Dates: July 1-13 (The ladies begin July 3)
Venue: All-England Club, Wimbledon, London, England
Lena Rice (Ire)-bye
May Jacks d. Mary Steedman 6-4 6-2
Blanche Hillyard d. Annie Rice (Ire) 6-3 6-0
Rice d. Jacks 6-2 6-0
Hillyard d. B Steedman 8-6 6-1
Blanche Hillyard d. Lena Rice 4-6 8-6 6-4
Annie Rice is listed as Miss A. E. Rice.
Lottie Dod does not defend her title. The men's prize is valued at 100 guineas, twice that of the ladies' prize.
In the final Hillyard survives 3 match points before a large Center court crowd. A full report on the semis and final is below from "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1890):
"Thursday, July 4. Notwithstanding the counter-attractions of Henley, a very large number of lovers of the game attended at Wimbledon today to witness the two matches set down for decision. The weather was fine and the light for playing decidedly good.
"The ladies' matches commenced at half-past three, Miss Lena Rice and Miss May Jacks playing on the court between the stands. In the opening set Miss Jacks won two games but was unable to win a single one in the second; Miss Rice finishing the match with a consecutive run of eight games. Her returns and placing were much too good for Miss Jacks.
"Miss Bertha Steedman made a good stand against Mrs Blanche Hillyard in the opening set, fourteen games being contested; but in the second she could only gain one game, Mrs Hillyard playing extremely well."
"Saturday, July 6. The match between Mrs Blanche Hillyard and Miss Lena Rice was of rather an extraordinary character, as after it had appeared as if the latter lady must be the victor, indeed she was three times within an ace of securing it, Mrs Hillyard played up with the greatest determination and eventually won - a very fine performance.
"Both ladies hit hard and placed their returns well, Miss Rice making the best backhand strokes, while Mrs Hillyard was decidedly the better in her forehand returns, and in the placing. Mrs Hillyard won 18 games to and 110 strokes to Miss Rice's 16 games and 100 strokes.
"It having been notified that Miss Lottie Dod would not defend her title the winner of the final match also earned the right to hold the 50-guinea challenge cup for the year and the championship, so that Mrs Hillyard, who was the lady champion in 1886, now resumes the title. [...]
"Mrs Hillyard commenced serving, but lost the opening game by four strokes to two; the second, however, was a love game to her. The next three games in succession all fell to Miss Rice, only the fifth being at deuce. Mrs Hillyard then made a great effort, and secured the sixth, seventh and eighth games, bringing the score to four-all; but, although she gained the first two aces in the ninth and tenth games, she was unable to make another, and so lost the set by six games to four and 30 aces to 27. This set took 20 minutes to play.
"Mrs Hillyard started well in the second set, the first, third and fourth all being love games to her, the second falling to her opponent by four strokes to two, but after this Miss Rice played wonderfully well, and won the four following games, bringing the score to five games to three in her favour.
"To all appearances the match seemed over in the ninth game, as it was called 40 to 15, and afterwards advantage to Miss Rice; but Mrs Hillyard, nothing daunted, played with great determination, and eventually won the game by seven strokes to five, and she followed this up by also taking the tenth at five to three, thus causing an advantage set to be played. The eleventh game also fell to Mrs Hillyard, but Miss Rice, by some fine returns, mostly backhand, also brought the score to 'games-all'. The following two games, however, decided the set, as Mrs Hillyard won them both, and thus the set, by eight games to six, and 51 aces to 41. Duration of set: 38 minutes. Six of the games were at deuce.
"As in the second set, Mrs Hillyard gained three out of the first games in the final set, but once more Miss Rice again took a sequence, this time, however, making three consecutive games instead of four, the score now being called four games to three in her favour. This proved to her last win, as Mrs Hillyard, again playing with great vigour, took the next three in succession, and so winning the match. The set was won by six games to four, and 32 aces to 29. Each player gained a love game, and four of the game were at deuce, including the first and last. Duration of set: 22 minutes."
Last edited by Rollo; Oct 7th, 2015 at 12:20 AM.