July through December
July 14-17, The Championships
, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
Venue: The All-England Club
Dates: July 4-July 17 (The women's event commenced on July 14)
Venue: All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon (Worple Road), London, England.
Blanche Bingley d. LM Nash 6-2 6-2
Mrs. Dransfield -bye
Jane Meikle d. Lilian Watson 6-3 4-6 6-4
EF Hudson -bye
Bingley d. Dransfield default
Gurney d. Meikle 7-5 6-4
Hudson d. Bryan 6-3 6-0
Watson d. Langrishe 6-0 6-2
Bingley d. Gurney 6-1 6-2
Watson d. Hudson 6-0 6-1
Maud Watson d. Blanche Bingley 6-1 7-5
Of the 10 entries only 3 had competed in 1884. Among them was Maud Watson, the defending champion. Maud was the first of the "unbeatables", going with out a defeat from 1881 to 1886. In her 3 matches here only Blanche Bingley extends her in the final.
The first round started with a surprise. Meikle "The Scotish championess" in the words of Outing magazine, upset Lilian Watson, the 1884 finalist, in 3 tough sets.
In the quarterfinals Maud quickly mowed down Langrishe "a charming Irish girl". Mrs Dransfield was "scratched" for failing to show-giving Bingley a walkover into the semifinals. Gurney vs Meikle was the closest meeting in this round. In contrast to the hard hitting from Watson-Langrishe the ladies played long rallies. Meikle had sprained her wrist, which was tightly bandaged.
The semifinals were note worthy of comment-Bingley and Watson easily romping to victory.
"On the morning of the match it was reported that Maud was suffering from a sudden atack of rheumatism but any forebodings were soon dispelled when she speedily secured the first set from her extremely nervous opponent. In the second set Blanche Bingley improved and, scoring consistently with her drives, managed to hold the champion to 5-all. However, in the next two games Maud conceded just two points and ran out the winner 6-1 7-5. A feature of Maud's play was that she never failed to return her opponent's service." (from Maud Watson: The First Wimbledon Champion, by Alan Little, page 8).
Outing touted Maud:
"Very athletic in form, and rather above medium height, she plays more like a man than a woman. Possesed of a splendid frame and unusual muscular power, she overpowers antagonists with and overhead serves and "Renshaw smashes." She has a facility for playing extremelt hard and keeping the ball in court."
First prize was a silver afternoon tea service. Second prize was a silver inkstand. Hundreds of ladies admired the silver on display before viewing the contests.
Outing went on at some length about the clothes and physical attributes of the women:
"The girl players here do not
wear corsets; hence the student of the human form divine has here a chance of studying the truth (or falsity) of that artistic belief of the ancient Greeks that an unconfined waist is the type of true beauty in woman's form."
volume 7 (1885), pages 132-133 and 136. (confirms it was B Langrishe, not May, who competed at Wimbledon this year).
July 20-25, Chiswick Park Tournament
, London, England (Grass)
Venue: Chiswick Park
FI: Edith Gurney (owes half 15) d. Blanche Bingley (owes half 30) 1-6 7-5 6-0
MX: Blanche Bingley/Harry Grove d. Beatrice Langrishe/Ernest Lewis 6-3 4-6 6-4
* This year the women's singles event at this tournament was "handicap" only.
July 22-25, Newcastle
, Northumberland, England (Grass)
DF: Connie Butler/Miss Marley d. Miss Cheese/E. Cheese 3-6 6-2 6-4
MX: Connie Butler/C Liddell d. W. Fenwick/John Galbraith Horn 6-2 3-6 6-3
This is the future Northumberland Championships (this year the main men’s singles event had the title Championships of Northumberland Gentlemen’s Singles Challenge Cup). It is not clear whether or not there was a women's singles event this year.
July 23-25, Leicester
, Leicestershire, England (Grass)
FI: Margaret Bracewell d. Agnes Watts 6-2 8-6
MX: Margaret Bracewell/W.W. Chamberlain d. Agnes Watts/Frederick Watts 6-2 6-1
Note that in contemporary sources Agnes was listed as Mrs F Watts.
August 3-6, Darlington
, Durham, England (Grass)
FI: Florence Stanuell d. Connie Butler 6-0 7-5
DF: Connie Butler/Miss Marley d. Miss Langley/Mrs C.J. Smith 6-4 0-6 6-3
MX: Connie Butler/Patrick Bowes-Lyon d. Florence Stanuell/Howard G. Pease 6-4 6-1
* The two losing doubles finalists were sisters.
August 10-13, Teignmouth Tournament
, Teignmouth, Devon, England (Grass)
Venue: East Devon and Teignmouth Club
Mixed Doubles (Draw=14)
QF: Maud Watson/Erskine Watson d. Lilian Watson/Charles Ross 6-3 6-2
QF: Clara Hill/Wilfred Milne d. Mrs Woosnam/Mr Woosnam 6-0 6-3
QF: C. Templer/Miss Dunn d. Miss Woosnam/R.H. Cuthbert 6-1 2-6 6-4
QF: Miss Pemberton/A.H. Pemberton d. Miss Higginson/L. Alexander 6-4 4-6 6-2
SF: M Watson/Watson d. Hill/Milne 6-5 6-2
SF: Pemberton/Pemberton d. Dunn/Templer 6-1 6-0
FI: Maud Watson/Erskine Watson d. Miss Pemberton/A.H. Pemberton 6-3 6-2
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1886): "The East Devon and Teignmouth Club, although but a year old, has succeeded to the management of this tournament, and, having acquired a slip of ground at Lower Bitton, have laid four courts thereon. These, though not in first-class condition, are an improvement on those in use last year, and with another year's growth, and care and attention, they should be in good order next season.
"The programme, though not ambitious, was sufficiently large to provide four days' excellent sport which appeared to be highly appreciated by a large attendance of spectators. The weather was not propitious, rain falling at intervals, and on the Wednesday play had to be suspended on several occasions owing to the downpour.
"The management was very good, all going smoothly, and the honorary secretary, Mr W. Harcourt Stiles, deserves every credit for his admirable arrangements."
August 10-14, East Grinstead
, West Sussex, England (Grass)
FI: Blanche Bingley d. Edith Davies 6-2 5-7 6-3
DF: Blanche Bingley/Beatrice Langrishe d. Margaret Bracewell/Edith Davies 5-7 6-4 6-3 6-3
MX: Blanche Bingley/Harry Grove d. Margaret Bracewell/James Dwight (US) 7-5 6-2
* The doubles final was a best-of-five-sets match.
August 16-18, Bournemouth
, Dorset, England (Grass)
1R: E. Huxham d. Miss Punch 8-6 6-3
1R: Mrs Surman-bye
1R: Mrs Hornby-bye
1R: Miss Halford d. Miss Hodgson 2-6 6-2 7-5
SF: Surman d. Huxham 1-6 6-3 6-2
SF: Hornby d. Halford 6-1 6-1
FI: "Mrs Surman and Mrs Hornby drew for prizes, the former taking the first." (Source: "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1886))
Circa August 17-22, Scarborough
, Yorkshire, England (Grass)
FI: Mabel Boulton d. Beatrice Wood 6-2 6-2
DF: Margaret Bracewell/Mrs Hill d. Mabel Boulton/Kate Cornford 6-4 6-4
MX: Margaret Bracewell/William Renshaw d. Clara Hill/Ernest Browne 6-1 9-7
This particular tournament was not the precursor to the North of England Championships, but was the Yorkshire Association tournament usually held at at another venue, e.g. Harrogate.
Winner Mabel Boulton was Yorkshire born.
Mrs Hill=Clara Hill
August 18-22, Moffat
, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (Grass)
FI: Ann Dod d. J. Forrest 6-0 6-0
DF: Miss Cornelius/Ann Dod d. Miss Fyfe/G. Fyfe 6-2 7-5
MX: L. Murray/W. Ferguson d. H. Lyell/B.S. Cave 0-6 7-5 6-3
Ann is the elder sister of Lottie Dod. Ann Dod enjoyed some success in the singles events in a small number of tournaments, particularly in Scotland.
August 24-29, Derbyshire Championships
, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)
1R: Elizabeth Mocatta d. Mrs R.P. Earwaker default
1R: Edith Gurney d. F. Otrell default
1R: Edith Davies d. Mrs Hill 6-1 6-4
1R: Agnes Watts d. "Miss Rog" 6-5 6-4
1R: Florence Mardall d. Effie Noon 6-2 6-5
2R: Blanche Bingley d. M. Crossley 6-3 6-1
2R: H. Hopkins d. Mrs Craig default
2R: Bertha Steedman d. K. Hopkins 6-0 6-0
2R: Florence Stanuell d. Winifred Fenwick 6-0 6-0
2R: Mary Steedman d. F. Pearson 6-1 5-6 6-0
2R: Mrs H. Hornby d. Kate Cornford 6-1 6-4
2R: May Marriott d. Mocatta 5-6 6-2 6-1
2R: Davies d. Gurney 6-4 6-2
2R: Margaret Bracewell d. Miss D'Oyly 6-0 6-2
2R: J. Wray d. Alice Meakin 6-2 6-3
2R: L. Coke d. Miss Noon default
2R: Miss Mc Pherson d. Mrs C. Ross 6-?? 6-3
2R: Watts d. Mardall 6-5 6-2
2R: Miss Surtees d. Gertrude Bracewell 6-1 6-4
2R: Miss Steedman d. N. Wary 6-1 6-4
2R: Louisa Martin d. Connie Butler 6-4 6-4
3R: Bingley d. Hopkins 6-1 6-0
3R: Stanuell d. B Steedman 6-2 6-2
3R: M Steedman d. Hornby 6-4 6-4
3R: Davies d. Marriott 6-3 6-3
3R: Bracewell d. Wray 6-5 6-2
3R: McPherson d. Coke 6-1 6-3
3R: Watts d. MSurtees 4-6 6-4 6-3
3R: Martin d. Steedman 6-2 6-1
QF: Bingley d. Stanuell 6-4 6-4
QF: Davies d. M Steedman 4-6 6-2 6-3
QF: Bracewell d. McPherson 6-1 6-1
QF: Martin d. Watts 6-1 3-6 6-2
SF: Bingely d. Davies 6-2 6-2
SF: Martin d. Bracewell 6-1 6-5
FI: Blanche Bingley d. Louisa Martin 6-3 6-3
DF: Margaret Bracewell/Agnes Watts d. Connie Butler/Louisa Martin 3-6 6-2 6-4
MX: Margaret Bracewell/William Renshaw d. Edith Davies/James Dwight (US) 6-2 6-0
This was the inaugural edition of the All England Ladies' Doubles Championships, which was held at this venue for many years.
Easily the largest ladies singles draw in 1885.
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1886): "The great succes of the tournament at Buxton last year of course made it almost imperative on the directors of the Buxton Improvements Company to again hold one this season, and August 24 was the date fixed upon. The committee was again a most representative one, no less than fourteen clubs helping to form the management. Of course, after the able way in which Mr A.J. Harrison had carried on the tournament last season, the directors were only too pleased to again obtain his services in a like capacity.
"The Duke of Devonshire added a challenge cup, value 25 guineas, to the men's open singles, and for the event thirty-eight entries had been received. [...] The ladies's singles, with a 25 guinea challenge cup given by the Duke of Devonshire, closed with thirty-seven entries, and, with the exception of Miss Maud Watson and Miss Lottie Dod, all the best ladies were entered... [...]
"The attendance every day at the gardens was very large, the stand [with room for some six hundred spectators] being extremely well patronised, and must have well repaid the directors for erecting it. The five grass courts had been well looked after by the head gardener, Mr Hogg, and his assistant Mr West, and they certainly deserve great praise for their unwearying attention to its well being. At the conclusion of the tournament Mrs Drewry presented the prizes to the winners after Lieutenant-Colonel Balguy had made a short address. Mr Ayres's championship posts, nets and balls, and Mr Brookes's stop-nets were used, and all gave satisfaction.
September 7-17, Devonshire Park Tournament
, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England (Grass)
Venue: Devonshire Park
1R: Blanche Bingley d. EF Hudson 6-3 6-2
1R: Mrs Cooper d. L. Turner 6-1 6-3
1R: Edith Gurney-bye
1R: Amy Jones-bye
1R: Mrs "Gee" d. Mrs A. Frankau 5-6 6-2 6-1
1R: Alice Strapp d. Miss FitzGibbon 6-4 2-6 7-5
1R: E Putney-bye
1R: Ada Strap-bye
QF: Bingley d. Cooper 6-3 6-0
QF: Gurney d. Jones 6-3 6-3
QF: Alice Strapp d. "Gee" 3-6 6-5 6-1
QF: Ada Strapp d. Putney 6-4 6-3
SF: Bingley d. Gurney 6-2 6-0
SF: Ada Strapp d. Alice Strapp 3-6 6-4 6-3
FI: Blanche Bingley d. Ada Strapp 6-1 6-0
MX: Edith Gurney/William C. Taylor d. Blanche Bingley/Harry Grove default
This was the first real top-quality women’s singles event at this tournament. There was no non-handicap women’s doubles event at many tournaments in the early years. Later considered the South of England Championships
September 21-26, Sussex County Championships
, Brighton, Sussex, England (Hard/Asphalt)
Venue: Hove Rink
1R: EF Hudson d. Miss Adshead 6-2 6-2
1R: Elsie Lane-bye
1R: E Bushell-bye
1R: Constance Bryan d. Blanche Bingley (owes 30) 6-3 4-6 7-5
SF: EF Hudson d. Lane 6-0 6-3
SF: Bryan d. Bushell 6-1 6-3
FI: EF Hudson d. Constance Bryan 6-1 6-4
DF: Blanche Bingley/Edith Gurney d. Miss Bridges/Elsie Lane 5-6 6-0 6-1
MX: Constance Bryan/Charles H.A. Ross d. EF Hudson/ER Hudson 3-6 6-1 6-1
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1886): "This annual tournament, which marks the conclusion of the lawn tennis season, commenced on September 21st at the Hove Rink, West Brighton. The play was advertised to take place on asphalte courts, two of which had been specially prepared for the tournament. Last year the players complained that the raised banks at each end of the courts were much too near the play, and therefore the committee this season had them set back so as to allow twelve feet between the banks and the baselines. The committee reserved the right to decide all matches in the covered court in case of rain; but, fortunately, they had no necessity to avail themselves of that power, as the weather was favourable throughout the week, though slightly cold for the spectators on the last two days.
"The players usually seen at tournaments did not muster well at this meeting, a fact probably due to a dislike to play on asphalte after playing all the summer on grass. In addition to this, the courts are not well spoken of, and the rink itself is not particularly well suited for a tournament of this description. Under these circumstances, it will not cause much surprise to know that the committee contemplate holding the meeting on grass at an earlier period next year."
Circa October 5-10, Victorian Championships
, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Grass)
FI: Mabel Shaw d. Miss Patterson 13-7*
DF: Lydiard/Wilson d ????
* The first player to take thirteen games was the winner.