Eleanor Tennant was born in 1895 in San Francisco to English parents. At the age of eleven she stole a tennis racquet from a house guest. In 1920 was ranked third in the country behind Molla Mallory and Marion Zinderstein,a very close third.Eleanor Tennant later became the first woman to turn professional. She made a name for herself teaching tennis to Hollywood stars with an appreciation of the game's social standing. Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert and even Groucho Marx learned the game from Tennant, and Marion Davies paid her a $1,000 a month retainer, most of which she used to coach talented unknowns.

Eleanor Tennant