Doris Hart won three Wimbledon titles on one day in 1951: singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
It’s been called the greatest feat in women’s tennis, and Hart went on to win 35 Grand Slam titles by 1955, when she retired to coach.
But her greatest feat may have been competing in tennis at all.
As a child, Hart suffered a bone infection in her right knee so bad that doctors called for amputation. Her parents said no.
Years of surgeries followed, including one operation at age 10 that left her in recovery “gazing out of the window, watching people play tennis in the park.”
The moment spurred an intense determination.
“I decided that after my knee got well, I would start playing tennis,” she said, “and become the best player possible.”
By age 16, Hart was ranked among the top 10 players in the United States.
— Adapted from “Tennis great Doris Hart, winner of three Wimbledon titles in a day, dies at 89,” The Guardian.