Who was Suzanne Lenglen?


The French Open is in full swing and you must have heard of the Court Suzanne Lenglen at the Roland Garros Stadium. So who was Suzanne Lenglen? Women Who Serve reminded us of some interesting facts about her.

Suzanne Lenglen

•    Lenglen was a Frenchwoman who lost only one match between 1919 and 1926;

•    Lenglen wore “shocking” designer tennis clothes (which helped her movement);

•    Lenglen cried on the court;

•    Lenglen drank brandy from an “emergency kit” between sets;

•    Lenglen was trained to hit groundstokes by her father, who moved a handkerchief all around the court and instructed his charge to hit the handkerchief target;

•    Lenglen also swam, ran sprints, and jumped rope as part of her training.

Have a look at the part of the only match Suzanne Lenglen ever played against Helen Wills. It took place in Cannes 83 years ago and Lenglen won the match, 6-3 8-6.

La Divine (the divine one), as the French press named Lenglen, died in 1938 at 39 years of age. (photo via Wikimedia)


  1. “Lenglen drank brandy from an “emergency kit” between sets.” Hahahahahaha, I was wondering is that allowed today. Imagine someone doing it. I would love to see some big names getting drunk! :)))

  2. Yeah the brandy line is a shocker! I guess she managed to find the balance between the ‘shot’ (brandy that is) that kept her bold and the ‘shot’ that addled her response times … hmm, hard to imagine there was ever such a day in sport!

  3. Thanks for the link!

    If Lenglen were with us today, Maria and Serena would have to go looking for cameras and reporters.


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