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Ann Haydon

tennis player
Full name: Adrianna Shirley Haydon
Nickname: Ann
Alias: Mrs P.F.Jones
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Bio Adrianne Shirley Jones CBE née Haydon, usually known as Ann Jones and sometimes as Ann Haydon-Jones or Ann Haydon Jones, is a former table tennis and lawn tennis champion. She won a total of 8 Grand Slam championships during her career: three in singles, three in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles.

Having started in sports as a table tennis player, the left-hander from Great Britain shifted her attention to tennis, becoming one of the great players in the history of her nation. All through the 1960s, she was one of the wiliest competitors in the sport, securing a pair of French Championship Singles crowns before winning Wimbledon in 1969. In her fourteenth appearance at that event, she defeated Margaret Smith Court in the semifinals before toppling Billie Jean King in the championship match.

Jones was born in Kings Heath, Birmingham, England. Her parents were prominent table tennis players, her father, Adrian Haydon, having been British number 1 and a competitor at world championships between 1928 and 1953. Ann, as a young girl, also took up the game, participating in five world championships in the 1950s, the best result being losing finalist in singles, doubles and mixed doubles all in Stockholm 1957. Soon after this she wrote the book "Tackle Table Tennis This Way".

She was also a powerful lawn tennis player, winning the 1954 and 1955 British junior championships. In 1956, she won the Wimbledon girls' singles championship.

Jones played lawn tennis in a highly competitive era that included some of the greatest female tennis players of all time, including Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, and Maria Bueno. Despite the fierce competition, she won the 1961 French Championships and reached the final of the 1961 U.S. Championships, losing to the defending champion, Darlene Hard. In 1962, she married P.F. Jones and, recorded as Ann Haydon-Jones, won the French title for a second time in 1966.

At both the Wimbledon Championships and the U.S. Championships in 1967, Jones lost in the final to King. Two years later, however, the two again met in the Wimbledon final. This time, Jones took the most coveted title in the sport, making her the first left-handed female player to do so. She rounded off that year's Wimbledon by winning the mixed doubles championship with Australia's Fred Stolle. Her performances resulted in her being voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Jones made Wimbledon 1969 her last Grand Slam singles event. She was seeded number one for the 1969 US Open but withdrew before the tournament began. She radically reduced her playing schedule for 1970, playing in South Africa successfully (winning both the Orange Free State Championships and the Western Province Championships), but then largely playing only events in the United Kingdom (UK) for the remainder of the year. She returned to the international scene to play the Federation Cup event in Australia, where she partnered Virginia Wade on the British team. In 1971, Jones played on the Virginia Slims circuit, winning the U.S.$10,000 first prize for the event staged in Las Vegas, beating King in the final. Jones more or less retired after this event as she was expecting her first child. However, Jones continued to play the occasional UK event and was part of the 1975 Wightman Cup team for Great Britain. In 1977, Jones teamed with Winnie Wooldridge to play doubles at Wimbledon.

According to Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail and Bud Collins, Jones was ranked in the world top ten from 1957 through 1963 and from 1965 through 1970, reaching a career high of World No. 2 in those rankings in 1967 and 1969.

According to Mark Lewisohn in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, on 4 July 1969, The Beatles paused the dubbing session for their song "Golden Slumbers" to listen to Jones beat King for the Wimbledon title, live on radio.

With the dawn of the open era in 1968, Jones joined with King and others to organize the first professional female touring group. In 1970, she was hired by the BBC as a guest commentator and worked with them for over three decades, while occasionally commentating for US TV stations' tennis coverage. Jones was chairwoman of the Women's International Tennis Council and for many years the British team captain for events such as the Federation and Wightman Cups.

Jones caused something of a stir on 30 August 1962 when she married businessman Philip "Pip" Jones (1907-1993) who was thirty-one years her senior and five years older than her father. The couple later became the butt of many jokes on Monty Python's Flying Circus during its series run. As a running gag, the Pythons would frequently insert "Ann Haydon-Jones and her husband Pip" into any sketch where a list of names was being read off.

In 1985, Jones was voted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. For many years, Jones was chairwoman of the International Women's Tennis Council and has long been a member of Wimbledon's Committee of Management. She became the first ever 'civilian woman' (i.e. not a member of the British Royal Family) to present the trophies at Wimbledon, when she awarded the winners of the Mixed Doubles championship their cup in 2007, a ceremony she now regularly performs. She has since also presented the junior girls trophy.

Already a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), Jones was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to tennis.

Ann was inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame in1985.
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