Betty Nuthall

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Betty Nuthall
Betty Nuthall 1932.jpg
Full name Elizabeth May Nuthall Shoemaker
Country (sports)  United Kingdom
Born (1911-05-23)23 May 1911
Surbiton, England
Died 8 November 1983(1983-11-08) (aged 72)
New York City, USA
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HoF 1977 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 4 (1929)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open F (1931)
Wimbledon 4R (1933, 1937, 1938, 1946)
US Open W (1930)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1931)
US Open W (1930, 1931, 1933)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1931, 1932)
US Open W (1929, 1931)
Team competitions
Wightman Cup (1928)

Betty May Nuthall Shoemaker (née Nuthall; 23 May 1911 – 8 November 1983) was an English tennis player. Known for her powerful forehand, according to Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Nuthall was ranked in the world top ten in 1927, 1929 through 1931, and 1933, reaching a career high in those rankings of World No. 4 in 1929.[1] She won the mixed doubles championships at the French Open in 1931 with Pat Spence.

Career[edit]

Betty Nuthall in 1932

Nuthall's father taught her tennis. She won the junior championships of Great Britain in 1924 (aged 13), 1925 and 1926.

In 1927 at the age of 16, Nuthall tied Elisabeth Moore as the then-youngest women's singles finalist ever at the U.S. Championships. Nuthall lost the final to Helen Wills in straight sets while serving under-handed.[2][3]

Also in 1927, Nuthall played on the British Wightman Cup team and defeated Helen Jacobs in her debut. In her mixed doubles matches, the final of the Nottingham Championships, she won with her partner Pat Spence.[4] She also represented Great Britain in the 1929 and 1931–34 Wightman Cup competitions.

In 1930, Nuthall became the first non-American since 1892 to win a women's singles title at the U.S. Championships, defeating Anna McCune Harper in straight sets.[5] She was the last British female player to win the title until Virginia Wade won in 1968. In 1931 she reached the singles final of the French Championships but lost in two sets to first-seeded Cilly Aussem. Also in 1930 she triumphed in the mixed contest with her recurring partner Spence.[6] Nuthall and he went for the British Hard Court Championships in April and were only eliminated in the final,[7] while in May they won the mixed title at the French Championships (now the French Open).[8]

At the U.S. Championships in 1933, Nuthall won a quarterfinal versus Alice Marble 6–8, 6–0, 7–5 after being down two breaks of serve at 1–5 in the final set. In the semifinal versus Moody, Nuthall won the first set 6–2 in just 12 minutes, which was the first set Wills had lost at this tournament since 1926. Moody, however, turned around the match and won the last two sets 6–3, 6–2 despite losing her serve twice in the second set. Nuthall never again reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament.

Nuthall won women's doubles titles at the 1930, 1931, and 1933 U.S. Championships and at the 1931 French Championships. She won mixed doubles championships at the 1929 and 1931 U.S. Championships and at the 1931 and 1932 French Championships.

Nuthall was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977.[2]

Personal life[edit]

She formed a real-life couple with her doubles partner Pat Spence,[9][10] with whom she went on to win the French Open mixed doubles tournament in 1931.[8] In 1954 she married Franklin Shoemaker, who died in 1982. On 8 November 1983 Nuthall died in New York of a coronary arrest.[11]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponents Score
Runner-up 1927 U.S. Championships Grass United States Helen Wills 1–6, 4–6
Winner 1930 U.S. Championships Grass United States Anna McCune Harper 6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 1931 French Championships Clay Weimar Republic Cilly Aussem 6–8, 1–6

Doubles (4 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1927 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Joan Fry United Kingdom Kitty McKane
United Kingdom Ermyntrude Harvey
1–6, 6–4, 3–6
Winner 1930 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Sarah Palfrey United States Edith Cross
United States Anna McCune Harper
3–6, 6–3, 7–5
Winner 1931 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall Germany Cilly Aussem
United States Elizabeth Ryan
9–7, 6–2
Winner 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall United States Helen Jacobs
United Kingdom Dorothy Round
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1932 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall United States Elizabeth Ryan
United States Helen Wills
1–6, 3–6
Winner 1933 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Freda James United States Elizabeth Ryan
United States Helen Wills
default

Mixed doubles (4 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1929 U.S. National Championships Grass United States George Lott United Kingdom Phyllis Covell
United Kingdom Bunny Austin
6–3, 6–3
Winner 1931 French Championships Clay South Africa Patrick Spence United Kingdom Dorothy Shepherd
United Kingdom Bunny Austin
6–3, 5–7, 6–3
Winner 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United States George Lott United States Anna McCune Harper
United States Wilmer Allison
6–3, 6–3
Winner 1932 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Fred Perry United States Helen Wills
United States Sidney Wood
6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 1933 French Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry United Kingdom Margaret Scriven
Australia Jack Crawford
2–6, 3–6

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; or (NH) tournament not held.
Tournament 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 – 1944 1945 19461 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A NH NH A 0 / 0
French Championships A A 2R A A F SF SF 3R A A A A A NH R A A 0 / 5
Wimbledon 2R QF 1R 3R QF QF QF 4R 1R A 2R 4R 4R 1R NH NH NH 4R 0 / 14
U.S. Championships A F A QF W SF A SF 2R A A A A 3R A A A A 1 / 7
SR 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 26

R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation. SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 701–2. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  2. ^ a b "Hall of Famers – Betty Nuthall Shoemaker". International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. 
  3. ^ Allison Danzig (31 August 1927). "Miss Wills Regains U.S. Tennis Crown". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Mrs. Beamish does well at Nottingham". Kingston Gleaner. Kingston, Jamaica: Gleaner Company. XCIV (200): 34. 31 August 1928. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "BETTY NUTHALL.". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 26 August 1930. p. 9 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (22 March 1930). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (pdf). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor Irod. és Nyomdai RT. II (6): 97. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (15 May 1931). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda. Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. III (10): 186. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b John Grasso (2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Lanham, Maryland, United States: Scarecrow Press. pp. 333, 357. ISBN 9780810872370. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Miss Nuthall and Dr. Spence". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. Singapore: Mohammed Eunos: 12. 27 January 1930. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Betty Engaged? That's What England Hears" (pdf). Evening Leader. Corning, NY. Associated Press: 9. 25 January 1930. 
  11. ^ Thomas Rogers (10 November 1983). "Betty Nuthall, 72; British Tennis Star Captured U.S. Title". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]