Eleonora Sears

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For the other tennis player, see Evelyn Sears.
Eleonora Sears
Eleanora Sears.jpg
Full name Eleonora Randolph Sears
Country  United States
Born (1881-10-28)October 28, 1881
Boston, MA, United States
Died March 16, 1968(1968-03-16) (aged 86)
Palm Beach, FL, United States
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HOF 1968 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No.6 (US ranking)
Grand Slam Singles results
US Open F (1912)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open W (1911, 1915, 1916, 1917)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US Open W (1916)

Eleonora Randolph Sears (September 28, 1881, Boston – March 16, 1968 Palm Beach) was an American tennis player of the interwar period. In addition, she was a champion squash player, and prominent in other sports; she's considered one of the leading all-round women athletes of the first half of the 20th century.[1]

Biography[edit]

Sears was the daughter of Boston businessman Frederick Richard Sears, a cousin of Henry Cabot Lodge, and a great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson.[2]

She won the women's doubles at the US Women's National Championship four times, including three consecutively (19151917). In singles, she was a finalist in 1912, where she was beaten in straight sets by Mary Kendall Browne.

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968, joining her cousin Richard (inducted 1955).

Eleonora Sears rode horses competitively and was elected to the US Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992. She also owned and raced Thoroughbred horses.[3] She was the first woman to play polo on a men’s team.[1]

Sears was the first female national squash champion, a founder of the Women’s Squash Racquets Association, and coach of the U.S. Women’s International Squash Team. [1]

She gained media attention for her long distance walks and hikes. As well, she was one of the first American women to drive an automobile and fly a plane. [1] Her habit of wearing trousers, both when competing in sports and in public, was criticized in media and social circles. [4]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Date Championship Opponent Score
Runner-up 1912 U.S. National Championships United States Mary Kendall Browne 4–6, 2–6

Doubles: 5 (4 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Date Championship Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1911 U.S. National Championships United States Hazel Hotchkiss United States Dorothy Green
United States Florence Sutton
6–4, 4–6, 6–2
Winner 1915 U.S. National Championships United States Hazel Hotchkiss United States Helen McLean
United States Mrs. G. L. Chapman
10–8, 6–2
Winner 1916 U.S. National Championships Norway Molla Bjurstedt United States Louise Raymond
United States Edna Wildey
4–6, 6–2, 10–8
Winner 1917 U.S. National Championships Norway Molla Bjurstedt United States Phyllis Walsh
United States Grace Robert LeRoy
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1919 U.S. National Championships United States Hazel Hotchkiss United States Marion Zinderstein
United States Eleanor Goss
8–10, 7–9

Mixed doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Date Championship Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1912 U.S. National Championships United States William Clothier United States Mary Kendall Browne
United States Richard Williams
4–6, 6–2, 9–11
Winner 1916 U.S. National Championships United States Willis E. Davis United States Florence Ballin
United States Bill Tilden
6–4, 7–5

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Peggy Miller Franck (June 22, 2012). "The Mother of Title IX: Trailblazing Athlete Eleonora Sears". The Daily Beast. 
  2. ^ "Six Hospitals Contest Will of Eleanora Sears". Palm Beach Daily News. February 22, 1969. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Show Jumping Hall of Fame
  4. ^ "Will Eleanora Sears Stop Wearing Em Now?: Fashionable Miss Sears Requested by the "Mothers" of Burlingame to Cover". Atlanta Constitution. May 26, 1912. pp. C12D. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

International Tennis Hall of Fame