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Althea Louise Brough Clapp (born March 11, 1923) was a World No. 1 American female tennis player.

Contents

Biography

She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma but moved to Beverly Hills, California when she was four years old.[1] She had a classic forehand and backhand and a paralyzing American twist serve[2] and was one of the great volleyers in history.[3] She won thirteen titles at Wimbledon, seventeen titles at the U.S. Championships, three titles at the French Championships, and two titles at the Australian Championships. Her 35 Grand Slam titles ties her with Doris Hart for fifth on the all-time list, behind only Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, and Margaret Osborne duPont.[4]

Brough Clapp appeared in 21 of the 30 finals contested at Wimbledon from 1946 through 1955 in singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles.[4]

From 1942 through 1950, Brough Clapp and duPont won nine consecutive women's doubles titles at the U.S. Championships, which is the longest championship run in history in any event at any Grand Slam tournament.[4] Brough Clapp and duPont did not play as a team at the U.S. Championships in 1951 or 1952 but in 1953, they returned to extend their record match winning streak to 41 before losing to Hart and Shirley Fry Irvin in the final 6–2, 7–9, 9–7.[4] Their career record as a team at the U.S. Championships was 58–2, winning 12 of the 14 times they entered the tournament and losing only five sets in those 14 years.[4]

Brough Clapp appeared in six singles finals at the U.S. Championships but won only in 1947. She had a match point at 6–5 in the third set of the 1948 final against duPont.[2][5] She also had three match points in the 1954 final against Hart, the first at 5–4 in the third set and two more at 6–5 in that set.[2][6]

According to John Olliff and Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Brough Clapp was ranked in the world top ten from 1946 through 1957 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 1 in those rankings in 1955.[7] She was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) from 1941 through 1950 and from 1952 through 1957. She was the top ranked U.S. player in 1947.[8] Her 16 years in the USLTA top ten trails only King (18 years) and Chris Evert (19 years).[3]

She was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.

Grand Slam record

  • Wimbledon
    • Singles champion: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1955
    • Singles runner-up: 1946, 1952, 1954
    • Women's Doubles champion: 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954
    • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1947, 1951, 1952
    • Mixed Doubles champion: 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1949, 1955
  • U.S. Championships
    • Singles champion: 1947
    • Singles runner-up: 1942, 1943, 1948, 1954, 1957
    • Women's Doubles champion: 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1957
    • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1952, 1953, 1954
    • Mixed Doubles champion: 1942, 1947, 1948, 1949
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1946

Grand Slam singles finals

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Wins (6)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1947 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Margaret Osborne duPont 8–6, 4–6, 6–1
1948 Wimbledon Flag of the United States.svg Doris Hart 6–3, 8–6
1949 Wimbledon (2) Flag of the United States.svg Margaret Osborne duPont 10–8, 1–6, 10–8
1950 Australian Championships Flag of the United States.svg Doris Hart 6–4, 3–6, 6–4
1950 Wimbledon (3) Flag of the United States.svg Margaret Osborne duPont 6–1, 3–6, 6–1
1955 Wimbledon (4) Flag of the United States.svg Beverly Baker Fleitz 7–5, 8–6

Runner-ups (8)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1942 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Pauline Betz Addie 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
1943 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Pauline Betz Addie 6–3, 5–7, 6–3
1946 Wimbledon Flag of the United States.svg Pauline Betz Addie 6–2, 6–4
1948 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Margaret Osborne duPont 4–6, 6–4, 15–13
1952 Wimbledon Flag of the United States.svg Maureen Connolly Brinker 6–4, 6–3
1954 Wimbledon Flag of the United States.svg Maureen Connolly Brinker 6–2, 7–5
1954 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Doris Hart 6–8, 6–1, 8–6
1957 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Althea Gibson 6–3, 6–2

Grand Slam tournament timelines

Singles

Tournament 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 Career
SR
Career
Win-Loss
Australian Championships A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A W A A A A A A A A A 1 / 1 5–0
French Championships A NH R R R R A SF SF A 3R SF A A A A A A A A A 0 / 4 10–4
Wimbledon A NH NH NH NH NH NH F SF W W W SF F A F W SF QF A A 4 / 11 56–7
U.S. Championships 1R 1R 2R F F SF SF QF W F SF 3R A SF SF F 3R QF F QF QF 1 / 20 60–19
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 1 / 3 1 / 2 1 / 3 2 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 6 / 36 131–30

NH = tournament not held.
R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.
A = did not participate in the tournament.
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

Women's doubles

Tournament 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 Career
SR
Australian Championships A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A W A A A A A A A A A 1 / 1
French Championships A NH R R R R A W W A W F A A A A A A A A A 3 / 4
Wimbledon A NH NH NH NH NH NH W F W W W F F A W A SF A A A 5 / 9
U.S. Championships A 2R QF W W W W W W W W W A F F F W W W A QF 12 / 18
SR 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 21 / 32

NH = tournament not held.
R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.
A = did not participate in the tournament.
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Billie Jean King with Cynthia Starr (1988). We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 64. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.  
  2. ^ a b c Billie Jean King with Cynthia Starr (1988). We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 65. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.  
  3. ^ a b Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. p. 539. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.  
  4. ^ a b c d e Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. p. 540. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.  
  5. ^ Billie Jean King with Cynthia Starr (1988). We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 67. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.  
  6. ^ Billie Jean King with Cynthia Starr (1988). We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 89. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.  
  7. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 702-3. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.  
  8. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc.. pp. 260–1.  

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