Helen Wills Moody

Helen Wills Moody (* 6. October 1905 in Centerville /California; † 1. January 1998) was an American Tennisspielerin. Together with the Französin Suzanne Lenglen dominated it and thirties twenties of the last century. Wills Moody is considered as one of the best tennis player inside all times.

Table of contents

balance of a career

Helen Wills Moody won altogether 31 Grand Slam title in single, doubles and Mixed. With 19 triumphs in the single competitions it is exceeded up to the today's day only by Margaret Smith Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22). Wills triumphierte seven times with American championships (1923-1925, 1927-1929 and 1931), eight times in Wimbledon (1927-1930, 1932, 1933, 1935 and 1938) and four the times with French championships (1928-1930, 1932). With the olympic plays 1924 in Paris it won besides two gold medals. Between 1919 and 1938 the American booked the unbelievable balance of 398 victories with only 35 defeats and remained here between 1927 and 1932 in 158 following each other plays unbesiegt, without delivering also only one sentence. Helen Wills applied for the world during the period of 8 years as the number 1.

Helen Wills and Suzanne Lenglen - two Dominatorinnen defiance

that the careers of the large Französin Suzanne Lenglen ( 1919-1926) and the large American Helen Wills (1922-1938) nevertheless for four years overlap at the same time and both in the same era play, are hardly fasslich it that both only once met one another.

This rare event, a high point in both careers, took place in the year 1926 - the last year Lenglens as Amateurin. The Französin is 26, sixfold Wimbledon Siegerin and on the high point of her Könnens. Helen Wills is straight once 20 years old. The young American had achieved 1921 and 1922 the national youth title, had not traveled however until 1924 to the European tournaments. Still that ripe one, which will make the American in the next decade the almost unbeatable Spielerin, lacks their play. Despite this circumstance Wills had already suggested its potential dominance on the American stage: 1923, 1924 and 1925 it had won US open, without which the Französin did after the negative experiences of the yearly 1921 in the consequence. Wills again had not played in this time the French open, however with its first trip to Europe 1924 at first attempt into the final of Wimbledon had not nevertheless drawn in. It is calculated this that one Wimbledon tournament, which must terminate the Französin, Siegerin of all other delivering between 1919 and 1925, illness in the third round.

Both are legends and Dominatorinnen of their time however on separate stages. Thus it comes in the Cannes of the yearly 1926 to the only, for a long time expected and passionately here-longed exchange between the “queen of Europe” and their young American Herausforderin. It is also the fight between the glorious imposingness of the tennis sport and its future. The interest of the public is so large that not only the places at the edge of the Courts are sold off and are paid highest black-market prices. Already the regular ticket prices (50 US dollar) regarded in in the time horizon - schwindelerrengendes level. Rather also all balconies and roofs are in the closer environment covered by people grapes/clusters. Among the numerous prominent spectators is the Swedish king Gustav, just as however a group of French school boys, whom one pulls briefly before beginning of the portion from Eukalyptusbü at the edge of the playing field, where hid themselves.

Lenglen, more extravaganter first world star of the sport, famous for their tactical-idea-rich and variable play, their ballerinenhaft easy and speedy movements as well as surprising net attacks, against the rather ponderously moving athletic Rechtshänderin; their play design rivet particularly by the Brachialgewalt of their baseline impacts on back and first option side is characterised. In addition, then the contemporaries, by an unusual anticipation ability say that it permits it to overact the weakness in mobility and speed. The legendary Donald Budge , a lifelong observer of the international tennis and occasional Wills mix OD partner, it expresses itself in Neunzigern in the amazing way that “perhaps with the exception of Steffi Graf “no other Spielerin until today ordered over such Schlaghärte like Wills.

The dramatically running play becomes the myth and applies until today as a great moment of the tennis: Lenglen, several times the cycle failure close, succeeds it in a large effort of force and with tactical Rafinesse to down-struggle the alleged successor scarcely with 6:3 and 8:6 and defeat the youth.

The been subject Helen Wills will later designate this meeting with Suzanne Lenglen nevertheless than the high point of their glossful career. And as an important turning point: In the argument with the large Französin she understood, so Wills later that she must concentrate in the future completely on as schnörkelloses a power play as possible and in special their first option hard on the improvement.

Besides the sporty event produces also an unexpected private subsequent happening: After the end of the play it cannot be taken a certain Frederick Moody to express the beat its admiration. The marriage follows only some years later.

1927-1938: 16 Grand Slam of victories in the single

meeting one another in Cannes the only Begnung of the two tennis legends remains. When the Französin explains her crossing a little later in the professional camp, the way is free for Helen Wills Moody, which achieves open (1928-1932) from 1927 to the long valid record number of eight single victories in Wimbledon and also four victories with the French. With with US the open after 1927 achieved further four single victories Moody in this period does not triumphiert with less than 16 Grand Slam competitions.

Between 1927 and 1932 Wills remains ungeschlagen completely and does not lose not only one sentence. It is in this period, in which one awards a special pointed name to the almost unbeatable American: due to their in game situations of motionless and remaining expressionless face also kritischstenen becomes from Helen Wills „Little measure Poker Face “.

The year 1927 brings further, personal changes apart from large successes: At the university of Berkeley Moody acquires its conclusion in subject art. A passion, which will accompany the inspired painter up to its end of life.

1928 succeed to the American a further new fact: as the first Spielerin at all Wills 3 Grand Slam tournaments wins in the same year. It triumphiert in Paris, in Wimbledon and with US open. She becomes also the first American, who is able to win on red ash in Paris. A success, which it is able to repeat in direct consequence three times.

In the year 1929 Helen Wills Frederick Moody marries and plays from now on under that double name, under which she admits until today is. Eight years later , the divorce follows 1937.

1935 are gekürt Helen Wills Moody from AP to the Sportlerin of the yearly.

1938 win the 33jährige Wills their last major title: It triumphiert to the respected and last mark on the holy lawn in Wimbledon. A record - only apparent for the eternity.

Helen Wills is in this time clearing usually also member of the victorious US team with at that time legendary Wightman Cup (1923-1925, 1927 - 1932, 1938), the team land fight between America and England.

In October 1939 the Tennisspielerin finally gives Aidan Roark, the yes-word to its later man. One year before had explained it their resignation from the match sport.

after the sport

1969 the American to resound to OF Fame taken up.

Their record number of 19 Grand Slam victories in the single remains 32 years unsurpassed. Only 1970 succeed it to the Australian Margaret Smith Court (24 title gains altogether), to overtrump it here. One to today unequalled record performance remains Helen Wills total balance with the major tournaments: from 22 Grand Slam tournaments, in which it participated, won the Amerikanierin 19. Only three times it failed in the final to the later Siegerin and comes so on the unbelievable career balance of 126 victories with 129 plays altogether.

Wills record of 8 single victories in Wimbledon from the year 1938 holds until 1990 . She is already a betagte 85 years old lady, as it their Landsmännin, which succeeds to large Martina Navratilova, to extinguish the eternal Bestmarke of the tennis legend with their ninth title gain.

Wills remains time of their life most interested in the developments in their sport. Edward Chandler, a lifelong friend, reports the New York Time in the year 1988 that Wills stopped only at the age of 82 years with the tennis sport - under duress. But it remained long their whole life a type of match, which loved and looked for the comparative fight. Also after the resignation from the achievement sport. In everything that had made her, it would have been anxious to be always the best one. This characteristic revealed itself also, when Jeanne Cherry, an American Sporthistorikerin inquired, what the large old lady of the tennis sport of Navratilovas achievement thinks, which had broken now its Wimbledon record after so long time. Wills expressed its honest and deep admiration for the Dominatorin to the present. In order to then add: “Now, it lifted, knows also all these weights you!”

Helen Wills dies at the 1.Januar 1998 at the Biblical age of 92 years.

career balance


Paris Single 1928-30, 1932 Double 1930, 32 Mixed 1928, 29, 32 (final participation)

Wimbledon Single 1927-30, 32-33, 35, 38 Single final 1924 Double 1924, 27, 30 Mixed 1929

U.S. Single 1923-25, 27-29, 31 Single final 1922 Double 1922, 24-25, 28 Double final 1933 Mixed 1924, 28 Mixed final 1922

olympic plays Single 1924 Double 1924

Wightman Cup 1923-25, 1927-32, 1938


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