BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Tennis: Wimbledon  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Statistics
Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Friday, 14 June, 2002, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Wade hopes for Jubilee repeat


Virginia Wade's victory at Wimbledon in 1977 was a cause for national celebration.

Wade beat Holland's Betty Stove 4-6 6-3 6-1 in the final to add extra spice to the Silver Jubilee festivities.

And the memories are still fresh in her mind as she assesses the chances of another Jubilee win for Britain at this year's championships.


When I heard the Queen was going to be there on finals day, I thought I'm going to be there too
Virginia Wade

"The most incredible thing was the noise. The place was in uproar," she told BBC Sport Online.

"It was just an extraordinary atmosphere. I had never seen anything like it.

"It was like when England had won the World Cup in 1966.

"The crowd even started singing 'For She's a Jolly Good Fellow', which was so emotional."

Winning Wimbledon is every tennis player's dream, but for Virginia the feeling was even better than she had imagined.

She has yet to come down from cloud nine 25 years later.

"In the third set, I got on such a roll and was riding the crest of a wave as the crowd were getting right behind me.

Virginia Wade lifts the Wimbledon trophy
Wade beat favourite Chris Evert to reach the final
"I remember hitting a terrific return and suddenly it was all over.

"I had this conviction I was going to win, right from the start of the championships. Nothing was going to stop me."

The one person who should have stopped Virginia was the legendary Chris Evert, who was top seed.

Evert was the dominant force in the game at the time, and the pair met in the semi-finals.

"That match was really my final. She was so tough and never missed a ball. She was unbeatable.

"Tennis was so strategic in those days, so you had to really work out how to play matches and place the ball."

Virginia had been away playing World Team Tennis in the USA, but had been keeping abreast of all the Jubilee celebrations at home.

"When I heard that the Queen was going to be there on finals day, I thought well I'm going to be there too."

Tim Henman lost to Goran Ivanisevic last year
Henman's hopes were ended by Ivanisevic last year
Sadly, with all the noise, Virginia could not make out a single word of what the Queen said to her during the presentation ceremony.

The Queen has only ever made two appearances at the All England Club during her reign.

It is still not clear if she will return this year to cheer on another potential Jubilee winner.

"When Tim Henman lost in last year's epic semi-final to Goran Ivanisevic, I thought maybe there's a reason for this.

"It's fate, next year's the Jubilee and then it will be his turn," said Virginia.

There is no question that Henman is among the favourites for this year's title, especially with both Ivanisevic and Pat Rafter absent and Pete Sampras on the descent.

The big question is, when the going gets tough, can Tim keep going?

"He has got such a good chance, but I don't know whether it will help him to be one of the favourites," added Virginia.

"There's going to be a lot of hype. He needs to shelter himself from all the publicity and just get on with the task at hand.

"A couple of long matches early on will help toughen him up."

Expectations

Virginia can empathise with Henman when it comes to being the 'Great British Hope'.

"By 1977, everyone had discounted me from winning Wimbledon as I was 31.

"Sue Barker was by then the great British hope. I've always thanked Sue for taking the pressure off me," she joked.

Tim may have Greg Rusedski to help shoulder the expectations, but a continued good run by England in the World Cup will help divert attention away from him if he gets close to his dream once again.

British tennis fans will hope they are all singing along to a rendition of 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' on men's finals day this year.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
1977 Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade
"It was an incredible year"
News, reports and features from our Wimbledon site

Men's singles

Women's singles

Review the action

More coverage

Draws/seeds

Wimbledon fun

Internet link
See also:

10 Jun 02 | Tennis
06 Jun 02 | Tennis
08 Jun 02 | French Open
Links to more Wimbledon stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wimbledon stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales