Obituary: Helen Jacobs
Thursday 05 June 1997
Jacobs - three years the junior - was forced to play second fiddle to Moody, who beat her in four Wimbledon finals between 1929 and 1938. However Jacobs did claim the Wimbledon crown in 1936 when she defeated Hilde Sperling, of Denmark, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5. Jacobs was also runner-up to Dorothy Round in 1934.
Jacobs won only one of her 11 head-to-head meetings with Moody and that was in the US national final at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in 1933. It was tainted by controversy when Moody retired with a back injury when trailing 8-6, 3-6, 3-0. It was her first defeat since 1926.
Jacobs went on to win four successive US titles, from 1932 to 1935, and in 1936 was ranked No 1 in the world. She should have beaten Moody in the 1935 Wimbledon final where she held a match point in the deciding set but everything went against her. She lost the point and the next three games for the match.
Stockily built, Jacobs was a great fighter. She had a powerful service and smash and a sound backhand, but she never learned to hit a flat hand drive, despite her friendship, and some coaching, from the great tennis player Bill Tilden.
Jacobs played a big part in the US run of successes over Great Britain in the now-defunct Wightman Cup from 1927 to 1939. Such was her popularity at home that she was named America's best sportswoman in 1943. She was a pioneer of female players wearing shorts; having been refused permission to wear them at the Wightman Cup in 1933, she appeared in shorts later that year at the US championships.
During the Second World War, Jacobs joined the US navy intelligence service and reached the rank of commander, one of only five women to do so. In 1947 she became a professional player. She also became a prolific writer of tennis books and schoolgirl stories, a farmer and a sportswear designer. She was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1962.
Helen Hull Jacobs, tennis player: born Globe, Arizona 6 August 1908; died Easthampton, New York 2 June 1997.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...