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PLANTIER, ANJELICA (Angélica Araújo Plantier)
Portugal
Born 8 November 1885 in Lisbon
Died in July 1972 in Funchal
Did not marry.
[Active circa 1905-35.]

Portugal's best female lawn tennis player during the early decades of the sport's popularity in that country. Winner of multiple singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles titles, most notably at the National and International Championships of Portugal.

In later years Angélica Plantier sold some of her many lawn tennis trophies in order to raise money for the poor in Santo Condestável, then a parish located near her native Lisbon.


At the 1914 World Hard Court Championships



[Thanks to Newmark for this biography]
 

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HART, DORIS (Doris Jane Hart)
United States
Born 20 June 1925 in St Louis, Missouri
Died 29 May 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida
Never Married
[Active 1939-1955]

The Complete Champion

Doris was a complete champion in every respect: with 35 major titles in slams, she was the first to have a complete boxed set of singles, doubles, and mixed in each major. Only Margaret Court and Martina Navratilova share this record.

In the era of polio it was widely (and incorrectly) assumed her stiff and swollen looking knee was a result of the dreaded disease. An early newspaper story perpetuated that notion. Bow legged from her childhood condition, Doris was no gazelle on court when it came to movement. She compensated .

Whenever questioned about her lack of mobility around the court, Doris always pointed out that the great Helen Wills Moody herself had never been quick.

An infection suffered at age 1 nearly forced amputation of her right leg and left her limping through childhood. Hart discovered tennis at age 10 when she was hospitalized after a double-hernia operation. Bored in her room at Victoria Hospital in Miami, Hart would stare out her window tennis courts. Her brother Bud promised to play the sport with her once she got out. From that time, she gave her life to tennis. The family lived only a block away from public clay courts at Henderson Park. Unlike many of the top women of her era Doris was totally comfortable on dirt.

"Soon I had a fairly good idea of how the game was played," Hart writes in her book Tennis With Hart, published in 1955. "Before long my imagination took over, and I was mentally racing over the courts, swinging away at a little white ball."

Her brother, Richard "Bud" Hart, was a former UM men's tennis captain and was once ranked No. 17 in the United States. Until his death in 1995, Bud was Hart's coach and lifelong closest friend.

To compensate for her weak knee, he taught his little sister to hit strong and deep. Early in her career, Bud Hart would draw a box seven or eight feet long and two feet deep at the opposite baseline and have her hit it. Long drives would keep opponents on their heels. The reasoning: make them do all the running.

"I would never say she limped or was lame in any way," said Julian Eaton, whose family donated $170,000 to the University of Miami this year for a perpetual student-athlete scholarship in Hart's name. "She adapted herself to move."

Her excellent anticipation and fluency of stroke have been rarely equaled in the history of women's tennis. The timing of her continental drives was classical in it's perfection, the power and rhythm of her service and overhead were achieved with uncomplicated ease, her volleys were punched with flawless form and deceptive sting.

Tall and lithe with curly brown hair, Hart usually wore pleated skirts just above the knees to hide her swollen knee.

Doris about her leg-from page 80 of We Have Come a Long Way: the story of Women's Tennis, by Billie Jean King.

"I had the bad leg all my life, so my movement was not as great as some of the girls. I worked very hard on anticipation. I worked hard on the drop shot, which really helped me in my career, and I worked on half volleys, stepping in and taking the ball right off the bounce. I knew I couldn't stay out there and rally fifty times a point.

"A lot of those half volleys were at the baseline. I never retreated. When my brother Bud, and I played sets, he'd mark the court maybe two feet behind the baseline, and if I moved back beyond that line, I's lose the point. So it made me stay up there and take deep balls on the half volley. People used to say, "That's such a chancy shot." but for me, it wasn't. I felt just as confident doing that as someone else would have been, hitting a regular forehand.

"My serve also helped me a lot. If I was down, 15-40, I could still put in a few good ones and pull it out. I had a good forehand. I hit it flat and could slice it too. I hit my backhand flat or with slice. The slice was very good on grass. Many of the tournaments were on grass then, not like today.

"The leg bothered me my whole life. It was painful, particularly in England, because it was so damp. I had surgery on it twelve years ago and it is so much better now. But I still can't bend my right knee to any extent, and I never could when I played. In England, I used to have the lady rub something on it and put the heat lamp on before I played to loosen it up. But it always bothered me.
Triple crown champion in 1951-dropping only 1 set.

For most of the 1940s Doris had to deal with the two top dogs of her era: Margaret Osborne Du Pont and Louise Brough. Hart had many wins over both women, but beating both of them to break through and win a major proved to be a tough hurdle to clear. In fact Hart lost the first 4 major finals she fought in from 1946 to 1948.

Her first trip to Australia in 1949 also netted her first slam. Hart would win singles major for the next 4 years.

Misfortune dealt her a setback however, as an eye infection required surgery-forcing her to miss her beloved Wimbledon in the summer of 49. Returning in time for the US Championships, Hart beat Louise Brough in the semis but fell to Du Pont. At this point her reputation as a "bridesmaid" was almost cemented; her finals record in slams being 1-5.

Hart secured her second major on clay at the French in 1950. In 1951 she was finally world #1. Hart won the Wimbledon triple crown-singles, doubles, and mixed. With Brough and Du Pont in decline Hart could be forgiven for thinking her reign would be a long one. The only gap on her resume was Forest Hills. Seeded #1, Doris got the shock of her life as young phenom Maureen Connolly bested her in 6-4 6-4 upset. Crowds rooted for Doris in most matches, but on this day the cheers were for the teen. Doris ended the year as #1 due to Wimbledon, but clearly the generational torch had been passed.

From 1952 to 1954 Hart was second fiddle to Maureen Connolly. In 1953 Hart garnered a well earned upset over "Little Mo" on clay to win the Italian. Connolly bested her in 3 slam finals that year. At Wimbledon the 8-6 7-5 final enchanted Centre Court. The match was so special many rank it as the best Wimbledon final ever-and this despite it being in straight sets.

"There's no doubt in my mind That Mo was the greatest player who ever lived, and I have seen them all except Suzanne Lenglen"-Hart in 1978 (World Tennis Magazine)
The horse riding accident Connolly suffered in the summer of 1954 ended her tennis career. Could Hart step into the void and finally claim a US Nationals title? After years of trying to win at Forest Hills victory finally came on her 13th attempt and 5th final . Even then Doris overcame 3 match points vs old rival Louise Brough. Brother Bud chain smoked courtside as sis finally won the missing jewel in her crown. Few champions have been more beloved than Hart was that day. So popular was Hart's win that "each point that Doris earned in the final game was greeted with a deafening roar."

Hart repeated as US champion in 1955 and turned professional.

In doubles Hart's partnership with best friend Shirley Fry netted 11 slams as a team, 5th all-time. Truly one of the all-time greatest accomplishments is Doris Hart's winning 13 consecutive Grand Slam mixed doubles tournaments (not counting those she did not enter). She was undefeated from 1951 through 1955, including 3 French, 5 Wimbledon, and 5 U.S. titles. Her only loss in mixed doubles after 1955 was in the quarterfinals of the 1969 U.S. Open mixed doubles tournament-when well past her prime.

"Doris and anybody. She was a devil", declared Louise Brough without any hesitation, when asked who her toughest doubles foe was. 50 years later she still had vivid memories of a respected rival..(personal interview, 2004)


World Ranking


1946: #4
1947: #3
1948: #3
1949: #3
1950: #3
1951: #1
1952: #2
1953: #2
1954: #2
1955: #2

United States ranking (14 consecutive years in top ten)

1942-#6
1943-#3
1944-#6
1945-#6
1946-#4
1947-#3
1948-#3
1949-#3
1950-#2
1951-#2
1952-#2
1953-#2
1954-#1
1955-#1

Slam statistics (Won 35 majors-6 in Singles, 14 in Doubes, and 15 in Mixed Doubles)

Australian---5 titles

8-1 in singles
Won Singles 1949 and RU in 1950 (1 of 2 entries)
Won Doubles in 1950
Won Mixed Doubles in 1949-1950

French--10 titles

28-5 in singles
Won Singles in 1950 and 1952 (2 of 7 entries)
Won Doubles 1948 and 1950-53 with Shirley Fry
Won Mixed Doubles in 1951-1953

Wimbledon--10 titles

43-8 in singles
Won Singles in 1951 (1 of 9 entries)
Won Doubles in 1947 and from 1951-1953
Won Mixed Doubles from 1951-1955.

United States Nationals--10 titles

57-13 in singles

Won Singles in 1954 and 1955 (2 of 15 entries)
Won Doubles from 1951-1953
Won Mixed Doubles from 1951-1955

Singles record in majors

136-27 (83.4%)
Won 5 of 32 majors played for a strike rate of 15.6%

Sources:

Tennis With Hart
, by Doris Hart, 1955. (192 pages)

Total Tennis: The Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia, by Bud Collins. 2003. p 678-679

We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis, by Billie Jean King, 1988, pages 77-90.

Tennis With Hart: The Doris Hart Thread
https://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=51270506

Doris Hart Results thread (a work in progress)
https://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=806802

Points from the famous 1953 Wimbledon final

[Thanks to Rollo for this biography, and special thanks to Djoule for statistics]
 

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STORK, MARJORIE (nee Marjorie Cosens)
United Kingdom
Born 6 July 1897 in Oakham, Rutland, East Midlands
Died November 1988 in Oxford, Oxfordshire
Married Herbert Cecil S. Stork on 8 September 1919 in Calcutta, Bengal, India
[Active circa 1920-33]

Enjoyed most of her success at lawn tennis tournaments in India. Usually listed as "Mrs H.C.S. Stork".

Wimbledon record
(1929-1930 and 1932-33)

Singles: 1-3
Doubles: 0-3
Mixed: 0-2

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/b99366ac-9c7b-4950-9933-98cf6c44a448/index.html

[Thanks to Newmark for information on this player]
 

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DREYFUS, ALICE
Switzerland/United States
Born 1920
Died 27 March 2014
Married Kurt Fred Netter in 1942

Mlle Dreyfuss was playing Swiss events in 1940, winning Leukerbad that summer for example.Later inthe year she emigrated to the United States.
Mother of Nadine Netter. Still active in the New York area in the late 1960s.

Her obituary at :http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/loh...?pid=170416315

Alice D. Netter

AGE: 93 • Scarsdale

Alice Netter, born Alice Dreyfus, of Basel, Switzerland, passed away on Thursday, March 27 in White Plains at the age of 93. She came to the United States in 1940 and settled in New York City where she attended Julliard School of Music and graduated in 1944. In 1942, she met Kurt Fred Netter, her husband and love of her life for over 60 years. His unexpected death in 2003 was a huge loss for her. A lifelong competitor, she particularly enjoyed ice skating and tennis as a child, skiing, tennis, golf as an adult. She continued to be an avid concert goer and life master bridge player until her final days. She had three children: Nadine Levy of Palm Beach Florida, Fred Netter and his wife Judi of Croton-on-Hudson, NY and Ronald Netter and his wife Susan of New Haven, CT. She also leaves her 5 grandchildren, Sarah Boone, Kate Levy, Gus Levy, Ben Netter and Rebecca Bloomquist who were all the object of her ongoing interest and affection. She also leaves 4 great grandchildren who were the love of her life. Donations in her name should be sent to Selfhelp Community Services at 520 8th Ave, NYC, 10018. A funeral service will be held at Congregation Kol Ami on Monday, March 31 at 10 AM - See more at: Alice Netter Obituary - White Plains, NY | The Journal News
 

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BLOXSOME, CONSTANCE (Constance Schreiber Bloxsome)
United Kingdom
Born in 1877 in New South Wales, Australia
Died 12 October 1936 in The Linford Sanatorium, Ringwood, Hampshire, England
Did not marry.
[Active circa 1896-1914]

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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BLOXSOME, "MAY" (Nita May Schreiber Bloxsome)
United Kingdom
Born in 1872 in Ryde, Isle of Wight
Died 31 January 1949 in London
Did not marry.
[Active circa 1890-1914]

Wimbledon record (1906, 1907 and 1909)

Singles: 0-3

Note the Wimbledon site records her as M Bloxsome, a probable inidcator that she used her middle name of May rather than Nita.

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/68fb68f1-7de8-4267-a76b-90299c3af812/index.html

Elder sister of Constance.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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WILLIAMS, LORRAINE
Born 19 September 1938
Married John Bryant

"The first black player to win a U.S. National tennis championship" (Girl's under-15 title in 1953).

Pioneering African-American tennis player retains her fiery spirit

By Mic Huber
[email protected]
Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.

The braided pig-tails in her hair have long since disappeared, gone the way of wooden tennis rackets. Though her hair is now short and graying, the fiery spirit that helped Lorraine Williams Bryant blaze a trail in tennis clearly remains.

Lorraine Williams Bryant, with her granddaughter Alana Sherman, 14, of Lakewood Ranch, was the first African America female to win a national junior tennis title in the U.S.

Always on the move, the Sarasota resident's days remain filled with appointments, travel and tennis.

Bryant, nearing her 74th birthday and now living in Sarasota, talks of compiling a book about her life, from growing up poor in Chicago during the early civil rights movement, rising to a high level in what was, not very long ago, considered a white-dominated sport.

Long before African-American sisters Serena and Venus Williams exploded onto the world tennis scene, a small 14-year-old girl with the same surname — and a dogged sense of determination — became the first black player to win a U.S. National tennis championship.

It was two years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., when Bryant made history by winning the U.S. Lawn Tennis national 15s tennis title in 1953 at Kalamazoo, Mich.

She accomplished something that no black player who came before her — including tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe — had done. She did it despite not really understanding the significance at the time.

"I really wasn't that aware," she says. "I just liked the game. You kind of live in a shelter as kids. We didn't know what was going on in the rest of the world."

It wasn't until years later, when she had a chance to speak to Ashe at a professional tournament, that she discovered the implication of her win.

Then married, with two children, Bryant walked up to Ashe after one of his matches and told him how glad she was to meet him. To her amazement, Ashe asked her if her maiden name was Louise Williams.

"He said, 'You are praising me? I kept up with you. You were like my mentor,'" Bryant recalls. "Then he gave me a big hug. I will never forget that."

Making history was not on her mind when Bryant looked across the alley from the small house where she lived and saw the Chicago Prairie Tennis Club, the oldest black tennis facility in the country.

She was fascinated by the men and women hitting tennis balls back and forth across the net on the old, dusty clay courts. There were no thoughts at the time about tournament titles and trophies.

"I just felt like I wanted to go play," she said. "I am not sure if we hadn't lived next to the tennis club if I would have ever played that game."

Or how her life might have been different.

One of eight children of a widowed working mother who put herself through beautician school, Bryant was intrigued by the game and eager to find an outlet for her energy.

"We were poor but we didn't know it, because everyone else in the neighborhood was, too," Bryant recalls. Her first racket was nothing more than two pieces of plywood nailed together.

And there were few problems getting tennis balls. With no fences on the side of the court, tennis balls would often roll toward the alley. But convincing players to give up match time to a skinny girl proved more of a challenge.

"People worked hard," she says. "Most of the old black folks wouldn't play with me. When they got the chance to play, they didn't want to be playing with kids."

Yet she found a few games and quickly showed enough promise that, at age 11, she caught the eye of Dr. Willis Ewell, a dentist and tennis aficionado, and his wife, Dorothy, a former black tennis champion.

Tennis quickly became her passion. The Ewells became almost surrogate parents, teaching Williams about the game and the world.

"Doc wanted me to be known as a good tennis player, not just a black girl tennis player," Bryant says.

That meant overcoming the racism of the era by remaining composed.

It also meant playing tennis daily for hours at a time. On weekends she would go to the Ewells farm in Michigan, a place where Doc Ewell built a tennis court and constructed a ball machine for Bryant to use. He also arranged private lessons with Chet Murphy, a respected professional.

The more she played, the more she won. And it wasn't long before Bryant was considered a tennis prodigy.

Soon she was playing an exhibition match against Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly. Then there was another exhibition, this time against Gibson.

News about the talented left-handed player with an unusual two-handed backhand spread. On May 21, 1952, a wire story about Bryant's exploits appeared on the front page of the sports section of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, with a headline reading: "Lorraine Williams, Chicago Wonder Girl, Is Following In Tennis Footsteps Of Prodigious Maureen Connolly."

"It was fun," she says about the attention and opportunities she gained through tennis.

Though she eventually played at Forest Hills, then the site of the U.S. Open, and won several tournaments, she never quite retraced the footsteps of Connolly. An invitation to play at Wimbledon went unused due to lack of money.

Bryant eventually married John Bryant, a college classmate of Martin Luther King Jr., and had two daughters. She became a nurse, a job she held for 32 years.

Yet tennis remained a big part of her life. She continued to play as an adult and one of the honors she is most proud of is winning a top sportsmanship award in the city of Chicago.

"It showed that I was not only a pretty good tennis player, but also a good sport," she says. "It was quite an honor."

And tennis was a big part of her family life. Her husband, who died in 2009, played, as did her daughters and grandchildren, including Alana Sherman, a student at Out of Door Academy. "We have been a tennis family," Bryant says.

Today Bryant lives in Sarasota, not far from her daughter, Yvette, who is married to St. Louis Rams assistant football coach Ray Sherman.

Most of the trophies from those teenage triumphs are no longer around. "I don't need all that stuff. I am not that kind of person," Bryant says.

What she has are the memories.

"Oh, I have so many memories," she says. "And I have a wonderful family. Those are the things that are important. I have been blessed. Every morning, when I get up, I thank God."






Sources:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article...9671?p=1&tc=pg

1954 USLTA Yearbook provided date of birth

[Thanks to Jimbo and Lkk for this information]
 

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GUNDERSON,BELMAR
United States
Born 07 September 1934 Oklahoma
Married Daniel Lay(died 2015) on 29 December 1990 in Clark, Nevada
[Active 1953 to 1965]

Active in major championship singles 1953 to 1965. She famously upset Wimbledon champion and #2 seed Louise Brough 6-3 6-4 in the 3R at the 1955 US Nationals. In the quarterfinals she went down 9-7 6-0 to Pat Ward of Great Britain.

Also active on ITF Seniors events

[From the ITA site]

Career Highlights
  • National Junior Wightman Cup Team Captain 1957-58
  • Canadian Open Doubles Champion 1960
  • Baastad International Tennis Championship Women’s Singles Champion 1961
  • USTA National Indoors Singles Finalist, Doubles Champion, and Mixed Doubles Champion 1962
Sources:

Belmar Gunderson | ITA Women's Hall of Fame

http://search.ancestry.com

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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ARFARAS,MARY
United States
Born 1st August 1945
Married Jaime Annexy Fajardo (11 December 1927-08 August 2000) from Puerto Rico
[Active in the early 1960s]

Played singles US Championships 1962 and 1963. A native Floridian-she is from Tarpon Springs.

Son Jorge was in trouble for drug dealing 2001.

Sources USTA Yearbook 1963

Sources:

http://search.ancestry.com

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/02/02/No...ntenced_.shtml

[Thanks to Rosamund for this biography]
 

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RATHBUN, GRACE (Grace Chesbrough Rathbun)
United States
Born ???? in Toledo, Ohio
Died March 6, 2010
Married Holden Findlay, 2 February 1946
[Active in the 1940s]

[From her obituary]

Findlay, Grace CLIFTON PARK Grace Rathbun Findlay passed on peacefully early Saturday morning, March 6, 2010. Born in Toledo, Ohio to the late Edward Rathbun and Grace Chesbrough Rathbun. Grace was an avid tennis player through out her life and was nationally ranked by the U.S. National Tennis Association. In 1945, Grace graduated from Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., where she studied art and aesthetics. She was a strong supporter of the arts, and a very accomplished painter. In 1946, she married the late Holden Findlay and eventually settled in Clifton Park, N.Y., where they spent many wonderful years together. She is survived by three daughters, Pamela Grace Findlay, Caroline Ochoa, and Helen Findlay; three grandchildren, Carlos Romeo Ochoa, Paul Holden Hansen, and Grace Anna Hansen. Grace Rathbun Findlay would want to be remembered in our everyday acts of kindness and love towards one another, as this was her nature. Please join friends and family Saturday, April 24, 2010, 11 a.m. at the Christ Reformed Church, 1010 Rte. 146, Clifton Park, to commemorate and celebrate her life. Donations can be made in her honor to her alma mater, Wells College. Further inquires may be made to Helen Findlay, at [email protected]



Source:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tim...&pid=140695660

[Thanks to Jimo and Lkk for information on this player]
 

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LAMM, PIXIE
United States
Born 04 March 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut
Died 28 November 2017 in San Francisco, California
Married (1) Johnson [married in 1983]
Married (2) Carlton Coolidge by 1990
[Active 1968-1970]

In her only Wimbledon appearance in 1968 Pixie reached the second round.

As Pixie Johnson in 1983 she had a note pinned to her door threatening murder unless she paid $10,000. At the time she lived in Arizona.

[Obituary]

Pixie Lamm Coolidge passed away on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at the age of 69. She is survived by her husband Carlton C. Coolidge. Pixie was born on March 4, 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Russell and Jean Lamm. She lived most of her life in the San Francisco/Bay Area and was an accomplished tennis player and real estate agent. Her junior tennis career included winning the National 16s doubles with partner Rosie Casals, the California State Girls’ 18s championships, and the Girls 18s Pacific Coast Championships. Pixie graduated from UCLA and played number one on the UCLA women’s tennis team. She represented the United States at the World University Games in 1970 in Turin, Italy and competed at Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open. Pixie was a top producing real estate agent at the McGuire Real Estate Company for 30 years. She spoke French fluently and was an accomplished pianist and bridge player. Pixie and Carlton lived in Pacific Heights for 27 happy years and enjoyed traveling and visiting friends and family. She will be loved and missed dearly.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday December 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm at the Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, California 94611. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

Source:

https://oakland.chapelofthechimes.com/obits/pixie-lamm-coolidge/


[Thanks to Jimbo, LKK and Rosamund for this information]
 

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HOLMES, MARY (Mary Banks Holmes)
United Kingdom
Born in 1887 in Liverpool
Died 24 January 1948 in London
Married Philip Wallis Saffery in Saint George's Church, Penang, on 21 December 1925
[Active circa 1920-35]

Enjoyed success not only at British tournaments, but also in Asia. (Some sources list a later year of birth for Mary Banks Holmes.)

She played Wimbledon in 1920, winning one match before going out in 3 sets to Mable Parton in the 2R.

Sources:

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/c24a64db-2d87-4632-9116-33265b22f948/index.html


[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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DANDO, SYBIL (Sybil Flora Roylance)
United Kingdom
Born in 1902 in London
Died in 1998 in Greenwich, London
Married Malcolm Douglas Mateo Dando on 23 September 1922 in Saint Stephen's Church, East Twickenham, London
[Active circa 1924-30]

Sybil enjoyed most of her success under her married name. During her lawn tennis career, she won several tournaments in Asia.
 
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