The former British professional tennis player, Virginia Wade, is not married and does not have any children.
Sarah Virginia Wade OBE is the only British woman in history to have won titles at all four major tennis tournaments, including three major tennis singles and four major doubles championships. In addition, she is the last British woman to win the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship in the previous eight years, known for making the right decision at the right time.
Wade had a superb all-court game based on a smooth backhand and a forehand that she could play flat or with topspin. Also famed as a consistent stroke machine, Wade was a line thinker; her actions were deliberate and methodical. She was skilled at managing the pace and wouldn’t be pressured into making foul shots. Let’s read more into the life of a visionary tennis legend.
Does Virginia Wade Have A Partner?
Yes, Virginia Wade has a partner, even though she is not married. She is in a relationship with Mary Lou Mellace. Reportedly, they have been dating for two years; however, they are yet to tie the knot. Wade, a tennis star, clearly stated that she and Mary Lou weren’t yet married.
Virginia’s partner, Mary, is a writer and actress. She performed in the television shows Law and Order and Not Fade Away. To illustrate, she was seen as Judge Antonia Mellon in Law & Order from 1999 to 2006 in 9 episodes.
Mary gained attention for being Virginia Wade’s partner. According to the archives of her prior careers, she also appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Virginia has released a book called “Courting Triumph,” an autobiography. The cost of the publication, Courting Triumph, is $44.19 on Amazon.
During the U.S. Open semifinals, Mary was recently spotted cheering for Virginia, a previous world champion. USTA President and Chairman of the Board Michael McNulty was with the pair.
Virginia Wade’s Playing Career And 3 Grand Slams
Before Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open, Wade was the most recent British tennis player to win a major singles tournament. She was the one to win a major singles title until Emma Raducanu won the 2021 US Open.
Virginia coached for four years after quitting playing tennis, and she has also worked as a tennis pundit and game analyst for the BBC, Eurosport, and CBS in the United States.
Wade set a record by competing at Wimbledon 26 times, 24 of which were in the women’s singles. The amateur period ended, and the open era began during Wade’s tennis career.
The tennis player won the British Hard Court Open in Bournemouth in 1968 while competing as an amateur. She declined the £300 first prize and decided to play strictly for monetary gain.
Five months after going pro, Virginia defeated Billie Jean King in the first US Open women’s singles final to claim the title and $6,000 in prize money (equivalent to $46,754 today).
In 1972, the veteran player won her second Major tennis singles title at the Australian Open. She won the match 6-4, 6-4 over Australian Evonne Goolagong. In the 1973 Birthday Honors, Virginia was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her contributions to lawn tennis.
The Year To Remember- The 1977 Wimbledon
1977 was a year to remember as Wade won Wimbledon, defeating Betty Stove.
Wade had been competing at Wimbledon for 16 years when she defeated the defending champion Chris Evert in the semifinals 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to advance to her first Wimbledon final. Nine days before her 32nd birthday, she defeated Stove in the finals to win three sets.
The Wimbledon Championships were established 100 years ago in 1977 and was also Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee year. The Queen attended Wimbledon for the first time since 1962 to see the championship match.
As the Queen Elizabeth passed away recently, Wade spoke to the BBC Breakfast stating she was her inspiration. In Virginia’s words, ‘I would never have won Wimbledon if I hadn’t found out the Queen was going to be there.’
Virginia was the subject of This Is Your Life in December 1977 when Eamonn Andrews surprised her at the National Sports Stadium in London’s Crystal Palace. With Margaret Smith Court, Wade also captured four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles: two in the U.S Open Tennis Tournament, one at the Australian Open, and the French Open.
Wade accumulated $1,542,278 in career prize money and 55 professional singles victories throughout her career. From 1967 to 1979, she maintained a top-10 position in the global rankings. Her career lasted 26 years in all.
After the 1986 tennis season, she gave up playing singles; the following year, she gave up doubles. She and Romania’s Virginia Ruzici won the women’s doubles title at the Italian Open in 1983 at 37.
Wade’s Father Was The Archdeacon Of Durban
Virginia Wade was born on July 10, 1945, in Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom. The tennis legend was born to parents Joan and Canon Wade. Her father served as Durban’s archdeacon. Her mother, who is of British descent and has a degree from Rhodes University, was born there.
While Virginia was still competing, she covered tennis events for the BBC since 1981. She was chosen as the first female member of the Wimbledon Committee in 1982.
In the 1986 Birthday Honours, Wade was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contributions to lawn tennis. Furthermore, she was inducted into Newport, Rhode Island’s International Tennis Hall of Fame, in 1989.
Inside Virginia Wade’s Early Career And Upbringing
Virginia Wade was born in Bournemouth, England, to a British family. As aforementioned, her father was reputed to be Durba’s archdeacon. In the Anglican church, an archdeacon is a senior cleric who serves as a bishop’s assistant.
To add further, an archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, St. Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches, and certain other Christian groups, falling below a bishop and above most other clergies.
Wade’s parents relocated to South Africa when she was a little child. Virginia moved with them to South Africa when she was only a year old. She also picked up the tennis game while in South Africa. She returned to England at age 15, where she also finished her education.
Even in the 1900s, when women were not frequently visible in sports, Virginia Wade’s parents encouraged her tennis career. She is of British descent yet has a South African and occasionally an Australian accent. Moreover, she also speaks with an upper-middle-class English accent.
The future tennis player attended Talbot Health School in Bournemouth and Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School after the family relocated to England when she was 15. She played tennis for Wimbledon County Girls’ Grammar School in 1961.
Virginia continued her studies at the University of Sussex, earning a degree in mathematics and physics in 1966. The amateur period ended, and the open era began during Wade’s tennis career. She achieved two major firsts in 1968.
As a beginner, she triumphed in the first open tennis match of the British Hard Court Open in Bournemouth. She declined the first-place reward. In 1977, she took home the U.S. Open championship title. Wade earned the title of Tennis Legend since she was rated No. 2 in the world in singles and No. 1 in doubles.
Virginia Wade Is A Millionaire
Virginia Wade is a millionaire, with 1.5 million USD depicting her net worth. Her career winnings of $1,542,278 also aid her fortune. The 77-year-old former tennis player currently resides in New York, USA. Furthermore, Wade has a cottage and a family home in Kent.
Virginia was a fierce competitor with a body ideal for tennis and a desire to play the game on her particular terms and in her special way. Her assertiveness, court smarts, willingness to take calculated chances, and propensity for seizing the initiative were the cornerstones of her game.
After getting into the ready stance and hopping into position to move laterally or grab a short ball and attack the net, Wade would not hesitate for a minimum of five seconds before unleashing her serve.
Undoubtedly, no woman of her day served the country better than she did. Eventually, Virginia became a pundit for the BBC in her own Great Britain and CBS in the United States.