Evonne Goolagong Fan Tributes
Published September 06, 2010 12:00
"As a kid, Evonne was my first tennis idol, male or female. While just learning the game myself, I would hit the ball (white balls/wooden racquet) dreaming that we would win the grand slam in mixed doubles! Slightly quirky and different dream for an adolescent boy, but ya' know what? I still have this dream today! I was honoured with getting her autograph in 1974 at the Canadian Open and still have it on the tiny little ticket. Framed."
- John Gordon, Toronto, Canada
"Evonne Goolagong was and is the most wonderful person ever to grace a tennis court. I remember taking the day off school to watch her win her first Wimbledon title in 1971 (the ladies' finals were played on a Friday then, instead of Saturday). Newspaper headlines the following day proclaimed 'disco kid is queen of tennis'. After that I followed 'Vonnie's' career with avid interest and have several scrapbooks of cuttings. Being a Welshman, I am particularly proud that the first professional Tour title Evonne won was the Welsh Open in Newport! When she lost the 1976 Wimbledon final in a tight third set I was inconsolable for weeks, and as for being finalist four years running in the US... well, the least said the better. Part of Evonne's charm is that she didn't take things too seriously, perhaps she would have won more Grand Slams, but she wouldn't be the person we loved. There have been many great champions since Evonne retired, but she will always be the best."
- Stanley Bethell, UK
"I was probably more upset about any Goolagong loss than she was (ha)! Fortunately, I was not upset too often because of her many victories. Evonne (with the melodic name) was my first female tennis favorite and I still remember being so enthralled with her play. There's been no one like her in that area. She was always a lady of elegance on the court and apparently off the court as well, judging from other comments. That's great to know. And she never forgot from whence she came."
- Fred Hunter, Chicago, USA
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