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Discussion Starter #1
While the amateur career of Pauline Betz is well documented, unfortunately we know very little about her pro career, that lasted about 15 years.

1947: Betz turns pro in May and plays a tour with Palfrey Cooke winning about two thirds of their matches.

1948-49: I could not find any data on her activity. She married Robert Addie in Feb 1949, perhaps it a partly the reason for her apparent inactivity.

1950: Betz Addie returns in October and dominates on their famous pro tour Gussy Moran. It is difficult to assess her strength, Kramer thinks she was nigh unbeatable.

1951: She finishes her tour, completely dominating Moran. In February a paper called Betz probably the best among women.

1952: no data

1953-4: She plays exhibitions against second-class male professionals.

1955: She plays (and probably wins) an exhibition match with Magda Rurac in Cleveland in April.

1956: Pauline Betz Addie, mother of four children, has retained her world's professional title by defeating Doris Hart (the US champ in 1955) in Cleveland inApril and wins again in May.
Based on these records, we can assume that for the last decade she must have remained one of the best players in the world (but probably not as good as Connolly)

1957: She plays exhibitions with Moran in January.

1958: Sheplays an exhibition in July (probably with Ham Richardson, a leading male amateur).

1959: No activity

1960: She plays twice with new pro Althea Gibson. In Cleveland Gibson wins 7-5 2-6 7-5, then in August Betz triumphs 6-2 6-3.

1961: She wins the Southern pro indoor in October beating Fageros.

1962: She plays an exhibition match in June with Bill Talbert.

Can you add anything to these records? By 1956 she had 4 children, their date of birth could also indicate those periods when she could not play tennis. So she had remarkable longevity, remaining among the best 5 players in the world for about 20 years.

158 Posts
This is about the Pauline Betz / Sarah Palfrey Cooke professional tour in 1947. This is very much a work-in-progress.

Betz clearly dominated. But tour organizers (and Cooke herself in at least one instance) tried to disguise that fact. This professional tour was not all that ... professional.

May 12, New Rochelle, NY (New Rochelle Tennis Club):

May 18, Louisville, KY (Louisville Boat Club): Betz won 3-6, 6-0. 10-8. (Local newspaper said Betz leads 4-1.)

May 22, Nashville, TN (postponed from May 21): Betz won 6-2, 6-4. (Betz leads 3-1.)

May 23, Chattanooga, TN (postponed from May 20): Cooke won 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. (Betz leads 3-2.)

May 24, Washington, D. C.: Betz won 8-6, 6-1. (Betz leads 4-2.)

May 26, Charlottesville, VA: Cooke won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. (Betz leads 4-3.)

May 27, Ruxton, MD (near Baltimore) (postponed from May 25): Betz won 6-2, 8-6. (Betz leads 5-3.)

May 28, Canton, NY (St. Lawrence University): Betz won 6-3, 8-6. (Betz leads 6-3.)

May 30, Grossinger Lake, NY (Grossinger Country Club): Betz won 6-3, 6-4. (Betz leads 7-3.)


The tour organizers said that Los Angeles was the official start of the series and that all the previous matches did not count.


June 8, Los Angeles (Beverly-Wilshire Hotel): Betz won 6-2, 9-7. Betz led 6-2, 5-2 but Cooke recovered to force a deuce set. 2,500 spectators, including many Hollywood royalty, were there. Betz won $1,000 ($11,600 in May 2019 money). (The Los Angeles Times said that Betz now leads 8-4.)


Alice Marble was at the Los Angeles match. The Times speculated that the winner of this series could play Marble in 1948 for the world professional championship. As it turned out, Marble never agreed to tour with Betz. Bobby Riggs said that an offer was made, but Marble's "people" never responded.


The Southern California section of the USLTA notified Mickey Rooney, Walter Pigeon, and Ed Gardner that because they played with Betz and Cooke in Los Angeles, they have lost their amateur status and are thereafter "professionals."


June 15, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara Club): Betz won 6-4, 6-3. (UPI reported that Betz now leads 9-4.)

June 23, La Jolla, CA (La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club): Betz won 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 (36 games).

June 28, Abilene, TX (Abilene Christian College gymnasium): Betz won 6-4, 6-1. (The local newspaper reported that Betz now leads 11-5.)

June 29, Houston, TX (River Oaks Country Club):

June 30, Corpus Christi, TX:

July 1, San Antonio, TX:

July 2, Austin, TX (Pennick-Allison courts on the University of Texas campus): Betz won 6-4, 6-1 before 200 spectators. (The local newspaper reported that Betz now leads 5-2.)

July 3, Waco, TX (Baylor University gymnasium): Betz won 6-3, 6-4.

July 4, Fort Worth, TX:

July 5, Dallas, TX:

July ??, Little Rock, AR:

July 12, Akron, OH (Portage Country Club): Cooke won the first set 6-3 but lost the second 7-5. The third set was not played.

July 13, Dayton, OH (Moraine Country Club): Betz won 6-2, 6-2. This was the last stop in the U. S. as they were planning to play 2 weeks in the U. K. before playing 2 more weeks on the continent. Then, they would play on the U. S. east coast before possibly touring South America or Australia. (The local newspaper quoted Cooke as saying (falsely) that Betz now leads the series 17-15.)

July 21, London (Wembley Stadium): Betz won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 before 6,000 spectators.

July 23, London: Cooke won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

July 25, London: Betz won 6-4, 6-2.
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