Angela Mortimer

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Angela Mortimer
Full name Florence Angela Margaret Mortimer Barrett
Country (sports) United Kingdom Great Britain
Born (1932-04-21) 21 April 1932 (age 86)
Plymouth, England
Int. Tennis HoF 1993 (member page)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1961, Lance Tingay)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1958)
French Open W (1955)
Wimbledon W (1961)
US Open SF (1961)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (1958)
Wimbledon W (1955)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1958)
Team competitions
Wightman Cup W (1960)

Florence Angela Margaret Mortimer Barrett (née Mortimer; born 21 April 1932) is a former world No. 1 female tennis player from England. She was born in Plymouth, Devon, England. She is married to the veteran BBC commentator and author John Barrett. Mortimer won three Grand Slam singles titles: the 1955 French Championships, the 1958 Australian Championships, and Wimbledon in 1961 when she was 29 years old and partially deaf.

Mortimer teamed with Anne Shilcock to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1955, her only women's doubles title at a Grand Slam. She teamed with Coghlan to reach the women's doubles final at the 1958 Australian Championships. Mortimer and Peter Newman reached the mixed doubles final at the 1958 Australian Championships, [1], her only mixed doubles final at a Grand Slam.


Angela Mortimer reached the quarterfinals of the US National Championships before losing to second seed Doris Hart. At Wimbledon in 1953, seeded no. 5, she reached the quarterfinal, losing to Dorothy Knode. She also reached the quarterfinals in 1954, 1956 (losing to fellow countrywoman Pat Ward Hales), 1959 (when she was seeded no. 2 but lost to Sandra Reynolds), and 1960 (losing to champion Maria Bueno). At Wimbledon in 1958, unseeded, she beat the former champion Margaret DuPont in the quarterfinals, then French champion Zsuzsa Körmöczy 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals, and lost the final against the defending champion Althea Gibson in straight sets. In 1961, she won the title, defeating top-seeded Sandra Reynolds 11-9, 6-3 in the semifinals and then Christine Truman in the final in three sets.[2] Not fully fit in 1962, she lost to eventual finalist Vera Sukova in the fourth round.[3]

In 1955, she was the first British woman since 1937 to win one of the Grand Slams when she defeated Dorothy Knode in the final of the French Championships. During the long final set, she has said that she was given new heart when she heard her opponent asking for a brandy on court. Defending her title the following year, she reached the final, losing to Althea Gibson in two sets. During this year, she suffered a severe illness, not returning to full form until 1958.[2]

She won the Australian title in 1958 when recuperating, defeating Lorraine Coghlan in the final. Her best result in the U.S. Championships was in 1961 when she reached the semifinals before losing to Ann Haydon.[2] She won three times against Althea Gibson in her career, and she made her farewell in the Torquay tournament of 1962, beating Ann Haydon Jones in the final.

Her game was played mainly from the baseline, as described in her tennis autobiography, My Waiting Game. She always played in shorts, refusing designer Teddy Tinling’s offer to design dresses for her. Ultimately, he designed shorts, and later she joined his staff.[2]

According to Lance Tingay of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Mortimer was ranked in the world top 10 from 1953 through 1956 and from 1958 through 1962, reaching a career high of world No. 1 in 1961.[4]

Mortimer was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.

On 27 July 2014, she received the Freedom of the Borough of Merton.[5][6]

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 5 (3 titles, 2 runners-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1955 French Championships Clay United States Dorothy Head Knode 2–6, 7–5, 10–8
Runner-up 1956 French Championships Clay United States Althea Gibson 0–6, 10–12
Winner 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Lorraine Coghlan 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1958 Wimbledon Grass United States Althea Gibson 6–8, 2–6
Winner 1961 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Christine Truman Janes 4–6, 6–4, 7–5

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runners-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1955 Wimbledon Championships Grass United Kingdom Anne Shilcock United Kingdom Shirley Bloomer Brasher
United Kingdom Patricia Ward Hales
7–5, 6–1
Runner-up 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Lorraine Coghlan Australia Mary Bevis Hawton
Australia Thelma Coyne Long
5–7, 8–6, 2–6

Mixed Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Peter Newman Australia Mary Bevis Hawton
Australia Bob Howe
11–9, 1–6, 2–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held.
Tournament 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Career SR
Australia A A A A A A A W A A A A 1 / 1
France A A 3R A W F A A A A A A 1 / 3
Wimbledon 2R 3R QF QF 2R QF 3R F QF QF W 4R 1 / 12
United States A QF 3R A 1R A A A 1R A SF A 0 / 5
SR 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 1 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 1 3 / 21

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played

See also


  1. ^ "Australian Open results archive – 1958 Mixed Doubles". Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d Angela Mortimer, My Waiting Game (Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1962) [autobiography]
  3. ^ Wimbledon Players Archive Angela Mortimer
  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, 703. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

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