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Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Evonne Goolagong Cawley
File:Evonne Goolagong 1971.jpg
Goolagong at the 1971 Dutch Open
Country 23x15px Australia
Born (1951-07-31) 31 July 1951 (age 64)
Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
Plays Right-handed
(one-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,399,431
Int. Tennis HoF 1988 (member page)
Career record 704–165
Career titles 73
Highest ranking No. 1 (26 April 1976)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977Dec)
French Open W (1971)
Wimbledon W (1971, 1980)
US Open F (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)
Career record 18–16
Career titles 45
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977Dec)
French Open SF (1971)
Wimbledon W (1974)
US Open SF (1972, 1973, 1974)
Mixed doubles
Career titles 3
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1972)
Wimbledon F (1972)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (1970, 1973, 1974)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO MBE (born 31 July 1951) is an Australian former World No. 1 female tennis player. She was one of the world's leading players in the 1970s and early 1980s, when she won 14 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles (four Australian Open, two Wimbledon and one French Open), six in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles. Her career win-loss percentage was 81.01% (704–165). Her win-loss performance in all Grand Slam singles tournaments was 82.09% (133–29), at the French Open, 84.21% (16–3), at Wimbledon, 83.33% (50–10), at the US Open, 81.25% (26–6), and at the Australian Open, 80.39% (41–10).

Early life

Born Evonne Fay Goolagong, she is the third of eight children[1] from an Australian Aboriginal family. Her parents, Kenny Goolagong (an itinerant sheep shearer) and Melinda, are members of the Wiradjuri people. She was born in Griffith, New South Wales, and grew up in the small country town of Barellan. Although Aboriginal people faced widespread discrimination in rural Australia at this time, Goolagong was able to play tennis in Barellan from childhood thanks to a kindly resident, Bill Kurtzman, who saw her peering through the fence at the local courts and encouraged her to come in and play.[citation needed] In 1965, Vic Edwards, the proprietor of a tennis school in Sydney, was tipped off by two of his assistants and travelled to Barellan to take a look at the young Goolagong and immediately saw her potential. He persuaded Goolagong's parents to allow her to move to Sydney, where she attended Willoughby Girls High School. Here, she completed her School Certificate in 1968 and was at the same time coached by Edwards and lived in his household.

Grand Slam success

Goolagong won seven Grand Slam singles titles in her career, reaching a total of eighteen Grand Slam singles finals. During the 1970s, she played in seventeen Grand Slam singles finals, a period record for any player; man or woman. Between 1973 and 1978, she reached the final of almost every Grand Slam singles event she entered. There was only one exception, Wimbledon, where she played in only two finals in that period, 1975 and 1976, losing both; she lost in 1973 to eventual champion Billie-Jean King in the semi-finals, in 1974 to Australian Kerry Melville at the quarter-final stage, and in 1978 to eventual champion Martina Navratilova in the semi-finals; she did not enter in 1977, the year her daughter was born. Also in 1974, Goolagong teamed up with Peggy Michel to win the Ladies' Doubles title. She has won the women's doubles title at the Australian Open five times and the French Open once, as well as mixed doubles at the French Open once.

She is the only mother to have won the Wimbledon title since before World War I. Married to Roger Cawley in 1975, she had a daughter in 1977. She won the 1980 Wimbledon title.

Goolagong reached four consecutive U.S. Open finals, but lost them all. She is the only player in the open era of the event to have lost four consecutive finals and the only woman to do so in U.S. championships history.[2] Goolagong made seven consecutive finals at the Australian Open, winning four titles in a row, both records for the open era, although she did not compete in the January 1977 event. Despite reaching the final at her first two appearances in 1971 and 1972, after 1973 Goolagong did not compete at the French Open championships for a decade. She returned in 1983 for her final Grand Slam singles appearance. She lost in the last thirty-two to Chris Evert and did not compete in any further Grand Slam singles events. Her last appearance at Grand Slam level came at the following 1983 Wimbledon Championship when she partnered Sue Barker to a first round defeat in the doubles, having withdrawn from the singles event earlier.

The National Museum of Australia holds the Evonne Goolagong Cawley collection of memorabilia. This includes her 1971 and 1980 Wimbledon singles trophies, the trophy from her 1974 doubles win and two racquets used in these tournaments. The museum's collection also includes a signed warm-up jacket and a dress with a bolero style top designed by Ted Tinling in the early 1970s.[3]

Goolagong was ranked number one in the world for two weeks in 1976, though it was not reported at the time because incomplete data were used to calculate the rankings. This was discovered in December 2007, 31 years later. She was the second woman to hold the top spot, the 16th recognized at the time.[4]

Life after touring

Goolagong spent some time as the touring professional at the Hilton Head Racquet Club in South Carolina before returning to Australia.[5]

Goolagong was a member of the Board of the Australian Sports Commission from 1995 to 1997 and since 1997 has held the position of Sports Ambassador to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Goolagong was appointed captain of the Australian Fed Cup team in 2002. In 2003, she was winner for the Oceania region of the International Olympic Committee's 2003 Women and Sports Trophy. Goolagong also runs an annual "Goolagong National Development Camp", with the aim of facilitating Aboriginal children playing competitive tennis.[6]

Awards and recognition

Evonne Goolagong Park, Barellan.

Goolagong was awarded Australian of the Year in 1971.[7] Goolagong was appointed an MBE in 1972 and made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1982. She was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.[8] In 1988, Goolagong was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

In 1972, she played in a segregated South African tournament. To spare her the discrimination experienced by non-whites, the South African authorities classified her as an honorary white.[9]

The Evonne Goolagong Cawley Trophy, awarded to the female champion at the Brisbane International, is named in her honour.[10]

In 1993, the State Transit Authority named a RiverCat ferry in Sydney after Goolagong.

Personal life

Goolagong married British tennis player Roger Cawley on 19 June 1975.[11] Following her wedding, Goolagong settled in Naples, Florida. After living in the U.S. for eight years, the couple bought a home at Noosa Heads, Queensland, where they settled with their two children. Daughter Kelly[12] helps run her tennis camps, and son Morgan Kiema Cawley (born 1981)[13] was a National Soccer League player.


Career statistics


  • These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
Championship Years Record accomplished Player tied
Australian Open 1974–76 3 consecutive titles Margaret Court
Steffi Graf
Monica Seles
Martina Hingis
Australian Open 1971–76 6 consecutive finals Martina Hingis
Australian Open 1971–77[a] 7 finals overall Stands alone
Australian Open 1975–1977[a] 3 wins without losing a set Steffi Graf
US Open 1973–76 4 consecutive runners-up Stands alone


  • a The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December. Goolagong did not play in the January edition but made the final in the December tournament.

See also


  1. ^ Goolagong discusses aborigine roots, The Day, 1 November 1980.
  2. ^ Past Champions – Grand Slam Tennis
  3. ^ Evonne Goolagong Cawley tennis collection, National Museum of Australia
  4. ^ Computer glitch denied Goolagong No. 1 WTA ranking in '76, Associated Press, ESPN Sports, 31 December 2007.
  5. ^ Where Are They Now? – Evonne Goolagong Cawley
  6. ^ Grand Slam champ Evonne Goolagong uses camp to search for next aboriginal player or coach, 13 January, 2008, By Dennis Passa, AP Sports Writer, USA Today.
  7. ^ Lewis, Wendy (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5. 
  8. ^ "Evonne Cawley AO MBE". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Evonne Goolagong – The Goolagong Impact
  10. ^ Brisbane International women's trophy named in honour of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Courier Mail, 23 December 2011
  11. ^ People in Sports; Evonne Goolagong Married, 20 June 1975, p. 14, The New York Times.
  12. ^ Evonne Gives Birth to Daughter, Page Script error: No such module "convert"., Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 13 May 1977.
  13. ^ John Roberts, "Where Are they Now?" Evonne Goolagong, The Independent, 20 April 1993.
  14. ^ Evonne Goolagong, Tennis Champion – 25 May 1998 – SI Vault .. ..whose '93 autobiography, Home! The Evonne Goolagong Story, was an Australian bestseller.

External links

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