Open main menu

Margaret Osborne duPont (born Margaret Evelyn Osborne; March 4, 1918 – October 24, 2012) was a world No. 1 American female tennis player.

Margaret Osborne duPont
Margaret Osborne duPont.jpg
Full nameMargaret Evelyn Osborne duPont
Country (sports) United States
Born(1918-03-04)March 4, 1918
Joseph, Oregon, U.S.[1]
DiedOctober 24, 2012(2012-10-24) (aged 94)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[2]
PlaysRight-handed
Int. Tennis HoF1967 (member page)
Singles
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1947)
Grand Slam Singles results
French OpenW (1946, 1949)
WimbledonW (1947)
US OpenW (1948, 1949, 1950)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenW (1946, 1947, 1949)
WimbledonW (1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954)
US OpenW (1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1957)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonW (1962)
US OpenW (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960)

DuPont won a total of 37 singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, which places her fourth on the all-time list despite never entering the Australian Championships. She won 25 of her Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Championships, which is an all-time record.

Contents

CareerEdit

DuPont won six Grand Slam singles titles, saving match points in the finals of the 1946 French Championships (versus Pauline Betz) and 1948 U.S. Championships (versus Louise Brough). In terms of games played, the 1948 final at the U.S. Championships is the longest women's singles final ever played at that tournament (48 games).

DuPont teamed with Louise Brough to win 20 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, which ties Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver for the most Grand Slam titles ever won by a women's doubles team. DuPont and Brough won nine consecutive titles at the U.S. Championships from 1942 through 1950. They won that tournament 12 of the 14 years they entered as a team. Their 12 titles is an all-time record for a women's doubles team at the U.S. Championships, easily surpassing the four career titles won by the teams of Navratilova and Shriver, Doris Hart and Shirley Fry, and Sarah Palfrey and Alice Marble. DuPont won a total of 13 women's doubles titles at the U.S. Championships, which also is an all-time record, as is her 10 consecutive women's doubles titles at the U.S. Championships from 1941 through 1950.

DuPont won more mixed doubles titles at the U.S. Championships than any other player. She won nine titles, including four with William Talbert (a record for a mixed doubles team at the U.S. Championships) and three with Neale Fraser.

According to John Olliff and Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, duPont was ranked in the world top ten from 1946 through 1950, 1953, 1954, 1956, and 1957 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 1 in those rankings from 1947 through 1950.[3] DuPont was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1938, 1941 through 1950, 1953, 1956, and 1958. She was the top ranked U.S. player from 1948 through 1950.[4]

From 1938 through 1958, DuPont went undefeated in ten Wightman Cup competitions, winning her ten singles and nine doubles matches. She also captained the U.S. team nine times, winning eight.

Personal lifeEdit

Margaret married William duPont, Jr. on November 26, 1947[5] and later interrupted her career to give birth to a son, William duPont III on July 22, 1952. She is one of the few women to win a major title after childbirth. DuPont never played the Australian Championships because her husband would not let her.

They didn't start to invite people down there and pay their expenses until I got married, and that was wintertime and Will's vacation time, and I just never got to go. He threatened to divorce me if I went to Australia, so I never went. He had that respiratory trouble, and he wanted me to come to California with him. He thought I should be with him. That was that.[6]

She later divorced duPont in 1964 and formed a life partnership with fellow player Margaret Varner Bloss.[7]

DuPont died on October 24, 2012 while in hospice care in El Paso, Texas at age 94.[1]

AwardsEdit

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967. The Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame inducted duPont in 1999. In 2010, she was inducted into the US Open Court of Champions.[8]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (6 titles, 4 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1944 U.S. Championships Grass   Pauline Betz 6–3, 8–6
Winner 1946 French Championships Clay   Pauline Betz 1–6, 8–6, 7–5
Winner 1947 Wimbledon Grass   Doris Hart 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1947 U.S. Championships Grass   Louise Brough 6–8, 6–4, 1–6
Winner 1948 U.S. Championships Grass   Louise Brough 4–6, 6–4, 15–13
Winner 1949 French Championships (2) Clay   Nelly Adamson-Landry 7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 1949 Wimbledon Grass   Louise Brough 8–10, 6–1, 8–10
Winner 1949 U.S. Championships (2) Grass   Doris Hart 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 1950 Wimbledon Grass   Louise Brough 1–6, 6–3, 1–6
Winner 1950 U.S. Championships (3) Grass   Doris Hart 6–4, 6–3

Doubles (21 titles, 6 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1941 U.S. Championships Grass   Sarah Palfrey   Dorothy Bundy
  Pauline Betz
3–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 1942 U.S. Championships (2) Grass   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
2–6, 7–5, 6–0
Winner 1943 U.S. Championships (3) Grass   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
6–4, 6–3
Winner 1944 U.S. Championships (4) Grass   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
4–6, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships (5) Grass   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
6–3, 6–3
Winner 1946 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
6–3, 2–6, 6–3
Winner 1946 French Championships Clay   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Doris Hart
6–4, 0–6, 6–1
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships (6) Grass   Louise Brough   Pat Canning Todd
  Mary Arnold Prentiss
6–1, 6–3
Runner-up 1947 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Pat Canning Todd
3–6, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 1947 French Championships (2) Clay   Louise Brough   Pauline Betz
  Pat Canning Todd
7–5, 6–2
Winner 1947 U.S. Championships (7) Grass   Louise Brough   Pat Canning Todd
  Doris Hart
5–7, 6–3, 7–5
Winner 1948 Wimbledon Championships (2) Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Pat Canning Todd
6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1948 U.S. Championships (8) Grass   Louise Brough   Pat Canning Todd
  Doris Hart
6–4, 8–10, 6–1
Winner 1949 French Championships (3) Clay   Louise Brough   Joy Gannon
  Betty Hilton
7–5, 6–1
Winner 1949 Wimbledon Championships (3) Grass   Louise Brough   Gussy Moran
  Pat Canning Todd
8–6, 7–5
Winner 1949 U.S. Championships (9) Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
6–4, 10–8
Runner-up 1950 French Championships Clay   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
1–6, 7–5, 6–2
Winner 1950 Wimbledon Championships (4) Grass   Louise Brough   Shirley Fry
  Doris Hart
6–4, 5–7, 6–1
Winner 1950 U.S. Championships (10) Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 1951 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Louise Brough   Shirley Fry
  Doris Hart
6–3, 13–11
Runner-up 1953 U.S. Championships Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
6–2, 7–9, 9-7
Winner 1954 Wimbledon Championships (5) Grass   Louise Brough   Shirley Fry
  Doris Hart
4–6, 9–7, 6–3
Runner-up 1954 U.S. Championships Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1955 U.S. Championships (11) Grass   Louise Brough   Doris Hart
  Shirley Fry
6–3, 1–6, 6–3
Winner 1956 U.S. Championships (12) Grass   Louise Brough   Betty Rosenquest Pratt
  Shirley Fry
6–3, 6–0
Winner 1957 U.S. Championships (13) Grass   Louise Brough   Althea Gibson
  Darlene Hard
6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 1958 Wimbledon Championships (5) Grass   Margaret Varner   Maria Bueno
  Althea Gibson
3–6, 5–7

Mixed Doubles: (10 titles, 4 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1943 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Pauline Betz
  Pancho Segura
10–6, 6–4
Winner 1944 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Dorothy Bundy
  Don McNeill
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Doris Hart
  Bob Falkenberg
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Louise Brough
  Robert Kimbrell
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1948 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Louise Brough
  Tom Brown
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1949 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Talbert   Louise Brough
  Eric Sturgess
6–4, 3–6, 5–7
Winner 1950 U.S. Championships Grass   Ken McGregor   Doris Hart
  Frank Sedgman
6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1954 Wimbledon Grass   Ken Rosewall   Doris Hart
  Vic Seixas
7–5, 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1954 U.S. Championships Grass   Ken Rosewall   Doris Hart
  Vic Seixas
6–4, 1–6, 1–6
Winner 1956 U.S. Championships Grass   Ken Rosewall   Darlene Hard
  Lew Hoad
9–7, 6–1
Winner 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Maria Bueno
  Alex Olmedo
6–3, 3–6, 9–7
Winner 1959 U.S. Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Janet Hopps
  Bob Mark
7–5, 13–15, 6–2
Winner 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Maria Bueno
  Antonio Palafox
6–3, 6–2
Winner 1962 Wimbledon Grass   Neale Fraser   Ann Haydon-Jones
  Dennis Ralston
2–6, 6–3, 13–11

Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit

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)

SinglesEdit

Tournament 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Career SR
Australia A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France A A NH R R R R A W SF A W QF SF A A A A A A A A A A A 2 / 5
Wimbledon A A NH NH NH NH NH NH SF W SF F F QF A A QF A A A QF A A A 1R 1 / 9
United States 2R A 3R SF SF QF F QF QF F W W W A A QF 3R A QF A 3R A 1R A A 3 / 17
SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 3 1 / 3 1 / 2 2 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 6 / 31

Women's doublesEdit

Tournament 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Career SR
Australia A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France A A NH R R R R A W W A W F A A A A A A A A A A A A 3 / 4
Wimbledon A A NH NH NH NH NH NH W F W W W F A A W A A A F A A A 3R 5 / 9
United States 1R A QF W W W W W W W W W W A A F F W W W QF QF A SF SF 13 / 21
SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 2 21 / 34

Mixed doublesEdit

Tournament 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Career SR
Australia A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France A A NH R R R R A ? ? A ? ? SF A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / ?
Wimbledon A A NH NH NH NH NH NH SF SF SF 4R 4R SF A A F A A A 2R A A A W 1 / 9
United States 2R A ? ? SF W W W W SF F F W A A A F ? W SF W W W A A 9 / ?
SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / ? 0 / ? 0 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / ? 0 / ? 0 / ? 0 / ? 1 / ? 0 / ? 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 2 0 / ? 1 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 /1 10 / ?

R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.
1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Finn, Robin (October 25, 2012). "Margaret Osborne duPont, Tennis Champion, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "Mrs. duPont denies secret success formula". Newport Daily News. AP. August 24, 1962. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc. pp. 260–1.
  5. ^ "William du Pont, Jr. papers (Accession 2317.II), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807".
  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. 70. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.
  7. ^ Billie Jean King with Cynthia Starr (1988). We Have Come a Long Way: The Story of Women's Tennis. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 75. ISBN 0-07-034625-9.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-29. Retrieved 2010-08-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit