Betty May Nuthall Shoemaker (née Nuthall; 23 May 1911 – 8 November 1983) was an English tennis player. Known for her powerful forehand, according to Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Nuthall was ranked in the world top ten in 1927, 1929 through 1931, and 1933, reaching a career high in those rankings of World No. 4 in 1929. She won the mixed doubles championships at the French Open in 1931 with Pat Spence.
Nuthall's father taught her tennis. She won the junior championships of Great Britain in 1924 (aged 13), 1925 and 1926.
In 1927 at the age of 16, Nuthall tied Elisabeth Moore as the then-youngest women's singles finalist ever at the U.S. Championships. Nuthall lost the final to Helen Wills in straight sets while serving under-handed.
Also in 1927, Nuthall played on the British Wightman Cup team and defeated Helen Jacobs in her debut. In her mixed doubles matches, the final of the Nottingham Championships, she won with her partner Pat Spence. She also represented Great Britain in the 1929 and 1931–34 Wightman Cup competitions.
In 1930, Nuthall became the first non-American since 1892 to win a women's singles title at the U.S. Championships, defeating Anna McCune Harper in straight sets. She was the last British female player to win the title until Virginia Wade won in 1968. In 1931 she reached the singles final of the French Championships but lost in two sets to first-seeded Cilly Aussem. Also in 1930 she triumphed in the mixed contest with her recurring partner Spence. Nuthall and he went for the British Hard Court Championships in April and were only eliminated in the final, while in May they won the mixed title at the French Championships (now the French Open).
At the U.S. Championships in 1933, Nuthall won a quarterfinal versus Alice Marble 6–8, 6–0, 7–5 after being down two breaks of serve at 1–5 in the final set. In the semifinal versus Moody, Nuthall won the first set 6–2 in just 12 minutes, which was the first set Wills had lost at this tournament since 1926. Moody, however, turned around the match and won the last two sets 6–3, 6–2 despite losing her serve twice in the second set. Nuthall never again reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament.
Nuthall won women's doubles titles at the 1930, 1931, and 1933 U.S. Championships and at the 1931 French Championships. She won mixed doubles championships at the 1929 and 1931 U.S. Championships and at the 1931 and 1932 French Championships.
She formed a real-life couple with her doubles partner Pat Spence, with whom she went on to win the French Open mixed doubles tournament in 1931. In 1954 she married Franklin Shoemaker, who died in 1982. On 8 November 1983 Nuthall died in New York of a coronary arrest.
|Runner-up||1927||U.S. Championships||Grass||Helen Wills||1–6, 4–6|
|Winner||1930||U.S. Championships||Grass||Anna McCune Harper||6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1931||French Championships||Clay||Cilly Aussem||6–8, 1–6|
|Runner-up||1927||U.S. National Championships||Grass||Joan Fry|| Kitty McKane
|1–6, 6–4, 3–6|
|Winner||1930||U.S. National Championships||Grass||Sarah Palfrey|| Edith Cross
Anna McCune Harper
|3–6, 6–3, 7–5|
|Winner||1931||French Championships||Clay||Eileen Bennett Whittingstall|| Cilly Aussem
|Winner||1931||U.S. National Championships||Grass||Eileen Bennett Whittingstall|| Helen Jacobs
|Runner-up||1932||French Championships||Clay||Eileen Bennett Whittingstall|| Elizabeth Ryan
|Winner||1933||U.S. National Championships||Grass||Freda James|| Elizabeth Ryan
|Winner||1929||U.S. National Championships||Grass||George Lott|| Phyllis Covell
|Winner||1931||French Championships||Clay||Patrick Spence|| Dorothy Shepherd
|6–3, 5–7, 6–3|
|Winner||1931||U.S. National Championships||Grass||George Lott|| Anna McCune Harper
|Winner||1932||French Championships||Clay||Fred Perry|| Helen Wills
|Runner-up||1933||French Championships||Grass||Fred Perry|| Margaret Scriven
|Tournament||1926||1927||1928||1929||1930||1931||1932||1933||1934||1935||1936||1937||1938||1939||1940||1941 – 1944||1945||19461||Career SR|
|Australian Championships||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||NH||NH||A||0 / 0|
|French Championships||A||A||2R||A||A||F||SF||SF||3R||A||A||A||A||A||NH||R||A||A||0 / 5|
|Wimbledon||2R||QF||1R||3R||QF||QF||QF||4R||1R||A||2R||4R||4R||1R||NH||NH||NH||4R||0 / 14|
|U.S. Championships||A||F||A||QF||W||SF||A||SF||2R||A||A||A||A||3R||A||A||A||A||1 / 7|
|SR||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 2||1 / 2||0 / 3||0 / 2||0 / 3||0 / 3||0 / 0||0 / 1||0 / 1||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 0||0 / 0||0 / 0||0 / 1||1 / 26|
R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number played.
1In 1946, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon.