Nancye (Wynne) Bolton

Great Champions

The Australian Championships' second most successful female champion in history, Nancye Wynne was born on 10 June 1916 in Melbourne. Her dominance of the tournament spanned World War II and she was rated by fellow Aussie John Bromwich as "our best, even though the war cut into her prime years and she didn't have many opportunities to travel".

Despite the restrictions of the era Wynne managed to reach the final of the tournament eight times in a campaign spanning 16 years, the first coming in Adelaide in 1936 when, aged 19, she fell 6-4 6-4 to Joan Hartigan. She won the title 6-3 5-7 6-4 over Emily Westacott in 1937 and again in 1940, defeating Thelma Coyne 5-7 6-4 6-0 before the war pressed the pause button on her career and the sport as a whole.

Returning to competition in 1946, a war widow and playing under the surname of her late husband Sgt George Bolton, Nancye exerted a stranglehold on the Australian title winning three in a row with ruthless victories over Joyce Fitch, Nell Hopman and Marie Toomey. The Adelaide Advertiser said of her 6-4 6-4 win over Fitch that Bolton displayed "a brand of tennis which places her in a class of her own among women players in Australia".

American Doris Hart broke the Aussie's winning streak in 1949, taking the trophy match 6-3 6-4 but Bolton was not done with her home tournament, winning the Sydney event in 1951 to complete her collection of six Australian singles titles for an eventual win-loss record of 41-5.

And she wasn't just a solo success, amassing a further 14 Australian titles in the doubles arena, 10 in women's doubles partnering Thelma Long, and four in the mixed.

Our best, even though the war cut into her prime years and she didn't have many opportunities to travel.
Aussie legend John Bromwich on Nancye Bolton