Mabel Esmonde Cahill was an Irish professional tennis player who was the first foreigner in tennis history to have won a major championship.
Born in April 02, 1863 in Ballyragget, County Kilkenny, Ireland, Cahill was a right-hander who dominated the Grand Slam Record: Singles, Doubles and Mixed, in 1891 and 1892. For two (2) consecutive years, she was the champion of the Singles match, defeating the Roosevelt sisters Ellen and Grace in 1891. It was a sweet victory for the then 28-year-old Irish, who was defeated by Ellen in the all-comers final the previous year. Cahill was determined to stay on top, as she defended her title against another tennis great, Bessie Moore, the following year, 1892. The very same year, Cahill paired up with Clarence Hobart to compete in the mixed doubles event; the pair won hands down.
However, in 1893, Cahill opted not to return to Philadelphia to defend her title. As a result, that year’s challenger Aline Terry won by default in the Grand Slam challenge round.
After her decline to return, there is little information about the Irish star player. News of her death in that allegedly occurred in January 1, 1905, reached the American shores. She was only 42 years old when she died, too young and too good a loss to the sports world. No known cause was determined or reported to her fans and her peers.
While residing in the United States, Cahill was a member of the New York Tennis Club, a privilege she enjoyed most immensely.
In 1976, eighty-five (85) years after she first amazed the tennis crowd with her winning Irish form, Cahill was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.