Suzanne Lenglen: A century ago the game of tennis changed forever by a female tennis player who broke down barriers

#AceHistoryNews – May.24: Female tennis player who broke down barriers


A century ago the game of tennis changed forever.

The sport used to be rigid in format, sticking to rules for the sake of tradition. Men would wear long sleeves and trousers while women could only wear long dresses.

Parisian Suzanne Lenglen changed all that. The French player, who originally started playing the sport in 1910 due to suffering asthma as a child, shrugged off the fusual look to wear a shorter, tighter outfit, full make-up and would arrive wearing a mink coat.

Not only that but she was known for drinking brandy during change overs.

After dazzling the tennis elite with her skill as a teenager, Lenglen first entered the French Open at Roland Garros aged just 14 (just four years after starting the sport) – and nearly won, missing out on the title narrowly.

Just a few months later, aged 15, she finally won her first title..

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