Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kay Stammers
Stammers continued to be interested in tennis throughout her life and attended Wimbledon annually until late in her life when she was no longer able to travel. She died at her home in Louisville and was buried in the family cemetery on 28 December 2005.
More DetailsHide DetailsNH = tournament not held.
R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.
A = did not participate in the tournament.
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
After her divorce from Menzies in 1974, she married lawyer Thomas Walker Bullitt, whom she had met on the American tennis circuit.
More DetailsHide DetailsBullitt had been educated in England, came from one of Kentucky's oldest families, and had been an aide to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery during World War II. The couple lived at Oxmoor Farm, near Louisville, Kentucky, which had been in the Bullitt family for ten generations. Stammers laid out and maintained an English garden and indulged her passion for racehorses. She helped run the annual steeplechases on the estate course in aid of a children's charity and, under the Oxmoor Charities Corporation, helped to plan schooling for event riders and summer concerts.
In 1949, she and her husband moved to South Africa, where Menzies set up Hill Samuel's South African operation.
More DetailsHide DetailsThey remained there for nearly 20 years, until he was transferred to New York City to head the office there. She had two sons and a daughter with him.
1In 1946 and 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.
In 1939, Stammers married Michael Menzies, then in the Welsh Guards.
More DetailsHide DetailsDuring World War II, Stammers played exhibition matches on behalf of the Red Cross and served as an ambulance driver. When the war ended, she captained Britain's Wightman Cup team for a couple of years.
Stammers' physical appearance ensured that she attracted more than the usual interest from the press and public. In 1936, for example, an article in Time magazine described her (somewhat patronisingly) as "pretty Kay Stammers, whom English critics like to describe as the 'typical' British girl tennist, and who likes lacrosse, cricket, lump sugar and planters' punches."
More DetailsHide DetailsStammers' tennis clothes were much detailed in the newspapers. She designed her own shorts in uncrushable linen cut full to four inches above the knee and wore them with an open-necked shirt. While playing on the west coast of the United States, Stammers visited Hollywood studios and had a screen test. She dated John F. Kennedy and was photographed with him at the Kennedy family's Hyannis Port compound. She said that JFK was "spoilt by women. I think he could snap his fingers and they'd come running. And of course he was terribly attractive and rich and unmarried – a terrific catch really... I thought he was divine."
In the 1936 semifinal, she and partner Marble were defeated by Jacobs and Sarah Palfrey Cooke 6–2, 21–19.
According to A. Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Stammers was ranked in the world top ten in 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, and 1946, reaching a career high of World No. 2 in those rankings in 1939.
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