In Search of the First Female Sports Superstar

Charlotte Dod was only 16 when she challenged a man to single combat—three men, in fact. It was the summer of 1888, and the British prodigy had already won two Wimbledon titles, earning her the nickname “Little Wonder.” But Dod was always eager for another victory, and three singles matches, each against a top-ranked male tennis player, would attract plenty of publicity. Two of the men knew her already, having partnered with her in mixed doubles. One of them, Ernest Renshaw, even had…

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