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Eleanor "Nell" Mary Hall Hopman (née Hall; 9 March 1909 – 10 January 1968) 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.

Nell Hall Hopman
Nell Hall Hopman 1938.jpg
Full nameEleanor Mary Hall Hopman
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1909-03-09)9 March 1909
Sydney, Australia
Died10 January 1968(1968-01-10) (aged 58)
Hawthorn, Victoria
Retired1966
Singles
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (1939, 1947)
French Open3R (1938)
Wimbledon3R (1934, 1952, 1953)
US Open3R (1938)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1935, 1937, 1955)
French OpenW (1954)
WimbledonQF (1935, 1947)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1930, 1936, 1937, 1939)
WimbledonF (1935)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Hopman was born on 9 March 1909 at Coogee, Sydney and was the only daughter and second of three children of Charles Ernest Hall, clerk, and Mabel Gertrude, née Tipper. She was educated at Claremont College, Randwick and as a student she excelled at tennis and music. She obtaining her licentiate and teaching diploma at the Royal College of Music, London and received a scholarship in 1928 but instead elected to pursue a tennis career.[1]

CareerEdit

Hopman teamed with her husband to win four mixed doubles titles at the Australian Championships (1930, 1936, 1937, and 1939).[2] They were mixed doubles finalists at Wimbledon in 1935, losing to Fred Perry and Dorothy Round Little in three sets.[3]

Hopman was a singles finalist at the Australian Championships in 1939 and 1947.[2] She partnered with Maureen Connolly 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.[2] Her last Grand Slam event was the women's doubles tournament at the 1966 US 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 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 travelling companion and chaperon of Connolly. 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.

She was awarded the CBE in July 1962.[4][5]

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 January 1968.[6]

Grand Slam tournament finalsEdit

Singles: 2 (2 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1939 Australian Championships Grass   Emily Hood Westacott 1–6, 2–6
Loss 1947 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton 3–6, 2–6

Doubles: 4 (1 titles, 3 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1935 Australian Championships Grass   Louise Bickerton   Evelyn Dearman
  Nancy Lyle
3–6, 4–6
Loss 1937 Australian Championships Grass   Emily Hood Westacott   Thelma Coyne Long
  Nancye Wynne Bolton
2–6, 2–6
Win 1954 French Championships Clay   Maureen Connolly   Maude Galtier
  Suzanne Schmitt
7–5, 4–6, 6–0
Loss 1955 Australian Championships Grass   Gwen Thiele   Mary Bevis Hawton
  Beryl Penrose
5–7, 1–6

Mixed doubles: 6 (4 titles, 2 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1930 Australian Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   Marjorie Cox Crawford
  Jack Crawford
11–9, 3–6, 6–3
Loss 1935 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   Dorothy Round Little
  Fred Perry
5–7, 6–4, 2–6
Win 1936 Australian Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   May Blick
  Abe Kay
6–2, 6–0
Win 1937 Australian Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   Dorothy Stevenson
  Don Turnbull
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Win 1939 Australian Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   Margaret Wilson
  John Bromwich
6–8, 6–2, 6–3
Loss 1940 Australian Championships Grass   Harry Hopman   Nancye Wynne Bolton
  Colin Long
5–7, 6–2, 4–6

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 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
US 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

R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hopman, Eleanor (1909 - 1968)". The Australian Women's Register.
  2. ^ a b c "Australian Open players archive – Nell Hopman". Tennis Australia.
  3. ^ "Wimbledon draws archive – 1935 Mixed Doubles". AELTC.
  4. ^ "Death of Mrs Nell Hopman". The Canberra Times. 11 January 1968. p. 24 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "News in Brief Australians Honoured". The Canberra Times. 19 July 1962. p. 3 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Nell Hopman Dies at 57". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 January 1968. p. 6.

External linksEdit