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.
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 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.
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.
“She was a super player, a super sport and a super friend,” Leigh Bloss said.
During World War II, duPont worked in a plant in Sausalito, Calif., where marine ships were made and even shared a ride to work with Bing Crosby, the El Paso paper reported.
In the early 1940s she met William duPont Jr., of the famous and prominent American family. The two married in 1947 and son Bill was born in 1952.
Having a child didn’t slow down her tennis competition. Her last Grand Slam title, mixed doubles at Wimbledon, came in 1962.
Billie Jean King said in a statement that duPont had a “huge impact” on her career.
“She was one of my she-roes and was a great influence on my life both on and off the court,” King said. “I hope today’s players and any boy or girl who dreams of a career in tennis will go to the history books and read about Margaret because her career wasn’t just about winning matches, it was also about mentoring others.”
DuPont followed the modern game, particularly Andy Murray, this year’s U.S. Open men’s singles champion. But she told the El Paso paper the game has changed so much.
“You hit the ball as hard as you can and, every once in a while, come to the net,” she said. “Not too much thought involved. And, of course, the racket technology makes it just an entirely different sport.”
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