Elizabeth Ryan

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For other people named Elizabeth Ryan, see Elizabeth Ryan (disambiguation).
Elizabeth Ryan
Elizabeth Ryan (tennis player).jpg
Full name Elizabeth Montague Ryan
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1892-02-08)February 8, 1892
Anaheim, CA, USA
Died July 6, 1979(1979-07-06) (aged 87)
Wimbledon, England
Int. Tennis HoF 1972 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 3 (1927)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open QF (1926, 1930, 1931)
Wimbledon F (1921, 1930)
US Open F (1926)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1930, 1932, 1933, 1934)
Wimbledon W (1914, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1933, 1934)
US Open W (1926)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open F (1934)
Wimbledon W (1919, 1921, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932)
US Open W (1926, 1933)

Elizabeth Montague Ryan (February 8, 1892 – July 6, 1979) was an American tennis player who was born in Anaheim, California but lived most of her life in the United Kingdom. Ryan won 26 Grand Slam titles. Nineteen of those titles were in women's doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, an all-time record for those two events. Twelve of her Wimbledon titles were in women's doubles and seven were in mixed doubles. Ryan also won four women's doubles titles at the French Championships, as well as one women's doubles title and two mixed doubles titles at the U.S. Championships.

Career[edit]

Although she reached the Wimbledon singles finals twice, Ryan never won the title. Eight of her losses at Wimbledon were to players generally considered to be among the best ever. Ryan had to play Dorothea Lambert Chambers in the all-comers final of 1920; Suzanne Lenglen in the 1919 semifinals (losing 6–4, 7–5), 1921 final, 1922 quarterfinals, 1924 quarterfinals (losing 6–2, 6–8, 6–4), and 1925 second round; and Helen Wills Moody in the 1928 semifinals and 1930 final.

In the 1926 singles final at the U.S. Championships, the 34-year-old Ryan led 42-year-old Molla Bjurstedt Mallory 4–6, 6–4, 4–0 and had a match point at 7–6 in the third set before losing the final three games of the match.[1]

Ryan and her longtime partner Lenglen never lost a women's doubles match at Wimbledon, going 31–0.[1] Only Billie Jean King (224 match wins) and Martina Navratilova won more matches at Wimbledon than Ryan (190 match wins): 47–15 in singles, 73–4 in women's doubles, and 70–9 in mixed doubles.[1]

The longtime tennis writer Ted Tinling has credited Ryan with inventing the volleying style later perfected by players such as Sarah Palfrey Cooke, Alice Marble, Louise Brough Clapp, Margaret Osborne duPont, Doris Hart, Darlene Hard, Margaret Court, Navratilova, and King. "Before World War I, women's tennis consisted primary of slogging duels from the baseline. There were a few volleying pioneers, notably ... Hazel [Hotchkiss] Wightman and Ethel [Thomson] Larcombe, but volleying as a fundamental, aggressive technique was first injected into the women's game by ... Ryan."[2] However, Tinling also said about Ryan, "Elizabeth wasn't fast enough for singles. Too heavy."[3]

According to Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Ryan was ranked in the world top ten from 1921 (when the rankings began) through 1928 and again in 1930, reaching a career high of World No. 3 in those rankings in 1927.[4] Ryan was ranked second behind Mallory in the year-end rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association for 1925 and 1926.[5]

Ryan died on July 6, 1979, at age 87, on the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, following the ladies singes final and the day before King broke her record number of Wimbledon wins by winning her 20th title.[6][7][8] When tennis writer and television commentator Bud Collins tried to arrange for Ryan and King to film an interview together at Wimbledon in 1979, Ryan refused.[3] King said, "I always liked seeing Miss Ryan at Wimbledon, and I'd try to be friendly, but she didn't seem to want it. For me, it wasn't personal. Sure, I wanted the record, but I wasn't trying to steal a possession of hers."[9] King also said, "[T]here is no doubt in my mind that she just didn't want to be alive to see her record broken. She was [87], she had held it for a long, long time and she wanted it for herself. But records are there to be broken."[10]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 3 runners-ups[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1921 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen 2–6, 0–6
Runner-up 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Molla Bjurstedt Mallory 6–4, 4–6, 7–9
Runner-up 1930 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Wills Moody 2–6, 2–6

Doubles: 21 (17 titles, 4 runners-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1914 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Agnes Morton United Kingdom Edith Hannam
United Kingdom Ethel Larcombe
6–1, 6–3
Winner 1919 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom Dorthea Lambert Chambers
United Kingdom Ethel Larcombe
4–6, 7–5, 6–3
Winner 1920 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom Dorthea Lambert Chambers
United Kingdom Ethel Larcombe
6–4, 6–0
Winner 1921 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom Winifred Beamish
South Africa Irene Peacock
6–1, 6–2
Winner 1922 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom Kitty McKane
United Kingdom Margaret McKane Stocks
6–0, 6–4
Winner 1923 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom Joan Austin
United Kingdom Evelyn Colyer
6–3, 6–1
Winner 1925 Wimbledon Grass France Suzanne Lenglen United Kingdom A.V. Bridge
United Kingdom Mary McIlquham
6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 1925 U.S. National Championships Grass United States May Sutton Bundy United States Mary Browne
United States Helen Wills
4–6, 3–6
Winner 1926 Wimbledon Grass United States Mary Browne United Kingdom Evelyn Colyer
United Kingdom Kitty McKane Godfree
6–1, 6–1
Winner 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Eleanor Goss United States Mary Browne
United States Charlotte Chapin
3–6, 6–4, 12–10
Winner 1927 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Wills South Africa Bobbie Heine
South Africa Irene Peacock
6–3, 6–2
Winner 1930 French Championships Clay United States Helen Wills Moody France Simone Barbier
France Simonne Mathieu
6–3, 6–1
Winner 1930 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Wills Moody United Kingdom Edith Cross
United States Sarah Palfrey
6–2, 9–7
Runner-up 1931 French Championships Clay Germany Cilly Aussem United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall
United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
7–9, 2–6
Winner 1932 French Championships Clay United States Helen Wills Moody United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall
United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
6–1, 6–3
Runner-up 1932 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Jacobs France Doris Metaxa
Belgium Josane Sigart
4–6, 3–6
Winner 1933 French Championships Clay France Simonne Mathieu France Sylvie Jung Henrotin
France Colette Rosambert
6–1, 6–3
Winner 1933 Wimbledon Grass France Simonne Mathieu United Kingdom Freda James
United Kingdom Billie Yorke
6–2, 9–11, 6–4
Runner-up 1933 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Helen Wills Moody United Kingdom Freda James
United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
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Winner 1934 French Championships Clay France Simonne Mathieu United States Helen Jacobs
United States Sarah Palfrey
3–6, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 1934 Wimbledon Grass France Simonne Mathieu United Kingdom Dorothy Andrus
France Sylvie Jung Henrotin
6–3, 6–3

Mixed Doubles: 14 (9 titles, 5 runners-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1919 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Randolph Lycett France Dorothea Chambers
Australia Albertem Prebble
6-0, 6-0
Runner-up 1920 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Randolph Lycett France Suzanne Lenglen
Australia Gerald Patterson
5–7, 3–6
Winner 1921 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Randolph Lycett United Kingdom Phyllis Howkins
United Kingdom Max Woosnam
6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 1922 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Randolph Lycett France Suzanne Lenglen
Australia Pat O'Hara Wood
4–6, 3–6
Winner 1923 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Randolph Lycett United Kingdom Dorothy Shepherd Barron
India Lewis Deane
6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 1925 Wimbledon Grass Italy Umberto de Morpurgo France Suzanne Lenglen
France Jean Borotra
3–6, 3–6
Winner 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass France Jean Borotra United States Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman
France René Lacoste
6–4, 7–5
Winner 1927 Wimbledon Grass United States Frank Hunter United Kingdom Kathleen McKane Godfree
United Kingdom Leslie Godfree
8–6, 6–0
Winner 1928 Wimbledon Grass South Africa Patrick Spence Australia Daphne Akhurst
Australia Jack Crawford
7–5, 6–4
Winner 1930 Wimbledon Grass Australia Jack Crawford Germany Hilde Krahwinkel
Germany Daniel Prenn
6–1, 6–3
Winner 1932 Wimbledon Grass Spain Enrique Maier Belgium Josane Sigart
Australia Harry Hopman
7–5, 6–2
Winner 1933 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Ellsworth Vines United States Sarah Palfrey
United States George Lott
11–9, 6–1
Runner-up 1934 French Championships Clay Australia Adrian Quist France Colette Rosambert
France Jean Borotra
2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1934 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Lester Stoefen United States Helen Jacobs
United States George Lott
6–4, 11–13, 2–6

Grand Slam tournament timelines[edit]

Singles[edit]

Tournament 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 Career SR
Australia NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France [a] A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A NH A QF A A A QF QF 1R 1R 1R 0 / 7
Wimbledon QF 1R ACF NH NH NH NH SF ACF F QF SF QF 2R 3R SF SF 3R F A 1R A A 0 / 16
United States A A A A A A A A A A A A A QF F A A A A A A A QF 0 / 3
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 26

ACF = All comers final, with the winner to play the defending champion.

NH = tournament not held.

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.

Women's doubles[edit]

Tournament 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 Career SR
Australia NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France [a] A NH NH NH NH NH NH NH A A NH A NH A SF A A A W F W W W 4 / 6
Wimbledon NH  ? W NH NH NH NH W W W W W QF W W W SF SF W A F W W 12 / 16
United States A A A A A A A A A A A A A F W A A A A A A F SF 1 / 4
SR 0 / 0 0 / 0 1 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 2 2 / 3 1 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 2 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 2 / 3 2 / 3 17 / 26

NH = tournament not held.

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.

Mixed doubles[edit]

Tournament 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 Career SR
Australia NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France [a] A A A NH NH NH NH NH ? ? ? ? NH ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? F 0 / 1
Wimbledon NH  ?  ? NH NH NH NH W F W F W 2R F SF W W SF W A W QF QF 7 / 15
United States ? A A ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? W ? ? ? ? ? ? W F 2 / 3
SR 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 1 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 3 9 / 19

NH = tournament not held.

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.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Through 1923, the French Championships were open only to French nationals. The World Hard Court Championships (WHCC), actually played on clay in Paris or Brussels, began in 1912 and were open to all nationalities. The results from that tournament are shown here from 1912 through 1914 and from 1920 through 1923. The Olympics replaced the WHCC in 1924, as the Olympics were held in Paris. Beginning in 1925, the French Championships were open to all nationalities, with the results shown here beginning with that year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. p. 618. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  2. ^ Tinling, Ted (1980). Barrett, John Gilchrist, ed. "World of Tennis 1980: A BP Yearbook - The King-Ryan Connection". London: Queen Ann Press: 56. 
  3. ^ a b Collins, Bud (1989). My Life With the Pros. New York: E.P. Dutton. p. 261. ISBN 0-525-24659-2. 
  4. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 701. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  5. ^ United States Tennis Association (1988). 1988 Official USTA Tennis Yearbook. Lynn, Massachusetts: H.O. Zimman, Inc. p. 260. 
  6. ^ Will Grimsley (July 8, 1979). "King's Rejoicing Subdued Following 20th Wimbledon Title.". Ocala Star-Banner. AP. p. 1C. 
  7. ^ "Ryan Dies at Wimbledon". The Milwaukee Journal. AP. July 7, 1979. p. 12. 
  8. ^ John Barrett, ed. (1980). World of Tennis 1980 : a BP yearbook. London: Queen Anne Press. pp. 43, 376. ISBN 9780362020120. OCLC 237184610. 
  9. ^ Collins, Bud (1989). My Life With the Pros. New York: E.P. Dutton. pp. 259–60. ISBN 0-525-24659-2. 
  10. ^ Brace, Reginald; King, Billie Jean (1981). Play Better Tennis: With Billie Jean King and Reginald Brace. Octopus. p. 21. ISBN 0-7064-1223-0. 

External links[edit]