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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Dorothea Lambert Chambers

CHAMBERS, DOROTHEA (nee Dorothea Katherine Douglass)
United Kingdom
Born 03 September 1878 in Ealing, Middlesex
Died 07 January 1960 in Kensington, London
Married Robert Lambert Chambers, 6 April 1907 in Ealing.
Nickname: "Dolly"
[Active late 1898-1928]

Often considered the best female before 1919. Wimbledon champion in 1903-1904, 1906, 1910-11, and 1913-14. 1908 Olympic champion.

Her record of 7 Wimbledon Championships stood until eclipsed when Helen Wills-Moody won her 8th in 1938. Though after marriage her last name was Chambers, her husband's middle name was usually added, thus she is often known as Mrs Lambert Chambers. In this era of formality only good friends would call her "Dolly" or Dorothea. In keeping with her time Mrs Chambers refused to divulge her year of birth until her death.

A parson's daughter, as Miss Douglass she was very good but not a world conquer until well into her mid twenties. Some of this may have been due to her late start-taking up the sport at the Ealing Club at age 11 though not playing a formal adult tournament until her 20th year. in 1898.
One suspects her normally placid demeanor masked great determination. As a student at Princess Helen College she once got into trouble for arguing with a school mistress who was umpiring a match. (Little, p. 2).

As the Hillyard and Sterry era faded Dorothea took control of women's tennis in Britain. From her first Wimbledon title of 1903 until 1914 Dorothea would win 7 titles in 10 attempts. Of her 3 defeats at Wimbledon two came to May Sutton. Dorothea lost to Sutton in 1904, won in 1905, and was defeated again in 1906.

Miss Douglass was married to Robert Lambert Chambers in 1907. The ceremony was performed by her father. In 1909 she skipped the Championships to give birth to son Douglass on the 15th of June. She used the rest of the year to work on her book Lawn Tennis For Ladies. Speculation that her tennis days were over was premature. After 18 months Dorothea returned to tennis in triumph.

Her 1910 return victory at Wimbledon set off a two year run in which she went undefeated. No other mother would repeat the feat until 1980 when Evonne Goolagong won as a "mum". In late 1911 she took a second hiatus from tennis, giving birth to 2nd son Graham Lambert on 08 April 1912.

Intending on defending her Wimbledon title, she defaulted in the challenge round after a tough mixed doubles match proved too tiring. Later that summer she retired at a set apiece in at Felixstowe versus Agnes Morton. This was her first singles defeat since 1909. On her return in 1913 she again went undefeated for that year and throughout 1914.

Mrs Chambers won her 7th Wimbledon in 1914, a record at that time. No challenger was on the horizon, but war intervened, depriving her of any chance to add to the total until she was aged 40.

It was in seeking her 8th title that Chambers, more than 40 years of age, had her most famous match. Still the defending champion from 1914, she "sat out" to await the winner of the All-Comers event. Before an audience that included the King and Queen of England Chambers failed to convert two match balls. It was the closest Suzanne Lenglen ever came to losing a singles at Wimbledon. The score was 10-8 4-6 9-7. Chambers made the final again the next year. This was at the age of 41, making her the oldest singles finalist in history. In her 15 singles tried Chambers either won or lost to the eventual winner every time except for 1900.

A fine sense of strategy was complemented by a fine forehand. Mrs Chambers also possessed a deadly drop shot. Accurate, there were no real weaknesses for foes to exploit. Iron-willed, she was a feared competitor.

Titles

83 Singles ttles
57 Doubles titles
58 Mixed titles

In 1928 Mrs Chambers became a teaching professional.




A severe and stern visage.



In action in 1919 vs Suzanne Lenglen-in the background is a roller to roll the grass.



Sources:

Dorothea Chambers: Seven Times Wimbledon Champion. by Alan Chambers. 1985 [32 pages] [Easily the best source]

Tennis for Ladies,
(1910) by Dorothea Lambert Chambers [link to full text below]
https://archive.org/details/lawntennisforla00chamgoog

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doroth...mbert_Chambers

https://www.tennisfame.com/hall-of-f...bert-chambers/

Archive - Draws Archive : Dorothea Chambers (Douglass) - 2015 Wimbledon Championships Website - Official Site by IBM

Dorothea Lambert Chambers [A Blast Thread which includes career results]

Suzanne Lenglen d. Dorothea Lambert Chambers 10-8, 4-6, 9-7; 1919 Wimbledon
[A Blast Thread by Newmark about this classic match]

Last edited by Rollo; May 22nd, 2016 at 12:22 AM.
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:42 AM
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Chambers probably should be considered a top level all time great. The only problem is that she only played and won Wimbledon. She did dominate the championships in her era though. You wonder how the depth in the games was at the time though.

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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2005, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Chambers probably should be considered a top level all time great. The only problem is that she only played and won Wimbledon. She did dominate the championships in her era though. You wonder how the depth in the games was at the time though.
My guess would be there wasn't too much depth-but (as you mentioned) she didn't get the chance to win other majors, so all in all it balances out IMO.

She was solid on clay when she did go to Europe-and the fact that she was over 40 when she had match point vs. Lenglen in 1919 speaks volumes.

Too bad for her World War 1 came along-or who knows how many Wimbledons she might have won.

I've never read this book, but it's on my list now.
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2005, 04:02 AM
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Oh yes, Lambert Chambers definately deserves legendary status!

I have a book from the Wimbledon museum on her - not sure it is the same one as the online version Rollo ... I must take a look. But some of the action photos of her in various books show how determined and fierce a competitor she was. And as you mention Rollo, to have a match point against Lenglen when she was over 40 is something extra-ordinary!

Would it be fantastic to be able to travel back in time to watch the great Chambers v Lenglen 1919 Wimbledon Final!!!!!!!!!!! What a match it must have been!
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Would it be fantastic to be able to travel back in time to watch the great Chambers v Lenglen 1919 Wimbledon Final!!!!!!!!!!! What a match it must have been!
Yes indeedy. Not only was it just an intensely exciting match, it was a battle of generations (old vs. young-prewar vs. post-War) fashion (ankles and wrists covered vs. "That hussy" in her short skirts) and English conservatism vs. a French liberal invasion.

And what match points! On the first Suzanne hit a volley while twisted about -it hit the wood frame, then the net, and finally dropped JUST OVER the net. She didn't see it at all, only the crowds groans told her she was still alive.

On match point two Lamberts Chamber's ball clipped the net and fell back on her side.

Surely it was most heartbreaking loss she ever had.

When the match was over the king of England wanted to congratulate both women for a splendid match. both women declined-as they were soaking their bloody feet.
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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She was definitely amazing. I was in awe with her for a few reasons.

1. Her astounding Wimbledon record.

2. Her amazing match against Lenglen in 1919.

3. Her beautiful long name.




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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

Chambers Career Summary
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1898

June London Chmps, Queen's Club
1R bye
2R lost to Edith Austin 6-2 6-0

?? Sep ? South of England, Eastbourne

?R lost to Muriel Robb 6-3 6-4
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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1899

Chiswick Park
1R d. Miss ER Morgan 4-6 6-2 6-3
2R lost to Beryl Tulloch 6-3 6-8 6-1

Kent Chmps, Beckenham
1R lost to Miss Smythe 4-6 6-4 6-4

London Chmps,Queens Club
1R
2R
3R lost to Edith Austin 6-3 6-1

South of England, Eastbourne

?R lost to Miss M. Southam 6-4 6-2
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1900

Chiswick Park

?R d. Beryl Tulloch 6-3 8-10 6-2
FI lost to Charlotte Cooper 6-2 6-2


Kent Chmps, Beckenham
1R lost to Muriel Robb 9-7 6-4


Wimbledon
1R won by walkover
2R lost to Louise Martin (Ire) 6-4 6-3

London Chmps, Queen's Club
??
??
SF lost to Agnes Morton 6-4 6-3

in the handicap singles (in pre-war days many events held handicap events alongside "Open" events) she has a 2 and a half hour duel with American Marion Jones. Douglass wins 8-10 6-2 7-5, recovering from 1-5 down to take 6 straight games. Jones faints and has to be carried to the dressing room.

August Scarborough
?R lost to Mrs Pickering 6-0 6-4

Sept South of England, Eastbourne

?R lost to Charlotte Cooper 3-6 9-7 9-7

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 18th, 2007 at 10:56 PM.
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post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1901

Dorothea's breakout year comes at the age of 22.

She wins 4 of 10 events.
Won 1 doubles title
Won 2 mixed titles.


At the end of the year she is rated number 4 in Great Britain.


Covered Courts
?R lost to Blanche Hillyard 6-3 6-0

Chiswick Park
1R lost to Beryl Tulloch 10-8 6-4

Kent Chmps, Beckenham
1R d Miss Symthe 6-4 6-1
2R d Hilda Lane 7-5 6-3
QF d Countess Schulenburg (Ger) 6-3 6-8 6-4
SF d Beryl Tulloch 6-1 4-6 6-4
FI d. Agnes Morton 6-4 6-4

CR d. Mrs Edith Austin Greville 6-1 4-6 6-4

Dorothea wins her first title in a class field.

Surbiton
?R lost to Charlotte Cooper Sterry 6-4 6-2

Wimbledon
1R
2R
3R lost to Charlotte Sterry 6-4 6-2

North London Chmps

??
CR d. Mrs Ellen Evered 6-4 7-5

Essex Chmps, Colchester
1R d. Alice Greene

FI d. Agnes Morton 6-3 6-3

Won mixed

Yorkshire Association Meeting, Scarborough

??
FI d. Mrs. Pickering 4-6 11-9 6-1

Won doubles


Sep Sussex Chmps, Brighton

?R lost to Charlotte Sterry 9-7 7-5

Won doubles

South of England, Eastbourne

?R lost to Muriel Robb 6-1 6-1

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:14 PM.
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post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1902

Wins 3 of 10 events enters.
Won 2 doubles titles
Won 1 mixed title.

Chiswick Park

SF lost to Charlotte Sterry 7-5 6-3

A very rainy season makes for soggy courts, conditions which favor the net attacking Mrs Sterry.

Surbiton

?R lost to Charlotte Sterry 6-3 6-1

June Wimbledon

QF d. Ruth Durlacher 6-2 10-8
SF lost to Muriel Robb 6-4 2-6 9-7

3 doubtful calls go against Miss Douglass in the last set, costing her a 3-1 lead. Robb's strong forehand carries the day.


Kent Chmps, Beckenham

CR d. Hilda Lane 7-5 6-4
*As defending champion Dorothea "sits out" until the Challenge Round.

The Challenge Round was postponed by rain until the Saturday after Wimbledon.

Gipsy Club
FI d. Agnes Morton 4-6 6-2 8-6

Two points from defeat, she pulls the chesnuts out of the fire.

Northumberland Chmps, Newcastle
FI lost to Charlotte Sterry 7-5 7-5

Won doubles

Mrs Sterry continues to be Dorothea's bete noir, having an 8-0 record against Chambers.

Colchester

?R lost to Winifred Longhurst 1-6 6-3 6-4


East of England, Felixstone

FI d. Winifred Longhurst 6-3 4-6 9-7

Sussex Chmps, Brighton
FI lost to Charlotte Sterry 6-2 6-8 6-3

Won doubles

Sept South of England, Eastbourne
1R
2R
3R
QF d. Charlotte Sterry 5-7 6-2 6-3
SF d. Connie Wilson 8-6 6-2
FI d. Edith Greville 6-2 6-2

Divides mixed title.

Finally! Dorothea has her first win in 10 meetings over Sterry. "This was a great relief to Dorothea, who often thought she would never overcome this obstacle."

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:17 PM.
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post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1903

Wins 5 out of 9 events entered in singles.
Won 3 doubles titles
Won 4 mixed titles

Middlesex Chmps, Chiswick Park
FI d. Elizabeth Bromfield 6-4 9-7

Won mixed

The final lasts 75 minutes.

June Northern Chmps, Manchester
loses only 9 games before the final

FI Winifred Longhurst 6-2 4-6 7-5
CR lost to Louise Martin 4-6 7-5 6-4

Wins All-England Mixed title with Frank Riseley

Wimbledon
1R d Mrs Riseley walkover
2R d. Vera Pinkney walkover
QF d. Mrs. Gertrude Houselander 6-2 6-0
SF d. Toupie Lowther 6-4 6-2
FI d. Ethel Thomson 4-6 6-4 6-2

Doubles-Won with Mrs Pickering (non-championship event)


A wide open field without the defending champion Muriel Robb, stalwarts Blanche Hillyard and Charlotte Sterry (who is pregnant), or perennial challenger Louise Martin. Dorothea won a tough final over Thomson, who used a corckscrew underhand serve and a sharp backhand. At 4-4 in the second Chambers swept forward to win.

July Kent Chmps, Beckenham
CR lost to Connie Wilson 3-6 6-4 6-4


Gipsy Club
CR d. Agnes Morton 6-2 6-3

Northumberland Chmps, Newcastle
1R d. Ethel Thomson 6-2 2-6 6-1
FI d. ????

Won doubles

Derbyshire Chmps, Buxton
FI d. Ethel Thomson 6-2 6-1

Wins doubles with Thomson =All-England Doubles title.

Sussex Chmps,Brighton
FI lost to Alice Greene 2-6 8-6 6-2

Won mixed

South of England, Eastbourne
FI lost to Connie Wilson 7-5 6-2

Won mixed

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:30 PM.
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post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1904

Undefeated for the year-Chambers wins all 9 singles events she enters. This is the year that marks the start of her domination-over the course of the season she beats old nemesis Charlotte Sterry 6 times.

Won 9 of 9 singles events
Won 2 doubles titles
Won 2 mixed titles


April Covered Courts
FI d. Edith Greville 6-2 6-3

June Middlesex Chmps, Chiswick Park
FI d. Charlotte Sterry 4-6 6-1 6-3

Kent Chmps, Beckenham
1R
2R
3R
QF
SF
FI
CR d. Connie Wilson 6-4 6-2

Wimbledon
CR d Charlotte Sterry 6-0 6-3

Northumberland Chmps, Newcastle
FI d. Charlotte Sterry 7-5 6-1

Derbyshire Chmps, Buxton
FI d. Ethel Thomson 6-2 4-6 6-3

Won doubles
Won mixed=All-England Chmps


Northern England Championships, Liverpool (G) 1904
FI d. Ethel Thomson 6-4 6-2

Won doubles

Sussex Chmps, Brighton
??
SF d. Blanche Hillyard 6-1 1-6 7-5
FI d. Charlotte Sterry 6-3 6-3

South of England Chmps, Eastboure
1R d Ellen Stawell Brown 6-4 6-1
2R d. Alice Greene 6-2 6-4
QF d. Ethel Thomson 6-4 6-3
SF d Blanche Hillyard 6-2 7-5
FI d. Charlotte Sterry 6-3 6-4

Won mixed

A stellar field.

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:32 PM.
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post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dorothea Lambert Chambers

1905

An injury during her first trip abroad makes 1905 a trying year.

Wins 3 out of 8 events entered.
Won 2 doubles titles
Won 1 mixed title


Feb Monte Carlo, Cannes
FI d. Connie Wilson 6-4 6-1

Won doubles

Dorothea adapts well to the clay courts of France after a 27 hour train journey.

South of France Chmps, Nice
??
SF defaults to Countess Schulenburg (Ger)

Mixed with Charles Allen
FI lost to Countess Schulenburg/Reggie Doherty 6-4 2-6 12-10

Cannes Chmps, Beau Site
withdraws.

Wimbledon
CR lost to May Sutton (US) 6-3 6-4

Still injured, her arm responds to "a course of electricity". She decides to defend her title amd faces American sensation May Sutton. The beefy May hammers forehands past Chambers.

Injures her wrist in the mixed final-and unwisely continues to play. She must scratch in singles.




Midland Counties Championships, Edgbaston (G) 1905 Jul 29
FI lost to Constance Wilson 7-5 6-4

Northumberland Chmps, Newcastle
FI lost to Connie Wilson

Won doubles

Chambers loses despite having a match point.

Derbyshire Championships, Buxton (G) 1905 Aug 19
FI lost to Contance Wilson 4-6 6-1 7-5

Again loses after having a match ball!

Aug Homburg, Germany
FI d. Toupie Lowther 6-3 7-5

Divides mixed title

Wins a gold-jewelled purse as the first prize.

Dinard, France.
??
SF d. Gladys Eastlake-Smith 6-1 6-0
FI d. Blanche Hillyard 6-1 7-5
CR d. Katie Gillou (Fr) 6-3 6-4

London Covered Court Chmps Queen's Club
??
FI d. Ethel Larcombe 6-4 6-2

Many thanks to Elegos for results

Last edited by Rollo; Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:27 PM.
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