“Mom” Bammer Makes Tennis History; Seeks More

Sybille Bammer of Austria became a part of tennis history Sunday when she defeated Marion Bartoli of France 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-4 to advance into the quarterfinals of the US Open. According to The Bud Collins History of Tennis, An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennistomes.com), the 3-hour, 5-minute match is the longest women’s singles match in the history of the US Open – two minutes longer than the 2003 US Open semifinal between Jennifer Capriati and Justine Henin-Hardenne, won by Henin-Hardenne 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

Bammer, the mother of a seven-year-old daughter Tina, will next play No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic. While a long-shot to win the title, the No. 30-ranked Bammer is looking to join a very exclusive club of five moms to win a major singles title. Moms to win a major singles title are as follows;

Dorothea Douglass Chambers – The British great won two of her Wimbledon titles after the birth of her first child (1910, 1911) and two more after the birth of her second child (1913, 1914).

Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman – She was challenged by her father to win the U.S. Championship after she became a mom. In her first return appearance, she lost in the 1915 singles final to Molla Mallory, but she did turn the trick until 1919, when at 32 years old, she beat Marion Zinderstein Jessup 6-1, 6-2 to win her fourth U.S. title.

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Sarah Palfrey Cooke – This American star did not defend her 1941 U.S. title due to pregnancy (she was married to standout American player Elwood Cooke), but she won the 1945 U.S. title, beating Pauline Betz as a 33-year-old mother.

Margaret Court – The Australian who was the most prolific winner of majors championships ever (62 titles in singles, doubles and mixed) actually played the 1971 Wimbledon women’s singles final while pregnant with her first child, son Daniel, losing to Evonne Goolagong. Court, however, returned to win the Australian, French and U.S. Opens in 1973.

Evonne Goolagong – The most recent of moms to win a major, Goolagong beat Chris Evert Lloyd in the 1980 Wimbledon final.