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Anita Lizana
Anita Lizana.jpg
Full name Anita Lizana de Ellis
Country  Chile
Born (1915-11-19)19 November 1915
Santiago, Chile
Died 21 August 1994(1994-08-21) (aged 78)
Sutton, London, England
Height 1.59 m (5 ft 2+12 in)
Plays Right-handed
Singles
Highest ranking No.1 (1937)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 3R (1935)
Wimbledon QF (1936, 1937)
US Open W (1937)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open 1R (1935)
Wimbledon QF (1938, 1947)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon 3R (1939)
Anita Lizana 1938
Lizana in 1938 at the Queen's Club

Anita Lizana de Ellis (19 November 1915 – 21 August 1994) was a world No. 1 tennis player from Chile. She was the first Latin American, and first Hispanic person, to be ranked World Number 1 tennis player. Also, Lizana was the first Latin American to win a Grand Slam singles championship. She won the U.S. Championships singles title in 1937, defeating Jadwiga Jędrzejowska in the final in straight sets.

Career

In the singles event of the 1937 U.S. Championships, Lizana defeated three seeded players without losing a set to reach the final where she beat Jadwiga Jędrzejowska, also in straight sets. At the Wimbledon Championships, she reached the singles quarterfinals in 1936 and 1937. In 1936, she lost to second-seeded and eventual champion Helen Jacobs, and in 1937, she lost to sixth-seeded Simonne Mathieu.

She won the Scottish Championships four times (1935–1937, 1946).

In 1936, Lizana won the singles titles at the British Covered Court Championships, played on wood courts at the Queen's Club in London, and the South of England Championships in Eastbourne where she defeated Dorothy Round in the final in straight sets. That year, she was a runner-up to Kay Stammers at the British Hard Court Championships, and in 1937, she won the title against Peggy Scriven.

According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, she was ranked in the world top 10 in 1936 and 1937, reaching a career high ranking of world No. 1 in 1937.

After her marriage she limited her playing to some British tournaments. World War II and the birth of her children effectively ended her career as a top player. She did play some tournaments in 1946 and won the Scottish Championship in Edinburgh in July and the Scottish Hard Court Championships held at St. Andrews in August.

Personal life

In Santiago she lived in a house within the boundaries of the Quinta Normal Park. In July 1938, at the Brompton Oratory in London, she married Scottish coal merchant and tennis player Ronald Taylor Ellis (d. 1978) and the couple settled in Dundee. They had three daughters. Lizana died of stomach cancer on 21 August 1994.

In 2015 the main court of the national tennis stadium in Santiago was named Court Central Anita Lizana in her honor.

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 1 (1 title)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1937 U.S. Championships Grass Poland Jadwiga Jędrzejowska 6–4, 6–2

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 - 1944 1945 19461 19471 Career SR
Australian Championships A A A A A A NH NH A A 0 / 0
French Championships 3R A A A A NH R A A A 0 / 1
Wimbledon 3R QF QF 2R 2R NH NH NH A 2R 0 / 6
U.S. Championships A A W A A A A A A A 1 / 1
SR 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 1 / 8

R = restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.

1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.

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