Results compiled by Mark Ryan, plus Elegos, Gee Tee, Andrew Tas and Rollo, and for the slams, Brian Stewart
January to March
Date unknown New Zealand Championship
FI Kate Nunnelly
Date unknown, Natal Championship, Pietermaritzburg, SA
FI U. Turnbull d. J. Hime 7-5 7-5
March 13-20, South Australian Championships, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia (Grass)
FI: Maisie Parr d. Miss Brown 6-1 6-2
CR: Maisie Parr d. L.E. Payne (holder) default
DF: Miss Brown/Maisie Parr d. Miss Hone/L.E. Payne 3-6 6-5 8-6
MX: Miss Hone/R.G. Bowen d. L. E. Payne/W.A. Lang default
Date Unknown, Nice Lawn Tennis Championship
FI Miss Brooksmith
April 5-10, British Covered Courts Championships, London, England (Indoors on Wood)
Venue: Queen’s Club
CR: Edith Austin (holder) d. Ruth Dyas 9-11 6-4 12-10
Circa April 18, Tasmanian Championship, Launceston
FI G. Swan d. Nina Rock 6-2 6-2
April 16-19, French Covered Court Championships, Paris, France (Indoors on Wood)
Venue: Tennis Club de Paris
SF: Adine Masson d. Edith Riseley (GB) 5-7 6-1 7-5
SF: Phoebe Hausburg (GB) d. Miss Rooke (GB) 4-6 6-4 6-1
FI: Adine Masson d. Phoebe Hausburg (GBR) 7-5 6-4
MX: Adine Masson/Robert B Hough (GB) d. Miss Rooke (GB)/Stanley Riseley (GB) 6-2 6-3
The three Riseley's were siblings. A fourth sibling, Frank Riseley (the best player in the family), was runner-up in the men's singles event at this tournament in 1897. The women's singles event at this tournament went into decline in the years circa 1898-1903.
Circa May 3-8, New South Wales Championships, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (Grass)
CR: Phoebe Howitt d. Kate Nunneley (NZ) (holder) 6-3 3-6 6-4
DF: Phoebe Howitt/Kate Nunneley (NZ) d. Miss Dransfield/Maisie Parr 6-3 7-5
MX: Phoebe Howitt/Alfred W. Dunlop d. Kate Nunneley (NZ)/Edward Dewhurst 9-7 6-8 6-2
Howitt 'discovered that Nunneley's one weak spot was her backhand'
In 1896, Phoebe Howitt had won the women's doubles title with F. Waters. The mixed doubles was a challenge round system, with Holders Mabel Shaw and Percy Colquhon not defending.
Draw note: Nunneley often went by the nickname of "Kay".
May 24-31, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)
SF: Ruth Dyas d Charlotte Cooper (GB) 6-4 0-6 6-3
FI: Blanche Hillyard d. Ruth Dyas 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
DF: Charlotte Cooper/Blanche Hillyard d. Ruth Dyas/Mrs Thompson 7-5 6-8 6-4
MX: Blanche Hillyard/George Greville d. Charlotte Cooper/Harold Mahony 7-5 6-8 6-2
June 4-10, Championships of Berlin ,Berlin, Germany (Clay)
CR: Countess Clara von der Schulenburg (holder) d. Mme Popp 6-3 retired
The two finalists were sisters.
June 7-12, Middlesex Championships, Chiswick Park, London, England (Grass)
CR: Charlotte Cooper (holder) d. Edith Austin 1-6 6-4 6-4
June 7-12, Kent Championships, Beckenham, Kent, England (Grass)
CR: Edith Austin (holder) d. E. Morgan 6-2 6-0
Date unknown, Ealing Lawn Tennis Championship, GB
FI A. Brown
US National Women's Championships
Dates: June 15-19
Venue: Philadelphia Cricket Club, Philadelphia, PA, US
1R: Juliet Atkinson d. Marie Wimer 8-6 6-3
1R: Maud Banks d. Edith Rotch 6-2 2-6 6-2
1R: Kate Atkinson bye
1R: Hattie Beaumont bye
1R: Edith Kenderine bye
1R: Ellen Ketcham d. Elizabeth Rastall 4-6 6-1 6-3
1R: Carrie B. Neely bye
1R: Mrs. Frank Edwards bye
QF: J.Atkinson d. Banks 6-1 4-6 6-1
QF: K.Atkinson d. Beaumont 6-4 6-0
QF: Kenderine d. Ketcham 6-2 4-6 8-6
QF: Neely d. Edwards 6-2 6-1
SF: J.Atkinson d. K.Atkinson 6-1 6-3
SF: Kenderine d. Neely 7-5 2-6 6-0
FI: J.Atkinson d. Kenderine 6-2 4-6 6-0
CR: Juliette Atkinson d. Elizabeth "Bessie" Moore (holder) 6-3 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-3
1R: Juliette Atkinson/ Kathleen Atkinson d. Beaumont/Sleven 6-0 6-3
SF: J.Atkinson/K/Atkinson d. Maud Banks/Edith Rotch 3-6 6-4 6-4
SF: Mrs. Frank Edwards/Elizabeth J. Rastal d. Ray Harlan/Ellen Kitchen ??
FI: J.Atkinson/K.Atkinson d. Edwards/Rastal 6-2 6-1 6-1
MX: Laura Henson/D.L. Magruder d. Maud Banks/R.A. Griffin 6-4 6-3 7-5
Still a local affair, with the women listed with the clubs they represent! Carrie Neely is the one non-local, coming form Chicago. In 1998 the eastern women will face the first "Western" invasion, when Marion Jones comes east to vie for the title.
All the participants had a sit down dinner after the ladies final. Fresh lemonade inside the clubhouse kept spectators cool.
The local paper noted on day 3 that "all day carriages and buggies were coming to and fro the tennis festivities".
- Brian Stewart
June 14-19, Northern Tournament, Manchester, England (Grass)
FI: Charlotte Cooper d. E. Cressy 7-5 6-3
CR: Charlotte Cooper d. Louisa Martin (holder) 3-6 6-3 6-4
DF: Charlotte Cooper/Ruth Dyas d. Blanche Hillyard/Louisa Martin 6-0 7-5
FI: Louisa Martin/Frank L. Riseley d. Ruth Dyas/Sidney H. Smith 6-3 6-3
CR: Charlotte Cooper/Harold Mahony (holders) d. Louisa Martin/Frank L. Riseley 6-3 4-6 6-4
June 23, French Closed Championships, Societe des sports, Ile de Puteaux, Paris, France (Clay)
FI: Adine Masson d. Mme P. Girod 6-3 6-1
This first women's singles event at what was the French Closed Championships (open only to French players and overseas players who were members of French clubs) took place on one day, Wednesday, June 23, 1897. It was played separately from the men's singles event, the semi-finals and finals of which were played the following Sunday at a different venue, the Tennis Club de France. It was not until later years that all of the different events were played at the same venue and at the same time (from 1910 onwards the venue was the Racing Club de France, in Paris). There was a men's doubles event at this point in time, but no women's doubles event until 1907. The first mixed doubles event was held in 1902.
Adine Masson appears to have been a French-Canadian who settled in France. She was the best of the earliest female tennis players in France. The runner-up was a married woman, so the P. might stand for Pierre or Paul. Her identity is well hidden anyway. "Le Figaro" said it was a very hard-fought contest.
June 30-July 3, Sheffield and Hallamshire, South Yorkshire, England, GB (Grass)
FI: Ruth Dyas d. Miss Smyth 5-7 6-3 6-3
The Championshiops (Wimbledon)
Dates: June 21-July 1
Venue: The All-England Club, Wimbledon, London, England
*Defending champ Cooper sits out until challenge round.
1R: Henrietta Horncastle d. Ellen Thynne 12-10 6-4
1R: Blanche Hillyard d. Edith Austin default
1R: Ruth Dyas d. E. J. Bromfield 6-0 6-3
1R: Alice Pickering bye
SF: Hillyard d. Horncastle default
SF: Pickering d. Dyas 6-4 4-6 6-1
FI: Hillyard d. Pickering 6-2 7-5
CR: Blanche Hillyard d. Charlotte Cooper 5-7 7-5 6-2
July 5-10, North London Championships (Gipsy Open), London, England (Grass)
FI: Edith Austin d. E Morgan 6-1 6-0
Holder A. Templeman did not defend title.
July 7-10, Welsh Championships, Newport, Wales (Grass)
FI: H Ridding d. J Cochrane 9-7 7-5
Could J Cochrane=Ethel Cohrane 1893 winner? or is this a different Cochrane?
July 12-17, London Championships, Queen’s Club, London, England (Grass)
SF: Charlotte Cooper d. Beryl Tulloch 8-10 6-3 8-6
SF: Edith Austin d. Ruth Legh 6-0 6-0
FI: Charlotte Cooper d. Edith Austin 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Charlotte Cooper, the holder, played through this year.
began July 13, Canadian Championships, Niagrara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (Grass)
CR: Juliette Atkinson (US) (holder) d. J Davis 6-3 6-1
July 15-17, Leamington, Warwickshire, England (Grass)
FI: Ruth Dyas d. Minnie Hunter 4-6 6-0 6-1
Holdrer Alice Pickering did not defend title.
July 3-5, Sleepy Hollow Tournament, Tarrytown, NY, USA
Venue: Sleepy Hollow TC
FI: Miss Silver d. Miss Ewings 8-6 6-2
MX: Silver/Thayer d. Ewings/Milliard 6-3 6-3
Date unknown, Czechoslovakian Championship
FI H.F. Gerard
July 19-24, Midland Counties Championships, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England (Grass)
FI: Ruth Dyas d. Alice Pickering 8-6 3-6 6-3
July 26-31, Northumberland Championships, Newcastle, Northumberland, England (Grass)
FI: Blanche Hillyard d. Bertha Steedman 6-3 retired
DF: Blanche Hillyard/Bertha Steedman d. Ruth Dyas/Alice Pickering 7-5 6-4
MX: Bertha Steedman/Sidney H Smith d. Blanche Hillyard/George Hillyard 2-6 6-4 6-1
Steedman's retirement in the singles final resulted in some criticism from "The Field" reporter. Steedman's response was published a couple weeks later on August 21:
"I shall be obliged by your allowing me space in your columns to reply to certain statements made in your issue of August 7 by the reporter of lawn tennis in reference to the Northumberland meeting. He states: 'It was with great difficulty that Miss Steedman could be prevailed upon to face Mrs [Blanche] Hillyard for the final round of the ladies' singles, and even then she played only one set before retiring.'
"Whatever difficulty I made, I had certainly just cause; for it is impossible for a lady to play four hard matches on one day, and to do herself justice, as was the case with me. I started to play on Saturday morning at 11.30 in the semi-final of the mixed doubles, and the match was not finished until 12.45. At 2.30 I played one set against Mrs Hillyard in the ladies' singles and then retired. At 3.30 the final of the ladies' doubles commenced, and was not finished until 4.30. Half an hour later I had to play in the final of the mixed doubles, which took more than an hour. A lady ought not to be asked to do more than this.
"The semi-final of the mixed doubles ought to have been played off on Friday. On Friday I had pointed out to the referee that, unless I played the final of the mixed doubles that day, it was possible I might have to play all these four matches on Saturday, and said I could not do it, and should scratch to Mrs Hillyard. I was assured that I should not have all four matches to play. I think, therefore, in fairness, it must be admitted that I had excellent reason for playing only one set.
"The reporter says I should have scratched before the final if I did not intend to play; but how was I to know I should be left in for all three finals, or that the matches would be so arranged as to necessitate my scratching? The reporter also utterly ignores the fact that in the other two events I had someone to consider beside myself.
"I am prepared to play three finals if I have the good luck to be in for them, but I do draw the line at semi-finals on the same day. It is unnecessary to notice the reporter's remarks about one's duty to the public and the committee, beyond saying that the honorary secretary actually thanked me for playing even one set, and agreed that I had good reason for only playing one."
August 2-7, Scottish Championships, Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (Grass)
FI: Minnie Hunter d. Miss Kendal 6-4 7-5
Holder L. Paterson (holder) did not defend title.
August 2-7, Exmouth, Devon, England (Grass)
FI: Violet Pinckney d. Elsie Pinckney default
August 4-6, West of Scotland Championships, Castle Wemyss, Fife, Scotland (Grass)
FI: K. Jamieson d. Mrs Foster 6-4 6-3
DF: K. Jamieson/M. Jamieson d. Mrs Foster/Miss Spurgeon 7-5 8-6
MX: Miss Ewen/G.L. Findaly d. Miss Orr/W.R.B. Latham 6-0 6-3
Holder L. Paterson (holder) did not defend.
August 10-14, Derbyshire Championships, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)
FI: Alice Pickering d. Blanche Hillyard 6-4 5-7 6-4
DF: Blanche Hillyard/Alice Pickering d. M. Brooksmith/Miss Wolfenden 6-0 6-1
MX: Alice Pickering/Sidney H. Smith d. Blanche Hillyard/George Hillyard 5-7 6-3 6-4
Pickering's maiden name was Simpson.
August 10-14, Trefriw, Wales (Grass)
CR: Ruth Dyas (holder) d. C. Hill 2-6 6-2 6-2
August 12-15, Pacific Northwest Championships, Tacoma, Washington USA
FI: Miss Riley d. ??
DF: Miss Frere/Mrs Langley d. Riley/Miss Struve ??
MX: Frere/J.F.Foulkes d. Struve/Hurd 2 sets to 1
August 16-21, Yorkshire Open, Scarborough, Yorkshire England (Grass)
FI: L. Kendal d. Muriel Robb 6-3 6-0
DF: K. Grey/L. Kendal d. Minnie Hunter/Muriel Robb 6-3 9-7
MX: Muriel Robb/Grainger Chaytor d. L. Kendal/Edmund D. Black 6-2 6-1
* Muriel Robb, a future Wimbledon champion, was from Newcastle in Northumberland.
August 16-22, German Championships, Hamburg, Germany (Clay)
FI: Blanche Hillyard (GB) d. Charlotte Cooper (GB) 6-3 6-2 6-2
August 17-19, Saxmundham, Suffolk, England (Grass)
FI: Mrs White d. N. Bloxsome 6-4 6-4
Circa August 23-29, Bad Homburg, Germany (Clay)
FI: Blanche Hillyard and Charlotte Cooper divided the prizes as final was cancelled due to non-stop rain.
August, East of England Championships, Felixstowe
FI: Mrs White d. Henrietta Horncastle 6-3 6-3
began August 24, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Boulogne, France (Clay)
FI: F. Gould (GB) d. Ms Harvey (GB) 6-1 6-3
Holder L. Paterson (GB) (holder) did not defend
Circa August 23-30, Queensland Championships, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Grass)
FI: Eileen Persee d. Mabel Mant 6-2 6-3
CR: Ethel Mant (holder) d. Eileen Persee 6-3 5-7 6-[?]*
MX: Miss Mant/F.A. Waller d. Miss Newton/Dr  Hughes 3-6 6-4 7-5
*The complete score of the singles finalis not known.
began August 25 Niagara-on-the-Lake International, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (Grass)
CR: Juliette Atkinson (US) (holder) d. Maude Smith 6-4 7-5
Mrs Eustace Smith=nee Maude Delano-Osborne.
Began in mid to late August ????* Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany (Clay)
FI: Blanche Hillyard (GB) d. Charlotte Cooper (GB) 6-2 6-4
A big tournament was held in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1897, in mid-to late August. The Doherty brothers, Laurie and Reggie, took part in it. Reggie had won his first Wimbledon singles title earlier in the season. Blanche Hillyard had won her fourth, and she won the women's singles title at Baden-Baden, too, repeating her Wimbledon Challenge Round win over Charlotte Cooper, her nearest rival. Elsie Lane had won the women's title at Baden-Baden in 1896, so if she did not defend, the last women's match would probably have been an all-comers' final.
The Baden-Baden tournament went into decline after 1898 or so and wasn't revived until 1904, when it began to prosper again.
*From Rollo: Mark's information strongly suggests this event was held either prior to or after the German Chmps and Bad Homburg. For now I'm going with the later date.
early September, Ladies’ Western Championships, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Grass?)
Venue: Kenwood Country Club
FI: Louise Pound d. Juliette Atkinson 6-4 6-1 6-3
CR: Louise Pound d. Jennie Craven (holder) 6-0 6-3 7-5
CR: Juliette Atkinson/Jennie Craven d. Grace Cloes/Carrie Neely 6-2 5-7 6-2 6-4
* Carrie Neely had won the women’s doubles title the previous year with Harriet Rew.
September ?? Pacific Coast Championships , San Rafael, California, US (Hard)
Venue: San Rafael Hotel
Was a ladies event even held? Miss Bee Hooper is listed as the holder when the 1898 even tis held, yet no score exists for a ladies single after 1896. Could Bee have "won" the Pacific Coast Championshipsin 1896 and 1897 by default due to a lack of challengers?
September 6-11, Sussex Championships, Brighton, Sussex, England (Grass)
FI: Charlotte Cooper d. Elsie Lane 6-2 6-3
CR: Charlotte Cooper d. Blanche Hillyard (holder) 7-5 7-5
DF: Charlotte Cooper/E. Thynne d. Mrs Hausburg/Miss Riseley 6-2 6-0
MX: Edith Austin/George Greville d. Charlotte Cooper/George Hillyard 6-2 6-3
Mixed winners Austin and Greville were later married.
September 13 + fd, Dinard Tournament, Dinard, Brittany, France (Clay)
CR: Ivy Arbuthnot (GB) (holder) d. Adine Masson 6-3 3-6 6-4
September 13-18, South of England Championships, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England (Grass)
Venue: Devonshire Park
FI: Charlotte Cooper d. Edith Austin 6-3 4-6 6-0
CR: Charlotte Cooper d. Blanche Hillyard (holder) 6-4 6-0
MX: Edith Austin/George Greville d. Toupie Lowther/Reggie Doherty 3-6 6-2 6-4
September 20-25, Welsh Covered Courts Championships, Llandudno, Wales (Indoors on Wood)
CR: Ruth Dyas d. Alice Pickering (holder) 4-6 6-3 6-4
late September, Western Australian Championships, Perth, Western Australia, Australia (Grass)
FI: E. Calder d. Miss Stewart 6-3 6-0
*possibly started or ended on Sept 21
November 15-20, Victorian Championships, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Grass)
FI: Phoebe Howitt d. F. Waters 6-3 2-6 6-3
DF: Phoebe Howitt/Miss Howitt d. F. Waters/Miss Wilmoth 6-3 6-4
MX: Phoebe Howitt/Alfred W. Dunlop d. F. Waters/T. Irving 6-3 2-6 6-3
Some information from "Le Figaro" newspaper on the first ever women's singles event at the French Closed Championships:
June 23, French Closed Championships, Societe des sports, Ile de Puteaux, Paris, France (Clay)
FI: Adine Masson d. Mme P. Girod [score?]*
* This first women's singles event at what was the French Closed Championships (open only to French players and overseas players who were members of French clubs) took place on one day, Wednesday, June 23, 1897. It was played separately from the men's singles event, the semi-finals and finals of which were played the following Sunday at a different venue, the Tennis Club de France. It was not until later years that all of the different events were played at the same venue and at the same time (from 1910 onwards the venue was the Racing Club de France, in Paris). There was a men's doubles event at this point in time, but no women's doubles event until 1907. The first mixed doubles event was held in 1902.
Adine Masson appears to have been a French-Canadian who settled in France. She was the best of the earliest female tennis players in France. The runner-up was a married woman, so the P. might stand for Pierre or Paul. Her identity is well hidden anyway. It was not possible to find the score of this final, but a report in "Le Figaro" said it was a very hard-fought contest.
That was very important information that fills in a huge gap. By the way I do have a score for the final-it was 6-3 6-1.
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