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Monday, June 30, 2008

Wimbledon Special Part Two - whatever happened to Evonne Goolagong?

I am largely relying on Wikipedia again for this entry but Evonne Goolagong was definitely a Wimbledon star from my youth if only because her name is so memorable.

She was a former World No. 1 Australian tennis player and one of the world's leading players in the 1970s and early 1980s, when she won 14 titles: seven in singles (four Australian Open, two Wimbledon and one French Open), six in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles.

She was the first Australian Aboriginal woman to achieve international fame in sport and the first Aboriginal person to do so in any sport other than football or boxing. In 1971, she was named Australian of the Year and the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year.

She married British Tennis player Roger Cawley in 1975. Her final Grand Slam title came at Wimbledon in 1980 when she was a 29-year-old mother and surprised the tennis world by beating Tracy Austin in a semifinal and Chris Evert in the final. She was the first mother in 66 years to win the Wimbledon singles title, the previous one being English woman Dorothea Lambert-Chambers in 1914.
I went to Wimbledon for the first time when I was at school, and saw Evonne playing the same year she went on to win the Women's Championship.
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