1955-1959

Highlights

1955

Britain’s Angela Mortimer finally puts an end to years of American dominance by winning an epic final against Dorothy Knode (naturally from the United States!). Defending champion Tony Trabert meanwhile repeats the feat against Sweden’s Sven Davidson.

1956

USA’s Althea Gibson becomes the first colored player to win a Grand Slam tournament, defeating reigning champion Angela Mortimer in the final. In the men’s, Australia’s Lewis Hoad has the honor of raising the Pierre Gillou trophy aloft. 

1957

After two successive defeats in the final in 1955 and 1956, Sven Davidson finally wins the men’s singles to become the first Swede to win on the Paris clay. Two years after Angela Mortimer’s win, another British woman takes the title at the Porte d’Auteuil, namely Shirley Bloomer. 

1958

33-year-old Hungarian Zsuzsi Kormoczy becomes the oldest woman to win at Paris, taking down defending champion Shirley Blommer in three sets. Mervyn Rose becomes the third Australian to win in Paris after Ken Rosewall in 1953 and Lewis Hoad in 1956. 

1959

Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli wins the French Open for the first time in his career, playing an elegant style of tennis that is pleasing on the eye. Another British player wins the women’s singles – Christine Truman.