In 1974, Virginia Wade joined the New York Sets, bringing some much-needed experience, energy and passion to the fledgling team. Due in part to her strong singles and doubles play, Wade’s New York Sets won the WTT Championship two years later in 1976, easily defeating the Golden Gaters.
When Billie Jean King joined the Sets in 1977, she and Wade formed an intimidating doubles team and made the already successful franchise even more powerful. Wade had an action-packed year in 1977, winning the WTT Championship with the New York Apples and claiming her first (and only) championship victory at Wimbledon in women’s singles. It was a win that set off an extraordinary celebration in her native Great Britain. Wade lent her talent to the Golden Gaters in 1978, resulting in several dramatic matches. That season, Wade led her team in a stunning 30-22 defeat of the Los Angeles Strings, who had been on a seven-match winning streak. She also defeated former doubles partner Billie Jean King, now of the New York Apples, in a thrilling matchup; the event ended with a Supertiebreaker and a 24-23 victory for the Golden Gaters.