DARLENE R. HARD


Winner of 21 Grand Slam titles, Darlene Hard (b.1936) was the last of the great amateur players. She learned the game on public courts in Southern California, coached by her mother, Ruth. Already a touring champion when she entered Pomona College in 1957, hard played in the first national intercollegiate tournament for women the following year, claiming the singles title.

Hard’s aggressive serve-and-volley game made her nearly unstoppable in doubles. She won 19 major doubles championships with 10 differentn partners – including a rousing comeback with Francoise Durr at the 1969 U.S. OPEN. A professional instructor and active volunteer until 1981 when she joined the administrative staff at USC, Hard never regretted her amateur playing status. “We played for the title and the glory of the game. I loved it. I love tennis.”

Career Highlights

  • 21 Grand Slam Titles (3 Singles, 13 Doubles, 5 Mixed Doubles)
  • World Ranking, Top 10 in Singles and Doubles from 1953-1962
  • Ranked in USTA Top 10 from 1954-1963, No.1 from 1960-1963
  • U.S. Girls’ 18 Doubles Champion 1954
  • U.S. Collegiate Singles Champion 1958 (inaugural year)
  • U.S. Singles Champion 1960, 1961
  • U.S. Doubles Champion 1958-1962, 1969
  • Wimbledon Doubles Champion 1957, 1959, 1960, 1963
  • Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion 1957, 1959, 1960
  • French Singles Champion 1960
  • French Doubles Champion 1955, 1957, 1960
  • French Mixed Doubles Champion 1955, 1961
  • U.S. Hard Court Champion Singles 1963, Doubles 1954, 1963; Mixed Doubles 1963
  • U.S. Clay Court Champion Doubles 1957, 1960, 1962, 1963; Women’s 35 Doubles 1977
  • Gold Medalist in Doubles, 1963 Pan American Games
  • U.S. Wightman Cup Team Member 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962-1963 (10-4 record)
  • U.S Federation Cup Inaugural Team member 1963 (6-1 record)
  • National Public Park Champion Girls’ 18 Singles 1952; Women’s 30 Doubles 1981, 1982; Women’s 40 Singles 1981, Doubles 1981, 1982
  • Women’s 40/Men’s 45 Mixed Doubles 1982
  • Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame 1973
  • Inducted into Pomona College Athletic Hall of Fame (first woman) 1974