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DEFINA, STEFANIE (Stephanie DeFina)
United States
Born 8 March 1946
Married (1) S. Johnson in August or September of 1969
Married (2) John Hagan
Active in the 60s to at least 1975

Titles: won 25 titles from 1962 to 1969.

Before Chris Evert dominated the Florida clay courts, Stephanie DeFina was the queen of Florida tennis. She won the City of Miami Championships 4 times, the Austin Smith Fort Lauderdale tournament 5 times and the South Florida tournament 6 times in the 1960s. Though these these tournaments often lacked world-class fields, she did have to defeat top Americans like Carol Hanks and Mary Ann Eisel in some of the fields.

In Grand Slam events, she only ventured to the round of 16 at Wimbledon once in 1967 and made the US round of 16 three times. She made the US quarterfinals in doubles four times with Janie Albert, Tory Fretz (twice) and Kristein Kemmer. DeFina won Cincinnati in 1963 and 1965 and reached the final of the Miami Good Neighbor event in 1964 and the US Clay Courts in 1966, losing to Nancy Richey both times.

She was ranked in the US top ten from 1966 through 1969 and during that time recorded wins over Richey, Judy Tegart, Karen Krantzcke, and Lesley Turner Bowrey (defeating her 3 times in a month just one month before the two-time French Champion won the Italian Open).

DeFina played some in the early 70s as a professional. She won the Tulsa Invitational over Janet Newberry in 1970, but usually struggled through qualifying or early round losses. After moving to Colorado, Stephanie won 22 major state events, going undefeated in state competition for seven consecutive years from 1969-1975.





Source:

http://www.coloradotennis.com/cta/website.asp?Dept=hof&Sec=inductees&Type=asp&Page=hof&req=bio&firstname=Stephanie&lastname=Hagan&iyear=2002

[Thanks to Preacherfan for this biography]
 

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DECUGIS, MARIE (nee Marie Flameng)
France
Born 7 August 1884 in Neuville-lès-Dieppe, France
Died 4 May 1969 in Grasse, France
Married Maxime “Max” Omer-Decugis, 15 May 1905 in Paris, France.
[Active 1906-1920]

Daughter of painter Francois Flameng, who is best known for his paintings depicting World War I.

The earliest tennis activity we have from her is after her marriage. Max Decugis was the best French male of his era, eventually racking up 8 French championships. Marie usually traveled with him to events both in France and abroad. Together Marie and Max won the 1906 Mixed title at the Olympic Games in Athens.

In 1914 the couple were competing in Russia when war was about to break out with Germany. Marie and Elizabeth Ryan were stuck in Germany for several days before getting across the French border. Max was still detained in Germany, but later crossed over to France in the nick of time as the "Great War" (only later known as World War I) cast a dark shadow over Europe.

The Decugis' had one child named Christiane, born in 1909.




Marie in 1911



An image of Marie playing doubles with her husband
La Vie au grand air : revue illustrée de tous les sports | 1906-04-13 | Gallica

Sources:

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

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

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

Cornélie,Gilberte,Marie FLAMENG - Arbre généalogique Gérard Theeten - Geneanet

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]
 

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DENING, KAYE
Australia (NSW)
Born 1941 (????-junior dates suggest this is in error).
Married R Bradshaw—had 5 children.
Career Span: retired circa 1965

At one time considered the #1 junior in the world. She won the 1962 French juniors and the 1964 Australian juniors.

1964 Australian Chmps QF-she also won the Student Olympic Games in Tokyo that year.

Went to the University of Sydney on a Commonwealth Schlarship in 1964 to major in Economics. (The article states she was 18 at the time, which would mean a DOB around 1946 rather than 1941). Graduating in 1967, she joined her father’s building company and fought prejudice against females in business to become Australia first master builder. She owns Dening Group, a band of constgruction, property, and investment companies.

“You can be down in set 5-love , and still not lose until the last point is played. I took that psychology into managing companies. I wouldn’t give up and wouldn’t take no for an answer…” Made an Australian MBE in 1995.

Kaye Denning (on right) with Lesley Turner at the 1963 Dutch Chmps



http://sydney.edu.au/business/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/2082/Alumni_Newsletter_0308_p4-5.pdf
 

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DESCLERCS, NICOLE
France
Married Gérard Jean Gustave Lannes de Montebello on 19 April 1927.
[Active 1923-1926]

Nicole Desclercs married, on 19 April 1927, Gérard Jean Gustave Lannes de Montebello. The Montebello family is of noble stock and very prominent in France. The French site lists her as Mme G de Montebello
 

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DÉVÉ, SUZANNE
France
Born 14 December 1901 Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris
Died ???? [alive perhaps as late as 2010]
Married Louis Desloges (or Desloge) between 14 May and 12 August of 1928.
[Active 1919-1931]

1921 and 1928 French doubles finalist.

Winner of the French Indoors in 1928, she staged a great comeback to beat Mme Golding 2-6 12-10 8-6. Mlle Deve rebounded from 1-5 in the last set. The New York Times, in reporting on the match, calls Deve "Russian-Finnish." The Times went on to praise her "fine net play and speedy service."

Club: Tennis Club de Paris. Other recreations: table tennis. Active as Mme Desloges from 1928.

Louis Desloges was a tennis player from Nantes.

French National Ranking

1924: #9
1925: #6
1926: #5
1927: #3
1928: #1
1929: #2
1931: #4






Sources:

"MLLE. DEVE TAKES THREE NET CROWNS." page 27. Feb 13 1928. ProQuest. Web. 4 March 2016.

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

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

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7651553d/f3.item.r=suzanne%20deve%20desloges.zoom

[Thanks to Newmark for this biography]
 

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DEWHURST, “EVELYN” (nee Maud Evelyn Ray Marshall)
United Kingdom
Born 12 January 1902
Died 17 April 1988
Married Godfrey Jefferson Dewhurst in 1925.
[Active 1926-1927]

Champion of Ceylon in 1927.

Evelyn Dewhurst benefited from a walkover at the 1926 Wimbledon when Suzanne Lenglen famously withdrew. Later played some pro matches vs Suzanne in 1927. Evelyn reputedly signed for 1,000 pds as “she desperately needed the money”.

Evelyn remarked of the Frenchwoman that Suzanne Lenglen was , “facially frighteningly ugly, but her magnetism was so compelling one forgot this.”

Author of several instructional books on tennis, including Lawn tennis guaranteed : How to teach and play it (1939).

Photo on page 111 of Alan Little’s book Suzanne Lenglen: Tennis Idol of the Twenties

Her husband was in the military, perhaps serving in Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), as some sources in 1926 list Mrs Dewhurt as being from Ceylon.

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/9d651e48-ee24-40f5-87c2-e6cc9f58a8d1/index.html
 

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DIBAR, JUDITH
Romania
Born 10 May 1945 in Oradea
Married Gohn by 1973.
Variants: Name spelled “Judit” in some sources.

Hometown is Brasov. She was a schoolteacher. Ranked #1 in Rumania 1970-1973. In 1973 she led her nation to a surprsing run in the Federation Cup, eventually losing in the semis to Virginia Wade.

Source: 1974 World of Tennis.
 

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DICKIN, “NANCY” (Evelyn Nancy Stopford Dickin)
United Kingdom
Born 03 October 1915 in Wem, Shropshire, England
Died 18 November 1998 at Ballindalloch Castle, Banffshire, Scotland
Married (1) Ewan George Macpherson-Grant (1907-1983) on 18 December 1937.
Married (2) Watman
[Active 1933-1946]

Finalist: 1935 Irish Chmps-losing to Anita Lizana.

Wimbledon Record
Entered the Championships from 1934 to 1939 and in 1946. 7 times in total.
Won 13 matches-lost 7.
Qualifying in 1934, her best results were 4R appearances in 1939 and 1946. In 1939 she pushed #7 seed Mary Hardwick to 6-4 8-6 in the 4R.

The young Nancy Dicken was one of the country's finest tennis players, becoming in 1933 the only girl to win the three junior championships - singles, doubles, and mixed doubles - at the All- England Championships at Wimbledon.

Macpherson-Grant was 6th Baronet Macpherson-Grant, of Ballindalloch. The National portrait Gallery also indicates she was a cattle breeder.

Her daughter Clare Nancy Russell, born 04 August 1944, inherited her father’s estate in Scotland and still lives in the ancestral castle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clare_Nancy_Russell

Obit from the Herald The Herald November 28, 1998 |by Bill Mowat only partially available. Full service article via highbeam.com

From the National Portrait Gallery



Source:

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/draws/archive/players/ff8f8439-f67e-4dde-9afa-f960c6fe279f/index.html
 

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DIETZ, THILDE (nee Thilde Hamel)
Germany
Born 13 October 1915 in Hanau
Died early March 1996
Married Dietz between Janaury and June 1939

Played at Wimbledon in 1939 as Mrs Dietz. Single when article from “Der Tennissport” came out in January 1939. Ranked as German #2 in 1948. She represented a tennis club at Hanau.

From “Der Tennissport”, January 1939

“Thilde Hamel, third in this year’s ranking list, is among the new names at the top of women’s tennis in Germany. She was born on 13 October 1915 in Hanau, and began playing tennis at the age of fourteen, as a member of the Hanau Tennis and Hockey Club. On leaving school she started a commercial apprenticeship with Dunlop in Hanau.

“Her interest in tennis was awakened by her father. When the club in Hanau was being inaugurated she saw Otto Froitheim playing tennis, and this made her a firm fan of the sport. She took part in two junior championships, but without any success. In 1934, she won her first tournament, in Kassel, and had more victories in mixed doubles with her brother. However, she realized that she had no opportunities to make progress in Hanau.

“At the beginning of 1936, therefore, she moved to Berlin and took a job as an office clerk with the company Deutsches Erdöl AG. Thanks to an approach from and the interest in sport shown by the company director, she was able to take the summers off from then in order to take part in tournaments, and thus made the progress that took her to top of the rankings.

“In Berlin, Thilde Hamel joined the Blau-Weiss Club and the training she engaged in with her fellow tennis players at the club and her participation in tournaments moved her forward. In 1937, she became national champion in doubles with Ursula Heidtmann and achieved some notable victories in singles.

“1938 was her best year so far. ‘Through my victory over Totta Zehden in my native city of Hanau,’ she writes, ‘and my subsequent victories in Hamburg over Gracyn Wheeler, Wally San Donnino and Miss Stevenson, I became more and more sure of myself, and started tennis matches with much more confidence and the certainty of winning. I can only put my victories over Madzy Rollin-Couquerque and, later on, over Miss Wheeler, down to these feelings.’

“Despite the lack of good opposition, her first participation in foreign tournaments earlier this year brought her no noteworthy successes. Frl Hamel’s game still lacks that something special, but she in on the right path to finding her own personal style. This player’s friendly and sporting attitude is perhaps most obvious from what she herself says: ‘I can’t say what was my nicest win because every match that ended in a win for me was nice and made me happy. At the same time I didn’t feel unhappy after a loss, even when I had had match points or a big lead because only the best player can win. If I didn’t play well enough to win, then it was certainly my fault. What pleased me the most was to win matches that I had almost lost.’ This sporting attitude is probably the best guarantee of Frl Hamel’s future sporting career.”
 
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