Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat (née Fromholtz; born 10 August 1956) is an Australian former professional tennis player who reached a highest singles ranking of world No. 4 in 1979.

Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat
Country (sports)Australia
ResidenceMelbourne, Australia
Born (1956-08-10) 10 August 1956 (age 67)
Albury, Australia
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Turned pro1973
Retired1990
PlaysLeft-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$1,145,377
Singles
Career record429–223 (65.8%)
Career titles8
Highest rankingNo. 4 (19 March 1979)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenF (1977Jan)
French OpenSF (1979, 1980)
WimbledonQF (1979, 1987)
US OpenSF (1976)
Doubles
Career record134–141
Career titles6
Highest rankingNo. 56 (14 September 1987)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1977)
French OpenSF (1979)
WimbledonQF (1979)
US OpenQF (1979)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1987, 1988)
French OpenSF (1975)
WimbledonF (1980)
US Open2R (1983)
Team competitions
Fed CupW (1974)
In 2019, Fromholtz was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame, commemorated by a bronze bust.

Career

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Fromholtz began playing tennis at the age of seven. She left school at the age of 16 to play in international tournaments. She turned pro in 1973 and joined the WTA Tour.[citation needed]

At the age of 17, she participated in the professional tennis circuit, winning the singles title at a dozen tournaments in 1973, but the rules at the time did not permit prize money to be paid to participants under 18 years of age.[1]

She reached the finals of the Australian Open in January 1977, losing to fellow Australian Kerry Melville Reid in two sets. She was a semifinalist at the French Open in 1979 and 1980. She also reached the semifinals of the US Open in 1976.

 
Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat in Wimbledon Mixed Doubles with Tom Okker in the background, 1985

Fromholtz won eight WTA Tour singles titles and reached a career-high ranking of world No. 4 in 1979. Partnering with Helen Gourlay Cawley, she won the Australian Open women's doubles in January 1977. She had career wins over Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Margaret Court, Virginia Wade, Pam Shriver, and Gabriela Sabatini. She holds an 8–7 career record over King.

Fromholtz met French businessman Claude Balestrat at a New Year's Eve party in 1981, and the couple wed in Dural on 26 December 1982.[2]

On 30 August 2000, Fromholtz was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for her commitment to tennis.[3]

In 2019, Fromholtz was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame, commemorated by a bronze bust located in Garden Square, within Melbourne Park.[4]

Grand Slam finals

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Singles: (1 runners-up)

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Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1977(J) Australian Open Grass   Kerry Melville Reid 5–7, 2–6

Doubles: (1 title)

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Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1977(J) Australian Open Grass   Helen Gourlay   Kerry Melville Reid
  Betsy Nagelsen
5–7, 6–1, 7–5

Mixed doubles: (1 runner-up)

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Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1980 Wimbledon Grass   Mark Edmondson   Tracy Austin
  John Austin
6–4, 6–7(6–8), 3–6

WTA career finals

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Singles: 24 (8–16)

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Winner – Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–1)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Virginia Slims, Avon, Other (8–15)
Titles by surface
Hard (0–4)
Grass (4–5)
Clay (3–1)
Carpet (1–6)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. May 1973 Guildford Clay   Kazuko Sawamatsu 7–5, 4–6, 6–3
Win 2. Jun 1973 Chichester Grass   Brigitte Cuypers 6–1, 6–0
Win 3. Jun 1973 Beckenham Grass   Janet Newberry 7–5, 0–6, 6–1
Loss 1. Jul 1973 Newport Grass   Julie Heldman 6–1, 1–6, 9–11
Loss 2. Nov 1973 Adelaide Grass   Janet Young 5–7, 1–6
Win 4. Nov 1973 Sydney Clay   Ann Kiyomura 6–1, 7–5
Loss 3. Aug 1974 South Orange Grass   Pam Teeguarden 5–7, 3–6
Loss 4. Nov 1974 Johannesburg Hard   Kerry Melville 3–6, 5–7
Loss 5. Aug 1975 Indianapolis Clay   Chris Evert 3–6, 4–6
Loss 6. Octr 1976 Phoenix Hard   Chris Evert 1–6, 5–7
Win 5. Nov 1976 Sydney Clay   Leanne Harrison 6–1, 6–0
Loss 7. Dec 1976 Sydney Grass   Kerry Melville Reid 6–3, 2–6, 3–6
Loss 8. Jan 1977 Australian Open Grass   Kerry Melville Reid 5–7, 2–6
Loss 9. Oct 1977 Atlanta Carpet   Chris Evert 3–6, 2–6
Loss 10. Feb 1978 Detroit Carpet   Martina Navratilova 3–6, 2–6
Win 6. Dec 1978 Sydney Grass   Kerry Melville Reid 6–1, 1–6, 6–4
Win 7. Dec 1978 Sydney Grass   Wendy Turnbull 6–2, 7–5
Loss 11. Jan 1979 Hollywood Carpet   Greer Stevens 4–6, 6–2, 4–6
Win 8. Mar 1979 Boston Carpet   Sue Barker 6–2, 7–6(7–4)
Loss 12. Mar 1979 Carlsbad Hard   Chris Evert 6–3, 3–6, 1–6
Loss 13. Oct 1979 Minneapolis Carpet   Evonne Goolagong 3–6, 4–6
Loss 14. Sep 1980 Minneapolis Carpet   Tracy Austin 1–6, 6–2, 2–6
Loss 15. May 1985 Sydney Carpet   Pam Shriver 3–6, 4–6
Loss 16. Mar 1987 Phoenix Hard   Anne White 1–6, 2–6

Doubles: 12 (5-1–6)

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Winner – Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (1–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Virginia Slims, Avon, Other (4–1-6)
Titles by surface
Hard (2–2)
Grass (1-1–3)
Clay (2–1)
Carpet (0–0)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Draw 1. 9 July 1973 Newport Grass   Julie Heldman   Patti Hogan
  Sharon Walsh
1–5 Shared –
final rained out
Loss 1. 17 December 1973 Hobart Grass   Jackie Fayter   Helen Gourlay
  Karen Krantzcke
2–6, 1–6
Win 1. 8 April 1974 Phoenix, Arizona Hard   Janet Young   Ann Kiyomura
  Betsy Nagelsen
w/o
Loss 2. 18 November 1974 Johannesburg Hard   Margaret Court   Ilana Kloss
  Kerry Melville
3–6, 5–7
Win 2. 19 May 1975 Hamburg Clay   Renáta Tomanová   Paulina Peisachov
  Kazuko Sawamatsu
6–3, 6–2
Win 3. 8 March 1976 Tallahassee, Florida Hard   Julie Anthony   Virginia Ruzici
  Mariana Simionescu
6–2, 7–5
Loss 3. 26 December 1976 Sydney Grass   Renáta Tomanová   Helen Gourlay
  Betsy Nagelsen
4–6, 1–6
Win 4. 3 January 1977 Australian Open Grass   Helen Gourlay   Kerry Melville Reid
  Betsy Nagelsen
5–7, 6–1, 7–5
Loss 4. 23 September 1977 Hilton Head Clay   Virginia Wade   Evonne Goolagong
  Kerry Melville Reid
2–6, 6–3, 4–6
Win 5. 14 May 1979 Vienna Clay   Marise Kruger   Ilana Kloss
  Betty Ann Stuart
3–6, 6–4, 6–1
Loss 5. 26 November 1979 Melbourne Grass   Anne Smith   Billie Jean King
  Wendy Turnbull
3–6, 3–6
Loss 6. 28 February 1983 Palm Springs Hard   Betty Stöve   Kathy Jordan
  Ann Kiyomura
2–6, 2–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

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Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# DNQ A NH
(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 Career SR
Australian Open (Jan) 1R A QF 2R 3R A F Held in December NH 3R 1R 1R 1R 0 / 13
French Open A A A 3R 3R A A A SF SF 3R A A A 1R A 2R A A A 0 / 7
Wimbledon A A 1R 1R 1R 4R A 4R QF 4R 3R A 1R A 2R 4R QF 2R 1R A 0 / 14
US Open A A A 3R 2R SF 4R 3R 4R 4R 1R 2R 1R A 1R A 1R 2R A A 0 / 13
Australian Open (Dec) Held in January A A A A 1R 2R A 2R 3R NH Held in January
SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 2 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 47
Year-end ranking 20 5 8 10 6 12 38 32 75 99 30 25 21 56 112 NR

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Dianne's tenth title of year", Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 1973
  2. ^ "Fromholtz Marries". The Canberra Times. 31 December 1982. p. 14. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Dianne Balestrat". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Albury tennis product Dianne Balestrat inducted into Hall of Fame". The Border Mail (subscription required). Retrieved 14 January 2024.
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