Nancy Chaffee

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Nancy Chaffee
Full name Nancy Chaffee Whittaker
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1929-03-06)March 6, 1929
Ventura, CA, United States
Died August 11, 2002(2002-08-11) (aged 73)
Coronado, CA, United States
Retired 1956
Plays Right-handed
Highest ranking No. 4 (1951)
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon QF (1950)
US Open SF (1950)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open F (1951)

Nancy Chaffee Whittaker (March 6, 1929 – August 11, 2002) was an American female tennis player who was active in the 1950s.

Chaffee won the national girls' 18-and-under title in 1947. She won the U.S. National Indoor Championship, played at the Seventh Regiment Armory in Manhattan, from 1950 to 1952, defeating Althea Gibson, Beverly Baker and Patricia Todd in the finals.[1] Chaffee reached the semifinals of the 1950 U.S. Championships as an unseeded player but was beaten in three sets by Margaret Osborne duPont.[2] She reached No. 4 world ranking in 1951.[2]

Her best performance at a Grand Slam tournament came in 1951 when, partnered with Patricia Todd, she reached the final of the doubles competition at the U.S. Championships. They were defeated in the final in two straight sets by Shirley Fry and Doris Hart.[3] In 1951 she was selected for the U.S. Wightman Cup team and won her doubles match, contributing to a 6–1 victory against Great Britain.[1]

In 1951 she married baseball star Ralph Kiner with whom she had three children. She was later married to sportscaster Jack Whittaker.

Chaffee later became sports commentator for ABC, developed tennis programs at resorts and in 1992 co-founded the Cartier tennis tournament in Long Island's East Hampton, an amateur mixed-doubles fund-raising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.[1][4] Nancy Chaffee died on 11 August 2002 of complications from cancer.[5]

Grand Slam finals[edit]



Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
1951 U.S. Championships United States Patricia Todd United States Shirley Fry
United States Doris Hart
4–6, 2–6


  1. ^ a b c Richard Goldstein (August 16, 2002). "Nancy Chaffee Whitaker, 73, Tennis Player". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b "Nancy Chaffee, 73". Chicago Tribune. August 14, 2002. 
  3. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 480. ISBN 978-0942257700. 
  4. ^ "Taking Up a Tennis Racquet to Fight Cancer". The New York Times. September 15, 1996. 
  5. ^ "Chaffee was highly ranked during 1950s". ESPN. August 12, 2002.