Meet Leela Row Dayal, First Indian Female Tennis Player To Win A Wimbledon Match

Leela Row Dayal
Leela Row Dayal

Leela Row Dayal was an Indian writer and female tennis player. In 1934, she created history by becoming the first Indian female player to win a match at the Wimbledon Championships.

Leela Row Dayal

Leela Pankti was the daughter of Dayal Raghavendra Pankti and Sanskrit poet Pandita Kshammi.

She participated in the Wimbledon Championships, the oldest tennis tournament considered to be the most prestigious tennis tournament. Dayal participated in the 1934 Wimbledon Championships which was held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

The tournament was the 54th staged Wimbledon and was held from June 25, 1943 to July 7, 1934.

Leela Ro Dayal became the first Indian woman player to win a match at Wimbledon in the 1934 tournament, when she defeated Gladys Southwell of the United Kingdom.

In the following match, Dayal faced and lost against Ida Adamoff of France. Dayal also participated in the 1935 Wimbledon but lost in the first round to Evelyn Dearman.

Dayal also participated in the Indian Open (tennis), formerly known as the All India Championship. Gayle won seven singles titles at the Indian Open and was runner-up in three Indian Opens.

In the 1931 Indian Open, Leela Ro Dayal won the Indian Open for the first time against Leena McKenna.

He won the Indian Open for three consecutive years in 1936, 1937 and 1938. They defeated Rosia Gibson, Joan Fry Lakeman and Mehr Dubash respectively.

Dayal won the Open against Laura Woodbridge in 1940 and went on to win the following year in 1941 against Mehr Dubash. He won his last Indian Open in 1943 against Mehr Dubash.

Dayal finished runner-up in three Indian Open events. She lost to Jenny Sandison in 1931 and 1932. In 1942, she lost to Mrs. Massey.

Leela Ro Dayal was also a writer and wrote several books about ancient and modern classical Indian dance. The books were written in English and Sanskrit in 1958.

He published a handwritten study on Indian classical dance drama titled Natya Chandrika. In 1943, she married Harishwar Dayal, a civil servant who became the Indian ambassador to the United States and Nepal.

He died in 1964 while traveling to Mount Everest.


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