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Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade
Country 23x15px United Kingdom
Born (1945-07-10) 10 July 1945 (age 74)
Bournemouth, Dorset
Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Turned pro 1968
Retired 1986
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,542,278
Int. Tennis HoF 1989 (member page)
Career record 839–329[1]
Career titles 55[1]
Highest ranking No. 2 (3 November 1975)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1972)
French Open QF (1970, 1972)
Wimbledon W (1977)
US Open W (1968)
Career record 42–48[1]
Highest ranking No. 1 (1973)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1973)
French Open W (1973)
Wimbledon F (1970)
US Open W (1973, 1975)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour Finals W (1975)
Last updated on: 26 May 2014.

Sarah Virginia Wade, OBE (born 10 July 1945) is a British former professional tennis player. She won three Grand Slam singles championships and four Grand Slam doubles championships, and is the only British woman in history to have won titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments. She was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in singles, and No. 1 in the world in doubles. She won the women's singles championship at Wimbledon on 1 July 1977, in that tournament's centenary year, and was the last British tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament until Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012. She remains the last British female to have won a Grand Slam singles title. After retiring from competitive tennis, she coached for four years[3] and has also worked as a tennis commentator and game analyst for the BBC and Eurosport.

Early life

Born in Bournemouth in England, Virginia Wade learned to play tennis in South Africa, where her parents moved when she was one year old. Her father was the Archdeacon of Durban.[4] When Wade was 15, the family moved back to England and she went to Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School and Talbot Heath School.[5][6] In 1961 Wade was in the tennis team of Wimbledon County Girls' Grammar School. She went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Sussex, graduating in 1966.[7]

Tennis career

Wade's tennis career spanned the end of the amateur era and the start of the open era. In 1968, she scored two notable firsts. As an amateur, she won the inaugural open tennis competition — the British Hard Court Open at Bournemouth (her birthplace). She turned down the US$ 720 first prize. Five months later, she had become a professional and captured the women's singles championship at the first US Open (and the prize-money of $6,000)($40,691 today), defeating Billie Jean King in the final.

Wade's second Grand Slam singles championship came in 1972 at the Australian Open. There, she defeated the Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the finals 6–4, 6–4.

Wade won at Wimbledon, England, in 1977. It was the sixteenth year in which Wade had played at Wimbledon, and she made her first appearance in the final by beating the defending champion Chris Evert in a semifinal 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In the finals, she faced Betty Stöve. Not only was 1977 the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wimbledon Championships, but it was also the 25th year of the reign (the Silver Jubilee) of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen attended the Wimbledon championships for the first time in a quarter-century to watch the final. Wade beat Stöve in three sets to claim the championship, nine days before her 32nd birthday. Wade received the trophy from Queen Elizabeth, and the audience at Centre Court burst out into a chorus of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow!" to celebrate her triumph.

Wade also won four Grand Slam women's doubles championships with Margaret Smith Court – two of them at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open.

Over her career, Wade won 55 professional singles championships and amassed $1,542,278 dollars in career prize money. She was ranked in the world's top 10 continuously from 1967 to 1979. Her career spanned a total of 26 years. She retired from singles competition at the end of the 1985 tennis season, and then from doubles at the end of 1986.

In 1983, at the age of 37, she won the Italian Open women's doubles championship, along with her teammate Virginia Ruzici of Romania.

The 24 times that Wade played in the women's singles tournament at Wimbledon is an all-time record.[citation needed]

After tennis

Since 1981, while she was still playing, Wade has been a reporter on tennis events for the BBC.[8] In 1982, Wade became the first woman to be elected to the Wimbledon Committee. [9]

In 1986, Wade was honoured with the distinction of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[8]

In 1989, Wade was also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.[10]

Major finals

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 3 finals (3 titles, 0 runner–ups)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
Winner 1968 US Open Grass 23x15px Billie Jean King 6–4, 6–2
Winner 1972 Australian Open Grass 23x15px Evonne Goolagong 6-4, 6-4
Winner 1977 Wimbledon Grass 23x15px Betty Stöve 4–6, 6–3, 6–1

Women's doubles: 10 finals (4 titles, 6 runner-ups)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1969 US Open Grass 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Françoise Dürr
23x15px Darlene Hard
0–6, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1970 Wimbledon Grass 23x15px Françoise Dürr 23x15px Rosie Casals
23x15px Billie Jean King
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 1970 US Open Grass 23x15px Rosie Casals 23x15px Margaret Court
23x15px Judy Tegart Dalton
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1972 US Open Grass 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Françoise Dürr
23x15px Betty Stöve
6–3, 1–6, 6–3
Winner 1973 Australian Open Grass 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Kerry Harris
23x15px Kerry Melville
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1973 French Open Clay 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Françoise Dürr
23x15px Betty Stöve
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1973 US Open Grass 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Rosie Casals
23x15px Billie Jean King
2–6, 6–3, 7–5
Winner 1975 US Open Clay 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Rosie Casals
23x15px Billie Jean King
7–5, 2–6, 7–6(7–5)
Runner-up 1976 US Open Clay 23x15px Olga Morozova 23x15px Linky Boshoff
23x15px Ilana Kloss
6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 1979 French Open Clay 23x15px Françoise Dürr 23x15px Betty Stöve
23x15px Wendy Turnbull
3–6, 7–5, 6–4

Year-End Championships finals

Doubles: 2 finals (1 title, 1 runner–up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Winner 1975 Los Angeles Carpet 23x15px Margaret Court 23x15px Rosie Casals
23x15px Billie Jean King
6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–2), 6–2
Runner-up 1977 New York City Carpet 23x15px Françoise Dürr 23x15px Martina Navrátilová
23x15px Betty Stöve
7–5, 6–3

Singles championships (55)

(Source: Virginia Wade at the Women's Tennis Association)

Bold type indicates a Grand Slam championship
  • 1968 – US Open, Bloemfontein, Bournemouth, East London, Dewar Cup-Crystal Palace
  • 1969 – Cape Town, Hoylake, Dewar-Perth, Dewar-Stalybridge, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar-Crystal Palace, East London
  • 1970 – German Indoors, West Berlin Open, Irish Open, Stalybridge, Aberavon
  • 1971 – Cape Town, Catania Open, Rome, Newport-Wales, Cincinnati, Dewar-Billingham, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar Cup Final-London, Clean Air Classic
  • 1972 – Australian Open, VS Indoors-Mass., Merion, Buenos Aires
  • 1973 – Dallas, Bournemouth, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar-Edinburgh, Dewar-Billingham, Dewar Cup Final-Albert Hall
  • 1974 – VS Chicago, Bournemouth, VS Phoenix, Dewar-Edinburgh, Dewar Cup-London
  • 1975 – VS Dallas, VS Philadelphia, Paris Indoors, Eastbourne, Dewar Cup, Stockholm
  • 1976 – U.S. Indoor Championships, Dewar Cup
  • 1977 – Wimbledon, World Invitational Hilton Head, Tokyo Sillook
  • 1978 – Mahwah, Tokyo Sillook, Florida Open

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 Career SR
Australia A A A A A A A A A A W QF A A A A A A A A A A 2R 2R 2R 1 / 5
France A A A A A 4R A 2R QF 1R QF 3R 2R A A A A 2R 3R 4R 3R 1R 1R 2R 0 / 14
Wimbledon 2R 2R 2R 4R 2R QF 1R 3R 4R 4R QF QF SF QF SF W SF QF 4R 2R 2R QF 3R 3R 1 / 24
United States A A 4R 2R QF 4R W SF SF A QF QF 2R SF 2R QF 3R QF 3R 3R 1R 2R 2R A 1 / 20
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 1 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 2 1 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 3 / 63
Career statistics
Year End Ranking 2 3 4 4 8 15 30 59 40 61 89

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.

See also


  1. ^ a b c WTA website
  2. ^ Virginia Wade at the International Tennis Federation
  3. ^ Lee, Veronica (27 June 2004). "Nice girls finish last". London: 
  4. ^ Viner, Brian (29 June 2007). "Virginia Wade: 'We used to think there was a British winner every eight years'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Moss, Stephen (18 June 2007). "The long game". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Talbot Heath: Factfile". Talbot Heath School. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  7. ^ Cheese, Caroline (24 October 2008). "Q&A: Virginia Wade". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Biographies – Virginia Wade". BBC. Retrieved 19 June 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Sarah Virginia Wade "Ginny"

External links

Preceded by
John Curry
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Steve Ovett

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