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post #3 of (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 2002, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
country flag Brian Stewart
Plainclothes Division
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: South Park, CO
Posts: 6,350

Dates: July 4-July 17 (The women's event commenced on July 14)
Venue: All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon (Worple Road), London, England.
Surface: Grass


Singles (Draw=10)

1st Round

Blanche Bingley d. Miss L. M. Nash 6-2 6-2
Mrs. Dransfield -bye
Jane Meikle d. Lilian Watson 6-3 4-6 6-4
Edith Gurney-bye

Miss E. F. Hudson -bye
Constance Bryan-bye
Beatrice Langrishe-bye
Maud Watson-bye


Bingley d. Dransfield default
Gurney d. Meikle 7-5 6-4
Hudson d. Bryan 6-3 6-0
Watson d. Langrishe 6-0 6-2


Bingley d. Gurney 6-1 6-2
Watson d. Hudson 6-0 6-1


Maud Watson d. Blanche Bingley 6-1 7-5

Miss Watson in 1885


Draw Notes:

Missing full names for:

Mrs. Dransfield
Miss E. F. Hudson
Miss L. M. Nash


Sources: (in error about May Langrishe, it was actually Beatrice Langrishe)

Outing, volume 7 (1885), pages 132-133 and 136. (confirms it was B Langrishe, not May, who competed at Wimbledon this year).



Of the 10 entries only 3 had competed in 1884. Among them was Maud Watson, the defending champion. Maud was the first of the "unbeatables", going with out a defeat from 1881 to 1886. In her 3 matches here only Blanche Bingley extends her in the final.

The first round started with a surprise. Meikle "The Scotish championess" in the words of Outing magazine, upset Lilian Watson, the 1884 finalist, in 3 tough sets.

In the quarterfinals Maud quickly mowed down Langrishe "a charming Irish girl". Mrs Dransfield was "scratched" for failing to show-giving Bingley a walkover into the semifinals. Gurney vs Meikle was the closest meeting in this round. In contrast to the hard hitting from Watson-Langrishe the ladies played long rallies. Meikle had sprained her wrist, which was tightly bandaged.

The semifinals were not worthy of comment with Bingley and Watson easily romping to victory.

"On the morning of the match it was reported that Maud was suffering from a sudden attack of rheumatism but any forebodings were soon dispelled when she speedily secured the first set from her extremely nervous opponent. In the second set Blanche Bingley improved and, scoring consistently with her drives, managed to hold the champion to 5-all. However, in the next two games Maud conceded just two points and ran out the winner 6-1 7-5. A feature of Maud's play was that she never failed to return her opponent's service." (from Maud Watson: The First Wimbledon Champion, by Alan Little, page 8).

Outing touted Maud:

"Very athletic in form, and rather above medium height, she plays more like a man than a woman. Possessed of a splendid frame and unusual muscular power, she overpowers antagonists with overhead serves and "Renshaw smashes." She has a facility for playing extremely hard and keeping the ball in court."

First prize was a silver afternoon tea service. Second prize was a silver inkstand. Hundreds of ladies admired the silver on display before viewing the contests.

Outing went on at some length about the clothes and physical attributes of the women:

"The girl players here do not wear corsets; hence the student of the human form divine has here a chance of studying the truth (or falsity) of that artistic belief of the ancient Greeks that an unconfined waist is the type of true beauty in woman's form."

Last edited by Rollo; Dec 31st, 2018 at 01:32 PM.
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