In the 1950s, Americans watched an amazing story unfold

In the late 1950s, a trio of tennis pioneers came to the forefront and helped to shape women’s sports and eventually revolutionize the sport.

The first was Dorothy Logan: Born in San Diego, a sportswriter turned lifelong fan who rose up to prominence at the University of Wisconsin. This self-taught, elegant and successful player captured the attention of Los Angeles business magnate Marvin Davis, who offered her a contract. Davis helped Logan win the Kentucky Derby by her co-owners’ bird, Lemon Drop Kid, who also accompanied Logan on the infamous flight across the country. Logan raised a healthy family and earned the affection of her husband-to-be, Taro, a former champion wrestler.

The second pioneer was Victoria Ruloff: A lifelong tennis fan, she had the talent and determination to make the breakthrough as the first woman to play on the men’s tour. But sexism at the time put an end to her dreams. Ruloff was faced with being painted in the papers as a bad wife, which she unfortunately took on herself. She left the sport for a time and dedicated herself to building a successful career in advertising. And the third pioneer? Eunice Marsh: A biographer, sports historian and great beauty, Marsh was the choice of Taro to run the women’s team on the men’s tour. On her first competitive match, “a woman could tie her shoe, but it was then that I could play,” Marsh recalled.

Forty years later, all three women started in doubles. Combined, they retired from professional tennis with 651 doubles titles and $22 million in career earnings — a staggering number that tells the story of the little known, less glamorous side of women’s sports.

Read the full story at LA Times.

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