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Eleanor "Nell" Mary Hall Hopman (19 March 1909 in Sydney, Australia – 10 January 1968 in Hawthorn, Australia) was one of the female tennis players that dominated Australian tennis from 1930 through the early 1960s. She was the first wife of Harry Hopman, the coach and captain of 22 Australian Davis Cup teams.

Contents

Career

Hopman teamed with her husband to win four mixed doubles titles at the Australian Championships (1930, 1936, 1937, and 1939). They were mixed doubles finalists at Wimbledon in 1935, losing to Fred Perry and Dorothy Round Little 7–5, 4–6, 6–2.

Hopman was a singles finalist at the Australian Championships in 1939 and 1947. She partnered with Maureen Connolly Brinker to win the women's doubles title at the 1954 French Championships. She played in 58 Grand Slam singles events during her career, the last one a first round loss at the 1966 French Championships when she was 57 years old. She played in 27 of the 28 singles events that were held at the Australian Championships from 1930 through 1962, including 25 consecutive events from 1933 through 1962. Her last Grand Slam event was the women's doubles tournament at the 1966 U.S. Championships, where she and Mrs. Arklay Richards lost in the first round.

Hopman was instrumental in Tennis Australia's decision to invite the reigning Wimbledon champion, Louise Brough Clapp, and Doris Hart to play tournaments in Australia in the summer of 1949-1950. She also arranged for Connolly Brinker and the American junior title holder Julie Sampson Haywood to play in Australia in the summer of 1952-1953. The end result was Tennis Australia's decision to establish a committee to discuss ways and means of improving the "poor standards of Australian women's tennis". Other tennis writers supported Hopman's efforts, accusing Tennis Australia of a "parochial attitude to women players". In 1955, Tennis Australia finally sent a women's team abroad, under the management of Adrian Quist. In 1961, Hopman took another women's team abroad, consisting of Margaret Court, Lesley Turner Bowrey, and Mary Carter Reitano. Although the tour was a financial success, Hopman was accused of overworking and underfeeding her players and forcing them to stay in inadequate hotels. As a result, Court refused to participate in the 1962 overseas tour led by Hopman.

Hopman was employed by the United States Lawn Tennis Association and the Southern California Tennis Association from 1952 through 1954 to be the traveling companion and chaperon of Connolly Brinker. In 1962, she persuaded the International Tennis Federation to begin sponsoring the Federation Cup, now known as the Fed Cup, an international team event for women similar to the Davis Cup for men.

Hopman became the first life member of Tennis Victoria in 1965 but the following year underwent unsuccessful surgery for a brain tumor and died in early 1968.

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941–44 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963–65 1966 Career SR
Australian Championships 1R 1R A QF QF SF QF 2R SF F SF NH NH QF F QF 2R QF QF 2R 2R QF QF 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R 2R 2R A A 0 / 27
French Championships A A A A 1R 2R A A 3R A NH R A A A A A A A 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R A A 1R A 1R 2R A 1R 0 / 12
Wimbledon A A A A 3R 2R A A 1R A NH NH NH A 4R A A A A 3R 3R 1R 2R 2R A A 2R A 1R A A A 0 / 11
U.S. Championships A A A A A A A A 3R A A A A A 2R A A A A A 2R 2R 2R 1R A A 2R A A 2R A A 0 / 8
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 58

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

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