JEANNE ARTH


A lifelong Minnesotan, Jeanne Arth (b. 1935) reached the pinnacle of tennis with just four months’ practice time each year. With her powerful forehand, penetrating volleys and unshakable poise, Arth excelled in national junior competition and dominated the USTA’s Northern Section for two decades. From 1954 to 1956, as a student at the College of St. Catherine, she swept the doubles and was a three-time singles finalist at the groundbreaking National College Girls’ Tournament in St. Louis.

In 1957, Arth joined the international circuit while employed as a full-time high school teacher, and attained a remarkable No. 7 national ranking. The following year, she and partner Darlene Hard captured the U.S. doubles title as an unseeded team, winning a thrilling three-set match against top-seeded Althea Gibson and Maria Bueno. The pair repeated their victory in 1959, also taking the Wimbledon doubles crown. Retiring from the circuit at the top of her game, Arth continued a distinguished 37-year career as an educator and counselor.

Career Highlights

  • Ranked in USTA Top 10 1957­-58
  • No. 1 national ranking in doubles (with Darlene Hard) 1958-­59; No. 5 world ranking
  • U.S. Doubles Champion 1958, 1959; Singles Semifinalist 1958
  • Wimbledon Doubles Champion 1959; Mixed Doubles Semifinalist 1959
  • First Minnesota tennis player to compete overseas
  • USTA/Northern Section Girls’ and Girls’ 18 Singles, Doubles Champion; Ranked No. 1 in sectional singles and doubles 1947-­53
  • USTA/Northern Section Women’s Singles Champion 1949-­52, 1955-­56, 1962­-60; Doubles Champion 1948-­52, 1955­-56, 1960­-69; Ranked No. 1 in sectional singles 1951­-69, No. 1 in doubles 1949­69
  • U.S. Girls’ 18 Singles Semifinalist 1952­53, Doubles Finalist 1950, 1953; Ranked No. 4 in national junior singles, No. 2 in doubles 1953
  • U.S. Junior Wightman Cup Team Member 1952-­53
  • Winner of USTA Girls’ Sportsmanship Award 1953
  • National College Girls’ Tennis Tournament Singles Finalist 1954­-56; Doubles Champion 1954­-56
  • U.S. Clay Court Doubles Finalist 1957, 1959
  • Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Mixed Doubles Champion 1957
  • Eastern Grass Court Singles Finalist 1957
  • U.S. Wightman Cup Team Member 1959
  • B.S., College of St. Catherine 1956; M.A., University of St. Thomas 1970
  • High school physical education teacher 1956-­76; high school counselor 1976-­93
  • Six career holes-in-one as amateur golfer
  • Inducted into Minnesota Tennis Hall of Fame 1979
  • Inducted into Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame 1986
  • Inducted into Wilson International Tennis Hall of Fame 1990
  • Inducted into St. Paul Central High School Hall of Fame 1995
  • Member of St. Catherine Alumnae Board of Directors 1997-­2000
  • Sports Illustrated’s Top 50 Minnesota Athletes of the 20th century