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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - January 17, 2016

Aussie Tennis - Then and Now!

Remember when there was a tennis court on every corner and every Aussie kid played tennis? It was a social requirement in every bush town!

Jim was never much good at tennis or tennis history so he has brought along as SPECIAL GUEST someone who was pretty good - 13 time GRAND SLAM winner - Lesley Turner Bowery.  Lesley won two GRAND SLAM singles, seven women's doubles, and four mixed doubles. She was runner up in 14 other Grand Slam events.

1 Lesley was on the court with a Court twice in French Open finals in 1965. How were the results different but the same?
  She defeated Margaret Court in singles and won the doubles WITH her!
2 What tennis record held by Lesley's husband Bill can never be broken?
  He was the last man to win the Australian Open as an amateur in 1968

Who has memories of watching Lesley play?

Lesley twice won the French singles title, defeating Ann Hayden Jones in 1963 and Margaret Court in 1965, she was the runner-up at four Grand Slam singles tournaments. She was runner up in French open to Court in 1962 and to Francoise Durr in 1967 and was runner up at The Australian Open to Court in 1964 Nancy Richey Gunter in 1967. She won the Italian Open in 1967, against Maria Bueno, and 1968, against Margaret Court.

Lesley was inducted into Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997 and received the Sarah Palfrey Danzig Award in 1997 - and award given to the female player who by character, sportsmanship, manners, and spirit of cooperation has contributed to the growth of the game of tennis. In 1998 she was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame. She Received the ORDER OF AUSTRALIA in 2009 For service to tennis as a player, coach and mentor to junior players, and to the community.

•Ask Lesley about her childhood and career. Her memories of Aussie tennis in the '60s and her thoughts on how it has changed.
• Her memories of coaching in the modern era and her hopes for Aussie Tennis in the future and her predictions.

Lesley's Grand Slam Record

    • Singles runner-up: 1964, 1967
    • Women's Doubles champion: 1964, 1965, 1967
    • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1963, 1966, 1968, 1976
    • Mixed Doubles champion: 1962, 1967
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1963


  • Singles champion: 1963, 1965
  • Singles runner-up: 1962, 1967
  • Women's Doubles champion: 1964, 1965
  • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1962, 1963, 1964


  • Women's Doubles champion: 1964
  • Mixed Doubles champion: 1961, 1964


  • Women's Doubles champion: 1961
  • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1964
  • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1962


IF........by Jim Haynes

Remember was tennis was big news? By golly,
We had some great players back then,
Laver and Emerson, Anderson, Stolle
I wish we could see them again.
There was that wonderful player Lew Hoad,
Whose philosophy was to attack it.
And there was always a tennis court just down the road
And each Aussie kid owned a racquet.

Millions of our kids were playing the sport
Just about every kid was a learner,
All the girls wanted to be Margaret Court,
Evonne Goolagong or Lesley Turner.
Boys played and girls played - sometimes together,
Tennis is that kind of game,
Tennis is perfect for our Aussie weather,
'Have a go' was our great claim to fame.

We had more great champs, Tony Roche and Pat Cash,
Helen Gourley, the Woodies, Pat Rafter.
And of course there was Newcombe, with his moustache,
A great era, but what happened after?
Those free tennis courts seemed to all disappear,
Kids stopped playing, there was nowhere to do it.
Occasionally Aussies found someone to cheer,
We had some glory with young Leyton Hewitt.

What happened Australia? Why did we stop
Letting kids run around in the sunshine?
Now we drive 'em to school and we drive to the shop,
Watching sport on TV is our 'funtime'.
I know times have changed, I just like to dream,
That's the kind of a bloke that I am,
And I'd jump off the couch and I'd cheer and l'd scream,
I'd an Aussie could win a Grand Slam!


Check out Stone the Crows Festival - held at Wagga Wagga - Every Easter

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