May Sutton Bundy

May Sutton Bundy

Class of 1956

Master Player

Career Achievements

Grand Slam Results
4-time major champion, and 3-time finalist

Wightman Cup
Member of the 1925 U.S. Wightman Cup

Citizenship: USA Born: September 25, 1886 in Plymouth, England Died: October 4, 1975 Played: Right-handed

May Sutton Bundy holds the distinction of being the first female player enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Just two months shy of her 18th birthday, Sutton won the 1904 U.S. National Women’s Singles Championship, 6-1, 6-2 rout over fellow American Elisabeth Moore at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, making her the youngest champion in history until Tracy Austin unseated her by winning the 1979 championship at 16 years, 8 months, 28 days. Sutton began playing tennis in 1900 at age 13, and the precocious teenager burst on the national scene by winning the first of nine Southern California titles, the last coming three decades and four children later. At 5-foot-4, Sutton was a strong-armed player who employed a powerful topspin forehand and all-court game to dominate her opponents.

In 1905, Sutton became the first American to win a championship at Wimbledon, capturing the Ladies Singles Championship over her rival the next three years, Dorothea Lambert Chambers, 6-3, 6-4. Sutton faced Chambers again in the 1906 Wimbledon final, a 6-3 9-7 loss, but regained the title in 1907, 6-1, 6-4. At a time when female athletes had yet to fully emerge, Sutton became the gender’s first sports celebrity. Though May was born in England, the Sutton family moved to Southern California in 1892 and her sisters – Ethel, Florence and Violet – all became accomplished tennis players who dominated regional competition and held high national rankings. 

The tennis gene ran rampant throughout the Sutton family. May was married to three-time U.S. Doubles Champion Tom Bundy and their daughter Dorothy "Dodo" Bundy Cheney won scores of tournament titles in a long life and career, including the Australian Nationals in 1938. Nephew John Doeg won the U.S. Nationals singles (1930) and doubles (1929, 1930). Grandson Brian Cheney was the nation's third-ranked singles player and part of the No. 1 doubles combination in the 1940s. At age 40, Sutton played on the 1925 Wightman Cup team and kept competing until she was 85.

Grand Slam

Grand Slam Best Results

Titles

3 Singles | 1 Doubles

Singles        
Wimbledon: W (1905), W (1907)
U.S. Nationals: W (1904)                      

Doubles
U.S. Nationals: W (1904)

Mixed Doubles                
U.S. Nationals: F (1904)