From the front page:
On September 23rd 1970, the birth of women's professional tennis was launched when nine players signed $1 contracts with World Tennis publisher Gladys Heldman to compete in a new women's tour.
The Original 9, as they were called, included Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, Kerry Melville, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kristy Pigeon, Judy Dalton, Valerie Ziegenfuss and Julie Heldman.
Heldman, along with her friend Joe Cullman from Philip Morris and several others, provided women's professional tennis the opportunity the Original 9 and so many others sought. The inaugural $7,500 Virginia Slims of Houston was established on September 23, 1970 and it was the event that became the groundbreaker for all others.
Maria's thoughts on what the Orginal 9 achieved: " I thought it was important for me and all my fans to take the time to recognize Billie Jean King and the Original Nine for everything they have done for women's tennis. I am personally grateful for their vision and their "fight" for all the generations that followed them. I am very aware and humbled of what these 9 women have done for my career."
I agree. I'm old enough to remember those days 40 years ago--when BJK declared women's tennis "part of the Movement". FYI: Back then, Movement with a capital "M" connoted the popular left of the 1960s-70s, when civil rights, anti-war, the embryonic women's movement & other forces combined in an unstoppable force that changed the face of America.
Those women & their work should be thrust in the face of everyone concerned with the sport. Not least because their REALITY stands in such striking contrast to today's infestation of corporate corruption & country-club politics. That the Association pretends homage to BJK as a living icon does not redeem it. The Original 9 were a cadre of rebels--a far cry from the WTA of today.
Thanks for making this thread Paul.
Yes, the original nine deserve a great level of respect, especially considering how many, including those directly involved in tennis, are completely oblivious of their great efforts directed towards truly establishing women's tennis as a notable sport.
Well done girls.
Nice to see Maria paying homage to the Originial 9 on her website. She truly loves this game, the history and everything. [:D]
I thought it was important for me and all my fans to take the time to recognize Billie Jean and the Original Nine for everything they have done for women's tennis. I am personally grateful for their vision and their 'fight' for all the generations that followed them. I am very aware and humbled of what these nine women have done for my career.
Fab picture, giane! [H] Thanx for posting. It takes surprisingly little adjustment for style & fashion to see the resemblance to players we admire today. But then, the leaders of THAT "association" WERE players--not bureaucrats. Bureaucrats don't make revolutions.
There is no such thing as "permanent revolution". The revolution establishes a new order that, over time, becomes as stagnant & corrupted as the old order. That's when we need to remember the originals for who they were--and make a new revolution.
Forty years after the revolution, I say it's high damned time.
[quote user="Hamoudi"]So why they call them original ?! They only call that on -untouched by Chinese- goods.[/quote]
Yeah, there is a predictable national chauvinism in this promotion. But that doesn't detract from their impact on the global sport.
Still, you point is well-taken. With several posts on "The First Russian Tennis Babe" in WTA, I try to draw interest to a reality separate from the typical Yankeefied "It's ALL about US..." [:P] There are other threads in the history of women's tennis totally separate from and which, in fact, PRE-DATE American feminist obsessions by decades. [;)]