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Biofile: Virginia Wade Interview

Status: Won Wimbledon in 1977, US Open 1968 and Australian Open in 1972. Inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1989. Won four Grand Slam doubles titles with Margaret Court, three in 1973. Best ranking was no. 2. Won 55 career singles titles.

DOB: July 10, 1945 In: Bournemouth, England

Early Tennis Memory: I was the youngest in the family. My brother and mother used to play. My sister and I used to be begging to play. I used to bug people to play with me. I remember I was small and the racquet was too big for me. I used to choke up on it and I would hit myself on the chin with the handle.

Favorite Movies: Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn movies.

Hobbies/Interests: Music, opera, golf, gardening, food and wine, sport.

Childhood Dream: I don’t think anything. Do well in whatever I did.

Greatest Sports Moment: Winning Wimbledon (in 1977).

Most Painful Moment: Oh, I had plenty of those [smiles]. Certainly one of my most awful was going out in the first round of Wimbledon in 1968 (lost to Christine Sandberg of Sweden). And it had been like raining for three days. The courts weren’t covered mostly in those days. I went to court 2 or 3 at 7:30 at night. I hadn’t played properly for what felt like days. But, anyway, I played the consolations and I won it. Then I won the US Open. So some things turn out right [smiles]. And then I had some miserable losses here at the US Open, here at Flushing Meadows. But that was me, I was capable of some pretty lousy matches [laughs].

Pre-Match Feeling: Generally speaking, my whole career finally sort of matured in around ’72 or something. When I won the US Open in 1968, I just happened to play out of my mind. I didn’t really know what I was doing. But by the time I got to the early 1970s, I began to be much more organized and professional about my matches. I would do a lot of visualization. I would spend a lot of time actually imagining myself on the court against the other person, and all the possibilities, good or bad, that could happen. But I would get very nervous! I always got nervous before all my matches.

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: I think Margaret Court was really, really tough. And Chris Evert – she just was so solid. She never missed a ball. That sort of consistent play. Margaret was strong physically too. So that’s what was difficult. And then Martina (Navratilova) was so tough because she was so strong. And being left-handed, it always seemed she could serve you out of it when she needed it.

Funniest Player Encountered: My most favorite comic player these days is Mansour Bahrami. I mean, he’s just a classic. I like the players who are a little crazy like (Hicham) Arazi. That’s my sort of fun player.

Why Do You Love Tennis: I just loved playing the moment I picked up a racquet. I always enjoyed playing ball games and I was very energetic. So once I had a tennis racquet, I never wanted to put it down. And I still don’t [laughs]. When we first went to England when I was 15 – my family moved back to England (from South Africa) – we actually rented a house in Wimbledon. So literally the first day we got there, I went down the hill and looked through the gates at the club. That was something memorable. I can still remember doing that.

First Job: I never had a real job.

First Car: 1970 white Alpha Romeo.

Favorite Meal: Italian.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Peppermint.

Musical Tastes: Classical, Rachmaninov, Russian composers.

Favorite Sport To Watch Outside Tennis: Figure skating.

Favorite Athletes To Watch: Steffi Graf. Pete Sampras. Katarina Witt. Florence Griffith-Joyner. Middle distance runners.

Future Ambition: I like to stay busy. Have a project.

Most Treasured Possession: Things in the family for a long time. Passed on. Nostalgic things, heirloom, china, furniture, things that have been around my family for a long time.

People Qualities Most Admired: I guess I admire people who are good fighters. Guts in a person. Not just keeling over when things get tough. It’s only when it comes to crunch time that people’s true character comes out.

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6 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 3, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Wade won her first two majors vs the no. 1 seed – King at US Open ’68 and Goolagong at AO ’72. She was no. 3 seed when she beet 7th seed Stove at Wimbledon in 1977.

  • Sam · December 3, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Interesting, Scoop. When did you get the chance to interview Wade?

  • Sam · December 3, 2020 at 5:13 pm

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 3, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Several times at US Open, she works as a tv commentator for BBC and or international feeds.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 3, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Sam, the election was a fraud cheat on a massive scale, and it’s treason, a coup to steal power from the president. Heads are gonna roll for this blatant treason by these traitors. Patriots vs satanists. Trump is the exorcist.

  • Sam · December 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Scoop, Wade obviously must be very approachable, if you were able to interview her several times. Good to hear.

    Saw what you wrote about Federer’s blatant corruption in regard to changing the rankings. Sad to say, he seems like a crooked politician in so many ways.

    As for the election, this is something that only God can really handle—it’s way too big for any of us (including Trump) to tackle alone. It’s something that we need to keep praying bravely about. I have no idea how long it will take, but I do believe that God will get the final say in the end. Many of the latest developments are certainly encouraging.

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