goals and how he can he can improve his game, “”There are millions of ways I could improve. There are new shots, new ways to hit the shots, ways to become more flexible, stronger…There are still so many things I want to do. Everyone in tennis would like to win a Grand Slam…I paid my dues on and off the court and now I’m enjoying the fruits of it.”

1980

December 7 becomes a day of infamy for Pam Shriver as the American blows seven match points in losing to Wendy Turnbull of Australia 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the final of the New South Wales Open in Sydney. Turnbull trails 6-2 in the final-set tie-break against the 18-year-old Shriver.

Clijsters Looks To Join Club Of Five Moms To Win Majors

Kim Clijsters stands just two match wins at the 2009 US Open shy of joining a very elite club in the history of tennis. Clijsters is looking to join a very exclusive club of five moms to win a major singles title. As documented in the book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com), moms to win a major singles title are as follows;

Dorothea Douglass Chambers – The British great won two of her Wimbledon titles after the birth of her first child (1910, 1911) and two more after the birth of her second child (1913, 1914).

Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman – She was challenged by her father to win the U.S. Championship after she became a mom. In her first return appearance, she lost in the 1915 singles final to Molla Mallory, but she did turn the trick until 1919, when at 32 years old, she beat Marion Zinderstein Jessup 6-1, 6-2 to win her fourth U.S. title.

Sarah Palfrey Cooke – This American star did not defend her 1941 U.S. title due to pregnancy (she was married to standout American player Elwood Cooke), but she won the 1945 U.S. title, beating Pauline Betz as a 33-year-old mother.

Margaret Court – The Australian who was the most prolific winner of majors championships ever (62 titles in singles, doubles and mixed) actually played the 1971 Wimbledon women’s singles final while pregnant with her first child, son Daniel, losing to Evonne Goolagong. Court, however, returned to win the Australian, French and U.S. Opens in 1973.

Evonne Goolagong – The most recent of moms to win a major, Goolagong beat Chris Evert Lloyd in the 1980 Wimbledon final. Her first daughter, Kelly, was born on May 12, 1977 and Goolagong won the Australian Open at year’s end after playing only six events.

Clijsters gave birth to daughter Jada on Feb. 27, 2008 and has played two events on the WTA Tour in her post-child-birth comeback, reaching the quarterfinals of Cincinnati and the round of 16 of Toronto earlier this summer. Clijsters also currently does not have a WTA singles ranking and would equal the lowest-ranked player to win a major in the history of women’s tennis. Goolagong also was un-ranked when she won the 1977 Australian Open also when she returned to the women’s circuit after giving birth to a daughter. After more than a year off the circuit, Goolagong won the Australian Open after winning four tournaments on the Australian summer circuit over a six week period in late 1977.

On This Day In Tennis History

Today, April 14, has some interesting anniversaries in tennis history, as excerpted from my book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com). Two significant matches were played at the Family Circle Cup, which is being contested this week in Charleston, S.C. and 15-year-old Ryan Harrison had a stand-out win at the 2008 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. Enjoy!

1985 – Chris Evert-Lloyd defeats 14-year-old Gabriela Sabatini 6-4, 6-0 in the final of the Family Circle Cup in Hilton Head, S.C. The title is Evert-Lloyd’s eighth at the Family Circle Cup and Sabatini’s first career WTA Tour singles final. Says Evert-Lloyd of the young Argentine, “Everyone loves to see a new face and certainly at 14, she is very advanced. She moves very, very well. For 14, she’s got almost everything except probably a really tough first serve.”

1992 – Thirty-five-year-old Bjorn Borg, 10 years removed from his glory years of tennis, is defeated by Olivier Delaitre of France 7-5, 6-2 in 78 minutes in the first round of the ATP Nice Open in Nice, France. The match is the start of a second comeback to professional tennis for the five-time Wimbledon champion. The previous year, Borg plays an ill-fated comeback match against Jordi Arrese of Spain in the first round of the Monte Carlo Open. “The important thing is to play points and matches in front of people again,” says Borg, playing in his third tournament match since 1984.

1996 – Pete Sampras wins back the No. 1 ranking, defeating Michael Chang 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Salem Open in Hong Kong. Sampras again claims the top ranking from Austria’s Thomas Muster, who, on the same day, wins the singles title at the Estoril Open in Portugal with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Andrea Gaudenzi of Italy. Says Sampras of the No. 1 ranking, “As I have said before, it is the rankings at the end of the year that count.”

2007 – Jelena Jankovic wins an epic 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) thriller over Venus Williams in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. Leading 6-5 in the final set tie-break, Jankovic hits a winner passed Williams to win the match, but only after the chair umpire confirms the call by inspecting the ball mark that catches part of the sideline. “She kind of like was going to shake my hand and then she was in doubt,” Jankovic says of Williams reaction to match point. “So I was really lucky on that one to win. It was great.”

2008 – Fifteen-year-old Ryan Harrison beats No. 95-ranked Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the U.S. Clay Court Championships and becomes the 10th player in the Open era to win main draw match on the ATP Tour before his 16th birthday. Harrison wins 17 or 18 points at one stage during the first set. Says Harrison, “I’m pretty sure when I get alone by myself later, probably just laying around the hotel, it’ll really kind of sink in what’s happened.”

1998 – Ivo Heuberger of Switzerland ends the career of one of Japan’s greatest tennis players, Shuzo Matsuoka, defeating the former world No. 46 ranked player 6-3, 6-3 in the first round at the Japan Open. Courtside ceremonies featuring Prince Akishino, the son of the emperor of Japan, mark the retirement of Matsuoka.