Judy Chaloner missed out on much limelight when she became New Zealand's first, and as yet only, winner of a women's grand slam tennis title 32 years ago.

As Aucklander Marina Erakovic progressed through the doubles at Wimbledon this week, Chaloner experienced renewed interest in her career as she coached at the Campbell Park Tennis Club.

"It's quite strange, getting recognition on account of someone else's success," she told the Weekend Herald in her courtside office, as a television cameraman scouted the deserted club courts on a chilly winter's day.

The Onehunga-raised Chaloner, our No 1 women's player throughout most of the 1970s, won the 1979 Australian Open doubles title with an Aussie named Diane Evers.

The status of any doubles event, even at a Grand Slam, rather depends on which star players choose to take part and women's tennis was regarded as a little sister to the men back then.

Even Chaloner downplayed her achievement at the time, and says the media and public reaction hardly persuaded her to do otherwise.

She isn't one to go into detail about every game, set and match although she does recall the winning cheque was, by today's standards, a modest A$1100 ($1425).

"It's so long ago I can hardly remember much about the matches, although I recall the seeds kept falling by the wayside," says Chaloner, who was delighted to see Erakovic "helping put New Zealand tennis back on the map".

She also smiles while reflecting on the similarities between Erakovic's Wimbledon run and her own surprising triumph on the Kooyong courts in Melbourne.

Chaloner and Evers had been friends but it was the first time they had played as a doubles team, although the Open's online database lists the duo as the third seeds.

On a typically hot Melbourne day, they won a three-set final over an Australian and Dutch pairing, with Chaloner wearing her favourite yellow outfit she had hurriedly washed the night before. But not everything went to plan.

This was a changeover period for tennis - the post-wooden, pre-graphite era. aluminum racquets may have arrived, but the Australian Open was still played on grass.

Typically for the times, says Chaloner, the women's doubles final was shunted off centre court because a men's match had gone over time.

"I did feel robbed by that but that's how women's tennis was treated then - men were very much the centre of attention, the top priority," she says.

"I'm getting more attention now than I did at the time. I may have got a couple of paragraphs on the front page when I got home but that was about it. "I didn't even realise the significance at the time. But it's great looking back on something that can never be taken away from me.

"It probably means more to me today than it did back then. My name was on that trophy before those of Serena and Venus."

Her actual trophy arrived in the post 25 years after she won the title, the Australian officials having decided to retrospectively honour winners from a period in which personal trophies were not handed out.

The only time Chaloner has held her trophy aloft was at the Cornwall Park Primary School, near her club's courts, during one of the engagements where she encourages kids in tennis and life.

"I don't think we would have held the trophy aloft anyway in my day."

Chaloner is happy to use her Aussie open title to motivate youngsters and help drum up membership at Campbell Park, where she has coached for 15 years.

She doubts that New Zealand-based youngsters to match Chris Lewis and Co will emerge again, and recounts the story of a brilliant 13-year-old Auckland prospect who headed to the United States just a couple of weeks ago.

"You know I think that nowadays, the big break can come down to luck - a good week, a good draw, and Marina had some luck even getting into the draw this week," says Chaloner, who spent eight years as a touring professional and rates a second round Wimbledon appearance as her other career highlight.

She adds: "It is very tough now but I'd love to be playing in this era.

"It is so exciting ... the equipment, the glamour, the physical preparation, the knowledge about nutrition, all those sort of things.

"The women have a profile to match the men."

As for her doubles partner, Evers, Chaloner believes she moved to the United States and the pair haven't had any contact for over 30 years.