All England Badminton

The Legend of Betty Uber & History of the Uber Cup

By: Editor
Date: 09 Sep, 2020
Image Courtesy: All England Badminton
The Thomas & Uber Cup to be held in Arhus, Denmark will mark the resumption of top flight Badminton action for the first time since Mid-March, when the corona virus pandemic forced a world wide shutdown of sport, and life itself.

The biennial events, starting on the 3rd of October and are also known as the World Men's Team Championships & World Women's Team Championships, respectively. Since 1984 the two competitions have been held jointly!

And as we look forward to the kickstart of topflight badminton action, let’s just relook at the history surrounding these illustrious team events.

Today, we look at the Uber Cup.

Betty Uber was dominant force in women’s badminton in the 1930s, winning an incredible 13 All England Championship Titles. It all began with a mixed doubles title that she won with her husband Herbert and then repeated the feat in 1931 and 1932. This marked the first instance of a married couple winning the championship.

She may have changed partners in 1933, but not her winning ways as she combined with Donald Hume and won an incredible four titles on the bounce. And if you thought she was done; she did a final encore of Mixed Doubles titles with her third partner – Bill White – in 1938.

And while singles may not have been her preferred event, she did manage to win the women’s singles crown in 1935. This was in addition to the three women’s doubles titles she also won in the same decade. This accounted for 12 of her 13 titles in a single decade, with the final one coming at the age of 44, when she combined with Queenie Allen to register her final All England Championships Title.

Her success wasn’t just limited to the home conditions as she also dominated the world game with 14 Scottish Open titles, 12 Irish Open, 8 Welsh titles, 3 South African and 2 French Open titles.

When she pulled on the England shirt her success was equally outstanding as a 25-year long career spanning from 1926 to 1951, wherein she notched up a win in each of her first 51 international matches she played.

In one match, she served and won a consecutive 30 points, allowing no break or opportunity of serve to either her partner or opponent. Quite breathtaking, whichever way you look at it!

And following her playing career she championed the cause of women’s badminton and proposed a women’s world tournament on the lines of the Thomas Cup for men. Her efforts came to fruition in 1956 wherein the first Uber Cup was held. She designed the trophy herself and made the draw for the inaugural event.

The upcoming edition of the Uber Cup will be its 28th, and with it the legend of Betty Uber lives on, forever!

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