With the world’s best tennis players about to launch themselves at Wimbledon, we thought we’d take a look at some heroines with wooden racquets.
Posted on 25/06/2016
1. The final of the 1901 Wimbledon Championships, between Blanche Bingley Hillyard (in front) and Charlotte Cooper Sterry. The year before, Sterry had become the first ever female Olympic champion, but she won here. Bingley Hillyard went on to win 13 finals, which remains a Wimbledon record.
2. Players in the Female Tennis Championship held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1910. Archivo General de la Nación Argentina, via Wikimedia Commons
3. English tennis players Dorothy Holman (1883-1968) and Phyllis Satterthwaite (1889-1962) at the ladies’ doubles final of the 1920 World Hard Court Championships at Paris. They won. Satterthwaite would go on to write Lawn Tennis For Women. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons
4. American tennis players Edith Sigourney, left, and Molla Mallory at the 1921 World Hard Court Championships at Paris. Mallory won the US championship eight times, which remains a record. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons
5.Suzanne Lenglen and Germaine Golding at the French Championships in 1921. Lenglen, who was French, was one of the first international female sport stars and nicknamed The Goddess by the press. She won 98 per cent of all the matches she played. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons
6. German tennis player Cilly Aussem, at the French Championships 1927. In 1931, she became the first German to win the singles title at Wimbledon in 1931. She also won the women’s single titles at the French Championships and German Championships in 1931. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons
7. English tennis player Joan Cowell O’Meara. She was a semifinalist at the 1931 Wimbledon Championships and the following year reached the semifinal at the US Championships. National Portrait Gallery, via Wikimedia Commons
8 American Helen Wills Moody in 1932. Considered by many the greatest ever female player, she won 31 Grand Slam tournament titles (singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles) during her career, including 19 singles titles. In 1933, she beat the eighth-ranked male player in an exhibition match. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons
9. Australian tennis players Thelma Coyne, left, and Nancye Wynne, members of the Australian Womens’ Tennis Team, with a Morris 8/40 motorcar, loaned to them during the Australian Tennis Championship in Adelaide, in 1938. Coyne won 19 Grand Slam tournament titles in her career and died last year, at the age of 96. State Library of NSW, via Wikimedia Commons
10. Althea Gibson in 1956. Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to win a Grand Slam title. She won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles. In the early 1960s she also became the first black player to compete on the women’s professional golf tour. Library of Congress Prints, via Wikimedia Commons
11. Australia’s Evonne Goolagong after winning the Dutch Open in 1971. In her career, she won 14 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles. The Nationaal Archief, via Wikimedia Commons