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post #3 of (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2002, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
country flag Brian Stewart
Plainclothes Division
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: South Park, CO
Posts: 6,350

Dates: June 12 to June 15
Venue: Philadelphia Country Club, Wissahickon Heights, (Chesnut Hill) Philadelphia
Surface: Grass


Singles (Draw=9, plus holder)

Holder Ellen Hansell "sits out" until the Challenge Round.

1st Round

Marion Wright d. Grace Roosevelt 6-2 6-3
Bertha Townsend d. Helen Day Harris 6-4 6-0
Violet Ward-bye
Adeline Robinson d. Augusta Roberts 6-3 6-4
Ellen Roosevelt d. Sybil Johnson 6-3 6-0


Wright d. Ward 6-0 6-5
Robinson d. E Roosevelt 6-4 3-6 6-3


Townsend d. Robinson 1-6 6-5 6-3


Bertha Townsend d. Marion Wright 6-2 6-2

Challenge Round

Bertha Townsend d. Ellen Hansell (holder) 6-3 6-5


Draw notes:

There were doubles and mixed doubles events but they did not yet carry championship status.

Ellen Hansell is also called "Nellie"
Harris=Mrs. Alan Harris
Sybil Johnson=Mrs Johnson.
Ellen Roosevelt is also called "Ellie"



The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lawn Tennis in America: Biographical Sketches, by Valentine Hall.
p.20-1. Lawn Tennis in America: Biographical Sketches



Called the "third annual" event in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 1886 event did not carry the US title. Bertha (the paper also calls her "Bertie") Townsend repels the New York invasion by downing the New Yorker Robinson in an exciting semifinal contest. After winning the first set she hangs on in second at 6-5 as a partisan crowd cheers her on to victory over a tiring opponent.

[Summary from Valentine Hall's book Lawn Tennis in America]
The event of the tournament was the victory of Miss Townsend, of the Belmont C. C. over Miss Robinson, of the Staten Island C. C. The first set was easily won by Miss Robinson. Miss Townsend improved in the second set, and the result was splendid tennis followed. Miss Townsend's back-hand strokes being particularly effective. The games reached four all and the excitement was intense, every play being greeted with applause.

Miss Townsend was, however, very cool, and played with great steadiness, which gave her the set, 6-5. The last set was easily won by Miss Townsend, giving her the match, three sets to one. The Misses Roosevelt displayed much good tennis throughout the tournament, and would have made a better showing if they had not been so out of practice
Bertha's straight set win over defending champion Ellen Hansell was close but not as noteworthy, ending 6-4 6-5.

Vale's book calls this event the Chestnut Hill Lawn Tennis Club tournament . In 1888 the USTA later retroactively recognized this and the 1887 event as the official United States Championship for Ladies.

There was also a doubles event played in 1888, but the USTA did not make that official until 1889.

Unique features that are odd to our "modern" eyes are the 6-5 set scores and byes after the first round. Standard scoring of winning by 2 games and byes in round 1 only were still a couple of years away.

Last edited by Rollo; Apr 7th, 2017 at 01:32 AM.
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