View Full Version : Francisca Subirana

Feb 20th, 2011, 09:56 PM
I am fairly certain that the runner-up at the 1920 World Hard Court Championships was Francisca Subirana (not Surbirana) of Spain. She was born in 1900.

Francisca had an interesting life after retiring from tennis. In 1924, she married Dr. Ricardo Wolf, a German Jew, in Cuba. They resided there for many years and supported the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro. Castro appointed Wolf as ambassador to Israel in 1961, a post he held until Cuba severed diplomatic relations in 1973. Instead of returning to Cuba, they remained in Israel (defected?) for the rest of their lives, dying within a month of each other in 1981.

In 1975, they established the Wolf Foundation with a donation of $10 million. One of the purposes of the foundation is to "award prizes to outstanding scientists and artists ... for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples...." The foundation's website is http://www.wolffund.org.il/main.asp

Feb 23rd, 2011, 09:58 PM
Another picture of the couple ;)


Feb 24th, 2011, 05:06 AM
Great find AR. I edited in the correct name in the 1920 WHC results.

Thanks for the pic Sonfo:)

Feb 24th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Another picture of Francisca:


Apr 15th, 2011, 02:40 PM
Thanks to Newmark we now have a tad more information on Subirana. She went by the nickname of "Panchita."

When I saw the name I went digging, and indeed, Panchita is a common nickame in Spain for women named Francesca.

Because the 1920 Hard Courts was the highlight of her career I'm copying Mark's report and draw of the event below:

1920 World Hard Court Championships

May 22-30, Stade Franšais, Saint Cloud, Paris, France

From "Ayres' Almanack" (1921): "After an interval of six years – for the competition in 1919 was invitation inter-allied affair – the world's hard court championships (so designated by the International Federation) were revived, under George Simond's management, in the Stade Franšais. Sylvan Saint Cloud (said 'The Field' special correspondent [Arthur Wallis Myers]) had never looked better, and, to judge by the variety of sports ringed around the lawn tennis matches on Whit Monday, young France was more than herself again; her athletic zeal, bottled up during the war, was bursting forth with almost ungovernable energy. Something like a score of pistol shots rang forth on the fringe of the courts during the afternoon, signalling the start of foot races and other Olympic trials. Luckily the applause from the centre court – a model of that at Wimbledon – drowned these excursions and alarums. The weather for the first four days was hot and thundery.


"The ladies' events were of comparatively poor class in the absence of decisive vollyers. Dorothy Holman won the singles, losing only one set to Suzanne Amblard. This English player thus became the holder of both the covered court and hard court championships. Phyllis Satterthwaite retired through indisposition in the semi-final, but she would scarcely have beaten Miss Holman on a hard surface. The former Mlle Broquedis (now Marguerite Billout) was put out by Panchita Subirana, the Spanish lady champion, a player of beautiful style, needing only a little more speed."

Women's singles

First round

Dorothy Holman (GBR) d. Mrs C. Winslow (RSA) 6-2, 6-4
Jeanne Vaussard d. Isabel Fonrodona (ESP) 6-4, 6-0
Suzanne Amblard d. Suzanne Lenglen, walkover
Phyllis Satterthwaite (GBR) d. Germaine Golding 6-2, 6-4
Elisabeth d'Ayen d. Genevieve Cousin 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
Marguerite Billout d. Miss Lammin (GBR) 6-3, 6-3
Panchita Subirana (ESP) d. Suzanne Deve 6-2, 6-2

Marie Danet had a bye.


Dorothy Holman (GBR) d. Marie Danet 6-2, 6-4
Suzanne Amblard d. Jeanne Vaussard 6-4, 6-3
Phyllis Satterthwaite (GBR) d. Elisabeth d'Ayen 6-3, 6-2
Panchita Subirana (ESP) d. Marguerite Billout 10-8, 6-4


Dorothy Holman (GBR) d. Suzanne Amblard 6-2, 4-6, 6-0
Panchita Subirana (ESP) d. Phyllis Satterthwaite (GBR), walkover


Dorothy Holman (GBR) d. Panchita Subirana (ESP) 6-0, 7-5

Apr 15th, 2011, 03:01 PM
I found this link to a Spanish newspaper report of January 1 1914. From what I can gather it looks like Panchita Subirana and Emilia Subirana (sisters) played in a handicap event, while Lolita Marnet d Luisita Marnet (again sisters) 6-4 6-4 in the final of the women's event in Madrid.

The date of the event may have been as early as September of 1913.

Here is the link:

Apr 15th, 2011, 03:15 PM
Another link which gives the winners of the Barcelona International from 1915-1925. (I have added finals scores when I know them)

I'll also post this in the events thread.


The Barcelona International

1915 Luisa Marnet
1916 Panchita Subirana
1917 Panchita Subirana
1918 Panchita Subirana
1919 Panchita Subirana
1920 Panchita Subirana
1921 Luisa Marnet
1922 Elizabeth Ryan (US)
1923 Suzanne Lenglen (Frn) d Luisa Marnet 6-0 6-0 (held October 6-14)
1924 Suzanne Lenglen (Frn) d Luisa Marnet 6-1 6-1 (held April 19-27)
1925 Marguerite Billout (Frn)