Maureen Connolly Essay

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Maureen Catherine Connolly Brinker( September 17, 1934 – June 21, 1969 )

Maureen Connolly, lovingly called “ Small Mo ” , was one of the greatest singles participants in the history of women’s tennis. She was the first adult female to win all four Grand Slam tourneies in the same calendar twelvemonth and was besides named the female jock of the twelvemonth for 3 back-to-back years-from 1952-1954. She proved herself to be an never-say-die title-holder across continents, a rare effort repeated merely by Margaret Court in 1970. Known for her aggressive manner of playing and as a baseline specializer, she made important parts to assist popularise tennis.

Early old ages… .

Maureen Connolly was born, on September 17, 1934, in San Diego, to Martin and Jessamine Connolly. Her parents were divorced when she was merely 4. Maureen Catherine’s female parent wanted her girl to go a musician and a terpsichorean. As a kid, Maureen attempted soft lessons and concert dance and besides enjoyed Equus caballus siting. Maureen made an attempt to prosecute her mother’s dream, but one twenty-four hours she happened to witness a lucifer being played by 2 local professionals. She was so fascinated by this athletics that she had made up her head to prosecute it. In order to derive an entry into tennis, Maureen served as a ball miss to a local tennis professional, Wilbur Folsom. Her motive to larn the athletics forced him to learn the 10 twelvemonth old the necessities of tennis. He was the 1 who instructed her to exchange to playing right handed from the left. She played her first tourney in 1945 in the under 13 class, where she lost in the finals to Ann Bissell. For “Little Mo” , this licking, was to be avenged ; with this, came her angry and aggressive run, sing her opposition as her enemy. She believed, if she lost, she would non be loved. To a big extent, it is said, that her attitude might hold been born as a consequence of her male parent abandoning her and her mother’s remarriage to Auguste Berste, a local instrumentalist, who disliked tennis. Maureen and her stepfather had frequent clangs.

A star is born…..

Maureen’s tennis calling reached new highs. Maurine won the girls-fifteen-and-under class of the Southern California Invitational Tennis Championship in 1947. Though she was making good under Wilbur Folsom, she wanted a new manager to make the following degree. Maureen met Eleanor “Teach” Tennant, in 1948, known in Southern California as one of the best tennis managers. Under the counsel of her manager and wise man Eleanor, who had a rich experience in training star participants, Maureen won 18 rubrics. She was besides ranked no. 1 misss singles participant in Southern California. Eleanor played an of import function in assisting Maureen acquiring rid of the “hatred towards her opponent” attitude, explicating to her that tennis was a game and non a battle.

In 1949 she won 9 rubrics and became the youngest miss of all time to win the junior national rubric at the age of 14. In 1950 she won the national junior misss singles rubric and doubles rubric with her friend Patsy Zellmer and was the tenth-ranked adult female participant in the United States. In 1951 Maureen was the youngest US Open title-holder and consecutively retained the rubric for 3 old ages. She besides won the Gallic Open in 1953 and 1954, and Wimbledon in 1952, 1953, and 1954. In 1953 she became the first adult female to win the Grand Slam of tennis. She was a title-holder across continents – United states, Great Britain, Australia and France, an accomplishment that was repeated in 1970 by Margaret Court. Maureen built a repute of being a baseline specializer with strong backhand.

Maureen’s tennis dress mirrored the manner of her times ; her skirts were made from fabric with a “ sharkskin ” coating that was popular in the fiftiess. She besides had a aggregation of her “good fortune jewelry” ; a ring with double-dragons protecting a ball and a cordate locket given to her by her female parent. She enjoyed siting, dancing and frequently performed callisthenicss, which helped her in keeping her flexibleness and increased her staying power.

Change of coach…

In 1952, before Maureen was to go forth for playing her first lucifer on a grass tribunal in Wimbledon, she parted ways with Tennant. Maureen was advised remainder as she was suspected to hold torn a ligament in her shoulder. During a imperativeness conference Tennant announced that MC would non be playing the Wimbledon as she did non desire her student to endure farther. However, Maureen was upset at this determination and called for another conference merely to denote that Tennant would no longer stand for her. This came as a daze to many, as in the history of tennis this was the first of its sort. Though Maureen won the women’s rubric, she lost a good friend and a usher. Maureen apologized to the instructor for her behaviour in her autobiography – Forward Drive, but it is said, they ne’er spoke after this incident.

Maureen switched to Henry “Harry ”Hopman, her new manager after winning the Wimbledon, who was with her for the following 2 old ages. He, along with his married woman, played an of import function in assisting her alteration her attitude against her oppositions. Maureen’s victory in 1952 were applaudable. She was voted female jock of the twelvemonth by the Associated Press. Her protagonists organized a Maureen Conolly Appreciation Fund that had 564 subscribers. Since she was known to hold a passion for Equus caballus equitation, she was gifted a Equus caballus, Colonel Merryboy as a item of grasp and gratitude for what she had done for her town.

The accident…… .

Maureen, being an ardent rider would sit Merryboy whenever clip permitted. Two old ages subsequently, in 1954, after returning from her title tourney, Maureen rode Merryboy. As a cement truck approached them, she stopped ; but her Equus caballus whirled into the truck. As a consequence of this, Maureen’s leg was caught between her Equus caballus and the truck. Maureen broke her leg and rupture a few musculuss in the accident. She was taken to the infirmary by a nurse who was go throughing by and was operated upon about instantly. After the surgery her physician announced that Maureen would non be able to play for one month, but little did she cognize that this accident would be her her tennis calling. Among her sympathizers who had come to see her in the infirmary was her male parent, who was non seen and heard in all these old ages. In her autobiography,Forward Drive, Maureen states this as a “joyous reunion and a beginning of a fantastic relationship” . However, it is interesting to larn that, her fiance , Norman was one of the last to hear the intelligence of her accident as he was going overseas.

While Maureen was determined she will resile back into action really shortly, her hurts took a toll on her. It needed a batch more than merely finding. She tried taking concert dance lessons to recover her lost staying power and strength ; she besides started practising her forehand and backhand at the tribunals, but avoided running. Maureen was confident she would get down her competitory tennis shortly, until one twenty-four hours when she experienced intolerable hurting in her right leg during an exhibition lucifer. This was plenty of an indicant that her tennis calling had come to an terminal. She, really gracefully, announced her retirement ; she was hardly 21 so. Maureen had a glorious calling in tennis for 5 old ages. She besides took up athleticss composing for a San Diego newspaper.

Meeting her man…

In June 55 Maureen married her sweetie Norman E. Brinker, a United States Navy officer and former member of the United States Olympic equestrian squad. It is said that their wooing faced a batch of spiritual struggles as she was a Roman Catholic and he a Methodist. “ Tennis is a fantastic game and I leave it with no declinations, ” she said. “ I ‘ve had a full life with tonss of travel and I ‘ve met tonss of fantastic people. Now I ‘m traveling to be a small homemaker. It ‘s a new calling and I ‘m terribly happy with it. ”

A few months subsequently, in an interview for the BBC ‘s Panorama, she said her life as a homemaker and a journalist was maintaining her excessively busy to lose playing tennis.

The new beginning…..

Soon she became the female parent of 2 daughters- Cindy and Brenda. Maureen did non see her retirement at an early phase of her calling as a reverse. She continued playing exhibition lucifers of 1 set, devoted clip to coaching and encouraged kids and adult females to play tennis. Talking about her weakness to play competitory tennis, although she was able to train kids, she said, “ I can learn adequately adequate. I can hit the ball to my students and, if it comes back to me, I can hit it. My shots are every bit good as of all time. But, if the ball is out of range, I have to allow it travel. ”

She contributed towards a athleticss column to the San Diego Union, and on February 6, 1956 she signed a contract with Wilson Sporting Goods in Chicago as a athleticss adviser and public dealingss representative. Maureen besides served as a wireless and Television observer. The Brinkers moved to Dallas, Texas shortly. Her hubby ran a java store and subsequently owned a Steak and Ale Restaurant and Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern.

Maureen won a colony against the company that ran the cement truck in 1958. The California Supreme Court awarded her $ 110734. This gave her a batch of negative promotion. Peoples protested that she should non hold been given this wages as she was non crippled. Maureen was heartbroken with this reaction from the populace that voted for her once were against her now.

Since Maureen started tennis early in life, she could non finish her instruction, so this was the clip she felt was the most appropriate to prosecute her instruction. She became an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University in1964. Her dedication and concentration were the same, be it tennis or instruction. She continued her class for 2 old ages, largely traveling during the darks. Soon her wellness worsened.

In 1968 she co-founded Maureen Connolly Brinker tennis foundation to assist juniors fund the game that they could non vie nationally due to miss of financess. Still active, every twelvemonth the foundation patrons six tourneies for the juniors and three for adult females.

Adieu…

Maureen was diagnosed with ovarian malignant neoplastic disease in 1966. She underwent two surgeries to contend her status. In 1969 she underwent the 3rd surgery. She stated that she did non recognize that the hatred she carried for her oppositions in her bosom would one twenty-four hours turn into this awful disease.

Despite her status, she visited her childhood friend and her spouse Patsy Zellmer, besides deceasing of malignant neoplastic disease, to hearten her up. Maureen died on 21 June 1969 at a immature age of 32. She was laid to rest in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas. Maureen’s gravestone reads, “Wife, Mother, Champion” .

Maureen ne’er regretted anything. She achieved the celebrity and success, one would want to accomplish in their life-time, by the clip she was 32. Ten lives lived in one!

The name lives…..

At her funeral service the Reverend said, “It takes bravery to come back from a 0-5 set on a tennis tribunal. It takes bravery to come back from a awful horseback siting accident and to take a full life. And it takes bravery to confront about certain decease with her chin held high. She had the courage.”

In the twelvemonth 1968 Maureen was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and was posthumously inducted into the Women ‘s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 1987. Maureen Connolly Brinker Continental Players Cup for junior misss is held in memory of Maureen. In her autobiography, Maureen says, “I have lived 10 lives.” She was a title-holder, a newsman, an writer, a married woman, a female parent, restauranter, spokeswoman, a observer and a malignant neoplastic disease victim.

“ I was 15 old ages old when I had the bang of first meeting Maureen. Over the old ages, our waies crossed many times. She was a entire inspiration and function theoretical account to me. Small Mo ‘s bequest outlines the rules that made Maureen a title-holder on and off the court” –Billie Jean King.

“ Small Mo was a title-holder at tennis. Had her accident non cut short her singular calling, we all would hold been trailing her records. More significantly, she was a title-holder at life by impacting others in a positive manner. Everyone who follows the lessons Maureen taught Cindy is a victor. ” –Martina Navratilova

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