Eileen Bennett Whittingstall

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Eileen Bennett Whittingstall
Eileen Bennett 1928.jpg
Full name Eileen Viviyen Bennett Fearnley-Whittingstall
Country (sports)  United Kingdom
Born (1907-07-16)16 July 1907
Paddington, London, England
Died 18 August 1979(1979-08-18) (aged 72)
Singles
Highest ranking No.3 (1931)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open F (1928)
Wimbledon QF (1928, 1932)
US Open F (1931)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1928, 1931)
Wimbledon F (1928)
US Open W (1931)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1928, 1929)
Wimbledon SF (1930, 1932)
US Open W (1927)

Eileen Bennett Whittingstall (née Bennett; 16 July 1907 – ca. 18 August 1979, full name Eileen Viviyen Bennett Fearnley-Whittingstall[1]) was a female tennis player from the United Kingdom who won six Grand Slam doubles titles from 1927 to 1931.

Career

Although most of her success was in women's doubles or mixed doubles, Whittingstall reached the singles final of the 1928 French Championships and the 1931 US Championships. She lost both of those finals in straight sets to Helen Wills Moody.[2] She twice won the women's doubles title at the French Championships, in 1928 with Phoebe Holcroft Watson and in 1931 with Betty Nuthall. Whittingstall and Nuthall lost the 1932 final to the team of Moody and Elizabeth Ryan.

Whittingstall teamed with Ermyntrude Harvey to reach the 1928 women's doubles final at Wimbledon, losing to the team of Watson and Peggy Saunders 2–6, 3–6. She also teamed with Shoemaker to win the 1931 women's doubles title at the U.S. Championships, defeating Helen Jacobs and Dorothy Round Little in the final in two sets.[2] Whittingstall twice partnered with Henri Cochet to win the mixed doubles title at the French Championships. In both 1928 and 1929, they defeated the team of Moody and Frank Hunter in the final. Whittingstall and Cochet lost the 1930 French final to the team of Bill Tilden and Cilly Aussem.

Whittingstall and Cochet won the mixed doubles title at the 1927 US Championships, defeating Hazel Wightman and René Lacoste in the final.

According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Whittingstall was ranked in the world top ten in 1928, 1929, 1931, and 1932, reaching a career high of World No. 3 in those rankings in 1931.[3]

Bennett is credited with first wearing an above-the-knee form of divided skirt for competitive tennis.[4][5][6]

Personal life

She was married on 19 November 1929 to Edmund Fearnley-Whittingstall,[7] a painter, and divorced in 1936.[1] She married Marcus Marsh, a racehorse trainer, on 28 September 1936 and gave birth to a daughter on 7 March 1937.[8][9][10] She was divorced from Mr Marsh in early 1947 and married Mr Geoffrey Ackroyd in June 1947.[11] She married for a fourth and final time in June 1957 to Mr Carl Vyvyan Forslind who outlived her.[11]

Grand Slam finals

Bennett (r) and Phoebe Holcroft Watson at the 1928 French Championships

Singles (2 runners-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1928 French Championships Clay United States Helen Wills 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Helen Wills 4–6, 1–6

Doubles (3 titles, 2 runners-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1928 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Phoebe Holcroft France Suzanne Deve
France Sylvie Jung
6–0, 6–2
Runner-up 1928 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Ermyntrude Harvey United Kingdom Peggy Saunders
United Kingdom Phoebe Holcroft
2–6, 3–6
Winner 1931 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Betty Nuthall Germany Cilly Aussem
United States Elizabeth Ryan
9–7, 6–2
Winner 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Betty Nuthall United States Helen Jacobs
United Kingdom Dorothy Round
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1932 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Betty Nuthall United States Elizabeth Ryan
United States Helen Wills
1–6, 3–6

Mixed doubles (3 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1927 U.S. National Championships Grass France Henri Cochet United States Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman
France René Lacoste
6–2, 6–0, 6–3
Winner 1928 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet United States Helen Wills
United States Frank Hunter
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1929 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet United States Helen Wills
United States Frank Hunter
6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1930 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet Germany Cilly Aussem
United States Bill Tilden
4–6, 4–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(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 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
French Championships A A SF F SF 2R 2R QF QF A A 0 / 7
Wimbledon 1R 2R 3R QF 4R 2R 4R QF 4R 2R 4R 0 / 11
US Championships A A 3R A A A F A A A A 0 / 2
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 20

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

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Decree Nisi Against Mrs. Eileen Fearnley Whittingstall: Whittingstall v. Whittingstall And Marsh". The Times. 17 March 1936. p. 4. 
  2. ^ a b "Wonderful Tennis 1931". British Pathé. 3 September 1931. 
  3. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 701–2. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  4. ^ Sarah Kirkham (30 October 2014). "Throwback Thursday: Daring fashionistas of 1930s Wimbledon". AELTC. 
  5. ^ Christopher Breward; Becky Conekin; Caroline Cox, eds. (2002). The Englishness of English Dress. Berg Publishers. ISBN 978-1-85973-528-2. 
  6. ^ "What Do You Think?". British Pathé. 20 July 1933. 
  7. ^ "At Forest Hills". Time. 31 August 1931. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Tennis Star To Marry". Dundee Evening Telegraph. British Newspaper Archive. 24 September 1936. p. 4. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ "Noted Tennis Player Wed". Aberdeen Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 29 September 1936. p. 6. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Untitled". The Glasgow Herald. 9 March 1937. p. 7. 
  11. ^ a b England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005

External links

  • "Eileen Vivian Bennett (later Mrs Fearnley-Whittingstall) (1907–1979), Tennis player; former wife of Edmund Fearnley-Whittingstall". National Portrait Gallery.  Set of eight portraits by Bassano's studio
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