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Sarah Palfrey Cooke: Wikis


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Sarah Hammond Palfrey Fabyan Cooke Danzig (September 18, 1912 in Sharon, Massachusetts, U.S. – February 27, 1996 in New York City) was a female tennis player from the United States.

Cooke twice won the singles title at the U.S. Championships, the second time in 1945 at the age of 32. She was only the second mother to have won the title, with Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman being the first.[1] Cooke won the 1945 title after being down 4–3 in the third set to Pauline Betz Addie, with Betz Addie serving.[2] Betz Addie was the three time defending champion and would have won six consecutive titles had Cooke not defeated her in the 1941 and 1945 finals.

Cooke is one of the only women, if not the sole woman, to appear on a top level male championship honor roll. Because of the manpower crisis during World War II, she and second husband Elwood Cooke were permitted to enter the men's doubles of the Tri-State Championships in Cincinnati in 1945. They reached the final, losing to Hal Surface and Bill Talbert.[3]

Cooke won a total of 16 Grand Slam championships in women's doubles (11) and mixed doubles (5). She teamed with Betty Nuthall Shoemaker to win the 1930 U.S. Championships and with Helen Jacobs to win the 1932, 1934, and 1935 editions of those championships. Cooke and Alice Marble won the U.S. Championships in 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940. At Wimbledon, Cooke and Marble won the 1938 and 1939 women's doubles championship. Cooke's final U.S. women's doubles championship was in 1941 with Margaret Osborne duPont. In mixed doubles, Cooke teamed with four different partners to win the U.S. Championships: Fred Perry in 1932, Enrique Maier in 1935, Don Budge in 1937, and Jack Kramer in 1941. Cooke also won the mixed doubles title at the 1939 French Championships, teaming with her future husband Elwood Cooke. Cooke and Marble were undefeated in doubles for 4 years (1937-1940).

In 1947, Cooke turned professional and went on a "barnstorming" tour of one night stands with Betz Addie, who had been stripped of her amateur status by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) for merely inquiring about the possibility of creating a tour for professionals. They earned about US$10,000 each.[4]

According to Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Cooke was ranked in the world top ten from 1933 through 1936 and in 1938 and 1939 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high in those rankings of World No. 4 in 1934.[5] Cooke was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the USLTA from 1929 through 1931, 1933 through 1941, and in 1945. She was the top-ranked U.S. player in 1941 and 1945.[6]

Cooke and Marble lobbied the USLTA to remove the color bar and allow Althea Gibson to play at heretofore whites-only tournaments beginning in 1950. "She [Cooke] was calmly persuasive, had clout as an ex-champ, and got Althea into the U.S. Championships in 1950," said Gladys Heldman, founder of the women's professional tennis tour.[7]

Cooke once said, "Tennis is the best game there is. It combines mental and physical qualities and is the sport for a lifetime. And there are many living examples at the age of 80 to prove it. So it is enough for us to know that tennis will remain, under whatever conditions, whether amateur or pro, the finest game there is for us, for our children, and our children's children."[8]

Cooke was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1963 and died of lung cancer in 1996.[9]

She was married three times, to _____ Fayban, Elwood Cook, and Jerry A. Danzig, and had two children.[10] Through her mother, Belle "Clochette" Roosevelt Palfrey, she was a great-granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt and a granddaughter of Kermit Roosevelt. She had four sisters and a brother who were also excellent tennis players.


Grand Slam record

  • Wimbledon
    • Women's Doubles champion: 1938, 1939
    • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1930, 1936
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1936, 1938
  • U.S. Championships
    • Singles champion: 1941, 1945
    • Singles runner-up: 1934, 1935
    • Women's Doubles champion: 1930, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941
    • Women's Doubles runner-up: 1936
    • Mixed Doubles champion: 1932, 1935, 1937, 1941
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up: 1933, 1936, 1939

Grand Slam singles finals


Wins (2)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1941 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Pauline Betz Addie 7–5, 6–2
1945 U.S. Championships (2) Flag of the United States.svg Pauline Betz Addie 3–6, 8–6, 6–4

Runner-ups (2)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1934 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Helen Jacobs 6–1, 6–4
1935 U.S. Championships Flag of the United States.svg Helen Jacobs 6–2, 6–4

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A A A A A A A A NH NH NH NH NH 0 / 0
French Championships A A A A A A 3R A A A A QF NH R R R R A 0 / 2
Wimbledon A A 2R A 4R A QF A 2R A QF SF NH NH NH NH NH NH 0 / 6
U.S. Championships 1R 3R 3R 3R 2R QF F F 1R 1R SF QF 3R W A QF A W 2 / 16
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 2 / 24

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.

See also


  1. ^ Sarah Hammond Palfrey Fayban Cooke Danzig
  2. ^ Sarah Hammond Palfrey Fayban Cooke Danzig
  3. ^ Sarah Hammond Palfrey Fayban Cooke Danzig
  4. ^ OBITUARY : Sarah Danzig
  5. ^ 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. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.  
  6. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc.. pp. 260–1.  
  7. ^ Sarah Hammond Palfrey Fayban Cooke Danzig
  8. ^ OBITUARY : Sarah Danzig
  9. ^ Tennis
  10. ^ New York Times obituary.


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