How many of you remember Evonne Goolagong? If you're a serious tennis fan, you have to remember her. And the rest of us should remember her, because her achievements in her chosen field epitomized a work ethic which we might well emulate. Moreover, Ms. Goolagong was the first ever Australian aboriginal woman to achieve fame as a professional athlete.
My first memories of her performances are from Wimbledon in 1971 when Evonne defeated fellow Aussie, Margaret Court, in the final. She went on from that point to achieve number one status in women's tennis (1976), supplanting Chris Evert for a time. She won seven Grand Slam titles, the last in 1980 when she defeated Tracy Austin in the semi and Chris Evert in the final at Wimbledon. The one Grand Slam title that eluded her was the US Open, where she competed to the final match four consecutive years only to come up short.
Today, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who resided in the US for several years, lives in her native land where she runs tennis camps with the help of her daughter, Kelly. Her son, Morgan Cawley, was a National Soccer League player.
Evonne Fay Goolagong Cawley, born 31 July 1951 in Griffith, NSW, Australia.
[Picture credit: International Tennis Hall of Fame]