Helen Jacobs

U. S. A.
Born 6/8/1908 Died 2/6/1997
Wimbledon 1936
US Open 1932,1933,1934,1935

Helen Jacobs spent most of her career in the shadow of Helen Wills Moody, who beat her countless times in Grand Slam events. Jacobs lacked power in her shots but she was a determined competitor who never gave up. She was a good if unspectacular volleyer. Jacobs, from Arizona, emerged onto the scene in the late 1920s. She suffered her first of many losses to Wills Moody in the 1927 US semis. In 1928 she beat former champion Molla Mallory before losing to Wills Moody in the final. In 1929 she lost in the final of Wimbledon to Wills Moody and the US semis to Pat Holcroft-Watson. Jacobs lost to Wills Moody in the French final in 1930. Hilde Krahwinkel beat her in the 1931 Wimbledon semis. In 1932 Jacobs lost to Wills Moody in the Wimbledon final but beat Carolin Babcock to take her first US title. At the French in 1933 Jacobs lost in the semis to Simone Passemard-Mathieu and lost to home favourite Dorothy Round in the semis of Wimbledon. At the US she overcame Betty Nuthall and Round before her only win over Wills Moody in the final (though Wills Moody did retire in the final set when 3-0 down). At the French in 1934 Jacobs beat Passemard-Mathieu before losing to Peggy Scriven in a three set final. At Wimbledon she lost the final to home favourite Round. She won her third US title in a row, beating Sarah Palfrey in the final. At the French in 1935 Jacobs lost in the semis to Krahwinkel-Sperling. At Wimbledon Jacobs had championship point at 5-3 final set against Wills Moody. Moody hit a weak lob but a wind current caught the ball and Jacobs mised the easy smash. Wills Moody went on to deny Jacobs yet again. Jacobs won a fourth consecutive US title in 1935 beating Palfrey again in the final. Jacobs finally won Wimbledon in 1936 (benefitting from Wills Moody's absence) beating Krahwinkel-Sperling in the final. Jacobs lost in the US final to Alice Marble. At Wimbledon 1938 Jacobs beat Marble before losing to Wills Moody in the final. Jacobs lost in the final of the 1939 US to Marble. Jacobs last reached the final in 1940, Marble again proving the stumbling block. She reached the semis the following year losing to Palfrey-Cooke.