Class of 1958
World No. 5 (1915)
Grand Slam Results
1908 U.S. Nationals Women’s Singles Winner and 3-time finalist
Contributions to Tennis
Lobbied for the inclusion of women in the national rankings.
Maud Barger Wallach didn’t start playing tennis until her late 30s and didn’t fully arrive on the scene until she was 38 years old. But she made a splash, nonetheless, defeating Evelyn Sears 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the 1908 U.S. National Women’s Singles Championship final to become the oldest titlist in history. That mark was later eclipsed by Molla Bjurstedt Mallory 18 years later, and the pair still occupies the top two spots as oldest national champions. Barger, who became a devotee of tennis, was also a finalist in 1906 and 1909, losing to Americans Helen Homans and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, respectively. In 1912, she teamed with Mrs. Frederick Schmitz to reach the U.S. National Women's Doubles Championship final, falling in three sets to Dorothy Green and Mary K. Browne.
Barger would continue to prove that an advanced age wasn’t a detriment to success and remained a formidable opponent into her 40s. At 46, she advanced to the 1916 U.S. quarterfinals, falling to Louise Hammond Raymond in straight sets. At the time Barger remained in the Top 10 in world rankings, her previous high was No. 5 in 1915, making her oldest player in history ranked in the top ten. Dedicated to the advancement of women’s tennis, Barger lobbied for the inclusion of women in the national rankings, which occurred in 1913. A lifetime summer resident of Newport, she was a patron of the Newport Invitational Tournament. Although she died in Baltimore in 1954, she was buried in her beloved Newport.