Virginia Wade
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Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade
Full nameSarah Virginia Wade
Country (sports)United Kingdom United Kingdom
Born (1945-07-10) 10 July 1945 (age 75)
Bournemouth, Hampshire, England, UK
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Turned pro1968
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,542,278
Int. Tennis HoF1989 (member page)
Career record839-329[1]
Career titles55[1]
Highest rankingNo. 2 (3 November 1975)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1972)
French OpenQF (1970, 1972)
WimbledonW (1977)
US OpenW (1968)
Career record42-48[1]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1973)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1973)
French OpenW (1973)
WimbledonF (1970)
US OpenW (1973, 1975)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour FinalsW (1975)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenSF (1969, 1972)
WimbledonQF (1981)
US OpenQF (1969, 1985)

Sarah Virginia Wade, (born 10 July 1945) is a former professional tennis player from Great Britain. She won three Major tennis singles championships and four Major doubles championships, and is the only British woman in history to have won titles at all four Majors. She was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in singles, and No. 1 in the world in doubles.

Three times a Major 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.[3][4] Wade was the last British tennis player to have won a Major singles tournament until Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012. She remains the most recent British woman to have won a Major singles title. After retiring from competitive tennis, she coached for four years[5] 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.[6]

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.[7][8] 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.[9]

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 Major tennis 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.[10]

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 Major 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,[11] 24 of those times being in the women's singles.[12]

After tennis

Since 1981, while she was still playing, Wade has been a reporter on tennis events for the BBC.[13] In 1982, she became the first woman to be elected to the Wimbledon Committee.[14]

Wade was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1986 Birthday Honours for services to lawn tennis.[13][15]

In 1989, Wade was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.[16]

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)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1968 US Open Grass United States Billie Jean King 6-4, 6-2
Win 1972 Australian Open Grass Australia Evonne Goolagong 6-4, 6-4
Win 1977 Wimbledon Grass Netherlands Betty Stöve 4-6, 6-3, 6-1

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

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1969 US Open Grass Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Dürr
United States Darlene Hard
6-0, 3-6, 4-6
Loss 1970 Wimbledon Grass France Françoise Dürr United States Rosie Casals
United States Billie Jean King
2-6, 3-6
Loss 1970 US Open Grass United States Rosie Casals Australia Margaret Court
Australia Judy Tegart Dalton
3-6, 4-6
Loss 1972 US Open Grass Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Dürr
Netherlands Betty Stöve
3-6, 6-1, 3-6
Win 1973 Australian Open Grass Australia Margaret Court Australia Kerry Harris
Australia Kerry Melville
6-4, 6-4
Win 1973 French Open Clay Australia Margaret Court France Françoise Dürr
Netherlands Betty Stöve
6-2, 6-3
Win 1973 US Open Grass Australia Margaret Court United States Rosie Casals
United States Billie Jean King
2-6, 6-3, 7-5
Win 1975 US Open Clay Australia Margaret Court United States Rosie Casals
United States Billie Jean King
7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7-5)
Loss 1976 US Open Clay Soviet Union Olga Morozova South Africa Linky Boshoff
South Africa Ilana Kloss
1-6, 4-6
Loss 1979 French Open Clay France Françoise Dürr Netherlands Betty Stöve
Australia Wendy Turnbull
6-3, 5-7, 4-6

Year-end championships finals

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)

Result Year Location Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1975 Los Angeles Carpet (i) Australia Margaret Court United States Rosie Casals
United States Billie Jean King
6-7(2-7), 7-6(7-2), 6-2
Loss 1977 New York Carpet (i) France Françoise Dürr Czechoslovakia Martina Navratilova
Netherlands Betty Stöve
5-7, 3-6

Singles titles (55)

Bold type indicates a Major 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[17])

Major 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.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "".
  2. ^ Virginia Wade at the International Tennis Federation
  3. ^ "Wade hopes for Jubilee repeat". BBC. 9 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Queen returns to Wimbledon after 33 years". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2017
  5. ^ Lee, Veronica (27 June 2004). "Nice girls finish last". The Guardian. London.
  6. ^ Viner, Brian (29 June 2007). "Virginia Wade: 'We used to think there was a British winner every eight years'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ Moss, Stephen (18 June 2007). "The long game". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008.
  8. ^ "Talbot Heath: Factfile". Talbot Heath School. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ Cheese, Caroline (24 October 2008). "Q&A: Virginia Wade". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2008.
  10. ^ "No. 45984". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1973. p. 6489.
  11. ^ "Wimbledon 2014: Britain's Jamie Delgado smashes record with 23rd consecutive All England Club appearance". The Telegraph. 25 June 2014.
  12. ^ Wade, Virginia (2017). "Player Profile - The Championships, Wimbledon 2017 - Official Site by IBM". Official Wimbledon website. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Biographies - Virginia Wade". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ "Official Website of Virginia Wade O.B.E - Last British Women's Wimbledon Tennis Singles Champion, 1977". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ "No. 50551". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 1986. p. 11.
  16. ^ "International Tennis Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 4 March 2007. Retrieved 2006.
  17. ^ "Player profile - Virginia Wade". Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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