A selection of Suzanne Lenglen's singles results
A selection of Suzanne Lenglen's singles results (1919-26)
By Mark Ryan
In her adult career, which spanned the years 1919-26, Suzanne Lenglen played around 300 singles matches in open tournaments (excluding exhibition matches), and won all 300 or so matches. The one exception was at the United States Championships in 1921, when Suzanne, unwell, withdrew from her second round match against Molla Mallory with the score 6-2, 30-0 in the Norwegian-born American’s favour. This retirement was considered a defeat.
Other than that match against Molla Mallory, Suzanne did not lose a singles match to anyone, anywhere, at any time during the aforementioned period. Indeed, she lost only two other sets in singles – one to Dorothea Lambert Chambers in the Challenge Round at Wimbledon in 1919 (Suzanne won this titanic struggle 10-8, 4-6, 9-7, saving two match points at 5-6, 15-40 in the third set) and one to Elizabeth Ryan, Suzanne’s regular doubles partner, in the Wimbledon quarter-final in 1924 (the final score was 6-2, 6-8, 6-4).
Only on one other occasion did Suzanne even face a set point, namely in the semi-finals of the World Hard Court Championships in Brussels in 1922, when Kathleen McKane led Suzanne 5-4, 40-15 in the first set before eventually losing 10-8, 6-2. The Englishwoman Kathleen McKane was one of Suzanne’s main rivals, but such was Suzanne’s dominance, so overwhelming was her superiority, that the term “rival” should be used cautiously. After all, if the aforementioned, uncompleted match against Molla Mallory at the 1921 US Championships is excluded, the adult Suzanne never lost in singles to anyone, and if a player never loses to anyone, how can she be said to have any rivals?
The following selected results reflect Suzanne’s overwhelming superiority in singles play. She won a number of tournaments, probably nine or ten, without dropping a single game. All of the tournaments featured below were played on clay (or a similar surface), with the exception of Wimbledon, the only grass-court tournament ever played in (apart from the 1921 US Championships). Most of these results are taken from the biography “Suzanne Lenglen – Tennis Idol of the ‘Twenties”, by Alan Little.
FR = First round; SR = Second round; TR = Third round; 4R = Fourth round; ACF = All-Comers’ Final; CR = Challenge Round
March 17-25, South of France Championships, Nice, France
FR: d. D. Wilson 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Mme Gerbault 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Mrs F. Jackson, walkover
SF: d. Mme Vassal 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Doris Wolfson 6-0, 6-0
September 8-13, Le Touquet, France
FR: d. Mme Mallet-Stevens 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Miss Burke 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. J. Marion 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Madeline O’Neill 6-0, 6-1
April 26-30, Beau Site Hotel, Cannes, France
FR: d. Dorothy Shepherd, walkover
QF: d. E. Sanders 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Sylvia Jung 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Sigrid Fick 6-1, 6-1
August 3-9, Ostend, Belgium
FR: d. Fernande Arendt 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Mlle Camont 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Anne de Borman 6-2, 6-1
FI: d. Helen Leisk 6-0, 6-0
August 15-23, Olympic Games*, Beerschot Tennis Club, Antwerp, Belgium
FR: d. Marie Storms 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Winifred McNair 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Lily Stromberg 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Sigrid Fick 6-0, 6-1
FI: d. Dorothy Holman 6-3, 6-0
* Suzanne won the Olympic singles title for the loss of only four games in five matches (three of the games she lost were to the Englishwoman Dorothy Holman, in the final).
January 3-10, New Year Meeting, Beau Site Hotel, Cannes, France
FR: d. N. Brown 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. R. Watson 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. J. Sanders 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Blanche Colston 6-0, 6-0
February 28-March 6, La Festa, Monte Carlo, Monaco
FR: a bye
SR: d. Sigrid Fick 6-2, 6-0
TR: d. M. Septier 6-0, 6-1
QF: d. M. Towler 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Geraldine Beamish 6-1, 6-0
FI: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-2, 6-0
May 28-June 5, World Hard Court Championships, Saint Cloud, Paris, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. Anne de Borman 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Suzanne Deve 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Irene Peacock 6-1, 6-0
FI: d. Molla Mallory 6-2, 6-3
May 13-21, World Hard Court Championships, Royal Leopold Club, Brussels, Belgium
FR: a bye
SR: d. H. van der Kindere 6-0, 6-0
TR: d. Marthe Dupont 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. P. Alison 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Kathleen Mc Kane 10-8, 6-2
FI: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-3, 6-2
June 26-July 8, The Championships, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
FR: d. M. Ellis 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Kathleen McKane 6-1, 7-5
TR: d. Evelyn Colyer 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-1, 8-6
SF: d. Irene Peacock 6-4, 6-1
FI: d. Molla Mallory 6-2, 6-0
July 29-August 6, Sporting Club, Deauville, France
FR: d. Mme Brochet 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Doris Wolfson 6-0, 6-1
SF: d. Marie Danet 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Marguerite Billout* 6-1, 6-1
* The married name of Marguerite Broquedis, the last player ever to take two sets off Suzanne Lenglen in a singles match, at the French Closed Championships in May 1914, when Suzanne was still aged 14. The score was 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
March 12-18, South of France Championships, Parc Imperial, Nice, France
FR: d. M. Tobin, walkover
SR: d. Ermyntrude Harvey 6-0, 6-3
QF: d. Diddie Vlasto 6-1, 6-1
SF: d. Molla Mallory 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-1, 6-0
May 19-27, World Hard Court Championships, Stade Français, Paris, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. Erna Redlich, walkover
TR: d. Giulia Perelli 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Marie Conquet 6-1, 6-1
SF: d. Geraldine Beamish 6-1, 6-2
FI: d. Kathleen McKane 6-3, 6-3
June 25-July 7, The Championships, Wimbledon*, London, England (Grass)
FR: a bye
SR: d. Peggy Ingram 6-0, 6-0
TR: d. Phyllis Covell 6-0, 6-3
4R: d. Diddie Vlasto 6-0, 6-1
QF: d. Marie Hazel 6-2, 6-1
SF: d. Geraldine Beamish 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Kathleen McKane 6-2, 6-2
* After receiving a “bye” in the first round, Suzanne won six matches for the loss of just eleven games (four of them in the final to Kathleen McKane).
September 3-10, International Championships of Spain, Recreation Club, San Sebastian, Spain
FR: a bye
SR: d. E. Raoul-Duval 6-1, 6-0
QF: d. M. Satrustegui 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. J. de Gomar 6-1 6-0
ACF: d. Nanette Le Besnerais 6-0, 6-1
CR: d. Germaine Le Conte (holder) 6-1, 6-0
September 24-October 1, Portuguese International Championships, Club de Cascaes, Lisbon, Portugal
QF: d. Mrs Ryder 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Angelica Plantier 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. M. Graham 6-0, 6-0
October 6-14, International Championships, Club de Turo, Barcelona, Spain
QF: d. Sgra Tarruella 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Rosa Torras 6-1, 6-0
FI: d. Maria-Luisa Marnet 6-0, 6-0
March 3-9, Riviera Championships, Menton, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. [????], walkover
TR: d. F. Dalton 6-1, 6-0
QF: d. Dorothy Shepherd-Barron 6-4, 6-0
SF: d. Phyllis Covell 6-2, 6-1
FI: d. Elizabeth Ryan 7-5, 6-1
April 19-27, International Championships*, Club de Turo, Barcelona, Spain
QF: d. J. de Vizacaya 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Eleanor Goss 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Maria-Luisa Marnet 6-1, 6-1
* Between this tournament and Wimbledon, Suzanne did not play any tennis because she was suffering from a severe case of jaundice. As a result, Suzanne was unable to play in several tournaments, including the Olympic Games, held in Paris in 1924. Helen Wills took the Olympic gold in Suzanne’s absence.
June 23-July 5, The Championships, Wimbledon*, London, England (Grass)
FR: d. Sylvia Lumley-Ellis 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Edith Clarke 6-0, 6-0
TR: d. Hazel Wightman 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-2, 6-8, 6-4
SF: lost to Kathleen McKane, retired
* After winning three consecutive matches without the loss of game, a first at Wimbledon, Suzanne lost her first set since August 1921, the third and last set she lost in competitive singles play after her fifteenth birthday.
After consulting a doctor, Suzanne withdrew from Wimbledon with a recurrence of the jaundice from which she had suffered earlier in the season. Kathleen McKane, who benefited from a walkover as a result of Suzanne’s withdrawal, went on to take the women’s singles title, beating Wimbledon debutante Helen Wills 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final, after coming back from 4-6, 1-4, 15-40 down.
Suzanne did not return to competitive play until the Beau Site Hotel tournament in Cannes, in late December 1924, where she played only doubles, winning the title with Elizabeth Ryan.
March 9-15, South of France Championships, Parc Imperial, Nice, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. Irene Maltby 6-1, 6-0
TR: d. Cristobel Hardie 6-1, 6-2
QF: d. Honor Woolrych 1-0, retired
SF: d. Diddie Vlasto 6-2, 6-0
FI: d. Ermyntrude Harvey, walkover
May 27-June 7, French Championships*, Saint Cloud, Paris, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. Simone des Landes de Cabot 6-0, 6-0
TR: d. Elisabeth Macready 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Evelyn Colyer 6-0, 6-2
SF: d. Helene Constostavlos 6-2, 6-0
FI: d. Kathleen McKane 6-1, 6-2
* This was the inaugural French Championships tournament (now the French Open). It would move to the Roland Garros stadium in 1928. After receiving a “bye” in the first round, Suzanne dropped only seven games in five matches.
June 22-July 4, The Championships, Wimbledon*, London, England (Grass)
FR: d. Aurea Edgington, walkover
SR: d. Elizabeth Ryan 6-2, 6-0
TR: d. Elsie Goldsack 6-1, 6-0
QF: d. Geraldine Beamish 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Kathleen McKane 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Joan Fry 6-2, 6-0
* After benefiting from a walkover in the first round, Suzanne dropped the first two games in her second match against Elizabeth Ryan before taking the next twelve; indeed, Suzanne won at least forty-eight of the next forty-nine games she played because Elsie Goldsack, Geraldine Beamish and Kathleen McKane were able to win only one game between themselves.
It is worth noting that Kathleen McKane was the defending champion and ranked number three in the world in 1925 by most experts, behind Suzanne and Helen Wills, the number two. In her meetings with Suzanne at the French Championships and Wimbledon in 1925, Kathleen McKane managed to win a total of three games, all of them in the final of the French Championships.
Suzanne’s feat of dropping only five games in five singles matches (six matches if the walkover she received in the first round is counted) is still a Wimbledon record.
August 31-September 6, Chateau d’Ardennes, Belgium
FR: d. P. Burnay 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Geneviève de Borman* 6-1, 6-0
SF: d. Marthe Dupont 6-1, 6-1
FI: d. Simone Washer** 6-0, 6-0
* Geneviève de Borman was the daughter of Paul de Borman and Anne de Borman (née de Selliers de Moranville), the best male and female tennis players in the early days of Belgian tennis (circa 1900-1914).
** Simone Washer (née??) was the wife of Jean Washer, one of the top Belgian tennis players of this period. Their son, Philippe Washer, was a top Belgian tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s.
February 1-7, Parc Imperial*, Nice, France
FR: d. S. Haefferty 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Mlle Marjollet 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Leslie Aeschlimann 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Elsa Haylock 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. M. Wright 6-0, 6-0
* Suzanne won the singles event at this tournament without losing a single game. In the final of the mixed doubles event at this tournament, Suzanne and the Italian player Count Hubert de Morpurgo beat the Swiss player Charles Aeschlimann and Helen Wills, 6-1, 6-2. Just after Christmas 1925, Helen Wills, accompanied by her mother, Catherine, had made the trip from California to the French Riviera so that Helen could play in a number of the tournaments there.
February 8-16, Carlton Club, Cannes, France
FR: a bye
SR: d. M. Bower 6-0, 6-0
TR: d. Mary Cambridge 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Lady Blanche Roundway 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Helene Contostavlos 6-0, 6-2
FI: d. Helen Wills 6-3, 8-6*
* Dubbed the “match of the century”, this was to be the only singles encounter between Suzanne Lenglen and Helen Wills, arguably the two best players of all time. It brought an unprecedented amount of interest to the sport of tennis – specifically, to women’s tennis. Suzanne was twenty-six years old at the time, Helen Wills was twenty.
In the doubles final at the same tournament, Suzanne, partnering her countrywoman Diddie Vlasto, beat Helen Wills and Helene Contostavlos, 6-4, 8-6. This was the third and last time Suzanne and Helen would meet across the net.
April 26-May 1, Rome Championships*, Rome, Italy
FR: d. Sig.na. Miclavez 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Pat du Cros 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. A. Macchi di Cellere 6-0, 6-0
FI: d. Maud Rosenbaum 6-0, 6-0
* This was another tournament which Suzanne won without losing a single game. It is unclear when this tournament was first held.
June 2-14, French Championships*, Racing Club de France, Paris, France
FR: d. Ilona Peteri 6-0, 6-0
SR: d. Dorothy Shepherd-Barron 6-0, 6-0
QF: d. Simone Mathieu 6-0, 6-0
SF: d. Joan Fry 6-2, 6-1
FI: d. Mary K. Browne 6-1, 6-0
* At this tournament Suzanne won five singles matches for the loss of only four games, still a record for a major tournament after the Challenge Round had been abolished. After her meeting with Helen Wills in the singles final at the Carlton Club in early February, Suzanne had not played in the singles events at any of the other Riviera tournaments. Helen Wills, on the other hand, had played in the tournaments in Beaulieu, Monte Carlo, Menton, Nice and at the Cannes Club, winning the singles event each time.
Helen Wills also entered the French Championships, but after winning her first match, against the French player Germaine Golding (6-3, 7-5), she became ill with what was diagnosed as acute appendicitis, and had to withdraw from her second round match against Kornelia “Kea” Bouman, of the Netherlands. Helen Wills, who had also planned to play in the Wightman Cup in England, and at Wimbledon, was unable to take part in any other tournaments in Europe in 1926.
After winning her second French Championships title, Suzanne did travel to Wimbledon, but a misunderstanding with the tournament referee there led her to withdraw from the tournament about half-way through (Kathleen McKane won the singles title for the second time). Soon afterwards, Suzanne turned professional.
Last edited by newmark401; Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:16 PM.