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LONG, THELMA (nee Thelma Dorothy Coyne)
Australia
Born 14 October 1918 in Sydney, NSW, Australia
Died 13 April 2015 in Sydney, NSW, Australia
Married Maurice Newton Long, 30 January 1941, divorced circa 1946/47
Height: 5' 7"
[Active 1935 to 1959]

Titles: at least 65 events,the first at Launceston in 1935, and the last in Warnambool in 1959.

Not married or related to prominent Aussie player Colin Long. Thelma went by “Long” even after her divorce. Thelma entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

"Sturdy and strong with a matching solid all-court game. Serve, volley, forehand and backhand – her stroke-making was second to none." Known for her great volleying and rock solid ground strokes honed by early morning practice sessions with her father before school.

Thelma was good enough to take a set off Maureen Connolly at the quarter finals at Wimbledon 1952, one of the only 2 sets Maureen dropped at Wimbledon.

Australian tennis player, Thelma Coyne Long, captured her first major title in 1936 and her last, an impressive 22 years later, in 1958.

Over the course of those two decades, Long won a total of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles, including championships in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

Long was a dominant doubles player, winning 12 of her major titles in doubles, but she also came through to win two majors in singles, as well as five major titles in mixed doubles. In 1952, she completed the Australian Championships triple, winning singles, doubles, and mixed doubles in her home event.

Thelma must have wondered if her native singles title would ever come. Up to that point was a 14 time quarterfinalist, 11 time semi finalist and 4 time finalist, but had never won the crown. With long time road block Bolton beaten by Helen Angwin in the semifinals, this was Thelma's best chance, and she took it 6-2 6-3.

Eighteen of Long’s 19 titles were achieved at the Australian Championships. She remains the oldest Australian women’s singles champion (35 years and eight months in 1954) and the oldest Australian women’s doubles champion (37 years and 7 months in 1956). With 12 Australian doubles titles to her name, she is the record holder for most Australian doubles titles won by a man or woman.

In May 1941, during World War II, Coyne Long joined the Red Cross as a transport driver, and in 1942, she joined the Australian Women's Army Service. Had the war not intervened, and had so many potentially great years not been taken away from her, it is highly likely that Long would have added substantially to her record with more triumphs at the three other majors outside of Australia.


Grand Slam Record

Australian Championship

Singles Champion - 1952, 1954
Doubles Champion - 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958
Mixed Doubles Champion - 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955

French Open

Mixed Doubles Title Champion - 1956

Career Achievements

19 Grand Slam tournament titles
Most Australian doubles titles won by a man or woman





Sources

International Hall of Fame link: http://www.tennisfame.com/thelma-coyne-long-0

Thelma Coyne Long
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=879362

Hall of Fall Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh0YtdwFxFA

[Thanks to Louloubelle and Rollo for this biography]
 

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^ Thanks for posting. 19 slam titles, 18 on home soil and 10 Australian doubles titles with Nancy Wynne Bolton. Was always in Nancy's shadow, but good things come to those who wait, particularly in 1954 when she won her second Australian singles title at the age of 35!

Her career, among others, was interrupted by World War II, she took a five year hiatus from tennis; during that time she joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and then the Australian Women’s Army Service, becoming a captain in 1944.


Known for her great volleying and rock solid ground strokes honed by early morning practice sessions with her father before school.

Thelma was good enough to take a set off Maureen Connelly at the quarter finals at Wimbledon 1952, one of the only 2 sets Maureen dropped at Wimbledon.

Was inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2013.
 

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Great videos Wolbo:worship:

She was truly a pioneer-having to fund her own trips overseas as the Aussie LTA would never dole out money for the ladies in her era.

My hat goes off to you Thelma, both as an individual and as part of "the greatest generation".
 

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An obit from the ITF, which mentions her role in getting the Federation Cup started. The Fed Cup spurred nations to start sending more women abroad as they always had for the males with Davis Cup.

http://www.itftennis.com/news/203685.aspx

Obituary: Thelma Coyne Long


NEWS ARTICLE


image: http://www.itftennis.com/itf/plugins/imagegen/imagegen.ashx?image=/media/137589/137589_BigPicture.jpg&constrain=True&height=293&width=520

Thelma Coyne Long


The ITF is saddened to learn of the passing of Thelma Coyne Long, who died on 13 April aged 96.
An Australian tennis legend, Coyne Long won a total of 19 Grand Slam titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles in a career that spanned more than two decades – from 1936 to 1958.
The vast majority of her successes came in her home nation, since Australian women had limited opportunity to travel overseas during her era, with 18 of her 19 slam triumphs coming at the Australian Championships. She remains the holder of several tournament records to this day.
Coyne Long was the oldest Australian women’s singles champion, having won the 1954 event aged 35 years and eight months, and the oldest women’s doubles champion, claiming the 1956 title aged 37 years 7 months. She also remains the only player (man or woman) to have won 12 Australian doubles titles).

In total, she won two singles titles, 12 doubles titles and four mixed titles at the Australian Grand Slam with her only major triumph away from Australia coming in mixed doubles at Roland Garros in 1956.
Coyne Long’s tennis career was interrupted by the war – she spent all of her 20s in the army, serving her country with distinction with the Red Cross and the Australian Women’s Army Corps, rising to the rank of Captain. In recognition of her efforts throughout World War II, she was awarded both the Australian War Medal and Australian Service Medal for 1939-1945.
A trailblazer for women’s tennis, Coyne Long was a driving force for the ITF to establish the Federation Cup in 1963 to match the Davis Cup in 1963. Upon her retirement from tennis Coyne Long mentored many junior players in her home state of New South Wales.

Her funeral service will be held on Monday 20 April.
 

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http://www.tennis.com.au/news/2015/04/14/tennis-legend-thelma-long-passes-away

Long passes away

Australian tennis legend Thelma (Coyne) Long passed away at her home in Sydney on Tuesday, aged 96.
Melbourne VIC, Australia, 14 April 2015 | Tennis Australia 12 14



Australian tennis legend Thelma (Coyne) Long has passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Sydney on Tuesday, aged 96.


Long, born in Sydney, enjoyed an illustrious 22-year career during which she won 19 major titles, 18 of which came on home soil.
In addition to her two Australian Championships singles titles in 1952 and 1954, Long also won the Australian doubles crown an incredible 12 times, as well as four mixed crowns.
She also captured the 1956 French Championships mixed doubles title, and reached Grand Slam singles quarterfinals in Paris, London and New York.
The onset of World War II forced Long to take five year hiatus from tennis; during that time she joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and then the Australian Women’s Army Service, becoming a captain in 1944.

Her war-time achievements were recognised with an Australian War Medal and an Australian Service Medal.
Following her playing career, Long took up tennis coaching in 1960 and guided junior talent in her home state of New South Wales.
Long is among tennis’s more significant record holders; at age 35 years and eight months she remains the oldest Australian Open women’s singles champion, and her 12 Australian women’s doubles titles is an unsurpassed tally.

She also holds the team record for the most Australian doubles titles (10) with Nancye Wynne Bolton.

Her achievements have been recognised with several accolades, including Tennis NSW life membership (1985), an Australian Sports Medal (2000) and induction into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame (2002)

In 2013, she achieved the sport’s highest honour when she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
 

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Some information from Game, Set, and Glory: A History of The Australian Tennis championships,by Gary Johnson, published in 1985.

[On capturing her first Aussie doubles title]

"Melbourne girl Nancye Wynne and her Sydney friend Thelma Coyne were still in the junior ranks when they won the ladies doubles final. The brilliant pair were to win it ten times, five under their maiden names and five after they were married. And, like Quist and Bromwich, who knows what the tally could have been had the war not [World War Two] not intervened." (p 25).

Thelma lost heartbreaking semis to Nancye for two years running. In 1936 she lost 1-6 7-5 7-5 despite leading 6-1 5-2 and having four match points. 1937 saw a repeat loss to the tune of 7-5 4-6 6-4. Younger by two years, Coyne was destined to live in the shadows of her older rival from Melbourne when it came to singles.

History repeated itself in the final. Coyne led 7-5 and 3-1, only to see Wynne come back in her patented style to take the title 5-7 6-4 6-0.
 

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Thanks Djoule-fixed:)

Margaret Court had some anecdote about Long in her two books. I am splicing them together to form a sketch of how Thelma Long helped Margaret Smith on her 1963 overseas tour.

From The Margaret Smith Story, written in 1965, and Court on Court, published in 1975.

After retirement Long coached in her native city of Sydney. In 1963 Thelma was chosen by Margaret Smith's team to chaperone Margaret and Robyn Ebbern on a privately funded world tour. The 1961 Aussie LTA overseas tour had Nell Hopan as manager. Smith and Hopman clashed at every turn. Margaret refused to ever tour with Nell Hopman again. By that point her status was so powerful she could afford to defy the Aussie LTA, as a good portion of the public took her side. Others openly wished her ill for defying authority. Thelma herself was no stranger to congflicts with the Aussie lTA, which has treated her with disdain.

"We all knew it would be a big wrench for Mrs Long to leave the well-established coaching business she had in Sydney, but she flew down to Melbourne to discuss the idea with Mr Mitchell, and we were overjoyed when she announced she would come with us" (Smith, p 106).

"Mrs Long seemed to organize things so well wherever we went that we always had time for sightseing. She was a tremendous help to me in every way and i learnedmore from her in one year than on any of my overseas trips" (Court, p 70).

Court provides a rare glimpse into how shamateurisn worked; the tour went to Spain rather than a pre-Wimbledon grass warmup "because Mrs Long made a good deal on expenses for us in Barcelona.." (Court, p 70).

Long was able to witness the inaugural Federation Cup, an event she did much to bring about. Smith wrote, "In Australia Mrs Thelma Long and Mrs Nell Hopman have long been agitating for an international series for women, and I have seen the huge pile of correspondence Mrs Long has on the subject" (Smith, p 116).

During Wimbledon Long kept her young charge away from all newspapers. Long told her, "I do not want you to read anything about Wimbledon until it is all over. These English sports writers can make you or break you" (Smith p 119) During the entire fortnight Long kept her young charge in a cocoon, shielding Smith from the pressure of a world #1 who hadn't Wimbledon.

Smith gave Long a good deal of credit on becoming Australia's first female Wimbledon champion by beating Billie Jena Moffitt [later King] in a 6-3 6-4 victory.

"Her inspiration and ability to pick little faults in my game were tremendously encouraging" (Smith 117).

"...her tremendous knowledge and constant encouragement were two things I will remember as long as I play tennis" (Smith, p 118).
 

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Yes indeed. I wonder where it was taken? Probably Australia-but this was also the year the Aussie women did a world tour, so maybe it was a promo pic-or even taken outside of Australia?

The running boards on those old 1930s cars are classic!
According to the source the car is a Morris 8/40 and had been loaned to them during the Australian Tennis Championship in Adelaide.
 
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