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Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:32 AM   #16
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Pure jealousy (on both sides) may have been the root of it. Both were "stars" all the way. Both were flamboyant-Suzanne liked to take all those volleys with incredible leaps, while Bill's trick was to take 4 balls in his hand AT ONE TIME(must have had huge hands)
and serve 4 aces in a row. Lenglen had her bandeau-Bill his "wooly bear" sweaters. In an age of excess they were the only two who could compete with one another.


"Wooly-bear" Bill



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Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:22 AM   #17
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Tingling suggests the start of their rivalry was a challenge set Tilden played with Suzanne on May 27, 1921. Before a large crowd he trounced her 6-0. Asked about it afterward , she replied. "Someone won 6-0, but I can't recall who it was".

Bill was also a great friend of Molla Mallory. The first time Molla met Lenglen was also in May of 1921, and Suzanne remarked that she was sure to beat Mallory 6-0 6-0. Lenglen won their final by 6-2 6-3. "Just wait til I get her on grass" was Molla's well aimed remark to Bill at courtside, loud enough for Suzanne to hear.

It gets better. Read the earlier post(the one with Molla "whipping" Suzanne). That came later in 1921.

After Lenglen was gone Tilden later directed his hate at Helen Wills. This was a carryover from his friendship with Molla-since Helen replaced Mallory as #1 in America. You can guess whose side Bill and Molla took in the Jacobs-Wills 'feud".
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Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 09:36 PM   #18
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ELIA MARIA GONZALEZ-ALVAREZ: Lilí Alvarez

If there is an image that sums up what Spain looked like starting the XX century with a look forward for everything new, that was Lilí Alvarez playing in the final of the Wimbledon Championships in 1926, 1927 or 1928, since she played the three of them, even if she was not to win any of them.

She was a mix of elegance, beauty and distinction. And that image had a perfect mirror in her personality, one of the most interestings of the time. She was a woman with a sensational half-volley (her best shot), that always understood life as a tennis match, where staying in the baseline was not really a worthy thing.

Elia María González-Alvarez and López-Chicheri, duchess of la Valdene (and you guys complain about the names of Spanish tennis players today! ), was born in the Flora Hotel in Rome, the 9th of May of 1905. She was baptised in San Juan de Letrán, and under that sign of posh elegance she lived the first part of her life.

The delicate health of her mother made Lilí spend part of her younger years in Switzerland, and that's where she became interested in all kinds of sports and surfaces, from ski to ice skating, from tennis to riding or snooker, that she played from the age of 4, climbing up on a chair to do so.

She had amazing physical attitudes, being tall and strong, and very slim. Her delicate appearance in the "Blanco y Negro" illustrations from the 20s give a glimpse of an adventurous and strong young woman with abilities to play any sport. When she was 11 she won her first ice skating trophy. At 14, her first tennis tournament. At 16, she was Gold medalist in skating in Saint-Moritz. And as she was such a competitor, she even won the German tango championships once.

But her sport was, without a doubt, tennis. Her progression was amazing. When she was 18 she went to live to "Costa Azul" (south of France) with her family, and she became the most sought after tennis competitor by the celebrities, politicians and aristocracy that used to spend their interminable holidays there, specially king Gustav V of Sweden, who she used to play against in Cannes.

Lilí enjoyed strong emotions and she also tried car racing. Running and competing was one and the same thing for her. At 19, she won the Catalonian Racing championships. But seeing that she had no rival there, she decided to concentrate on tennis, and with only two years of serious practice, she was playing the final of Wimbledon that was, then, as it is today, the biggest championships in this sport. That was the moment when spanish people and, specially the women, became interested in tennis, seeing her long skirt and shirt all white, and her headband, like a turbant, with the black hair cut like garçon style. At times, she wore the headband in red, always with the white uniform.



In 1924 she was the first spanish woman to participate in the Olympic games, in Paris 1924, where she reached the QF.

When in 1926 she played her first Wimbledon final, against english player Kathleen Kitty Mac Kane, she had the match in her hands. She had lost the first set 6-2, but encouraged by the crowd, and the Kings of Spain Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, she turned the match around, won the second set and was leading 3-1 40-15 before "se le fue el santo al cielo" (she lost her concentration) as she used to say, and lost a title that almost had her name written on it.

Lilí always thought of that match, despite the ending, as the best of her career. Maybe because, even if she lost, she thought she proved she was as good as any that day. The following two times, she had to play the best tennis player of the time Hellen Wills, who was clearly superior to The Senorita, as the press of the time used to call her. That name came to be because the young woman had a very spanish personality and used to be very proud of her origins in those years after the WWI.

An anecdote of her and the victorious french mariscal Foch became world famous, Foch said to her:

- I wouldn't dare to ask this señorita to play a tennis match with me...

To what Lilí answered, straight away

- Do not fear, mariscal. I wouldn't declare you the war either.

The senorita, who won the Roland Garros doubles crown in 1929 with Kea Bouman, was a convinced feminist, who didn't tolerate any male chauvinism. She became a true celebrity, and she started writing for the Daily Mail in London. From the proclamation of the II Spanish Republic in 1931 she used to write parlamentary and political articles, paying special attention to the changes that had to do with the rights of women in Spain.

In 1931 (June 24) she shocked social propriety by appearing at center court at Wimbledon in shorts instead of the longish, hampering dresses that were the de rigueur tennis dress - the first woman in history to do so at Wimbledon, a baggy, calf-length pair she designed. She used to describe her game as "happy and fast".

Later on, when she quit tennis and came back to spain, she was spanish champion in ski, before a fight with the spanish federation over women's rights made her quit the sport forever.

She lived long enough to witness Conchita's Wimbledon win, seven decades after her sucessful run. She said once that to be better players, Conchita would need some talante (spirit) while Arantxa would need some talento (talent), a very witty thing to say. She died in 1998.
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Old Dec 10th, 2002, 03:08 PM   #19
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Can you see the pics?



At the beginning of the century, sports were reserved to an elite and the competition was a thing of gentlemen. But Monsier Charles Lenglen, a rich industrial from the North, had a different idea. The Lenglen family used to stay during the winter close to Nice in the family house, by the tennis courts of the Villa Imperiale. It was maybe observing the English that came to play in the tourneys during the spring that the father of the little Suzanne, a passionate follower of tennis, had the idea of turning his daughter into a champion. He came up with revolutoniary training methods for the small 10 years old girl. She used to play 1 hour of tennis at mid day, and Mr Charles amused himself placing white handkerchiefs on the court where Suzanne was training, giving her 1 coin each time she hit them. To complete the training, she used to take dancing lessons in the afternoons, something that had a very clear influence in her style of play.









In 1912, she played her first adult tournament and didn't lost a match. With 14, she was already on the fast track when the world champion, the New Zealander Anthouny Wilding asked her to partner him in mixed doubles. Nothing would stop this girl anymore, she played the France championships in 1914 and lost to Marguerite Broquedis, but three weeks later she proclaimed herself world champion on clay at Saint-Cloud. She was only 15!

Keep reading at: http://perso.club-internet.fr/bmarco...n/Lenglen.html
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Old Dec 10th, 2002, 05:10 PM   #20
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These are fantastic Gallofa! Thank you so much, especially for the info on Lili Alvarez. With the date you gave us I'm going to try and find an article about her shocking Wimbledon by dressing in shorts.

I can't can't help thinking that had Alvaraz had a fitness trainer she could have been the best of her era. Helen and Suzanne were more afraid of her than any other woman of that era.
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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 06:22 AM   #21
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An ad for Primrose balls -1924.

Note the bandeau-a must for fashionable ladies due to Lenglen-and the fact that tennis "cans" did not exist at the time. Tennis balls came in boxes

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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 06:27 AM   #22
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Notice the big grip on her racquet. Grips were much larger in the 1920s until smaller grips became popular in the 1930s.

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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 06:34 AM   #23
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Poster-Ad for the 1921 World Hard Courts

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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 06:40 AM   #24
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Lenglen teaching children ib the 1930s.




Even years after her retirement the very sight of Lenglen hitting a tennis ball could empty a stadium as word spread. One such instance was 1933-when Suzanne took Helen Jacobs out on court
at the French Open to show her how to beat Helen Wills. No doubt Suzanne was worried that Helen was proving as unbeatable as she had been!

Lenglen told Jacobs the best way to beat Wills was to hit a short angled crosscourt that would pull Wills forward and out at the same time. Monthsd later Jacobs got her one and onlu win over Wills.
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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 07:18 AM   #25
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Lenglen's last major win was the 1926 French Open. A much anticipated rematch with Helen Wills was ruined when Wills had a life threatening attack of appendicitus Suzanne rushed to the hospital to express her concern (and probably feeling relieved she wouldn't have to play Helen again) with a bouquet of flowers. She said something like, "I hope France is as kind to Helen in her illness as the US was to me", a none too subtle jab at the American press for what she felt was unfair treatment for being labaled a "quitter" in 1921.

Here is the final. When Lenglen won the last point of a lopsided contest Mary Browne smiled and yelled out, "she's too damn good!"

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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 07:50 AM   #26
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Lenglen with her partner Elizabeth "Bunny" Ryan.






Ryan probably holds the record for most tournament wins in singles, doubles. mixed and combined. She won "at least 193 singles, 255 doubles, and 214 mixed doubles" (Concise Dictionary of Tennis, page 207).

That's at least 652 events !


Ryan held the Wimbledon record for most titles overall at 19 until Billie Jean King broke the record in 1979 to get 20. She won her last Wimby title at age 43!

Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, for Ryan died only hours before her record was eclipsed. She was said to be heartbroken that King might pass her,a nd came out year after year to cheer against King.

Ryan was the first real volleyer in the women's game. She started that style after palying her sister for the first time on a surface other than cement. Unused to the bad bounces (Ryan grew up on California cement) Liz got mad when her sister kept aiming for the bad spots. Ryan was strong in a masculine sort of way, and tended to be overweight (about 170 pounds).

Big busted Lizzy shocked the English ladies by declining to use steel boned corsets (which often made women bleed) in 1914 after her own corset split in two and she had no replacement . It gave her so much freedom she never wore them again.

Ryan was in Russia when World War One started. She and her mother were in a panic to get back to England. Bribing officials, they were able to catch the last train into Germany from Russia for years..... It took all there gold coins to get out og Germany into Belguim.

Ryan beat Suzanne the first time they played (in 1913) but lost to her 36 times after that. As doubles partners they were never beaten.

One funny incident With Ryan and Lenglen involved clothes.
From Tinling's book:

In those days the ladies locker room had cubicles, and Ryan put hers in one and thought no more of it. "not knowing that Suzanne had already decided that this particular cubicle "had the best light" for adjusting the famous Lenglen bandeau and applying her elaborate makeup.

Spectators outside were astonished to see a shower of Elizabeth's clothes coming out the window." Lenglen pitched them in a fit-though she later claimed she didsn't know she was tossing her own doubles partner's things out.

After that Lenglen got her own special cubicle as "lady champion".
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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 08:02 AM   #27
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Scandinavian Molla Mallory shocked her peers with her uninhibited ways.

Ryan said that Molla, "..would strut around stark naked, and this was strictly NOT done in our day." Perhaps this was normal for Molla, who was a masseuse when she came to the US in 1915.

Ryan and Mallory hate each other. Liz took Lenglen's side in their bitchy rivalry. Ironically, Molla was a Norweigian who the American crowds adopted as their favorite, while American born Ryan more or less lived in London til her death and was not as popular in America.

Ryan was often considered the #3 woman in the world at times in the 1920s, but to her lasting regret she never took home a slam. Her lack of mobility and heavy "chop" (slice) always meant she would be at the mercy of the top 2 or 3 flat hitters-much as Pam Shriver would discover in the 1980s. But in doubles she tops.

Her biggest chance came in 1926 when she had a match point vs. Molla Mallory in the US Final. The crowd was solidly behind "Marvelous Molla".
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Old Dec 27th, 2002, 09:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rollo
Lenglen's last major win was the 1926 French Open. A much anticipated rematch with Helen Wills was ruined when Wills had a life threatening attack of appendicitus Suzanne rushed to the hospital to express her concern (and probably feeling relieved she wouldn't have to play Helen again) with a bouquet of flowers.
Yes it's a shame their rematches never happened I noticed in the GS results thread about 1924 Wimbledon (Helen's first Wimbledon final, and Suzanne had retire to Kitty MaKane in the other semi). That would've been a great final, though at 18 and in 1924, Suzanne might've been too strong for Helen
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Old Jan 1st, 2003, 03:19 AM   #29
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1924 was a missed chance for Helen and Suzanne-wasn't it?
Speaking of 1924-here's a pic of Molla Mallory at Forest Hills that year.



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Old Jan 4th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #30
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Forest Hils-early 1920s?

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