Dates: June 26-July 7
Venue: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, (Worple Road), London, England
Singles (Draw=47, plus holder)
Holder Dorothea Douglass "sits out" until Challenge Round.
Madeline O'Neil bye
D. Spencer d. Henrietta Horncastle default
May Sutton (US) d. Nora Meyer 6-0 6-0
Ellen Stawell-Brown d. Aurea Farrington 6-3 6-1
Mildred Coles d. E. Flemmich 6-1 6-2
E.E.Sargeant d. Amy Ransome 6-1 6-0
Ethel Thomson d. Frieda Meyer 7-5 6-4
Mrs P. M. Morton d. Violet Pinckney default
Beryl Tulloch d. K.Kentish default
L. Ripley d. Mrs. Albury 6-0 5-7 6-3
Hilda Lane d. E. Smith 9-7 6-8 6-4
Blanche Hillyard d. Maud Banks (US) 6-0 6-0
Lottie Patterson d. M. Taplin 6-1 6-3
Gertrude Houselander d. Maud Brown 6-1 6-3
Harper d. Armstrong default
O'Neil d. Bell default
Greene d. Greville default
A. Morton d. MacCauley 6-2 6-1
Longhurst d. Spencer 6-2 6-0
Sutton d. Stawell-Brown 6-3 6-1
Coles d. Sargeant 7-5 6-3
Thomson d. P. Morton 6-2 6-0
Tulloch d. Ripley 7-5 6-3
Hillyard d. Lane 6-3 6-2
Patterson d. Houselander 4-6 6-1 12-10
Boothby d. L. Flemmich 6-2 6-4
Meyer d. Hausberg default
Holder d. Johnson 6-3 6-1
Squire d. D. Taplin 6-1 6-1
Wilson d. Mooijaart 6-2 6-0
Harper d. O'Neil 6-2 6-2
A.Morton d. Greene 7-5 6-4
Sutton d. Longhurst 6-3 6-1
Thomson d. Coles 6-2 6-0
Hillyard d. Tulloch 6-0 6-8 7-5
Boothby d. Patterson 3-6 6-3 6-3
Holder d. Meyer 8-6 2-6 6-4
Wilson d. Squire default
Morton d. Harper 6-2 6-4
Sutton d. Thomson 8-6 6-1
Hillyard d. Boothby 6-3 6-2
Wilson d. Holder 6-2 6-0
Sutton d. Morton 6-4 6-0
Wilson d. Hillyard 7-5 9-11 6-2
All Comers Final
May Sutton (US) d. Connie Wilson 6-3 8-6
May Sutton (US) d. Dorothea Douglass (holder) 6-3 6-4
An American shocks the All England Club by smashing through all to become the first foreign female to reign as Wimbledon champion. True, she is English born, but this brash young girl called May Sutton is an entirely new sort of female lawn tennis prodigy.
Born in Plymouth in 1886, her family had emigrated to California in 1890. It was in the Western US that she learnt her whipped topspin shots. She boldly sailed for England in May of 1905, alone except for a letter of introduction from Marion Jones, the American who had entered Wimbledon in 1900. May stayed with the Hillyard family to get used to English conditions. The Hillyards thought the heftly May would be too slow around the court, but she proved them wrong by winning her first event at Manchester.
At Wimbledon "spectators were shocked to see her ignore protocol and play with the cuffs of her blouse rolled back, revealing bare wrists." May still wore the long skirt with a belt, but her blouse was more loosely fitted for better movement. In fact, she often wore her father's shirts for this reason. May topped off this ensemble with a headband, crowned with a large bow just above her forehead. Her stockings and shoes were all white.
Ethel Thomson used drop shots to build a 5-2 lead in the first set of her qf with Sutton until the Americans's superior driving wore her down at 8-6 6-1. Commenting on this match, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory said, "Mrs. Bundy (Miss May Sutton) is a hard and accurate driver; it was her driving that brought her the English championship, although she plays extremely well overhead when such play is needed. She drove so well that some of the English women thought they could break up her game if only they could dislodge her from the command of the drive. In the championship singles of 1905 Mrs. Larcombe (then Miss E. W. Thompson) planned to win from Miss Sutton with a volley game. She lured Miss Sutton to the net by a short, drop drive and then lobbed the return high to the base line; this gave her the chance to reach the net, where she caught Miss Sutton's return of the lob with a sharp cross-court volley for the ace. Miss Thompson won five out of the first seven games by these tactics, but she ran herself off her feet in the winning; she became feebler and feebler, while Miss Sutton was as fresh and strong as at the beginning. Having worn herself out, Miss Thompson lost all control and Miss Sutton ran out that set and then took the second set and the match without the least trouble. Possibly Miss Thompson might have won had she been able to keep up her starting pace but she went the way of all women volleyers. I am fairly certain that, some day, a girl will burst out with the ability to play the fast game through the course of two tournament sets; that girl will be, beyond question, a champion. But there is no sight of her as yet."
In the Challenge Round may beat Douglass 6-3 6-4. The holder was hampered by a wrist injury suffered in France 3 months earlier. She almost considered defaulting until "a course of electricity" allowed her to practice and compete.
"The rallies were sometimes long and exciting but when they were extended May invariably won the point with a crushing forehand drive. Her victory never seemed in doubt" after she dropped the first game. May hit continuously to Douglass's backhand to gain errors.
From “Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, July 12, 1905:
“A huge interested audience was gathered together in the centre court when Miss Douglass most pluckily, in spite of the troublesome pain to her right wrist, and consequent want of practice, started the match with a bad omen of what was to come – a double fault. Nevertheless she won the first game, which, however, was the only one she managed to capture for some time, as Miss Sutton, playing far better than we have seen her before, took the next five. Here, however, the holder made a determined effort, and, winning the next two games, caused the score to be called 5-3 in Miss Sutton’s favour. This, however, was unavailing, as the American, who was not to be denied, ran out a winner of the first set at 6-3.
“In the second and what proved to be the deciding set Miss Sutton, who played in relentless fashion on Miss Douglass’s backhand, placed the first three games to her credit before the latter lady, by dint of some good well-played services and telling drives, managed to win two games; she, however, lost the sixth game to 15, which gave Miss Sutton the useful lead of 4-2. In the next game, with Miss Sutton serving, the holder got to 40-30, but lost it, making the score 5-2 in favour of the challenger. Nothing daunted, she, however, although deuce was called in the next, won the game, and also the next, but this was her final effort, as she lost the next game to love and with it the set at 6-4.
“Thus for the first time the Ladies’ Championship has gone from this country. Miss Sutton’s service, which is not strong, was considerably better than her opponent’s, and she got it in consistently. There was little variety in the play, practically no lobbing and hardly a volley shot being attempted. The rallies were sometimes long and exciting, and when they were long Miss Sutton invariably carried off the point with a well and fiercely directed forehand drive. Absolute confidence and splendid condition marked Miss Sutton’s entire effort, and she seemed mistress of the situation from the first game of the second set.”
Although born in England, May Sutton was raised in the United States and in 1905 became the first overseas player to win a Wimbledon singles title. She won the title without the loss of a set, making her the first - and to this day still the only - player, male or female, to win both the US Championships and Wimbledon on her debut and in straight sets. In addition, she was still a teenager when she achieved both feats.
Note that the ladies doubles and mixed doubles are non-championship events.
The draw of 48 – a record for the women's singles event at Wimbledon – features not only two pairs of sisters – the rather obscure E. Flemmich and L. Flemmich, and D. Taplin and M. Taplin – but also a set of three sisters. These are the Meyers, Cornelia ("Connie"), Frieda and Nora. They were German in origin.
O'Neill is the married name of the Englishwoman Madeline Fisher.
M. E. Brown=Maud Brown
H. I Harper=Helen Harper.
B. M. Holder=Bertha Holder
G. M. Houselander=Gertrude Houslander
Missing full names for
Miss C. B. Bell
Miss E. Flemmich (probably Ellen)
Miss L. Flemmich (probably Lina)
Miss K. Kentish
Mrs P. M. Morton
Miss L. Ripley
Miss E. Smith
Miss D. Spencer
Miss D. Taplin
Miss M. Taplin