Evonne Goolagong

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Evonne Goolagong
Evonne Goolagong.jpg
Goolagong at the Dutch Open in 1971
Born 31 July 1951 (1951-07-31) (age 63)
Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
Plays Right-handed
(one-handed backhand)
Prize money US$1,399,431
Int. Tennis HOF 1988 (member page)
Singles
Career record 704–165
Career titles 68
Highest ranking No. 1 (26 April 1976)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 (Dec.))
French Open W (1971)
Wimbledon W (1971, 1980)
US Open F (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)
Doubles
Career record 18–16
Career titles 11
Highest ranking
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 (Dec.))
French Open SF (1971)
Wimbledon W (1974)
US Open SF (1972, 1973, 1974)
Mixed Doubles
Career titles 1
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1972)
Wimbledon F (1972)

Last updated on: 4 February 2007.

Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, AO, MBE (born 31 July 1951) is an Australian tennis player. She was one of the world's most successful players in the 1970s and early 1980s. She ranked No. 1 in the world in 1976.

Goolagong won 14 Grand Slam titles. She won the women's title in singles tennis four times at the Australian Open, twice at the Wimbledon Championships, and once at the French Open. The other Grand Slam titles she won were in doubles tennis: six in women's doubles and one in mixed doubles.

Early life[change | change source]

Evonne Fay Goolagong was born in Griffith, New South Wales. She and her family are Aboriginal Australians. They belong to the Wiradjuri nation. Evonne was the third of eight children. She grew up in the small farming town of Barellan. Her father, Kenneth Goolagong, was a sheep shearer. Her family was poor.[1] At this time, many Aboriginal people around Australia faced discrimination; they were treated differently by White Australians. However, Goolagong has said that she did not experience discrimination whilst living at Barellan.[1]

She started playing tennis when she was a young girl. A began when Bill Kurtzman, a player at Barellan, saw Goolagong looking through the fence of the local tennis courts. He asked her if she would like to try playing.[2][3] She joined the local tennis club when she was seven years old. She quickly showed a talent for the game. She was fast and had quick reflexes.[4] She played in competitions with neighbouring towns.[2] In 1961, Vic Edwards, the owner of a tennis school in Sydney, travelled to Barellan to watch Goolagong play. She was eleven years old at the time.[4][5]

Edwards coached Goolagong and encouraged her to play tennis as a career. She left Barellan and moved to Sydney permanently in 1965, when she was aged 14. She lived with Edwards' family in their home.[4][5] She went to Willoughby Girls High School, finishing in 1968. She entered the New South Wales Championship in 1967. She played in the Australian women's singles championship in January 1968. By this time she was ranked as the best junior player in New South Wales.[5] Goolagong would later win the Australian championship four times; in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977. She came second place in 1971, 1972 and 1973.[4]

Grand Slam success[change | change source]

Goolagong won seven Grand Slam singles titles in her career. She played in eighteen Grand Slam singles finals; all except one of these were during the 1970s. Between 1971 and 1977, she reached the final of almost every Grand Slam singles event she entered.

She competed at Wimbledon for the first time in 1970. She won her first Grand Slam singles title in 1971, beating Helen Gourlay to win the French Open. A month later, she beat Margaret Court to win the Wimbledon Championship. The next year, she lost in the Wimbledon final to Billie Jean King. She lost to King again in the semi-final in 1973, and a third time in the final in 1975. She lost to Chris Evert in the final in 1976. She won the Wimbledon title for the second time in 1980, playing against Evert again in the final.[4] Goolagong had given birth to her daughter in 1977.[6] She became the first and only mother to win since Dorothea Douglass-Chambers 66 years before.[4]

Goolagong reached four U.S. Open finals; in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976. She lost them all: to Court, King, then twice to Evert. She is the only woman in the U.S. Open to have lost four finals one after the other.[4] Goolagong made seven finals at the Australian Open, each one after the other. She won four times in a row. After having won her first French Open in 1971, Goolagong stopped competing in the tournament after 1973. She returned in 1983, and this was the last Gland Slam singles tournament she competed in. She lost to Evert.

Grand Slam singles tournaments
Tournament '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 '72 '73 '74 '75 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 Win ratio
Australian Open 3R 3R 2R QF F F F W W W a  W 2R QF 2R 4 / 14
French Open W F SF 3R 1 / 4
Wimbledon 2R W F SF QF F F SF SF W 2R 2 / 11
US Open 3R F F F F QF 0 / 6
Win ratio 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 2 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 1 / 3 1 / 3 1 / 3 1 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 7 / 35
Year End Ranking 5 2 3 4 5 17 37
Legend
W Win
F Final
SF Semi-final
QF Quarter-final
3R Third round
2R Second round
Did not participate

Goolagong won six women's doubles titles. She won five at the Australian Open (in 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977), and one at Wimbledon (1974). She also won the mixed doubles title at the French Open in 1972.

Goolagong was ranked number one in the world for two weeks in 1976. However, it was not reported at the time because incomplete data were used to calculate the rankings. This was discovered in December 2007, 31 years later. She was the 16th woman to hold the top position.[7]

Awards and recognition[change | change source]

Evonne Goolagong Park, Barellan.

Goolagong was awarded Australian of the Year in 1971.[8] She was made an Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1972, and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1982.[5] She was entered into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.[4] She was made a part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1988.[5]

The National Museum of Australia holds a collection of items to remember Goolagong's career. This includes her 1971 and 1980 Wimbledon singles trophies, the trophy from her 1974 doubles win, and two racquets used in these tournaments.[9]

Personal life[change | change source]

Goolagong married British tennis player Roger Cawley on 19 June 1975.[10] After their wedding, the couple settled in Naples, Florida. They lived in the U.S. for eight years. They now live in Noosa Heads, in Queensland. They have two children: Kelly and Morgan.[11]

Career statistics[change | change source]

Goolagong played a total of 869 singles matches. Of these, she won 704 (81.01%). In Grand Slam singles tournaments, she won 82.09% of her matches (133 wins, 29 losses).

Records[change | change source]

Championship Years Record accomplished Other players who have achieved this record
Australian Open 1974–76 3 consecutive titles Margaret Court
Steffi Graf
Monica Seles
Martina Hingis
Australian Open 1971–76 6 consecutive finals Martina Hingis
Australian Open 1971–77[a] 7 finals overall None
Australian Open 1975–1977[a] 3 wins without losing a set Steffi Graf
US Open 1973–76 4 consecutive runners-up None

Footnotes[change | change source]

  • a  The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December. Goolagong did not play in the January edition but made the final in the December tournament.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Judy Klemesrud (1 November 1980). "Goolagong discusses aborigine roots". The Day. The New York Times News Service: p. 11. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=DAAhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DHUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1217%2C50984.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Patrick Allen (22 May 2012). "Living legend coming to Grafton". The Daily Examiner. http://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/news/living-legend-evonne-goolagong-tennis-grafton/1388395/.
  3. Kent Flannery (2012). The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. New York: Harvard University Press. p. 48. ISBN 9780674064973. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=yXYGjcSaARkC&pg=PA48.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 "Evonne Cawley AO MBE - Tennis". Legends. Sport Australia Hall of Fame. http://www.sahof.org.au/hall-of-fame/member-profile/?memberID=32&memberType=legends. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Rosemary Francis (31 July 2002). "Cawley, Evonne Fay Goolagong (1951 - )". The Australian Women's Register. Australian Women's Archives Project. http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/IMP0070b.htm.
  6. "Evonne Gives Birth To Daughter". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Associated Press: p. 37. 13 May 1977. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=wD41AAAAIBAJ&sjid=amcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5018%2C6049656.
  7. "Computer glitch denied Goolagong No. 1 WTA ranking in '76". ESPN Sports. Associated Press (ESPN Internet Ventures). 31 December 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3169960.
  8. Wendy Lewis (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5.
  9. "Evonne Goolagong Cawley tennis collection". National Museum of Australia. http://www.nma.gov.au/collections/highlights/evonne-goolagong-cawley-tennis-collection. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  10. "People in Sports; Evonne Goolagong Married". The New York Times: p. 14. 20 June 1975. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30C15F73858157493C2AB178DD85F418785F9.
  11. John Roberts (20 April 1993). "'Where Are they Now?' Evonne Goolagong". http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/where-are-they-now-evonne-goolagong-1456388.html.

More reading[change | change source]

  • Home! The Evonne Goolagong Story, Evonne Goolagong and Phil Jarrett (1993), ISBN 0-7318-0381-7

Other websites[change | change source]