Winmbledon . . . Twenty-seven years ago !
Yup. This is a rerun, but the photos are still special and seems like yesterday that I was there.
No matter what sporting event might be happening at any given time, whether it's a PGA Golf Tounament, the NBA playoffs, the NFL playoffs, the World Series, the French Open, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, or Wimbledon...I will be watching as many of the games or matches as possible. So, that's what I'm doing now. . . waking up at 5:00 a.m. everyday and enjoying all the tennis matches.
But what's even better, is if I can attend one of those sporting events in person.
Rewind to 1965 . . .
Some of my best high school memories came from the tennis court. Mrs. Clydene Moore, my eighth grade home economics teacher, introduced me to the game of tennis. After that introduction, there were very few days that a tennis racket wasn't in my hand. Whether it was playing a match in our junior high gym or bouncing a ball against our garage door, that's when I was the happiest.
My junior high principal was also the high school tennis coach. He asked me to play on the team, and I was elated. My parents, not so much, but agreed as long as I paid for my own racket. It was a Jack Kramer wooden racket which cost $21.00. (I still have it.) The day I walked into Edinger's Hardware store in Hugo, Oklahoma, and handed the clerk 21 one dollar bills with handful of change was a memorable day in my life. Those 21 dollars were made baby sitting at 50 cents an hour and ironing.
It was that year that I heard about Wimbledon. I pronounced it Wimbleton for a long time !
The year I graduated from high school, Rod Laver defeated John Newcombe and Ann Jones defeated Billie Jean King.
Sixteen years later, a dream came true for me.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Clubhouse was exquisitely draped in ivy and pink roses.
Christine Marie "Chris" Evert, born December 21, 1954, is a former world number ONE professional tennis player from the United States. She won eighteen Grand Slam singles championships, including a record seven championships at the French Open and a record six championships at the U. S. Open According to the Women's Tennis Association, she was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, and 1981 and, according to many sources, in 1974 and 1978, also.
Her career win–loss record in singles matches of 1,309–146 (.900) is the best of any professional player in tennis history. In tennis writer Steve Flink's book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, he named Evert as the third best female player of the 20th century, after Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. Chris never lost in the first or second rounds of a Grand Slam singles tournament. She won 157 singles championships. In women's doubles, Evert won three Grand Slam titles and 29 regular tour championships.
Just a side note or three about this photograph. My friend and I were walking back to our hotel and decided to cut through the 'alley' of the hotel where many of the tennis players were staying. When I saw Tiriac, I knew Becker was probably not too far away. Sure 'nuff, out the door Becker came as he and Tiriac were headed to a black tie gala after his championship win. There was ONE exposure left in my little Kodak disposable camera. Tiriac looked at me, and I held up my itty bitty camera. So that I could get the shot, he motioned for me to get on the hood of the other official Wimbledon car that was blocking the way. Becker ducked into his car, but not before I snapped this. I obviously got a much better shot than the photographer in the background. He should have had my vantage point on the hood of that car.
For that matter, I will never forget Wimbledon.
Someday, I plan to go back.
(P.S. No snarky comments about my sunglasses. You hear ?)