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Karsten Braasch vs Williams Sisters One 'battle of the sexes' sports event that has curiously not gotten much attention was the impromptu beatdown that an obscure male German professional tennis player named Karsten Braasch handed to both Serena and Venus Williams during the 1998 Australian Open. At that event, the Williams sisters confidently walked into the Australian ATP office and boldly announced that either one of them could beat a top-200 male player. The 30-year-old Braasch, who had been ranked 38th in the world at his peak in 1994 but had dropped to 203rd by 1998, accepted the sisters' crazy challenge. On January 26, 1998, with no advance publicity, the three of them went to a distant practice court to play a couple of sets. There were no officials and no TV cameras present--and only a smattering of spectators who happened to wander near the court by chance. Serena, then 16, was blasted 6-1 by Braasch. Venus, a year older than her sister, fared only slightly better, losing 6-2. Braasch gleefully rubbed in his dominance by smoking cigarettes and drinking beers during the changeovers. Serena, who would win the women's title at the U.S. Open later that year, was humbled by the shellacking. "It was extremely hard," she told reporters who descended upon the challenge match. "I didn't know it would be that hard. I hit shots that would have been winners on the WTA Tour, and he got to them easily." When Braasch was asked if either of the Williams sisters could beat a top male player, he opined, "Against anyone in the top 500, no chance--because I was playing like [number] 600 today."
Tags: tennis  Karsten  Braasch  Williams  sisters   
Added: 12th September 2012
Views: 40813
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rod Laver Wins 1969 Grand Slam Here are a few highlights from the last set of the 1969 men's singles final at the U.S. Open. Rod Laver's four-set victory over fellow left-handed Australian Tony Roche meant Laver won all four major championships (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) in one calendar year. No other male has achieved that feat in the Open Era of tennis. Laver's backhand is beautiful to behold. Check out how rough the grass courts were at Forest Hills that rainy year! Grass court players often wore spikes then. The score of the final was 7-9, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. It was the last year at the U.S. Open when tiebreakers weren't played.
Tags: tennis  Rod  Laver  Grand  Slam  1969 
Added: 25th February 2013
Views: 1644
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Posted By: Lava1964
Missing Beaumont Children - 1966 This is one of the saddest stories I've ever come across: Australia's most famous abduction case. On January 26, 1966, three siblings under the age of 10 vanished from Glenelg Beach on Australia Day, the country's national summer holiday. To many Australians it is the day their country lost its innocence. The three Beaumont children - Jane, nine; Arnna, seven; and Grant, four -- headed alone to the resort town of Glenelg Beach, a five-minute bus ride from their Adelaide home at about 10 a.m. Due back at 12 noon, their parents raised the alarm when they failed to return by 3:30 p.m. Several witnesses said the three Beaumont children had been spotted in the presence of a blond man at the beach. He was never identified and the children have not been sighted since. Their disappearance spawned one of the largest police investigations in Australian criminal history. Understandably, it forever changed parents' attitudes in Australia about how they supervised their youngsters. In all likelihood, the children, who had often traveled to the resort without their parents, had become friendly with their abductor in earlier visits to Glenelg Beach. After one such visit, Arnna told her mother that Jane "had a boyfriend" at the beach. The mother assumed Arnna was talking about another child--not an adult. On the morning the Beaumont children vanished, Jane bought some treats from a refreshment stand with a one-pound note. Her mother had only given Jane enough coins to cover the children's two-way bus fares. The case remains unsolved.
Tags: Australia  missing  children  Beaumont  abduction 
Added: 3rd June 2014
Views: 2408
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
1966 Rocky Marciano Interview Here is an interesting clip of former world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano being interviewed on Australian television in 1966. Most of the clip features Marciano's assessment of the reigning heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay).
Tags: boxing  Rocky  Marciano  interview 
Added: 17th April 2013
Views: 1395
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Posted By: Lava1964
Maureen Connolly - Tragic Tennis Star You can watch tennis for the next hundred years and you'll never witness anyone match the dominance that Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly had at the majors between 1951 and 1954. She entered nine Grand Slam singles events--and won every one. Connolly first took up tennis at the age of 10 at San Diego's public courts. Although she was naturally left-handed, her first coach, Wilbur Folsom, converted Connolly to a right-hander. She became an excellent baseline player who, despite her small 5'5" frame, could strike powerful shots with either her backhand or her forehand. By the time Connolly was 14, she was the junior (under 18) female champion of the United States. She began competing in adult events shortly thereafter. Connolly won Forest Hills (the amateur-era forerunner of the US Open) just before her 17th birthday in 1951. In 1952 Connolly won both Wimbledon and Forest Hills. She didn't enter the French or Australian championships. In 1953, however, Connolly entered all four major championships and took them all, becoming the first female to achieve the calendar Grand Slam--a feat that's only been equaled twice in all the years since. In capturing the Grand Slam, Connolly lost just a single set in the four tourneys (to Susan Chatrier in a quarterfinal match in Paris). Entering the 1953 Wimbledon final, Connolly had only dropped eight games in five matches! At the Australian Championships, Connolly only lost 10 games in six matches before the final! Connolly began 1954 just as strongly. She successfully defended both her French and Wimbledon titles. Sadly, about two weeks after her third successive Wimbledon triumph, Connolly was badly injured in a horseback riding mishap when her horse was spooked by a passing cement truck. Her right leg was so badly fractured that it was nearly amputated. She was not quite 20 years old but her tennis career was over. In her nine Grand Slam singles finals, Connolly dropped just one set--and that was in her first one. Shortly after announcing her retirement from competitive tennis in 1955, Connolly married Norman Brinker, who had been a member of the American equestrian team at the 1952 Olympics. They had two daughters. Connolly was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1966. She battled the disease for three years before succumbing to it on June 21, 1969. She was just 34 years old.
Tags: tennis  Maureen  Connolly  grand  slam  champion 
Added: 17th September 2017
Views: 1178
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Posted By: Lava1964

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