Buy a classic Guardian photograph: Virginia Wade at Wimbledon, 1977

Virginia Wade vs Betty Stove at Wimbledon Ladies Final, 1 July 1977

It has been 42 years since a British woman won the single’s title at Wimbledon – Virginia Wade, who beat Betty Stöve in the final. Such was the importance of the occasion that the Queen made a rare appearance to present Wade with her trophy. Ken Saunders’ photograph captures Wade’s strength and muscular energy, which contrasts with the stillness of the crowd behind. This year, several British women are hoping to follow in Wade’s shoes, including Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter, Katy Dunne and Katie Swan. Andy Murray broke the men’s drought in 2013, 77 years after Fred Perry won his last final. If we wait that long, it will be 2054 before a British woman wins again.

Words: Hannah Booth

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