Mabel Esmonde Cahill was born on the 2nd of April 1863 in Ballyragget, Kilkenny. She was the first foreign woman to win a major tennis tournament when she won the 1891 US National Championships playing against Ellen Roosevelt. In 1976 she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
She won two singles titles at the US National Championships in 1891 and 1892. She won two women's doubles titles at the same competition in 1891 and 1892. Finally, in 1892, she won a mixed doubles title at the same competition.
Mabel's career at international level was unfortunately very brief. In what's a bit of a mystery, Mabel did not defend her titles. She elected not to, and did not compete again on an international level, leaving her legacy as one of 22 women in history to win back-to-back U.S. singles championships. Had she decided to continue on playing, she may have made even more history.
It was 1893 at the age of 30 that she chose not to defend her titles. Sadly, just 11 years later, on New Years Day, Mabel died still relatively young at 41 years old in Ireland.
She has not been forgotten however and in 1976 was inducted into the 'International Tennis Hall of Fame', an elite club of just 246 players. Of that 246, 113 are listed as 'Master Player' of which Mabel Cahill is one, a high honour indeed.
Mabel Cahill (Left) pictured alongside a competitor (likely Ellen Roosevelt who Mabel beat at the US National Championships in 1891 to become the first foreign woman to win a major tournament).