„Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
country flag LKK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,297
                     
„Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

A semi-fictional story

Introduction:
I remember the night of the 21st of June like it was yesterday: I was sitting in the armchair and drinking my tea. The party just came to a sudden end, leaving me with a strong headache. I started to look at the computer screen without any clear purpose. Once again I checked the “Blast Encyclopedia…” on which I had worked so hard just a day before, and the first player on the long list that I noticed was “Miss Adams”, a woman whose first name remained unknown. With a minimal chance of any progress in a research I opened her short biography like I had done so many times before, but that day one detail drew my attention: she was a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 1901. “A rather unusual achievement for a lady without a tennis reputation”- I thought while taking another sip of tea. The phone rang, but the news didn’t bring anything special into my -

Investigation:
I searched for the Wimbledon results from 1901 and though soon after I found the full draw of women’s singles, the name that caught my eye wasn’t Adams – it was “Mme Popp”, listed as a French player at the top of the draw. “There were some foreigners among female players that year” – a bright thought came to my mind. I yawned as the environmental pollution and its effects suddenly made me upset, forcing me to focus on other matters, and I left the Wimbledon draw sheet open on my computer. But after a while it drew my attention again when I started to think that “Mme Popp” might have been that German-born tennis player who was a sister of Countess Clara von der Schulenburg. It seemed quite odd to me that she played at Wimbledon, and that it wasn’t her better known sister. “What a mystery” – I murmured – “Is it possible that Mme Popp visited Great Britain alone in 1901 ?” I read all the names in the draw mentioned above. Almost at the bottom - there was “that Miss Adams”. I checked quickly her way to the semifinals. She won two matches very easily, losing just one game, got a walk-over and then was defeated by Mrs A. Sterry, the eventual winner of the Championship. “Quite good results for someone totally unknown” – I remarked again. Her uncertain identity provoked me to create some -

Theory:
“Let’s do some deeper research” – I told to my fat cat. He seemed to listen very carefully, so I proceeded in this direction. Just two weeks before Wimbledon Mme Popp participated in the Kent Championships at Beckenham, she lost early in that tournament in which Countess Clara von der Schulenburg reached the quarterfinals. “It’s weird that the latter didn’t stay slightly longer in England to play at Wimbledon ! And why her less talented sister was able to be there, and Clara wasn’t ?” – I yelled, pulling some hair out of my beard. “Clara von der Schulenburg used various aliases in some tournaments on the French Riviera, and sometimes it was: Miss Adams !” - this brilliant thought appeared almost out of nowhere, and was stronger and stronger. How clear was my -

Conclusion:
Some days passed, but I still believe that it is possible that Countess Clara von der Schulenburg might have been that “Miss Adams” - a participant in the Wimbledon tournament in 1901…
LKK is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 01:11 AM
Senior Member
 
Ms. Anthropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,382
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

A believable hypothesis. What is the earliest documentation for the "Miss/Mrs. Adams" pseudonym? (And I thought I had it tough dealing with typos and misspellings/variant spellings!)
Ms. Anthropic is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 10:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,934
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

Congratulations LKK!! You are a writer! Your story is very enjoyable.
You should write novels!
I think me too that your hypothesis is believable.
Jimbo109 is offline  
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,080
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

From "One Hundred Years of Wimbledon" (1977), by Lance Tingay

Overseas Challengers at Wimbledon before 1914

Ladies' singles event

1900

Marion Jones (USA)
--

1905

May Sutton (USA)
--

1906

May Sutton (USA)
--

1907

May Sutton (USA)
Violet Summerhayes (CAN)
--

1909

Molla Bjurstedt (NOR)
--

1910

Sophie Castenschiold (DEN)
--

1911

Sophie Castenschiold (DEN)
--

1912

Marie Decugis (FRA)
Jeanne Liebrechts (BEL)
Elizabeth Ryan (USA)
--

1913

Mieken Rieck (GER)
Elizabeth Ryan (USA)
--

1914

Marguerite Broquedis (FRA)
Elizabeth Ryan (USA)
-----

Female players not included by Lance Tingay in "One Hundred Years of Wimbledon":

1901

"Miss Adams" aka Countess Clara von der Schulenburg (GER)
"Mme Popp", possibly Antonie von Kusenberg (GER), sister of the above
-----

1904

Mlle de Robiglio (FRA)
Marie-Louise de Pfeffel (FRA)
Adine Masson (FRA)
-----

1907

Mita Klima (AUT)
Willy Klima (AUT)
-----

Last edited by newmark401; Jul 27th, 2013 at 07:00 PM.
newmark401 is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 07:02 PM
Moderator - BFTP
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,646
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

I recall seeing that list in Tingay's book Mark-it's a marvelous resource.

But not sure it is 100% complete-didn't a 13 year old Austrian compete before the war? Her name started with a K I think.
Rollo is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
country flag LKK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,297
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

Thanks for all the comments and nice words !

Yes, Lance Tingay's list isn't complete - it doesn't include the Klima sisters from Austria. There was also a French contingent headed by Adine Masson in 1904, plus Mme Popp, a French (or a German?) tennis player in 1901 - my theory is based also on her appearance at Wimbledon that year.

The earliest mention of Countess Clara von der Schulenburg using this alias comes from March 1904, and unfortunately I don't have any sources to prove that she had played as "Adams" before.

It would be good if someone could find the Wimbledon results in some English newspapers from 1901 (I hope you can check them in the London Times one day soon, Rollo). In those times they often (but not always) indicated when some names were just pseudonyms. Also, if we had a British ranking for 1901 - a semifinalist at Wimbledon - if Miss Adams was a British player - would be probably included on the list even if it was her only tournament of the year.

Last edited by LKK; Jul 23rd, 2013 at 08:13 PM.
LKK is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 2013, 04:45 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 131
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

Hi LKK,

Your hypothesis is certainly interesting and probably true. I took a look at London Times and for 1901 Wimbledon she is listed as "Miss Adams", in quotation marks, so it must be a pseudonym. She also played mixed doubles with Reggie Doherty, where they were "unexpectedly" beaten by Eaves and Mrs Durlacher. This wording also indicates she must have been a rather famous player.
I know Clara Kusenberg Schulenburg played often mixed doubles with Reggie Doherty, they won in 1902 in Monte Carlo, and in 1903 and 1905 in Nice. So I would say it is very likely that this pseudonym hides Clara Kusenberg Schulenburg.

To add to the confusion, there was a British player called D.C. Adams, but she is first mentioned in London Times for the 1904 Eastbourne tournament. It of course does not mean she has not played before, as London Times reported very few tennis events before 1907.

Also, in 1905 a certain "Mrs Adams" lost the women's doubles final in Cannes playing with Miss Wilson. It is possible this "Mrs Adams" is also Clara Kusenberg Schulenburg. But if it is so, this time her pseudonym included Mrs instead of Miss.

But returning to Wimbledon 1901, I am fairly certain you are right, mainly because of the mixed doubles result I mentioned. Also, the book of Mrs Lambert Chambers mentions the 1901 "classifications" with the Top 16 British ladies, but there is no trace of Adams, which also indicates it was a pseudonym.

Congratulations to this good catch!

Last edited by elegos7; Jul 24th, 2013 at 04:55 AM.
elegos7 is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 2013, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
country flag LKK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,297
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

Hello elegos7 ! Thank you so much for your additional research that moves my hypothesis much closer to probability Miss Adams' partnership with Reggie Doherty is a strong argument - at Beckenham, just two weeks before the 1901 Wimbledon, Clara von der Schulenburg played with him in the mixed doubles (it was a handicap event that year; her sister's partner was Laurie Doherty).

Clara played tennis under the pseudonym of "Adams" on the French Riviera in 1904 and 1905, so I'm certain she was a women's doubles finalist in the Cannes tournament that you mention above.
LKK is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2013, 06:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,080
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

From "Lawn Tennis and Croquet", July 3, 1901:

"'Miss Adams', a visitor from the Continent, is a steady baseline player with some volleying power, good backhand and forehand drives and conisderable mastery of the ball. Unfortunately she had the most uninteresting draw [at Wimbledon] - a walkover and two very easy ties before she met Mrs Sterry."

From the same edition of "Lawn Tennis and Croquet":

"'Miss Adams' has never before played on grass courts, and was not quite at home with their slowness compared with the very fast courts she is acquainted to. She hails from the Continent, where she is by far the best lady player."
--

From "Lawn Tennis and Croquet", July 17, 1901:

Re: The Ile de Puteaux tournament

"R.F. Doherty, A.B.J. Norris, Mrs Hillyard and 'Miss Adams', the well-known German lady player, sent in their entries at the last moment, but did not come..."
-----
newmark401 is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Moderator - BFTP
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,646
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

That seals the deal for me Mark.

This is a perfect example of how a spark of an idea sees light of day and gets proven beyond a doubt.

Drink some more tea and talk to your fat cat as often as possible LKK. And here's to Elegos and Mark for helping to prove you right.

to the group detective work!
Rollo is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
country flag LKK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,297
                     
Re: „Miss Adams” – a revolutionary theory on the identity of an unknown tennis player

Mark, thanks for the excerpts from "Lawn Tennis and Croquet"

Rollo, the fat cat is a fictional character in this Blast detective story - next time it may be a rabbit, hehe.
LKK is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome