Tennis great Margaret duPont dead at 94

Oct. 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM

EL PASO, Texas, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Margaret Osborne duPont, ranked No. 1 in women's tennis for four straight years more than a half-century ago, died this week in Texas. She was 94.

DuPont died Wednesday at her home in El Paso.

She was the year-end No. 1 player in 1947, '48, '49 and '50 during a career in which she won 37 Grand Slam titles despite never competing in the Australian Open. She won six major tournament singles titles, including the U.S. Open three consecutive years (1948-50) and was ranked in the Top 5 for 20 years.

Most of her major titles came on doubles teams. Her teams swept the women's doubles titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 1946 and 1949. She collected 10 consecutive U.S. Open doubles championships (1941-50). Du Pont also won the U.S. Open mixed doubles title nine times.

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.

"Margaret duPont was a giant in tennis and had a huge impact on my career," tennis Hall of Fame member Billy Jean King said in a statement.

"She was one of my heroes and was a great influence on my life both on and off the court. 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."

Margaret Osborne was born March 4, 1918, in Oregon and married William DuPont Jr., a businessman, banker and racehorse owner, in 1947. They divorced in 1964.

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