Angela Mortimer

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Angela Mortimer
Full name Florence Angela Margaret Mortimer Barrett
Country (sports) United Kingdom Great Britain
Born (1932-04-21) 21 April 1932 (age 84)
Plymouth, England
Int. Tennis HoF 1993 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 1 (1961, Lance Tingay)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1958)
French Open W (1955)
Wimbledon W (1961)
US Open SF (1961)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (1958)
Wimbledon W (1955)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1958)
Team competitions
Wightman Cup W (1960)

Florence Angela Margaret Mortimer Barrett (born 21 April 1932) is a former World No. 1 British female tennis player. She was born in Plymouth, Devon, England. She is married to the veteran BBC commentator and author John Barrett. Mortimer won three Grand Slam singles titles, at the 1955 French Championships, the 1958 Australian Championships, and Wimbledon in 1961, when she was 29 years old and partially deaf.

Mortimer teamed with Anne Shilcock to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1955. That was Mortimer's only career Grand Slam women's doubles title. She teamed with Coghlan to reach the women's doubles final at the 1958 Australian Championships. Mortimer and Peter Newman reached the mixed doubles final at the 1958 Australian Championships.[1] That was her only career Grand Slam mixed doubles final.

Career[edit]

Angela Mortimer first reached the late stages of a major title at Forest Hills in 1952 when, as 3rd foreign seed, she reached the quarterfinal of the US National Championships before losing to 2nd seed Doris Hart. At Wimbledon in 1953, seeded no.5, she reached her appointed place in the quarterfinal, losing to Dorothy Knode. She also reached the quarterfinals in 1954, 1956 (losing to fellow countrywoman Pat Ward Hales),1959 (when she was seeded no 2 but lost to Sandra Reynolds(Price)) and 1960 (losing to champion Maria Bueno). In 1958, unseeded, she beat the former champion Margaret DuPont in the quarterfinal, the then French champion Zsuzsa Körmöczy 6-0,6-1 in the semifinal and went on to hold a set point against the defending champion, Althea Gibson, in the final before losing in straight sets. In 1961 she won the title, revenging herself on Sandra Reynolds (Price), the top seed, 11-9, 6-3 in the semifinal and beating Christine Truman, who had a fall in the second set, in the final in three sets.[2] Defending her title in 1962 and not fully fit, she lost to eventual finalist Vera Sukova in the fourth round.[3]

In 1955 she was the first British woman to win one of the four major titles since 1937 when she defeated Erika Vollmer, Heather Brewer(Segal) (who had beaten third-seeded Darlene Hard) and, in the final, Dorothy Knode (who had beaten the top seeded Beverly Fleitz), to win the French Championships. During the long, hot final set, she has recorded that she was given new heart when she heard her opponent asking for a brandy on court. Defending her title the following year she reached the final, beating Zsuzsa Körmöczy, before losing to Althea Gibson in two sets. During that year she suffered a severe illness, not returning to full form until 1958.[4]

She won the Australian title in 1958 when recuperating, defeating Lorraine Coghlan in the final. Her best result in the U.S. Championships was in 1961 when she reached the semifinal before losing to Ann Haydon Jones.[5] Mortimer was prominent in the Covered Courts tournaments in Europe for many years, culminating in 1961 when she won the French, German, Scandinavian and British titles with wins over Deidre Catt, Ann Haydon Jones and Christine Truman Janes. She won the British Hard Courts Championships in 1955, beating Shirley Bloomer Brasher and Angela Buxton, 1956, beating the same two players, 1959, beating Shirley Bloomer Brasher and Christine Truman Janes and 1961, beating Yola Ramírez and Deidre Catt.[6] Mortimer was one of the few British players to score wins over some of the prominent post-war American champions, twice beating Shirley Fry (once in the 1956 Wightman Cup),[7] and scoring a win over Doris Hart in the 1955 Wightman Cup. She also won three times against Althea Gibson, including a hard fought win in the semifinal of the Pan American singles, which she went on to win [8] and in the Essex County Invitational Tournament of 1959, beat the then Wimbledon champion Maria Bueno. In the Wightman Cup of 1960 she beat the American captain Janet Hopps, contributing to Britain's second victory in the Cup since 1930.[9] She made her farewell to singles in the Torquay tournament of 1962, beating Ann Haydon Jones in the final after some ruthless displays against lower ranked British players in earlier rounds.

Her game was played mainly from the baseline, as described in her tennis autobiography, ‘My Waiting Game’. She always played in shorts, refusing designer Teddy Tinling’s offer to design dresses for her: in the end he designed shorts, and later she joined his staff.[10]

According to Lance Tingay of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Mortimer was ranked in the world top ten from 1953 through 1956 and from 1958 through 1962, reaching a career high of World No. 1 in those rankings in 1961.[11]

Mortimer was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.

On 27 July 2014 she Received the Freedom of the Borough of Merton.[12][13]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (3 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1955 French Championships Clay United States Dorothy Head Knode 2–6, 7–5, 10–8
Runner-up 1956 French Championships Clay United States Althea Gibson 0–6, 10–12
Winner 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Lorraine Coghlan 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1958 Wimbledon Grass United States Althea Gibson 6–8, 2–6
Winner 1961 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Christine Truman Janes 4–6, 6–4, 7–5

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1955 Wimbledon Championships Grass United Kingdom Anne Shilcock United Kingdom Shirley Bloomer Brasher
United Kingdom Patricia Ward Hales
7–5, 6–1
Runner-up 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Lorraine Coghlan Australia Mary Bevis Hawton
Australia Thelma Coyne Long
5–7, 8–6, 2–6

Mixed Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Peter Newman Australia Mary Bevis Hawton
Australia Bob Howe
11–9, 1–6, 2–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF R# RR Q# A NH
(W) Won tournament; reached (F) final, (SF) semifinal, (QF) quarterfinal; (R#) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a (RR) round-robin stage; reached a (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent from tournament; or (NH) tournament not held.
Tournament 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Career SR
Australia A A A A A A A W A A A A 1 / 1
France A A 3R A W F A A A A A A 1 / 3
Wimbledon 2R 3R QF QF 2R QF 3R F QF QF W 4R 1 / 12
United States A QF 3R A 1R A A A 1R A SF A 0 / 5
SR 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 1 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 1 3 / 21

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Australian Open results archive – 1958 Mixed Doubles". Tennis Australia. 
  2. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  3. ^ Wimbledon Players Archive Angela Mortimer
  4. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  5. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  6. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  7. ^ 1956 Wightman Cup,From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  8. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  9. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  10. ^ Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  11. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 703. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  12. ^ http://news.merton.gov.uk/2014/06/27/former-wimbledon-champions-awarded-freedom-of-merton/
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HfRIicBWx8

External links[edit]