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Akhurst, Daphne Jessie (1903 - 1933)

22 April 1903
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
9 January 1933
New South Wales
Tennis player
Alternative Names
  • Cozens, Daphne Akhurst (married name)


A promising pianist in her school days, Daphne Akhurst attended the State Conservatorium of Music in New South Wales, becoming a music teacher and performer. While studying, she became an enthusiastic tennis player, winning the schoolgirls' singles championship in 1917-20. In 1923 she won the County of Cumberland ladies' singles, and two years later, the Australasian championships. She went on to win the Australasian championships a further four times. Akhurst travelled to the United Kingdom, where she competed at Wimbledon, reaching the singles and doubles semi-finals and the mixed doubles final (with Jack Crawford). Akhurst out-performed all of the Australian men in the conmpetition and was ranked third in the world by Ayres' Almanac.

Akhurst married Royston Stuckey Cozens, a tobacco manufacturer, in 1930, and retired from serious competition in 1931. The pair had one son. Akhurst died of an ectopic pregnancy in 1933.

The trophy for the women's singles winner at the Australian Tennis Open is names in her honour.



Inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame

Sources used to compile this entry: Regan, Kerry, 'Akhurst, Daphne Jessie (1903 - 1933)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,; Vamplew, Vray; Moore, Katharine; O'Hara, John; Cashman, Richard; Jobling, Ian (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport, Revised Second edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1997.

Digital resources

Daphne Akhurst
c. 1925


Australian tennis player Daphne Akhurst Cozens (1903 - 1933) in play at Wimbledon, 1928.


Barbara Lemon

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