Fallout With Coach
During her first major championship run, the 1951 U.S. Open, Tennant had told Connolly that Doris Hart, the tennis star's friend and semifinal opponent, had insulted her. Connolly defeated Hart and then overtook Shirley Fry in a tough, three-set match. After the tournament, Connolly discovered Tennant's misrepresentation and she and Hart resumed their friendship. Connolly split with Tennant for good at Wimbledon when Connolly played despite a shoulder injury when Tennant wanted her to default. After a match, Connolly called a press conference, a rarity for a player in those days, and announced the split.
Connolly once admitted that competitive tennis at such a young age wore on her. "Tennis can be a grind and there is always the danger of going stale, if you think about it too much," she said. "You can get embittered if you train too hard and have nothing else on your mind. You have to be able to relax between matches and between tournaments."
Australian Davis Cup captain Harry Hopman became Connolly's coach and his wife, Nell, her chaperon. With the Hopmans' a stabilizing influence, Connolly's game, already potent, moved up a level in 1953. She joined Don
Budge as the only player, man or woman, to capture the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open the same year. She dropped only one set in the Australian and French tournaments combined, then beat Hart in tough Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals—the 8-6, 7-5 Wimbledon final at the All-England Club was especially memorable.
- Maureen Connolly - Career Ends Tragically
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