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Sports Then and Now



The 10 Greatest Female Australian Open Champions 5

Posted on January 20, 2011 by JA Allen



Serena Williams was the last Australian Open champ in 2010.

Most of the ladies crowned as champions of the Australian Open hailed primarily from Australia back in the early days of this prestigious tennis tournament.

Distance from European capitals and the United States kept the Australian Open a happening mainly for locals, although there were foreign winners from time to time.

Overall Australians have won 43 Australian Open titles, 33 during the Amateur Era and 10 during the Open Era. Their first championship came in 1922 and their last in 1978.

The Aussies are all hoping Samantha Stosur can add to their total by winning the championship in 2011. The time is now for a  native to win the trophy––it has been 33 years, after all.

With defending champion Serena Williams not playing in 2011 because of injury, this year is wide open for the ladies as they look to crown a new champion.

Female champions from the United States are second having won 22 Australian Open titles, 7 in the Amateur Era and 15 during the Open Era.

Half of the ladies in this Top Ten list are logically from Australia and many of them represent titles won during the Amateur Era which began back in 1922.

But all have outstanding results in the “Happy” Slam now held annually in Melbourne.

10. Australian Joan Hartigan Bathurst: Won in 1933, 1934, 1936 – 3 Finals, 3 Wins, 2 Consecutively.

Joan Hartigan Bathurst won three Australian Open titles in her career.

Australian Joan Hartigan-Bathurst played her first Australian Open Championship in 1931 and her last one in 1947. She won three championships during her long career.

Traveling outside of Australia, Hartigan-Bathurst also made the semifinals at Wimbledon twice. She never, however, traveled to play in the United States championships.

During her years playing on tennis courts around the world, Hartigan-Bathurst won three Australian Open titles, made the semifinals twice and the quarterfinals four times.

In 1933 Hartigan-Bathurst defeated Coral Buttsworth to win her first Australian Open title 6-4, 6-3.

The Aussie repeated as champion the following year defeating Margaret Molesworth 6-1, 6-4 in 1934.

Her next Australian Open Championship came in 1936 when Hartigan-Bathurst won over fellow Aussie Nancy Wynn Bolton 6-4, 6-4.

Overall she played in 10 Australian Open Championships, winning three times. Her win loss record was 48-7 giving Hartigan Bathurst a winning percentage of 87.27.

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Queens of the Court: Evonne Goolagong, A Luminous Star 5

Posted on November 15, 2009 by Claudia Celestial Girl
Evonne Goolagong

Evonne Goolagong claimed seven Grand Slam titles during her career.

Evonne Goolagong can be described in mathematical terms.

Parallels and angles. Circles and singularities (a situation that is completely unique). Chaos versus The Metronome.

She will be forever remembered as a seven-time Grand Slam winner: four Australian Open, two Wimbledon, and one French Open title(s).

She was a contemporary of Jimmy Connors. (Jimbo was born Sept. 2, 1952, Evonne on July 31, 1951), and her career paralleled his in its dramatic jump-start.

In 1970, at age 18, Connors recorded his first significant victory in the first round of the Pacific Southwest Open in Los Angeles, defeating Australian tennis legend Roy Emerson.

Goolagong came out of nowhere to win the 1971 French Open at the age of 19 and then shocked the world again a month later when she routed her idol, fellow Australian Margaret Court, 6-4, 6-1, to win her first Wimbledon title.

1971 was the year that Love Story was No. 1 at the box office (in the US at least) and “Joy to the World,” by Three Dog Night was the No. 1 song. It was also the year that the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times and Apollo 14 landed on the moon.

1968, three years before, was a seminal year in the annals of tennis. It was the moment (March 30) that saw the birth of the “open” era, where professionals were allowed to compete in the majors—the beginning of modern tennis.

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Evonne Goolagong 0

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Evonne Goolagong

Evonne Goolagong

In recognition of the improbable U.S. Open run by Kim Clijsters, we honor as this week’s Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week a former women’s tennis great who accomplished a similar feat 29 years ago.

In 1980, Evonne Goolagong upset Tracy Austin and Chris Evert to claim the Wimbledon title and become the first woman in 66 years to claim the Wimbledon title after having a baby.

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      After years of struggling to find a consistent quarterback, the Chicago Bears now hope third-year player Mitchell Trubisky will be their quarterback for years to come. As the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month we are recognizing the best quarterback in Chicago Bears history.

      Chosen out of Columbia–where he played tailback–with the second pick in the 1939 NFL Draft, Sid Luckman spent 12 seasons as the quarterback for the Bears and led them to five NFL Championship Game appearances and four titles.

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