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born 1878

Dorothea Lambert Chambers was the fore-runner to today's professional female athletes. During her day, she was the top competitor in women's tennis ~ winning a 1908 gold medal at the Summer Olympics + 7 Wimbledon singles titles.

But, this modern woman wasn't satisfied to simply hone her own game. Dorothea also coached future stars and wrote a how-to guide that helped popularize women's tennis...even though competitive sports were still considered "unladylike." The English champ thought it was high time to re-define womanhood as strong + healthy rather than frail and delicate. And she did ~ one mean forehand at a time!

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her quotes

all quotes by Dorothea Lambert Chambers (17)

"I hope and believe there are comparatively few people who will deny that athletics have done much for the health and mind of the modern girl."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"A delicate girl would probably become more delicate if she did not play games in moderation and take exercise."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"The woman of the present generation is calm, collected, and free from emotional outbursts, and I believe that invigorating outdoor exercise is the chief cause."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Womanliness to most men implies just frailty. They may perhaps call it 'delicacy,' and refer to the 'weaker sex,' but they mean that just as a man's glory is his strength, so a woman's glory is her weakness."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Inferior in neither moral strength nor brain-power, the true woman is a helpmeet, or man's complement, giving him just the special form of strength in body and soul that he needs for the special experience."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"If you are skilled and well drilled in discipline and sportsmanship, you are bound to benefit in the strife of the world."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"A girl should always try to be as neat and look as nice as she possibly can, even when playing a strenuous game."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Why, then, should women abandon athletic exercises, which they enjoy so much, and which do them so much good, merely because, just for a moment or two perhaps, their appearance is distorted?"

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Practice conscientiously, and with infinite patience; never mind who beats you."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Do not get easily disheartened if you find improvement slow; for a game that is worth playing at all is worth playing well."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"You must school yourself to meet disappointments and failures; you must cultivate a philosophic spirit, or you will never reach the goal of perfection."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Open competitions are admirable, and are essential if the highest honors are to be achieved."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"As soon as you know who your opponent is, seize every opportunity to watch her play, get to know her strong and her weak points, and map out your plan of campaign."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Always try to send the ball where it will be least expected."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"In match play remember that a game is never lost until it is won. Never give up trying."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Play hard the whole time; never for one moment slack off."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910

"Be careful also, when you are behind, and are slowly but surely catching up your opponent, that when you do draw level you do not relax your efforts."

Lawn Tennis for Ladies | january 1910
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curated with care by Chenise Williams {june 2015}