Suzanne Lenglen
SUZANNE LENGLEN

France
Born 24/5/1899 Died 4/7/1938
World Hard Court (Clay) 1914,1921,1922,1923
French Open 1925,1926
Wimbledon 1919,1920,1921,1922,1923,1925

Suzanne Lenglen was ahead of her time. She arrived on the scene just before the First World War began. Women wore ankle length dresses and corsets and no one paid much attention to women's tennis. Lenglen's dress was considerably shorter and she moved around the court with an athleticism that was unique amongst her contemporaries. She had just turned 15 when she triumphed in the 1914 World Hard Court Championships, beating Germaine Golding in the final. She won Wimbledon in 1919, when she overcame the pre-war great Dorothea Douglass-Lambert Chambers. By 1925 Lenglen had won five more titles at Wimbledon and three more World Hard Court titles without breaking sweat. She entered the U. S. only once (in 1921) and retired in the second round after losing the first set to Molla Mallory (her only Grand Slam defeat). She won her native French championships in 1925 and 1926. At Wimbledon 1926 there was an unfortunate mix-up that meant Lenglen arrived late for a match and kept Queen Mary waiting. There was a big fuss caused by this and the stress of the incident caused Lenglen (whose health was always a worry to her) to pull out of the event. Then Lenglen turned professional and joined Charles C. Pyle's first professional tour. She failed to make much money from the tour so became a teaching professional. She died aged 39 in 1938.


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