The New York Times mentions a new publication called The Archery and Tennis News
. "The progress lawn-tennis has made in this country [the United States] forms a leading topic, and a full account of matches in the past and those to be played in the future
May 22-27, Irish Championships
, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)
Venue: Fitzwilliam Square
1R: May Langrishe d. Rice* 6-3 6-2
1R: Connie Butler d. Miss Shaw 6-0 6-0
1R: E. Esmonde d. Mrs Clarke 1-6 6-4 6-4
1R: Beatrice Langrishe d. Miss Bayley 6-2 6-2
SF: M Langrishe d. Butler 6-0, 7-5
SF: B Langrishe d. Esmonde 6-0, 6-0
FI: May Langrishe d. Beatrice Langrishe 6-0 6-1
No women’s doubles event was held this year.
MX: May Langrishe/Ernest Browne d. Lena Rice/Peter Aungier 6-3 6-2 6-0
Possibly a rare early appearance by Lena Rice, the future (1890) Wimbledon champion from County Tipperary, Ireland, who did not play much competitive tennis either before or after her greatest victory. Her first confirmed tournament wasn't until 1889 however, so this could be a different Rice altogether. Another candidate is her older sister Annie Rice.
May 28- June 2, West of England Championships
, Bath, Somerset, England (Grass)
1R: Maud Watson d. K. Ward 6-1 6-1
1R: Mrs Hornby d. Mrs C. Hill 6-2 4-6 6-5
1R: Florence Mardall d. Mrs Wainwright 6-1, 6-1
1R: Edith Davies d. Lilian Watson 6-2 6-1
1R: Miss Fuller-Maitland-bye
1R: G. Langley d. Alice Bagnall-Wild 6-5 6-0
1R: Grace Gibbs d. Miss Airey 6-1 6-0
1R: G. Rant d. K. Jones 6-3 5-6 6 -1
1R: Mrs Carey d. Mrs A. Thompson 6-5 6-3
1R: N. Pope (Ire) d. Miss Turner 6-3 6-4
2R: M Watson d. Hornby 6-3 6-1
2R: Davies d. Mardall 6-1 6-3
2R: Langley d. Fuller-Maitland 2-6 6-2 6-3
2R: Gibbs d. Rant 6-0 6-1
2R: Pope d. Carey 6-3 5-6 6-1
QF: Watson d. Davies 2-6 6-1 6-3
QF: Pope d. Gibbs 6-2 2-6 6-3
SF: M Watson-bye
SF: Pope d. Langley 6-0 6-1
FI: Maud Watson d N Pope (Ire) 6-1 6-2
DF: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Edith Davies/Grace Gibbs 6-3 5-6 6-3
Maud wins 4 matches for the title. She drops a set in the quarters to Edith Davies.
June 4-9, Cheltenham
, Gloucestershire, England (Grass)
Venue: Montpelier Gardens
1R: Maud Watson d. Miss Jones 6-1 6-2
1R: Edith Davies d. Lilian Cole 0-6 6-3 6-4
1R: Kate Cornford d. Miss Neat 6-1 5-6 6-2
1R: Florence Mardall d. Clara Hill 6-4 6-5
1R: F. Davies d. Lilian Watson 1-6 6-2 6-4
QF: M Watson-bye
QF: Edith Davies d. Miss Cornford 6-3 6-4
QF: F. Davies d. Florence Mardall 6-5 5-6 6-2
SF: Maud Watson d. Edith Davies 6-3, 5-6, 6-1
FI: Maud Watson d. F Davies 6-3 6-0
DF: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Kate Cornford/Edith Davies 6-1 6-1
MX: Florence Mardall/George M Butterworth d. Lilian Cole/Reverend H Smith 4-6 6-2 6-2
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1883): "Following very closely, indeed, too closely, upon the Bath tournament, came the old-established week at Cheltenham, which had been brought forward this season, the usual time being in the autumn. It is hardly to be expected that players can go on taking part in tournaments week after week, and it was, no doubt, partly owing to this cause that the entries here scarcely came up to their usual average, while Ascot also taking place this week would keep some from entering. The club had moved their ground to the south side of the Montpelier Gardens, and had carefully levelled four courts, while five others were decidedly better than those usually to be met with. [...]
"The committee had done well in placing the sole management of the meeting in the hands of Mr John Charles Kay, as he certainly is 'the right man in the right place', and in addition to being extremely popular with the players, he leaves no stone unturned to ensure everything proceeding smoothly. [...] Miss Maud Watson won two first prizes and Miss F. Davies one first and three seconds. A well-arranged dance at the Rotunda on Friday night helped to make the week a most enjoyable one, and the tournament was brought to a close on Saturday with the presentation of the prizes by Mrs Shewell. The balls were supplied by F.H. Ayres, and gave every satisfaction."
June 18-22, County Kilkenny Tournament
, Archersfield, County Kilkenny, Ireland (Grass)
Venue: Kilkenny County and City Lawn Tennis Club
Singles (Draw=4, plus holder)
1R: Mary Lysaght d. G. Hunt 6-4 6-5 6-2
1R: Mrs Townely d. Miss Knox 6-2 6-3 6-4
FI: Mary Lysaght d. Mrs Townley 6-1 6-2 6-2
CR: May Langrishe (holder) d. Mary Lysaght 6-1 6-2 6-0
Note: Matches in the women's singles event were played over the best of five sets.
June 19-21, Leicester
, Leicestershire, England (Grass)
FI: Agnes Watts d. Miss Noon 2-6 6-1 6-1 6-2
This best-of-five-sets final was played between two sisters.
June 23-30, Northern Tournament
, Manchester, England (Grass)
Venue: The lawn tennis ground at Old Trafford
1R: Edith Colerdige d. B. McLaren 6-3 6-4
1R: E. Fletcher d. A. McLaren 6-5 2-6 6-3
1R: L. Cheetham d. N. Garnett 6-3 6-0
1R: Miss Eckersley d. K. Mitchell 3-6 2-6 6-3
SF: Coleridge d. Fletcher 6-3 6-0
SF: Eckersley d. Cheetham 6-1 6-1
FI: Edith Colerdige d. Miss Eckersley 7-5 6-3
1R: Ms Cheetham/Ms Eckersley d. Ann Dod/Lottie Dod 6-5 6-1
1R: Edith Coleridge/Rose Collier-bye
FI: Edith Coleridge/Rose Collier d. Miss Cheetam/Miss Eckersley 6-3 9-7
MX: Miss Fletcher/Ernest Browne d. Miss Cheetham/John Bruce Ismay 6-2 6-3
Note that this same Edith Coleridge married C.J. Cole, thus becoming Edith Cole. She was the player who lost to Maud Watson in the final of the London Athletic Club tournament in 1884. The score was 6-4 6-2 2-6 6-1 (best of five sets). The 6-5 score in the semi of the doubles is not an error. 6-5 sets sometimes occured in this era as scoring had not yet become standardized
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1884): "The Northern Lawn Tennis Association seem to have taken their cue from athletic circles as to holding the annual championship meeting at the same place, as last year the tournament was held on the ground of the Liverpool Cricket Club at Aigburth, while this season it was decided to give Manchester the preference over its rival, and the new lawn tennis ground at Old Trafford, belonging to the Manchester division of the association, was the favoured spot.
"The ground is very easily reached both by train and tram, and is certainly very conveniently situated. At ordinary times as many as twenty-two courts can be marked out for play, but for the tournament it was not thought desirable to have more than twelve. In addition to the pavilion belonging to the club, two large rooms - temporary rooms - had been erected for the convenience of the players. A grandstand had also been built up for witnessing the best matches; and for entrance to this the committee had decided not to charge anything - a most liberal measure on their part."
This is a very early appearance in tournament play by Lottie Dod, who was just 11 years old at this point in time.
See here for a wikipedia entry on Joseph Bruce Ismay (1862-1937), an Englishman businessman who later served as chairman and managing director of the White Star Line of steamships and survived the sinking of the Titanic
July 3-7, Leamington
, Warwickshire, England (Grass)
No ladies singles.
1R: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Miss Barwell/Miss Heaton 6-2 6-1
1R: Clara Hill/Florence Mardall d. F. Bond/Jessie Bond 6-3 6-1
1R: Miss Noon/Agnes Watts d. M. Alfrey/Mrs Hornby 6-0 2-6 6-2
SF: Noon/Watts d. Hill/Mardall 6-4 6-1
FI: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Miss Noon/Agnes Watts 6-4 6-4 6-4
MF: Maud Watson/Edward L Williams d. Florence Mardall/John Charles McKay 6-1 6-4 8-6
Both of these finals were played over the best of five sets. The Leamington tournament was first held in 1882, but did not feature a women's singles event during its early years.
July 20-21, Lichfield
, Staffordshire, England (Grass)
FI: Mrs Peters-Smith d. Rose Collier 2-6 6-4 6-5
July 24-25, Norwich,
Norfolk, England (Grass)
FI: G Rent d. J.Hartoup 6-1 6-2
August 13-16, Tenby
, Wales (Grass)
FI: C Jones d. E Fletcher 6-2 3-6 6-4
MX: Mrs Bagnall-Wild/PJ Ash d. Mrs Wodehouse/HG Saunders-Davies 6-1 6-4
August 13-17, East Grinstead
, Sussex, England (Grass)
FI: Leila Lodwick d. Miss Cobbold 6-2 6-1
MX: Miss Cobbold/William N. Cobbold d. Miss Saint-Clair/P. Wallis 6-0 6-2
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1884): "This tournament was successfully brought to a close on August 17. Considering that there were ninety-three entries, and only three courts to play upon, it was doubted by many whether four days would be sufficient. However, by never allowing the courts to remain empty, not only was the programme finished in good time on Friday, but two highly interesting extra matches were got off on Thursday between Mr Ernest Renshaw and Mr Leo J. Maxse, the latter receiving the odds of 15, and on Friday afternoon a large number of visitors were present to see a match between Mr Ernest Renshaw and Mr Herbert Lawford, these two gentlemen very kindly offering to play an exhibition match for the good of the club.
"The weather during the meeting was all against good tennis; the first two days it blew a gale of wind right across the courts, rendering it often impossible to judge correctly of the true form of the competitors. Thursday was fine, but Friday was a nasty, drizzling, misty day; in spite of the wet the ground played uncommonly well, and did not cut up to any extent. The meeting was a great success, and the committee of management are to be heartily congratulated on their excellent arrangements, all of which were carried out without the slightest hitch."
August 14-18, Exmouth
, Devon, England (Grass)
1R: Maud Watson d. Jane Hole 6-3 6-0
1R: Florence Mardall d. J. Shadbolt 6-0 6-0
1R: Agnes Watts d. Katharine Kindersely 6-3 6-4
1R: Miss Noon d. E. Percy 6-1 6-2
1R: Georgina Kindersley d. Katherine Hole 6-1 6-3
1R: Lilian Cole d. C. Taylor 6-1 4-6 6-3
QF: Watson d. Mardall 6-2 6-1
QF: Watts d. Miss Noon 6-2 6-1*
QF: Cole d. Kindersley 6-2 6-0
SF: Cole d. Watts 6-0 6-2
FI: Maud Watson d. Lilian Cole 6-4 6-2
MX: Maud Watson/Edward L Williams d. Miss Noon/Charles W Grinstead 6-3 6-1
Maud easily wins her 3 matches. As with many early events the byes were not put in the first round, resulting in a semifinal bye for Watson.
August 20-23, Teignmouth
, Devon, England (Grass)
MX: Florence Mardall/Charles L Sweet d. Lilian Watson/Erskine Watson 6-4 6-2
This tournament did not initially feature either a women's singles or women's doubles event.
August 21-25, Moffat
, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (Grass)
FI: Jane Meikle d. A Forest 6-3 2-6 6-3
DF: Alice Fenwick/Winifred Fenwick d. Jane Meikle/Miss Meikle 6-2 12-10
MX: Winifred Fenwick/Percival C Fenwick d. Miss Meikle/Georgr W Stenhouse 6-2 6-2
August, 22-25, Edgbaston
, Birmingham, West Midlands, England (Grass)
FI: Miss Hutton d. L Sanders 6-5 8-6
DF: Miss Chamberlain/L Chamberlain d. K Cartland/Miss Hutton 6-1 6-4
MX: Miss Chamberlain/SA Noon d. Miss Hutton/JA Powell 13-11 9-7 6-2
August 27-29, Mid-Devon Lawn Tennis C
lub, Eggesford, Devon, England (Grass)
FI: Katharine Hole d. Miss Hoare 6-2 6-3
MX: Katharine Hole/ Barrington H.S. Barnes d. Jane Hole/. Dennis Boles 6-2 4-6 6-2
Note: The women's singles event was only open to club members.
September 3-5, Bournemouth
, Dorset, England (Grass)
FI: Mrs Hornby d. M Richards 5-6 6-3 6-1
DF: Mrs Hornby/M. Richards d. Miss Dalgairns/Miss Drake 6-4 6-2 6-1
The doubles was a best-of-five-sets final.
September 3-8, Devonshire Park Tournament
, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England (Grass)
Venue: Devonshire Park
FI: M Leslie d. Minnie vCongreve 10-8 6-4
This year women's singles event at this tournament was open and not a "handicap" event.
September 11-12, Portishead
, Somerset, England (Grass)
FI: Miss Bryant d. J. Carter 6-2 6-3
DF: Miss Reynolds/Miss Reynolds d. Miss Arden/A. Lys 6-5 2-6 6-4
MX: Miss Arden/William Renshaw d. A. Lys/Charles Lacy Sweet 4-6 6-2 6-3
This event was local in nature.
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1884): "A highly successful meeting was held at the above club grounds on the 11th and 12th of September, among the competitors being Mr William Renshaw (the champion) and several other well-known players. Perhaps the most keenly contested match of the whole meeting was in the final round of the ladies' and gentlemen's doubles, when Mr Renshaw and Miss Arden met and defeated Mr Charles Lacy Sweet and Miss A. Lys.
"Both sides strove hard to win, and at last victory rested with Mr Renshaw and his partner by two sets to one. After losing the first set the champion showed splendid form, and, being well backed up by his partner, secured two sets in succession, thus winning the match. Mr Sweet's service and volleying were very severe, and Miss Lys's play from the back of the court was most certain.
"Miss Bryant won the ladies' singles, showing very good form throughout, and the Misses Reynolds won the ladies' doubles, defeating Miss Lys and Miss Arden in the final after a hard and close match."
September 12-14, Saxmundham
, Suffolk, England (Grass)
1R: G. Rant (giving half 15 and a bisque) d. M. Marriott 6-3 6-3
1R: L Holden-bye
1R: A. Foster d. E. Ridley 6-1 6-0
1R: E. Wilkinson d. L. Stains 6-1 2-6 6-2
1R: L. Davy d. E. Henderson 6-2 6-2
QF: Rant d. Holden 6-1 6-3
QF: Davy d. Wilkinson 6-2 6-2
SF: Davy d. Foster 2-6 6-1 6-1
FI: G. Rant d. L. Davy 6-0 6-2
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1884): "A tournament, open to the Eastern Counties, was played off at Hurts Hill Park, Saxmundham, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 12, 13 and 14."
Note the presence of byes in more than one round, a common practice at this time.
October 3-5 Camp Washington Ladies Lawn Tennis Tournament
, Staten Island, New York, US (Grass)
Venue: Staten Island Cricket Club (AKA Brighton Ladies Club for Out-door Sports)
1R: Miss Goodwin d Bessie Nichols 6-0 6-0
1R: AM Miller-bye
1R: Miss Simmonds d Miss Cave 6-1 1-6 6-5
1R: Mary Johnston d MA Hayes 6-5 5-6 6-3
1R: Adeline Robinson d Elizabeth Crosby 6-2 6-0
1R: Violet Ward d Mrs AE Rendle 6-2 6-4
QF: Goodwin d Miller 6-2 6-1
QF: Johnston d Simmonds 6-5 6-5
QF: Robinson d Ward 6-2 6-5
SF: Goodwin d Johnson 6-2 6-0
FI: Miss Goodwin d Adeline Robinson 6-2 4-6 6-5
1R: Miss Hayes/AM Miller d Elizabeth Crosby/Violet Ward 6-3 6-4
1R: Miss Cave/Mrs AE Rendel d Miss McAndrews/Miss McAndrews 6-4 6-2
1R: Miss Johnston/Mary Johnston-bye
1R: Miss Grandy/Adeline Robinson-bye
SF: Cave/Rendel d Hayes/Miller 6-1 4-6 6-1
SF: Grandy/Robinson d Jonston/Johnston 6-1 6-1*
FI: Miss Grandy/Adeline Robinson d Miss Cave/Mrs AE Rendel 6-1 6-2
MX: Miss Goodwin/Mr Greenlough d Violet Ward/Mr Shippen 6-2 6-3
Though the New York Times and Illustrated News called Miss Robinson "Adelaide", she in fact went by "Adeline." The term "mixed doubles" was not yet in use, at least in the Times, which calls the mixed event ladies and gentelemen's doubles. Ditto for the terms quarterfinal (listed as second round by the Times) and semifinal (listed as the third round). Finally, the NYT reports one of the ladies doubles semifinals (marked as *) as a third round match without any evidence of earlier matches on the part of either team. My interpretation of this is an error on the part of the Times.
Published in the Illustrated London News, London:, 1883. An early woodcut print of a women's tennis tournament, played at the Staten Island Cricket Club in New Brighton, Staten Island, NY, thought to be the first tennis court in the US. The print is of women's doubles, played in long skirts with bustles on grass. Rather strong feminist text accompanies the picture on the back, presumably written by a male journalist. "If any club was strong enough to break the barrier of prejudice that forbade ladies to compete in open lawn tennis tournaments, it was the Staten Island Ladies' Club for Out-door Sports.and that organization has vindicated its position by holding a tournament in which ladies belonging to any club in the country were admitted to compete. That such prejudice has existed - and it is by no means yet overcome - is evident from the fact that whereas open tournaments for male amateurs have been frequent in the past three years, only one club has offered a prize for ladies in open competition. The Ladies' Club is therefor entitled to great credit for having inserted the thin end of what it is to be hoped will prove a very stout wedge."
The tournament was won by Miss Goodwin of the Franklin Archery & Tennis Club in New Jersey, against Adeline Robinson of Staten Island, champion of the New Brighton Club. First prize was "an elegant gold pin, studded with diamonds and rubies."
According the New York Times "several hundred ladies witnessed the lawn-tennis games." The mostly local crowd pulled for the home favorite Robinson against the New Jersey girl.
The event was sponsored by the Ladies Club for Out-door sports. The Camp Washington Tennis ground contains 9 courts and 6 croquet grounds.
Sources and Links
Much of this thread comes from original research by Newmark. Thanks to Charles Friesen for finding the Staten Island event.
I utilized the New York Times, covering the entire year.
Results for other years are in the Yearly results thread at:
Women's Tennis Results by Year