Darlene Hard, an aggressive serve and volley player who won three major singles championships and 18 career doubles titles that landed her in the Tennis Hall of Fame, has passed away.
She was 85 years old. She died Thursday at Northridge Hospital in the Los Angeles area after a brief illness, according to Mona Cravens, director of student publications at the University of Southern California, where Hard worked 45 years.
Hard participated in seven major tournament finals and won titles at the 1960 French Championship and the 1960 and 1961 United States Championship, competitions that preceded the French Open and the United States Open. She was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1957 (losing to Althea Gibson) and 1959, and reached the quarterfinals at the Australian championship in 1962.
His success was much greater in the doubles category. She won three titles in France, four at Wimbledon (including 1957 with Gibson) and six United States championships with eight different couples. In mixed doubles, she won twice in France and three at Wimbledon, pairing with Rod Laver for the 1959 and 1960 titles.