Re: The women's singles event at the Closed French Championships (1897-1914)
It is relatively easy to say with certainty who won the women's singles event at the Closed French Championships from 1909 onwards. In 1909, the Closed French Championships as a whole were held outside Paris for the first and only time, the venue being the Société Athlétique de la Villa Primrose club in the port city of Bordeaux, on the south-west coast of France.
It was in Bordeaux that Jeanne Matthey won the women's singles title at the Closed French Championships for the first time. In the last match, which might have been an All-Comers' Final, she beat a Mme Gallay, 10-8, 6-4. This player was not the Jacqueline Gallay who would play lawn tennis in the 1920s because Jacqueline Gallay was born in 1903, one year after her sister, Violette, who would also play competitive lawn tennis. Neither the first name nor the maiden of the Mme Gallay who was runner-up at the Closed French Championships in 1909 is known.
Jeanne Matthey had a lawn tennis-playing sister called Cécile, but Jeanne was by far the better player of the two.
In 1910, Jeanne Matthey retained the singles title at the Closed French Championships which from this year onwards were played on the clay courts of the Racing Club de France in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.
In 1910, Jeanne Matthey beat Germaine Régnier in the Challenge Round, either 8-10, 6-1, 9-7 or 10-8, 1-6, 9-7 (one French newspaper reported the result incorrectly).
In 1911, Jeanne Matthey won the singles title at the Closed French Championships for the third year in a row. In the Challenge Round she beat Marguerite Broquedis, 6-2, 7-5. The latter player (b. 17 April 1893) was arguably the best female lawn tennis player to come from France before Suzanne Lenglen.
In 1912, Jeanne Matthey won the women's single title at the Closed French Championships for the fourth consecutive and last time. In the Challenge Round she defeated a married player, Marie Danet, 6-2, 7-5. Marie Danet was the mother of Roger Danet, who would play competitive lawn tennis in the 1920s and have a relationship with Suzanne Lenglen.
Despite her success in the Closed French Championships, Jeanne Matthey did not win any tournament of any significance outside France. However, during her career she did manage to beat Suzanne Lenglen in a singles match twice. Jeanne Matthey's first victory came over Suzanne Lenglen came in 1912, in the semi-final of the tournament held in Compiègne, France. Jeanne Matthey won the match 6-3, 6-1. Suzanne Lenglen was 13 years of age at the time.
Jeanne Matthey's second victory over Suzanne Lenglen came in the final of the tournament held in Chantilly, France, in early July 1913. Jeanne Matthey won this match 7-5, 6-1. No other player ever beat Suzanne Lenglen twice in a singles match of any kind.
Last edited by Rollo; Apr 13th, 2012 at 09:02 PM.