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WAGNER, MARIE
United States
Born 02 February 1883
Died 30 March 1975 in Freeport, Long Island, New York, aged 92.

6 times US Indoor champ (1908-09, 1911, 1913-14, 1917) First played on public courts in Central Park and later at the Grange LTC in Washington Heights, where she won her first event in 1904. US Chmps RU in 1914. Last ranked in the US top ten in 1922. Inducted into the HOF in 1969.

Note the wikipedia entry for her has the wrong date of death.

A photo dated September 09 1913

 

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WALKDEN, “PAT” (Patricia Molly Walkden)
Rhodesia/South Africa
Born 12 February 1946 in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
Married Quentin Christopher Pretorius, 3 September 1971 in Bulawayo.
[Active 1962-1974]

1967 French doubles finalist with Annette Duplooy.

The highlight of her career was in helping South Africa to win the 1972 Federation Cup on home turf in Johannesburg.

Pat was seeded #5 at the 1974 French when she announced her intention to retire and withdrew from the tournament.

[from Rhodesian Sports Profiles]

The elation that swept South Africa when that country won the 1972 Federation Cup — the world women's team championship of tennis — was justifiably shared in the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Alhough the inscription 'South Africa' went on the handsome trophy, the team was an all-Rhodesian one of Pat Pretorius (nee Walkden) and Brenda Kirk. After beating France in the semifinals at the Ellis Park Stadium at Johannesburg these two overcame the powerful British team 2-1 in the final to record one of the most notable triumphs in the country's tennis history. The two girls — Pat born at
Bulawayo and Brenda born at Fort Victoria — were representing their adopted country in the Federation Cup for the first time and they won it on home soil from a record entry of thirty-one nations. South Africa became the only country apart from America and Australia to win the trophy, first competed for in 1963.

It was the climax of an outstanding tennis career for Pat Pretorius — the supreme women's player produced by Rhodesia, for which country she won distinction on the international scene.

Born Patricia Molly Walkden on 12 February 1946 at Bulawayo, she matriculated at Eveline High School in her home town. Athletically built and sports minded, it seemed inevitable that she would emerge a champion in the family tradition — her father Lee captained Rhodesia at cricket and Pat followed her mother, Isobel, in gaining national hockey colours. While Pat went on to win tennis
colours and world status, her mother also later won double national colours when she became one of the nation's leading bowlers and won the country's singles title in 1979 at Salisbury.

It was clear while she was a junior that Pat possessed the vital ingredients to go far in tennis — fluent ground strokes, a strong backhand and a positive, attacking nature By the age of sixteen, in 1962, she had already risen to be third ranked player in the country behind Susie Smit and Joan Walker and it was little surprise that the next year she topped the list after winning her first Rhodesian closed singles title. As a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl she was the youngest open or closed champion
.
But in January 1963 she had given warning of her rapid rise when, not yet seventeen, she beat South Africa's world-ranked number one player, Renee Schuurman. 6-4.1 -6. 6-4 in a major second round upset at the Western Province championships at Cape Town. After winning her Rhodesian Open crown (and the doubles with Rita Martin) she again underlined her magnificent potential by winning the South African junior singles title — the first time a Rhodesian had taken this crown. Pat beat top seed Ingrid Frohling of Natal 4-6. 6-3. 6-4 ir the final

The young starlet ventured on the overseas circuit for the first time in 1964. retaining her Rhodesian closed title with an effortless 6-1.6-1 victory over Jill Russell just before flying out. She failed to qualify for the Wimbledon singles when she lost her third round qualifying match 9-7, 6-2 to a British girl. Miss A. Owen, but she was gaining valuable experience and was beginning to catch attention. Her play often provoked high acclaim and many critics predicted that she had the physical and mental ability to take the jolts of big-time tennis and that she would be able to stand the acid test of intense competition and pressure once she matured as a player.

The teenage Pat — always a superb ambassadress with impeccable court manners — and another young Rhodesian, Roger Dowdeswell, qualified for all three events at Wimbledon in 1965. Pat forming a highly effective doubles partnership with South African Glenda Swan to win their early matches. Earlier that year Pat had enhanced her reputation with a 6-2. 8-6 victory over Britain's high-ranking Christine Truman, the reigning South African champion. A report in the Bulawayo Chronicle said: "Miss Walkden's backhand driving and fine serving were too much for Miss Truman."

Rhodesia's first entry into the prestigious Federation Cup came in 1966, Pat Walkden (captain) and Joan Walker making up the team at Turin. They beat Austria 3-0 in a pleasing debut, but went down 3-0 to Italy in the second round.

However, Pat continued to make her mark by ending 1966 with her first South African Sugar Circuit title. In two stunning upsets on her way to becoming Free State champion, she beat Springbok number one, Annette van Zyl and then accounted for Britain's classy Virginia Wade in the final.

Another victory over Miss Wade followed a few weeks later in early 1967, when she won the Natal championship at Durban 6-2,9-7. By the time Pat turned twenty-one on 12 February that year, she had risen from a shy, promising schoolgirl to one of the top fifteen or so players in the world. Apart from her two Sugar titles, whilst on the circuit she also enjoyed the distinction of beating Annette van Zyl (then ranked sixth in the world) on three successive occasions.

She made her third visit to the European circuit in 1967. winning a West German tournament with an impressive victory overHelga Schultze, while in the same year she captained Rhodesia and teamed up with Fiona Morris (later McKenzie) but went down to the top seeded Americans in the first round of the Federation Cup in Berlin.

In December 1967 and January 1968, Pat flashed a warning that she would again be a strong contender en the world circuit when she won two South African Sugar titles. When she beat American Carole Graebner 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 ir the Western Province championships at Cape Town she was appearing in her third successive final of the summer, confirming the promise that had brought her to the fringe of the world's top ten. In Cape Town, Pat also teamed with Annette van Zyl to win the doubles 6-1. 6-3 against the experienced British pair. Nell Truman and Winnie Shaw.

Eut the young Rhodesian was now in a serious dilemma. Most of her competitive tennis was played in South Africa and there was strong pressure :rom that country for her to seek citizenship and wear the Springbok blazer. With Rhodesia a political outcast from most of the world because of the 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) she was encountering problems overseas when traveling on a Rhodesian passport.

And so it was that while playing in the 1968 South African championships at Johannesburg in March, Pat accepted South African naturalisation papers and was lost to Rhodesian sport. She had been forced into sporting exile by political circumstances and also by the limited opportunities in her own country. Pat was immediately awarded her Springbok blazer when she was chosen together with Maryna Godwin (who later married Mike Procter) to play in a Test series against the Australian pair, Margaret Smith (Court) and Karen Krantzke.

By nature a sensitive, unassuming woman, she worried about what her countrymen would think of her and this shone through in a telephone conversation from Johannesburg with a Press reporter in Bulawayo immediately after making her decision to become a South African.

"Do you think people in Rhodesia will understand?" she asked. "If I'd stayed in Rhodesia, my tennis would have been in jeopardy through the travel restrictions of a post-UDI passport. But 1 haven't left Rhodesia, my home is still there and I'll be home as often as I can. Give my love to the people I know in Bulawayo . . . I hope they'll understand why I've made the biggest decision of my life. Although they'll call me a South African from now on my heart will always be in Rhodesia."

Rhodesians still regarded her as one of their own and continued to follow her career closely, taking great pride in her 1969 Wimbledon feat of shattering British hopes by beating Britain's number one Virginia Wade 7-5,6-1 in a major shock on the hallowed centre court. She beat the third seed in seventy minutes to reach the last sixteen in front of 15 000 people, including the Prime Minister, Mr. Harold Wilson. It was her most notable moment in tennis and a London report said: "It was a triumph of tenacity. The South African saved three set points in the first set before the match turned in her favour." The Bulawayo girl then bowed out next round 6-3, 1-6, 8-6 after holding match point against experienced Australian Lesley Bowrey.

There was talk of Pat turning professional in America in 1970, but this never materialised, and in 1971 she was married to Free State's Quentin Pretorius in Bulawayo, whom she had met on the tennis circuit in 1963.

Then came the momentous year of 1972 when Pat Pretorius and Brenda Kirk, two young Rhodesians playing for their adopted South Africa, shocked the world by winning the Federation Cup against all odds. For Pat, now twenty-six, it was the climax of a proud tennis career which saw her plunge into world class with memorable victories over players like Wade, Ann Haydon-Jones, Van Zyl, Graebner, Judy Tegart, Fran?oise Durr and Christine Truman. Pat Pretorius was, indeed, one of the great Rhodesian sportswomen.

Pat was seeded #5 at the 1974 French Championships when she opted to retire rather than enter.



Pat flying for a volley at the 1972 Fed Cup final




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Walkden

Rhodesian Sport Profiles: Patricia Molly Pretorius

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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WALKER, DOROTHY (Dorothy Wear Walker)
United States
Born 1 July 1901
Died 19 November 1992
Married Prescott Sheldon Bush (15.5.1895-8.10.1972), 6 August 1921 in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Nickname: "Dotty"
[Active in 1918]

Most famous as the mother of United Stated President George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993).

Dorothy Walker Bush was a quarterfinalist at the 1918 US Nationals. Her early marriage and children cut short any "career". "Dotty was the tomboy daughter of her sports-loving father and, like him, played to win, especially on the tennis court. Her uncle, Joe Wear, captain of the Davis Cup team in 1928 and 1935, told her that with a little practice , she could easily become a tennis great." (Page 31 of Kitty Kelley book on the Bush family).

Dotty's competitive streak left its mark on her children. She forced her son George to play right-handed even though he was a natural lefty. The Kelley book makes it clear she had a dominating personality.

George on his mother's penchant for pushing herself (and others):

p51 "I can vividly remember the bottom of my mother's feet. Yes, she played a much younger woman named Peaches Peltz in tennis back in 1935 or so. Peaches was smooth. Mum was tenacious. Mother literally wore the skin off the bottom of her feet."

Once she had to be taken to the hospital to be rehydrated after a match.

p 52 Dotty "..judged people's character by how well they played tennis."




Sources:

Kelley, Kitty. The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, 2004.


US Nationals QF-and Mom of a President
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=371915


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Walker_Bush


[Thanks to Jimbo for this biography]
 

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WALKER-SMITH, JEAN (Jean Barbara Bridger)
United Kingdom
Born 17 March 1924 in Dulwich, England
Died 03 February 2010
Married John J Walker-Smith on 18 February 1944
[Active: 1946 to 1952]

According to the Daily Telegraph she was world ranked #10 in 1949, #5 in 1951 and #8 in 1952.

QF at Wimbledon in 1949, 1951, and 1952. Made the SF of 1951 French and the US Championships. Worked in a factory during World War II, which doubtless affected her tennis development. Played Wightman Cup in 1949, 1951 and 1952.

Her best year by far was in 1951. In this era of the "big 3" (Wimbledon, the French, and the US Nationals) Jean made the quarters at all 3 and the semis at Roland Garros and the US.

The reason for her abrupt career end in 1952 at an apparently still high level is not explained.

Titles

1950 Monte Carlo singles and Italian doubles champion (With Jean Quertier)
4 time South of England (Eastborne) singles champion in 1948, and from 1950 to 1952.

After 1952 she was absent from the game except for a one off appearance at Wimbledon in 1968. Mrs Walker-Smith played recreational tennis past the age of 80.

Her trademark was a white ribbon in her hair.



Sources:

Jean Walker-Smith

Jean Walker-Smith - TennisForum.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Walker-Smith

https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/85817845-18bd-43a9-9693-2fc8a9af1b21/index.html

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/160407875 [includes a photo]

[Thanks to Rollo and Wolbo for this information]
 

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WALLIS, MARGARET
Australia (Victoria)
[Active 1950-1953]

Entered the Australian 4 times (1950-53). Her singles record was 2 -4. Melbourne was her hometown. She was still considered a junior in 1951.

Did she make a private world tour in 1954 or 1955? An article suggested she was planning to do so.

Sources:

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10733/20110203-0219/www.australianopen.com/en_AU/event_guide/history/players/22823.html

http://person.ancestry.com/tree/80854708/person/46433690005/facts (possible connection-this person married a Mr Fagg)

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23425078?
 

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WALSH, ROSEMARY
Great Britain
Born 26 April 1928 in Birmingham
Married John L.Deloford in St Columba's Church of Scotland, Pont Street London on 10 September 1955
[Active 1947-1967]

When she hung up her tennis racquets after Wimbledon in 1967 Rosemary had taken part in 21 consecutive Wimbledon championships; competing every year from 1947.

Her biggest title was the Surrey Championships (Surbiton) in 1955.

Sources:

UK Incoming Passengers 14th May 1959 within www.ancestry.co.uk

Birmingham Daily Post 13th September 1955 (source for marriage)

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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WALSH, SHARON (Sharon Ann Walsh)
United States
Born 24 February 1952 in San Francisco, California
Married (1) Michael Henry Pete, 20 April 1985 in Sausalito, California
Married (2) Steve Nixon Arnold on 2 July 2007 in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
[Active 1969 to 1990]

A dangerous doubles player, where she was for several years a world top tenner. Walsh won at least 30 doubles titles in over two decades on the tour. 1982 finalist at the US Open with Barbara Potter-she was an 8 time doubles semifinalist in the four slams.

In singles Sharon reached the finals of the Australian Open in 1979. She lost the final 6-3 6-3 to Barbara Jordan.

Played as Walsh-Pete after marriage. Her name is also given as Sharon Walsh-Arnold by wikipedia. Sharon Walsh is now married to Steve Arnold and lives in Colorado Springs. She is a tennis teacher at the Broadmoor Hotel.

Highest singles ranking: #22 in February of 1982.




Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Walsh

Sharon Walsh et Pat Bostrom - Le blog des archives du tennis feminin

Source:
http://www.broadmoor.com/egallery/up...f--revised.pdf

Steven Arnold is an ex Navy and Air Force man (estimated year of birth around 1938?) who founded a real estate company in 1964.

Source: page 91 (second half) of 526 pages in:
http://03743c6.netsolhost.com/USNA_1...B_Complete.pdf

[Thanks to Vinkje83 for help with this biography]
 

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LARKAN, GLORIA (nee Gloria ????)
South Africa
Born ???? in Northern Cape, South Africa
Married a Mr Larkan at the age of 21
[Active from the late 1960s into the 1970s]

A minor player in her youth who blossomed as a veteran tennis player representing South Africa abroad in veteran's events. she once lost to Greer Stevens in the quarterfinals at Natal.

[From the South Coast Herald in December of 2016]

Glorious career on the courts comes to an end

She has inspired many to take up the game over the years.
December 9, 2016

GLORIA Larkan, a woman of great distinction, and long time member of the Uvongo Tennis Club has decided on medical advice to hang up her ‘tekkies’.
She was selected to play for South Africa in successive veterans’ age groups no less than five times.

Gloria actually represented this county on three occasions, in Austria twice and in Turkey.

She also took part in 13 interprovincial veterans’ tournaments and won the Free State mixed doubles tournament with fellow Uvongo club octogenarian Ralph Burls.

In earlier days Gloria played against people like former Springbok Maryna Godwin (wife of famous cricketer Mike Procter) and lost 6-4, 6-4 to famed international player Greer Stevens in the Natal Open Championships.

Gloria went on to play tennis in Hawaii and in Bunderberg in Australia, well known for its rum distillery, where she lived briefly.

Gloria grew up in the Northern Cape in a village outside Kimberley where both her mother and father were keen tennis players, and took their children with them wherever they played.

The children practised their tennis in the back yard on limestone after their father erected a net for them.

Gloria moved to Harding as a bride at the age of 21.

In those days the entire province was divided up into counties with Uvongo being Alfred County and Harding South County.

The counties played against each other. Gloria played for Harding A for 25 years and 15 years for South County. There were 750 players registered from Umzinto to Himeville. Port Edward alone boasted 25 clubs.

On an organisational level Gloria took over the presidency of Southern Counties and held the balance of power between Durban and Pietermaritzburg where she attended meetings in the capital and Durban.
Although Gloria is no longer active on the courts she remains a glamorous and instantly recognisable figure, and is the centre of attraction when she makes the occasional appearance at the club.

Gloria is a confirmation of the finding of a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which found that racquet sports are the best way to reduce the chance of premature death.

Playing either tennis, squash or badminton cuts the risk of an early death by no less than 47 percent.

Glorious career on the courts comes to an end | South Coast Herald

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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WALTERS, CECILY (Cecily Jacomb Walters)
United Kingdom
Born 1901 in Reigate, Surrey
Died 11 July 1924 in Reigate, Surrey
Did not marry.
[Active circa 1920-24]

Cecily entered Wimbledon in 1924, but defaulted. One suspects she was already ill, as she died within days of the Championships.

From the "Surrey Mirror", 18 July 1924: "On July 11th, Cecily Jacomb, dearly loved only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Walters, of 5 Church Street, Reigate, aged 23."She was usually listed as Miss CJ Walters.

During the tournament in Reigate "Play was suspended for 2 hours during the afternoon of Wednesday July 16 as a mark of respect to the late Miss C J Walters, whose funeral took place at 2.30pm.

[Thanks to Jimbo, Newmark and The Computer for this biography]
 

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WALTERS, JOAN (Joan Eunice Walters)
Australia (South Australia)
Born 1916
Died 4 March 2014 in Sydney
Married Frederick Steele Koehncke circa 1940

A promising junior who did not improve as much as expected in her senior career. Joan beat Dot Stevenson to win the 1935 SA Junior title and again upset the Victorian (seeded fourth) in the 1936 Australian Championships.

Walter's forte was to force the pace and put away the easy ball when it came along. She threw safety aside in her hard hitting.

Metropolitan Champion 1934
Metropolitan HC Champion 1935
East Torrens Winter Champion 1936
South Australian junior Champion 1935

[Thanks to GeeTee for this information]
 
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