It took 40 years but our own life member and former tennis coach Judy Chaloner and her playing partner Dianne Evers finally got to hold the Australian Open Women’s Doubles trophy they won in 1979.
The presentation came after 40 years because back in the 1970s women’s tennis was of far less significance to organisers than it is now and there was no trophy presentation for them in 1979. In fact the women’s doubles final was played on a back court as the centre court was in use.
There was very little media coverage of their win in NZ. Judy says,
“I did feel robbed by that but that’s how women’s tennis was treated then – men were very much the centre of attention, the top priority.
“I’m getting more attention now than I did at the time. I may have got a couple of paragraphs on the front page when I got home but that was about it. I didn’t even realise the significance at the time. But it’s great looking back on something that can never be taken away from me.
“It probably means more to me today than it did back then. My name was on that trophy before those of Serena and Venus.”
Judy remains NZ’s only female Grand Slam champ. She is pictured here with Dianne, finally with their hands on the trophy forty years later.
You can read more about Judy and Dianne’s win in a NZ Herald item from 2011: Tennis: Basking in grand slam glory 32 years later.
See also the 1979 Australian Open – Women’s Doubles Wikipedia page.