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Clare Cassel

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Bio Her name was often incorrectly spelt as "Claire" or "Cassell".

She is doubtless the C Cassel who entered Wimbledon in 1906 but defaulted. This proves she was at least somewhat active in England. If born in the US perhaps she was in England on a visit.

On 11 March 1907, Clare Cassel and her mother, Cecelia (spelt that way), arrived in New York on the Carmania. Their port of departure had been Liverpool, England. Clare would spend most of the rest of her life in the United States.

It is quite possible that Clare Cassel had Prussian or German ancestors, although her father was from France. In the 1920 Census of the United States, the widowed Cecelia Cassel is living in Manhattan with Clare and her brother Harry. Clare the owner of the Spating clothing business. There is confusion about the place of birth of the family members, which are given variously as New York and New Jersey. This might be a mistake, unless the Cassels was really born in the United States and not in the United Kingdom.

We can trace most of her career through the New York Times. In 1908 Miss Cassel, "The English aspirant", won the consolation event at the US Women's Indoors.

A New York Times article from 1912 gives us more "It remained for Miss Clare Cassell of the Bronxville Athletic Association to tally the first reversal in the New Jersey State championship lawn tennis tournament on the courts of the Morristown Field Club, at Morristown, N.J., yesterday. The girl who developed her game on English courts created a sensation by defeating Mrs Marshall McLean, the playing through the winner of last year, in straight sets at 6 -4, 6 - 3." (NYT, September 11, 1912)

In 1915 Cassel won a 5-7 13-11 6-3 match over Maus Barger-Wallach at the Pelham Club. The length of the match was over four hours.

Banned by the USTA late in 1916 for getting paid for skating exhibitions, Cassel was reinstated in 1918 ("Miss Cassel Asks To Be Reinstated", NYT. Jan 22, 1918, p 13). Many fellow women players had circulated a petition seeking to reverse the rather ridiculous ban, which had nothing to do with tennis. Clare had received word of the ban in California, when set to compete at Montclair for the New Jersey State Championships in September of 1916. She was the first victim of the USTA's new rule strictly defining amateurs.

A member of the West Side Tennis club, most of her play was limited to the New York Metropolitan area until the 1920s, when she branched out to include Florida. She was also in California in 1916-the year of her ban.

Though very steady, Cassel was capable of mixing up her game with a deceptive chop shot. Clare was best known for her effective volleys-and not afraid to go forward even in singles.

Her brief 1969 obit states she was a "friend of numerous Jersey shore residents."

The discovery of King Tut's tomb led to an Egyptian fad of sorts. The 1920 census also connects her to the clothing industry.
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