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LOWDON, MARY
United States
Born 03 October 1949 in Tarrant County Texas
Died 19 April 1972 in Tarrant County, Texas of injuries sustained in a car automobile accident.
[Active 1964 to 1968]

Played singles US Championships 1967 (winning 1 match) and 1968. Mary and her sister Patty entered the 1964 US Doubles as a pair.

The Mary Lowdon award was created by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation in 1972 for the outstanding junior girl in Texas. Anne Smith was the the best known recipient.

Sources Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at Ancestry.co.uk
Find a grave memorial for Mary Lowdon

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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CUNNINGHAM, MARY
United States
Born c. 1928 in El Paso,Texas
Married Joseph Hoover (Born 1925 Died April 1999)
[Active in 1946]

Played singles 1946 US Championships

Cousin of Margaret Varner Bloss.

Apart from tennis she was also an accomplished golfer, rodeo queen multi-sport athlete and author.

Inducted into the El Paso Golf Hall of Fame 1985 and University of Arizona Hall of Fame.

At the age of 88 is living in El Paso.

Sources: google Mary Cunningham Hoover
Mary Cunningham Hoover HOF
November 2011 El Paso country club newsletter Legacy of a Legend
Senate of Texas Resolution 774 in memory of Joseph Renick Hoover



[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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SATO, "NANA" (Naoko Sato)
Japan
Born 02 January 1955 in Tokyo
Married Shioguchi Tetsuro (a diplomat)
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
[Active 1973-1991]

The best Japanese player of the late 1970s. Unusually for her era Sato had a two-handed forehand. Tennis was in her DNA, as Sato's uncle Sekio Tawra was once # in Japan. Nana attended college in the United States, where she attended the University of Houston from 1973 as a journalism major.

Australian Open quarterfinalist in 1977. She lost to Karen Krantzcke 6-3 4-6 6-0. Nana also got to the doubles final in Australia in 1978 with Pam Whytcross. They lost to Betsy Nagelsen and Renáta Tomanová 7-5 6-2.

Sato later worked as a sports writer and TV announcer.




Sources:

1980 WTA Media Guide, page 171

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

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BD%90%E8%97%A4%E7%9B%B4%E5%AD%90 [translated information used for this piece]

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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SAWYER, MARY
Australia
Born 11 June 1957
Height: 5' 6 1/2"
Married Collins between 1980-1981
[Active 1977-1979 and 1981]

Australian Open SF (1979) and QF (1977 and 1978).

From Western Australia, Mary attended college in Perth and then Midland College (Texas) in America.

Defeated 6-4 6-1 by Helen Gourlay in the quarters of the 1977 Australian Open. Later in the year she won the Irish Open, repeating as champion in 1978.

At the 1979 Aussie Sawyer lost a close semifinal to Sharon Walsh 7-6 6-3. Sawyer made history earlier in the event by upsetting top seed Virginia Ruzici in the opening round. This was the first time a #1 seed went out so early in ladies grand slam history.

After this event, the highlight of her career, Mary announced she was tired and taking a break from tennis. She never did return to the tour.

An exception was the 1981 Western Australian event-where she entered as Mary Sawyer Collins. This appears to be a post marriage one off event as Perth was her hometown.



Sources:

1980 WTA Media Guide, page 172.

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/event_guide/history/players/19309.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sawyer_(tennis)
"Win or Lose, Mary Wants Rest". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 January 1980. p. 28.
http://archivesdutennisfeminin.over-blog.com/2014/03/susan-leo-et-mary-sawyer.html [Thanks to Binoxial for the photo]


[Thanks to Rollo for this information.
 

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MARSIKOVA, REGINA (Regina Maršíková)
Czechoslovakia)
Born 11 Dec 1958 in Prague, Czechoslovakia
Tracemark: a headband
[Active 1974-1981 and 1984-1993]

Regina was the 1975 French Open junior champion. Clay was her favorite surface by far; among her victims on the slippery surface were Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, Hana Mandlíková, Tracy Austin, and Virginia Wade.

Marsikova won the 1977 French Open doubles with Pam Teeguarden. She made the semis at Roland Garros 3 consecutive years, from 1977 to 1979. During these years she was safely in the top 20 and just outside the top ten.

Big titles in 1978 included the Italian and Canadian Opens.

Two incidents effectively ended her place in the top tier of women's tennis. At the 1979 US Open Marsikova faced Virginia Wade in the fourth round. In the very first game she fell over on the cement like Deco Turf surface and broke she ankle. The injury set her back for months. It also increased her tendency for clay.

The next incident was both a setback and a tragedy. In September of 1981 Marsikova was involved in a fatal auto accident. She was driving while intoxicated. Marsikova served several months of jailtime and was not allowed outside the Eastern bloc even after her release. In 1984 she won a WTA sanctioned event in Sofia-the only event held that year behind the Iron Curtain. It wasn't until 1985 that she came back on the tour in full.

According to an article from the Sun Sentinel, "Marsikova was driving her BMW in a small village outside Prague that fateful September day in 1981. Her car hit a mudslide and rammed into an approaching vehicle. Marsikova escaped without injury, but a passenger in the second car -- a hitchhiker -- died."

After her return Regina ranked in the top 100 but never returned to her glory days.

The bouncy blonde Czech never went on court without a headband.

Singles

Career record 369–234
Career titles 17
Highest ranking No. 11 (1981)

Biggest titles: Italian and Canadian Opens (1978), Phoenix (1980) and the German Open in 1981.

Quality Grand Slam Singles results

French Open SF (1977, 1978, 1979)

Doubles

Career record 125–151
Career titles 6

Quality Grand Slam Doubles results

French Open W (1977)
US Open SF (1980)

Quality Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results

French Open QF (1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986)






Links and Sources:

https://www.tennisforum.com/59-blast-past/96426-regina-marsikova-thread.html

Czech Bounces Back - tribunedigital-sunsentinel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Mar%C5%A1%C3%ADkov%C3%A1
 

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MACKERRAS, "LOUIE" (Emmeline Louise Mackerras)
New Zealand
Born in 1871 in Dunedin
Died 31 July 1962 in Dunedin
Married Edward Ademar Cogan on 21 January 1934 in Dunedin
[Active circa 1888-95]

Known as Louie, this player is usually listed in contemporary sources as "Miss L. Mackerras".

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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WELLWOOD, "DORIS" (Bessie Doris Wellwood)
New Zealand
Born 13 August 1892 in Hastings
Died in 1976
Married Eustace Percival Baker on 28 June 1923 in Saint Matthew's Church, Hastings
[Active circa 1910-14]

Popularly known as Doris. Sister of fellow lawn tennis player Ruby Wellwood.
For Ruby see: http://www.tennisforum.com/25567706-post2137.html

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]
 

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RAHLENS, EILEEN
United States
Born circa 1941/42 (18 at 21st July 1960 per report in Herald Statesman Yonkers NY)
[Active 1961-1966]

Played singles 1961 US Championships
National Public Parks Champion Singles 1966

Educated Brooklyn College 1959-1962.

At 74 years old living in Brooklyn.

Source google Eileen Rahlens

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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LOECK, ELIZABETH (nee Elizabeth Francis Kickhofel)
United States
Born 22September 1919 in San Francisco, California
Died 24 April 2005 in Los Angeles, California
Married (1) to Robert Earl Loeck between July and December 1942 (Born 20th July 1917 Cook County Illinois Died 15th January 1959 Orange County California)
Married (2) George Rapoport 16th March 1961 Los Angeles.
[Active 1940 to 1959]

Described as "a newcomer to Eastern turf" at Easthampton in 1949.

Played singles 1949 US Championships

Still active in 1959 as report in Oakland Tribune 20th July 1959 playing in doubles Fullerton California.

Sources Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at Ancestry.co.uk

http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030960/1949-07-28/ed-1/seq-1.pdf
 

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COPELAND, "JULIE" (nee Julianna Brown Hoblitzell)
United States
Born 01 June 1924 in Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Died 23 or 24 March 1996 in Riverside, California
Married Eddie Copeland by 1950 (he died in 1955)
[Active 1952-1955]

A New England tennis player who later became much more noteworthy as hostess of the Palm Springs Racquet Club in California.

Played singles at the US Championships 1952,1954 and 1955.

Reported in the Lewiston Daily Sun 16th July 1955 that her husband Eddie Copeland had died of a heart attack at age 36 at Provincetown Mass.

Julie later became the tennis hostess of the Palm Spring Tennis Club, famous as the hangout for the rich and famous movie stars of Hollywood.

A glamorous ad for the Palm Spring Racquet Club from 1957



Sources:

Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at Ancestry.co.uk

The Racquet Club
 

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DAVIDSON, LUCILLE
United States
Born 11 July 1924 in Lee's Summit, Missouri
Died 10 February 2009
Height: 5' 6"
Nickname: Ludy.
[Active 1951-1958 and 1964-1967]

A Midwest athlete who divided her time between tennis and basketball.

Won Singles Canadian Championships 1951 and runner up 1952.

Played singles at US Championships 1952-1954. Played doubles at US Championships 1953-1954 and 1964-1967 with Doris Popple.

In the mid 1950s Ludy Davidson turned to basketball. She toured Russia in 1955 as part of a team. In 1957 at the age of 33 was the oldest member of the US Womens basketball team which won the world championships. Davidson kept a diary detailing her experiences in Rio de Janeiro on the basketball team. Her work gave her 3 weeks of unpaid leave for the trip (p 118) . She was still active on the tennis courts that year, winning the Kansas City Open in late July.

Graduate of Kansas University in 1946-where she was on the tennis and field jockey teams. Per Lawrence Journal World 19th November 1963 was teaching PE at South Raytown High School in Missouri.

As of 2005 she was living in Independence, Missouri.

Sources:

google Lucille Davidson

Just for Fun: the Story of Aau Women's Basketball . University of Arkansas Press, 2005. page 118, 183-184

Find a Grave Memorial: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=105125080&ref=acom

[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]
 

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KIRK, BRENDA
South Africa
Born 11 January 1951
Died 06 September 2015
Married (1) Jimmy Dimitriou in 1975-divorced. Children Alexis (born circa 1976) and Natasha (born circa 1979)
Married (2) Iain Bryson. Daughter Gabriella born circa 2003.
[Active 1968-1977]

Brenda was part of the South African team that gloriously won the Federation Cup for South African in Johannesburg in 1972 before a wildly packed stadium. They proved it was no fluke by making the final the next year in Germany.

“Yes, it was fantastic” said Brenda “Whenever I think of it I still get goose pimples. The whole thing is like a dream now”.--speaking about the 1972 Federation Cup

Titles


Eastern Transvaal Open (1968-1970)
Southern Transvaal Open )1969 and 1970)
Natal Sugar Championship (1977)

FEDERATION CUP – 1972 – ELLIS PARK, JOHANNESBURG

Extracts from article by Sam Merwis....

Silence. A deathly, unbearable hush. Then, suddenly, a great roar which rocked Johannesburg as Ellis Park erupted. Bedlam. Pandemonium. And tears. Yes, tears from the eyes not only of women, but of men when Brenda Kirk and Pat Pretorius won the last point in the doubles to give South Africa the Federation Cup for the first time – and write perhaps the most glorious chapter in the country’s tennis history.

It was the proudest day in South African sport. “I stand here a very proud South African” said John Vorster the then President of South Africa.
South Africa, seeded 6th, beat Belgium, Brazil, France, the mighty United States and then Britain in the final.

“Yes, it was fantastic” said Brenda “Whenever I think of it I still get goose pimples. The whole thing is like a dream now”.

Pat Pretorius also spoke with nostalgia. “It was wonderful to play in front of our own crowd who cheered us all the way. In the beginning we weren’t given much of a chance especially against France, America and Britain. At times we played above ourselves in the doubles – and the last three doubles proved crucial. It was something that we would never forget, especially the support given by our home crowds”.

A tribute from her coach Jacke du Toit........

As manager/coach of the SA Federation Cup team from 1972-1974, I was always impressed by the determined, positive, motivated, focused, calm, relaxed, confident and anxiety-free manner which she approached her matches. She was a disciplined player, who developed self-will and self-control which led to self-confidence and self-realization.

During practices, 5-6 hours a day - which started 10 days prior to the actual tournament – mainly at the Wanderers Club and Ellis Park, she was always on time and gave it her “all”. Her tactics were always sound, she knew her strengths and weaknesses and concentrated on her strengths in match play. During the opening games, we attempted to discover the opponents strengths and weaknesses, discuss them at change-over breaks and apply useful tactics to exploit the weaknesses. Brenda became an expert in applying those very same tactics.


Brenda (on the left) and Pat Walkden in action at Ellis Park-winning the Fed Cup




Sources:

http://www.tennisforum.com/59-blast-past/1040833-brenda-kirk.html (A Blast Thread)

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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ROSSOUW, LAURA
South Africa
Born 15 July 1946
Married Michael Graeme Le Sueur 22 February 1975
[Active 1966-1974]

From Mtwalume, some 70 miles from Durban. She didn't play her first tournament until the age of 17.

"I learned to play against a wall in Mtwalume. There were no courts -- the closest one was 30 miles away."-Laura Rossouw, from the Tuscon Daily Citizen on 30 March 1973.
Titles:

Tel Aviv (1968); Naples and Bielefeld (1970); and Istanbul (1972).

In 1973 Laura scored a big upset over world #1 Margaret Court at Tucson.




Sources:

A short ITN film reel of Laura Rossouw playing Maria Bueno at Wimbledon
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//R...506190584/?s=*

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Rossouw (created by Wolbo)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Rossouw

Laura Rossouw et Margaret Hunt - Le blog des archives du tennis feminin

www.gendatabase.com [source for her marriage]

[Thanks to Rollo and Wolbo for this information]
 

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LECARON, Mlle S.
France
[Active 1919-1927]

In 1922 she entered the French Nationals in doubles with Mme Florand. They were also partners 4 years later at the 1926 French Championships.

Mlle Lecaron's first name is a mystery. There is one strong clue. We know that Paul Lecaron was the co-founder and President of the Tennis Club de Paris from 1895 to 1923. Mlle S. Lecaron was a member who played for the Tennis Club de Paris. In all likelihood they were related, probably as father and daughter.

French National Ranking

1924: #18
1925: #17
1926: #15
1927: #19

At the Coupe de Noël tournament on December 29 1924



https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_club_de_Paris

Sporting Club, 29/12/24, Coupe de Noël [de tennis], Mlle Lecaron : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol] | Gallica

http://www.fft.fr/sites/default/files/pdf/1serie_feminine.pdf

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 
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