Circles and singularities (a situation that is completely unique) Chaos versus The Metronome. 2, 1952, Evonne on July 31, 1951), and her career paralleled his in its dramatic jump-start. In 1970, at age 18, Connors recorded his first significant victory in the first round of the Pacific Southwest Open in Los Angeles, defeating Australian tennis legend Roy Emerson. Goolagong came out of nowhere to win the 1971 French Open at the age of 19 and then shocked the world again a month later when she routed her idol, fellow Australian Margaret Court, 6-4, 6-1, to win her first Wimbledon title 1971 was the year that Love Story was No. 1 at the box office (in the US at least) and "Joy to the World," by Three Dog Night was the No 1 song.
It was also the year that the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times and Apollo 14 landed on the moon. 1968, three years before, was a seminal year in the annals of tennis. It was the moment (March 30) that saw the birth of the "open" era, where professionals were allowed to compete in the majorsthe beginning of modern tennis. I remember Arthur Ashe and Muhammad Ali, two diametrically opposed personalities; the former being the first African-American man to win a major in tennis (at the US Open), and the latter being stripped of his heavyweight title in April of that year.
I wrote of the success of Althea Gibson , being the first person of African descent, of any nationality, to win a major (1956) in the sport of tennis. If Evonne Goolagongs career sometimes paralleled that of Jimmy Connors, her life paralleled that of Althea Gibson. Evonne was one of eight children from an Australian Aboriginal family, being a member of the Wiradjuri people, making her completely unique in the world of tennis. When she was a girl, her father, an itinerant sheep shearer, used to fashion makeshift tennis "paddles" for her out of pieces of wood Like Gibson, she was a consummate athlete. She played rugby, cricket, and soccer as a child, and at 13 left home to pursue the dream of a career in tennis.
Her game paralleled that of John McEnroe in that she was a volleyer who relied more on skill and speed than strength, and thus was vulnerable to opponents with a power game, big serves, and punching groundstrokes, such as that of Chris Evert and Billie Jean King. Long-armed and graceful, with agile reflexes, Evonne Goolagong reputedly possessed the ability to cover the court with great precision. At her peak, like Johnny Mac, she was regarded as one of the most subtle practitioners the women's game had ever seen. Her greatest weakness, in a complete departure from Johnny Mac: lapses of concentration that may have cost her several titles, and for which her home press in Australia used to take her to task. Her luminous and memorable rivalry with Evert, so fondly remembered by my friend, was dominated by Evert, who led 21-12; in the majors Everts edge was 3-2 (a ratio that roughly paralleled their overall record). Evonne first met Evert in the 1972 Wimbledon semis, where Evonne pulled out with a third-set rally, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.