Tennis: `Queen Helen' Wills Moody dies at 92

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The Independent Online
Helen Wills Moody, who won eight Wimbledon titles, died yesterday in Carmel, California, at the age of 92.

Moody was known for hitting the ball harder than any woman, and ruled tennis in the 1920s and '30s.

Nicknamed "Little Miss Poker Face" and "Queen Helen," she won 31 major titles including Wimbledon eight times, seven US Open titles and four French Opens. She won her first US championship in 1923 and retired after winning Wimbledon in 1938.

Moody, whose trademark white eyeshade became an enduring tennis fad, learned the game without ever taking a lesson - picking it up from watching players at the Berkeley Tennis Club.

A year after she started playing at age 14, she won the first of her two girls national titles. She was just 17 when, in 1923, she won the US women's singles championship - the youngest champion at the time.

She won an Olympic gold medal in Paris in 1924, the last time tennis was an Olympic sport until 1988. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.