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Suzanne Lenglen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameSuzanne Rachel Flore•Lenglen
Used nameSuzanne•Lenglen
Nick/petnamesLa Divine
Born24 May 1899 in Paris, Paris (FRA)
Died4 July 1938 in Paris, Paris (FRA)
NOC France

Biography

Suzanne Lenglen is usually considered the greatest female tennis player of the pre-World War II era. As an amateur she had a 181 match winning streak, and an overall record of 341 wins and 7 losses (98%), statistics that are hard to comprehend when compared to today’s players. Lenglen was French singles champion in 1920-23, and 1925-26 and won Wimbledon six of seven years – 1919-23 and 1925, losing in the semis in 1924 when she withdrew due to illness. Lenglen also won the 1914 World Hard Court Championship when she was only 15, which was then considered a major championship. Lenglen played at the US Championships only in 1921, when she lost in round two to Molla Mallory, withdrawing in the first game of the second set, after losing the first set, because of a chronic cough. Lenglen avenged that defeat in the 1922 Wimbledon final, winning 6-2, 6-0, and then at a tournament in Nice later in 1922, Lenglen double bageled her. She was the world #1 ranked player from 1921-26.

Lenglen also won the French doubles in 1920-23 and 1925-26, and the mixed in 1914, 1920-23 and 1925-26. At Wimbledon she won the doubles in 1919-23 and 1925, and the mixed doubles in 1920, 1922, and 1925. Lenglen turned professional in 1927 and played a tour against Mary K. Browne, the 1912-14 US Champion, but it was no contest, Lenglen winning the series, 38-0. Lenglen was known for her flamboyance, and was considered the first tennis diva, actually nicknamed “La Divine.” She died quite suddenly in 1938, only one month after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Tennis FRA Suzanne Lenglen
Singles, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Doubles, Mixed (Olympic) Max Décugis 1 Gold
Doubles, Women (Olympic) Élisabeth d'Ayen 3 Bronze
1924 Summer Olympics Tennis FRA Suzanne Lenglen
Singles, Women (Olympic) DNS
Doubles, Mixed (Olympic) Henri Cochet DNS

Special Notes