New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: Tennis

Jean Borotra

Jean Borotra (Tennis.  Born, Biarritz, France, Aug. 13, 1898; died, Arbonne, France, July 17, 1994.)  A French Davis Cup hero and winner of three of the four major tournaments during his career, Jean Borotra missed only at Forest Hills.  Borotra, known as the “Bounding Basque,” lost an all-French final to Rene Lacoste in 1926, 6-4, 6-0, 6-4.  One of the “Four Musketeers” of French tennis (with Lacoste, Henri Cochet, and Jacques Brugnon), he won the French championship in 1924 and 1931, Wimbledon in 1924 and 1926, and the Australian title in his only try in 1928.

A. Louise Brough

A. Louise Brough (Tennis.  Born, Oklahoma City, OK, Mar. 11, 1923.)  Though she made the U.S. national final six times over a 16-year period (1942-57), Althea Louise Brough won the championship only once.  After losses in 1942 and 1943, Brough beat Margaret Osborne, 8-6, 4-6, 6-1, on Sept. 15, 1947.  But she lost a rematch the next year to the now-married Margaret Osborne duPont and also lost in 1954 (to Doris Hart) and 1957 (to Althea Gibson).  Among the most durable players of her era, Brough paired with Mrs. duPont for a record 12 women’s doubles titles at Forest Hills (1942-50, 1955-57), and the team made the final three other times (1952-54), playing in the final match 15 times in 16 years.

Mary K. Browne

Mary K. Browne (Tennis.  Born, Ventura, CA, June 3, 1891; died, Laguna Beach, CA, Aug. 19, 1971.)  One of the first great all-around women athletes, Mary Kimball Browne was also America’s first woman tennis pro.  She was also the first woman ranked No. 1 in the U.S., leading the first two official listings (1913, 1914).  Browne annually trekked East to thrash her tennis opponents, winning the U.S. singles championship in 1912, 1913, and 1914, and doubles in 1912, 1913, 1914, 1921, and 1925 (the first three in Philadelphia, Penna., and the last two at Forest Hills).  During the same period, she was a leading amateur golfer, reaching the final of the U.S. women’s amateur in 1924 after upsetting Glenna Collett (later Vare) in the semifinals.  Browne lost the final to Dorothy Campbell Hurd.  She made the quarterfinals in 1925 before losing to Alexa Stirling Fraser.  Browne made her pro tennis debut at Madison Square Garden in 1926 when she started a cross-country tour against French champion Suzanne Lenglen promoted by Charles (Cash ‘n’ Carry) Pyle.

Don Budge

Don Budge (Tennis. Born, June 13, 1915, Oakland, CA; died, Scranton, PA., Jan. 26, 2000.)  John Donald Budge earned everlasting fame by becoming the first man ever to win the “Grand Slam” of tennis, capturing the U.S., Wimbledon, French and Australian titles in the same year.  That string of victories captured world headlines in 1938.  But Budge had become a major force on the world tennis scene several years before.  Budge won the U.S. doubles title at Forest Hills in 1936 (and again in 1938) and the U.S. singles there in 1937 as well.  He was also a star on the U.S. Davis Cup team.  Budge was the losing doubles finalist at Forest Hills in both 1935 and 1937 and in 1936 in singles.  He was selected as the Associated Press Athlete of the Year in both 1937 and 1938 and was the Sullivan Award winner as America’s leading amateur athlete in 1937.  In 1970, Budge was voted the greatest living player in the history of tennis by an international panel of tennis writers.  Budge made his pro debut at Madison Square Garden Jan. 3, 1939, defeating Ellsworth Vines.  He died as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in late 1999.

Maria Bueno

Maria Bueno (Tennis.  Born, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oct. 11, 1939.)  Despite being dogged by illness and injury almost throughout her career, Maria Esther Bueno became one of the true tennis champions of her time, ranking in the world’s top ten every year but one from 1958-68.  She was the world’s No. 1 woman player in both 1959 and 1960.  After a triumphant European tour as a teenager in 1958 (when she won, among others, the Italian championship), Bueno shot to the top of the world rankings the next year when she won both the Wimbledon and U.S. singles titles.  In the U.S. final at Forest Hills, she downed Britain’s Christine Truman, 6-1, 6-4.  Bueno was a repeat winner at Wimbledon in 1960 but was surprised in the final at Forest Hills by former doubles partner Darlene Hard, 6-4, 10-12, 6-4, although she did win the doubles.  She returned to Forest Hills in 1962 to capture another doubles crown and from 1963 -66 won the singles championship three times in four years.  With two partners, she had a doubles Grand Slam in 1960.  In the 1963 final, she defeated a young Australian destined to become another of the world’s great players, Margaret Smith, 7-5, 6-4.  A year later, Bueno was a victor at Forest Hills for the third time with a 6-1, 6-0, rout of Carole Clark Graebner, and she captured her fourth U.S. title in 1966 when she defeated Texan Nancy Richey in the final, 6-3, 6-1.  Bueno’s final U.S. championship was a doubles win in 1968.  But win or lose, she was always the epitome of style and grace.

Oliver Campbell

Oliver Campbell (Tennis.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Feb. 25, 1871; died, Campbelltown, N.B., July 11, 1953.)  In the summer between his junior and senior years at Columbia, Oliver Samuel Campbell went to Newport, R.I.  While there, Campbell won the U.S. national singles tennis championship for 1890, beating defending champion Henry W. Slocum, Jr., 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the challenge round.  Generally considered America’s first player to rush the net, he also became the youngest man (19 years, six months, nine days) to win the singles title (a distinction surpassed a century later by Pete Sampras).  Campbell successful defended his title in 1891 (against Clarence Hobart) and 1892 (over Fred Hovey) in the days when the champion played only one match, against the winner of the all-comers tournament, but did not defend in 1893, retiring to pursue a business career.  He was no stranger to championships, having won the national doubles title (with Valentine G. Hall) in 1888.  Campbell also won the doubles crown in 1891 and 1892, pairing with Robert P. Huntington, Jr.  Campbell was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 five straight years starting in 1888 (eighth) and 1889 (third), and then, naturally, No. 1.

Dodo Cheney

Dodo Cheney (Tennis.  Born, Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 1, 1916.)  There is perhaps no more startling story in the history of American tennis than the saga of Dorothy Sutton Bundy Cheney.  Mrs. Cheney is the daughter of English-born May Sutton Bundy (1886-1975), who became a U.S. tennis star after growing up in Anaheim, Calif., and going on to win both the U.S. (1904) and Wimbledon (1905, ’07) singles titles.  Her daughter is perhaps even more remarkable.  Over a period of more than 40 years, Dodo Cheney has won over 300 U.S. national tennis championships in various age group competitions, starting in 1957 when she began a string of 14 U.S.T.A. Hard Court women’s senior singles victories.  On July 17, 1999, Mrs. Cheney (and Jean Harris) won the national 80s women’s doubles at Mahwah, N.J.  The next day, she won the 80s singles for her 303rd national championship, defeating Patricia Stuhler.

Henri Cochet

Henri Cochet (Tennis.  Born, Villeurbanne, France, Dec. 14, 1901; died, Paris, France, Apr. 1, 1987.)  One of the celebrated “Four Musketeers” of French tennis, Henri Cochet was part of the quartet that dominated the sport in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  Cochet teamed with Rene Lacoste, Jacques Brugnon, and Jean Borotra to win the Davis Cup six straight times (1927-32).  Cochet was also one of only two Frenchmen to win the U.S. national singles title, doing so at Forest Hills in 1928, following Lacoste, who had won the two prior years.  Cochet was also the Wimbledon singles champion in 1927 and 1929 and won the French singles five times (1922, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932).  He won 44 of his 58 Davis Cup singles matches as France ended U.S. dominance of the event.  Cochet turned pro in 1933, ending his career in international tournaments, which were then restricted to amateur players.

Bud Collins

Bud Collins (Tennis.  Born, Lima, OH, June 17, 1929.)  Best known to New York sports fans for his tennis commentary on PBS, CBS, and NBC, Arthur W. Collins, Jr., was also a player and coach before becoming a celebrity.  Collins played collegiately at Baldwin-Wallace (1949-51), coached Brandeis (1959-63), and was the 1961 U.S. indoor national champion in mixed doubles (with Janet Hopp).  He began writing tennis for the Boston Globe in 1961 and Tennis magazine in 1971.  Collins has written extensively about tennis and has authored several books, including the Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis.

Maureen Connolly

Maureen Connolly (Tennis.  Born, San Diego, CA, Sept. 17, 1934; died, Dallas, TX, June 21, 1969.)  Gifted by nature but dogged by cruel fate.  That was the life and tennis career of Maureen Connolly, the first woman ever to win the singles Grand Slam of tennis.  Despite her remarkable feats, Connolly (later Mrs. Brinker) became a tragic figure when she injured her leg in a riding accident and was unable to continue her career.  She then died before her 35th birthday.  Having risen to a No. 10 U.S. ranking in 1950 at age 16, she won her first U.S. national singles championship the following year with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Shirley Fry at Forest Hills.  At the age of 16 years, 11 months, she was the second youngest woman ever to win the title.  In 1952, Connolly won her second straight U.S. title, this time defeating Doris Hart, 6-3, 7-5, in the final.  A year later, she defeated Hart again, 6-2, 6-4, to complete a blitz of the field without the loss of a set.  She also won three straight Wimbledon titles (1952-54), won the U.S. Clay Court singles in 1952 and 1954.  Her 1953 Grand Slam (U.S., French, Wimbledon, and Australian singles titles) was the second ever, the first since Don Budge in 1938.  Connolly also represented the U.S. internationally, winning all nine of her singles matches in Wightman Cup competition from 1951-54. She was also the 1954 Italian singles titlist and won numerous doubles titles, including the French (1954).  Her husband, restauranteur Norman Brinker, in 1981 married Nancy Goodman, whose sister, Susan G. Komen, had died of cancer in 1980.  Brinker’s financial backing helped establish the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as one of the nation’s best-known charities.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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