Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman

Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman

Class of 1957

Master Player

Career Achievements

Grand Slam Results
17-time major champion, 5-time finalist

Olympics
Gold Medal in Women’s Doubles at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games (w/Helen Wills Moody)
Gold Medal in Mixed Doubles at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games (w/Richard Norris Williams II)

Wightman Cup:
Member of the U.S. Wightman Cup Team 1923, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1931
Member of the winning U.S. Wightman Cup Team 1923, 1927, 1929, 1931
Captain of the U.S. Wightman Cup Team 1923, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937–1939, 1946–1948

Contributions to Tennis
Founder of the Wightman Cup (played 1923-1989)

Citizenship: USA Born: December 20, 1886 in Healdsburg, California Died: December 5, 1974 Played: Right-handed

Few in women’s tennis history had a more distinguished and productive career than Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman. Her contributions, both on and off the court, border on the remarkable: She won 16 titles at the U.S. National Championships, four of them in singles (1909–11, 1919) with nine of those triumphs occurring from 1909–11, when she swept the singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles competitions three consecutive years. Her vision and dedication led to creation of the Wightman Cup, a team tournament similar to the Davis Cup for men, in which a silver vase was presented to the winner. Formed in 1923, the Wightman Cup was played each year (except during World War II) between the U.S. and Great Britain and remained a top tier international event until it disbanded in 1989.

Hotchkiss was a diminutive player, but she compensated for her size with great mobility and a dedication to perfecting her volley at net. Her acumen in doubles led her to win 12 U.S. National Championships (six in women’s doubles, six in mixed doubles). She added two Olympic Gold Medals at the 1924 games played in Paris, France, winning the women’s doubles title with Helen Wills Moody and the Mixed Doubles title with Richard N. Williams 2nd.

A Californian who took eastern tennis by storm, Wightman began playing tennis on public courts near her alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated in 1911. As a collegian, Wightman was undaunted playing in her first U.S. National Women’s Singles Championship in 1909, winning in a breeze over Maud Barger-Wallach, 6-0-, 6-1. It was the first of three straight titles for Wightman. Wightman’s last singles championship before becoming a doubles expert came as a 32-year-old in 1919. She dispatched Marion Zinderstein, 6-1, 6-2. Her 1928 U.S. National Women’s Doubles Championship with Wills came 19 years after her first doubles title in 1909, making it the longest number of years between first and last doubles championship in history.

Wightman played on the American Wightman Cup team for five years, helping her team win the Cup four times.  She was the captain of the American Wightman Cup team thirteen times from its inception in 1923 until 1948.

Wightman was the top ranked U.S. player in 1919. During her illustrious career, she captured more than 40 assorted tennis titles on domestic and international courts (including a Wimbledon doubles win in 1924), and continued to compete well into her 60s, winning 11 U.S. Senior Doubles titles. Wightman had a penchant for coaching and mentored three future Hall of Farmers, Wills, Pauline Betz Addie, and Sarah Palfrey.

Grand Slam

Grand Slam Best Results

Titles

4 Singles | 7 Doubles | 6 Mixed Doubles

Singles
U.S. Nationals: W (1909), (1910), (1911), (1919)

Doubles
Wimbledon: W (1924)
U.S. Nationals: W (1909), (1910), (1911), (1915), (1924), (1928)

Mixed Doubles  
U.S. Nationals: W (1909), (1910), (1911), (1915), (1918), (1920)