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Darlene Hard (born January 6, 1936) is an American former professional tennis player. Known for her volleying ability and strong serves, she captured singles titles at the French Championships in 1960 and the U.S. Championships in 1960 and 1961.

Darlene Hard
Althea-Gibson-Darlene-Hard-Wimbledon-1957.jpg
Hard congratulates Althea Gibson at the 1957 Wimbledon Women's Singles Championships. The pair were Wimbledon Women's Doubles Champions that same year.
Full nameDarlene Ruth Hard
Country (sports) United States
Born (1936-01-06) January 6, 1936 (age 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
PlaysRight-handed
Int. Tennis HoF1973 (member page)
Singles
Career recordno value
Highest rankingNo. 2 (1957)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenQF (1962)
French OpenW (1960)
WimbledonF (1957, 1959)
US OpenW (1960, 1961)
Doubles
Career recordno value
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1962)
French OpenW (1955, 1957, 1960)
WimbledonW (1957, 1959, 1960, 1963)
US OpenW (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1969)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1962)
French OpenW (1955, 1961)
WimbledonW ( 1957, 1959, 1960)
US OpenF (1956, 1957, 1961)
Team competitions
Wightman CupW (1957, 1959, 1962, 1963)

With eight different partners, she won a total of 13 women's doubles titles in Grand Slam tournaments. Her last doubles title, at the age of 33 at the 1969 US Open, came six years after she had retired from serious competition to become a tennis instructor. She also played the US Open singles tournament in 1969, losing in the second round to Françoise Dürr 6–3, 6–3.

CareerEdit

 
Queen Elizabeth II presents the Wimbledon championship trophy to Althea Gibson as Darlene Hard, at left, looks on (July 6, 1957)

According to Lance Tingay of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Hard was ranked among the top ten in the world from 1957 through 1963, reaching a career high of number 2 in those rankings in 1957, 1960, and 1961.[1] Hard was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association from 1954 through 1963. She was the top-ranked U.S. player from 1960 through 1963.[2]

In 1964 Hard won the singles title at the South African Championships, defeating Ann Haydon-Jones in the final, and soon afterwards turned professional when she became a teaching pro. She later owned two tennis stores.[3]

Hard was enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1973.

According to a 2007 published report, she had been working for the University of Southern California since 1981.[3]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles: 7 (3 titles, 4 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1957 Wimbledon Grass   Althea Gibson 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Althea Gibson 6–3, 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1959 Wimbledon Grass   Maria Bueno 4–6, 3–6
Winner 1960 French Championships Clay   Yola Ramírez Ochoa 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Maria Bueno 6–4, 10–12, 6–4
Winner 1961 U.S. Championships Grass   Ann Haydon 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1962 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Smith 7–9, 4–6

Doubles: 18 (13 titles, 5 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1955 French Championships Clay   Beverly Baker   Shirley Bloomer
  Pat Ward
7–5, 6–8, 13–11
Runner-up 1956 French Championships Clay   Dorothy Head   Angela Buxton
  Althea Gibson
8–6, 6–8, 1–6
Winner 1957 French Championships Clay   Shirley Bloomer   Yola Ramírez
  Rosie Reyes
7–5, 4–6, 7–5
Winner 1957 Wimbledon Grass   Althea Gibson   Mary Bevis Hawton
  Thelma Coyne Long
6–1, 6–2
Runner-up 1957 U.S. Championships Grass   Althea Gibson   Louise Brough
  Margaret Osborne
2–6, 5–7
Winner 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Jeanne Arth   Maria Bueno
  Althea Gibson
2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1959 Wimbledon Grass   Jeanne Arth   Beverly Baker
  Christine Truman
2–6, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1959 U.S. Championships Grass   Jeanne Arth   Althea Gibson
  Sally Moore
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1960 French Championships Clay   Maria Bueno   Pat Ward
  Ann Haydon Jones
6–2, 7–5
Winner 1960 Wimbledon Grass   Maria Bueno   Sandra Reynolds
  Renee Schuurman
6–4, 6–0
Winner 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Maria Bueno   Althea Gibson
  Deidre Catt
6–1, 6–1
Runner-up 1961 French Championships Clay   Maria Bueno   Sandra Reynolds
  Renee Schuurman
default
Winner 1961 U.S. Championships Grass   Lesley Turner   Edda Buding
  Yola Ramírez
6–4, 5–7, 6–0
Runner-up 1962 Australian Championships Grass   Mary Carter Reitano   Robyn Ebbern
  Margaret Smith
4–6, 4–6
Winner 1962 U.S. Championships Grass   Maria Bueno   Karen Hantze
  Billie Jean King
4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 1963 Wimbledon Grass   Maria Bueno   Robyn Ebbern
  Margaret Smith
8–6, 9–7
Runner-up 1963 U.S. Championships Grass   Maria Bueno   Robyn Ebbern
  Margaret Smith
6–4, 8–10, 3–6
Winner 1969 US Open Grass   Françoise Dürr   Margaret Smith
  Virginia Wade
0–6, 6–3, 6–4

Grand Slam singles tournament timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 – 1968 1969 1970 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A A A A QF A A A A 0 / 1
French Championships A A 2R 3R QF A A W 4R A 2R A A A 1 / 6
Wimbledon A A SF 3R F A F QF A QF SF A A A 0 / 7
United States 2R SF 3R QF SF F SF W W F QF A 2R 2R 2 / 13
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 2 2 / 3 1 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 3 / 27

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 703. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.
  2. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc. p. 261.
  3. ^ a b "Hard is fine far from Centre Court". Los Angeles Times. July 3, 2007.

External linksEdit