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Sports Then and Now



Evonne Goolagong Cawley: Tennis Mom 0

Posted on July 11, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Fifty years before Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon Championship, another Australian woman claimed the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title on her way to a Hall of Fame career.

The path to tennis greatness was a unique one for Evonne Goolagong Cawley. The daughter of an itinerant sheep shearer, Goolagong Cawley was the third of eight children in an Australian Aboriginal family. Though Aboriginal people faced significant discrimination during that era, Goolagong Cawley was able to play tennis from a young age due to the generosity and support of numerous people within Australia.

She emerged on the international tennis stage as a 19-year-old in 1971 as she reached the finals of the Australian Open and then won the French Open and Wimbledon titles. She remains the only person to win the French Open women’s title in her first time playing in the tournament.

In 1972, she reached the finals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but did not claim any of the titles. She also played the U.S. Open for the first time in 1972 and reached the third round.

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