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CURIOUS DOES ANYONE KNOW if cheney ever said who was the best player she ever played? i mean she played seemingly every single great player from the 30's to the 60's! what a span!....
 

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Dodo's New York Times obituary:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/26/sports/tennis/dodo-cheney-tennis-champion-dies-at-98.html?_r=0

Dodo Cheney, a Tennis Champion for Decades, Dies at 98

By FRANK LITSKYNOV. 25, 2014

Dodo Cheney, a daughter of tennis royalty who wore lace and pearls as she rolled through generations of competitors on the way to winning 391 tennis championships in the United States, most of them after she turned 55, died on Sunday in Escondido, Calif. She was 98.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced her death on Tuesday.

At her induction ceremony at the Hall, in Newport, R.I., in 2004, Cheney, who played competitively well into her 80s, chose John McEnroe to be her presenter, then hit balls back and forth with him afterward.

Cheney — who was born Dorothy Bundy and acquired the nickname Dodo in childhood — was the first American to win the Australian championships, now known as the Australian Open, a feat accomplished in 1938. She was runner-up three times in women’s doubles at Grand Slam tournaments and four times in mixed doubles.

In singles, she reached four semifinals of the United States championships and one semifinal each at Wimbledon and the French championships. She was ranked third in the United States in 1937, 1938 and 1941. Her highest world ranking was No. 6 in 1946.

But it was on the senior circuit where she shined the brightest. After turning 55, she competed in two or three age groups in the same year and won titles into her late 80s. Gardnar Mulloy, a male doubles specialist who turned 100 last December, is second with at least 135 national titles.
For Cheney, tennis stardom was practically a birthright. Her mother, the former May Sutton, won the United States championships in 1904 and went on to become the first American to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, in 1905. She won it again two years later. In 1912, she married Thomas Bundy, who won United States Nationals doubles titles from 1912 to 1914.

Dorothy Bundy was born on Sept. 1, 1916, in Santa Monica, Calif., and by 8 years old she was swinging a tennis racket with some authority. The next year, she won a Southern California junior title. Meanwhile, two younger brothers who couldn’t pronounce Dorothy gave her the nickname that would one day appear in headlines.

She was not hypercompetitive at first. She was disqualified from a junior tournament for not showing up; she had met some teenage boys and gone fishing. In another junior tournament, she was leading, 5-2, in the second set and serving for the match when she began to feel sorry for her opponent and eased up. She lost the match.

“I gave her an inch, and she took a mile,” Cheney said in an interview with The New York Times in 1999.

She seldom made that mistake again. “I wasn’t that competitive as a youngster,” she said years later. “Now, though, I’m quite a bit more fierce. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown much more competitive. I really love to win.”

At 5 feet 1 inch, Cheney never had a lot of power, but she would stay in the no-man’s land between the net and the baseline and slice and chop every ball that came her way. “Dodo land,” her opponents called it.

“She’s very cagey,” Patricia Yeomans, a frequent senior opponent, told The Times. “She doesn’t move more than she has to, but she makes you move all over the place. She is just a relentless competitor.”

A refined appearance was important to Cheney. She made her own tennis outfits: a lace dress with lace sleeves, lace socks, lace wristband. If she wore a knee bandage, it was lined with lace. When she played, she always wore a pearl necklace.

But she had a reputation for toughness. At 1 a.m. on a Sunday in 1999 at a hotel in Mahwah, N.J., her sleep was interrupted by a fire alarm (which turned out to be a false alarm).

“I walked down 15 flights,” she said. “I was afraid my knees wouldn’t make it.”

Twelve hours later, she won the national women’s-80 singles title, her 303rd national title.

“For the last 10 years or so, she’s had arthritis in the knees,” her daughter Christine Putnam told The Times in 2004, “and that’s slowed her down a bit. She does whatever she has to in order to control the point: drop shot, slice, you name it. If her shoulder hurts and she can’t serve overhand, she’ll serve underhand.”

Cheney’s husband, Arthur Cheney, was a former pilot for Western Airlines who arranged a lifetime pass for his wife to accommodate her tennis travels.

She is survived by her daughters Christie Putnam and May Cheney; a son, Brian; eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Cheney always kept her success in perspective. She loved telling the story of the time when she was 73 and played a 10-year-old prodigy in Los Angeles.

“She blitzed me,” Cheney said. “She just wiped me off the court.”

The 10-year-old was Venus Williams.
 

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I had a rare treat when Alfajeffster and I got to interview Pauline Betz in August of 2004. Jeff, bless his heart, had the guts to suggest we dare to ask Mrs Addie.

Not only did she agree, "Bobbie" regaled us with stories and even played the piano!

One of my favorite stories told by Pauline involves her and Dodo.

During World War II Dodo helped raise money for the US War effort by playing exhibitions with Pauline Betz. According to Betz conditions were often primitive, but the girls were eager to please. Once the two ladies hit on an aircraft carrier. On another jaunt Betz and Bundy flew into a Central American jungle as night was falling. There was no tennis court and no lighting. No matter, these dames were game. The GI's tied rope between two trees and used the headlights from two jeeps. The girls were there to entertain, despite no real light, no court, and flying insects. Betz described Bundy as the perfect traveling companion, happy win or lose.

Bundy (on the grond) and Betz (standing on ladder)on their USO Tour

 

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I was in Newport in 2004 for the Tennis Hall of Fame inductions, and my recollection is that Dodo was bright, bubbly, and schmoozing with the tennis elite and attendees alike. I can only hope that plenty of people get to enjoy her longevity, success, and respect/love for tennis.
 

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In November 1937, Dorothy Bundy traveled to Australia, and in January, she became the first American to win the singles title at the Australian National Championships.

She wrote a column for The Age newspaper in Melbourne during the early part of her stay there. The third installment on 30 November 1937 discussed various women's players from around the world that she though exemplary in some way. Her insights were honest and extremely interesting. Here are some excerpts.


[In 1937] ... the United States lawn tennis championships and the various tournaments ... [preceding] Forest Hills were most interesting because the British Wightman Cup players, ... Anita Lizana, ... [and] Jadwiga Jedrzejowska ... gave an international color to our tournaments.

ANITA LIZANA

No one was more popular in America than the .... laughing little senorita from Chile, Anita Lizana who won [our] ... national singles title. Anita is such a tiny little thing. I got to know her well when we were at Forest Hills, and always she reminded me of a little faun. She is so graceful, fleeting in her movements, and so quick. It is her quickness which is her outstanding feature.

Much less than five feet in height, one would never think ... that Anita had any power ... [in] her shots - but the drives on either... [side] are as hard as any woman player. Anita gets her tremendous strength and power from her perfect timing and her coordination. All her movements are rhythmical. Her ground shots are made in effortless fashion, and they just sting across the net.

Her backhand is considered one of the best seen in women's tennis. It has a wonderful follow through, and is free in its action, but perhaps the most masterful touch in her game is her drop shot. It is perfectly executed and impossible to detect. The ball stops just over the net and cuts away. ... [It] is so well concealed that one never knows whether she is going to hit a powerful backhand down the line or send a drop shot which leaves you standing.

If there is a weakness in her game, it is her service, where she drops the head of the racquet right back and gets little body swing into it. It is flat and well placed, but presents no particular difficulties which a cut or sliced ball does

One extraordinary thing ... is that she does not play the net game, which is regarded as essential in America. She never stands in close when she is playing doubles, but wanders around to "no man's land," near the service ... [line] which normally would ruin any other player's chance of success. Anita, however, does the most stupendous half-volleys and pick-ups, jumping around like an elfin creature and amazing her partner and opponents with her recoveries. This does not make her a good doubles player ... but I feel if she bothered to concentrate on improving her net game, she would be absolutely unbeatable.

Anita moves about the court in the cutest way. She is full of fun, and always looks so happy, smiling, eager, and gay. The crowds are crazy about her....

Above all her success, Anita remains natural and unspoilt. ... he still gets a kick out of everything she does. In fact, the excitement was too much for her after the national final. It was frightfully hot, she had a wearing day, and ... she fainted.... [She] had to be carried from the stadium to the club, an exhausted little girl, or so she looked. ... All who see her say they would rather watch her [play] than any other tennis player.



Still to come:
Helen Wills Moody
Helen Jacobs
Alice Marble
Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
Kay Stammers
Gracyn Wheeler
 

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Extension of Previous Post

In early 1936, Dorothy Bundy started working as a secretary at the Westside Club (now known as the Griffin Club) on the outskirts of Los Angeles and not far from Bundy's home in Santa Monica. This club (with 10 tennis courts) catered to movie stars and other rich and famous people, like Clark Gable, Charley Chaplin, Joan Crawford, and Carole Lombard, No ordinary person need apply for club membership because there was no chance of being approved.

Dorothy Bundy continued:

HELEN WILLS MOODY


Helen Wills Moody happened to be in California recently for some screen tests, and she was ... at the West Side Club ... [to play] tennis quite often. I had the opportunity ... [to watch] her play, and I am convinced that she could still beat any other woman player in the world. Her game is as fast and accurate as ever, and she is in wonderful condition [even though she has been out of competition since winning] Wimbledon in 1935. I ... think that she has been practicing quietly.... I ... [suspect] that Helen Moody will try to make a come-back at Wimbledon in 1938, and if she does, I think the only player who has a hope of beating her is Anita Lizana.​



Still to come:
Helen Jacobs
Alice Marble
Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
Kay Stammers
Gracyn Wheeler
Midge Van Ryn
 

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Dorothy Bundy continued:


HELEN JACOBS

The long career of Helen Jacobs seems to be coming to an end. [From poster: She stopped playing at the end of 1941.] She is still one of America's best, and will be the Wightman Cup leader next year no doubt, but she is very interested in her writing, and tennis is not now her major consideration. Helen Jacobs is a grand sport, and one of the finest women to represent America.

GRACYN WHEELER

Of the younger American players, Gracyn Wheeler is making her way to the top and will be well in the picture ... [in 1938] .
MIDGE VAN RYN

Australians will be interested to know that Midge Van Ryn should move to about fourth on the ranking list this year. She has done remarkably well, and, though her record is best in doubles, she is a singles player to be recond with.​


Still to come:
Alice Marble
Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
Kay Stammers
 

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Dorothy Bundy continues:



JADWIGA JEDRZEJOWSKA

[T]he girl with the unpronouncable name, ... [nicknamed] "Jaddie" or "Yaya," [has] ... a personality not unlike Anita's.... [She] is jolly and carefree and believes in having a good time wherever she goes. ... A husky-looking person, she took all the teasing she got [when in the U. S.] in god part.

"Yaya's" game is built around a powerful forehand, which is regarded as one of the finest and fastest in women's tennis today. Her backhand is not so strong, and she will often run around it, but the low trajectory, pace, direction, and placement of her forehand, have taken her to 2 national finals this year. She ... [is] able to pound that stroke from any position on the court. Her first service ... is fast and well paced, but her second is weak and should be hit for winners.

Like Anita, "Yaya" is not a good doubles player. ... She has absolutely no confidence in herself near the net. After her forehand, her strength lies in her drop shot, which is not as accurate or as neatly executed as Anita's.

I played in the national doubles with "Yaya," and enjoyed it thoroughly. If Do Workman does not go abroad next year, I will play with "Yaya" at Wimbledon. I was flattered when she asked me.​


Still to come:
Alice Marble
Kay Stammers
 

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i thought i read somewhere long ago that cheney said connolly was the best player she ever saw. not sure if cheney played her though? also, if cheney did say this i think it was in the context of tennis history that did not include martina and chrissie at their greatest or graf, etcetera.
 
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