1887: THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (WIMBLEDON)
Dates: July 2-7
Venue: Wimbledon, London, England
Singles (Draw=5, plus holder)
Lottie Dod -bye
B. James d. Maud Shackle 8-6 6-2
Edith Cole -bye
Julia Shackle -bye
Dod d. James 6-1 6-1
Cole d. J Shackle 6-4 6-1
Lottie Dod d. Edith Cole 6-2 6-3
Lottie Dod d. Blanche Bingley (holder) 6-2 6-0
Missing full name for
Miss B. James
Lottie Dod "The Little Wonder" is the first real teenage prodigy of tennis. She wins on her debut at Wimbledon. She was 15 years and 10 months old at the time and is still the youngest ever winner of a senior singles title at Wimbledon. Miss Dod is the only woman in tennis history never to lose in grand slam, going unbeaten in her 5 Wimbledons. Some ladies feel the young girl has an unfair advantage over them. Older women must wear more restrictive clothes, while young Lottie can dash about in shorter skirts.
From: "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1888): "Wednesday, July 6. With so few competing in the ladies' singles, it was decided that it was not necessary to allow the winner of the All-Comers' a day's rest before meeting the lady champion, indeed, Miss Lottie Dod had only two ties to play off. Rather a larger company than had been previously seen this year at Wimbledon, were gathered round centre court when Miss Blanche Bingley and Miss Dod commenced their match for the championship. Just at first Miss Dod was not seen at her best, while Miss Bingley played very well, sending her returns down the court in her well-known style, but this, however, only lasted four games, and out of this number the 1886 champion could only win her share.
"Afterwards it was quite palpable that she was overmatched, as game after game in quick succession was won by Miss Dod, whose returns were wonderfully well placed, and at times she volleyed with good effect. The last ten games of the match were all won by Miss Dod, and, though Miss Bingley may gain more games some other time when in better health, we doubt that she would ever again defeat the new holder of the championship. Miss Dod excels all other ladies greatly in the ease with which she gets to the balls, she apparently being able to judge fairly well where the return is coming to. In the match under notice Miss Dod won 12 games to 2 and 60 strokes to 36."
[Thanks to Newmark for the report from the Field Lawn Tennis Calendar.]