Parisian Suzanne Lenglen spent the major part of her life in Nice. She was the biggest tennis champion of her time, or even of all times if we believe certain specialists. Trained and coached by her father, a rich person of private means. At first, she played on the tennis grounds of place Mozart, then in the Lawn Tennis Club of the Parc Imperial , on the street which now bears her name and where she lived, in villa Ariem. Intelligent and cultivated, she also was a complete, regular sportswoman, looking for perfection, endowed with strength, elegance and purity of style. Thanks to these talents, she was at the age of fifteen a world champion in simple, double - ladies and double - mixed. From 1919 till 1926, she remained practically unbeaten. She won six times the tournament of Wimbledon. Her prize list includes 44 international titles and two Olympic titles. Her most famous match in Cannes, in February 1926, opposed her to a rising tennis star, the American Hélène Wills. She beat her on the score 6/3, 8/6. Suzanne Lenglen became a professional some months later and made triumphant tours in the United States, then she withdrew and created a tennis school. She died prematurely of a sinusitis having degenerated into generalized infection.

Schor Ralph : Une reine de la Côte d'Azur, Suzanne Lenglen, Mesclun, 1988.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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