LAURA DUPONT


The U.S. collegiate singles champion in 1970, Laura DuPont (b. 1949) became the first woman to win a national title in any sport for the University of North Carolina. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, where she learned tennis on public courts, DuPont moved to North Carolina as a teenager and quickly dominated the state’s junior championships. Named North Carolina AAU Athlete of the Year in 1970, DuPont lettered in both tennis and basketball at UNC and was a three-time Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Singles Champion.

DuPont joined the inter-national circuit immediately after her graduation in 1972, taking the German, Canadian and Argentine Open singles titles and rising to a No. 10 world ranking in 1977. A board member for the Women’s Tennis Association in its founding years, she served as WTA treasurer and vice president between 1975 and 1981. A longtime teaching pro in Baltimore, DuPont returned to North Carolina in 1997, where she fought “the greatest match of my life” against breast cancer. She passed away in February 2002.

Career Highlights

  • U.S. Collegiate Singles Champion 1970
  • Ranked in USTA Top 10 1977
  • Ranked in World Tennis Top 10 1977
  • North Carolina Junior Singles Champion 16 and under 1965­66; 18 and under 1966­68
  • Member of the Southeastern Junior Wightman Cup Team 1967; Junior Wightman Cup Player of the Year 1970
  • North Carolina Singles Champion 1967, 1969
  • U.S. Indoor Doubles Finalist 1969
  • North Carolina AAU Athlete of the Year 1970
  • Member, UNC varsity tennis team; undefeated in team matches
  • Member, UNC varsity basketball team; averaged 30 points a game
  • Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Singles Champion 1968, 1970­71, Finalist 1969; Doubles Champion 1970
  • B.A., University of North Carolina 1972
  • Team Member Cleveland Nets 1974­75, Chicago Aces 1982, World Team Tennis
  • New Zealand Open Singles and Doubles Champion 1975
  • Argentine Open Singles Champion 1976; Doubles Finalist 1976, 1978
  • South African Open Doubles Champion 1976; Singles and Doubles Finalist 1975
  • U.S. Clay Court Singles Champion 1977; Doubles Finalist 1976
  • German Open Singles Champion 1977; Doubles Finalist 1976
  • Canadian Open Singles Champion 1979; Singles Finalist 1975
  • Beckenham Grass Court Doubles Champion, Singles Finalist 1978
  • U.S. Open 35 and over Singles Champion 1984; Doubles Champion 1985
  • Member, WTA Board of Directors 1974­1983; Treasurer 1975­79, Vice-President 1979­81; Executive Committee 1981­83
  • Manager of the Orchard Indoor Tennis Club, Baltimore 1983­96
  • Named “Tar Heel of the Week” by Raleigh News & Observer 1998
  • Inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame 1977
  • Inducted into Charlotte, NC, Catholic High School Athletic Hall of Fame 2000