Valerie Ziegenfuss (29 June 1949) is an former american female professional tennis player and the daughter of the Basketball coach George Ziegenfuss.

Career reviewEdit

She started off as an amateur player at the beginning of the 1970s before turning professional. She is most famous for being one of the so-called "Original 9" along with eight of her fellow players, who rebelled against the United States Tennis Association in 1970.[1]

Their actions brought about the creation of a new tennis tour, the Virginia Slims Circuit, which was the basis for the WTA Tour.[2]

Victories Edit

During her career she reached the fourth round at the French Open (in 1972) and the US Open on two occasions (1969 and 1975). She reached one singles final the Virginia Slims of Oklahoma in 1972. She had far more success in doubles tournament, with twelve doubles final appearances, including six tournament victories.

She won a bronze medal in doubles in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City partnering Jane Bartkowicz.

“Original 9” Edit

In 1970 the top women tennis players started to become frustrated at the lack of equality within tennis in terms of prize money on offer for male and female players.[2] The publisher Gladys Knight (who wrote for "World Tennis" magazine) offered up $5000 of her own money which would allow the players to negotiate their own contracts. Ziegenfuss and the other players, including Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals, signed $1 contracts in the summer of 1970 and formed their own tour, the Virginia Slims Circuit.

Tournaments Edit

In 1975, Ziegenfuss played in an exhibition tournament, the CBS Pressure Point. The event featured the top 16 female players in the world rankings. It was held on clay courts in Puerto Rico and consisted of 13-point tiebreaks, with the winner being the first player to reach seven points. Other top players alongside Ziegenfuss included Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, Kerry Melville and Chris Evert.

Private life Edit

Valerie today lives in San Diego. After her retreat from professional tennis she first worked as a tennis coach. Later she started a realtor business. Her daughter Allison Bradshaw also was a professional tennis player in the 1990's. Valerie is divorced from her husband and also has a son Michael.

WTA Tour finalsEdit

Singles 1Edit

Grand Slam 0
WTA Championships 0
Tier I 0
Tier II 0
Tier III 0
Tier IV & V 0
Olympic Games 0
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 15 February 1972 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA Hard Rosie Casals 4-6, 1-6

Doubles 10 (6-4) Edit

Grand Slam 0
WTA Championships 0
Tier I 0
Tier II 0
Tier III 0
Tier IV & V 0
Olympic Games 0
Titles by Surface
Hard 3
Clay 1
Grass 0
Carpet 2
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. 27 May 1967 La Jolla, California, USA Hard Stephanie Grant Jane Bartkowicz
Sue Shrader
8-6, 9-7
Runner-up 2. 26 October 1968 Olympics-Mexico City Exhibition, Mexico Clay Peaches Bartkowicz Rosy Darmon
Julie Heldman
0-6, 8-10
Winner 3. 1969 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Hard Kerry Harris Emilie Burrer
Pam Richmond
6-3, 9-7
Winner 4. 18 March 1971 Detroit, Michigan, USA Carpet Mary-Ann Eisel Jane Bartkowicz
Judy Tegart Dalton
2-6, 6-2, 6-3
Winner 5. 20 February 1972 Washington DC, USA Carpet Wendy Overton Judy Tegart Dalton
Françoise Durr
7-5, 6-2
Runner-up 6. 5 June 1972 Hamburg, Germany Clay Wendy Overton Helga Masthoff
Heide Orth
6-3, 6-2, 0-6
Runner-up 7. 15 January 1973 San Francisco, California, USA Hard Wendy Overton Margeret Court
Lesley Hunt
1-6, 5-7
Winner 8. 22 November 1976 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard Laura Du Pont Yvonne Vermaak
Elizabeth Vlotman
6-1, 6-4
Runner-up 9. 9 January 1977 Washington DC, USA Carpet Kristien Shaw Martina Navrátilová
Betty Stöve
5-7, 2-6
Winner 10. 5 November 1978 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay Françoise Durr Laura Du Pont
Regina Maršiková
1-6, 6-4, 6-3



  1. The Tour Story - One of the greatest stories in sport
  2. 2.0 2.1 Following in the path of a pioneer
  3. The Tour Story - One of the greatest stories in sport
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