"Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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"Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

TODD, “PAT” (nee Mary Patricia Canning)
United States
Born 22 July 1922 in San Francisco, California
Died 05 September 2015 in California
Married Richard Bradburn Todd, 25 December 1941
Nickname: “Toddy”
[Active 1938-1952 and 1957]

The 1947 French Champion

Though Pat was overshadowed by the "Big 4" (Betz, Brough, DuPont, and Hart) she beat hem all in her career, not to mention wins over every other great player of the period, including Maureen Connolly.

Pat was significant in other ways:

She continued to play after being married and even after motherhood; being the proud mom of 3.

She was colorful, from her signature padded striped tops down to her outbursts against tennis officials.

Meet the woman who, in 1948, dared to call the USTA a group of "doddering old men"

Patricia Canning Todd was born July 22, 1922 in San Francisco, California. She began tennis at the age of 8 when she showed up at a public courts in Alameda with her $5 racket.

A right-handed player with a dominant backhand, she won four majors: one singles title, two doubles titles and one mixed doubles title. She captured the 1947 French Singles Championship and the 1948 French doubles (w/Hart) and mixed doubles (w/Drobny) championships. She also claimed the 1947 Wimbledon doubles title (w/Hart). Todd reached the French singles semifinals in 1948, the Wimbledon singles semifinals (1948-50, 1952) and quarterfinals (1947), and the US singles semifinals (1946, 1948) and quarterfinals (1945, 1947, 1949-50). Todd also won the South American singles and mixed doubles championships in 1947-48. In 1950, she was the singles and doubles winner at both the first Asian Championships and the Championships of India. In 1948, she was the US National Indoor Singles Champion. She was ranked in the World Top 10 seven times (1946-52), reaching a career high No. 4 in both 1947 and 1949. She played Wightman Cup (1947-51) for the US, winning the Cup each year and posting a doubles record of 4-1.

Todd was not one to suffer in silence-with two outburst in 1948 being the most notable:

At the French, Pat was scheduled to play Nelly Adamson Landry in the semi-finals. Todd, who was the favorite and defending champion, was defaulted by French officials after she refused to move her scheduled center court match to court 2. Todd had complained about being last on center court after having played there only one match previously. When requested to move, she refused because of the late hour and because a full set of linesmen would not be present. "They can scratch [default] me if they like. I am not going to play anywhere but on the center court where my match is scheduled."

The officials defaulted her, then changed their minds and gave her Landry's phone number to reschedule. When Landry could not be reached, the default stood, with a fuming Pat standing at the ready courtside. Todd swore never to enter the French again. But she returned to the French Championships in 1950, after a one year absence, and reached the final where she lost to Hart.

At the end of 1948 the USTA ranked her #8 in the US, even though most unofficial world rankings had her at #5. Was the USTA trying to promote sexpot Gussie Moran, merely wrong, or punishing Pat for her outspokenness? Todd called a press conference to protest, calling the USTA "a group of doddering old men."

Todd was double-jointed, which enabled her to hit her signature one-handed backhand with sort of a wrist-first technique. When her peers were largely using sliced backhands, she was stroking with topspin. It was her strength from the backcourt that made her especially tough on hard courts or clay.

Quote:
On her backhand:"I could hit it on a dot," she said, "but my forehand was always weak. I hit the ball firmly enough, but I was late."
Able to run and retrieve like a gazelle, her volleys were strong but not up to par with the likes of duPont, Brough, and Hart. The serve was the other liability besides her forehand, often letting her down at key times. It wasn't always a negative. In 2005 Louise Brough told Rollo over the phone that "it had an odd curve to it. She reminds me of that Russian girl [Dementieva]: so bad it was good."

Brough also recounted how "Toddy" was always a bit of loner and outsider on the Wightman Cup. Captain Hazel Wightman showed favortism towards the higher ranked players, making Pat take public transportation while the others rode with Hazel to the courts or other functions.

Todd had a London clothes maker that outfitted her. Immaculately tailored and fashionable, Pat was adored by the English public. The stirring comeback of Todd and Hart in the 1947 Wimbledon doubles final was the match of the tournament.




Sources:

"Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

https://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=137464

Backhand compliment: Patricia Canning Todd's signature stroke has taken her around the world ... and perhaps into the Hall of Fame.
By Jerry Magee. The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 19, 2004.
http://legacy.utsandiego.com/uniontr...s19tennis.html

"Patricia Canning Todd, 93, Dies; Tennis Champion Refused to Play on Side Court", by Daniel E. Slotnikov, The New York Times, 01 November 2015.

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 17th, 2015 at 04:36 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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From the Hall of Fame

Patricia Canning Todd was born July 22, 1922 in San Francisco, California. A right-handed player with a dominant backhand, she won four majors: one singles title, two doubles titles and one mixed doubles title. She captured the 1947 French Singles Championship and the 1948 French doubles (w/Hart) and mixed doubles (w/Drobny) championships. She also claimed the 1947 Wimbledon doubles title (w/Hart). Todd reached the French singles semifinals in 1948, the Wimbledon singles semifinals (1948-50, 1952) and quarterfinals (1947), and the US singles semifinals (1946, 1948) and quarterfinals (1945, 1947, 1949-50). Todd also won the South American singles and mixed doubles championships in 1947-48. In 1950, she was the singles and doubles winner at both the first Asian Championships and the Championships of India. In 1948, she was the US National Indoor Singles Champion. She was ranked in the World Top 10 seven times (1946-52), reaching a career high No. 4 in both 1947 and 1949. She played Wightman Cup (1947-51) for the US, winning the Cup each year and posting a doubles record of 4-1.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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In 1948 Pat Todd was understandably miffed. She was (unofficially) ranked #5 in the world in most of the respected rankings list, and here was here own tennis association giving her a kick in the teeth.


The 1948 USTA rankings
1. Margaret Dupont
2. Louise Brough
3. Doris Hart
4. Gussy Moran
5. Beverly Baker
6. Pat Todd
7. Shirley Fry (world ranked in top ten!)

Was the USTA trying to promote sexpot Gussy Moran because of the famous lace panties that men on their stomachs when watching matches on outside courts? Pat was having none of it, noting she had beaten Gussie to win the US Indoors earlier in the year.

Men might lie down for Gussie, but Pat surely wasn't. It wasn't just a matter of pride. The top women got to represent the US in Wightman Cup, which meant a free expenses trip abroad. If Pat stayed at #6 she could be left off.
Rather than suffer in silence Pat protested.

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 20th, 2015 at 03:00 AM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
Men might lie down for Gussie, but Pat surely wasn't. It wasn't just a matter of pride. The top women got to represent the US in Wightman Cup, which meant a free expenses trip abroad. If Pat stayed at #6 she could be left off.
Rather than suffer in silence Pat protested.

Don't stop here please, Rollo.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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In a press conference Pat called the USTA ranking committee "a group of doddering old men". Her protest earned her the cover of the January 1949 issue of Americna Lawn Tennis, title "Pat Pouts Again."


The USTA felt defensive enough to offer a justification of the rankings after turning down her protest,pointing out that Indoor results didn't count towards a USTA ranking.

ALT reported that "The fiery La Jolla, Calif. Girl, who has come to grips with officails several times in the past, topped all her past performances with a blast in which she accused the members of the ranking committee with "favoritism." Mrs. Todd calimed she was being dropped to #6 because of the "Affaire Landry", an incident in last year's French championships that saw Pat refuse to play on a side court."

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 20th, 2015 at 03:04 AM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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Pat got her revenge quickly. In Janury of 1949 She, Gussie, and Bev Baker were all entered at La Jolla. Usually a quiet event, all the controversy drew lots of attention.

Pat embarrased the USTA by beating BOTH Baker and Moran.
She beat Bev 4-6 9-7 6-3 in the semis, then Gussie in the final 6-3 6-4. Pat survived two match points over the cute redhead in the semis, her opponent Bev famous for hitting with two forehands. Bev went for winners on both match points and missed.....

"Before a gasping gallery" Pat recovered to win, capping it off with a crosscourt winner on match point.

On a sidenote-Bev beat 14 year old prodigy Mo Connolly 6-3 6-4 in the quarters.

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 20th, 2015 at 03:04 AM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2010, 08:00 PM
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

This is an old article, not sure if it has previously been posted here. My apologies in advance if it has.

Quote:
Backhand compliment

Patricia Canning Todd's signature stroke has taken her around the world ... and perhaps into the Hall of Fame

By Jerry Magee
The San Diego Union Tribune
October 19, 2004


Photo courtesy Patricia Canning Todd
Patricia Canning Todd, shown above at the Eastern Clay Court Championships in New York during the 1930s, later scored a major victory on clay, winning the French Open singles title in 1947.


RANCHO SANTA FE – She started out playing with a $5 racket and before her time in tennis ended would be afforded quarters in a maharajah's palace in India.

Just a stop along the way for Patricia Canning Todd, for whom there would be many, including Wimbledon, Roland Garros, Forest Hills and the other citadels of the game, in all of which she excelled.

"On a backhand and guts," as she puts it.

For all her accomplishments, however, her greatest honor might be ahead. At 82, this longtime San Diego County resident has been nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

To be inducted into the Newport, R.I., facility, Todd and seven other nominees must be approved by 75 percent of the members of a selection committee. The ballots are to be in voters' hands by Nov. 1, a Hall spokesman said.

Todd no longer plays tennis, nor does she teach it, but she is what Pancho Segura termed "a fixture" at the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club's tennis complex. It is as though she cannot separate herself from the game that has been so much a part of her life since age 8, when she showed up at a municipal facility in Alameda with her $5 racket.

"They had a kids' court on one side and an adults' court on the other," she remembered. "When I got good enough, the guys said, 'Come on over here.'"

By the age of 10, she had received an honorary membership to the tennis club at the Clairemont Hotel in Berkeley, the most prestigious of tennis addresses in the Bay Area. Her mother would take her there in the morning and pick her up in the evening. It was there she first saw Helen Wills play.

"And I resolved that I wanted to play all over world," she said.


Photo courtesy EDUARDO CONTRERAS / Union-Tribune
Patricia Canning Todd Patricia Canning Todd says she could hit her backhand "on a dot."


She would. In 1950, she joined Gussie Moran in becoming one of the first women to play tennis in India. It was on this odyssey that she was quartered in a maharajah's home.

On that trip, Todd swept the singles and doubles titles at both the first Asian Championships and the Championships of India. She won the French singles title at Roland Garros in 1947 (over Doris Hart) and the French women's doubles (with Hart) and mixed doubles (with Jaroslav Drobny) in 1948. Three times she was a semifinalist at Wimbledon (1948-50) and twice was a semifinalist at the U.S. Nationals (1946, '48). She was ranked in the World Top 10 seven times, reaching as high as No. 4 in 1947 and 1949.

In 1948 at the French, she might have achieved a singles-women's doubles-mixed doubles triple. She was scheduled to engage Nelly Landry of France in the singles final, but when the referee advanced the starting time to "now" while she was having lunch, she defaulted.

"I said, 'I'm not playing,'" she said. She explained that players in that time were not picked up at their hotels, as players today are. They had to hang around the tennis facility. Tournament officials should have been aware she was having lunch, she indicated. She was, after all, the event's defending champion.

Todd's career came before open tennis began in 1968 and players could be compensated. When she was playing, she said there was no money on the side for women as there was for men. But she doesn't voice any regrets. She lived well, she said. She was entertained. A London house clothed her. "And I loved the game," she said.

She did have one advantage. She is double-jointed, which enabled her to hit her signature one-handed backhand with sort of a wrist-first technique. When her peers were largely using sliced backhands, she was stroking with topspin.

"I could hit it on a dot," she said, "but my forehand was always weak. I hit the ball firmly enough, but I was late."

Todd, mother of two daughters and a son, said she is experiencing contentment away from tennis. "I have just as much fun as always," she said. "I go shopping and I visit friends. And I go home at cocktail hour."

Should Todd be voted into the Hall, she would not be the senior woman to be inducted. Dorothy "Dodo" Cheney of La Jolla was 87 when she was received into the Hall this year.
Link: http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/uni...s19tennis.html
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2010, 08:17 PM
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

She did not make it to the International Tennis Hall of Fame (at least not yet!) but she will be inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame next month. Here is a write-up compiled by the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club where she is a member.

Quote:
Rancho Santa Fe's Patricia Canning Todd named to San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame

Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club recently announced that long-time tennis club member and Rancho Santa Fe resident Patricia (Pat) Canning Todd has been inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Aug. 28. The location of the ceremony will be the stadium court at Balboa Tennis Club, 2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego.

Pat Canning Todd was born in San Francisco in 1922. Her family lived next door to the area public courts. Pat and her brother, Bill Canning, naturally gravitated to tennis. She picked up her first racquet at age 8. By age 13 she was traveling to tournaments across the country. Todd tells the story of her first tennis tour. Her mother packed the family in their model A Ford and drove Todd and her brother, Bill, to the Pacific Northwest for the “four city tournament tour” of Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Vancouver. Todd won in every division she entered, juniors and women’s. Todd started traveling to play the national tournaments on the East Coast in 1938 at age 16. From the start she was a national stand -out.

In 1946, Todd and her family moved to La Jolla, Calif. William Kellogg Sr., owner of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, was always on the lookout for tennis talent and always generously sponsored young players. He spotted talent in Todd and sponsored her to play locally and nationally. She excelled to become one of the country’s top national players. Unfortunately, World War II stopped international tennis tour play in Europe from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s. When play started up again after the war, Todd went on international tour.

Todd had her best results just after the war. In 1947 and 1948, she won a total of four Grand Slam championships: one in singles, two in women’s doubles, and one in mixed doubles.

Todd won the singles title at the 1947 French Championships, and reached the French semi-finals in 1948. At the 1947 event, the fourth-seeded Todd played top-seeded duPont, the defending champion and the newly crowned Wimbledon champion in the semi finals. On winning, she jumped the net to shake hands with duPont. In the final, Hart played her normal attacking game and led 4–3 in the final set, but "she was against a great fighter who was content to retrieve, and on a slow court, defense overcame attack"…Pat Todd won the day. At the 1948 event, Pat was scheduled to play Nelly Adamson Landry in the semi-finals. Todd, who was the favorite and defending champion, was defaulted by French officials after she refused to move her scheduled center court match to court 2. Todd had complained about being last on center court after having played there only one match previously. When requested to move, she refused because of the late hour and because a full set of linesmen would not be present. "They can scratch [default] me if they like. I am not going to play anywhere but on the center court where my match is scheduled."

The officials defaulted her, then changed their minds and gave her Landry's phone number to reschedule. When Landry could not be reached, the default stood. Todd swore never to enter the French again. But she returned to the French Championships in 1950, after a one year absence, and reached the final where she lost to Hart.

As for tournaments that were not Grand Slam events, Todd won the singles and mixed doubles titles at the South American championships in 1947 and 1948. In 1948, she won the U.S. National Indoor Championships. In 1950, she was the singles and doubles titlist at the Asian Championships and the Championships of India. Todd recalls that her six-month tennis tour of India as one of her favorites. As a guest of the maharaja, she was treated like royalty, and Todd says she enjoyed that life style very much..thank you! She won both the singles and doubles titles at the tournament in Cincinnati in 1951.

Todd was ranked in the top 10 in the world from 1946 through 1952 (no rankings were issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 4 in those rankings in 1950. Todd was included in the year-end top 10 rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1942 and from 1944 through 1952, reaching a career high ranking of fourth in 1947 and 1949. She unsuccessfully complained about her sixth place ranking in 1948, accusing the USLTA of having no standard ranking rules and of punishing her for refusing to play her semifinal match against Landry at the French Championships.

Todd played doubles on the U.S. Wightman Cup team from 1947 to 1951, compiling a 4–1 win-loss record.

Todd was nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

Todd retired from tournament play in 1953, but continued to play daily at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, and then at Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club when the family moved to the Ranch in 1952.

Todd became a teaching pro at La Costa Resort & Spa in 1965, and continued in this position until 1985. At La Costa, Todd taught such notables as John Wayne, Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach, Clint Eastwood, and Johnny Carson. Carson was heard to give a hearty laugh when Todd told him she did not follow celebrities, had never seen him on TV, but was not all that impressed with his tennis.

Todd has been a daily fixture at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club for as long as anyone can remember, more than 45 years. She follows all the major tournaments, and knows all the pro players and their statistics. Best wishes to Pat Canning Todd many more years of tennis enjoyment!

— Submitted by RSF Tennis Club
Link: http://www.sdranchcoastnews.com/rsf_...f-Fame%20.html

And here is a recent pic from last year:

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zummi View Post
In 1950, she joined Gussie Moran in becoming one of the first women to play tennis in India.
Bit of an exaggeration there. They obviously haven't heard of Irene Peacock (Bowder).
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

Those articles were great finds Zummi! This thread needed pics of Pat. I was saddened Pat didn't make the Hall. Her dramatic default at the French was quite a story.

Todd was, I believe, one of the few women to give Connolly fits right before Mo went on her tear of slams from 1951-54.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

In 2005 I had the honor of talking to Louise Brough over the phone a couple of times.

While Louise and "Toddy" were by no means unfriendly, there was a line between the two top stars and everyone else. "Ozzie" (Brough's partner Margaret Osbourne) and "Broughie" were in their own bubble so to speak. Doris Hart was next, with Pat Todd in fourth.

Brough related how Pat often clashed with "Wighty" the Wightman Cup captain and founder Hazel Wightman. Hazel would apparently make Pat take public transportation while the others got the star treatment-with Hazel riding along. With the USTA paying the overseas bill-Todd could only complain so much however, as selection to the team meant the USTA paying your way, and non selection paying yourself-a big tab when players took ocean liners!

Louise was surprised by how Pat dressed. Brough couldn't believe a married woman like Pat would, in her words "walk around like a streetwalker." In Louise's view she was totally oblivious to the effect she had on men.

One has to bear in mind that Brough was very conservative in general, so perhaps Pat was not as clueless as Louise thought!

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 20th, 2015 at 12:21 AM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2010, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

Louise Brough on Todd's serve. "It was a lot like that Russian girl (Brough meant Dementieva)-so bad it was good."

Todd was sometimes successful with Doris Hart in challenging the Brough and Ozzie domination. Their upset victory in the 1947 Wimbledon final was considered by many to be the match of the tournament.

Last edited by Rollo; Dec 30th, 2014 at 07:17 AM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2015, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread






Last edited by Rollo; Nov 17th, 2015 at 06:13 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

At the Eastern Clay event in the 1930s





Last edited by Rollo; Oct 17th, 2015 at 07:17 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2015, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Doddering Old Men" The Pat Todd Thread

A Pathe clip of Todd and Moran in India during their tour of late 1949 early 1950.


http://www.britishpathe.com/video/go...ssy-moran-wins
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