Skip to Content

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Local Wimbledon Champion Visits Courts Where it All Started


Jeanne Arth with St. Paul Tennis Club President Eduardo Barrera, left, and past president Dan Kennedy.

Jeanne Arth with St. Paul Tennis Club President Eduardo Barrera, left, and past president Dan Kennedy.

On July 14, 2018, the day of the Wimbledon Ladies Doubles and Singles Championship matches at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, 1959 Wimbledon winner Jeanne Arth visited the St. Paul Tennis Club, in Summit Hill, where she learned to play on the clay. 

It was Arth’s first visit to the 106-year-old club since its grand re-opening in May, after a $1.7 million reconstruction of its four har-tru tennis courts and swimming pool.

Arth, a Central High School and College of St. Catherine graduate, retired after a long and successful career as an educator. She still lives in the Twin Cities, where she and her brother, Tom, keep up with childhood pals from the St. Paul Tennis Club, including Mike Murphy, Gus Metzger and Dan and Tom Dwyer. 

The Arth Family lived at 1083 Osceola Ave., four doors west of the club. Jeanne and her sister, Shirley Arth-Loeding, recently deceased, played under the watchful eye of their Dad, Len, who served as the club’s semi-official pro. The sisters dominated women’s tennis in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest in the early 1950s.

Jeanne’s progress continued, and she went on to develop what was described as one of the hardest serves in tennis. She became an internationally ranked player, and she and her doubles partner, Darlene Hard, won the U.S. Championship in 1957 and 1958, and Wimbledon in 1959.

When she retired from the international circuit at age 26, Jeanne was ranked No. 5 in the world.

While invited to Wimbledon every year, an honor extended to past winners, Jeanne returned just once, in 1989. She said she will always treasure the chance she had to walk onto Centre Court outside of match play, and that she was able to spend a few minutes reflecting on what she had experienced 30 years before. Jeanne said, “I’ve had a good life, on and off the courts.”

Bobak Razavi, left, co-coach of the middle school girls’ tennis team at St. Paul Academy, Jeanne Arth, and Lindsay and Alison Browne, holding Arth’s 1959 Wimbledon Challenge Cup.

Bobak Razavi, left, co-coach of the middle school girls’ tennis team at St. Paul Academy, Jeanne Arth, and Lindsay and Alison Browne, holding Arth’s 1959 Wimbledon Challenge Cup.

Jeanne Arth at the St. Paul Tennis Club, with childhood friends Mike Murphy, left, Gus Metzger, and Pam Reisberg.

Jeanne Arth at the St. Paul Tennis Club, with childhood friends Mike Murphy, left, Gus Metzger, and Pam Reisberg.

Details of Jeanne Arth’s engraved Challenge Cup, presented to her in 1959 by the Duchess of Kent.

Details of Jeanne Arth’s engraved Challenge Cup, presented to her in 1959 by the Duchess of Kent.

Submitted for publication7/17/18 by Patricia McMorrow of St. Paul Tennis Club; 612-716-4555; pmcmorrow@hotmail.com
Photo release for minors granted by parents Mike and Shannon Browne; 651-696-8976
Photo credits: Patricia McMorrow