Dianne (Fromholtz) Balestrat

  • Age60
  • Born10 August 1956
  • Birth PlaceAlbury, NSW
  • LivesMelbourne, Australia
  • Height165 cm
  • PlaysLeft-handed
  • Playing StatusRetired

Left-handed Balestrat (nee Fromholtz) started playing tennis at the age of seven and joined the WTA tour at age 16.

A Fed Cup player from 1974 to 1983, she held an outstanding win-loss record of 35-11. She was part of a successful Australian team which reached seven finals and that would win the competition in 1974 in Naples.

At 19, she cracked the top five, going on to peak at world No.4 in March 1979. She spent five years in the WTA top 10.

She had three career wins over Chris Evert and four over Martina Navratilova, with other career wins over Billie Jean King (8-6 record), Wendy Turnbull, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Margaret Court, Virginia Wade, Pam Shriver, Sue Barker, Bonnie Gadusek, Gabriela Sabatini and Catarina Lindqvist.

She was absent from the tour between 1981 and 1982 due to a car accident and retired at the 1981 US Open, but after 15 months Balestrat was eager to play again.

Without a ranking, she received two wildcards and struggled through 1984 in qualifying. However, she made it back through the ranks to reach world No.21 in 1986.

At Wimbledon 1987 she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Navratilova. In 2004 she won the Australian Open Mixed Doubles Legends’ event with Geoff Masters, and was a three-time finalist (1998, 1999, 2003) with Fred Stolle.

She married French businessman Claude Balestrat in 1983.

Balestrat finished her career with 30 singles titles and 19 doubles titles.

Career Highlights:

> Australian Open: singles finalist (1977), doubles champion (1977, with Helen Gourlay-Cawley)
> Roland Garros: singles semifinalist (1979, 1980), doubles semifinalist (1979)
> Wimbledon: singles quarterfinalist (1979, 1987), doubles quarterfinalist (1979), mixed doubles finalist (1980)
> US Open: singles semifinalist (1976), mixed doubles semifinalist
> Avon Championships (WTA Finals) semifinalist (1979)
> three-time Australian Hardcourt Champion (1973, 1975, 1979)
> Clairol Crown finalist (1979)


Fed Cup 1974 – 1983
> first player to be selected for representation in 10 consecutive years
> owns a combined singles and doubles win-loss record of 35-11
> part of winning Australian team in 1974, and runner-up team of 1975-80


> World Team Tennis: Most Valuable Player (1976)
> WTA Sportsmanship Award recipient (1979)
> Voted Best Left-Handed Female Player by Australian Tennis History (1980)
> ITF Award for Services to Tennis (1997)
> Australian Sports Hall of Fame (1997)
> Australian Sports Medal recipient (2000)
> Queensland Ambassador to the Sport of Tennis (2000)

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