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Virginia Wade Speaker Profile

Former Tennis Player

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Virginia Wade Biography

Virginia Wade was born July 10, 1945 and is a former English tennis player. She won three Grand Slam singles championships and four Grand Slam doubles championships. She won the women's singles championship at Wimbledon, England in that tournament's centenary year on the date July 1, 1977, the last time any Briton has won a singles championship at that tournament. Incidentally she was also the last Briton to win any Grand Slam singles championship.

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 become a professional and captured the women's singles championship at the first U.S. Open (and the prize-money of $6,000)($36,749 in current dollar terms), defeating Billie Jean King in the final.

Wade's second Grand Slam singles championship came in 1972 at the Australian Open. There, she defeated the Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the finals 64, 64.

Wade's most notable victory came at Wimbledon, England, in 1977. It was the sixteenth 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 62, 46, 61. In the finals, she faced Betty Stve. Not only was 1977 the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wimbledon Championships, but it was also the 25th year of the reign (the Silver Jubilee) of Queen Elizabeth II. TThe Queen attended the Wimbledon championships for the first time in a quarter-century to watch the LADIES final. In the final, Ms. Wade beat Ms. Stve in three sets to claim the championship, nine days before her 32nd birthday. Ms. Wade received the trophy from Queen Elizabeth, and the audience at Centre Court burst out into a chorus of For She's a Jolly Good Fellow! to celebrate her triumph.

Ms. Wade also won four Grand Slam women's doubles championships in teaming Margaret Smith Court two of them at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open.

Ms. Wade was usually coached by Jerry Teeguarden, the father of the future professional tennis player, Pam Teeguarden.

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 through 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.



Virginia Wade Booking and Hiring Information

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