Friday, December 20, 2013
Remembering 'Lady Tennis'
|In addition to her stellar play, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman also was known as a great mentor.|
On this day in 1886, the woman known as “Lady Tennis” or “Queen Mother of American Tennis” was born in California. Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman was one of tennis’ first superstars, winning 16 titles at the U.S. Championships (now the US Open). She swept the singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at the tournament from 1909-1911. Involved with the sport her entire life, Wightman helped organize the Wightman Cup, a team competition between the United States and Great Britain that was contested from 1923-1989. The mother of five was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1957 and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. Her contributions to the sport were noticed by Queen Elizabeth, who appointed her as an Honorary Commander of the British Empire in 1973. Wightman passed away at the age of 87 in 1974.