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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #1
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Louisa Martin's record at the Irish Championships (1885-1908)

By Mark Ryan


Mary Louisa Martin, known as Louisa, was born on 3 September 1865 in Newtowngore, County Leitrim, Ireland. Virtually nothing is known about her early life. However, there is no doubt concerning her talent as a tennis player, which was exceptional. The only surprising thing about her tournament record is that she never took the ladies’ singles title at Wimbledon. However, she played the singles event there only four times, losing in the All-Comers’ Final to Charlotte Cooper (Sterry) on three occasions. At the Irish Championships in Dublin, Louisa beat Charlotte three out of the four times they played each other in the singles event.

More than one source states that Louisa suffered from nerves on the biggest occasions, but this did not apply to her at the Irish Championships. She entered the singles event in Dublin fifteen times between 1885, her debut year, and 1908, the last year she entered the tournament. During that period she won the singles title nine times, was runner-up three times and lost in the semi-final an additional three times. Although the draws were much smaller in those days than they are today, this is a remarkable record at what was then a very prestigious tournament. Louisa took an additional twelve titles at the same tournament – nine in the ladies’ doubles (it was a “handicap” event only in 1908) and three in the mixed doubles.

With few exceptions it has been possible to find the results of every singles match Louisa played in the three main events open to women at the Irish Championships. I have also included, when available, the result of the last match she played in the ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles events in the years in which she entered them.

The “Irish Times” newspaper covered the tournament in detail at the time and I have reproduced reports of almost all of the twelve singles finals in which Louisa Martin played. In addition, there is a report on Louisa’s quarter-final singles match against Lottie Dod at the 1892 tournament. Lottie Dod was considered more or less invincible at the time, but Louisa still beat her.

As the draws were so small, a first round match was often also a last 16 or quarter-final match. When the first singles match Louisa played was a quarter-final (or a semi-final), it is indicated as FR. Otherwise, QF = quarter-final; SF = semi-final; F = final. Players are Irish unless otherwise indicated.

1885

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. May Langrishe 6-3, 6-3
QF Louisa Martin d. A. Fullerton, walkover
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Langrishe 6-1, 6-3 [more than likely Adela]
F Maud Watson (GB) d. Louisa Martin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

Doubles event
SF Maud Watson (GB)/Lilian Watson (GB) d. Beatrice Langrishe/Louisa Martin [score not known]

Mixed doubles event – Did not enter
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1886

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 6-0, 6-0
SF Louisa Martin d. Beatrice Langrishe 6-1, 6-2
F May Langrishe d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-4

Doubles event
F Connie Butler/Louisa Martin d. Beatrice Langrishe/May Langrishe 6-3, 6-4

Mixed doubles event
SF Eyre Chatterton/May Langrishe d. Willoughby Hamilton/L. Martin 6-4, 6-1

From the “Irish Times”, 20 May 1886

“It was a pity that the two best matches of the afternoon – the Ladies’ Championship and the Gentlemen’s Championship – should have to be played off simultaneously, but from one cause or another the arrangement was unavoidable, and so spectators had to divide their attention between the two contests. The opponents in the ladies’ game were Miss May Langrishe, an ex-holder of the championship, and Miss Martin, who it will be remembered gained a very ready victory over her rival of Saturday at last year’s tournament. Mindful of the improvements displayed by Miss Langrishe in her previous matches during the week, many were led to anticipate a close match, but no one was prepared for the clever victory achieved by the lady named.

“It was quite evident she held the winning card throughout the first set, in which she only allowed her opponent the second, fourth and seventh games, but Miss Martin showed up so well in the early part of the second set that at one time it seemed certain the three sets would have to be exhausted to decide this match. Miss Langrishe won the first game, but Miss Martin then rattling off four in succession, amongst them one love game, the score was called ‘4 games to 1, Miss Martin leads’. However, Miss Langrishe, playing in irresistible fashion, clean outplayed her opponent at every point, and with a sequence of five games, ran out the set by 6 to 4. Included in the winner’s scores were two love games.

“Miss Langrishe played better than ever she has done before, and her victory is more attributable to this than to the slight falling away perceptible in Miss Martin’s game. Her returns were very severe, and besides placing them beautifully along the sidelines, she invariably kept them to her opponent’s backhand. Miss Martin’s returns, on the contrary, lacked much of their usual strength, but at times she showed quite up to her best form.”
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1887

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Exham 6-1, 6-3
SF Lottie Dod (GB) d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-0

Doubles event
F Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Lilian Watson (GB)/Maud Watson (GB) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Mixed doubles event
QF Ernest Renshaw (GB)/Lottie Dod (GB) d. Willoughby Hamilton/L. Martin 6-3, 7-5

From the “Irish Times”, 26 May 1887

“Judging by the exceptionally brilliant form shown by Miss Martin in all her practice matches this season, those best able to form an opinion looked forward to her, if not winning the ladies’ singles right out, certainly getting into the final round, but her match with Miss Dod ended in an easy win for the English lady, Miss Martin getting but three games in the match. It cannot be denied that Miss Martin does not play up to her true form in public and several of her strokes were much affected by her nervousness, which was a noticeable feature throughout her game. Miss Dod, on the other hand, was as cool as possible, and the sureness and severity of her strokes frequently brought forth rounds of applause. The winner has improved vastly since last year, especially in her backhand stroke, which, though not severe, is nevertheless a very telling one. Miss Martin took the first two games, but from that to the finish she got only one more game. Miss Dod took the third, fourth and fifth games to 15, 30 and 30, her opponent taking the sixth game to deuce, when three games won by Miss Dod to 30, deuce and 15, won her the set. The second set was won to love. The first two games were close enough, being won to deuce; but in the last four games the winner only lost three strokes.”
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1888 – Did not enter
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1889

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-2, 8-6
SF Louisa Martin d. Bertha Steedman (GB) 7-5, 6-1
F Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard (GB) 7-5, 6-0

Doubles event
F L. Martin/Florence Stanuell d. B. Hillyard (GB)/D. Meldon 6-4, 6-2

Mixed doubles event
FR Harold Mahony/Florence Stanuell d. T.S. Campion/L. Martin [score not known]

From the “Irish Times”, 27 May 1889

“In the ladies’ singles the Irish lady added another trophy to the list already retained by the Irish players. The final match was between Miss Martin and Mrs Hillyard, and was started at 12 o’clock in court 5, and ended, as appears in the annexed details, by two sets to love in favour of Miss Martin. The Irish lady led off by winning the first game to 15, but after this Mrs Hillyard got five consecutive games, when the set seemed at her mercy. However, Miss Martin again woke up, and playing with marvellous strength, she won six games off the reel, and thus took the set to five games. This upset put Mrs Hillyard very much about, and her temper getting the better of her, she simply chucked the second set after the first game; and Miss Martin winning it to love, she won the match amidst great applause.”
-----------

1890

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-4, 6-0
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Jackson (GB) 6-2, 6-2
F Louisa Martin d. Lena Rice 9-7, 6-4

Doubles event
F L. Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Connie Butler/G. Crofton 6-2, 6-2

Mixed doubles event
F Grainger Chaytor/L. Martin d. A.J. de C. Wilson/Miss Jackson (GB) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

From the “Irish Times”, 31 May 1890

“The final match of the Ladies’ Championship Singles was started on court 5 just before the last match was over. Miss Rice started by winning the first game to love, but Miss Martin, who got accustomed to the wind, followed with the second. The third and fourth were taken by her opponent, the fourth being a love game. Alternate games were played, until the score stood 4-3, Miss Rice leads; but Miss Martin took the eighth and ninth, and Miss Rice the following two. The twelfth was a love game to Miss Martin, and she also took the following one, Miss Rice the fourteenth, but the next two falling to Miss Martin, she won the set to 7, 9-7.

“In the second set Miss Martin played up better, but Miss Rice, on the contrary, went to pieces. She won the first game, but Miss Martin taking the next two, it was seen that she was going to win. After the fourth game, which was a win for Miss Rice, she failed to score until Miss Martin was two games ahead, when she played up better, and won the seventh game. Alternate games having been won, Miss Martin got the tenth game and the match.”
----------

1891

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss “Gerald” [a pseudonym; score not known]
QF Louisa Martin d. G. Crofton 6-0, 6-1
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Jackson (GB) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
F Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-2, 5-7, 6-0

Doubles event
F L. Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Miss Jackson (GB)/Miss Pope 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

Mixed doubles event
F Grainger Chaytor/L. Martin d. George Ball-Greene/Miss McClintock 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3

From the “Irish Times”, 2 June 1891

“The final match in the Ladies’ Singles was played on Court 4 between Miss Martin and Miss Stanuell and, as anticipated, it ended in a win for the former by 2 sets to 1. Miss Martin won the first game to 15, and then Miss Stanuell made it one game-all by taking the second game to 30. Miss Martin now got three consecutive games and, after Miss Stanuell had won a game to one [illegible] Miss Martin finished the set by taking the next two games to deuce and 15.

“The second set was much closer, and Miss Stanuell, playing a good game all round, put it to her credit by 7 games to 5; the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth games being won to deuce several times in each. The aces in the third set were also very close, but Miss Martin winning all six games took a love set, and thus the match and championship.”
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1892 (Draw of 10; six byes in first round)

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin, a bye
QF Louisa Martin d. Lottie Dod 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 [see below]
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Exham [score not known]
F Louisa Martin d. G. Crofton 6-1, 6-0

Doubles event
SF Lottie Dod (GB)/Bertha Steedman (GB) d. L. Martin/Florence Stanuell [score not known]
Mixed doubles event
F Grainger Chaytor/L. Martin d. Anthony Dod (GB)/Lottie Dod (GB) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 9-7

The “Irish Times” described the quarter-final match between Louisa Martin and Lottie Dod as “one of the finest ladies’ matches ever played in [Fitzwilliam Square]”. The report went on: “It was looked upon as a [formality] for Miss Dod, but the result was different and it fell to Miss Martin by 2 sets to 1. However, it should be mentioned that the circumstances under which the match was played were against Miss Dod, who seemed unable to get her stroke, owing to the ground being a bit slow [as a consequence of] the many showers which fell both before and during the match. Miss Martin seemed in her best form and [was] driving with exceptional force. She got many aces, her placing was also very accurate and altogether she had the length of the court to an [art].”

Lottie Dod won the first game of the match, Louisa Martin the next two, Lottie the fourth game, and Louisa the next four to take the first set 6-2. In the second set Louisa got the first game, Lottie the second and Louisa the third. According to the “Irish Times”, “… after this Miss Dod got five games off the reel, all being very long ones, making the score set-all. It now looked as if Miss Dod would win the [match after] taking the first game of the third set to love, two aces being won off her service, but she again fell off, and either player scored alternately till ‘five games-all’ was called, when Miss Martin took two consecutive games […] and the match.”
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1893 – Did not enter
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1894 – Did not enter
-----------

1895

Louisa Martin is unable to play in the singles event for an unspecified reason, but plays ladies’ doubles with Florence Stanuell and mixed doubles with George C. Ball-Greene.

Doubles event
SF Charlotte Cooper (GB)/Miss [E.] Cooper (GB) d. L. Martin/Florence Stanuell 6-4, 7-5

Mixed doubles event
QF George Greville (GB)/Miss Corder d. G. C. Ball-Greene/L. Martin 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
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1896

Singles event (Draw of 14; three byes in first round)
FR Louisa Martin d. Ruth Dyas 6-0, 6-4
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Snook (GB) 6-1, 6-3
F Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper (GB) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2

Doubles event
SF Ruth Dyas/Alice Pickering (GB) d. Charlotte Cooper (GB)/L. Martin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4

Mixed doubles event
SF Manliffe Goodbody/Alice Pickering (GB) d. C.H. Martin/L. Martin 6-3, 2-6, 6-4

From the “Irish Times”, 1 June 1896

“The final match in the Ladies’ Championship Singles was played between Miss Martin and Miss Cooper, and it ended in a win for the Irish lady, who played a really fine game throughout. She started remarkably well and won the first set to love, her hard and fast volleying telling against her opponent. In the second set, however, Miss Cooper was seen to improve, and, being able to return her opponent’s strong volleys, eventually won the set to 3 games. The third set produced many good rallies, and a better or harder fought out set has not been seen in a ladies’ match, notwithstanding that Miss Cooper got but two games in it.”
------------

1897 – Did not enter
-------------

1898

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Garfit (GB) 6-3, 6-0
SF Louisa Martin d. Elsie Pinckney (GB) 6-3, 6-3
F Charlotte Cooper (GB) d. Louisa Martin 6-4, 9-7

Ladies’doubles event
F Louisa Martin/Ruth Dyas d. Charlotte Cooper (GB)/Olive Martin 6-3, 6-8, 6-2

Mixed doubles event
SF Harold Nisbet (GB)/Ruth Dyas d. Wilberforce Eaves (AUS)/L. Martin 6-3, 8-6

From the “Irish Times”, 30 May 1898

“The final round in the ladies’ singles was played between Miss Cooper, who won the event in 1895, and Miss Martin, who has no less than six [five] winning brackets in the same event. The match was keenly contested. The competitors were seen at their best, there being very little to choose between them. Miss Cooper started well by winning the first two games to 30 in each, but dropped the third to love. 3 games to 1, Miss Cooper leads, was next called, but Miss Martin forced the play, 4 games all being called ere Miss Cooper put the set to her credit, the last being a love game off her own service.

“The second set was a long one and sixteen games were played in it. Miss Cooper had a good lead at 5 games to 2, when Miss Martin won 3 games, making the score ‘games all’. Miss Martin served the eleventh game, but lost it to love. However, she won the twelfth to fifteen, deuce games being again called. Miss Cooper for the second time got the advantage game, and again Miss Martin brought the score back to deuce, but only to lose the next two games to 15 and 30, giving the set and match to her opponent.”
------------

1899

Singles event (Draw of ten; six byes in first round)

FR Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper (GB) 2-6, 6-4, 10-8
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
F Louisa Martin d. Ruth Durlacher 6-1, 6-2

Doubles event
F Ruth Durlacher/Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson/Muriel Robb (GB) 6-2, 6-4

Mixed doubles event
SF Reggie Doherty (GB)/Charlotte Cooper (GB) d. Frank Riseley (GB)/L. Martin 5-7, 9-7, 6-4

From the “Irish Times”, 29 May 1899

“The final match in the Ladies’ Championships Singles found Miss Martin opposed to Mrs Durlacher in Court 3. It ended in a hollow victory for Miss Martin by two sets to love, and by one and two games respectively. In the first set Miss Martin got no less than four love games, and in the three other games played the scores were to deuce, 15 and 30. The second set was a slight improvement on the first, but Miss Martin found little difficulty in putting it to her credit, she losing but two games. The winner is playing in her best form and will take a lot beating should she enter for the English Championships [Wimbledon].”
----------

1900 (A very wet meeting)

Singles event (Draw of eight)
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Monahan 6-0, 6-3
SF Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 6-3, 6-3
F Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper (GB) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2

Doubles event
F Charlotte Cooper (GB)/E. Cooper (GB) d. Miss Hodson/L. Martin 9-7, 6-2

Mixed doubles event
SF Laurie Doherty (GB)/Miss Hodson d. G. C. Ball-Greene/L. Martin [possibly a walkover due to bad weather and Laurie Doherty having to play so many matches]

From the “Irish Times”, 28 May 1900

“This was the final round of the Ladies’ Championship and attracted a good deal of attention. The play was not as interesting as it would have been if the ground was harder, but being in the soft state in which it was, and with the balls so heavy, the ladies found it difficult at times to take each other’s strokes when they came away fast. Miss Martin, to the surprise of everyone, lost the first set very easily, only wining two games. But in the next set she showed that she meant to win, and playing up in her well-known hard style – strong overhead serve and strong, well-directed drives – she won the second set at 6 games to 1. She also rapidly annexed the third and concluding set at 6 games to 2 and thus repeats her performance of last year, and becomes lady champion for 1900.”
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1901 (Even wetter than the year before)

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Mrs Neville scratched
SF Ruth Durlacher d. Louisa Martin 2-6, 7-5, 6-2

Doubles event
F Ruth Durlacher/Louisa Martin d. Miss Golding (GB)/Muriel Robb (GB) scratched

Mixed doubles event
SF Laurie Doherty (GB)/Ruth Durlacher d. Sidney Smith (GB)/L.Martin 6-2, 6-3
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1902

Singles event
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Godfrey, walkover
SF Louisa Martin d. Maud Garfit (GB) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
F Louisa Martin d. Ruth Durlacher 6-8, 6-4, 7-5

Doubles event
F Ruth Durlacher/Miss Hazlett d. L. Martin/Miss Morant 6-3, 6-4

Mixed doubles event – Did not enter

From the “Irish Times”, 2 June 1902

“The two ladies to compete in the final round were Miss Martin and Mrs Durlacher. The first four games were won turn about, and it was evident from the start that the match was to be a close one. Both ladies were hitting strongly, and apparently were not much put about by the condition of the ground. After the score had been called 2-all Miss Martin won the next two games to 15 each. Mrs Durlacher got the next to love, but lost the eighth. Miss Martin now led by 5 to 3, but losing the next two, 5-all was called. The eleventh was closely contested, and eventually fell to Miss Martin, after deuce and vantage had been called a couple of times. Mrs Durlacher then ran off the three following and got the set at 8-6.

“The games in the second set were gained almost turn about up to four all, when Miss Martin secured the ninth and tenth to love, leaving the score 1 set-all. Mrs Durlacher won the first two games in the last set, the first after deuce and vantage, and the second to 15. Miss Martin got the third. Then Mrs Durlacher winning the next 3, led by 5 to 1, but lost the seventh off her own service. She was 40-15 in the next, but lost. In the ninth Mrs Durlacher again led 40-30, but failed to secure the winning ace. Miss Martin looked hopelessly out of it, when Mrs Durlacher’s return struck the top of the net and fell short. Miss Martin, however, pulled off the stroke, and from this on played in splendid style, winning the next three games and the set, 7-5.”
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1903 (First time tournament held at Wilton Place)

Singles event (possibly only draw of four for ladies’ singles event)
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Monahan 6-0, 6-3
F Louisa Martin d. Maud Garfit (GB) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

Doubles event – Not held

Mixed doubles event – Handicap only

From the “Irish Times”, 8 June 1903

“In the final round of the Ladies’ Championship Miss Martin was opposed to Miss Garfit, and, contrary to expectations, the English lady gave the Irish champion a very good match, which ultimately resulted in a victory for Miss Martin by 2 sets to 1. After losing the first set by 6 to 4, Miss Garfit improved considerably in her play, and some long and interesting rallies took place. Miss Garfit won the second set by 6 games to 4, making the score one set-all.

“She had little chance, however, in the deciding heat, against the strong hitting and beautiful placing of Miss Martin, who only lost one game out of the six played, and thus for another year proved herself the best lady player. It would be interesting to see how Miss Martin would have fared if entered for the All-Comers’ Singles [at Wimbledon], as, judging by her play during the past week, there would have been more than one amongst the competitors to suffer defeat by her.”
-----------

1904 – Did not enter
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1905 – Did not enter [Tournament now being held in last week of June]
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1906 – Did not enter
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1907 – Did not enter
-----------

1908 [Tournament moved to end of July; has declined in popularity among top British players]

Singles event (Draw of 16)
FR Louisa Martin d. Miss Butler-Lloyd 6-1, 6-3
QF Louisa Martin d. Miss Monahan 6-2, 7-5
SF Edith Boucher (GB) d. Louisa Martin 7-5, 6-1 [Louisa led 5-3, 40-15 in first set]

Doubles event (handicap only)
F Edith Boucher (GB)/Louisa Martin d. Miss Hazlett/Miss Smith 6-3, 6-2

Mixed doubles event
SF Walter Carey/Maud Garfit (GB) d. R.F. Clifford/L. Martin [score not known]
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1909 – Did not enter
----------

1910 – Did not enter
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Fitzwilliam Club Championships

1887

Draw of 18

1R = First round

1R: E.W. Knox d. Captain Cooke 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
1R: Cameron D. Shute d. Arthur J. de C. Wilson, walkover

The remaing players had a bye.
--

2R = Second round

2R: Chaytor d. William H. Mahon 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
2R: Tom Campion d. A. Betham 6-1, 6-0, 8-6
2R: Knox d. J.C. Doherty 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
2R: E.H. Greene d. M.A.T. Bell 6-3, 6-8, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1
2R: J.F. Hughes d. Charles P.R. James 6-4, 6-0, 6-3
2R: H.A. Robinson d. F. Crawford 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 [?]
2R: Shute d. Francis F. McClintock, walkover
2R: J.T. Maxwell d. Arthur H. Courtenay, walkover
--

QF: Chaytor d. Campion 9-7, 6-3, 6-1
QF: Greene d. Knox [score?]
QF: Hughes d. Robinson 6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
QF: Maxwell d. Shute 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
--

SF: Grainger Chaytor d.
SF: J.T. Maxwell d.
--

ACF: J.T. Maxwell d. Grainger Chaytor 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 9-7
--

CR: Willoughby J. Hamilton d. J.T. Maxwell [score?]
-----

From "Pastime", July 18, 1894

Wimbledon

"Miss Cooper's battles with Miss Austin are becoming as historic as those of the latter with Miss Shackle in former seasons. They are always well worth watching for both ladies are adepts at the volley as well as being hard hitters, and this plenty of variety and excitement to the game. On this particular occasion, too, it was thought that Miss Cooper might perhaps get the upper hand, for she had pressed hard upon her opponent only a short time before at the Queen's Club. Not so fortunate as Miss Bryan and Mrs Draffen, the rivals had to decide this important contest on Court 3, the least wet of the outside courts, for the Centre Court was wanted for a [men's] double.

"Considering the state of the ground they played really brilliantly, and those who stayed to watch them (for the match was begun very late) were rewarded with the sight of a very close and almost thrilling encounter. The first set went to Miss Austin at 6-1, but the score is no index of the true state of affairs, for every ace had to be fought for. In the next set the balance just turned, for Miss Cooper began to hit harder and to follow up some of her returns with excellent judgement and effect. Her backhand stroke, once her weak point, is now greatly improved; it is very heavinly cut and she places it down the line or across the court equally well. She took the lead and kept it well throughout so that at one time it looked as though she would reveal Miss Austin's score in the first set, but the latter by a great effort got two more games (the seventh and eighth) and very nearly another.

"At this point it was anybody's match, but a change was in store. New balls had to be sent for, and, whether it was because of this or because Miss Cooper became over anxious, she seemed to completely lose her command over the ball, and Miss Austin had only to play steadily in order to secure a commanding lead. This she did with admirable coolness and determination, although bothered by several false bounds. When it was almost too late Miss Cooper regained her accuracy, and at once commenced to score on the volley again, but she, too, had some bad luck in the matter of false bounds, besides a fall on a court which was fast developing some of the beauties of a toboggan slide.

"Miss Austin was wisely content to bide her time, which came in the ninth game, when she made the best use of one or two openings, and ran out a winner by 6-3. So ended one of the best matches, under adverse conditions, which these two ladies have ever played. It was a pity that there was not more people present to applaud them."
--

"The final, which was played yesterday, hardly calls for any comment. Miss Austin was very nervous, and seemed utterly put off by the wind, which was very gusty. She only played in her true form for a rest or two now and then, and Mrs Hillyard, who was playing very well considering the conditions, had no difficulty in winning with the loss of only two games."
-----

From "Lawn Tennis and Croquet", July 19, 1899

Championships of London, Queen's Club

"In the ladies' singles (London Championships) Miss Austin came through to the Challenge Round without meeting much opposition. Her one dangerous opponent, Miss Beryl Tulloch, she met and defeated with ease in the opening round. In the final round Miss Edith Bromfield managed to gain four games in each of the two sets played.

"But if there had been little excitment in the preliminary stages, there was enough, in good truth, in the Challenge Round - it resulted in probably the most severely-contested match which the rivals in many a stubborn encounter have ever struggled through. The first set was a very long one. It went to the challenger at 12-10, but Miss Cooper won the second with the loss of but two games. She reached 3-0 and 5-3 in the third set, but then allowed Miss Austin to make up her leeway, and the latter ultimately won the set in the twelfth game, and with it the match by two sets to one.

"In the last game there was said to be a bad decision against Miss Cooper on the part of a linesman, and although his ruling was upheld by a few persons, the verdict of the majority was certainly opposed to him. As generally happens, the mistake, if mistake it was, occurred at a very critical moment. Miss Austin has now beaten Miss Cooper in four Challenge Rounds this year - at the Covered Court Championship meeting, at Chiswick Park, at Beckenham and in the match under notice, and she would certainly appear to be the slightly stronger player at the present moment. She has greatly improved in volleying, and to this fact, and also to Miss Cooper's partiality for imparting 'cut' to her stroke, may, we think, be attributed the former's success."

Last edited by newmark401 : May 21st, 2014 at 04:04 PM.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Louisa Martin's record at the Irish Championships (1885-1908)

Thanks Mark, for those original newspaper excerpts.

I have some additional info on her, taken from Alan Little's Wimbledon Compendium:
Mary Louisa Martin was born on 3 Sep 1865 in Newtowngore, Leitrim, Ireland, and died on 24 Oct 1941 in Portrush, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

I think she first played Wimbledon in 1892 when she lost in the semis to Blanche Hillyard 1-6 6-3 9-7. I took this info from Wallys Myers' book about Wimbledon, published for its 50th anniversary.
I know modern sources (like Barrett's book) list someone else in her place, but I think Myers could not have made such a great mistake back in the 1920s.

It is a mistery why she has not played Wimbledon more often, she could have won it a couple of times when she was younger. Unfortunately, even tennis historians have forgotten the Irish Championships, which had a Grand Slam status before 1903 (and was much more important, than the US Championships in that period).
But because she has not won Wimbledon, she is completely forgotten today.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: Louisa Martin's record at the Irish Championships (1885-1908)

Hi, Karoly,

Thanks for the biographical information on Louisa Martin. I have updated my piece. And yes, Louisa Martin did lose in the semi-final in 1892 to Blanche Hillyard.

Mark
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Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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Re: Louisa Martin's record at the Irish Championships (1885-1908)

Some rare biographical information on Louisa Martin:

She was the daughter of George Henry Martin (b. circa 1833), who married Edith Agatha Martin (b. circa 1835). George and Edith both had the same surname at the time of their marriage, which took place on 20 December 1859 in Killeshandra, County Cavan. The counties of Cavan and Leitrim are located beside each other, and Louisa Martin was born in the latter county in 1865.

It appears that Louisa Martin had at least two younger brothers: George Martin, born 18 October 1868 in County Cavan, and Alfred Martin, born 20 October 1871 in Killeshandra,​ County Cavan. Louisa Martin may well also have had some older siblings.

Last edited by newmark401 : Apr 13th, 2012 at 12:00 PM.
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