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Dorothy Round

Dorothy Round

English tennis player
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro English tennis player
A.K.A. Dorothy Edith Round Little, Dorothy Edith Round, Dorothy Round Little
Countries United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Occupations Tennis player
Gender female
Birth 13 July 1909 (Dudley)
Death 12 November 1982 (Kidderminster)
Star sign Cancer
Education St James Academy
The details

Dorothy Edith Round Little (née Round; 13 July 1908 – 12 November 1982) was a British tennis player who was active in the 1930s. She won the singles title at Wimbledon in 1934 and 1937, and the Australian Championships in 1935.

Early life

Dorothy Round was born on 13 July 1908 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England, the youngest of four children. She attended the Dudley Girls High School and entered her first junior tournament when she was 16. At the following tournament, the Worcestershire championships, she won her first junior title.


Round entered her first Wimbledon Championships in 1928, after coming through the qualifying event, and was knocked out in the first round. The following year she suffered from nerves as she was defeated by Betty Nuthall in the second round. In 1930 she made her first tennis trip abroad, to the French Championships where she entered the mixed doubles event. At the 1931 Wimbledon Championships she reached the quarterfinal stage for the first time after defeating fifth-seeded Lili Álvarez in the third round and was rewarded with a spot on the British team for the Wightman Cup, the annual women's team tennis competition between Great Britain and the United States. She lost her singles match against Anna Harper in three sets after failing to convert any of her seven matchpoints. In 1932 she again reached the Wimbledon singles quarterfinal in which she was decisively beaten by first-seeded and three-time Wimbledon champion Helen Wills Moody.

At the 1933 Wimbledon Championships she was seeded no. 2 and after a first career win against Helen Jacobs in the semifinal she reached her first Grand Slam final. Wills Moody, now five-time Wimbledon singles title-holder, proved too strong but Round managed to take a set from her, which was the first set Wills Moody lost in a Grand Slam final since 1925. She proceeded with a tour to the United States where she competed in the 1933 Wightman Cup and won the singles title at the Eastern Grass Court Championships in Rye, beating compatriot Mary Heeley in the final. Round competed in the 1933 Pacific Coast Championships, held in San Francisco, and was a runner-up to Alice Marble in the singles event but won the doubles event partnering Mary Heeley. Round won the British Hard Court Championships in Bournemouth in 1933 and 1934 defeating Helen Jacobs and Peggy Scriven in the respective finals. She won the Victorian Championships, held in Melbourne, in December 1934 after a two-sets win in the final against Joan Hartigan.

According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Little was ranked in the world top ten from 1933 through 1937, reaching a career high of World No. 1 in 1934.

Awards and honours

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1986.

On 20 September 2013 her hometown of Dudley commemorated her by erecting a bronze statue in Priory Park, Dudley. The lifesize bronze statue, unveiled by her daughter, was created by the British sculptor John McKenna and depicts Dorothy Round making a return play of the ball. Also a portrait in oil on canvas by Dudley artist Philip Guest is part of the permanent collection of Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.

Personal life

On 2 September 1937 she married Dr Douglas Leigh Little, a practitioner, at the Wesley Methodist Church in Dudley. Dorothy Round died on 12 November 1982, aged 74, in Kidderminster.

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1933 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Wills Moody 4–6, 8–6, 3–6
Winner 1934 Wimbledon Grass United States Helen Jacobs 6–2, 5–7, 6–3
Winner 1935 Australian Championships Grass United Kingdom Nancy Lyle Glover 1–6, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1937 Wimbledon Grass Poland Jadwiga Jędrzejowska 6–2, 2–6, 7–5

Doubles: 1 runner-up

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Helen Jacobs United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
United Kingdom Eileen Bennett Whittingstall
2–6, 4–6

Mixed doubles: 3 titles

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1934 Wimbledon Grass Japan Ryuki Miki United Kingdom Dorothy Shepherd Barron
United Kingdom Bunny Austin
3–6, 6–4, 6–0
Winner 1935 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry Australia Nell Hopman
Australia Harry Hopman
7–5, 4–6, 6–2
Winner 1936 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry United States Sarah Fabyan
United States Don Budge
7–9, 7–5, 6–4

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A A W A A A A 1 / 1
French Championships A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
Wimbledon 1R 2R 3R QF QF F W QF QF W A 4R 2 / 11
US Championships A A A 3R A SF A A A A A A 0 / 2
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 3 / 14
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