Aussies at Roland Garros – Margaret Smith 1964
As we count down to French Open 2012, tennis.com.au will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros.
As we count down to French Open 2012, tennis.com.au will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros. The highlights will be revealed in chronological order and when all 20 have been named, you get the chance to vote for your No.1 achievement.
Following on from a stellar 1963 season, Smith was, not surprisingly, the top seed at Roland Garros 1964. Seeded second was Brazilian Maria Esther Bueno who had beaten Smith in the final of the US Championships just months earlier.
With the memory of that loss at the US Championships still fresh, Smith wanted to get one back on Bueno. But the Brazilan wasn’t going to hand it to the Australian.
Bueno came out swinging to take the first set 7-5, a scoreline that, if anything, proved to be the motivation Smith needed. The top seed conceded just one game in the second set as she took control of the match to level at one set apiece.
In the deciding set it was all Smith as she ran out a 5-7 6-1 6-2 winner.
Weeks later Bueno would turn the tables once again by defeating Smith in the Wimbledon final in a classic three-set stoush. Later that year Bueno would add the US Championships to her collection and return to her native Brazil a hero.
But ultimately it was Smith who had the last laugh in this rivalry winning the Australian Championships and Wimbledon in 1965 in the pair’s final two meetings in major finals.
In the doubles, Smith teamed with Lesley Turner to defeat Helga Schultze and Norma Baylon 6-3 6-1, and in the mixed she partnered Ken Fletcher to win their second mixed doubles title in a row on the Roland Garros clay.
Aussies at Roland Garros – the complete list to date
1964 Margaret Smith sweeps Roland Garros