Penelope Anderson McBride

Penelope Anderson McBride

Penelope Anderson McBride’s love affair with the game of tennis began at the age of eight. She started hitting a tennis ball against the back of the house in Richmond, Virginia, where she began to blossom into one of the best women tennis players Virginia ever produced.

She captured the National Girl’s Doubles championship in 1919 (18 and under) with her Richmond friend and partner, Elizabeth Warren. By 1926, McBride ranked 12th in the nation and rose to the #8 spot by winning the championship of Mexico in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Her ranking reached as high as #7 in 1927, when McBride became a member of the United States Wightman Cup Squad. She became a full member of the team in 1928. It was in that year that she and the great Helen Wills traveled together to Europe. They played as partners in exhibition double matches. They went on to play together in the Wightman Cup, The French Championship, and at Wimbledon. McBride was a singles quarterfinalist in the U.S. Nationals 5 times.

Some of her other credits included winning the Old Dominion Championships in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles for the years 1924-1926, the State Championship of Maryland and Delaware in singles and doubles in 1927, the Bermuda Ladies Doubles and Bermuda Mixed Doubles in 1927 and 1930 respectively, as well as the singles championship in 1929 and 1947. She captured the Eastern Clay court championship in 1934. She won the North-South Championship in singles and mixed doubles several times, including the singles in 1935 as well as the 1937 singles and doubles at The Hot Springs Tournament.

Her name lives on in the Richmond Tennis Tournament known as the “Anderson Cup”. This is an annual affair between the Country Club of Virginia, Farmington Country Club, Princess Anne Country Club, and The Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. The tournament is named after Penelope and her sister, Margaret Anderson Duval, who was also an avid and acclaimed tennis player. In addition, The Penelope Anderson McBride Ladies Doubles Cup is given annually at the Short Hills Club, in Short Hills, New Jersey where she and her husband were residents for over 50 years.