View Full Version : Betty's Big Win (1930 US Chmps)

Sep 28th, 2010, 06:22 PM
Over 80 years ago a young British girl became the first Brit to win the US Chmps. Some sources cite her as the first foreigner to win the US title, though both Mabel Cahill 91890s-Ireland) and Molla Mallory (1915-Norway) hailed from other nations when they first won the US chmps.

From Time magzine:

Sport: At Forest Hills

Monday, Sep. 01, 1930

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,740225,00.html?iid=chix-sphere#ixzz10qkZ1of0

What interested people most about it this year was why Helen Wills Moody had decided not to defend her U. S. championship. She has been married eight months. In this period she has spent three months in Europe playing tennis. A brash guess was that the title she has won so often no longer seemed worth trying for. Her absence from Forest Hills took edge off the arrival of her most capable rival from abroad, Betty Nuthall, 19, of London.

Thick-legged and firmly fleshed over her solid muscles, ebulliently British in manner, conveying an impression of good nature by her obvious healthfulness and a smile far better dentifriced than most English girls', Betty Nuthall was the tournament's only box-office attraction. At the West Side Tennis Club she confounded people who had heard of her as a girl who combined tournament tennis with late dancing. She did not smoke or drink, went to bed nightly at 9:45, declared that she likes to make her own tennis dresses and that she had embroidered the Union Jack and Lion on her coat. Every morning she skipped a rope 700 times, and usually appeared on the courts in red sweaters and headbands because she said that red made her play better. She swept through her first matches with an ease that made onlookers
sure it would take more than the routine competition in sight to beat her.

The only upset of the early rounds was the beating which a 20-year-old Sacramento girl named Dorothy Weisel gave famed and able young Sarah Palfrey of Boston, 6-2, 6-8, 6-4. That day Betty Xuthall put out Edith Cross, 6-0, 6-3. Her shots were beautifully angled and she never compromised with them. The strength of her game is that she plays for put-aways even when she is making errors, disdaining caution. She had no trouble putting Miss Weisel out. Mrs. Lawrence Harper of California, No. 5 ranking U. S. woman, put out Mary Greef. The other two in the semi-finals were tightlipped, agreeable Baroness Giacomo Levi of Italy and tall, muscular Marjorie Merrill, of Dedham, Mass.

Marjorie Morrill gave Betty Nuthall her hardest test of the tournament. She won the first set after the English girl had had her set-point twice. As though this had definitely decided the way the match was going to go, tall Marjorie Morrill took a lead of 4-2 in the second set. Betty Nuthall has been known to go to pieces as startlingly when she was behind as when she was ahead and for the first time the gallery had something to pay attention to. Further, as Betty Nuthall started to pick up a little she broke a racquet. Now she looked worried. She said afterward it was her favorite racquet. She took another one. She was getting more depth on the ball now and Miss Morrill, forced on the defense, could not work her nice forehand so effectively. Betty Nuthall took the set and then, as Miss Morrill suddenly faltered, ran out the match. Score: 6-8, 6-4, 6-2.

The tournament was virtually over. After a postponement for rain, Betty Nuthall played Mrs. Harper, who had disposed of the Baroness. There were a few minutes in the second set when Mrs. Harper put up fight. Before and after that there was nothing to it. Betty Nuthall had won the championship of the U. S. in 36 minutes, 6-1. 6-4, first time in 43 years it has left the country.

Sep 28th, 2010, 06:29 PM
Nuthall made the cover of Time magazine in 1931. She is usually wearing a bandeau in most pictures of her.


Sep 30th, 2010, 10:48 PM
Definitely, the first Anglo-Indian to win it.