September 26, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Tennis Court Renamed After Gussy Moran:

Storylines were aplenty within the tennis world this week as Wimbledon took center stage in London, with highly ranked superstars Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Maria Sharapova eliminated from the world-famous tournament in the early rounds as well as an off-the-court cold war battle between the aforementioned Sharapova and Serena Williams.

However, none of those stories raised skirts like Gussy Moran, the pioneering tennis star and Santa Monica native who raised eyebrows with her envelope-pushing in-match wardrobe.

Council members unanimously voted as part of its June 25 consent calendar to commemorate Moran by renaming the Stadium Court at Reed Park in her honor. The tennis venue will now be called “Gussy Moran Stadium.” Signage around the court will be updated to reflect the name change.

City staff stated Moran had played at Reed Park.

Moran passed away in January. She was 89. According to City staff, her ashes were spread in the Santa Monica Bay after her death.

The tennis star was born in Santa Monica in 1923. According to City staff, Moran learned how to play tennis at 11 and graced the court at Samohi. Anecdotally, Moran played with Greta Garbo and Olivia de Havilland at Charlie Chaplin’s house.

Joining the amateur ranks in 1947, Moran was once the fourth-ranked tennis player in the world. Yet, Moran’s tennis play was not the only thing on the court drawing the audience’s attention. Fresh off her victory in the United States women’s indoor tennis championship in 1949, Moran set off to London where she played in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals. Moran made a fashion statement by donning a short skirt. During competition, her lace panties were conspicuously revealed.

A nickname was quickly bestowed upon her: “Gorgeous Gussy.”

British designer, tennis player, and official Wimbledon host Teddy Tinling, according to the New York Times, created the outfit.

As made evident when Roger Federer was dinged Tuesday for wearing shoes with orange soles, Wimbledon has an all-white dress code for all players participating in the tournament. Indeed, Tingling designed an outfit in all white – a silk top with a short skirt fully exposing all below the knees.

A simple observation of a photos showing Moran in action on the Wimbledon court revealed a lace-trimmed undergarment.

Moran debuted the outfit at a tea party just prior to the tournament, news reports both from Wimbledon in 1949 and after the tennis star’s passing observed.

After wearing the racy outfit during the quarterfinal match, Moran no longer wore the short skirt during the rest of her playing time in Wimbledon.

Moran retired from the amateur circuit one year later and played professionally in 1950. Her professional career did not last long, however, and Moran was soon relegated to competing in exhibitions tournaments and working in radio and television through the 1960s.

Life did not get much easier for her afterwards, publicly acknowledging she had abortions. During the Santa Monica centennial celebrations, it was reported Moran was found beaten and raped backstage at a Lawrence Welk concert.

Holding down a job – any job – was a chore. When cancer claimed her life earlier this year, Moran was reportedly living in a small apartment and left no natural heir; despite three marriages – all short-lived – Moran never gave birth.

Moran lived in the house she was born in – a Victorian home on Ocean Avenue – but was evicted in 1986 after she was unable to pay her property taxes.

Still, Moran left a legacy. Wimbledon tightened its dress code because of Moran. Various news reports point out Gussy Moran’s name was attached to a plane, racehorse, and special sauce at a restaurant.

A didactic sign will be visibly displayed and will include Moran’s biography, career achievements, and possibly a photo.

A dedication and tennis event is planned for later this summer or possibly in the fall.

According to City staff, the new signage would cost Santa Monica $1,200.

in News
Related Posts

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...