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Shirley Fry Irvin (1927–2021), Tennis Hall of Famer

by Linnea Crowther

Shirley Fry Irvin was a tennis player who was ranked No. 1 in 1956 and won a career Grand Slam.

Tennis career

Irvin first competed in the U.S. National Championships in 1941, when she was just 14 and the youngest woman competing. By 1946, she was ranked in the world top 10, and she won the singles title at the French Open in 1951. In 1956 and 1957, Irvin won three consecutive majors – Wimbledon, the U.S. Championships, and the Australian Championships, completing the Grand Slam. She was one of only 10 women to do so. She was also one of only seven women to win the Grand Slam competing in doubles. Fry retired from tennis in 1957, and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970.

Notable quote

“I think we had a lot better time than they have today. We were traveling and seeing the world. That meant a lot to us. Every tournament, we played singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Nowadays, they just concentrate on their singles.” —from a 2013 interview for the Tampa Bay Times


Tributes to Shirley Fry Irvin

Full obituary: Miami Herald

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