• Cindy Dick

Molla Mallory, a Navratilova-esque champion of the 1920's.


Molla B. Mallory (1884-1959)

Card: Churchman's Cigarette trading card, 1928, card printed in the United Kingdom

Molla Mallory was an American tennis champion in the early part of the 20th century but few know of her mark on women’s tennis. Born in Norway, she became a naturalized US citizen. She won eight US tennis championships (1915–1918, 1920-1922, 1926) and was 42 years old when she won her last one.

Three years before her US Open dominance, she won a Bronze medal in the 1912 Olympics. She was known for being a mentally tough player that hit the ball with great strength. In a rare quote she said, “I find that the girls generally do not hit the ball as hard as they should. I believe in always hitting the ball with all my might, but there seems to be a disposition to ‘just get it over’ in many girls whom I have played. I do not call this tennis.”

Unlike Martina Navratilova, Mallory was a baseline player. She was known for her endurance and often

exhausted her opponents by hitting corner-to-corner, keeping them on the run.

From 1921-1927 Mallory was ranked in the top 10 for women’s tennis players, and was ranked #2 in the world in 1921 and 1922.

Card: 1921 Strip card. Strip cards included many athletes, including baseball greats Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Cards were hand cut and were called “strip” cards because they were sold in a strip of several cards. Card Size: 1 3/4" x 2 5/8".
Card: 1928 Kemmel.  Mallory pictured with another tennis champion, Suzanne Lenglen from France.  Printed in France.

Cards:

Top: 1928 Churchman's Cigarette trading card that was printed in the United Kingdom

Bottom left: 1921 Strip card. Strip cards included many athletes, including baseball greats Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Cards were hand cut and were called “strip” cards because they were sold in a strip of several cards. Card Size: 1 3/4" x 2 5/8".

Bottom right: 1928, Kemmel. Mallory (left) pictured with another tennis champion, Suzanne Lenglen from France. Printed in France.


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