St. Paul native Jeanne Arth began playing tennis as a youth at the St. Paul Tennis Club. She eventually became the first Minnesotan to play tennis internationally and the first Minnesotan to reach Wimbledon's Centre Court.
After graduating from St. Paul Central High School, Arth enrolled at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. When she enrolled at St. Catherine, she was 17 and ranked fourth in the nation for juniors (under the age of 18) singles and second in the nation for juniors doubles. While at St. Catherine, Arth won three straight doubles titles and was also the national singles runner-up three times at the National College Girls' Tournament.
After graduating from St. Catherine in 1956 with her teaching degree, she began working full-time while still maintaining her tennis career. In the spring of 1957 she joined the international tennis circuit. Despite playing full-time for only four months of the year while balancing her teaching load, she attained a No. 7 national ranking. In 1958, Arth and her doubles partner Darlene Hard entered the U.S. Open championship as an unseeded team. Arth and Hard ended the tournament with a victory in three sets over the top-seeded team of Aletha Gibson and Maria Bueno.
In 1959, Arth and Hard successfully defended their U.S. Open doubles titles before going on to win the doubles championship at Wimbledon.
Arth dominated the USTA/Northern Section for two decades — winning nine women's singles championships between 1949 and 1962 while being ranked No. 1 in section singles each year from 1951-1969 and No. 1 in section doubles from 1949-1969.
She was first person inducted into the St. Catherine Athletic Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the Minnesota Tennis Hall of Fame, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) women's collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame and the St. Paul Central High School Hall of Fame.