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Former Tennis Champ Karol Short, 53

April 13, 1988 GMT

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) _ Former tennis champion Karol Fageros Short, who was banned from wearing gold lame underpants at Wimbledon 30 years ago, died Tuesday of cancer. She was 53.

″She was really special, a shining light in the women’s game,″ said Butch Buchholtz, chairman of the Lipton International Players Championship. ″She had such leadership qualities, was able to make changes and do creative things.″

She was honored at the tournament last month for chairing the Dade Unit Tennis Committee, which raised $30,000 for a breast cancer screening program with tournaments throughout South Florida.


Her parents had died of cancer, and in the past 17 years, she had raised more than $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society.

Mrs. Short was the fifth-ranked female tennis player in the world at one time. She was a finalist at the U.S. Clay Court Championship, the French Open and a semifinalist at Wimbledon.

She won the Junior Orange Bowl Championship twice, the Canadian National Championship twice and the German National Championship.

In 1958, after she wore gold lame underpants in the French Open, Wimbledon officials banned her because the panties ″might put her opponents off,″ Wimbledon secretary Duncan MacAuley said at the time.

She was reinstated when she agreed to cover them with white lace.

″I remember being bored with the all-white look,″ she recalled years later. ″I didn’t think it would create such a sensation ... From then on, every time I took a shot, flashbulbs went off.″

She stopped playing professionally in 1960 after she suffered two ruptured disk and a knee injury in a car accident. But she began teaching tennis, coached a Miami-Dade Community College team and played nearly every day.

Mrs. Short recently finished writing a book, ″Heaven Will Have To Wait,″ about her cancer and life on the circuit. It has not yet been published.

Survivors include husband Eugene; daughters Kristin and Karri and stepsons Larry, David and Dale.