Louise Brough Clapp, 90; tennis champion

Louise Brough competed at Wimbledon in 1946. She won singles titles there in 1948, 1949, 1950, and again in 1955.

New York Times

Louise Brough competed at Wimbledon in 1946. She won singles titles there in 1948, 1949, 1950, and again in 1955.

NEW YORK —Louise Brough Clapp, whose powerful serve-and-volley game propelled her to 35 championships in Grand Slam tennis tournaments of the 1940s and ’50s and made her one of the most brilliant doubles players in women’s tennis, died Monday in Vista, Calif. She was 90.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., announced her death.


A former teen star in Southern California, Louise Brough, as she was known for most of her career, was ranked among America’s top 10 women’s players 16 times by the US Tennis Association and achieved the number one national ranking in 1947. She was number one in the world in 1955.

She won six singles titles, including four at Wimbledon, as well as 21 doubles championships and eight mixed-doubles titles in Grand Slam events, tying her with Doris Hart at number five on the overall career list for both women and men.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

In doubles play, Ms. Brough usually teamed with Margaret Osborne duPont, a longtime friend, and they were nearly unbeatable. Ms. Brough and duPont captured 12 women’s doubles championships in the US Nationals, the forerunner of the US Open.

They also won five Wimbledon doubles titles and three at the French championships.

Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins called Ms. Brough “one of the great volleyers in history” and paid tribute to her prowess in doubles.


“A willowy blonde, she was quiet and diffident, but she was the killer in the left court when at play alongside duPont,” he wrote in “Bud Collins’ Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis.”

Althea Louise Brough was born in Oklahoma City.

Her family moved to Beverly Hills, Calif., when she was a child, and she learned to play on public courts.

Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of