/The Day Virginia Wade Saw the Omens, and Won a Championship

The Day Virginia Wade Saw the Omens, and Won a Championship

After Wade’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the big-serving Betty Stove of the Netherlands, the queen presented Wade with the Venus Rosewater Dish. The din from the crowd, which spontaneously broke out into “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” was so great that, to this day, Wade has no idea what the queen said to her.

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Wade at Wimbledon in 1978. She reached the semifinals that year.

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Steve Powell/Getty Images

The queen has been back to Wimbledon only once, to watch Andy Murray play a second-round match against Jarkko Nieminen in 2010.

On a steamy late morning on the eve of this year’s Wimbledon, Wade walked regally into Le Pain Quotidien on 77th Street and Second Avenue in New York. The place was packed, but no one recognized the former champion, just 10 days shy of her 72nd birthday and 40 years removed from that glorious day on the grass.

Wade’s Wimbledon achievements are in the news again with the success this year of Johanna Konta, the first British woman to reach the semifinals since Wade in 1978. On Thursday, Konta plays Venus Williams for a spot in the…

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