Golden girl of tennis sells memorabilia

By John ShawSHE was the golden girl of British tennis and now her collection of sporting memorabilia is set to go under the hammer for about £15,000.

By John Shaw

SHE was the golden girl of British tennis and now her collection of sporting memorabilia is set to go under the hammer for about £15,000.

Christine Truman, the daughter of a City accountant, had a glorious tennis career, making her Wimbledon debut in 1957 at the age of 16, reaching the semi-finals.

A year later she beat Althea Gibson to help Britain win the 1958 Wightman Cup for the first time in 20 years and in 1960 she won the French, Italian and Swiss championships.

At the time Miss Truman was ranked number two in the world behind Maria Bueno and her attractive playing style and an exemplary manner on court made her popular with tennis fans.

She achieved her dream of reaching the final of Wimbledon in 1961, only to lose to fellow Briton Angela Mortimer 4-6 6-4 7-5.

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Now some of the mementoes of Miss Truman's tennis career are to be auctioned next month at Sotheby's in London.

The 63-year-old star, now Mrs Christine Janes and living in Aldeburgh, said last night: "The collection has been in the loft since we moved here six years ago and I have been sorting things out.

"It's been a wrench to sell them - it's my tennis life really - yet you can't hang onto these things forever. I've kept my scrapbooks back, photographs and a Pathe Newsreel of the Wimbledon final."

Mrs Janes, now a commentator for BBC Radio Five Live, said a CD-Rom of the entire collection had also been made and copies given to her four children as a permanent record.

She will be in the commentary box at the Wimbledon next month and may even be watching her daughter, Amanda, 26, a rising star on the professional circuit, on court as has been nominated for a wild card at the championships.

Among the items going under the hammer are the Slazenger racket used by Miss Truman in the Wimbledon ladies singles final, which is expected to fetch £700, and her runners-up medal, which has been given an estimate of between £700 and £1,000.

Her Wightman Cup winners medal, together with a platinum-coated silver brooch specially commissioned to mark the cup's 50th anniversary, are expected to make about £800, while Miss Truman's trophy from the French Singles is forecast to sell for about £1,500.

The auction will be conducted by Graham Bud, of Graham Bud Auctions, in association with Sotheby's, on June 9.

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