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CLARKE, JEAN
United States
Married Johnson after 1959
[Active 1945-1959]

From Birmingham, Alabama. In the Southern Hall of Fame her surname is written Clark, but she appears in our yearly threads as Clarke. We are correct.

She won Southern Champs. 1952 '53 '54 '57 '59 (RU '47 '51), South Florida Champs. 1950 (RU '53), Blue Gray Championships 1953 '54 (RU '55), RU Florida State '49.
 

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DAVIS, MARGUERITE
United States
Born 1890
Died 16 March 1963

She was from Minnesota, won Western Champs. 1916 (RU 1919), Northwestern Champs. 1914 '15 '16 '17 '21 (RU '13), Red River Valley Champs. 1910, RU Tri-State Champs. 1916, RU Great Plains Champs. 1916

According to this site she won Minnesota State Champs. not only in 1909 '11 '12 but also from 1914 to 1932 (RU '10 '13)
http://saintpaultennisclub.com/club-history

In last pic she is with Tilden


 

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CEPKOVA, EMMA (Emma Čepková)
Czechoslovakia
Born 4 September 1914 in Pilsen
Died 26 May 2000 in Prague
Married Married Eduard Outrata (7 March 1898-8 June 1958) in 1935 (after Wimbledon)
[Active circa 1930-35]

Emma's married name was Outratová.

Led Helen Wills Moody 6-3 4-1 in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 1935 before losing 3-6 6-4 6-2. This was one and only Wimbledon.


Her son Edvard was born 09 August 1936 in Brno. Went into exile with her family in June of 1939 due to the Nazi German occupation of her homeland. Eduard was a leading politician in the government in exile and returned home to work with the communists until his 1951 imprisonment. Released in 1956, he died soon after.

Lowe's 1936 Almanack calls her "the Great Garbo of the courts."





Sources:

Her husband:
https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Outrata

Their son Edvard:
https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Outrata

[Thanks to Jimbo, Newmark and Rollo for this information]
 

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ALLISON, "ANN" or 'Annie" (nee Anna Louise Caswell)
United States
Born 13 December 1905
Died 14 November 1993
Married Wilmer Lawson Allison (December 8, 1904 – April 20, 1977) in early 1930.
Retired in 1934.

The New York Times wrote she was "the daughter of a prominent Austin [Texas] cotton man." She was not prominent as a tennis player, in contrast to her husband, who was a Wimbledon finalist in 1930 and US Champion in 1935. Wilmer attended college at the University of Texas at Austin.

The pair won a few mixed events together, but by 1934 she left the game to take up golf.

The couple are buried at Oakwood cemetery in Austin. They had had no children. Nicknames are from her tombstone.

[Thanks to Newmark for help with this biography]
 

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BARTOSH, ESTHER (nee Esther Mae Hare)
United States
Born 07 December 1901
Died 25 March 1978 in Los Angeles, California
Married Gerald "Jerry" Bartosh, before July 1929, divorced by 1940 census.
[Active 1930-1940]


She was Californian, and won Pacific Northwest Championships in 1936 (RU '39), Wisconsin State Championships 1935, Utah State Championships 1938, Canadian Champs. 1936, RU Southern California Championships 1934, RU Tri-State Championships 1934, RU Colorado State Championships 1940, RU La Jolla Summer 1931, RU Washington State Championships 1936 '39

She often played the Mixed with her husband.

Son Ben (or Benny) Bill born 14 May 1931.

An anatomy teacher at University of California Los Angeles, she was usually listed as Dr Esther Bartosh. Best known as a coach, she was instrumental in shaping Bobby Riggs, the 1939 Wimbledon champion. Mrs. Bartosh didn't treat tennis seriously until she became a practicing M.D. - working for the city health department forced her to be on call or within easy reach of a phone for the bulk of her time. She explained: "Because of that I wasn't able to play golf as much as I had been and in looking about for some sort of recreation which would leave me constantly near a telephone - that situation led me to a tennis court."

Sources:
Court Hustler, by Bobby Riggs with George McGann. 1973
 

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BABBITT, ETHEL (nee Ethel Mary Hatt)
Canada
Born 13 July 1876 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada*
Died 20 August, 1969
Married Harold R Babbitt between 1901 and 1905.
[Active 1908-1927]

The 1901 census indicates her birth date as 12 July 1876, with her status as single. Her tennis activity apparently started in earnest after her children Isabel (born circa 1905) and David (born circa 1908).

A well rounded athlete, Ethel enjoyed and excelled playing in hockey, golf and Tennis. She appeared in both amateur and professional leagues. She was an accomplished tennis player from 1908 through 1927 . She earned titles in Ladies singles and mixed doubles and took national honours in 1910. As a mother of three children she turned to hockey in winter and enjoyed Golf in the Maritime summers. She was the provincial champion and top scorer for the Charlestown Abbies hockey tem in 1937-38 and played with the Hibbing Monarchs the next year. In 1946 she was with the Maritime Intermediates of the Charlestown Legion hockey Team. She played in Moncton in 1947 and 1948. She was an 8 time member of the PEI Willington Cup golf team between 1939 and 1962. She was ten times in the Canada Amateur Golf Championships and 29 times in the Canadian Professional Golf Association as well as from 1969 through 1976 she was seven times Maritime Champion. She is a welcome member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. Suggested sources: New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on line.

Source: http://famouscanadianwomen.com/on%20the%20job/sports.htm


 

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HODGSON, PATRICIA
Australia
Married Bruce Henry Colyer (Between April 1949 and 1951)

According to the Sydney Norning Herald she was engaged to Bruce Henry Colyer March-April 1949.

1980 living in Molong ,New South Wales.

Played vets singles 75+ age group, Perth , Australia April 2001.

Sources:

Australia Newspapers Vital Notice 1841-2001
Sydney Morning Herald March-April 1949

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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NEAVE, ALIDA (nee Alida Smit)
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 on 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 overhead 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]


https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/a...&searchLimits=
 

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WATSON, MAUD (Maud Edith Eleanor Watson)
United Kingdom
Born 09 October 1864 in Harrow, Middlesex, England
Died 05 June, 1946 in Charmouth, Dorest, England
[Active: 1881-1889]

Forever etched in history as the first Wimbledon champion, she won in 1884 and 1885, falling at last in the 1886 Challenge Round to Blanche Bingley 6-3 6-3.
Her overall singles record at Wimbledon is 7-1. She was also the first nearly "unbeatable" champion, racking up a win streak of 54 matches from 1881 to 1886, when Lottie Dod beat her in the final at Bath.

[From Alan Little's book-for full text please see thread by Mark Ryan]

The youngest child of the Reverend Henry William and Emily Frances Watson. Her sister, Lilian Mary, was seven years older and her brother, Erskine Gerald, five-and-a-half years her senior.

The family left Harrow in 1865 upon the appointment of Henry Watson as Rector of Berkswell, a small village near Coventry. …Maud learnt the game at home. She had ample opportunity to practise with the opposite sex for the Reverend used to take in and coach young Cambridge undergraduates studying mathematics. Whenever there was no one to play with she would sharpen her strokes by hitting the ball against the wall in the rectory garden.

Maud developed an all-round game which had no apparent weaknesses. She had an ideal temperament and her cool, quiet concentration often upset her more excitable opponents. Her over-arm service gave her an edge over most opponents, who were wary of her volleying and driving ability. Her judgment was excellent for she was able to discover her opponent’s weak points very early and take advantage of these to the utmost, while her behaviour on court was an example to all.

Although coloured dresses were fashionable at the time, Maud generally chose to wear a white, light wool, ankle-length skirt, with a small bustle, a long-sleeved silk jersey blouse and a sailor hat.

Maud’s first public appearance was at the Edgbaston …during July 1881 – the year ladies’ open events were introduced to the English public. Although only 16 years of age, Maud was immediately successful, winning the singles by defeating Lilian in the final and pairing with her to win the doubles.

Over a year elapsed before Maud competed again, [winning the singles at Cheltenham in 1882].

By 1883 the popularity of the game as a whole had grown in extent to over 30 tournaments, most of them including ladies’ events. Maud chose to play in four and, apart from conceding a walkover in a scratch pairs, remained undefeated. [Maud won the singles at the West of England event. Cheltenham, and Exmouth]

In 1884, Maud widened her horizons by entering the Irish Championships. For some time followers of the game had speculated on the relative merits of Maud and Miss May Langrishe, the Irish champion, and the possibility of a clash caused much excitement in Dublin. The public were not disappointed …Maud, volleying and driving with surprising accuracy, proved too severe for her opponent’s graceful style of play and won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, taking the last six games in a row.

When in March 1884, the All England Lawn Tennis Club Committee announced that the forthcoming meeting would be enlarged by the introduction of a gentlemen’s doubles event, no mention was made of staging a ladies’ singles. This decision came as late as 21 June and was undoubtedly influenced by the knowledge that the neighbouring London Athletic Club at Stamford Bridge planned to institute a Ladies’ Championship. Rather than create a difficult situation the L.A.C. graciously withdrew in favour of the premier body, which they felt had a priority to hold the Championship.

The event, run concurrently with the gentlemen’s doubles, commenced on Wednesday, 16 July, the day after the conclusion of the gentlemen’s singles. Play occupied the courts for four days and was reasonably attended in view of the poor weather on the first three days, when strong south-west winds blew and showers were frequent. However, the Saturday was fine and between four and five hundred spectators assembled at Worple Road to witness the final.

Maud Watson, at the age of 19, became the first champion. In the opening round she easily defeated Mrs A. Tyrwhitt-Drake, 6-0, 6-2. In her next match, Maud was given a testing time in the first set by Miss Blanche Williams, who led 4-2, but she recovered to 5-all and then took the next eight games. A mild sensation occurred in the following round when Maud lost the opening set 6-3 to a very determined Miss Blanche Bingley, before raising her game to take the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2.

In the other half of the draw, Maud’s sister, Lilian, won her through to the final. Maud’s superiority was so well known that the result was regarded as a foregone conclusion, but on this occasion, however, Lilian exhibited greater accuracy and severity in her strokes than normal and was able to capture the first set, 8-6. Maud, undeterred, fought back to win the next two by 6-3, 6-3. Victory confirmed Maud’s standing as the leading player of that time and ensured that her name would appear in the record book for posterity.

1885 was a year of outstanding success for Maud, who remained unbeaten in singles and lost only one set. Over 3,000 spectators were present at the Fitzwilliam Club to watch the final between Maud and Miss Louise Martin who was making her debut in the Irish Championships. Miss Martin displayed an all-round game, highlighted by powerful serving and precision volleying, and it required all Maud’s skill and tenacity to quell the opposition. For two sets there was little to choose between them but in the decider Maud outstayed her opponent to win, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. The match was described at the time as the best ever played by ladies.

Towards the end of June, Maud met stiff resistance on her first visit to the Northern Championships at Manchester. In the final, Maud had to call upon her reserves to counter the aggressive play of Miss Lottie Dod, the 13-year-old “little wonder” from Bebington, Cheshire, who earlier had eliminated Lilian. Maud, though out of form, managed to win the vital points to squeeze through 8-6, 7-5. In the championship round Maud outplayed Edith Davies, 6-3, 6-3.

That year only ten entries were received for the Ladies’ Championship at Wimbledon. Many of the leading players were absent and only Maud, Lilian and Blanche Bingley remained from the previous year. Maud was far superior to any other competitor and comfortably retained her title. Following a bye in the first round, she quickly disposed of Bee Langrishe 6-0, 6-2, and Miss E.F. Hudson, 6-0, 6-1, to meet Blanche Bingley in the final. On the morning of the match it was reported that Maud was suffering from a sudden attack of rheumatism, but any forebodings were soon dispelled when she speedily secured the first set from her extremely nervous opponent. In the second set Blanche Bingley improved and, scoring consistently with her drives, managed to hold the champion to 5-all. However, in the next two games Maud conceded just two points and ran out the winner 6-1, 7-5. A feature of Maud’s play was that she never failed on any occasion to return her opponent’s service.

Maud began her 1886 season at the Bath tournament, which attracted all the best players, with the possible exception of the Langrishe sisters. Victories on consecutive days against Margaret Bracewell, 6-4. 6-3, Miss G. Gibbs (the holder), 6-3, 6-3, Blanche Bingley, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, and Louise Martin, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, took their toll and in the final against Lottie Dod her sharpness had gone. The match was stubbornly contested, especially in the second set, when the majority of the games went to deuce, one of them to eleven. Maud fought desperately hard to stave off defeat and saved two match points, but Lottie Dod, cool and confident, held firm for 7-5, 6-4. This was Maud’s first singles defeat since her debut in 1881. During this period she had competed in 54 matches and lost but 12 sets – a remarkable performance.

A large crowd was present at the Northern Championships, held at Liverpool, to see Maud, the defending champion, gain revenge over Lottie Dod, the challenger, 7-5, 6-3. Maud’s persistent attack to her opponent’s backhand, coupled with her control at the net, were the deciding factors.

After being under pressure from all sides for some time the All England Club agreed to give equal status to the ladies by presenting a Challenge Trophy for their Championship. This gave Maud the right to “stand out” and await the winner of the All-Comers’ singles. Blanche Bingley won through from an entry of eight and in the challenge round decisively beat Maud, 6-3, 6-3. Miss Bingley was in her very best form, hitting the ball vigorously on the forehand and showing no signs of her usual nervousness. Maud’s play lacked the determined energy which was one of its principal characteristics.

Compared to previous years, 1887 was a poor season for Maud. She was considerably handicapped by a sprained wrist which worsened with time. Maud decided not to compete at Wimbledon.. [In fact 1886 would be her last year at Wimbledon].

Even after a winter’s rest Maud’s wrist had not recovered sufficiently to enable her to show her true form in singles and with one exception restricted her appearances in 1888 to doubles play.
Maud’s final year of competition was 1889. [Her last event was at Edgbaston in June].
While on holiday in Jersey she went swimming off the coast and was nearly drowned. She was rescued with difficulty and afterwards suffered an illness from which complete recovery took a number of years.

Away from the public eye the Watson sisters settled down to the quieter country life at Berkswell, helping their father with his parish duties Maud’s home nursing training led her to become Commandant of the Berkswell Auxiliary Hospital during the First World War, and for her services she was awarded the M.B.E.
Maud continued to live at Berkswell until 1932, when she took up residence at Hammonds Mead, overlooking the sea, at Charmouth, Dorset, as companion to Miss Gertrude Evans, a life-long friend and tennis enthusiast who originated from Kenilworth. Maud, who never married, died at Hammonds Mead on 5 June 1946, at the age of 81. A few days later she was laid to rest with her sister in the churchyard at Berkswell.

Tournament Wins in Singles (17 titles in total)

Cheltenham-1882,1883, and 1885
Edgbaston-1881
Exmouth-1883, 1884, and 1886
Irish Championships-1884 and 1885
London Athletic Club-1884 and 1885
Northern Championships-1885 and 1886
Welsh Championships-1887
West of England Championships-1883
Wimbledon--1884 and 1885


Sources:

Little, Alan (1983). Maud Watson : The First Wimbledon Lady Champion. London: The Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library, The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Berkswell has a transcript of the "Personal Memories of Miss Maud Watson" by Edwin Watson,nephew of Maud and Lillian Watson.

Maud Watson (1864-1946)-The First Wimbledon Singles Champion
Maud Watson(1864-1946) - The first Wimbledon women's singles champion - TennisForum.com

Maud (on left) with her sister Lilian (on right)
 

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WATSON, LILIAN (Lilian Mary Watson)
United Kingdom
Born 15 October 1857 in Harrow, Middlesex, England
Died 27 May 1918 in Berkswell, Warwickshire, England, aged 60

Competed at Wimbledon from 1884 to 1886. Finalist in 1884, losing to her sister Maude Watson. It would be well over 100 years before the next sister vs sister final; with Venus and Serena Williams facing each other in 2001. Lilian also reached the SF in 1886.


Lilian (upper right) next to Herbert Lawford. Ernest Renshaw and Maude Watson are seated
 

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WINCKWORTH, FLORENCE (Florence Mary Winckworth)
United Kingdom
Born in London in 1856
Died 23 October 1928 in London
Married Basset Charles Edward Fitzgerald Gunn in Kent in 1888
[Active in 1884]

1884 Wimbledon Quarterfinalist

Florence was one of the thirteen women who took part in the inaugural women's singles event at Wimbledon in 1884.She won her first match before losing in the quarterfinals.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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WILLIAMS, BLANCHE (Blanche E Williams)
United Kingdom
[Active 1884-1888]

Competed at Wimbledon in 1884 and 1888. She made the QF in 1884. Her overall singles record at Wimbledon was 1-2. Per Alan Little (p 2 of his booklet on Maude Watson) her name was Blanche. Other sources simply call her Miss BE Williams.
 
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