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Virginia Wade
Country  England,  United Kingdom
Date of birth 10 July 1945 (1945-07-10) (age 64)
Place of birth Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight 135 lbs. (61.2 kg)
Turned pro 1968
Retired 1986
Plays Right-handed
Career prize money US$1,542,278
Career record 839–329[1]
Career titles 55[1]
Highest ranking No.2 (November 3, 1975)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (1972)
French Open QF (1970, 1972)
Wimbledon W (1977)
US Open W (1968)
Career record 42–48[1]
Career titles -
Highest ranking -
Australian Open W (1973)
French Open W (1973)
Wimbledon F (1970)
US Open W (1973, 1975)
Last updated on: 27 January 2007]].

Sarah Virginia Wade, OBE (born 10 July 1945) is an English former tennis player. She won three Grand Slam singles titles and four Grand Slam doubles titles. She won the women's singles title at Wimbledon in the tournament's centenary year on 1 July 1977, the last time a Briton has won a singles title at the tournament. Incidentally she is also the last Briton to have won a Grand Slam singles title.


Early life

Born in Bournemouth in England, Wade learned to play tennis in South Africa, where her parents moved when she was one year old. Her father was the Archdeacon of Durban.[2] When Wade was 15, the family moved back to England and she went to Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School and Talbot Heath School.[3][4] She went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Sussex, graduating in 1966.[5]

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 become a professional and captured the women's singles title at the first US Open (and prize-money of US$6,000)($36,749 in current dollar terms), defeating Billie Jean King in the final.

Wade's second Grand Slam singles title came in 1972 at the Australian Open. She defeated Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final 6–4, 6–4.

Wade's most notable victory came at Wimbledon in 1977. It was the sixteenth year in which Wade had played at Wimbledon, and she made her first appearance in the final by beating defending champion Chris Evert in a semifinal 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In the final, she faced Betty Stöve. Not only was 1977 the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Wimbledon Championships, but it was also the 25th year of the reign (Silver Jubilee) of Queen Elizabeth II, and the Queen attended the championships for the first time in a quarter-century to watch the LADIES final. In the final, Wade beat Stöve in three sets to claim the title, nine days short of her 32nd birthday. Wade received the trophy from the Queen, and the Centre Court crowd burst into a chorus of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow!" to celebrate her triumph.

Wade also won four Grand Slam women's doubles titles partnering Margaret Court – two at the US Open, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open.

Wade was coached by Jerry Teeguarden, father of the professional player Pam Teeguarden.

Over her career, Wade won 55 professional singles titles and amassed US$1,542,278 in career prize money. She was ranked in the world's top-10 continuously from 1967 through 1979. Her career spanned a total of 26 years. She retired from singles at the end of 1985 and from doubles at the end of 1986.

Since 1981, Wade has commented on tennis events for the BBC.[6]

In 1982, Wade became the first woman to be elected to the Wimbledon Committee.

In 1983, at the age of 37, she won the Italian Open women's doubles title partnered by Virginia Ruzici of Romania.

The 24 times that Wade played in the women's singles tournament at Wimbledon is an all-time record.

In 1986, she was awarded the OBE.[6]

In 1989, Wade was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[7]

Grand Slam singles finals (3)


Wins (3)

Year Championship Opponent in final Score in final
1968 US Open United States Billie Jean King 6–4, 6–2
1972 Australian Open Australia Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6–4, 6–4
1977 Wimbledon Netherlands Betty Stöve 4–6, 6–3, 6–1

Grand Slam women's doubles finals (10)

Wins (4)

Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
1973 Australian Open Australia Margaret Court Australia Kerry Harris
Australia Kerry Melville Reid
6–4, 6–4
1973 French Open Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Durr
Netherlands Betty Stöve
6–2, 6–3
1973 US Open Australia Margaret Court United States Billie Jean King
United States Rosemary Casals
3–6, 6–3, 7–5
1975 US Open (2) Australia Margaret Court United States Billie Jean King
United States Rosemary Casals
7–5, 2–6, 7–6

Runner-ups (6)

Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
1969 US Open Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Durr
United States Darlene Hard
0–6, 6–3, 6–4
1970 Wimbledon France Françoise Durr United States Billie Jean King
United States Rosemary Casals
6–2, 6–3
1970 US Open (2) United States Rosemary Casals Australia Margaret Court
United States Judy Tegart Dalton
6–3, 6–4
1972 US Open (3) Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Durr
Netherlands Betty Stöve
6–3, 1–6, 6–3
1976 US Open (4) Soviet Union Olga Morozova South Africa Delina Boshoff
South Africa Ilana Kloss
6–1, 6–4
1979 French Open France Françoise Durr Netherlands Betty Stove
Australia Wendy Turnbull
3–6, 7–5, 6–4

Singles titles (55)

Bold indicates a Grand Slam title
  • 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

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

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

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

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

See also


External links

Preceded by
John Curry
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Steve Ovett


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