Beverly Baker Fleitz

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Beverly Baker Fleitz
Full name Beverley Joyce Baker Fleitz
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1930-03-13)March 13, 1930
Providence, RI, United States
Died April 29, 2014(2014-04-29) (aged 84)
Long Beach, CA, USA
Plays Right and left-handed forehand
Highest ranking No. 3 (1954)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open SF (1955)
Wimbledon F (1955)
US Open QF (1948, 1949, 1954, 1955)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1955)
Wimbledon F (1959)

Beverly Baker Fleitz (March 13, 1930 – April 29, 2014), was a women's tennis player from the United States who was active in the late 1940s and during the 1950s. According to John Olliff and Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Fleitz was ranked in the world top ten in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1958, and 1959, reaching a career high of world no. 3 in those rankings in 1954, 1955, and 1958.[1] Fleitz was included in the year-end top 10 rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association from 1948 through 1951 and in 1954, 1955, 1958, and 1959. She was the top-ranked U.S. player in 1959.[2] She was ambidextrous and played with two forehands.


Fleitz began playing tennis at age 11 and played mostly on public courts in Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, California. Her father Frank Baker was her only coach and was the assistant director of recreation for the city of Santa Monica.

She played Grand Slam singles tournaments outside the United States only six times during her career. At Wimbledon, Fleitz reached the singles final in 1955, losing to Louise Brough 7–5, 8–6. In 1956, Fleitz reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals but was forced to retire from the tournament when she became ill. She was pregnant with her second child at the time.

Her only Grand Slam title was in women's doubles. Darlene Hard and Fleitz teamed to win the title at the 1955 French Championships.

In U.S. national championships, Fleitz was the runner-up at the 1949 U.S. Women's Clay Court Championships, losing to Magda Rurac of Romania in the final. Fleitz won the 1958 U.S. Hard Court Championships, defeating Karen Hantze in the final.At the U.S. Championships, Fleitz reached the semifinals in 1950 and 1958 as well as the quarterfinals in four of her five other attempts.

In other events, Fleitz won the singles title at the Pacific Southwest Championships in Los Angeles four times, in 1947, 1955, 1958, and 1959. She defeated Hard in the 1958 final and Maria Bueno in the 1959 final. At the tournament in Cincinnati, Fleitz won the singles title in 1950 (defeating Rurac in the final) and was the runner-up in 1949 (losing to Rurac in the final). Fleitz won the Southern California Championships four times (1954, 1955, 1956, and 1958).

In doubles, Fleitz paired with Rurac to win the doubles title in Cincinnati in 1950.

Fleitz retired permanently from singles tennis in 1959 and was inducted into the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2005.[3]

Personal life[edit]

She married actor Scotty Beckett on September 28, 1949 in Las Vegas.[4] Baker was granted a divorce in June 1950.[5] She married tennis player John Fleitz in 1951. They had five daughters together. John died in Long Beach, California on November 14, 2011 at age 82.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: (1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Opponent in final Score in final
Runner-up 1955 Wimbledon United States Louise Brough 5–7, 6–8

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

Result Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Winner 1955 French Championships United States Darlene Hard United Kingdom Shirley Bloomer
United Kingdom Pat Ward
7–5, 6–8, 13–11
Runner-up 1959 Wimbledon United Kingdom Christine Truman United States Jeanne Arth
United States Darlene Hard
6–2, 2–6, 3–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 Career SR
Australia A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France A A A A QF A A A SF A A A A 0 / 2
Wimbledon A A A A SF A A A F QF A A 4R 0 / 4
United States 3R QF QF SF 3R A A QF QF A A SF A 0 / 8
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 14

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 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 702–3. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  2. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc. p. 261. 
  3. ^ Mark Winters. "Southern California Tennis Association – 2005 Hall of Fame Inductees" (PDF). USTA. 
  4. ^ "Pick Parents' Date!". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 27, 1949. p. 16. 
  5. ^ "This N' That". The Evening Independent. June 2, 1950. p. 12.