Wills Moody had a certain icy elegance that predated Evert's. Generations of female players wore white eyeshades because Wills Moody did. She was an artist whose drawings and paintings were exhibited in the U.S. and abroad and, as Navratilova later did, she wrote a mystery novel, Death Serves an Ace.
After her retirement Wills Moody stayed out of the headlines, surfacing only occasionally to reveal that she had remained a fan of tennis and had a special fondness for Navratilova, whose ninth Wimbledon singles title in 1990 broke Wills Moody's record. But Wills Moody's Garbo-like mystique was not the reason she will remain an almost mythic American sports figure—for that, credit her extraordinary tennis game.