Sylvia Lance Harper

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Sylvia Lance Harper
Sylvia Lance.png
Sylvia Lance in a warm-up coat in 1924
Country (sports)  Australia
Born October 1895
Singles
Highest ranking No. 10 (1924, A. Wallis Myers)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1924)
Wimbledon 2R (1920)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1923, 1924, 1925)
Wimbledon 3R (1925)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1923)

Sylvia Harper (née Lance, born October 1895) was a female tennis player from Australia who won the singles title at the 1924 Australian Championships. She reached the singles final there two other times, in 1927, losing to Esna Boyd, and in 1930, losing to Daphne Akhurst.

Harper won the women's doubles title at the Australian Championships three consecutive years. In 1923, her partner was Boyd, and in 1924 and 1925, her partner was Akhurst.[1] She reached the final an additional three times with three different partners, in 1927, 1929, and 1930.

Harper won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Championships in 1923 with Horace Rice and was the runner-up in that event in 1925.

According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Harper was ranked World No. 10 in 1924, the only year she was included in those rankings.[2]

Harper competed overseas on two occasions; in 1920 she competed at Wimbledon and, in 1925, captained the first women's tennis team to represent Australia internationally. At Wimbledon, she made the second round of the ladies singles, where she lost to Dorothy Shepherd, the ladies doubles, where she partnered Daphne Akhurst[3] and the mixed doubles, where she partnered E. T. Lamb.[4]

She married businessman Robert Rainy Harper on 28 May 1924 and they had one son.[5][6]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

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

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score Ref.
Winner 1924 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Esna Boyd 6–3, 3–6, 8–6 [7]
Runner-up 1927 Australian Championships Grass Australia Esna Boyd 7–5, 1–6, 2–6 [7]
Runner-up 1930 Australian Championships Grass Australia Daphne Akhurst 8–10, 6–2, 5–7 [7]

Doubles: 6 (3 titles, 3 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score Ref.
Winner 1923 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Esna Boyd Australia Margaret Molesworth
Australia Beryl Turner
6–1, 6–4 [8]
Winner 1924 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Daphne Akhurst Australia Kathleen Le Messurier
Australia Meryl O'Hara Wood
7–5, 6–2 [9]
Winner 1925 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Daphne Akhurst Australia Esna Boyd
Australia Kathleen Le Messurier
6–4, 6–3 [10]
Runner-up 1927 Australian Championships Grass Australia Esna Boyd Australia Louie Bickerton
Australia Meryl O'Hara Wood
3–6, 3–6 [11]
Runner-up 1929 Australian Championships Grass Australia Meryl O'Hara Wood Australia Daphne Akhurst
Australia Louie Bickerton
2–6, 6–3, 2–6 [8]
Runner-up 1930 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Australia Margaret Molesworth
Australia Emily Hood
3–6, 6–0, 5–7 [8]

Mixed doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score Ref.
Winner 1923 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Horace Rice Australia Margaret Molesworth
Australia Bert St. John
2–6, 6–4, 6–4 [12]
Runner-up 1925 Australasian Championships Grass Australia Richard Schlesinger Australia Daphne Akhurst
Australia James Willard
4–6, 4–6 [13]

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 Career SR
Australian Championships NH NH SF SF W SF SF F 2R SF F SF 1 / 10
French Championships1 A A A A NH A A A A A A A 0 / 0
Wimbledon 2R A A A A 3R A A A A A A 0 / 1
US Championships A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 1 / 11

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.

1Through 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 for 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daphne Akhurst. Death in Hospital.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 January 1933. p. 13 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 701. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  3. ^ "WIMBLEDON.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 July 1925. p. 9. Retrieved 11 November 2011 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. ^ "LAWN TENNIS.". The Sunday Times. Perth. 5 July 1925. p. 1. Retrieved 10 November 2011 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ Guy Verney. "Harper, Robert Rainy (1894–1941)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 
  6. ^ "Tennis Champion.". The Evening News. Sydney. 29 May 1924. p. 3 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ a b c "Australian Open Results Archive / Women's Singles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  8. ^ a b c "Australian Open Results Archive / Women's Doubles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Australian Open Results Archive / 1924 Women's Doubles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  10. ^ "Australian Open Results Archive / 1925 Women's Doubles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  11. ^ "Tennis Contest.". The Western Star and Roma Advertiser. Toowoomba, Qld. 2 February 1927. p. 2. Retrieved 2015-10-14 – via National Library of Australia. 
  12. ^ "Australian Open Results Archive / 1923 Mixed Doubles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  13. ^ "Australian Open Results Archive / 1925 Mixed Doubles". Australian Open official website. Retrieved 2015-10-11.