Virginia Wade: British tennis player (1945-)
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Virginia Wade
British tennis player

Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British tennis player
A.K.A. Sarah Virginia Wade
Is Athlete Tennis player
From United Kingdom
Field Sports
Gender female
Birth 10 July 1945, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Age 78 years
Star sign Cancer
Height: 170 cm
The details (from wikipedia)


Sarah Virginia Wade, OBE (born 10 July 1945) is a former professional tennis player from Great Britain. 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.

Three times a Grand Slam singles champion, her most famous success was winning Wimbledon on 1 July 1977, the tournament's centenary year, and the year of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (the Queen attended Wimbledon for the first time since 1962 to watch the final). Wade 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 most recent British woman to have won a Grand Slam singles title. After retiring from competitive tennis, she coached for four years and has also worked as a tennis commentator and game analyst for the BBC and Eurosport.

Early life

Wade was born in Bournemouth, England on 10 July 1945. Her father was the archdeacon of Durban.

At age one, Wade moved to South Africa with her parents. In South Africa, Wade learned to play tennis. When Wade was 15, the family moved back to England and she went to Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School and Talbot Heath School, Bournemouth. 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.

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. She turned down the US$720 first prize. Five months later, she had turned professional and won the women's singles championship at the first US Open (and prize-money of $6,000 - $44,113 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 in the final 6–4, 6–4. Wade was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1973 Birthday Honours for services to lawn tennis.

Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. It was the 16th 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 final, she beat Betty Stöve in three sets to claim the championship, nine days before her 32nd birthday. Not only was 1977 the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wimbledon Championships, but it was the Silver Jubilee year of Elizabeth II, who attended Wimbledon for the first time since 1962 to watch the final.

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in December 1977 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the National Sports Stadium at London's Crystal Palace.

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 with Virginia Ruzici of Romania.

The 26 times that Wade played at Wimbledon is an all-time record, 24 of those times being in the women's singles.

After tennis

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

Wade was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1986 Birthday Honours for services to lawn tennis.

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

Wade now lives in the U.S. and keeps a cottage and the family home in Kent.

Major finals

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 3 (3 titles)

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

Women's doubles: 10 (4 titles, 6 runners-up)

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

Year-end championships finals

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner–up)

Outcome Year Location Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1975 Los Angeles Carpet (i) Margaret Court Rosie Casals
Billie Jean King
6–7, 7–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1977 New York Carpet (i) Françoise Dürr Martina Navratilova
Betty Stöve
7–5, 6–3

Singles titles (55)

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

(Source: WTA)

Grand Slam singles performance timeline

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
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

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

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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