On This Day

Maureen Connolly

Tennis player Maureen Connolly

Full Name: Maureen Catherine Connolly-Brinker (née Connolly)
Profession: Tennis player

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Why Famous: Connolly is best known as the first woman to win all 4 Grand Slam tennis tournaments (Australian, French, US and Wimbledon) during the same calendar year (1953).

In all, she won 9 Grand Slam singles titles in a short career which ended in 1954 when she was just 19. In a freak horseback riding accident Connolly seriously injured her right leg preventing her from playing any more competitive tennis.

She was ranked world #1 player from 1952-54 and won the last 9 Grand Slam singles tournaments she played, including 50 consecutive singles matches.

Connolly's life also ended prematurely when she died in 1969 from ovarian cancer at just 34.

Born: September 17, 1934
Birthplace: San Diego, California, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dog
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: June 21, 1969 (aged 34)
Cause of Death: Ovarian cancer

Historical Events

  • 1951-09-05 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Maureen Connolly wins her 1st of 9 Grand Slam singles titles; beats fellow American Shirley Fry 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
  • 1952-07-05 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly beats Louise Brough 7-5, 6-3 for the first of 3 straight Wimbledon crowns
  • 1952-09-08 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Defending champion Maureen Connolly beats fellow American Doris Hart 6-3, 7-5
  • 1953-01-17 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-American final Maureen Connolly wins 1st leg of her Grand Slam; beats Julia Sampson 6-3, 6-2
  • 1953-05-30 French Championships Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly beats fellow American Doris Hart 6-2, 6-4 for the 2nd leg of her Grand Slam
  • 1953-07-04 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly wins 3rd leg of her Grand Slam beating fellow American Doris Hart 8-6, 7-5
  • 1953-09-07 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: In an all-American final Maureen Connolly becomes first female to achieve a Grand Slam; beats Doris Hart 6-2, 6-4
  • 1954-05-29 French Championships Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly retains her title; beats Ginette Bucaille of France 6-4, 6-1
  • 1954-07-03 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly wins her 3rd consecutive Wimbledon singles title beating fellow American Louise Brough 6-2, 7-5
  • 1954-07-20 American tennis champion Maureen Connolly's right leg is crushed in a horse riding accident ending a brilliant career at just 19

Biographies and Sources



Famous Tennis Players