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Darlene Hard

tennis player
Full name: Darlene Ruth Hard
Alias: Waggoner
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Bio The top-ranked player in American tennis for four consecutive years (1960-63), Darlene Hard was a player born to rush the net. Her game was built largely on aggression, and few women in her heyday volleyed with more skill or panache. In doubles, she joined forces with Billie Jean King, Maria Bueno and Althea Gibson among others to collect important prizes. In 1969, at 33 and far removed from her peak, she took the US Open with Frenchwoman Francoise Dürr, recording a spectacular comeback win in the final over Margaret Court and Virginia Wade.

Known for her volleying ability and strong serves, she captured singles titles at the French Championships in 1960 and the U.S. Championships in 1960 and 1961.

With eight different partners, she won a total of 13 women's doubles titles in Grand Slam tournaments. Her last doubles title, at the age of 33 at the 1969 US Open, came six years after she had retired from serious competition to become a tennis instructor. She also played the US Open singles tournament in 1969, losing in the second round to Françoise Dürr 6–3, 6–3.
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