26 Oct 2012

Legendary tennis star DuPont dies aged 94


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Margaret Osborne DuPont (USA)

Former world No. 1 and 37-time Grand Slam champion Margaret Osborne DuPont has died at the age of 94.

The legendary American tennis player, who championed the need for a women’s team tennis competition long before the introduction of Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, passed away in Texas on Wednesday.

During a lengthy career from the early 1940s through the early 1960s, duPont won an incredible 37 titles at Grand Slam tournaments in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, which places her fourth on the all-time record list, despite the fact that she never entered the Australian Championships.

Complementing her extraordinary success on court, duPont was always held in high regard by peers and fans for her exemplary sportsmanship and character. duPont was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.

DuPont was an inspiration for many players, including Hall of Famer Billie Jean King, who said: "Margaret duPont was a giant in tennis and had a huge impact on my career. She was one of my sheroes and was a great influence on my life both on and off the court. I hope today's players and any boy or girl who dreams of a career in tennis will go to the history books and read about Margaret because her career wasn't just about winning matches, it was also about mentoring others."

Fellow Hall of Famer Tony Trabert was asked about duPont's legacy in the sport, to which he said: "I watched Margaret play many times, and she was really just an outstanding player and in particular, a fantastic doubles player, as is clear to see by her record. I always found her to be a genuinely nice person and to have great sportsmanship. She has been a terrific representative of our sport."

DuPont was the year-end world No.1 in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950. She was first ranked in the United States Top 10 in 1938, and she remained in the Top 5 for 20 years. She was ranked in the US Top10 14 times over those 20 years, and in the world Top 10 nine times.

Her Grand Slam tournament success included six singles titles, 21 doubles titles, and 10 mixed doubles titles. Her incredible total of 37 Grand Slam tournament wins is surpassed only by fellow Hall of Famers and tennis greats Margaret Smith Court, Martina Navratilova, and Billie Jean King.

DuPont teamed with Louise Brough Clapp, also a Hall of Famer, to win 20 of her major 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 won 25 of her major titles at the US Championships, which is an all-time record. In 2010, she was inducted to the US Open Court of Champions.



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