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Patricia Canning Todd

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Patricia Canning Todd

Patricia Canning Todd
Full name Mary Patricia Canning Todd
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1922-07-22)22 July 1922
San Francisco, California
Died 5 September 2015(2015-09-05) (aged 93)[1]
Encinitas, California
Plays Right–handed
Highest ranking No. 4 (1950)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open W (1947)
Wimbledon SF (1948, 1949, 1950, 1952)
US Open SF (1946)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1948)
Wimbledon W (1947)
US Open F (1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1948)
Wimbledon F (1950)
US Open F (1942)

Patricia Canning Todd (née Mary Patricia Canning, July 22, 1922 – September 5, 2015)[2], is an American tennis player who had her best results just after World War II. In 1947 and 1948, she won a total of four Grand Slam championships: one in singles, two in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles. All, as a young mother, the birth of her first child, born November 7, 1943, Patricia Ann Todd.


  • Tennis career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Grand Slam singles tournament timeline 3
  • Grand Slam finals 4
    • Singles 4.1
    • Doubles 4.2
    • Mixed doubles 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Tennis career

Todd and her partner lost seven times to Brough and duPont in the women's doubles finals of Grand Slam tournaments. Todd's lone victory over the Brough-duPont partnership was in the 1947 Wimbledon final, when Todd teamed with Doris Hart. Todd and her partner lost twice to Brough and her partner in the mixed doubles finals of Grand Slam tournaments.

As for Grand Slam singles tournaments, Todd won the title at the 1947 French Championships and reached the French semifinals in 1948. At the 1947 event, the fourth seeded Todd played top seeded duPont,[3] the defending champion and the newly crowned Wimbledon champion, in a semifinal that took two days to complete. duPont won the first set 6–2. A thunderstorm stopped play for the remainder of the day. The next day, duPont was not the same player and a quick Todd, "producing magnificent backhand shots", won after being 1–3 down in the final set. The crowd was so vocal in backing Todd that a referee reversed a line call to give Todd match point. On winning, she jumped the net to shake hands with duPont. In the final, Hart played her normal attacking game and led 4–3 in the final set, but "she was against a great fighter who was content to retrieve, and on a slow court, defence overcame attack". At the 1948 event, Nelly Adamson Landry became one of only five non-Americans to win the women's singles title at the French Championships, Wimbledon, or the U.S. Championships from 1938 through 1958. Todd, who was the favorite and defending champion, was defaulted by French officials after she refused to move her scheduled center court match to court 2. Todd had complained about being last on center court after having played there only one match previously. When requested to move, she refused because of the late hour and because a full set of linesmen would not be present. "They can scratch [default] me if they like. I am not going to play anywhere but on the center court where my match is scheduled." The officials defaulted her, then changed their minds and gave her Landry's phone number to reschedule. When Landry could not be reached, the default stood. Todd swore never to enter the French again.

But she returned to the French Championships in 1950, after a one-year absence, and reached the final where she lost to Hart. Todd went to the hospital after the final for blood poisoning.[4]

During her Grand Slam singles career against Shirley Fry, Hart, du Pont, Pauline Betz, and Brough, Todd won five and lost eleven matches. Todd was 1–0 versus Fry, 2–1 versus Hart, 1–3 against du Pont, 0–1 against Betz, and 1–6 against Brough.

As for tournaments that were not Grand Slam events, Todd won the singles and mixed doubles titles at the South American championships in 1947 and 1948. In 1942 and 1948, she won the U.S. National Indoor Championships. In 1950, she was the singles and doubles titlist at the Asian Championships and the Championships of India. She won both the singles and doubles titles at the tournament in Cincinnati in 1951. She also won the U.S. Hardcourt Championship in 1950 and 1951 and was the doubles champion in 1950, 1955, 1956 and 1957.

According to John Olliff and Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Todd was ranked in the world top ten from 1946 through 1952 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 4 in those rankings in 1950.[5] Todd was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1942 and from 1944 through 1952, reaching a career high ranking of fourth in 1947 and 1949.[6] She unsuccessfully complained about her sixth-place ranking in 1948, especially the placement of Beverly Baker Fleitz, Gertrude Moran, and Hart above her, accusing the USLTA of having no standard ranking rules and of punishing her for refusing to play her semifinal match against Landry at the French Championships.[7][8]

Todd played doubles on the U.S. Wightman Cup team from 1947 to 1951, compiling a 4–1 win-loss record.[9] Todd was nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005[10] but was not selected. She was inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010.[11] Todd was inducted to the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame, 2011.

Personal life

Patricia married Richard Bradburn Todd on December 25, 1941. They had two children, Patrica Ann Todd on November 7, 1943 and Whitney Seaton Todd on July 1, 1953.

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 19461 19471 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 – 1956 1957 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A NH NH NH NH NH A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
French Championships A A NH R R R R A 3R W SF A F A A A A 1 / 4
Wimbledon A A NH NH NH NH NH NH 3R QF SF SF SF A SF A A 0 / 6
U.S. Championships 1R 1R 3R 3R 2R A 2R QF SF QF SF QF QF 3R A A 3R 0 / 14
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 24

NH = tournament not held.

R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

Grand Slam finals


1 title, 1 runner-up
Outcome Year Championship Opponent in final Score in final
Winner 1947 French Championships Doris Hart 6–3, 3–6, 6–4
Runner-up 1950 French Championships Doris Hart 4–6, 6–4, 2–6


2 titles, 8 runner-ups
Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1943 U.S. Championships Mary Arnold Prentiss Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1946 U.S. Championships Mary Arnold Prentiss Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1947 French Championships Doris Hart Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
5–7, 2–6
Winner 1947 Wimbledon Doris Hart Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
3–6, 6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 1947 U.S. Championships Doris Hart Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
7–5, 3–6, 5–7
Winner 1948 French Championships Doris Hart Shirley Fry Irvin
Mary Arnold Prentiss
6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 1948 Wimbledon Doris Hart Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
3–6, 6–3, 3–6
Runner-up 1948 U.S. Championships Doris Hart Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
4–6, 10–8, 1–6
Runner-up 1949 Wimbledon Gertrude Moran Louise Brough
Margaret Osborne duPont
6–8, 5–7
Runner-up 1951 U.S. Championships Nancy Chaffee Kinner Shirley Fry Irvin
Doris Hart
4–6, 2–6

Mixed doubles

1 titles, 3 runner-ups
Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1942 U.S. Championships Alejo Russell Louise Brough
Frederick Schroeder
6–3, 1–6, 4–6
Winner 1948 French Championships Jaroslav Drobný Doris Hart
Frank Sedgman
6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1950 French Championships Bill Talbert Barbara Scofield Davidson
Enrique Morea
Runner-up 1950 Wimbledon Geoff Brown Louise Brough
Eric Sturgess
9–11, 6–1, 4–6

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Patricia Todd Spills Favorite", Portland Press Herald, July 21, 1947, page 12
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "USLTA Steps Up Date for Meet", The Salt Lake Tribune, January 23, 1949, page 8B
  9. ^
  10. ^ Courier, Noah, Novotna among Tennis Hall of Fame nominees
  11. ^
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