AKHURST,DAPHNE (Daphne Jessie Akhurst)
Born 22 April 1903 at Ashfield, Sydney
Died 9 January 1933
Married Royston Stuckey Cozens, 26 February 1930 in Sydney
Nickname: The "Shy lady of Wimbledon" (by the British press).
The first Australian woman to reach the quarter-finals (1925), then the semi-finals (1928) of an overseas Grand Slam tournament in her only two overseas tours. Rated as #3 in the world for 1928, this was the highest ranking earned by an Australian woman until Margaret Smith (Court) in the 1960s.
She retired from singles play after her win in the 1930 Australian singles title, but won eight of the nine doubles tournaments she entered over the next two years, including the 1931 Australian Championship.
On 26 February 1930 at St Philip's Church of England, Sydney, Daphne Akhurst married Royston Stuckey Cozens, a tobacco manufacturer, and retired from serious competition soon after winning the Australian ladies' doubles championship in 1931.
After giving birth to a son in 1931, she won her final doubles championship in January 1933, playing with her dear friend Louie Bickerton. Within a week, Akhurst would be dead; the result of an ectopic pregnancy. She died under anesthesia during an operation. She was cremated after a service at St Anne's, Strathfield.
Her 5 Australian Championships in singles stood as a record until eclipsed by Nancye Bolton in 1951.
GRAND SLAM RECORD:
Wimbledon: SF 1928, QF 1924
French: QF 1928
Australian 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930
City of Sydney 1926 1927 1929
Cumberland 1924 1925 1926 1928
German Champs 1928
"A strong runner and hitter, she was all over the court and could hit anywhere – and she knew the value of taking the net, where her volleying was adequate. In short, her opponents could not keep the ball away from her, and to top off her game, she had an excellent match temperament". (Thanks to GeeTee for this quote).
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