"Murray is indeed the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years unless you think women are people"
Yesterday, all the British Isles rejoiced. For the first time in 77 years. a male Brit had kept the huge sterling Wimbledon plate at home.
In fact, I shared this photo with you on my Facebook Page:
Queen Elizabeth II was just 10-years-old the last time a British man won Wimbledon.
But many journalists forgot that important word "MAN" when discussing Murray's win at Wimbledon.
Why? British women's Virginia Wade won the title in 1977. And a memorable title at that. Wade, born in 1945, was the most decorated British player of the 1970's and early 80's, winning three Grand Slam singles championships and four Grand Slam doubles championships .
Wade had been competing at the amateur and professional level since the early 1960's. In 1977, she was in her 16th year at Wimbledon, when 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 finals, she faced Betty Stöve.
There was a truly historical angle to her win. 1977 also marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wimbledon Championships, as well as 25th year of the reign (the Silver Jubilee) of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen made it a memorable (and likely nerve-wracking day for Wade) by attending the Wimbledon championships for the first time in a quarter-century to watch the final.
Lucky for her, on Centre Court, Wade beat Stöve in three sets to claim the championship, nine days before her 32nd birthday.
In a career spanning 20 years, Wade won four Grand Slam women's doubles championships with Australian Margaret Smith Court – two of them at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open.
Today, thanks to tennis, she is a an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), as well as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, (OBE).
Her website indicates that Wade lives between London and New York, and currently provides the TV commentary for the BBC and various networks in the USA.
So many forgot about Wade, The Guardian of London published some collective egg on the faces of journalists worldwide. For example:
- On the front page of the Telegraph: "After 77 years, the wait is over."
- And, on the front page of the Daily Mail: "Andy Murray ends 77 years of waiting for a British champion."
- Even the Daily Mail forgot about her win? Yep, said the Guardian. They continued: (This) is especially unforgivable, since they also published an interview with her, in which she told the paper: "You never forget how it feels to win Wimbledon."
- So where does the 77-year figure come from? That's the figure for the men's championships. The last British man to win before Murray was Fred Perry in 1936.
Meaning the real wait was actually just 41 years?
- No, in reality, British tennis fans were never made to wait at all.
Why? Four British women have won Wimbledon since Fred Perry.
Dorothy Round Little (1908-1982) won the women's singles in 1937. Little was a rival of the U.S.' Helen Wills Moody, and won the singles title at Wimbledon twice, when Moody was absent.
Partially deaf, Angela Mortimer won Wimbledon in 1961, at the age of 29. Besides the All-England Lawn Tennis title, she won won Grand Slam singles titles at the 1955 French Championships, and the 1958 Australian Championships. Today, she is married to the veteran BBC commentator John Barrett, and runs Angela Mortimer, Executive and PA Search service.
Underdog Ann Haydon-Jones beat Billie Jean King to win in 1969. Born in 1938, Haydon-Jones won a total of 7 Grand Slam championships during her career: three in singles, three in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles. Asked what she thought about the 22-year-old Carolyn Wozniaki using her beauty to secure sponsorship deals, Mrs Haydon-Jones rtold the Daily Mail ‘Maybe she feels she can’t win the Grand Slams. Maybe she accepts that she can’t and wants fame in a different direction.'
Thanks to you, Women's E-News, and The Guardian of London, a wrong has been righted.
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