Sarah Virginia Wade, OBE (born 10 July 1945) is a British former tennis player. She won three Grand Slam singles championships and four Grand Slam doubles championships, and is the only British woman in history to have won titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments. She was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in singles, and No. 1 in the world in doubles. She won the women's singles championship at Wimbledon on 1 July 1977, in that tournament's centenary year, and was the last British tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament until Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012. She remains the last British female to have won a Grand Slam singles title. After retiring from competitive tennis, she coached for four yearsand has also worked as a tennis commentator and game analyst for the BBC and Eurosport.
- 2 Tennis career
- 3 After tennis
- 4 Major finals
- 5 Singles championships (55)
- 6 Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Born in Bournemouth in England, Virginia Wade learned to play tennis in South Africa, where her parents moved when she was one year old. Her father was the Archdeacon of Durban.When Wade was 15, the family moved back to England and she went to Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School and Talbot Heath School. She went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Sussex, graduating in 1966.
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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 (her birthplace). 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 US Open (and the prize-money of $6,000)($40,278 today), defeating Billie Jean King in the final.
Wade won 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 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In the finals, she faced Betty Stöve. 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. The Queen attended the Wimbledon championships for the first time in a quarter-century to watch the final. Wade beat Stöve in three sets to claim the championship, nine days before her 32nd birthday. 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.
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 to 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.
The 24 times that Wade played in the women's singles tournament at Wimbledon is an all-time record.
|Winner||1968||US Open||Grass||Billie Jean King||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||1972||Australian Open||Grass||||6-4, 6-4|
|Winner||1977||Wimbledon||Grass||||4–6, 6–3, 6–1|
|Runner-up||1969||US Open||Grass||||||0–6, 6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1970||US Open||Grass||||Margaret Court||6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1972||US Open||Grass||||||6–3, 1–6, 6–3|
|Winner||1973||Australian Open||Grass||||||6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||1973||French Open||Clay||||||6–2, 6–3|
|Winner||1973||US Open||Grass||||||2–6, 6–3, 7–5|
|Winner||1975||US Open||Clay||||||7–5, 2–6, 7–6(5)|
|Runner-up||1976||US Open||Clay||||||6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1979||French Open||Clay||||||3–6, 7–5, 6–4|
|Winner||1975||Los Angeles||Carpet||||||6–7(2), 7–6(2), 6–2|
|Runner-up||1977||New York City||Carpet||||Martina Navratilova||7–5, 6–3|
- Bold type indicates a Grand Slam championship
- 1968 – US Open, Bloemfontein, Bournemouth, East London, Dewar Cup-Crystal Palace
- 1969 – Cape Town, Hoylake, Dewar-Perth, Dewar-Stalybridge, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar-Crystal Palace, East London
- 1970 – German Indoors, West Berlin Open, Irish Open, Stalybridge, Aberavon
- 1971 – Cape Town, Catania Open, Rome, Newport-Wales, Cincinnati, Dewar-Billingham, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar Cup Final-London, Clean Air Classic
- 1972 – Australian Open, VS Indoors-Mass., Merion, Buenos Aires
- 1973 – Dallas, Bournemouth, Dewar-Aberavon, Dewar-Edinburgh, Dewar-Billingham, Dewar Cup Final-Albert Hall
- 1974 – VS Chicago, Bournemouth, VS Phoenix, Dewar-Edinburgh, Dewar Cup-London
- 1975 – VS Dallas, VS Philadelphia, Paris Indoors, Eastbourne, Dewar Cup, Stockholm
- 1976 – U.S. Indoor Championships, Dewar Cup
- 1977 – Wimbledon, World Invitational Hilton Head, Tokyo Sillook
- 1978 – Mahwah, Tokyo Sillook, Florida Open
|Australia||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||W||QF||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||2R||2R||1 / 5|
|France||A||A||A||A||A||4R||A||2R||QF||1R||QF||3R||2R||A||A||A||A||2R||3R||4R||3R||1R||1R||2R||0 / 14|
|Wimbledon||2R||2R||2R||4R||2R||QF||1R||3R||4R||4R||QF||QF||SF||QF||SF||W||SF||QF||4R||2R||2R||QF||3R||3R||1 / 24|
|United States||A||A||4R||2R||QF||4R||W||SF||SF||A||QF||QF||2R||SF||2R||QF||3R||QF||3R||3R||1R||2R||2R||A||1 / 20|
|SR||0 / 1||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 3||1 / 2||0 / 3||0 / 3||0 / 2||1 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 3||0 / 2||0 / 2||1 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 3||0 / 3||0 / 3||0 / 3||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 3||3 / 63|
|Year End Ranking||2||3||4||4||8||15||30||59||40||61||89|
A = did not participate in the tournament.
SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.