Evonne Goolagong

R. Day of Peoria, Ill., asks, 'Whatever happened to...?'

The spritely Australian teenager with the awesome ground strokes astounded the world in 1971 by winning the women's championship at Wimbledon as a 19-year-old. She did it again in 1980 with a second Wimbledon title as the mother of a three-year-old girl.

Goolagong, who is part Wiradjuri Aborigine, grew up in the sun-baked town of Barellan, Australia. When her father, an auto mechanic and sheep shearer, found some old tennis balls in the back of a used car he'd bought, the young Goolagong found her calling. She was later "discovered" at a tennis clinic and groomed into a superstar.

Between 1974 and 1977, she won four Australian Open singles titles. In 1975, she married Roger Cawley, a British businessman. The next year, she made it to the finals of every event she entered.

Goolagong-Cawley retired in 1983. She lived in the United States until 1991, then returned to Australia. Her autobiography appeared in 1993.

She has been a consultant to the Australian Sports Commission's indigenous-sports program and involved in other efforts to help Aborigines and children living in the outback. She has competed on the Virginia Slims Legends tennis tour since 1997.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Evonne Goolagong
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today