Thelma Coyne Long

Thelma Dorothy Coyne Long (née Coyne; 14 October 1918 – 13 April 2015) was an Australian tennis player and one of the female players who dominated Australian tennis from the mid-1930s to the 1950s. During her career she won 19 Grand Slam tournament titles. In 2013, Long was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[2]

Thelma Coyne Long
Thelma Coyne 1932.jpg
Long in 1932
Full nameThelma Dorothy Coyne Long
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1918-10-14)14 October 1918
Sydney, Australia
Died13 April 2015(2015-04-13) (aged 96)
Sydney, Australia
PlaysRight-handed
Int. Tennis HoF2013 (member page)
Singles
Highest rankingNo. 7 (1952, Lance Tingay)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1952, 1954)
French OpenQF (1951)
WimbledonQF (1952)
US OpenQF (1952)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958)
French OpenF (1958)
WimbledonF (1957)
US OpenSF (1958)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955)
French OpenW (1956)
WimbledonF (1952)
US OpenF (1938, 1952)

Tennis careerEdit

 
Thelma Coyne packing for her overseas tour in 1938 as a member of the Australian Women's Tennis Team.

At the Australian Championships, Long won singles titles in 1952 and 1954 and was a singles finalist in 1940, 1951, 1955 and 1956.[3] In women's doubles, she won ten titles with Nancye Wynne Bolton (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1952) and two titles with Mary Bevis Hawton (1956 and 1958). Long was a women's doubles finalist with Bolton in 1946 and 1950. She won mixed doubles titles in 1951, 1952 and 1955 with George Worthington and in 1954 with Rex Hartwig. She was a mixed doubles finalist in 1948 with Bill Sidwell.

At Wimbledon, Long was a women's doubles finalist in 1957 with Hawton and a mixed doubles finalist in 1952 with Enrique Morea. At the age of 52, Long teamed with Lorraine Coghlan to lose in the first round of women's doubles at Wimbledon in 1971.

At the French Championships, Long was a women's doubles finalist in 1958 with Hawton, won the mixed doubles title in 1956 with Luis Ayala, and was a mixed doubles finalist in 1951 with Mervyn Rose.

At the 1953 tournament in Cincinnati, Long won the singles title (defeating Anita Kanter 7–5, 6–2 in the final) and the women's doubles title with Kanter.

According to Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Long was ranked in the world top ten in 1952 and 1954 (no rankings issued from 1940 to 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 7 in those rankings in 1952.[1]

Long became a teaching professional in 1960 and spent many years coaching promising New South Wales junior players. In 1985, her achievements were recognized by Tennis NSW when she was awarded Life Membership of the State Association.

Honours and awardsEdit

On 30 August 2000, Long was awarded the Australian Sports Medal. She was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in a ceremony at Melbourne Park during the Australian Open on Australia Day in 2002. In 2013, Thelma was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame symbolizing recognition of her extraordinary career.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

She was born in Sydney, Australia on 14 October 1918, the only child of Tom and Dorrie Coyne and was schooled at the Sydney Girls High School.[5]

On 30 January 1941, she married Maurice Newton Long of Melbourne.[6] The marriage did not continue after the end of the Second World War.

In May 1941, during the Second World War, Long joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and worked in Melbourne. On 19 February 1942, she joined the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) and rose to the rank of captain in April 1944.[7] For her service in the AWAS, she was awarded the War Medal 1939–1945 and Australia Service Medal 1939–1945.

Long worked as a volunteer at the State Library of New South Wales, and she received the Volunteer Service Award in 1999, The Year of the Volunteer.

Coyne died on 13 April 2015 at the age of 96.[8][5]

Grand Slam tournament finalsEdit

Singles: 6 (2 wins, 4 losses)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1940 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton 7–5, 4–6, 0–6
Loss 1951 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton 1–6, 5–7
Win 1952 Australian Championships Grass   Helen Angwin 6–2, 6–3
Win 1954 Australian Championships Grass   Jenny Staley Hoad 6–3, 6–4
Loss 1955 Australian Championships Grass   Beryl Penrose 4–6, 3–6
Loss 1956 Australian Championships Grass   Mary Carter 6–3, 2–6, 7–9

Doubles: 16 (12 wins, 4 losses)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1936 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   May Blik
  Katherine Woodward
6–2, 6–4
Win 1937 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Nell Hall Hopman
  Emily Hood Westacott
6–2, 6–2
Win 1938 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Dorothy Bundy Cheney
  Dorothy Workman
9–7, 6–4
Win 1939 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   May Hardcastle
  Nell Hall Hopman
7–5, 6–4
Win 1940 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Joan Hartigan
  Emily Niemayer
7–5, 6–2
Loss 1946 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Joyce Fitch
  Mary Bevis Hawton
7–9, 4–6
Win 1947 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Joyce Fitch
  Mary Bevis Hawton
6–3, 6–3
Win 1948 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Pat Jones
  Mary Bevis Hawton
6–3, 6–3
Win 1949 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Doris Hart
  Marie Toomey
6–0, 6–1
Loss 1950 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Louise Brough
  Doris Hart
2–6, 6–2, 3–6
Win 1951 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Joyce Fitch
  Mary Bevis Hawton
6–2, 6–1
Win 1952 Australian Championships Grass   Nancye Wynne Bolton   Allison Burton Baker
  Mary Bevis Hawton
6–1, 6–1
Win 1956 Australian Championships Grass   Mary Hawton   Mary Carter Reitano
  Beryl Penrose
6–2, 5–7, 9–7
Loss 1957 Wimbledon Grass   Mary Hawton   Althea Gibson
  Darlene Hard
1–6, 2–6
Win 1958 Australian Championships Grass   Mary Hawton   Lorraine Coghlan
  Angela Mortimer
7–5, 6–8, 6–2
Loss 1958 French Championships Clay   Mary Hawton   Yola Ramírez
  Rosie Reyes
4–6, 5–7

Mixed doubles (5 wins, 3 losses)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1938 U.S. Championships Grass   John Bromwich   Alice Marble
  Don Budge
1–6, 2–6
Win 1951 Australian Championships Grass   George Worthington   Clare Proctor
  Jack May
6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Win 1952 Australian Championships Grass   George Worthington   Gwen Thiele
  Tom Warhurst
9–7, 7–5
Loss 1952 Wimbledon Grass   Enrique Morea   Doris Hart
  Frank Sedgman
6–4, 6–3, 6–4
Loss 1952 U.S. Championships Grass   Lew Hoad   Doris Hart
  Frank Sedgman
3–6, 5–7
Win 1954 Australian Championships Grass   Rex Hartwig   Beryl Penrose
  John Bromwich
4–6, 6–1, 6–2
Win 1955 Australian Championships Grass   George Worthington   Jenny Staley
  Lew Hoad
6–2, 6–1
Win 1956 French Championships Clay   Luis Ayala   Doris Hart
  Bob Howe
4–6, 6–4, 6–1

Grand Slam singles tournament timelineEdit

 
Thelma Coyne (l) and Nancye Wynne Bolton (r) in Adelaide (1938)
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)

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

Tournament 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 – 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 SR W–L Win %
Australian Championships 1R SF SF QF SF F NH NH QF SF 2R2 SF QF F W A W F F A 2R 1R 2 / 18 46–14 76.7
French Championships A A A 2R A NH R A A A A A A QF A A A A 3R A 3R A 0 / 4 7–3 70.0
Wimbledon A A A 3R A NH NH NH A A A 4R 3R 1R3 QF A A A 1R 1R 4R A 0 / 8 13–7 65.0
U.S. Championships A A A 3R A A A A A A A A A A QF 3R A A A A 2R A 0 / 4 8–4 66.7
Win–Loss 0–1 2–1 3–1 6–3 3–1 3–1 2–1 3–1 0–0 6–2 4–2 7–2 11–2 2–1 5–0 4–1 6–3 0–1 7–3 0–1 2 / 34 74–28 72.5

1 In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.
2,3 Coyne did not play. Her opponent got a walkover.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 702. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.
  2. ^ "Thelma Coyne Long inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. 26 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Thelma Long, 17 Tries, now Champ". Sunday Mail. Brisbane. 27 January 1952. p. 13 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Hall of Famers – Thelma Coyne Long". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Tennis great Thelma Coyne Long's lengthy career included 19 Grand Slams". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Miss Thelma Coyne Married". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. 31 January 1941. p. 5 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Australian Tennis Star Is Now A.W.A.S. Lieut". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane. 12 September 1942. p. 3 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Thelma Long". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.

External linksEdit