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6,383 Posts
ARNHEIM, EDITH (nee Edith Lasch)
Born 21 February 1884 in Prague, Bohemia (then Austria/Hungary)
Died 16 October 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden
Married Arnheim Charles David Arnheim by 1908, divorced in 1911.
[Active in 1912]

She was born in Prague (in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at that time). Lasch was her maiden name, she was a minor Austrian/Bohemian player, it seems she became a Swedish citizen after her marriage to merchant Charles David Arnheim. She got divorced in 1911. Edith is the mother of Swedish film director Franz Manfred Arnheim (1909-1971). Her son's Swedish wiki bio gives her name as "Rose", perhaps a nickname.

In the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games she lost in the quarterfinals to the British Edith Hannam in the Indoor event, held in May. On July 3, she played the singles out in the outdoor event and won in the quarterfinals against Holmstrom before German Koring became too difficult in
semifinals. In the match for the bronze she lost to Molla Bjurstedt (later Mallory) 6-2 6-2.


The 1912 Stockholm Olympics: Essays on the Competitions, the People, the City. Edited by Leif Yttergren, Hans Bolling. 2012. [page 131 provides the date of her divorce]

Edith Arnheim Bio, Stats, and Results | Olympics at
Edith Arnheim - Sveriges Olympiska Kommitté

[Thanks to LKK for this information]

6,383 Posts
ARNI, MAIRE (nee Maire Harlin)
Born 1920
Dead by August 2016
Married Kaarle Paavo Armas Arni (1909-1965) in 1949
[Active 1946-1955]

She won the Finnish Outdoor Chmps from 1948-1950 and again from 1952-1954. Won 1949-1950 and 1954-1955 Finnish Indoors. She also plays the French in 1949 as Arni. Won Finnish Outdoors in 1948-1950, 1952-1954.

Active as early as 1946, the year she ranked #6 in Finland. She was #1 in Finland for 1953.

Her husband was a radio pioneer. He quickly wed Maire after a divorce from his 1st wife.


[Thanks to Rollo for this information]

6,383 Posts
United States
Born 26 October 1916
Died 29 January 1975
Married Raymond A. Prentiss on 25 October 1945
[Active 1937-1959]

Twice a grand slam doubles finalist in 1946 (US) and 1948 (French). Arnold was a QF or better every year at the US Championships from 1942 to 1946, the year she got to her only major semifinal.

As a child she grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, moving west with her mother after her parents separated.Mary took up tennis in 1933 after an earthquake disrupted high school for several months, leaving her with free time. (Letzin)

A member of the Los Angeles Olympia L.T.C, the tiny Arnold was educated at the Los Angeles City College.

She participated in the 1939 Wightman Cup, the women's team tennis competition between the United States and Great Britain. She won a doubles match partnering Dorothy Bundy and helped the U.S. team to a 5–2 victory.

Quarterfinalist at the 1942 US Championships, her soft shots and lobs were not enough to overcome volleying Louise Brough 3-6 6-4 6-3. History repeated itself the next two years, in what must have by then become a nightmare scenario for Arnold.

In 1945 the result was the same at Forest Hills, only her opponent differed. Mary was on a rampage early vs #1 seed Pauline Betz, coming back from 0-3 in set 2 to lead 6-0 4-3. She got no further however, as Pauline dug in her heels to take it 6-4. Arnold again was ahead 4-3 in the third, only to lose it again at 0-6 6-4 6-4. Betz went on to win the title.

In October Mary was wed under romantic circumstances, racing to the pier in last minute rush as the bridegroom was sailing away aboard a naval ship bound for Nagasaki.

Mariage may have finally broken her jinx at Forest Hills. 1946 finally saw her fortune change. Upsetting #1 foreign seed Jean Bostock in the 3R, Mary easily handed baseliner Dottie Head to win her 5th quarterfinal at a major. Doris Hart then easily handed her 6-3 6-2 in the semis-once again showing up the limits of Arnold's game on grass.

Arnold's quarterfinals in majors (all at Forest Hills unless noted)

1942: lost to Louise Brough 3-6 6-4 6-3.
1943: lost to Louise Brough 3-6 6-3 7-5.
1944: lost to Louise Brough 3-6 6-3 8-6.
1945: lost to Pauline Betz 0-6 6-4 6-4.
1946: defeated Dotte Head 6-2 6-1, then lost to Doris Hart 6-3 6-2 in the semifinals.
1948: lost to Nelly Adamson 6-4 6-3 [French Championships]

With partner Pat Todd Arnold was a surprise finalist at the 1946 US Doubles-going down to the invincible Louise Brough and Margaret Osborne 6-1 6-3.

In 1947 Mary finally lost before the quaterfinals at Forest Hills. She would not return there.

1948 was an adventure, As Mrs Prentiss played tennis in Europe for the first and only time. At the French Championships, she reached the quarterfinals and paired with future International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Shirley Fry to reach the doubles finals. They lost to Doris Hart and Pat Todd 6-4 6-2. She also played at the Wimbledon Championships, her only entry at the Championships.

After 1948 Mrs Prentiss confined her tennis mainly to California.

Arnold's game was conducted primarily from the baseline. She was ranked in the US Top ten every year from 1939 to 1947.

In 1974 Arnold won the USTA Service Bowl Award for her service to the sport.

United States Top Ten Rankings

1939 #10
1940: #9
1941: #8
1942: #5
1943: #6
1944: #6
1945: #5
1946: #8
1947: #8

United States Nationals record (entered 1939 to 1947)

Singles: 17-8 (SF in 1946, QF 1942 to 1945)

(at least 35 titles between 1937 and 1955)

1937: Los Angeles, US Public Parks
1942: Palm Springs
1946: Western Chmps; Essex County Club.
1947: US Clay Courts; US Public Parks
1947: US Public Parks; US Hard Court Championships
1948: US Public Parks
1950: US Public Parks
1951: US Public Parks
1952: US Public Parks
1953: La Jolla Summer Tournament
1954: US Public Parks (her 8th title at this event)
1955: Pasadena

A leaping Arnold Prentiss


"Earthquake Gave Mary Arnold Her Starton Road to Tennis Fame". By Bill Letwin, The Milwaukee Journal 12 Hune 1941. page 10.,5522441&hl=en

M. Arnold et P. Welsh - Le blog des archives du tennis feminin

Archive - Draws Archive : Mary Prentiss - 2015 Wimbledon Championships Website - Official Site by IBM

"Mary Prentiss, Former Tennis Champ, Dies" Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1975


6,383 Posts
ARNOLD, “MIMI” (Miriam G Arnold)
United States
Born 27 February 1939
Married John Harvey Wheeler, Jr. (1918-2004), 21 January 1967 in Santa Barbara, California. Divorced at Santa Barbara in September 1970.
Height: 5' 1"[Active 1954-1967]

From Redwood California, tiny Mimi was barely 5 feet tall. The little dynamo usually won by retrieving from the backcourt. She had tennis in her blood, being the daughter of Ethel Burkhardt Arnold, a 1935 Wightman Cupper for the US.

1957 London (Queen's) Championships winner.

Her Wimbledon match vs tall 6 foot Christine Truman in 1958 was a study in contrast; Mimi downed her to reach the quaterfinals, the best slam showing of her career. Contrary to her usual style Mimi often forced play by coming to net. An acrobatic smash and an improvised two handed volley hightlighted the match of her life. After beating the #2 seed 10-8 6-3 Mimi exclaimed, "Mother will go mad." It was sweet revenge, as two weeks earlier Mimi was involved in losing the last match that decided the 1958 Wightman Cup.

In the QF, "coming to the net on everything", she lost to Suzi Kormoczy 6-1 5-7 8-6.

In 1959-1960 she toured the world, including Australia, India and South Africa.

U.S. top ten ranking in 1956 (#10) 1957 (#6) and ’59, and won the National Hard Court title in 1964. A Her exploits earned her enshrinement in the Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame.

In 1967 she wed Wheeler, co-author of the novel "Fail-Safe". Divorced in lae 1970, her ex-wed Norene A Burleigh in March of 1971.

For her mother Ethel see:

Mimi Arnold (on right) after upsetting Christine Truman at Wimbledon in 1958


Mimi Arnold was way ahead of her time on the tennis court, by Jim Gallagher. Oakland Tribune June 8, 2007 (source of divorce info)

Picture of Mimi can be found on page 264 of the 1958 Dunlop's Annual.

Link to a picture of her match with Christine Truman:

6,383 Posts
Born 12 January 1964 in Cordoba, Argentina
Height: 5' 8" (1.73m)
Married Heinz Gildemeister (18.10.1960-) in December 1984; divorced
[Active 1981-1993 ]

Her family emigrated from Argentina to Peru when she was young. Laura’s brother Pablo (b 1961) was ranked as high as #30 on the men’s tour. Arraya blistered the ball;being the hardest hitter off the ground in the early 1980s. When off though she produced errors by the basketfull.

1982 winner of the Japan Open. In 1989 she won the OTB Open, becoming the first mother since Goolagong in 1980 to win a tour level event. In 1991 she made the QF at Wimbledon.

Titles (4)

1982: Japan Open
1984: USTA Miami
1989 OTB Open and San Juan

Finalist (6)

1983: Freiburg, Tokyo

1984: WTA Tournament of Champions (Orlando), Sao Paulo
1990: Albuquerque
1992: Osaka

Year-End WTA Rankings

1981: #116
1982: #065
1983: #053
1984: #034
1985: #063
1986: #033
1987: #045
1988: unranked due to childbirth
1989: #019
1990: #021 (Career high #014 on 12 March 1990)
1991: #024
1992: #045
1993: #070

Laura settled in Miami, Florida. Later she returned to Lima, Peru where she runs a tennis academy with her brother Pablo.


1985 World of Tennis, page 294-295

6,383 Posts

6,383 Posts
ASHFORD, "ESME" (Edna Barbara Ashford)
Australia (New South Wales)
Born 06 November 1916 Scone NSW Australia*
Married Dawson
Died 2nd February 2004 Scone NSW
[Active 1934 to 1952, 1954, and 1958]

Most famous of the 3 tennis playing sisters from New South Wales. She was the daughter of A. Cyril Ashford of Kiernan's Creek and then Scone. She took up the sport by 1929 at the latest, as one sees her name in handicap draws that year.

Geography prevented her from being anything more than a local star, as Skone was far from Sydney. As the world war was coming to an end state, officials, recognizing her talent, helped make Sydney training facilities available to her for advancement. For the next 5 years Esme would remain a fixture in Australian tennis.

1951 was her last time playing singles at the Nationals. After 1953 she appeared only sporadically, concentrating on doubles.

"One of the few girls to follow her serve to the net", Esme favored an attacking style.

Australian Nationals record (entered 1947-1951, 1954, and 1958)

Singles: 9-5------SF in 1947, 1951 and QF in 1950)
Doubles: 8-6 ---- SF every year from 1948-1951)
Mixed: 0-1-------only mixed entry was in 1958.

Losing semifinalist to:

1947: Marie Toomey 4-6 7-5 6-4
1951: Nancye Wynne 6-1 6-0

Australian Ranking

1947: #6
1948: #7
1949: #5
1950: #3
1951: #6

Titles won at Dubbo in 1948, New South Wales in 1949 (her biggest title) and at Killara in 1952. An upset win over Nancy Bolton in 1949 was her finest win.

*double check date of birth-as also had she is aged 15 in 1934.

Australian Open Record

"A Tennis Trio" ashford tennis&searchLimits=

[Thanks to Gee Tee and Rollo for this information. Rosamund provided her full name and date of birth.]

6,383 Posts
ASHFORD, VERNA (Verna Mabel Ashford)
Born 29 July 1919
Married Jim Curley
Died 20th November 1979 Sydney Adventist Hospital NSW
Name variations: "Valda" and "Vera".
[Active 1935 to 1952]

3rd Ashford sister. She had "just entered her teens" in 1934, when taking part in handicap events. Her improvement was rapid in the 1940 season. In 1951 Verna made the Aussie semifinals in doubles with her sister Esme.

Called Verna in early sources, in later sources she is also called "Valda" or even "Vera" , perhaps nicknames adopted in her teens.


31 May 1935 - Scone's Youthful Tennis Champions - Trove) (a photo)

21 Jan 1941 - SPORTING - Trove (much improved over previous seasons)

6,383 Posts
Australia (South Australia)
Born 10 July 1932
Died 19 February 1976 in Singapore
Married Sherrard John Warnock, 24 April 1954
[Active in 1952]

A state representative in hockey as well as tennis, she played for Adelaide University's rugby and netball teams and was an excellent swimmer and softball player.

A photo of Helen with Beth Ruffin may be found at:

Buried in North Road, Cemetery, Prospect City, South Australia.


[Thanks to Rosamund for this information]

6,383 Posts
ATKINSON, JULIETTE (Juliette Paxton Atkinson)
United States
Born 15 April 1873 in Rahway, New Jersey
Died 11 January 1944 in Olney, Illinois. Buried in Lawrenceville, Ill
Married (1) Henry Hockery circa 1905.
Married (2) George B Buxton (b 1867) in 1918
No children.
Height: 5'
[Active from 1894-1902 (per New York Times articles)]

U.S. Championships (13 titles in all)

Singles champion: 1895, 1897, 1898
Singles runner-up: 1896
Women's Doubles champion: 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1901, 1902
Mixed Doubles champion: 1894, 1895, 1896

Atkinson won five U.S. Championships doubles titles in a row with three different partners. Kathleen Atkinson, her sister partnered her to the last two titles. Also the sisters twice faced each other in the semi finals of the singles competition, the first sisters to do so before the Williams sisters' final in 2001.

In both 1899 and 1901, Atkinson won the doubles title and reached the singles final at the tournament now known as the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What she lacked in size-only five feet tall - Juliette Atkinson more than compensated for with wonderful court sense, exquisite timing, and surpassing power. Altogether, she had her name engraved on 13 United States Championship trophies, winning the singles three times the doubles on seven occasions, and the mixed 3 times. In 1897 and 1898, she virtually dominated women's tennis in America. Her run of success did not stop there as Atkinson continued securing important doubles titles during the early years of a new century.

Her occupation in the 1900 United States census is listed as “Actress”.

This is confirmed by a piece in the Stevens Point Daily dating from 1897:

"Since she last played in public, Miss Atkinson has earned a reputation in quite another line, and her friends and tennis admirers were all startled last winter when she made her debut on stage in comic opera. But she has planned to play tennis during her vacation this summer, and many of her friends are wondering how her new accomplishment will affect the old."

Source: Stevens Point Daily Journal, 14 June 1897, p.3 (via

The 1920 census finds her married to Buxton and living in Connecticut. By the 1930 csensus they were living in Laurenceville. Per the 1930 census she was 32 when 1st married and working as bookkeeper for an oil refinery.

Her activity as an actress may be hidden by a pseudonym. There is a Juliette Atkinson in a stage production in Ohio in 1910. A photo of “The Climax” in the Marion Daily Mirror looks very much like her. The actress “Juliette Atkimnson” appears as late as 1914 and as early as 1907 in a search of historic newspapers. If she was married circa 1905 she may have kept her “Miss” as part of stage persona or been widowed/divorced quickly.

Her first husband is a mystery. Could he equal HENRY HOCKERY B JAN 8, 1833 d. 30 May 1912?

Hedges, Martin. The Concise Dictionary of Tennis. 1978. p. 17.

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 14 June 1897, p.3 (via

[Thanks to Rollo and Wolbo for this information]

6,383 Posts
ATKINSON, KATHLEEN (Kathleen Gill Atkinson)
United States
Born November 5, 1875 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died April 30, 1957 in Maplewood, New Jersey
Married George Partridge Richardson, 1902
[Active 1895-1898]

With her older sister, Juliette, she won the US Women's National Championship in women's doubles 1897 and 1898.

They were the first sisters to win a title together and the first to play each other in a semi final until the Williams sisters played in the final in 2001.

Kathleen lost two semifinals to her better sister Juliette-the first in 1895 and again in the 1897 semifinals.

She had 3 children after her marriage.


RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: GEER ANCESTRY

[Thanks to Rollo for this information]

6,383 Posts
ATTWOOD, EVELYN (Evelyn G Attwood)
New Zealand
[Active 1940-at least 1954]

Entered Wimbledon from 1949-1951. Her singles record there was 2-3.

Active as late as 1954.

Miss Evelyn Attwood, of Levin, winner of a the junior girls' national tennis title, beating the holder, Miss Rosemary Hodges, of Auckland, at Christchurch on Saturday. (Evening Post, 27 January 1941).

6,383 Posts
AUBERT, SYLVIA (nee Sylvia ????)
Married Paul Aubert by May 1933
[Active 1933-1934]

Listed as Mme Paul Aubert when she entered the French in 1933

She was RU in August 1934 at Cabourg

L to R: André Poulalion, Aubert, Arlette Neufeld, André Merlin


6,383 Posts
Married Jacquemoud (a tennis player), before July 1942
Active from at least 1936 to early 1940s

Won Villars-sur-Ollon(1943)

[Thanks to Jimbo for this information]

6,383 Posts
AUSSEM, "CILLY" (Cäcilie Edith Aussem)
Born 04 January 1909 in Cologne, Germany
Died 22 March 1963 in Portofino, Italy
Married Count Fermo Murari Dalla Corte Bra' of Italy in March 1936 at Munich, Germany
Height: 5 ' (1.524m)
Nickname: "Tennis Queen of Europe"
Trademarks: a crouching forehand, wearing bandeaus and later visors.
[Active 1923-1935]

The Fragile Fraulien With The Will of Iron

1931 French and Wimbledon singles champion. Also won the 1930 French mixed with Bill Tilden.
Every now and then, a player will rise in the tennis world, give promise of attaining great stature and then, after fulfilling a part of the promise, retire to tennis limbo. Such a player was Cilli Aussem of Germany, one of the most attractive and engaging women who ever played the game. ...Helen Jacobs, from her book Gallery of Champions.
The pretty native of Cologne was universally admired for her charm and attractiveness. "She had a lovely, heart-shaped little face with big amber eyes, and wore her russet-colored hair parted in the middle, a fashion that enhanced her doll-like appearance", according to Norah Cleather.

Propelled to succeed by her mother, Aussem rose up in German tennis, winning the Dutch and German titles in 1927-gaining her a world ranking of #7 . Here her game stalled, held back by a combination of being too defensive and psychological pressure to please her mother. Frau Aussem was so intense she accused Paula von Reznicek, a German rival who had recently beaten Cilly, of hypnotizing her daughter into defeat! In
August of 1928 the two women had a courtside fight where Von Reznicek hit Cilly's mother in the face.

It was Bill Tilden helped her reach her full potential. During the Riviera season in early 1930 he took Cilly under his wing. In order to do so he promptly sent the overbearing Mrs Aussem packing back to Germany. Showing noticeable improvement, Cilly blossomed with Bill by her side. The pair won the French mixed title in 1930.

Her tiny and at times frail frame meant Aussem was prone to injuries or overexertion. A dramatic example of this was against Elizabeth Ryan in the 1930 Wimbledon semifinal. At 4 all in the third of an exciting contest she fell to the ground in a dead faint [perhaps due to twisting an ankle] and had to be carried off the court in a stretcher.

Recovered by 1931-the German romped to victory at the French championships. At Wimbledon the crown was also hers. After a tough 6-3 in the third victory over Simone Mathieu little Cilly won a 6-2 7-5 final over fellow German Hilde Krahwinkel. It was a boring match, both women hardly being able to move due to blisters. This hardy mattered in the aftermath of victory however, and Cilly's feat made her a national heroine in Weimar Germany. It happened to coincide with boxer Max Schmeling becoming world champion, setting off huge celebrations.

Cilly was never the same after a trip to South America in 1931-32 where she got a liver infection. Operated on for appendicitis on her return to Germany, She attempted to return too soon. At the French, where many hoped she would test Helen Wills-Moody in defense of her title, she was forced to retire against Betty Nuthall. Aussem led Nuthall a set and 4-1, then lost the next 5 game and retired. She was clearly spent.

The illness so severe she was unable to defend her Wimbledon title. Problems with her eyesight also bothered her; she often spent hours in darkened rooms to counter the effects.

She was never again to get past the quarterfinals at a major.

Cilly’s career was effectively over in 1934 at the age of only 25. Her last grand slam was at Wimbledon in 1934, where she reached the QF. Wed to an Italian count in 1936, she contracted malaria while with her husband in Somalia. It permanently weakened her already suspect eyesight. The Countess della Brae led a quiet life in northern Italy, virtually forgotten in her native land when she died in 1963. In recent years her memory in Germany was revived when Steffi Graf became famous.

In addition to the 1931 French and Wimbledon Aussem won the German International in 1927, 1930 and 1931. A full list of her titles may be seen in the Blast thread created by Djoule.

World Top Ten Ranking

1928: #7
1930: #2
1931: #2 (despite winning Wimbledon and French)
1934: #9

Triumphant at Wimbledon in 1931

Adored in her home nation-she was honored with a postage stamp


Tuchen, Bernd. Ich galt Wunderkid...Cilly Aussem-das Leben der ersten deutchen Wimbledon Sigerin. 2008. 326 pages.

Jacobs, Helen. Gallery of Champions. 1948. pages 132-140

Haag, Karin Lowen. "Aussem, Cilly", in Women in World History, pages 632-636.

Koditek, Dieter. "Die Frohnatur." from the book Tennis in Deutschland. Von den Anfängen bis 2002. Zum 100-jährigen Bestehen des Deutschen Tennis Bunde. 2002. pages 118-119. [translated by Newmark at: [A wonderful thread with many photos-created by Djoule]

"Tennis Incident-Hypnotism Alleged"-August 1928.
21 Aug 1928 - TENNIS INCIDENT - Trove

6,383 Posts
AUSTIN, EDITH (Edith Lucy Austin)
Great Britain
Born 15 December 1867 in Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales
Died 27 July 1953
Married Turketil George Pearson Greville on 18 September 1899 in Kensington, London, England
[Active 1891-1914]

Titles (at least 23 titles)

Boulogne-sur-Mer: 1903-1905
British Covered Courts: 1894 and 1896-1899
Essex Championships: 1903
East Grinstead: 1910
Kent Championships: 1894-1897, 1899-1900
Le Touquet: 1903
London Championships: (won 4 times, the 2nd in 1894)
Middlesex Championships: 1894, 1899, and 1905

Edith Austin Greville – An Early Welsh-Born Lawn Tennis Player
By Mark Ryan

Edith Lucy Austin was born on December 15, 1867, in the village of Hawarden in Flintshire, the most north-easterly county in Wales. She was the sixth and last child of Edward Austin (b. 1824 in Esequibo, British Guiana), who was in holy orders, and Elizabeth Sarah Austin (née Clark; b. 1826 in Evesham, Worcestershire). At the time of Edith’s birth, only three of the Austin children were still living, two of them, boys named James Dear (b. 1855 in Broughton, Flintshire) and Bernard (b. 1864 in Hawarden), had either been stillborn or died soon after birth. Edith’s surviving siblings, all born in Hawarden, were Dorothea Mary (b. 1858), Rosa Elizabeth (b. 1861) and John Henry Edward (b. 1863).

According to the Censuses of England and Wales, Edward Austin was successively a curate (1861), a vicar (1871) and then a rector (1881). It is likely that his children were born in Wales because he was appointed vicar in the district of Broughton, Flintshire, probably in the mid-1850s. The Census of England and Wales for 1861 gives the Austins’ home address as Parsonage House in Broughton. By the time of the next census, in 1871, the family had moved south, to the English county of Devon, where Mr Austin had been appointed vicar in the small village of Broadhempston. This census also features 3-year-old Edith and her three elder siblings, all of whom are listed as ‘scholars’. Their address is The Vicarage, Broadhempston, Devon.

By 1881, the Austin family had moved again, this time to the village of Rendelsham in the eastern English county of Suffolk. Between the census of 1871 and 1881, Edward Austin had been appointed rector in Rendelsham; the Census of England and Wales taken in the latter year gives the family’s address as The Rectory, Rendelsham. It also lists 13-year-old Edith as a ‘scholar’ and her 17-year-old brother John as a ‘medical student’. No profession is listed for the two other Austin girls, 22-year-old Dorothea and 19-year-old Rosa. Coming from a middle class background, neither they nor Edith would at that time have been expected to go on to higher education or to pursue a profession.

By the time of the next census, in 1891, the Austins had moved again and were living in the district of Chiswick in west London. This census lists Elizabeth Austin as ‘widow, living on own means’. She is sharing a house with her three daughters, including 23-year-old Edith, and a number of servants. Historically a part of the ancient county of Middlesex, the district of Chiswick had an agrarian and fishing economy, and had been a popular country retreat. By the late nineteenth century, however, its population was expanding rapidly as part of the suburban growth of London. Excellent transport links, including nascent tube stations, facilitated travel to central London and the surrounding areas.

The Chiswick Park Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club was opened in 1884, the year in which the same club also held its inaugural tournament, later known as the Middlesex Championships. For decades this tournament, held in late May/early June, would be one of the most popular meetings in the British lawn tennis calendar. Edith Austin, a member of the Chiswick Park Cricket Lawn Tennis Club, would enjoy some of her greatest successes at this tournament. Indeed, for ten consecutive years, from 1891 to 1900, she played in the final match in the women’s singles event at the Middlesex Championships, winning in 1894 and 1899 (she also won the same title for the third and final time in 1905).

It was at the Middlesex Championships, amongst other tournaments, that Edith Austin played out the two greatest rivalries of her lawn tennis career, against two of her fellow Englishwomen. One of these, the earlier one, was against Maud Shackle, a tenacious, ambidextrous player from Hayes in Middlesex, who enjoyed most of her success during a brief period in the early 1890s and is thought by some observers to have ‘burnt herself out’ by her exertions on the court.

Edith Austin’s second, later rivalry was against Charlotte Cooper, from Ealing in Middlesex. These two players met each other many times, so many times, in fact, that it is difficult to say who finished with the greater number of victories in their head-to-head encounters. As late as 1899, when she was 31, Edith was able to beat Charlotte, who had won her third Wimbledon singles title the previous year, in the final match at four tournaments – the Covered Court Championships, held in mid-April on the wooden courts of the Queen’s Club, London; the Middlesex Championships in Chiswick Park; the Kent Championships, held in mid-June in Beckenham in that south-eastern English county; and the London Championships, held in mid-July, also at the Queen’s Club.

Edith Austin was even able to beat Charlotte Cooper in the women’s singles event at Wimbledon, a feat she achieved at the quarter-final stage in 1894, the year before Charlotte won the same event at Wimbledon for the first time. A contemporary report of this match provides an indication of their styles of play, which on this occasion were affected by a wet court. This unsigned report is taken from the sports magazine ‘Pastime’ of July 18, 1894:

“Miss Charlotte Cooper’s battles with Miss Edith Austin are becoming as historic as those of the latter with Miss Maud Shackle in former seasons. They are always well worth watching for both ladies are adepts at the volley as well as being hard hitters, and this brings plenty of variety and excitement to the game. On this particular occasion, too, it was thought that Miss Cooper might perhaps get the upper hand, for she had pressed hard upon her opponent only a short time before at the Queen’s Club. Not so fortunate as Miss C. Bryan and Mrs Beatrice Draffen, the rivals had to decide this important contest on Court 3, the least wet of the outside courts, for the Centre Court was wanted for a [men’s] double.

“Considering the state of the ground, they played really brilliantly, and those who stayed to watch them (for the match was begun very late) were rewarded with the sight of a very close and almost thrilling encounter. The first set went to Miss Austin at 6-1, but the score is no index of the true state of affairs, for every ace had to be fought for. In the next set the balance just turned, for Miss Cooper began to hit harder and to follow up some of her returns with excellent judgement and effect. Her backhand stroke, once her weak point, is now greatly improved; it is very heavily cut and she places it down the line or across the court equally well. She took the lead and kept it well throughout so that at one time it looked as though she would repeat Miss Austin’s score in the first set, but the latter by a great effort got two more games (the seventh and eighth) and very nearly another.

“At this point it was anybody’s match, but a change was in store. New balls had to be sent for, and, whether it was because of this or because Miss Cooper became over anxious, she seemed to completely lose her command over the ball, and Miss Austin had only to play steadily in order to secure a commanding lead. This she did with admirable coolness and determination, although bothered by several false bounds. When it was almost too late Miss Cooper regained her accuracy, and at once commenced to score on the volley again, but she, too, had some bad luck in the matter of false bounds, besides a fall on a court which was fast developing some of the beauties of a toboggan slide.

“Miss Austin was wisely content to bide her time, which came in the ninth game, when she made the best use of one or two openings, and ran out a winner by 6-3. So ended one of the best matches, under adverse conditions, which these two ladies have ever played. It was a pity that there was not more people present to applaud them.”

Impressive as this victory was, Edith Austin was unable to repeat her form two matches later against her redoubtable countrywoman Blanche Hillyard, who beat her, 6-1, 6-1, in the deciding match, the All-Comers’ Final. (Up until 1922 a Challenge Round was in force in the women’s singles event at Wimbledon. This meant that the holder did not have to play through the event, but could sit out and wait to play the winner of what was known as the All-Comers’ event. In 1894, the holder, the Englishwoman Lottie Dod, did not defend her Wimbledon singles title.)

According to the edition of ‘Pastime’ already quoted from above: “The final, which was played yesterday, hardly calls for any comment. Miss Austin was very nervous, and seemed utterly put off by the wind, which was very gusty. She only played in her true form for a rest or two now and then, and Mrs Hillyard, who was playing very well considering the conditions, had no difficulty in winning with the loss of only two games.”

By the time of the Wimbledon tournament in 1894, Edith Austin was already enjoying an excellent season. In mid-April she had won the women’s singles event at the Covered Court Championships in Queen’s Club (for the first of five times), and the same title at both the Middlesex Championships in early June and the Kent Championships in Beckenham in mid-June (in the next eight years, 1894-1901, she would win this latter title six times from eight consecutive finals). After Wimbledon in 1894, she would also win the women’s singles title at the London Championships at Queen’s Club (this for the second of four times; she would reach the final match in the same event at this tournament every year from 1892 to 1901, except in 1896).

Looking at her lawn tennis career as a whole, it is probably right to say that Edith Austin came of age in 1894, with the aforementioned victories and her appearance in the All-Comers’ Final of the women’s singles event at Wimbledon. She was beginning to fulfil her early promise. Some observers had marked her out as a future Wimbledon champion. At the age of 27 – relatively young in lawn tennis terms in those days – she was really coming into her own... And yet, and yet, she never did quite fulfil that promise, at least not at the biggest of all tournaments, the greatest test of skill and temperament, then as now, Wimbledon.

In fourteen attempts between 1893, her debut year, when she reached the semi-final, and 1914, the last time she entered, her best result in the women’s singles event at Wimbledon would be that All-Comers’ Final in 1894, where, tellingly, the unnamed reporter from ‘Pastime’ noted that she was ‘very nervous’ and ‘only played in her true form for a rest [rally] or two now and then’. True, it was very gusty, but her opponent, Blanche Hillyard, had to deal with the poor weather conditions too, and clearly did so better than Edith.

Two years later, in 1896, Edith Austin reached the All-Comers’ Final at Wimbledon for the second time before losing to another Englishwoman, Alice Pickering (née Simpson), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Alice Pickering was noted as an excellent volleyer – she had more successes in doubles than in singles events – and would have revelled on the fast grass courts at Wimbledon. Although some reports mention Edith Austin volleying in some of her matches, especially later in her career, there is little doubt that she, like many of her contemporaries, preferred to play mainly a safe baseline game, often built on defence and patience rather than offence.

Edith Austin’s best showings in the women’s singles event at Wimbledon in later years were three semi-final finishes, in 1898 and 1900 (Charlotte Cooper beat her both times) and in 1902, when her compatriot Agnes Morton beat her in straight sets. At her last attempt at the Wimbledon singles title, in 1914, Edith Greville, as she then was, reached the third round.

Fifteen years earlier, on September 18, 1899, Edith Austin had married fellow tennis player George Greville in Saint Matthias’s Church, Earl’s Court, London. It is very likely that they first met in lawn tennis circles, possibly even at Chiswick Park Cricket Lawn Tennis Club, where George, like Edith, enjoyed success at the Middlesex Championships tournament; he was runner-up in the men’s singles event there in 1895 and 1896. (Edith was the more talented and successful player of the two.) Their marriage produced no children.

Turketil George Pearson Greville, to give him his full name, was born on April 14, 1868, in Chingford, then a rural parish in the south-eastern English county of Essex, but now a part of Greater London. George Greville, as he was known, was the seventh of the nine children of Stapleton John Greville (b. 1826 in Calcutta, India), a member of the Royal Navy, and Enrichetta [Henrietta] Kolimunzer (b. 1836 on the Ionian Islands). When he retired in 1883, Stapleton John Greville had reached the rank of Rear Admiral.

Stapleton John Greville came from a line, or branch, of Grevilles that served in the British armed forces in India, amongst other places. His father, Major George McCartney Greville (b. 1793), was a member of the British army. He died in Berhampore, Bengal, in 1835, at the age of only 41, leaving his widow to bring up two young children, Stapleton and his sister Caroline. Elizabeth Greville’s maiden name was Pearson; this appears to be the origin of the Pearson in George Greville’s name. (As for the name Turketil, in the tenth century Turketil was an abbot and brother of King Edred of England. He served as his chancellor until 948 when he abandoned the court life and entered a monastery. Turketil died in 895 and was later canonized; his feast day is July 11.)

When he married Edith Austin in September 1899, George Greville was working as a clerk, probably in a bank. The 1901 Census of England and Wales lists his profession as banker’s clerk. At that time he and Edith were living together in Stile Hall Mansions, a large, four-storey block of flats on Wellesley Road in Chiswick. Ten years later, according to the 1911 census, he and Edith were living in a nine-room house in Comeragh Road, West Kensington, London, almost a stone’s throw away from the Queen’s Club. This time George Greville’s profession is listed as banking cashier.

Like his wife, George Greville continued to take part in lawn tennis tournaments well into his ‘forties. After he retired from open tournaments he played in a number of senior events, most notably in the All-England Veteran’s Championships at the South of England Championships, held in mid-September in Devonshire Park in Sussex. At this tournament George Greville was able to win the senior doubles event as late as 1932 (with his compatriot Charles Dixon), and the men’s singles event in 1936, when he was 58 years of age.

After her peak years as a lawn tennis player, Edith Austin was still capable of winning singles titles. In 1903, at the age of 36, she won the women’s singles title at the Essex Championships tournament, held in early August in Colchester in that particular county. A few weeks later she won the women’s singles title at the Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Touquet tournaments. Both of these resorts are located in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais in north-eastern France and are easy to reach from a number of English channel ports. At this period in time lawn tennis tournaments were growing rapidly in number, not just in Great Britain, but also on the Continent, in particular in France. British players were getting into the habit of combining a summer holiday with their participation in one or more of the French tournaments.

Edith Greville retained the women’s singles title at the Le Touquet tournament in both 1904 and 1905. As late as 1910, at the age of 43, she was still capable of winning singles titles. In late July of that year, in one her last appearances in a final, she won the women’s singles title at the East Grinstead tournament in West Sussex.

Edith Austin Greville died on July 27, 1953, in Fulham, London. She was 86. Probate was granted to George Greville, who was listed as a retired bank official in the related documents. He outlived Edith by nearly five years, dying on March 9, 1958, in London, one month before what would have been his ninetieth birthday.


Edith Austin Greville – An Early Welsh-Born Lawn Tennis Player
[A Blast thread by Newmark]

[Thanks to Newmark for this information]

6,383 Posts
AUSTIN, JOAN (Joan Winifred Austin)
United Kingdom
Born 23 January 1903 in London, England.
Died 2 April, 1998 in Horley, Surrey, England.
Md (1) Randolph Lycett (27 August 1886-9 Feb 1935) 12 February 1925 in Westminster, GB
Md (2) Frederick. Royden Chiesman on 18 September 1936 in Croyden, England
Md (3) Derik Schofield Jepson on 22 December 1948 in Reigate, England
Md (4) Donald Alex Baker on 01 March 1973 in Reigate, Surrey, England

Lycett’s second wife. Their daughter Sylvia born circa 1930.

Most famous for her run to the 1923 Wimbledon doubles final with Evelyn Colyer. They were dubbed “The Babes” by the British press. She was the sister of noted male British player “Bunny” Austin (1906-2000). Bunny published Lawn Tennis, Bits and Pieces, in 1930 and A Mixed Double in 1969. Peter Kettle published a book on Randolph Lycett in 2005.

Joan was the first British woman to discard stockings and play barelegged at Wimbledon on 23 June 1931. Horrified officials rushed to tell her to put on stockings. Joan replied, “I haven’t got any”, and went on court.

A series of pictures:

1st pic: she is on right, with Evelyn Colyer
2nd pic: she is on left, with Lili de Alvarez
4th pic: she is on left, with Nuthall
last pic: with her first husband Randolph Lycett

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6,383 Posts
AUSTIN, TRACY (Tracy Ann Austin)
United States
Born 12 December 1962
Married Scott Holt, 17 April 1993

The tennis prodigy of the late 1970s. Her rock solid ground strokes helped earn her the US Open at the mere age of 16 in 1979. At that point she was seen as a sure-fire heiress in waiting to Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

After a back injury she triumphantly won the 1981 US Open. Austin remained in the top 3 for 1980-copping both tour ending finals. A loss to Chris Evert cost her the year-end #1 ranking.

The sciatica in her back returned, and 1982 was less successful. She dropped off the tour after Wimbledon in 1983, and was never again the tiny champ who made the other girls tremble with fear.

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