Anita Lizana

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Anita Lizana
Anita Lizana.jpg
Full nameAnita Lizana de Ellis
Country (sports) Chile
Born(1915-11-19)19 November 1915
Santiago, Chile
Died21 August 1994(1994-08-21) (aged 78)
Sutton, London, England
Height1.59 m (5 ft 2 12 in) [1]
Highest rankingNo.1 (1937)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open3R (1935)
WimbledonQF (1936, 1937)
US OpenW (1937)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open1R (1935)
WimbledonQF (1938, 1947)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon3R (1939)
Lizana in 1938 at the Queen's Club

Anita Lizana de Ellis (19 November 1915 – 21 August 1994) was a world No. 1 tennis player from Chile. She was the first Latin American, and first Hispanic person, to be ranked World Number 1 tennis player. Also, Lizana was the first Latin American to win a Grand Slam singles championship. She won the U.S. Championships singles title in 1937, defeating Jadwiga Jędrzejowska in the final in straight sets.


In the singles event of the 1937 U.S. Championships Lizana defeated three seeded players without losing a set to reach the final where she beat Jadwiga Jędrzejowska, also in straight sets. At the Wimbledon Championships she reached the singles quarterfinals in 1936 and 1937. In 1936 she lost to second-seeded and eventual champion Helen Jacobs while in 1937 sixth-seeded Simonne Mathieu proved too strong.[2]

She won the Scottish Championships four times (1935–37, 46).

In 1936 Lizana won the singles titles at the British Covered Court Championships, played on wood courts at the Queen's Club in London, and the South of England Championships in Eastbourne where she defeated Dorothy Round in the final in straight sets.[3] That year she was a runner-up to Kay Stammers at the British Hard Court Championships but in 1937 she won the title after a victory in the final against Peggy Scriven.[4][5]

According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, she was ranked in the world top ten in 1936 and 1937 reaching a career high of world No. 1 in 1937.[6][7] [a]

After her marriage she limited her playing to some British tournaments. World War II and the birth of her children effectively ended her career as a top player. She did play some tournaments in 1946 and won the Scottish Championship i Edinburgh in July and the Scottish Hard Court Championships held at St. Andrews in August.[8] At Wimbledon she reached second round in the singles event.

Personal life[edit]

In Santiago she lived in a house within the boundaries of the Quinta Normal Park. In July 1938 she married Ronald Ellis and the couple settled in Dundee.[9][10] They had three daughters.[1]

In 2015 the main court of the national tennis stadium in Santiago was named "Court Central Anita Lizana" in her honor.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1937 U.S. Championships Grass Poland Jadwiga Jędrzejowska 6–4, 6–2

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 - 1944 1945 19461 19471 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A NH NH A A 0 / 0
French Championships 3R A A A A NH R A A A 0 / 1
Wimbledon 3R QF QF 2R 2R NH NH NH A 2R 0 / 6
U.S. Championships A A W A A A A A A A 1 / 1
SR 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 8

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

1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Since Lizana, the only other Latin American to be ranked world No. 1 in ladies tennis has been Maria Bueno of Brazil.


  1. ^ a b Cavalla, Mario (2006). Historia del tenis en Chile, 1882-2006 (in Spanish). Santiago: Ocho Libros. pp. 71–83. ISBN 9789568018269.
  2. ^ "Player profile – Anita Lizana". Wimbledon. AELTC.
  3. ^ "Tennis in England". The New Zealand Herald. 15 September 1936. p. 9 – via PapersPast.
  4. ^ Myers, A. Wallis, ed. (1938). Ayres' Lawn Tennis Almanack. London: F.H. Ayres Ltd. pp. 640–641.
  5. ^ "British Hard Court Tennis Championships". The New Zealand Herald. 3 May 1937. p. 16 – via PapersPast.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "World tennis ranking". Horowhenua Chronicle. 23 September 1937. p. 8 – via PapersPast.
  8. ^ G.P. Hughes, ed. (1947). Dunlop Lawn Tennis Annual and Almanack 1947. London: Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd. pp. 176–177, 187–188.
  9. ^ Alan Pattullo (11 July 2015). "'Scottish senorita' Anita Lizana took US by storm". The Scotsman.
  10. ^ "Tennis players' wedding". The Press. 2 August 1928. p. 14 – via PapersPast.

External links[edit]