Tennis Birthdays – Nov. 2, 2015

A global assortment of birthdays today.

Julia Görges (GER), 27

A long way to go before she catches up with Kleenex queen Jankovic, but she's hanging in there.

A long way to go before she catches up with Kleenex queen Jankovic, but she’s hanging in there.

The comely German had her moments near the top of the game, but wasn’t able to sustain it.

Görges celebrates No. 27 ranked at No. 50, and finished her season with first-round losses at Wuhan and Linz. She’s having to qualify for the bigger events now, and only once since early March has she gotten past the second round of ANY event.

That was at the French Open, where she reached the round of 16, where she defeated Coco Vandeweghe and Caroline Wozniacki in the first two rounds before losing 6-2, 6-2 to Sara Errani.

She also reached the fourth round at the Australian Open. Take out those two results, and Goerges’s ranking would be more in the No. 110 range, not exactly spitting distance from her career best No. 2015 in March, 2012.

In doubles, things have gone better; she’s currently ranked No. 24, and won New Haven this season with Lucie Hradecka as she has teamed up with a lot of different partners. She played for a long time with countrywoman Anna-Lena Groenefeld. They were quarter-finalists at Wimbledon last year and semi-finalists at Australia this year, but it seems to pretty much have run its course by Miami even though they did team up for a first-round loss in Birmingham. Groenefeld, of late, has played with American Coco Vandeweghe.

Görges also reached the mixed doubles final at the 2014 French Open with Nenad Zimonjic.

Kenneth Robert Rosewall (AUS), 81

Ken Rosewall-Wikipedia

(WIkipedia)

Nicknamed “Muscles”, Ken Rosewall was one of the legendary Aussie brigade that bridged the gap between the amateur and professional eras, probably costing many of them quite a few major titles in the process.

Fed-RosewallRosewall was a pro during those gap years from 1962-68, so the math isn’t hard to do. Because of his pro status, he didn’t even play Davis Cup from 1956 to 1973.

Gritty, undersized, tenacious, he still won 23 majors in all, eight of them in singles.

In the days before the rankings were computerized, Rosell was considered to be in the top 20 every year from 1952 to … 1977, when he would have been 42. He won the Australian Open in 1972, at age 37, and reached the Wimbledon final in 1974.

Rosewall was destroyed by young buck Jimmy Connors there.

But still, to have done that at age 39 was nothing short of impressive. He also reached the US Open final that year.

He still looks great – and the hair remains on point.

 

Rosalyn Nideffer (USA), 55

Rosalyn Nideffer-WimbledonThe former Rosalyn Fairbank of South Africa, Nideffer married her sports psychologist and has lived in the San Diego area for a long time now.

She reached No. 15 in singles in 1990 and No. 12 in doubles in 1986 and won 10 titles in doubles on the WTA circuit.

Her best efforts at a Slam were back-to-back quarterfinals in singles in 1988 and 1989. She won the French Open women’s doubles twice, in 1981 and 1983.

She’s still active playing, on the ITF Seniors Circuit.

She has a career seniors record of 40-4; imagine if she actually worked at it. She only plays tournaments when they’re at home in San Diego.

Nideffer and another former top-20 American and Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Gretchen Rush, teamed up at the ITF World Senior Championships in La Baule, France, this spring. Pretty formidable team in the Maria Bueno Cup (50 and over), to say the least.

 

Olga Barabanschikova (BLR), 36

Olga Barabanschikova Olga Barabanschikova-WTAmugThe Belarussian got into the top 50 in 1998 and won seven titles on the ITF circuit.

She was done by 2004, at age 24, although she made a nice run in her final event – a $50K in Russia where she went from the qualifying to the semis, beating Galina Voskoboeva and Anna Chakvetadze along the way.

She represented at the Olympics in 1996 and 2000, reaching the semis of the doubles in 2000 with Natasha Zvereva.

In her post-tennis life, Barabanschikova seems to have launched a line of sportswear (all designs made in the USA).

She introduced a new collection a few weeks ago back home in Belarus.

In the interim, there are certainly a lot of pics of her on the Internet such as the one at left – a fairly long way from her girl-next-door look on her WTA Tour bio pic (at right).

Apparently she has a singing career, too.  Can she actually sing? We’ll let you be the judge.

This is pretty epic. Not sure if it happened in someone’s living room or not.

At least she’s keeping busy! Looks like she’s added a few, um, assets along the way to *boost* her career. LOL.

 

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