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O'NEIL, "CHRIS" (Christine O'Neil)
Australia
Born 19 March 1956 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Height: 5' 9" (175 cm)
[Active 1973-1985]

The surprise winner of the 1978 Australian Open, and the last Aussie female to win her nation's championship.

Chris started off with promise by winning the Australian junior title in 1973, her first year of adult play. Despite this she got literally no support from the Aussie LTA. O'Neil worked 18 months in a parcel delivery job in order to save up cash for her first overseas tour in 1974. She qualified for Wimbledon in 1974 on her first attempt and a small title in Norwich.

1975 saw more improvement-with a title at the South Australian in Adelaide and an Aussie ranking at #9.

With the Federation Cup being held in Melbourne late in 1978 promoters were hoping for a strong field. The pitiful prize money of $35,000 (compared to $150,000 for an Avon event in America) convinced all the top women to skip the Aussie for American cash indoors. Perhaps holding the event right after Fed Cup. Brit Sue Barker, currently outside the top twenty, headlined the field. Even then Barker and #2 seed Tomanova fell in the quarterfinals. O'Neil, not even ranked in the Australian top twenty, served and volleyed her way through the field. Among her victims were #3 seed Beth Norton and #7 Betsy Nagelson in the final. In her 5 wins Chris did not drop a set.

She "shrugged off the embarrasment of a misspelt surname on center court" to become the dark horse champion of all time among Grand Slam champs. (Matthews, p 107).

Chris was the first unseeded champ of either gender in Oz in 20 years. In fact she was the first unseeded winner of a slam in ladies singles in any major that had used seedings. Her computer ranking coming into the Open was 111. To this day she remains the last Australian, male or female , to win her nation's singles championship.

Whatever her rank, Chris can proudly say she is a Grand Slam champion.

Though often cited as the ultimate "one slam wonder", O'Neil can look back with pride on a better than average WTA career. In doubles she made the quarterfinals or better at every major. Her best years were from 1976 to 1978.

In 2007 Chris and her brothers started the O'Neil School of Tennis in her hometown of Newcastle-she later moved to Port Macquarie in 2015. Outside tennis O'Neil enjoys horseback riding.

Grand slam doubles highlights

Australian Open-----SF (1976, 1978)
French Open--------QF (1978)
Wimbledon----------QF (1976)
US Open------------QF (1978)

Highest computer ranking: # 67 in November of 1979 (Source: 1980 WTA Media Guide)

Titles

1974: Norwich
1975: South Australian Championships
1977: Sezze and Perugia on the Italian mini-circuit

Australian Open Record (1973-1978, and 1981-1983)

Singles: 7-6 (1978 Champion)
Doubles: 8-8 (SF in 1976 and 1978, QF in 1977)




Sources:

Game, Set, Glory: A History of the Australian Tennis Championships (1985). By Bruce Matthews. Page 107.

1980 Avon Tennis Media Guide. Page 121.
1980 WTA Media Guide. Pages 121-122.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_O'Neil_%28tennis%29 (the Career won-lost statistics are not to be trusted-she competed in many more matches. Her highest rank was #67-not 80)

http://2015.ausopen.com/en_AU/event_guide/history/players/16424.html

http://chrisoneiltennis.com.au/

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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STAPLETON, SHIRLEY (Shirley A. Stapleton)
United Kingdom
Born in 1945 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Died ????
Married Keith F. Spurgeon in 1968 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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CLAY, EVELINE (Eveline Ellen Clay)
Canada/Great Britain
Born 23 September 1876 in London, England
Died 01 January 1965 in Bournemouth, England
Married (1) Frederick Archbald 11 May 1911 in Montreal, Canada; he was killed in 1916 at the Somme
Married (2) Richard Stancliffe (died 1937), in 1920
Name variant: at times given as "Evelyne"
[Active circa 1898-1906]

The Clay family - Evelyn, her parents and her siblings - emigrated from England to Canada in 1895. In later life Evelyn returned to England.

Miss Clay (or Miss E. Clay) reached the final round of the Quebec championships at least 3 times (1901, 1904, 1907), losing all these encounters (twice to Minnie Hague, the best Montreal player of that era). In 1908 Miss E. Clay reached the last round of the Canadian National championships, but lost to a multiple Canadian champion Lois Moyes.

She won the Quebec championship in 1910, but lost the title to Minnie Hague again in the following year (at that time she was already Mrs. Archbald). She lost in the semi-finals of the same event in 1913 and 1914. Her activity seems to be limited to tennis tournaments played in Montreal.

Eveline Ellen Clay (1876-1965) married Frederick Archbald in Montreal in 1911. Fred Archbald was killed in 1916 at the Somme, and Eveline remarried in 1920, becoming Mrs Richard Stancliffe. Their house (in Shropshire, England) had tennis courts, where she taught her nieces to play, but Eveline probably didn't play seriously after WW1; she was over 40 when it ended.

There was another tennis player from Montreal in those times - Miss C. Clay - but she wasn't as successful as the player mentioned above. Miss C. Clay might be Eveline's sister Constance Clay (1880-1969), who married Jack (John) Walker in 1917 and brought up a family in Ottawa.

Sources:

Re: Clay's in Ontario Canada f - Genealogy.com

Frederick Frothingham Archbald - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=102044489&PIpi=72347744

[Thanks to AndrewRGeorge]
 

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HARRISON, LEANNE
Australia
Born 10 April 1958 in Mt Evelyn, Victora, Australia
Married John Austin, a fellow tennis pro and brother of Tracy Austin-later divorced.
Height: 5' 6"
Plays: Lefthanded
[Active 1976-1980]

Leanne spent most of her time on the satellite circuits.

Engaged to John Austin in August of 1979.



Sources:

1980 WTA Media Guide
, page 156.
 

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COOK, LOUISE (nee Louise Hoyt)
United States
Born 27 June 1876 in Portland, Oregon
Died 6 September 1940 in Portland, Oregon
Married Walter M. Cook in 1897
[Active circa 1898-1908.]

Louise notably won the women’s singles title at the Oregon State Championships in 1900 (the inaugural year) and again in 1907 after the birth of her first child, Margaret.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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HOOK, BLANCHE (Blanche Hereford Hook)
United Kingdom/Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
Born circa 1877 in Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
Died 14 January 1958 in Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe
Married Walter Stringfellow Taberer
[Active circa 1895-1905]

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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TOWNSEND, LAURA (Laura S. Townsend)
United States
Born 22 October 1885 in Iowa
Died in January 1969 in Los Angeles
Married George Rohmer Lebaron on 20 April 1910 in El Paso, Texas
[Active circa 1905-15]

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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NORTHUP, ETHEL (nee Ethel L. Billings)
United States
Born 7 November 1876 in Massachusetts
Died 31 March 1957 in Portland, Oregon
Married Wilmarth Ingalls Northup circa 1903 in Portland, Oregon
[Active circa 1910-25]

Ethel appears to have played only under her married name of Northup, which in early sources is often incorrectly spelled as Northrup. She is also often incorrectly listed as Mrs W.J. North(r)up instead of Mrs W.I. Northup.

Ethel notably won the singles title at the Oregon State Championships in 1916 and 1917, and at the Portland City Championships in 1913-15, 1917, 1919 and 1923.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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MORRIS, MARION (nee Marion R Morss)
United States
Born 18 August 1902 in Newton, Massachuesetts
Died by 1957
Married Robert Hartshorne Morris after June 1929 and 1930 at latest.
[Active from as early as 1927 to at least 1934]

Marion was the daughter of Charles Anthony Morss, a wiring manufacturer turned Bostonian banker who later became the President of Federal Reserve bank of Boston. From 1927 to 1929 one can find her in local Boston events.

Married in 1929 or 1930, her daughter Maria was born circa 1931.

From 1931 to 1934 she was a contestant at Forest Hills, going 0-4 in singles matches.


(from left) Hazel Wightman, Sarah Palfrey, Mrs Morris, and Virginia Cross, Boston in 1933



Sources:

Charles A. Morss - Biography of a person who figures prominently in the Federal Reserve?s history
 

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SMYTHE, HELEN (Helen Pulteney Dumville Smythe)
United Kingdom
Born in 1875 in Kensington, London
Died 10 November 1958 in London
Married Roland Hasluck on 22 April 1899 in All Saints' Church, Notting Hill, London
[Active circa 1892-98]

Sister of fellow lawn tennis player Leslie Smythe. Helen was a contestant at Wimbledon in 1898. Like many women of her era serious tennis ended with her marriage.

Helen and Leslie were the daughters of Francis Cooper Dumville Smythe, a London-born solicitor, and Charlotte Jane Arabella Sophia Smythe (née Dana), who was a native of Kenelworth in Warwickshire and known to family and friends as Arabella.

Unusually for the time, Arabella Smythe filed a petition for divorce from Francis Smythe on 10 November 1881. Although this petition appears to have been dismissed, it is relatively clear from later records that she and her husband stopped living together soon after it was first filed. Nevertheless, Arabella was still listed as Francis Smythe's wife at the time of her death in September 1914.
 

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SMYTHE, LESLIE (Leslie Dumville Smythe)
United Kingdom
Born in 1873 in Kensington, London
Died ????
Married Alexander George Mcleod Macmillan on 19 March 1895 in Saint Peter's Church, Notting Hill, London
[Active circa 1890-94]

Sister of fellow lawn tennis player Helen Smythe.

Given that Alexander Macmillan appears to have been employed in the British Indian Civil Service, it is possible that Leslie (Smythe) Macmillan lived in India in later life and that she also died there.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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FERRIS, "CARRIE" (Caroline Ferris)
United States
Born 20 December 1870 in Flushing, New York
Died ????
Married Newman Neave on 17 May 1900
[Active circa 1894-99]

Elder sister of fellow lawn tennis player Mabel Ferris.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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FERRIS, MABEL (Mabel Livingstone Ferris)
United States
Born o6 October 1873 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey
Died o6 February 1959 in Cheshire, England
Married Edward Newman Mennell on 12 February 1907 in Poughkeepsie, New York
[Active circa 1894-1900]

Her sister Carrie Ferris was also a tournament tennis player.

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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STROUD, MARGARET (nee Margaret Perkins Rutter)
United States
Born: 25 July 1863 in Chester, Pennsylvania
Died: 10 May 1945 at Villanova, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania
Married Morris Wistar Stroud (1860-1941) on 19 January 1887
[Active in 1895]

Had children Morris Jr (born June 1888) and William (Born November 1891)

Mrs Stroud played the US Nationals as a mother in 1895

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/f...0&ref=acom


[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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PANDE, ELIZA
United States
Born 02 January 1953 Santa Clara, California
Married Jock J Warde (born 28 Feb 1954) on 15 April 1978 in Santa Clara, California
[Active 1968 to 1972]

Played US Chamionships 1970 and 1971 and Wimbledon 1971. Educated at Stanford University, where she met her husband Jock Warde.

Pande was a talent with a lot of potential who grew dispirited with the the sport of tennis a and effectively quit it before the age of 20

In 1969 she defeated Evert Lloyd in the finals of the U.S. Girls 16-and-under Championships. At 18 Eliza won a pro tournament and two rounds at Wimbledon. Then, while playing for the women's team in college her freshman year, she realized "there were other things besides tennis in the world. Winning was all tied into being the perfect person. I had no choices. To get a different perspective, I had to quit and almost go through a deprogramming. I always saw myself as a championship tennis player. That was my identity and I lost it."The Wardes, who live in Palo Alto, Calif., have both returned to tennis, though on a much lower level. They play a few local tournaments each year, and Eliza is coach of the women's team at Santa Clara University. Jake works as a sales and marketing representative for a publishing company. They have a 10-month-old son, Eben.
-from Sports Illustrated in November 1982.



Sources:

McDermott, Barry. "The Glitter Has Gone", Sports Illustrated, 08 November 1982.

USLTA Annual 1969

Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at Ancestry.co.uk United States Collection Focus

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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STRUTHERS, MARY
United States
Born 21 July 1950. San Diego, California
Married John C. Asher 29th November 1980 San Diego
[Active from 1960 to 1979]

She is daughter of Betty Ravenscroft Struthers.

Played singles US Championships 1970, 1976 and 1977, French Championships 1977 and 1978 and Wimbledon 1977 but did not win a match.

Titles: Christchurch in 1972 and Orlando in 1978
Finals: RU At Dallas in 1974 and Bastad in 1977.

Ranked #55 for 1975.
Ranked as high as #40 in December of 1976.

A junior photo from 1968. Mary is 2nd from the left on the bottom row



Sources:

1969 USLTA Yearbook
search.ancestry.com

[Thanks to Jimbo and Rosamund for this information]
 

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GRANT,STEPHANIE
United States
Born 03 July 1950 Los Angeles,California
Married Miles G. Phillips Los Angeles 2nd April 1977.
[Active 1967 to 1969]

Played singles US Championships 1967,1968 and 1969 and Wimbledon 1969 but did not win a match.

Sources:

1969 USLTA Yearbook
search.ancestry.com

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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LEBEDEFF, ANN
United States
Born 4th May 1951 San Diego California
[Active from at least 1969 to 1972]

Played singles US Championships 1969 and Australian Championships 1972.

Ann won the 1970 New Zealand doubles title. She was good friends with fellow tennis player Sally Ride, who later became America's first female in space.

Later coach University of Arizona 1977 to 1984.
Coach /teacher Cal Poly Pomona 1989 to 1998.
Professor of Physical Education and Athletics and Head Women's Tennis Coach Pomona College since 1998.

Sources:

1969 USLTA Yearbook.
search.ancestry.com
googling name.

Women's Tennis - Pomona Pitzer

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 
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