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Darlene Exhausting, 3-time main tennis champion, dies at 85

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Darlene Exhausting, an aggressive serve-and-volley participant who gained three main singles titles and 18 main doubles titles in a Corridor of Fame tennis profession, has died. She was 85.

She died Thursday at Northridge Hospital within the Los Angeles space after a quick sickness, based on Mona Cravens, director of scholar publications on the College of Southern California, the place Exhausting labored for 45 years.

Exhausting appeared in seven main championship singles finals, successful titles on the 1960 French Championships and the 1960 and ‘61 U.S. Championships — the tournaments that preceded the French and U.S. Opens. She was a Wimbledon finalist in 1957 (shedding to Althea Gibson) and ’59, and reached the quarterfinals of the Australian championships in 1962.


She had even higher success in doubles. She gained three French titles, 4 Wimbledon titles (together with 1957 with Gibson) and 6 U.S. championships with eight completely different companions. In blended doubles, she gained twice on the French and 3 times at Wimbledon, partnering with Rod Laver for titles in 1959 and ’60.

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Exhausting was ranked within the U.S. high 10 yearly between 1954 and 1963, together with 4 instances as No. 1. She rose to No. 2 on the earth in 1960 and ’61.

She helped the U.S. win Wightman Cup titles towards Britain 4 instances and performed on the successful U.S. Fed Cup staff in 1963.

Exhausting performed at Pomona School in 1957, competing within the first intercollegiate championship in 1958 and successful the nationwide title. She was inducted into the varsity’s athletic Corridor of Fame in 1974. She went into the Intercollegiate Tennis Corridor of Fame in 1997.

She turned a member of the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in 1973.

Darlene Ruth Exhausting was born on Jan. 5, 1936, in Los Angeles. She was taught her energy recreation by her mom, Ruth, on public courts in Southern California. She got here alongside at a time when the ladies’s recreation was transitioning from prolonged baseline rallies to an all-court model that was well-suited to Exhausting’s aggressiveness.

Nearly all of Exhausting’s success got here throughout tennis’ beginner period. The skilled period started in 1968, and Exhausting performed solely briefly as a professional within the 1969 U.S. Open. She gained her final doubles title in New York that yr at age 33, six years after she had retired from critical competitors to show tennis. She misplaced within the second spherical of singles.

Cravens met Exhausting when she and her husband took tennis classes from the retired champion, who saved quiet about her accomplishments. It wasn’t till Cravens went to the library and did some pre-internet analysis that she found Exhausting’s spectacular profession.

“She was gruff on the surface, however an actual softy on the within,” mentioned Cravens, who turned a detailed good friend of Exhausting.

Cravens later supplied Exhausting a job at USC, the place she did all the things from upkeep on the college’s laptop techniques to design work on the El Rodeo yearbook and Each day Trojan newspaper.

“She had an excellent eye for design,” Cravens mentioned Friday. “She was very dedicated to no matter she did.”

Exhausting is survived by her sister, Claire Brundage. She was briefly married and had no kids.

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