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Rosemary Casals Biography

Rich Game, Poor Background, Fought For Women's Improvements, Slims Tour Takes Shape


American tennis player

Rosemary Casals teamed with Billie Jean King to become one of the top doubles tandems ever in women's tennis. On the court, Casals disdained the conservative, baseline strategy that had been the trademark of the women's game until the late 1960s. Casals, however, may have been most effective as a rebel off-court. She, along with pioneer King and others, fought for better pay and media attention for the women's game and helped originate the separate pro tour in the 1970s.

She won 11 singles and 112 pro doubles titles overall, including 11 Grand Slam doubles titles, primarily with King. "Tiny package, explosive contents. Tennis was no waiting game at the baseline," longtime tennis journalist Bud Collins wrote of Casals on his web site. "She went for the jugular fast, a serve-and-volleying acrobat whose incredible arsenal of strokes and tankful of competitive verve were necessities merely to stay alive among the sisterhood that established female professional tennis during the 1970s."

Rosemary Casals

Sketch by Paul Burton

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Famous Sports StarsTennis