Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen was in Paris on 24 May, 1899. Her father Charles came from a well to do family. He married Rachel, the sister of his good friend Louis Hainault. Soon after Rachel died in 1896 he married Anaise, the youngest Hainualt sister. The couple had a son in 1901, but the sickly Philippe died in 1904, leaving Suzanne an only child.
Several factors propelled Suzanne forward in her tennis. As an only child she received all of her parents attention. The Lenglen family was from the north, yet wintered in the south of France. Naturally athletic, Suzanne excelled at swimming, cycling, and a game called diabolo. At the age of 11 her father gave her a tennis racquet. Within months he was convinced she had the ability to conquer the tennis world. Charles sold the family business and became determined to make Suzanne a champion. The strong bond they formed reamined unbroken until his death.
Throughout 1910 and 1911 Suzanne entered mainly handicap events, which were fashionable at the time. Her first non-handicap event was at Compiegne, near her summer home. In 1913 she won 3 events in the north of France, wins that garnered her national attention. Throughout this period Lenglen took ballet lessons to improve her footwork.
For a photo thread on Suzanne please see: Divine Goddess-the Suzanne Lenglen Photo thread