1973


Charleston tennis news compiled by Mike Saia.
Non-cited stories by James Beck, Post and Courier.

Winner: 2018 USTA South Carolina Media Excellence Award

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(05/06/73)  The News and Courier: Casals Captures Sea Pines Tourney
HILTON HEAD ISLAND: (UPI)--Rosie Casals, perennial runner up in the big tournaments, won the largest check ever given to a female athlete Saturday by defeating Nancy Richey Gunter 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the finals of the NBC-Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament.

The $30,000 prize put the 24-year-old San Francisco resident in second place in the money race with $58,850, trailing Margaret Smith Court who has won nearly $80,000 so far.

Afterwards, the exhausted Miss Casals expressed thanks to "Nancy, Margaret, Billie Jean (King) and everyone else who lost,"

She attributed her success to "Getting in shape and concentrating." Miss Casals, who is known for her exuberant style of play, added, "You'll go a long way for $30,000-Even to the point of concentrating."

The disappointed Mrs. Gunter, who won three tough matches to make the finals Saturday at the Sea Pines Racquet Club here, said "I just missed a couple of shots I shouldn't have missed."

Miss Casals has reached the semifinals of every match on the Virginia Slims tour this year, but her last win was in August of 1972.

Three years in a row she was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and also has come close at Forest Hills.

She had been rated by some as the best doubles player in the world-and four times teamed with Mrs. King to take the doubles crown at Wimbledon.

Both Miss Casals and Mrs. Gunter played cautiously, with Miss Casals using a deadly drop shot-frequently a favorite weapon against Mrs. Gunter.

"There were a couple of drop shots in the second set that probably were the turning point," Miss Casals said.

This was the last match of the winter-spring half of the Virginia Slims tour. From here the players go to Japan and then move to the European circuit.

The matches this week were taped by NBC and will be televised May 19 and 20.


Qualification Rounds

Q1 Vicki Berner d Sue Hole 6-4 3-6 6-3
Q1 Joy Schwikert d Farel Footman 6-2 6-1
Q1 Sue Vinton d Betty Ann Hansen default
Q1 Jill Schwikert d Pat Faulkner 6-3 6-2
Q1 Cynthia Doerner d Sharon Banzhaf 6-2 6-1
Q1 Penny Moor d Mimi Henreid 6-3 6-2
Q1 Kristien Kemmer d Toni Novack 6-2 6-3
Q1 Tory Fretz d Sue Pritula 6-1 6-0
Q1 Julie Anthony d Tam O'Shaughnessy 6-1 6-0
Q1 Susan Anawalt d Madeleine Pegel 6-2 5-7 6-4
Q1 Ceci Martinez d Judy Alvarez 6-7 6-4 7-5
Q1 Laurie Fleming d Renee Blount default
Q1 Pam Austin d Ann Koger 6-0 6-2
Q1 Bonnie Logan d Sylvia Hooks 6-0 4-6 6-4

Q2 Mona Schallau d Berner 6-1 4-6 6-4
Q2 Vinton d Joy Schwikert 7-5 7-5
Q2 Doerner d Jill Schwikert 6-2 7-6
Q2 Fretz d Anthony 1-6 6-3 7-6
Q2 Martinez d Anawalt 6-3 6-3
Q2 Fleming d Austin 6-4 6-3
Q2 Downs d Logan 6-3 6-2

Preliminary Rounds

P1 Ceci Martinez d Pam Teeguarden 6-2 5-7 6-0
P1 Kathy Kuykendall d Fretz 6-4 6-3
P1 Laura Dupont d Vinton 6-0 6-2
P1 Marcie Louie d Downs 6-3-7-6
P1 Laurie Fleming d Laura Rossouw 6-3 6-1
P1 Wendy Paish d Doerner 6-2-6-3
P1 Francoise Durr d Schallau 6-1-6-2
P1 Kristien Kemmer d Karen Krantzcke 4-6 7-5 6-1

P2 Kuykendall d Martinez 6-3 6-3
P2 Louie d DuPont 4-6 6-2 6-3
P2 Fleming d Paish 6-1 6-2
P2 Durr d Kemmer 6-0 6-1

Main Draw=16

1R Margaret Smith Court [1] d Kathy Kuykendall [Q] 6-4 6-2
1R Nancy Richey Gunter d. Francoise Durr [Q] 6-2 4-6 7-6 (5-4)
1R Betty Stove d Val Ziegenfuss 2-6 6-4 6-4
1R Kerry Melville [3] d Janet Newberry 6-3 6-4
1R Rosie Casals [4] d Kerry Harris 6-4 4-6 6-1
1R Laurie Fleming [Q] d Julie Heldman 6-0 6-2
1R Wendy Overton d Lesley Hunt 1-6 6-2 7-5
1R Billie Jean King [2] d Marcie Louie 6-1 6-4

QF Gunter d. Court [1] 7-5 1-6 7-5
QF Melville [3] d. Stove 6-4 5-7 6-4
QF Casals [4] d. Fleming [Q] 6-1 6-1
QF King [2] d. Overton 6-4 6-1

SF Gunter d. Melville [3] 6-3 7-5
SF Casals [4] d. Billie Jean King [2] 6-4 7-5.

FI Rosie Casals [4] d. Nancy Richey Gunter 3-6 6-1 7-5

DF Durr/ Stove d. Casals/ King 3-6 6-4 6-2

The first FCC and first ever women's event to offer 100,000 in prize money. Rosie wins the richest prize ever up to this point-$30,000 for first place. Only two points from defeat, Rosie tried an audacious drop shot that hit the line. The exciting finish before a national TV audience had the capacity crowd of 2,000 on the edge of their seats.

Both finalists had to overcome huge barriers to reach the final. Casals beat her doubles partner King for the first time in their last 17 matches, a losing streak that went all the way back to 1971. Meanwhile Gunter crafted 3 upsets that included escaping 9 match points over two different matches.

In the first round vs. Francoise Durr , Gunter survives 6 match points in all, 3 with winners from 2-4 in the sudden death tiebreaker in the 1R after a grueling 2 and half hours.

The quarters see even more drama when Margaret Court takes off her shoes and plays in socks. Margaret was battling cramps, a cold, and Nancy's sharp play. At 2-0 in the third the Aussie started to cramp, a persistent problem throughout her career. Her pace slowed, the umpire twice had to warn her about delays, and the drama built as Court took off her shoes. It seemed worth the effort as Court got to match points at 5-2 40-15, but Gunter saved one with a brave forehand volley and then ran away with the next 5 games.

Off court, a peace deal is finally signed between the USTA and Virginia Slims. There will be no bans on the Slims women at the slams, and the USTA will sanction Slims events in 1974-giving women's tennis one united tour. The unified tour won't come about until 1974 though, so the women will continue to have two competing circuits for much of the year.