Thelma Coyne Long

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Thelma Coyne Long
Thelma Coyne 1932.jpg
Full name Thelma Dorothy Coyne Long
Country  Australia
Born (1918-10-14)14 October 1918
Sydney, Australia
Died 13 April 2015(2015-04-13) (aged 96)
Sydney, Australia
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HOF 2013 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking 7th (1952)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1952, 1954)
French Open QF (1951)
Wimbledon QF (1952)
US Open QF (1952)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958)
French Open F (1958)
Wimbledon F (1957)
US Open SF (1958)
Mixed Doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955)
French Open W (1956)
Wimbledon F (1952)

Thelma Dorothy Coyne Long (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]

Tennis career[edit]

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 Robinson 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.

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 life[edit]

On 30 January 1941, she married Maurice Newton Long of Melbourne.[5] 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, Australia. On 19 February 1942, she joined the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) and rose to the rank of captain in April 1944.[6] 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.[7][8]

Grand Slam tournament finals[edit]

Singles: 6 (2 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Opponent in final Score in final
Runner-up 1940 Australian Championships Australia Nancye Wynne Bolton 7–5, 4–6, 0–6
Runner-up 1951 Australian Championships Australia Nancye Wynne Bolton 1–6, 5–7
Winner 1952 Australian Championships Australia Helen Angwin 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1954 Australian Championships Australia Jenny Staley Hoad 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1955 Australian Championships Australia Beryl Penrose 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1956 Australian Championships Australia Mary Carter Reitano 6–3, 2–6, 7–9

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 – 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 Career SR
Australian Championships SF SF QF SF F NH NH QF SF 2R SF QF F W A W F F A 2R 1R 2 / 17
French Championships A A 2R A NH R A A A A A A QF A A A A 3R A 4R A 0 / 4
Wimbledon A A 3R A NH NH NH A A A 4R 3R 1R QF A A A 1R 1R 4R A 0 / 8
U.S. Championships A A 3R A A A A A A A A A A QF 3R A A A A 2R A 0 / 4
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 1 2 / 33

NH = tournament not held.

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

A = did not participate in the tournament.

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 also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: 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) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954) (Brisbane) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 27 January 1952. p. 13. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Famers – Thelma Coyne Long". International Tennis Hall of Fame. 
  5. ^ "Miss Thelma Coyne Married.". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 31 January 1941. p. 5. 
  6. ^ "Australian Tennis Star Is Now A.W.A.S. Lieut.". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 12 September 1942. p. 3. 
  7. ^ "Thelma Long". smh.com.au. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Aussie tennis great Thelma Coyne Long dies

External links[edit]