Helen Wills Moody Roark
Helen Newington Wills Moody Roark was born on October 6, 1905 in Centerville, California. She was an American tennis player who was one of the best female tennis players of all time. Wills first appeared in the East in 1921 where she was national junior champion. She had been in the Wimbledon final in1924. Being of the same wave length with Suzanne Lenglen, they also became rivals in a match in 1926 in which Lenglen won at Cannes, France. She then became the first tennis enthusiast to win three majors in 1928(French, Wimbledon, and U.S.). Though she had won eight times, her game at 20 had not quite bloomed. She then incurred appendicitis on that same year. In the middle of 1919 and 1938 Wills won 52 of 92 tournaments and had a 158-match winning streak. Wills was said to have a never changing expression which made her known as “Little Miss Poker Face”.
She was always quiet reserved in her actions and style of playing the games. Her white sailor suit with white shoes and stockings was part of her timid profile. One of the best defenses of her game was her transparent power she developed from playing practice games against men on the West Coast. Her specified moves from both backhand and forehand pounded the ball traveling almost full vertical of the court. Though she doesn’t move with grace and quickness, she could run any point into the ground. She won the Wimbledon title record for eight times, which was surpassed by Martina Navratoliva in 1990. She also won the U.S. Championship seven times and also won four times in French championship. Wills was winning four titles at Stade Roland Garros that made her the first female American to rule. Her success was the most exceptional record of all times, taking 19 wins of 22 and winning 126 of 129 games. Apart from her “tennis” life, Wills was also a painter and scattered her works in New York galleries. She also wrote articles for some magazines and even on Saturday Evening Post. Wills divorced Frederick Moody in 1937 and became Mrs. Aidan Roark in 1939 and was elevated to the Hall of Fame in 1969. She died on January 01, 1998 in Carmel, California.