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Old Oct 28th, 2002, 09:34 PM   #1
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Lottie Dod - the best ever ?

From reading about her in the German book 'Sternstunden des Tennis', she must have been an amazing sportswoman.
I can't look up the article right now, but from what I remember, she won Wimbledon 5 times in the late 19th century. She must have been completely dominant, because she was often given disadvantages at tournaments, like being 0-15 down in every game, to make competition more interesting; but she still won. On the other hand, she had an advantage because she wasn't as restricted in what she had to wear on court, as she was still very young. She would probably have won anyway, though. It's also interesting to hear that she served underarm throughout her career.
She stopped playing tennis because she was bored of winning all the time.
What is even more amazing is that the story didn't end here. Later she became one of the world's best in many other sports, like Golf, ice-skating, sailing (?) and a few others which I can't remember right now. She even won Olympic medals, I think.

I always think it's unfair to leave out these 'early' women when talking about 'the best ever'. Lottie Dod was hardly able to win 24 Grand Slams or 167 tournaments at that time. But there is no doubt that she could have been a successful athlete in our days as well.
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Old Oct 28th, 2002, 09:39 PM   #2
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Thank you for this post, GoDominique.
Food for thought for all of us.

The two cleverest people i know among those who love tennis (apart from this board, i mean) , reckon the greatest ever are Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen.

I couldn't agree more with the "sense" of your" post.
Thanks again.
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Old Oct 29th, 2002, 02:49 AM   #3
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I think Suzanne could have been given a 0-15 deficit every game, and it would have probably extended her average match by about 1 minute.
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Old Oct 29th, 2002, 03:10 AM   #4
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I agree I think Charlotte Dod could've been the best ever too
She certainly was versatile with a lot of sports.
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Old Oct 29th, 2002, 05:51 PM   #5
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Nice thread Go Dominique

Quote:
I always think it's unfair to leave out these 'early' women when talking about 'the
best ever'. Lottie Dod was hardly able to win 24 Grand Slams or 167 tournaments at that time. But there is no doubt that she could have been a successful athlete in our days as well.
This is so true!

Lottie is often reckoned to be the greatest all around sportswoman ever.

"Giving 15" (or one point a game) was VERY common in this era. Handicap events often were played side by side with regular events. When Lottie first started play she was given 15 points a game because of her age. This made some of the other women very mad, as she already had an advantage in not having to wear long skirts!

By the early 1920s handicap events were no more, BTW.


There are two books in English on Dod. I'll try to find the titles.

Dod has one record that may never be beaten. She is the ONLY woman NEVER to lose a grand slam singles match
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Old Oct 29th, 2002, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rollo
Nice thread Go Dominique



Dod has one record that may never be beaten. She is the ONLY woman NEVER to lose a grand slam singles match
Actually, that is incorrect. Maureen Connolly never lost in a GS tournament either. More impressive since Dodd only played Wimbledon, Connolly played each GS at least once (the first lady to win the GS).

While I think that Lottie was, obviously, an amazing athlete comparing the tennis that she played vs. the tennis that even someone like Lenglen played are worlds apart. At that time, it should be mentioned, everyone served underhand. Lenglen was one of the first ladies to serve overhand and it didn't become a common practice for the women until after WWI. When Lenglen played Lambert-Chambers in their classic Wimby final in 1919, Lambert-Chambers still served underhand and almost won the match!
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Old Oct 30th, 2002, 03:32 AM   #7
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Pam- I also used to think Connolly never lost a grand slam match, but it's a myth that has grown through the years because she won 9 straight and was undefeated in slams from 1951 to 1954. She lost in the US Open(Nationals) i n 1949 and 1950. You can check by looking in the "Grand slam results section here in the blast. Your results are there too Pammy!
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Old Nov 13th, 2002, 12:21 AM   #8
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I definitely think Lottie Dodd was born way to early when she dominated Wimbledon.

You can't take away Wimbledon away from here but gosh would have been very interesting to know what she would have been like at her peek against Chambers or Lenglen.
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Old Nov 13th, 2002, 02:56 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info Rollo. Never realized that Mo competed at Nats. before '51. Wow wouldn't that have made her about 14 when she made her debut? Was Wimbledon the only event that didn't allow players younger than 16 to compete at that time? I remember that it was a big deal that the twerp, Tracy Austin played there in '77 when she was only 14. Ha!!! I should've been playing at Wimbledon at age 9!
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Old Nov 14th, 2002, 05:38 AM   #10
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I can't recall who let me on Mo's slam defeat Pam-it was a shock to me too. And it seems I goofed in making it plural, as I don't find her name in the 49 Nationals. She DID lose -in 1950-and I'll try to post that draw on Thursday.

I'm not sure Wimbledon had an iron rule on age limits until 1955-when a 15 year old Jean Forbes from South Africa stunned world #1 Brough in a grass warmup at Queen's Club before Wimbledon . The All England Club wouldn't let her enter that year and got a lot of heat for it, especially as Brough won that year! The story gets stranger still. Forbes was bitter about her age ban-let off on practice-and really went south when her father died early in 1956. Allowed to enter Wimbledon that year-she drew none other than Louise Brough in her first match . Jean was a shadow of her former self and lost 6-0 6-0.


P. S. I bet you were tall enough to enter Wimbledon at age 9. You looked so dishy the other night in LA Pam, you gorgeous hip het man lover you You MUST keep the Lady Godiva hair of yours long.
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Old Nov 14th, 2002, 01:58 PM   #11
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Oh Rollo! How you do talk! Yeah, I'm really beginning to love my locks, they've taken some getting used to after years of the ULTRA SEXY PAM PERM!!!

You better be careful though Rollo, I just might track you down and jump your bones!!! You are a dude right? CAUSE PAMMY ONLY LIKES THE DUDES!!!

By the way I was 5'10" when I was nine years old. That was the year, I was drafted by the Harlem Globe Trotters. I only toured with them for a month and a half, then they found out that A. I was underage and B. I was NOT black-the PamPerm threw them for quite the loop. Still I had a lot of fun with the "Trotters" while I was there. Still I'm mad I missed there adventure on Gilligan's Island.

Pammy's had a bit to drink this morning, maybe it's time for a nap. You know I love those Black Russian's (THE DRINKS!!! NOT THE DUDES!!! WELL OKAY THE DUDES TOO!!! LOL!!!) I think I should go soak my head now.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 07:48 PM   #12
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Don't forget Lottie Dod as an all-time great. She was something else-the ONLY woman NEVER to lose in a grand slam singles match!

Last edited by Rollo : Aug 1st, 2006 at 02:13 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: Lottie Dod - the best ever ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Don't forget Lottie Dod as an all-time great. She was something else-the ONLY woman NEVER to lose in a grand slam singles match!
That's amazing. It's pretty amazing also that she won her fifth and last Wimbledon at 21. How many more could she have won?
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Old May 14th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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Re: Lottie Dod - the best ever ?

Hello. My first post on this forum. You can call me Hugues. I had to add Daniel (second first name) since there is another Hugues here already.

Lottie Dod won the five Wimbledon she played (1887, 88, 91, 92, 93). That's about it for the grand slams. It wasn't even called a grand slam in those times.

More remarkable is to see she defeated Blanche Bingley Hillyard in each final, but then three of them in a challenge round (means she played one match only to keep the title three times out of five). Blanche Bingley is the player who won the most tournaments in the 19th century (I've been reading the results of this 19th century on the Blast from the Past section lately! This forum is incredible ), so that makes Lottie Dod above them all, probably (from the 19th century, I mean). But the more she would have contested, the more she would have got chances to be defeated. So records of that kind are always related to the number of matches and tournaments you played.

Dod apparently had several passions in sport, not tennis only, that's why she didn't play as much as other tennis players of her time.

Also: she was defeated once in the Irish Championships, by Louisa Martin. So she wasn't invincible.

Last edited by Hugues Daniel : May 14th, 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: Lottie Dod - the best ever ?

Hello Hugues-welcome to the Blast!


Quote:
so that makes Lottie Dod above them all, probably (from the 19th century, I mean). But the more she would have contested, the more she would have got chances to be defeated. So records of that kind are always related to the number of matches and tournaments you played.
Interesting thoughts there. As you say, the more she played the more she ran the risk of defeat. And we will never know how much being liberated from women's clothes helped her out. As a "Little Wonder", or girl, she got away with wearing less of the constrictive clothing that actually made women bleed at times due to whalebone corsets. etc.

The flip side is all of the Wimbledons she plain missed. Imagine how many she could have won! And playing only 1 "slam" a year-perhaps the records sort of even out in a way?

Where are you from? Do you play any tennis yourself?

One of my fantasies is to go back to Lottie's era and play real lawn tennis on a lawn-sort of like in the movie A Room With a View.

Last edited by Rollo : May 14th, 2013 at 06:48 PM.
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