THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (WIMBLEDON)
Dates: June 23 to July 2
Venue: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club,Wimbledon, London, England
Singles (Draw=22, plus holder Sterry)
Dorothea Douglass d. Henrietta Horncastle default
Ruth Durlacher d. Beryl Tulloch default
Alice Greene d. Ellen Stawell-Brown 6-1 6-3
Connie Meyer d. Edith Johnson default
Winifred Longhurst d. E. Burrill default
Agatha Morton d. Ethel Thompson 6-4 6-4
Lane d. Hillyard 6-2 6-8 9-7
Robb d. Bromfield 6-3 4-6 6-4
Douglass d. Godfrey default
Durlacher d. Greene 6-3 6-2
Longhurst d. Meyer 6-1 6-2
Morton d. Hausberg default
Greville d. Bell default
Steedman d. Wilson 6-3 8-10 6-4
Robb d. Lane 6-1 7-5
Douglass d. Durlacher 6-2 10-8
Morton d. Longhurst 6-3 6-4
Greville d. Steedman 6-1 3-6 6-2
Robb d. Douglass 6-4 2-6 9-7
Morton d. Greville 7-5 6-4
Muriel Robb Robb d. Agatha Morton 6-2 6-4
Muriel Robb d. Charlotte Sterry (Holder) 7-5 6-1*
*Replayed after splitting sets at 4-6 13-11 when rain halted play on the first day.
1R: Agnes Morton/Charlotte Sterry-bye
1R: Alice Pickering/Muriel Robb-bye
1R: Edith Bromfield/Miss Morgan d. Winifred Longhurst/Beryl Tulloch 6-1 6-2
1R: Blanche Hillyard/Bertha Steedman d. Dorothea Douglass/Ruth Durlacher 0-6 6-3 6-4
1R: Hilda Lane/Connie Wilson-bye
1R: A. Bell/Connie Meyer-bye
1R: Alice Greene/Ellen Stawell-Brown d. E. Flemmich/L. Flemmich 6-0 6-2
1R: Edith Greville/Ethel Thomson d. A. Bell/Miss Coulby default
QF: Morton/Sterry d. Pickering/Robb 13-11 2-6 6-3
QF: Hillyard/Steedman d. Bromfield/Morgan 6-2 6-1
QF: Greville/Thomson d. Greene/Stawell-Brown 6-4 6-1
QF: Lane/Wilson d. Bell/Meyer 6-3 6-4
SF: Morton/Sterry d. Hillyard/Steedman 7-5, 6-3
SF: Lane/Wilson d. Greville/Thomson 4-6 7-5 10-8
FI: Agnes Morton/Charlotte Sterry d. Hilda Lane/Connie Wilson default
Mixed doubles (Draw=19)
1R: Charlotte Sterry/Laurie Doherty d. Ellen Stawell-Brown/ Brame Hillyard 6-4 14-12
1R: Hilda Lane/Captain Fleming d. Connie Wilson/Herbert Roper Barrett 4-6 7-5 7-5
1R: Dorothea Douglass/Charles H. Martin d. Beryl Tulloch/William Lemaire (Bel) 6-0 6-4
2R: Sterry/L. Doherty d. Winifred Longhurst/R. Williams 6-1 7-5
2R: Blanche Hillyard/Harold Mahony d. Connie Myer/Frank Riseley 2-6 7-5 7-5
2R: Ruth Durlacher/George Ball-Greene d. D. Bell/Roderick McNair 6-3 6-1
2R: Bertha Steedman/Reggie Doherty d. Agnes Morton/Paul de Borman (Bel) 6-1 9-7
2R: Douglass/Martin d. Lane/Fleming 6-3 6-0
2R: Alice Pickering/Sidney Smith d. Alice Greene/Roger M. Sweetman 5-7 6-4 6-4
2R: Ethel Thomson/Major Ritchie d. M. Walker/Dr A. Walker 6-1 6-0
2R: Muriel Robb/Clement Cazalet d. Edith Bromfield/Hugh M. Sweetman 6-4 6-4
QF: Sterry/L Doherty d. Hillyard/Mahony ????
QF: Steedman/R. Doherty d. Durlacher/Ball-Greene 6-1 7-5
QF: Douglass/Martin d. Pickering/Smith 6-3 7-5
QF: Robb/Cazelet d. Thomson/Ritchie 5-7 6-4 7-5
SF: Sterry/L Doherty d. Steedman/R. Doherty default
SF: Robb/Cazalet d. Douglass/Martin 6-2 6-1
FI: Charlotte Sterry/Laurie Doherty d. Muriel Robb/Clement Cazalet 6-4 6-3
The ladies doubles and mixed events were still non-championship events in 1902.
There are Bells in the draw:
1. CB Bell in singles
2. A Bell in doubles
3. D Bell in mixed.
Missing full names for
Miss CB Bell
Miss A Bell
Miss E. Burrill
Miss E. Godfrey
Wade, Virginia. Ladies of the Court: A Century Of Women At Wimbledon
. p 22
Hilda Lane stuns Blanche Hillyard, opening up the draw.
Muriel Robb took advantage. After beating Lane in the quarters she wins over Douglass in the semis.There were 3 doubtful line calls that went against Douglass during her semi. Each call was at her advantage in the fourth game, which would have resulted in 3-1 lead in the third. Robb's powerful forehand pulls her through.
With this win Muriel Robb, from Newcastle in Northumberland, became the only player, male or female, to have won the four national championships of the British Isles (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales). No other player has ever repeated the feat.
The Challenge Round is replayed from the start after the women split sets with rain coming down. After losing the first set 4-6 Muriel eeks out the second at 13-11. The next day they start afresh rather than play out the third. Robb wins 7-5 6-1. If one counts the previous two sets this is the longest ladies final by games at 53.
Blanche Hillyard summed up Miss Robb: "The power she got on the ball was astonishing. Indeed fewer men have had a harder drive. Fortunately for her opponents she was a player who very decidedly had her days." (Ladies of the Court, p 22).
Sadly Robb never returns to Wimbledon, dying in 1907, aged only 28.
The following report on the Challenge Round in the women's singles event at Wimbledon in 1902 comes from the publication 'Lawn Tennis and Croquet' of July 9, 1902. This Challenge Round singles match was unique in that it was replayed completely after rain had washed out play on the first day with the score at one set-all, 4-6, 13-11, in favour of Muriel Robb (she saved one match point at 4-6, 4-5, 30-40). On the following day Robb won the replayed match 7-5, 6-1. It would be one of the last appearances in tournament play by the 24-year-old from Newcastle-upon-Tyne as ill health prematurely forced her out of the game.
“Final of the Ladies’ Singles
“Mrs Charlotte Sterry v. Miss Muriel Robb.–This match had been advertised for 2.30 on Tuesday, [July 2], and commenced very punctually. Miss Robb had given such a good account of herself during the tournament that she was expected to make a very good show against the championess of last year, though it came rather as a surprise to find her carry off the match and the championship.
“Theoretically, and on paper, Mrs Sterry made the best lady player since days of Miss Lottie Dod, for the simple reason that on her day she had command of a larger number of strokes, and was a volleyer of high order. She was an exponent who did not rely on merely one stroke, and was, therefore, a championess of resource. If one system of play failed her, she could adopt another.
“Now, our present championess so far strikes us as excellent in only one particular branch of play. She is essentially a baseline player, and owes her superiority above all to one of the finest forehand drives ever possessed by a lady – a drive whose severity was at times equal to, if not surpassing in pace, Sidney H. Smith’s. This gentleman, when taxed on the day of the contest at the similarity, himself asserted that he believed hers the faster. Not only did she excel in that particular, but she gave a glimpse, once at least, that though she relied on this one stroke to do her chief work there were great possibilities of becoming really first class in other directions. At the most critical moment for her in the match on Tuesday she came up and volleyed and did it so well that those who knew volleying was not her forte wondered if they saw aright.
“As regards the play on Tuesday Mrs Sterry started in fine style, making it look as if it would all soon be over. She reached the score of 4 games to 1 in her favour before Miss Robb warmed to her work. The next three games fell to the latter before Mrs Sterry could pull of the set.
“The second set commenced auspiciously for Mrs Sterry. She stood at 3 games to 1. Miss Robb again buckled to, and made it 3-all; 4-all was then called, and then 5-4, Mrs Sterry leads. The following game Mrs Sterry had her one real chance of retaining the cup, and Miss Robb furnished the one occasion when she showed that innate capacity to volley which we believe her to possess. 40-30 was called in favour of Mrs Sterry, and the next ace had she won it would have given her the match. She returned a short ball, which made Miss Robb run in. Instead of retiring after her stroke as formerly, the latter remained in, and Mrs Sterry was kept busy getting up one after the other four hard hit and well-placed volleys off Miss Robb’s racket. The stroke ended by a good smash from Miss Robb placed short on the line to Mrs Sterry’s backhand. The game then fell to Miss Robb, 5-all was called, and Mrs Sterry’s chance gone.
“At 10-9 Miss Robb was 40-15 in her favour, but Mrs Sterry pluckily prevented the game and set falling then. The defeat, however, was only averted, and finally ended after much excitement at 13-11 to Miss Robb. No sooner was it finished than the rain fell, and the match had to be postponed till the following day. It was decided that the whole match should be replayed.
“At the same time, therefore, the next day, the game commenced, and was, in fact, but a replica of the former day’s play, with the exception that the difference in the two ladies’ play was exaggerated. Miss Robb was seen to play even better; Mrs Sterry had lost her firmness of stroke, and was shorter in the length of her returns. Miss Robb’s drives were magnificent, and she was much more certain, not throwing away any chances. Where her drives had frequently gone into the net the day before they now were safe to find the spot meant for them.
“Mrs Sterry was kept running backwards and forwards with greater vigour than ever. The game for the latter to have played should have been to run in on every chance to the net and volleyed. But this looked impossible for three reasons. Firstly, she got but few chances as Miss Robb’s driving was so magnificent that it kept her back; secondly, Mrs Sterry was forced to send short-length balls in return; thirdly, Mrs Sterry was ‘off’ her volleying game, and when on the very few occasions she did go up she ‘foozled’ the ball (to use a golfing phrase) or was passed. This disheartened her for that game, and she gave it up, though it was just possible that had she persevered she might have broken the backbone of Miss Robb’s driving, though it would have cost her many aces and games first.
“One noticeable feature about the game was the cheerful and persevering manner with which Mrs Sterry stuck to her work. Hers was a defensive game throughout, and it is always the most difficult and heartrending to play. Again Miss Robb’s backhand strokes have improved wonderfully. Hitherto, though generally considered safe, she had but little ‘sting’ in them, and was always a little inclined to run round the ball. On Tuesday and Wednesday she scored frequently with her backhand, at times getting a lot of pace on the ball.
“In conclusion it may be said that the best player won on the day, and that Miss Robb with continued practice, and not resting on her laurels as so many champions of the past have done, with the cultivation of volleying and a fostering care of her fine drive, might repeat her performance once more. Why not? If she can beat Miss Edith Bromfield, Miss Hilda Lane, Miss Dorothea Douglass, Miss Agnes Morton and Mrs Sterry in one week, and in succession, she can do still more in the future.”