Virginia Wade recalls how the Queen inspired her triumphant 1977 Wimbledon run



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Virginia Wade recalls how the Queen inspired her triumphant 1977 Wimbledon run

British tennis legend Virginia Wade reveals Queen Elizabeth II coming to The Championships in 1977 inspired her to make a strong run and lift her first title Wimbledon title. Wade, who captured her first Grand Slam title at the 1968 US Open and the second at the 1972 Australian Open, heard just before the 1977 Wimbledon that the Queen was coming to The Championships.

At that time, Wade felt she wasn't living up to her potential at Wimbledon. Then on July 1, 1977 - just nine days before her 32nd birthday - Wade lifted her first and lone Wimbledon title. “They closed registrations for Wimbledon about six weeks earlier and I was like, ‘I never reached my potential at Wimbledon and I’m running out of time here,'” Wade told the PA news agency.

“Then I heard the Queen was coming and I literally said to myself, ‘I’ll be there. It might be my only chance and I will win. So I kind of had that fate. It was a motivation because everyone gets very nervous about all these big events, so determination has to overcome trepidation”.

The Queen presented Wade the trophy

The day Wade became a Wimbledon champion and got presented the trophy by the Queen will always be one of the best and greatest days of her life. “There was so much noise and singing from the crowd I could just read her lips saying ‘Well done’ I think.

I said 'sorry' because I couldn’t hear the first time and not much better the second time. I know tennis wasn’t her favorite sport and it was a great honor for her to be a part of it. It’s been very special for so long, but we’re running out of people to remember it.

The people who said, 'Oh, my daughter was born that day” or 'We had the afternoon off to watch.' It is repeated so many times that it sticks in your memory. It is more than an honor to be associated with her," Wade added.

Great Britain hasn't had a female Wimbledon singles champion since Wade. Last year, Great Britain had their first female Grand Slam champion since Wade after Emma Raducanu won the US Open.