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25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This project hopes to identify more female tennis players from South Africa.

A major source for South African tennis is the 1978 book The South African Tennis Story. While containing a lot of useful data, the information is scattered and unorganized.

The goal is to mine the book from cover to cover and use it with other information to fill in many missing gaps in our knowledge. At the end of 2018 I'll collate it and add the information to our Encyclopedia of Tennis players.

Entries may be found cross-referenced under married or maiden names.

For example:

Neave, Alida would not have an entry in the Blast biographical dictionary. T
NEAVE, ALIDA has an entry, with the entry reproduced here or a link to the entry.
Smit, Alida SEE NEAVE, ALIDA means to look under NEAVE for biographical data.

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography

South African Championships

In 1891 the Port Elizabeth LTC assumed the finctions of a governing body of the game and instituted the annaul national championships, controlled from 1903 by the South African Lawn Tennis Union... According to Robertson, " The first official National championships was held at Port Elizabeth as a mark of respect for their special role in first promoting the sport." After 1903 the championships rotated between Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elisabeth, East London, Bloemfontein, Kimberly and Pretoria. From 1931 the venue has been Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The traditional dates for the event were the Easter holidays until 1973, when the championships was moved to November. The first South African "Open" was in 1969.

The event was at it's height in the 1960s, when many openly talked of the event being a candidate to replace the Australian Open as a slam. A convergence of first rate players and the surface keep it in high regard until the mid-1970s. From 1964 to 1974 the winners also held or would eventually win Grand Slam titles.

The increasingly unpopular apartheid policy was one major factor in the decline of the event after 1974. The return of the top women in 1984 for a tour level event was a one-off rather than the hoped for revival. After that the event had the status of an IFT event with little prize money. The last event was in 1990.

1891-1903 Port Elizabeth
1900-1930 various venues (1912 in Durban)
1931- Ellis Park, Johannesburg

1891 Mabel Grant d. Miss Blackburn 6-2 6-0
1892 Mabel Grant d. Mrs McLagan
1893 Mabel Grant d. Mrs McLagan 6-1 6-0
1894 Mabel Grant d. Beatrice Grant 6-1 6-0
1895 L. Biddulph d. Miss Fry 6-1 6-4
1896 Mrs H. Green d. L. Biddulph
1897 Norah Hickman d. Mrs H. Green 7-9 12-10 6-2
1898 Norah Hickman d. L. Biddulph
1899 Norah Hickman d. Mrs H. Green 6-8 6-2 6-3
1900-1902 no competition due to Boer War
1903 F. Kuys d. Mrs Mackay 6-0 6-2
1904 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Mabel Grant Nevill 6-4 5-7 6-4
1905 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Helen Ross Syfret 6-2 6-0
1906 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Mrs Greatwood 7-5 6-2
1907 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Norah Hickman Miller 6-1 4-6 6-2
1908 B. Kelly d. Mrs Gillmore 6-2 6-1 (or 6-3 6-2)
1909 Mrs G. Washington d. Miss Edwards 6-2 7-9 6-4
1910 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Mrs John Reid 6-1 6-2
1911 Mrs G. Washington d. M. Kelly 6-0 6-1
1912 Amy Wilson Kirby d. Olive Mathias 6-2 6-0
1913 Mildred Coles (GB) d. M. Kelly 6-3 9-7
1914 Olive Mathias d. Amy Wilson Kirby 3-6 6-2 6-2
1915-1919 no competition due to World War I
1920 Olive Mathias Winslow d. May Phillips 6-3 7-5
1921 N. Edwards d. Mrs W.F de Plessis 6-1 6-2
1922 May Phillips McJannett d. J. Parker 6-2 6-2
1923 Millicent Fraser-Watson Pitt d. Mrs D.R Moor 6-4 6-3
1924 Irene Bowder Peacock d. Mrs L. McArthur 7-5 6-4
1925 Irene Bowder Peacock d. Mrs L. McArthur 5-7 6-1 6-1
1926 Irene Bowder Peacock d. Alida Smit 6-2 6-1
1927 May Phillips McJannett d. Mrs Vera Everett 12-10 6-4
1928 Bobbie Heine d. Billie Tapscott 8-6 6-3
1929 May Phillips McJannett d. Winifred Miller 7-5 6-2
1930 Billie Tapscott d. Mrs Vera Everett 7-5 6-2
1931 Bobbie Heine d. Winifred Miller 6-3 6-3
1932 Bobbie Heine Miller d. Winifred Miller Lowe 6-0 6-3
1933 Billie Tapscott Robbins d. Winifred Miller Lowe 6-4 3-6 6-1
1934 Billie Tapscott Robbins d. Winifred Miller Lowe 6-0 6-3
1935 Audrey de Smidt Allister d. Billie Tapscott Robbins 6-4 6-3
1936 Bobbie Heine Miller d. Mrs Vera Everett 6-2 4-6 6-4
1937 Bobbie Heine Miller d. Alida Smit Neave 6-4 4-6 6-0
1938 Billie Tapscott Robbins d. Olive Craze 6-4 6-4
1939 Olive Craze d. Sheila Piercey 4-6 6-3 6-4
1940 Olive Craze d. Sheila Piercey 4-6 6-4 6-4
1941-1945 no competition due to World War II
1946 Mary Van Zijl Muller d. Olive Craze Plessis 6-4 6-4
1947 Mary Van Zijl Muller d. Sheila Piercey Summers 6-2 6-8 6-2
1948 Sheila Piercey Summers d. Kay Stammers Menzies (GB) 6-1 6-4
1949 Sheila Piercey Summers d. Thelma Coyne Long (Aus) 6-1 6-1
1950 Shirley Fry (US) d. Doris Hart (US) 4-6 7-5 6-3
1951 Sheila Piercey Summers d. Hazel Redick Smith 8-6 2-6 7-5
1952 Doris Hart (US) d. Julie Tamsen Wipplinger 6-1 7-5
1953 Hazel Redick Smith d. Julie Tamsen Wipplinger 6-2 6-2
1954 Hazel Redick Smith d. Gwendy Love 4-6 6-3 6-2
1955 Hazel Redick Smith d. Lucille van der Westhuizen 6-4 6-3
1956 Dora Kilian d. Gwendy Love 4-6 7-5 6-4
1957 Heather Nicholls Brewer d. Gwendy Love 8-10 6-2 6-3
1958 Bernice Carr d. Heather Nicholls Segal 3-6 7-5 6-4
1959 Sandra Reynolds d. Bernice Carr Vukovich 6-0 8-6
1960 Bernice Carr Vukovich d. Sandra Reynolds 6-1 2-6 12-10
1961 Sandra Reynolds d. Lynette Hutchings 6-4 7-5
1962 Heather Nicholls Segal d. Jean Forbes 6-1 7-5
1963 Annette Van Zyl d. Margaret Hunt 6-4 2-6 6-3
1964 Darlene Hard (US) d. Ann Haydon Jones (GB) 6-3 7-5
1965 Christine Truman (GB) d. Annette Van Zyl 6-2 6-3
1966 Billie Jean Moffitt King (US) d. Margaret Smith (Aus) 6-3 6-2
1967 Billie Jean Moffitt King (US) d. Maria Bueno (Brz) 7-5 5-7 6-2
1968 Margaret Smith Court (Aus) d. Virginia Wade (GB) 6-4 6-4
1969 Billie Jean Moffitt King (US) d. Nancy Richey (US) 6-3 6-4
1970 Margaret Smith Court (Aus) d. Billie Jean Moffitt King (US) 6-4 1-6 6-3
1971 Margaret Smith Court (Aus) d. Evonne Goolagong (Aus) 6-3 6-1
1972 Evonne Goolagong (Aus) d. Virginia Wade (GB) 4-6 6-3 6-0
1973 Chris Evert (US) d. Evonne Goolagong (Aus) 6-3 6-3
1974 Kerry Melville (Aus) d. Dianne Fromholtz (Aus) 6-3 7-5
1975 Annette Van Zyl DuPlooy d. Brigitte Cuypers 6-1 6-4
1976 Brigitte Cuypers d. Laura DuPont (US) 6-7 6-4 6-1
1977 Linky Boshoff d. Brigitte Cuypers 6-1 6-4
1978 Brigitte Cuypers d. Linda Siegel (US) 6-1 6-0
1979 Brigitte Cuypers d. Tanya Harford 7-6 6-2
1980 Lesley Charles (GB) d. Rene Uys 7-5 6-4
1981 Kathy Horvath (US) d. Kathy Rinaldi (US) 7-6 6-4
1982-1983 no competition
1984 Chris Evert Lloyd (US) d. Andrea Jaeger (US) 6-3 6-0
1985 not held
1986 Dinky Van Rensburg d. Rene Mentz 6-3 6-1
1987 Gretchen Rush Magers (US) d. Leslie Allen (US) 6-7 7-6 6-4
1988-1989 not held
1990 Amanda Coetzer d. Dinky Van Rensburg 6-4 6-4

Notes on Names
Mabel Grant listed as H. Grant in many records.

(Per Newmark) Mrs H.(A.) Kirby is more than likely the former Amy Wilson, who had some success at British tournaments under both her maiden and married names. She appears to have married an Arthur Kirby whose first name might have been Harold. "Lawn Tennis and Badminton" definitely mentions Mrs Kirby as being the former Amy Wilson.

The wiki list uses Mrs McLagan-note that the World Tennis list from 1986 uses Mclagon (apparently in error) and the South African Story uses Mrs M'Lagan.

Most Singles Titles

6 Amy Wilson Kirby (1904-1907, 1910, 1912) *usually listed as Mrs HA Kirby
5 Bobbie Heine Miller (1928,1931-2,1936-37)
4 Mabel Grant (1891-1894)
4 Billie Tapscott Robbins (1930, 1933-34,1938)

Longest Span between titles: 12 years. Annette Van Zyl won in 1963 and again in 1975 as Mrs DuPlooy.

1985 World of Tennis for scores.
Max Robertson's Encyclopedia of Tennis (1973) for history of event (no sources)

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography


01. Bobbie Heine
02. Irene Peacock
03. Billie Tapscott
04. Mrs Alida Neave
05. Doreen Cole
06. Mrs May McaJannett
07. Audrey de Smidt
08. Mrs Vera Everett
09. Miss Miller
10. Mrs Winifred Lowe


01. Bobbie Heine
02. Mrs Irene Peacock
03. Billie Tapscott
04. Mrs Alide Neave
05. Doreen Cole
06. May McJannett
07. Audrey de Smidt
08. Mrs Vera Everett
09. Miss Miller
10. Mrs Winifred Lowe
11. Mrs Green
12. Mrs Miles

Published 26 April 1930 in

01. Bobbie Miller
02. Audrey de Smidt
03. Irene Peacock
04. Billie Robbins
05. Mrs Winifred Lowe

01. Bobbie Heine-Miller
02. Billie Tapscott-Robbins
03. Mrs Winifred Lowe
04. Audrey de Smidt
05. Dulcie Kitson
06. Doreen Cole

01. Billie Robbins
02. Mrs Winifred Lowe
03. Mrs Dorren Malcolm (nee Cole)
04. Audrey de Smidt
05. Dulcie Kitson
06. Miss S. Johnstone
07. Mrs Alida Neave
08. Miss W. King
09. Miss K. Rodd
10. Mrs W. B. Hathorn
11. Miss E. Cook
12. Miss D. Craze

Published 29 November 1934 in

01. Bobbie Heine Miller
02. Alida Neave
03. Vera Everett
04. Audrey de Smidt Allister
05. Margaret Morphew
06. Dulcie Kitson
07. S. Johnstone
08. J. McWhirter
09. Olive Craze
10. Sheila Piercey

1. Bobbie Heine Miller
2. Alida Neave
3. Vera Everett
4. Margaret Morphew
5. Olive Craze
6. Billie Tapscott Robbins
7. Dulcie Kitson
8. Sheila Piercey
9. Enid Cook
10. D. Craze

01. Bobbie Heine Miller
02. Billie Tapscott Robbins
03. Alida Neave
04. Margaret Morphew
05. Olive Craze
06. Susan Piercey
07. Enid Cook
08. D. Craze
09. Dulcie Kitson
10. Bonnie Fick
11. Mrs. F.H. Lowe
12. Mrs. E. McLachlan

01. Olive Craze
02. Sheila Piercey
03. Enid Cook Craig
04. Billie Tapscott Robbins
05. Alice Neave
06. Bonnie Fick
07. Mary Dorothy Van Zyl Muller
08. Margaret Morphew
09. Mrs. E. Maclachlan
10. E. Paton
11. Dawn Blake
12. Joan Austin

01. Mrs. Mary Muller
02. Mrs. Sheila Summers
03. Mrs. Olive Plessis
04. Mrs. Billie Robbins
05. Miss Beryl Nicholas
06. Mrs. Bonnie Fick Jackson
07. Mrs. Sweigers
08. Mrs. Joan Scott
09. Mrs. Enid Franklin
10. Miss Margaret Morphew
11. Mrs. Betty Slater
12. Mrs. Dawn Slater

01. Sheila Summers
02. Mary Muller
03. Olive Plessis
04. Ethel Watermeyer
05. Mrs Enid Franklin
06. Beryl Nicholas Bartlett
07. Mrs E. Sweigers
08. Margaret Morphew
09. Penelope Pentlow
10. Audrey Bilse

01. Sheila Summers
02. Mary Muller
03. Ethel Watermeyer
04. Ruth Smith Stevens
05. Joan Austin
06. Margaret Morphew
07. Beryl Nicholas Bartlett
08. Mrs Enid Franklin
09. Miss Scott
10. Miss O'Leary

01. Sheila Summers
02. Ethel Watermeyer
03. Ruth Smith Stevens
04. Mary Van Zyl Muller
05. Hazel Reddick
06. Phyllis Dimbleby
07. Beryl Nicholas Bartlett
08. Julia Tamsen Wipplinger
09. Peggy Pentelow
10. J. Tooth

01. Sheila Summers
02. Toots Watermeyer
03. Hazel Redick-Smith
04. Beryl Bartlett
05. Mary Muller
06. Ruth Stevens
07. Julia Wipplinger
08. Peggy Pentelow
09. Mrs. Lily Adair
10. Mrs. Z le Roux
11. Mrs. E Tooth
12. Mrs. Susie Smit

01. Hazel Redick-Smith
02. Julia Wipplinger
03. Mrs. Ruth Stevens
04. Mrs. F. J. (Beryl) Bartlett
05. Ethel "Toots" Watermeyer
06. Mrs. Thea Hale
07. Leonie Vermaak(Vermmak?)
08. Peggy Pentelow
09. Gwendy Love
10. Mrs. Phyllis Dimbleby
11. Hazel Pascoe
12. Mrs. Val Lessing

01. Dora Kilian
02. Gwendolyn Love
03. Lucile van der Westhuizen
04. Jean Forbeas
05. Sandra Reynolds
06. Renee Schuurman
07. Beryl Bartlett
08. Toodles Watermeyer

01. Bernice Carr
02. Heather Segal
03. Sandra Reynolds
04. Jean Forbes
05. Renee Schuurman
06. Dora Kilian Shaw
07. Joan Cross
08. Thea Hale
09. Estelle van Tonder
10. Merrill Hammill
11. Winsome Flaxington
12. Yvonne Wilkinson

01. Sandra Reynolds
02. Bernice Carr Vukovich
03. Dora Kilian Shaw
04. Renee Schuurman
05. Joan Cross
06. Jean Forbes
07. Estelle van Tonder
08. Valerie Forbes
09. Lynette Hutchings
10. Merrill Hammill

01= Sandra Reynolds
01= Bernice Vukovich
03. Renee Schuurman
04. Heather Segal
05. Valerie Forbes
06. Joan Cross
07. Lynn Hutchings
08. Marlene Gerson
09. Margaret Hunt

01. Sandra Reynolds
02. Bernice Vukovich
03. Heather Segal
04. Lyn Hutchings
05. Renee Schuurman
06. Val Forbes
07. Margaret Hunt
08. Jean Forbes
09. Joan Cross
10. Estelle van Tonder Deller

01=Sandra Reynolds Price
02=Heather Segal
03. Renee Schuurman
04. Jean Forbes
05. Bernice Vukovich
06. Val Forbes
07. Annette Van Zyl
08. Margaret Hunt
09. Estelle Dellar
10. Joan Johnson

1968 (issued May 7, 1968)
01. Annette du Plooy
02. Pat Walkden
03. Maryna Godwin
04. Laura Rossouw
05. Anita van Deventer
06. Marianne Brummer
07. Christina Bell
08. Brenda Kirk
09. Wendy Tomlinson
10. Greta Delport

01. Pat Walkden
02. Maryna Proctor
03= Anita van Deventer
03= Marianne Brummer
= Joint number threes.

1. Patricia Walkden
2. Brenda Kirk
3. Marianne Brummer
4. Wendy Tomlinson
5. A. Summers
6. Greta Delport
7. Laura Roussow
8. A. McMillan
9. Mrs G. Schaerer

1971 (Issued in the summer)
01. Pat Walkden
02. Brenda Kirk
03. Laura Rossouw
04. Anita Summers
05. Greta Delport
06. Alison McMillan
07. Ilana Kloss
08. Glenda Schaerer

1972 (Issued in the summer)
01. Pat Pretorius
02. Brenda Kirk
03. Great Delport
04. Ilana Kloss
05. Laura Rossouw
06. Alison McMillan
07. Sandra Reynolds Price
08. Elizabeth Truter
09. O Boshoff
10. Nicky Kruger
11. Brigitte Cuypers
12. Lyn Montgomery

01. Greer Stevens
02= Linky Boshoff
02= Marise Kruger
04. Brigitte Cuypers
05. Yvonne Vermaak
06= Annette du Plooy
06= Brenda Dimitriou
08. Ilana Kloss
09. Tanya Harford
10. Alison McDade
= Joint number twos; joint number sixes.

01. Rosalyn Fairbank
02. Yvonne Vermaak
03. Jennifer Mundel
04. Elizabeth Gordon
05. Susan Rollinson
06. Beverly Mould
07. Tanya Harford
08. L. Jacobs
09. René Mentz

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography


South Africa
Born in 1865 in Durban
Died in 1958 in England
Married Edmund Nevill Nevill (1849-1940) on 4 June 1894 in St. Cyprian’s Church, Smith Street, Durban

Daughter of William Grant.

Probably a native of Natal, whose championship she won a record 8 times. She won every title with one exception from 1885 to 1893. The lone outlier was 1890-when she lost in a 3 set final. Best known as 1st winner of the South African Chmps (1891-1894)-she made the final in 1904 as Mrs Nevill. Mr Nevill played at the Bera Club in Natal. Listed as H Grant in many sources-indicating that Mabel is perhaps a nickname. Her spouse wrote the first English book on the Moon and was director of the Natl Observatory from 1882-1910. Wikipedia notes she was one of the “four ladies” at the observatory. She was active there as early as 1885-when she refused his offer of marriage.Their often stormy courtship was on and off until they wed in 1894. Edmund calls her “MB” “Mabel” or “Mabs. He also introduced tennis to Natal. He later resettled in England and died in Eastbourne.

The couple had 2 sons and 1 daughter -Maud (born 24 April 1895 in England), Ralph born 24 May, 1898.

Mrs Neville some tennis in a 1895 trip to England soon after the birth of her daughter Maud.

Nevill’s diaries are to be found at:


Green, Mrs H. G.

1896 South African champion
1897 and 1899 finalist

Still active as late as 1903.
She was from Natal.

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography


HICKMAN, NORAH (Norah Theresa Hickman)
South Africa
Born 19 August 1874 in Durban
Died 30 September 1960 in Pietermaritzburg
Married Roland Henry Miller on 17 March 1903 in Kwelegha, Cape Colony
[Active from 1890 to 1907]


3 time South African Champion (1897-1899) and RU in 1907
9 tme Natal Champion (1890, 1894-1896,1898-1899, 1902, 1905, 1906) and RU in 1892, 1907 and 1908.

Norah first won Natal in 1890, followed almost a decade later by even greater victories at the South African Championships three years running from 1897 and 1899. Who knows how many titles she could have won, as the Boer War of 1900 meant the South African Championships were not held again until 1903-the year of her marriage.

Grand as her 3 national titles were, Norah ruled ladies tennis in Natal as if it were her own property. Her upset win over Mabel Grant in 1890 is the first glimpse we get of Norah-still a teen of some 16 years.

She would repeat as the Natal champion in 1905 and 1906 as Mrs R. H. Miller.

In 1907 Mrs Miller lost a 3 set final in the South African Championships. Already a mother, her finals loss at the Natal event in 1908 may have been her swan song in the sport.

Norah was the tenth of the fourteen children of Edward Hoste Hickman, a native of Worcestershire, England, and Johanna Dorothea Hickman (née Benningfield).

Her daughter Winifred Norah Miller (later Lowe) born in 1906, was a RU at the South African Championships 5 times-a unique mother-daughter record.

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography


Kelly, Miss B

1908 South African champion. Perhaps realted to Miss M. Kelly, the 1911 and 1913 South African finalist.

Kelly, Miss M

The 1911 and 1913 South African finalist. Perhaps related to the 1908 champion Miss B. Kelly.


KIRBY, AMY (nee Amy Ford Wilson)
Great Britain/South Africa
Born circa 1871 in Beltham, Kent, England
Died ????
Married H "Arthur" Kirby 12 August 1896 (1870 in Bucks, Eton) in Lewisham, Kent, England
[Active 1904-1912]

Son Arthur Wilson Kirby born 1898 in Surbiton.

Estimated date of birth differs from the 3 census records (1881,1891, and 1901 census-where she lives in England as Mrs Kirby). I am going with circa 1871 as the 1901 census lists her as being 29 on her last birthday, with Arthur being 30. Arthur's ocupation is Mineral Water [unreadable].

Sisters Amy and Georgina appear together in several draws at tournaments held in the 1890s. After her marriage, Amy (Wilson) Kirby moved to South Africa with her husband; she won the singles title at the South African Championships in 1904-07, 1910 and 1912.

Husband Arthur Kirby played Wimbledon in 1896, 1896, and 1898. Was Vernon Kirby (a South African player from the 1930s) a relation?

Most famous as record holder of 6 South African Chmps (1904-1907, 1910, 1912) From the London "Times", 13 August 1896: "The marriage between Mr Arthur Kirby, eldest son of Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, and Miss Amy Ford Wilson, third daughter of Mr John Walter Wilson, of the Paragon, Blackheath, and Oatlands Park, took place yesterday at All Saints' Church, Blackheath. The ceremony was performed by Dr Ker Grey, and there was a very large congregation. Afterwards a reception was held at the Paragon. Later in the day the bride and bridegroom left for Scarborough."

Amy was twice runner-up in the singles event at the Kent Championships in Beckenham. She also honeymooned in Scarborough around the time when the North of England Championships tournament used to be held there.

In later years Amy Wilson Kirby lived in South Africa where she won, amongst other things, the singles title at the South African Championships no less than six times (the record for that event).

Several sources mention Mrs H.A. Kirby, so it seems likely that Amy Wilson's husband's first name began with an H

The L. Wilson who appears in a number of singles draws alongside Amy and Georgina Wilson does not appear to have been related to them

For her sister Constance Wilson see: Biographies of Female Tennis Players


Kuys, Miss F.

1903 South African champion

25,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Re: A South African Prosopography


South Africa
Born in 1905 or 1906 in Johannesburg
Died in 1972
Married John West Neave on 22 January 1927 in Saint Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg
[Active at least 1925 to 1940]

Alida (Smit) Neave was twice runner-up in the women's singles event at the South African Championships, in 1926 to Irene Peacock and again in 1937, to Bobbie Miller. Alida Neave toured Europe in 1929 with Bobbie Heine, as she then was; together they reached the final of the women's doubles at the French Championships where they were beaten by Kea Bouman and Lili de Alvarez, 7-5 6-3. Alida also played at Wimbledon in 1929.

Alida also took part in a number of the ties pitting the best South African lawn tennis players against the English players that toured South Africa in the mid-to-late 1920s. In this respect she had a notable victory over Phoebe Holcroft-Watson in December 1925. Alida's other successes included winning the women's singles title at the prestigious Southern Transvaal Championships five times, in 1927, 1935, 1936 (two editions) and 1938, The East Province championship in 1928, and the 1936 Natal title.

Despite never winning her nation's title in singles Neave was near the top of South African tennis for almost 20 years, and did win the South African doubles in 1926 with Mrs E. C. Hall.

[A description of her game follows below]

Miss Smit (who defeated Mrs. Watson ort both' occasions when they met in Johannesburg, but was herself defeated when they met in Cape Town) is very young, a tire less and energetic player, and is able to retrieve almost impossible shots. She has a splendid temperament and can fight a losing game with a very stout heart. Her style is unorthodox — she employs the chop shot almost entirely — and she is very good over
head and severe. I understand that Miss Smit intends coming to Wimbledon this year and it will be interesting to follow her career, although I
venture to think her chief shot, the chop, will hardly prove as effective on our Wimbledon courts, as on the courts at Johannesburg where the ball bounds so very much higher.

South African ranking (where known-missing several years)

1929: #4
1930: #4
1936: #2
1937: #2
1939: #3
1940: #5

From the Rand Daily Mail, Monday, January 24, 1927:

“Lawn Tennis ‘Star’ Wedded – Marriage of Miss Alida Smit

“At Saint Mary’s Cathedral , in the presence of many friends, the marriage took place of Miss Alida Smit, youngest daughter of Councillor and Mrs S.A. Smit, to Mr John West Neave, only son of the late Mr and Mrs Neave. Miss Smit is the well-known lawn tennis player who has represented South Africa.

“The ceremony was performed by the Reverend Everard G.K. Esdaile, and the bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming in a graceful gown of white georgette and lace with a spray of orange blossom on the shoulder and skirt. She wore a long white tulle veil beneath a coronet of orange blossom and carried a bouquet of white lilies. [...]

“After the ceremony, a reception was held at the Melville Parish Hall, where about 200 guests were present, including the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr and Mrs A. Law Palmer) and several town councillors. The honeymoon will be spent at the Cape.”

Below is video of Mrs Neave in the 1937 South African final:

[Thanks to Newmark and Rollo for this information]


Nevill, Mrs Edmund SEE GRANT, MABEL
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