Margaret duPont, US tennis great, dies at 94

Associated Press Modified: October 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm •  Published: October 25, 2012
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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Margaret Osborne duPont, the winner of more than 30 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles spanning three decades, has died, She was 94.

DuPont died late Wednesday in El Paso while in hospice care, Mary Skinner of VNA Hospice said Thursday. Other details were not released.

DuPont won the singles title at Wimbledon in 1947, the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open) singles title from 1948 to 1950 and the French singles title in 1946 and 1948.

She won 31 doubles and mixed doubles titles at three Grand Slams between 1941 and 1962. DuPont never played the Grand Slam tournament in Australia.

In 1967, five years after winning her last Grand Slam title, DuPont was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

In a story last year in the El Paso Times, duPont spoke about her love of the game.

"It was always just tennis, tennis, tennis, tennis," she said. "I'm not sure why I loved the game so much. But I did. I just did. And I always have."

DuPont played an aggressive game, serving and volleying, that suited her well for doubles. Her contemporaries included Pauline Betz, Doris Hart, Althea Gibson, Maria Bueno and Maureen Connolly.

DuPont won more titles at what is now the U.S. Open in singles, doubles, mixed doubles — 25 — than anyone else in history. She was recognized for the accomplishment in recent years with a gold ring from the governing body for U.S. tennis.

The El Paso paper, pointing to the website BleacherReport, wrote that duPont had spent 156 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world, tied with Connolly.

Born in Joseph, Ore., on March 4, 1918, duPont grew up on a ranch there. When the family moved to San Francisco, duPont played her first tennis on public courts in Golden Gate Park. Before long she was traveling the country.

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