Florence Mortimer Barrett was known for turning a physical impairment to her advantage. Though she was partially deaf at the age of 29, she moved the crowd and the world when she won in Wimbledon 1961. Florence was born on April 21, 1932 at Plymouth, England. She started playing tennis when she was 15 years old which is quite late compared to the starting age of other tennis players. However, this did not matter in the case of Florence because her resolve, speed and intelligence were able to produce a strong all-around game that put much emphasis on groundstrokes and battering forehands.
Florence has won three Grand Slam singles titles and one Grand Slam doubles title in her career. Her Grand Slam singles titles included the 1955 French Championships, the 1958 Australian Championships and Wimbledon in 1961. Her last Grand Slam singles title was also the most memorable because she won the game even though she was partially deaf. Her only Grand Slam doubles title was won together with Anne Shilcock at Wimbledon in 1955.
Florence was in the World Top Ten for three years; number 1 in 1961 and number 4 in 1955 and 1956. After her outstanding 1961 season, she underwent an operation called Stapedectomy to significantly improve her hearing. After the operation, she went back to playing professional tennis but she never rose again to her former 1961 glory.
Florence was known for being a Wimbledon centurion because she has played more than 100 matches with a 35-18 record in doubles and 5-6 in mixed. She is married to John Edward Barrett who is a former Davis Cup player and captain. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.