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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Introduction

Given the successes she consistently achieved at the highest level during the period 1885-1903, in particular in singles events, Louisa Martin can arguably be considered Ireland’s greatest ever female lawn tennis player.

Mary Louisa Martin, as she was christened, was born on 3rd September 1865 in Newton Gore, a village in the northern county of Leitrim. She was the fourth of the eight children of the Reverend George Henry Martin, who was a curate in County Leitrim when Louisa (as she was always known) was born, and Edith Agatha Martin. George and Edith had married each other on 20th December 1859. (They were cousins and had the same surname before their marriage.)

The wedding of George Martin and Edith Martin probably took place in County Cavan, just to the west of County Leitrim. Edith Martin’s father, John Charles Martin, was for a number of years archdeacon in the town of Killeshandra in Cavan. Charles Rudinge Martin, George Martin’s father, was also a clergyman. The family was protestant (Church of Ireland).

The other seven children of George and Edith Martin, two of whom died in infancy, were Susan Maria (1861-1891); Agatha Edith (1862-1945); Charles Robert Hesketh (1863-1884); George Bomford (1867-1867); George Henry Ffulke (1868-1888); Alfred Ernest (1871-1871); and Frances Georgina (1874-1961).

Although it appears that none of Louisa Martin’s siblings ever took part in lawn tennis tournaments, one of her brothers-in-law provides a link to the sport, while a second brother-in-law was the brother of another of Ireland’s top female lawn tennis players of the late nineteenth century. The latter player was Florence Stanuell, who enjoyed a good deal of success in doubles with Louisa (see below). One of Florence’s three brothers, Henry Stewart McCance Stanuell, a career soldier in the British Army, married Louisa’s sister Agatha in Dacca in 1887.

The other lawn tennis link is between the youngest of the eight Martin children, Frances, who married Reverend Richard Frederick Mant Clifford. He took part in a number of lawn tennis tournaments, mainly in Ireland, during the years circa 1896-1909, notably winning the singles title at the West of Ireland Championships in County Galway in 1904.
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It is very likely that Louisa Martin first learned how to play lawn tennis in her late teens, at least partly while a member of the Cheltenham Lawn Tennis Club in that town in south-west England. Louisa’s widowed paternal grandmother Susan Martin (née Bomford) lived in a house in Suffolk Square in Cheltenham up until her death in 1884, when an uncle of Louisa’s, General Charles Nassau Martin, moved into the house for a number of years. Louisa would thus have had a ‘home from home’ in which to stay in Cheltenham during these years.

The annual Cheltenham tournament, arranged by the committee of the Cheltenham Lawn Tennis Club, was usually held in early June in Montpellier Gardens, a short walk away from Suffolk Square. In the second week of June 1884, on her debut at the Cheltenham tournament, Louisa Martin reached the final of the singles event before being beaten by the Englishwoman Edith Davies.

Although Louisa Martin did not take part in the Cheltenham tournament in 1885, she did so once again in the years 1886-89, when she won the singles event every time (her successes here and at other tournaments were not confined to just the singles event). The Cheltenham tournament was popular with other Irish players, too, during the 1880s and early 1890s. Indeed, the Irishman Ernest Browne won the men’s singles title there on four occasions (1881 and 1885-87).

Ernest de Sylly Hamilton Browne, to give him his full name, was one of the best of the early Irish male lawn tennis players and reached the semi-finals of the singles event at Wimbledon in 1885. He was a graduate of Cheltenham College, which two of Louisa Martin’s brother also attended. It appears that Louisa came under Ernest Browne’s tutelage at some point and that he helped her to significantly improve her game.

As the results and reports provided below show, in addition to the Cheltenham tournament Louisa Martin favoured the following five lawn tennis tournaments: the Irish Lawn Tennis Championships, held in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin; the Bath tournament; the Northern Lawn Tennis Association tournament (aka the Northern tournament), held alternately in Liverpool and Manchester; the Derbyshire Championships tournament, held in Buxton; and, last not but not least, albeit rarely, Wimbledon. All of these tournaments were played on grass courts, the prevalent surface at the time.

Four of these tournaments were held more or less in successive weeks, starting in late May: the Irish Championships, the Bath tournament, the Cheltenham tournament and the Northern tournament. In those days the Wimbledon tournament was usually held in early July. The Derbyshire Championships usually took place in late July/early August. This was another tournament very popular among Irish players; because she took part in the Buxton tournament four times at what for her was rather late in the lawn tennis season, it is possible that Louisa Martin had family or friends living there.

At the biggest tournament of all, Wimbledon, Louisa Martin was almost always conspicuous by her absence. Given that the Irish Lawn Tennis Championships was almost equal in status for most of the period during which Louisa Martin was taking part in lawn tennis tournaments, and given that she was singles champion of Ireland no less than nine times, she might well have felt that she had already proved her point at the start of the lawn tennis season by winning in Dublin.

In four attempts at the Wimbledon singles titles Louisa Martin’s best result was to finish runner-up in 1901 to the Englishwoman Charlotte Sterry (née Cooper), against whom Louisa had an excellent record overall. Louisa also had a very good record against the Englishwoman Blanche Hillyard (née Bingley), the other top female lawn tennis player during the period in question.

Louisa Martin’s record against Lottie Dod, the top player in the years 1887-93, was not so good although Louisa did manage to beat her at the Irish Championships in Dublin in 1892, when the young Englishwoman was considered more or less invincible. It appears that Lottie Dod unnerved Louisa, who suffered her worst defeats against her, in one match being restricted to only game and in two others to only two and three games respectively. The same nerves may well have contributed to Louisa’s inability to win the singles title on the sport’s biggest stage at Wimbledon.

At a time when most women, and many men, played a mainly baseline game, Louisa Martin was unusual in that she preferred an attacking serve-and-volley approach. Given the restrictive clothing that women in particular were constrained to wear, this must have required a great amount of skill. Equally unusual, especially for a woman of her time, was the fact that Louisa possessed a powerful overhead serve – most of the other women lawn tennis players, including Blanche Hillyard and Lottie Dod, served underhand. The Irishwoman was also said to be just as effective on the backhand as she was on the forehand, another indication of the overall effectiveness of her game.
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The following is a detailed chronological collection of all of Louisa Martin’s singles victories in the years from 1884, when she took part in a lawn tennis tournament for the first time, in Cheltenham, up to her last known appearance, which came, after an absence from tournament play lasting five years, at the Irish Championships in 1908, when Louisa was 42. The results from the doubles and mixed doubles finals in which she took part are also included. In some cases the results are accompanied by reports from contemporary sources such as ‘The Irish Times’ newspaper, the sports paper ‘Pastime’ and the annual ‘Field Lawn Tennis Calendar’. All such reports were unsigned.
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1884

June 9-14, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, England
Venue: Montpellier Gardens

Draw of 6

1R: Louisa Martin d. Florence Mardall 6-0, 6-1
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Lilian Watson 6-2, 6-5
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FI: Edith Davies d. Louisa Martin 3-6, 6-5, 6-3

From ‘The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar’ (1885): “Edith Davies followed up her victory at Bath by carrying off the singles here, though she was very hardly pressed by Louisa Martin, who, if able to practice with good players, will be able to hold her own with the very best of the ladies. Miss Martin unluckily hurt her wrist at the commencement of the last set, or would have run Miss Davies even closer than she did.”
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
1885

May 18-26, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 14

1R: Louisa Martin d. May Langrishe 6-3, 6-3
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Alice Fullerton, walkover
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Adela Langrishe 6-1, 6-3
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FI: Maud Watson d. Louisa Martin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
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June 1-6, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England (Grass)
Venue: Montpellier Gardens

Draw of 14

1R: Maud Watson d. Louisa Martin 6-2, 6-3

From ‘The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar’ (1886): “Lawn tennis, when quite in its infancy, was a popular game in Cheltenham, and the club in that town was one of the earliest to hold open tournaments, but it was not until last winter that any great stir was made in order to provide challenge cups for the gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles.

“The meetings have always proved fairly successful, and some good players have generally put in an appearance. The committee of the club were determined to leave no stone unturned this season to provide the wherewithal to ensure a really first-class tournament, and subscriptions were soon forthcoming to enable two splendid challenge cups to be offered, one for gentlemen, of the value of 100 guineas, and the other for ladies, of the value of 50 guineas. In addition to these, prizes to the value of £200.00 were offered for competitions of every sort, and, in order to induce a good entry, consolation prizes were given for each event..

“Knowing how difficult it is for a large committee to manage a meeting, a tournament committee of three, with Mr John Charles Kay as honorary secretary, had been appointed to carry out the whole of the details; and certainly, if the preliminary arrangements were to prove a sample of what was to come, great things might reasonably be expected.” [...]

“The match between Maud Watson and Louisa Martin was, of course, looked forward to much interest after their splendid contest in Dublin, and when the play commenced every convenient space round their court was filled up. Miss Watson won the toss, and, playing extremely well, won the first set by six games to two. On changing over, Miss Martin had the sun in her favour, but she was unable to win more than three games from the championess, who was playing in really wonderful form.”
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FI: Maud Watson d. Connie Butler 6-3, 6-1
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DF: Connie Butler/Louisa Martin d. Edith Davies/Florence Mardall 6-4, 6-5
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August 24-29, Derbyshire Championships, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)

Draw of 37

2R: Louisa Martin d. Connie Butler 6-4, 6-4
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3R: Louisa Martin d. Miss Steedman 6-2, 6-1
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Agnes Watts 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Margaret Bracewell 6-1, 6-5
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FI: Blanche Bingley d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-3
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DF: Margaret Bracewell/Agnes Watts d. Connie Butler/Louisa Martin 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

From ‘The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar’ (1886): “The great success of the tournament at Buxton last year of course made it almost imperative on the directors of the Buxton Improvements Company to again hold one this season, and August 24 was the date fixed upon. The committee was again a most representative one, no less than fourteen clubs helping to form the management. Of course, after the able way in which Mr A.J. Harrison had carried on the tournament last season, the directors were only too pleased to again obtain his services in a like capacity.

“The Duke of Devonshire added a challenge cup, value 25 guineas, to the men's open singles, and for the event thirty-eight entries had been received. [...] The ladies’ singles, with a 25 guinea challenge cup given by the Duke of Devonshire, closed with thirty-seven entries, and, with the exception of Miss Maud Watson and Miss Lottie Dod, all the best ladies were entered... [...]

“The attendance every day at the gardens was very large, the stand [with room for some six hundred spectators] being extremely well patronised, and must have well repaid the directors for erecting it. The five grass courts had been well looked after by the head gardener, Mr Hogg, and his assistant Mr West, and they certainly deserve great praise for their unwearying attention to its well being. At the conclusion of the tournament Mrs Drewry presented the prizes to the winners after Lieutenant-Colonel Balguy had made a short address. Mr Ayres's championship posts, nets and balls, and Mr Brookes’ stop-nets were used, and all gave satisfaction.”
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“Louisa Martin commenced well against Blanche Bingley, taking three out of the first four games played, but from this point the latter never lost a game, winning the last five in succession. On crossing over, Miss Bingley continued her winning career, and gained the three opening games. Afterwards the games went alternately, Miss Bingley finishing the set with a love game at the ninth, and thus securing the match and the ladies’ championship of Derbyshire.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
1886

May 24-29, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 6-0, 6-0
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Beatrice Langrishe 6-1, 6-2
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FI: May Langrishe d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-4

From ‘The Irish Times,’ May 20, 1886: “It was a pity that the two best matches of the afternoon – the Ladies’ Championship and the Gentlemen’s Championship – should have to be played off simultaneously, but from one cause or another the arrangement was unavoidable, and so spectators had to divide their attention between the two contests.

“The opponents in the ladies’ game were May Langrishe, an ex-holder of the championship, and Louisa Martin, who it will be remembered gained a very ready victory over her rival of Saturday at last year’s tournament. Mindful of the improvements displayed by Miss Langrishe in her previous matches during the week, many were led to anticipate a close match, but no one was prepared for the clever victory achieved by the lady named.

“It was quite evident she held the winning card throughout the first set, in which she only allowed her opponent the second, fourth and seventh games, but Miss Martin showed up so well in the early part of the second set that at one time it seemed certain the three sets would have to be exhausted to decide this match. Miss Langrishe won the first game, but Miss Martin then rattling off four in succession, amongst them one love game, the score was called ‘4 games to 1, Miss Martin leads’. However, Miss Langrishe, playing in irresistible fashion, clean outplayed her opponent at every point, and with a sequence of five games, ran out the set by 6 to 4. Included in the winner’s scores were two love games.

“Miss Langrishe played better than ever she has done before, and her victory is more attributable to this than to the slight falling away perceptible in Miss Martin’s game. Her returns were very severe, and besides placing them beautifully along the sidelines, she invariably kept them to her opponent’s backhand. Miss Martin’s returns, on the contrary, lacked much of their usual strength, but at times she showed quite up to her best form.”
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DF: Connie Butler/Louisa Martin d. Beatrice Langrishe/May Langrishe 6-3 6-4
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May 31-June 3, West of England Championships, Bath, Somerset, England (Grass)

Draw of 20

2R: Louisa Martin d. Ann Dod 6-2, 6-1
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Edith Davies 6-3, 6-5
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SF: Maud Watson d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
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From ‘Pastime,’ June 9, 1886: “The lady champion [Maud Watson] was certainly not having an easy time of it in this contest, as having defeated Margaret Bracewell, Grace Gibbs and Blanche Bingley, she now had to meet Louisa Martin. As might have been anticipated, a brilliant game resulted; indeed, it was universally admitted that a finer game between ladies had never been played. Miss Watson played with more than her usual accuracy and judgment, whilst Miss Martin, in her backhand strokes, was most effective.

“Miss Watson won the first three games, her opponent only gaining one stroke in each. Miss Martin won the fourth, also to fifteen. The next four games fell alternately to Miss Watson and Miss Martin; and then Miss Watson gained the set by six games to three, the last game being won to thirty. In the second set, one, two and three games-all was called; after which Miss Martin won three games in succession, giving her the set at six to three.

“One set-all. Miss Martin won the first game in the concluding set, after three times deuce. Miss Watson won the second and third, each by four strokes to two. Miss Martin took the fourth a fifteen, and the fifth after being deuce three times; but Miss Watson, playing in fine form decided the match by winning the next four games, in three of which Miss Martin could only score one stroke, the other one being at deuce twice.”
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June 7-13, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England (Grass)
Venue: Montpellier Gardens

Draw of 16

1R: Louisa Martin d. D. Patterson 6-2, 6-3
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Ethel Gurney 6-1, 6-3
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Margaret Bracewell 6-5, 3-6, 6-3
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Maud Watson 6-4, 6-4

From ‘Pastime,’ June 9, 1886: “The pretty Montpelier Gardens are now looking their best. The ground is laid out much as last year. Five excellent courts, parallel with each other, face a roomy committee tent. A raised and covered stand has been erected in rear of three of the courts, from which an excellent view of the play can be obtained. The usual dressing tents are erected in convenient positions, while the inner cravings of humanity are provided for in a large refreshment tent, placed in an easily accessible corner of the ground.

“Two extra courts are marked out on the upper terrace, but these will be used only in case of emergency. The arrangements, as last year, are admirable, not even a minor detail having been omitted by the genial John Charles Kay, whose cheery voice offers a welcome to all arrivals. The ground wears a gay appearance, owing to a plentiful supply of bunting and the club colours which adorn the large barrels used as umpire’s stands...”
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From ‘Pastime,’ June 16, 1886: “The play of the winner was probably equal to any yet shown by a lady, and as she exhibited a thorough determination all through, Maud Watson, try as she would, and as she most pluckily did right to the finish, could never get the better of her. Had Miss Martin played like anything in the same form in Dublin, May Langrishe would not have secured the victory. [...]

“The match was a very exciting one. Louisa Martin played a very fine game, and Maud Watson, though hardly at her best, also showed some excellent play. After three-all had been called in the first set, Miss Watson won a love game, but Miss Martin followed her example, and four-all was called. The Irish lady then won the next two games and the set.

“Following up this success, Miss Martin won the first two games in the second set, but Miss Watson replied with a like number. The fifth game was very stubbornly contested, deuce being called three times, Miss Watson once being at ‘vantage, but Miss Martin secured it. The lady champion won the next game after deuce had been called once. In the next game Miss Watson reached 40-30, but then lost three strokes in succession and the game. The eighth Miss Watson won to fifteen, but in the ninth she had very bad luck, losing two strokes by false bounds. The last game Miss Watson commenced by serving a double fault, but she won the next ace. The next three strokes she returned out of court and thus received her second defeat.

“Where both played so pluckily and well, the praise must be evenly awarded. Miss Martin has long had the reputation of being capable for a great performance and at last she has shown it. After her close matches with Miss Watson on former occasions, this success cannot be said to be undeserved. Miss Martin won 64 strokes and Miss Watson 55. Miss Martin now holds the fifty guinea challenge cup, which was last year held by Miss Maud Watson.”
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August 23-28, Derbyshire Championships, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)

Draw of 20

2R: Louisa Martin d. Gertrude Bracewell 6-3, 6-3
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Miss Richardson 6-1, 6-1

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SF: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Bingley 6-5, 6-5
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FI: Louisa Martin d. May Langrishe 6-3, 6-0
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DF: Lottie Dod/May Langrishe d. Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell 6-2, 7-5
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XDF: Louisa Martin/Tom Campion d. Miss Noon/Percy B. Brown 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

From ‘Pastime,’ September 1, 1886: “For the third year in succession this charming meeting, under unusually good management, has turned out a complete success. The ground, consisting of three double and two single courts, laid out side by side, is, besides being all that a played could desire, one of the very prettiest in England. In August, Buxton is crowded to the utmost capacity, especially during the tennis week, for which many rooms are bespoken as much as a year in advance.

“Several times during the week we were reminded of the Fitzwilliam meeting. The courts ranged side by side, the dense masses of spectators outside the ropes, the brilliant costumes of the fashionable 'fair', the unmistakable Irish tones of most of the umpires, and of the foremost players, everything seemed to recall the famous Irish square [...]

“In the fourth round [semi-final] Louisa Martin succeeded in beating the holder of the cup and the lady champion by two sets, 6-5, 6-5. Neither player, in our opinion, played in anything like her best form, but the excitement of the vast crowd was tremendous, and the match was certainly very close, as one bisque, used by Blanche Bingley at the proper time, would just have reversed the sets. Miss Bingley complained of a sprained ankle, which must have affected her play. Miss Martin won several points at critical points by her service, which is not only the hardest, but the best-placed we have observed in any lady yet. In this match the backhand of both players seemed feeble comparatively, while Miss Bingley was not hitting nearly as hard as usual. [...]

“The final took place on Thursday before a huge crowd, but was disappointing in one respect, as on that day the strong cross wind appeared to interfere with May Langrishe’s play a good deal. We think the result would have been the same in any case, but the games would have been closer. Miss Martin was perfectly undeniable in this match, playing a very severe game for most men, and getting up her opponent's most difficult balls with seeming ease. In this match she gave the idea of simply being unapproachable among the ladies.”
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
1887

May 23-28, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Miss Exham 6-1, 6-2
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SF: Lottie Dod d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-0
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FI: Lottie Dod (GB) d. Maud Watson (GB) 6-4, 6-3
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Lilian Watson/Maud Watson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

From ‘Pastime,’ June 1, 1887: “Louisa Martin failed to show that increase in skill which report had led one to expect. Indeed, her game against Lottie Dod was not within 15 of the game she played in the final at Cheltenham last year. [...] This match was not so interesting as had been anticipated, for after the first few games Miss Dod showed such a decided superiority, and Miss Martin, who was evidently nervous, fell off so much, that the result was a foregone conclusion. In the first set 3-all was called, but after this Miss Dod won nine successive games, Miss Martin winning but three strokes in the last four games. The winner secured 63 strokes and the loser 39.”
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June 6-11, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Venue: Montpellier Gardens

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Edith Davies 6-2, 6-4
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-4, 6-4
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Maud Watson 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

From ‘Pastime’ June 15, 1887: “The final produced a grand match. Both ladies played very steadily, and both were apparently adopting the same tactics, viz., keeping each other at the baseline. Louisa Martin played a very fine game, her hitting being remarkably hard, and her placing good, while she occasionally made some fine volleys. Her strongest point, however, was her service, to the excellence of which her victory was mainly due. [...] The winner played very well, kept her head to the finish, and certainly deserved her success.

“The first two sets were most stubbornly contested, as may be judged from the fact that at the end of the second set there was a difference of but one stroke between them. In the second Miss Martin got to 5-3, and was once 5-4, 40-30, or within one stroke of the match. Maud Watson then made a plucky effort, and finally snatched the set out of the fire, winning 7-5. After this success her chances for the third set were highly esteemed, but contrary to expectations, her opponent at once gained the advantage, and quickly reached five games to love. Miss Watson took the next two games, and reached 40-30 in the next, but Miss Martin gained the three following strokes and the match. The winner gained 99 strokes, and the loser 87.”
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DF: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell 6-4, 6-1
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June 20-25, Northern Tournament, Manchester, England
Venue: Old Trafford

Draw of 8

QF: Lottie Dod d. Louisa Martin 6-0, 6-2
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DF: Ann Dod/Lottie Dod d. Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
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XDF: Louisa Martin/Tom S. Campion d. Lottie Dod/Harry Grove 8-6, 6-3 [*AEMDC]
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
1888

June 4-9, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England (Grass)

Draw of 8

QF: Louisa Martin d. Gertrude Bracewell 6-0 6-4
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SF: Martin d. Margaret Bracewell 6-3 3-6 6-2
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard 6-3, 6-4.
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Doubles events are handicap only.
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June 18-23, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Grass)
Venue: Liverpool Cricket Club, Aigburth

Draw of 9

QF: Louisa Martin d. Florence Mardall 6-4, 7-5
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SF: Blanche Hillyard d. Louisa Martin 7-5, 6-3
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
1889

May 20-25, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 10

1R: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-2, 8-6
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Bertha Steedman (GB) 7-5, 6-1
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard (GB) 7-5, 6-0

From the ‘The Irish Times,’ May 27, 1889: “In the ladies’ singles the Irish lady added another trophy to the list already retained by the Irishplayers. The final match was between Miss Martin and Mrs Hillyard, and was started at 12 o’clock in court 5, and ended, as appears in the annexed details, by two sets to love in favour of Miss Martin.

“The Irish lady led off by winning the first game to 15, but after this Mrs Hillyard got five consecutive games, when the set seemed at her mercy. However, Miss Martin again woke up, and playing with marvellous strength, she won six games off the reel, and thus took the set to five games. This upset put Mrs Hillyard very much about, and her temper getting the better of her, she simply chucked the second set after the first game; and Miss Martin winning it to love, she won the match amidst great applause.”
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Blanche Hillyard/D. Meldon 6-4, 6-2
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May 27-June 1, West of England Championships, Bath, Somerset, England (Grass)

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Lottie Paterson 6-1, 6-3
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SF: Louisa Martin d. N. Pope 6-2, 6-4
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. N Everett/N Pope 6-0, 6-3
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XDF: Louisa Martin/James Baldwin d. N Pope/Harry Grove 6-2 6-3
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June 3-8, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England (Grass)
Venue: Montpellier Gardens

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Beatrice Langrishe default
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard 6-2, 6-3
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
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XDF: Florence Stanuell/James Baldwin d. Louisa Martin/Wilfred Milne 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
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August 12-19, Derbyshire Championships, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)

Draw of 11

QF: Louisa Martin d. M. Goodman 6-2, 6-3
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Connie Butler 6-0, 6-4
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FI: Bertha Steedman d. Louisa Martin 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
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All England Women's Doubles Championships

DF: Bertha Steedman/Mary Steedman d. Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell 6-4, 6-1
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XDF: Florence Stanuell/Arthur Wilson d. Louisa Martin/Percy B. Brown 8-10, 6-1, 6-3
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
1890

May 26-31, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 9

QF: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-0, 6-4
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Helen Jackson 6-2, 6-2
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Lena Rice 9-7, 6-4

From ‘The Irish Times,’ May 31, 1890: “The final match of the Ladies’ Championship Singles was started on court 5 just before the last match was over. Miss Rice started by winning the first game to love, but Miss Martin, who got accustomed to the wind, followed with the second. The third and fourth were taken by her opponent, the fourth being a love game. Alternate games were played, until the score stood 4-3, Miss Rice leads; but Miss Martin took the eighth and ninth, and Miss Rice the following two. The twelfth was a love game to Miss Martin, and she also took the following one, Miss Rice the fourteenth, but the next two falling to Miss Martin, she won the set to 7, 9-7.

“In the second set Miss Martin played up better, but Miss Rice, on the contrary, went to pieces. She won the first game, but Miss Martin taking the next two, it was seen that she was going to win. After the fourth game, which was a win for Miss Rice, she failed to score until Miss Martin was two games ahead, when she played up better, and won the seventh game. Alternate games having been won, Miss Martin got the tenth game and the match.”
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Connie Butler/G. Crofton 6-2, 6-2
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XDF: Grainger Chaytor/Louisa Martin d. Helen Jackson/Arthur Wilson 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

From ‘Pastime,’ June 4, 1890: “The best match in the mixed doubles championship was that between Grainger Chaytor and L. Martin and W.J. Hamilton and L. Rice in the penultimate round, and, as they were the two strongest pairs entered, it virtually decided the destination of the first prize. The first prize went to Chaytor and Miss Martin 6-3, and in the second they scored the first four games. Hereupon, Hamilton and his partner made a sudden spurt, and scored six games off the reel.

“In the third set Chaytor and Miss Martin again took the lead, but once more the did the opposing pair pull up, and it was not until games-all had been called twice that Chaytor and Miss Martin were enabled to win. Hamilton’s play was somewhat disappointing, and he and Miss Rice did not combine so well as the winning pair. Miss Martin greatly distinguished herself, and volleyed and drove with wonderful precision.

“In the final Wilson and Miss Jackson were the runners-up, and were beaten setless. In the first set they made no resistance at all, but in the next two their play improved somewhat. Still, Chaytor and Miss Martin were never very hard pressed, and won both with a good deal in hand, 6-3.”
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June 2-7, West of England Championships, Bath, Somerset, England (Grass)

Draw of 8

QF: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-3, 8-6
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Constance Bryan 6-3, 6-2
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FI: Louisa Martin d. N. Pope 6-3, 8-6
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Constance Bryan/N. Pope 6-3, 6-3
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XDF: Louisa Martin/James Baldwin d. Constance Bryan/Henry G. Nadin 6-3, 6-1
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August 12-18, Derbyshire Championships, Buxton, Derbyshire, England (Grass)

Draw of 8

QF: Louisa Martin d. Helen Jackson 6-1, 6-2
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Bertha Steedman 6-0, 6-3
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Mary Steedman 6-2, 6-4

From ‘Pastime’, August 20, 1890

“In the ladies’ singles there were some capital matches. Last year Bertha Steedman defeated Louisa Martin, and the Irish lady was evidently determined to retrieve her laurels. By the fortune of the draw she met Bertha Steedman, and defeated her by two sets to love. It is only fair to say, however, that Miss Steedman evidently suffered from lack of practice.

“In the final with Mary Steedman Miss Martin led off with two games. Miss Steedman won the third, but Miss Martin took the fourth and fifth, only allowing Miss Steedman one stroke in the latter. The sixth fell to Miss Steedman after a long struggle, deuce being called four times. Miss Martin took the seventh after deuce was called five times, and then ran out with another game, taking the set at 6-2.

“In the second set Miss Steedman played more successfully, scoring four games to Miss Martin’s six, but only one game – the last – reached deuce. It was a curious thing to note that in the last set only two games were won by the server. In the eight others the game fell to the striker out, a result probably due to the heavy courts.”
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DF: Bertha Steedman/Mary Steedman d. Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell 8-6, 6-8, 6-3
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XDF: Louisa Martin/James Baldwin d. Florence Stanuell/Harold Mahony 6-2, 8-10, 6-0
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
1891

May 25-30, Irish Championships, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 13

QF: Louisa Martin d. G. Crofton 6-0, 6-1
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Helen Jackson 3-6, 7-5, 6-1

From ‘Pastime’, June 3, 1891: “Louisa Martin had great difficulty in disposing of Helen Jackson, who but for nervousness might have won by two sets to love. Miss Martin was, however, suffering from the same complaint, for when she settled down there was no doubt as to the result. Miss Jackson deserves great praise for her performance. From the back of the court she is very good, her returns both backhand and forehand being accurate and fairly hard. In volleying Miss Martin had a great advantage.”
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Florence Stanuell 6-2, 5-7, 6-0
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DF: Louisa Martin/Florence Stanuell d. Helen Jackson/N Pope 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
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XDF: Grainger Chaytor/Louisa Martin d. George Ball-Greene/Miss McClintock 6-2, 6-1 5-7, 6-3
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
1892

May 23-28, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 10

QF: Louisa Martin d. Lottie Dod 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

From ‘Pastime’, June 1, 1892: “But the greatest surprise of all was that in the match between Louisa Martin and Lottie Dod in the ladies’ singles – a match which practically decided the question as to which country should claim the championship so far as this meeting was concerned.

“Scarcely anyone expected Miss Martin to win, but win she did. She started with great dash and decision, the court – somewhat slow and heavy from thundershowers – appearing to suit her admirably, and proving just as unsuitable to her opponent’s style of play. The consequence was that Miss Dod had no time to get into her stroke, and the set was quickly won by Miss Martin by 6-2.

“Miss Dod improved in the second set, and showed something like her true form. She made the match set-all, and when she stood at 2-1 in the third set it was thought she would once more prove too strong for Miss Martin, who was showing signs of exhaustion, for she had not spared herself. A heavy thundershower now broke over the ground, and play was perforce suspended for about twenty minutes.

“This rest proved of great service to Miss Martin, who on resuming played with almost as much energy as in the opening set. A bad decision in the seventh game was not without its effect on Miss Dod’s play. By this piece of ill-luck the games were called 4-3 in favour of Miss Martin, whereas the score should have gone back to deuce. Four-all and five-all were then called, but Miss Martin took the necessary two games and the match by 2 sets to 1, a result which, it may be truly said, caused considerable surprise, this being the first occasion for several years on which the English lady champion has known defeat.

“It cannot be said that Miss Dod was showing her best form. Those who know how accurately and severely she drives missed the usual fire and force or her return, and her volleying, too, was not so telling as usual. When all these matters are taken into account they must not be allowed to blind one to the excellence of Miss Martin’s play. She has probably never before shown such fine form, her play all round being of a very high order.”
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Miss Exham 6-0, 6-2
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FI: Louisa Martin d. G. Crofton 6-1, 6-0
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XDF: Louisa Martin/Grainger Chaytor d. Lottie Dod/Anthony Dod 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 9-7
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June 13-18, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Grass)
Venue: Liverpool Cricket Ground, Aigburth

Draw of 15

1R: Lottie Dod d. Miss Quinn 6-1, 6-0
1R: Louisa Martin d. Kate Nunneley 6-0, 6-3
--
QF: Dod d. Bertha Steedman 6-1, 6-1
QF: Martin d. Mardall 6-1, 6-0
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SF: Dod d. Florence Draffen 6-0, 6-3
SF: Martin d. Blanche Hillyard 3-6, 6-1, 6-0

FI: Lottie Dod d. Louisa Martin 6-1, 6-0
--

Louisa Martin does not feature in any doubles events.
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June 27-July 7, The Championships, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club

Draw of 7

1R: Louisa Martin, a bye
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SF: Blanche Hillyard d. Louisa Martin 1-6, 6-3, 9-7

From From ‘Pastime’, July 6, 1892:

"[...] The match on Centre Court was that between Blanche Hillyard, ex-champion, and Louisa Martin, the present Irish lady champion. The latter was not in the best of health, and had at one point contemplated scratching to her opponent. However, happily she decided to play, and the result was a very good and close match.

"Miss Martin began the service, and quickly showed that she was in capital form, for she easily won the first five games; Mrs Hillyard, whose opposition was not one is wont to expect from a player of her calibre, scoring but nine strokes. She took the sixth game, but lost the seventh to thirty, Miss Martin winning the set at 6-1, by twenty-seven strokes to fifteen.

"Almost exactly the reverse was seen in the second set. Mrs Hillyard gained the opening four games; Miss Martin then had a run of two, and after her opponent had won the seventh game she took the eighth. The next game, however, went to Mrs Hillyard, and with it the set at 6-3. Mrs Hillyard won thirty-one strokes, Miss Martin twenty-six. One set-all.

"The third set was a long one. Miss Martin led at 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4, scoring the last by a lucky ‘dribble’ over the net. Mrs Hillyard made the score five-all, and then Miss Martin gained the advantage, and after the score had been brought back to games-all the same player again took the advantage game. This was her last success, however, for although she reached 40-30 in the fifteenth game, and once gained the advantage point, Mrs Hillyard won this game and the next, the latter to love, and thus the set, at 9-7, and the match by two sets to one. Mrs Hillyard won sixty-two strokes, Miss Martin fifty-six.

"Total number of strokes to Mrs Hillyard, 108, to Miss Martin, 109, a somewhat curious result. The games were equally balanced, sixteen to either player. A closer match has probably never been played. Mrs Hillyard was showing very poor form in the opening set, but she improved as the match progressed, and when the pinch came played with her proverbial pluck and determination. On the other hand, Miss Martin began brilliantly, but fell off towards the end. It appeared as if she might with advantage have brought her well-known volleying powers into play more frequently than she did."
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
1895

After an absence of nearly three years Louisa Martin returned to tournament play in late May 1895, at the Irish Championships, where she restricted her participation to the doubles and mixed doubles event. In the former event she and Florence Stanuell reach the semi-final before losing to Charlotte Cooper and her sister. In the latter event Louisa Martin and George Ball-Greene were beaten in the quarter-finals by George Greville and Jane Corder.
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June 10-15, Northern Tournament, Manchester, England (Grass)
Venue: Old Trafford

Draw of 15

QF: Louisa Martin d. Bertha Steedman 6-0, 6-0
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper 6-1, 6-3
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ACF: Louisa Martin d. Helen Jackson 7-5, 6-3

From ‘Pastime,’ June 19, 1895: “In the final of the ladies’ singles, Helen Jackson was at her best, and she dealt with Louisa Martin’s brilliant returns remarkably well. Miss Martin was a little unsteady at times, but her drives, backed up by her beautiful volleys, showed glimpses of her old form.”
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CR: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard (holder), walkover
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
1896

May 25-30, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 13

1R: Louisa Martin d. Miss Shaw 6-1, 6-0
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Ruth Dyas 6-0,6-4
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Miss Snook 6-1, 6-3
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
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June 15-20, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Grass)

CR: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard (holder) 6-2, 7-5

From ‘Lawn Tennis, ‘June 24, 1896: “The wind apparently affected Mrs Hillyard’s game in the Challenge Round – at any rate, she was decidedly uncertain. On the other hand, Miss Martin’s placing was nearly perfect, and her hitting was so hard that many of her strokes would have been left untouched by any ordinary opponent. It was not until the score stood at 3-5 against her [in the second set] that Mrs Hillyard recovered her best form, and then it was too late.”
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DF: Blanche Hillyard/Bertha Steedman d. Charlotte Cooper/Louisa Martin 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
--

XDCR: Harold Mahony/Charlotte Cooper d. Charles H. Martin/Louisa Martin 6-1, 6-3
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
1897

June 14-19, Northern Tournament, Manchester, England
Venue: Old Trafford

CR: Charlotte Cooper d. Louisa Martin (holder) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
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DF: Charlotte Cooper/Ruth Dyas d. Blanche Hillyard/Louisa Martin 6-0, 7-5
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XDCR: Harold Mahony/Charlotte Cooper (holders) d. Frank Riseley/Louisa Martin 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
1898

May 22-28, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 9

QF: Louisa Martin d. Maud Garfit 6-3, 6-0
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Elsie Pinckney 6-3, 6-3
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FI: Charlotte Cooper d. Louisa Martin 6-4, 9-7

From ‘The Irish Times,’ May 30, 1898: “The final round in the ladies’ singles was played between Miss Cooper, who won the event in 1895, and Miss Martin, who has no less than six [five] winning brackets in the same event. The match was keenly contested. The competitors were seen at their best, there being very little to choose between them. Miss Cooper started well by winning the first two games to 30 in each, but dropped the third to love. 3 games to 1, Miss Cooper leads, was next called, but Miss Martin forced the play, 4 games all being called ere Miss Cooper put the set to her credit, the last being a love game off her own service.

“The second set was a long one and sixteen games were played in it. Miss Cooper had a good lead at 5 games to 2, when Miss Martin won 3 games, making the score ‘games all’. Miss Martin served the eleventh game, but lost it to love. However, she won the twelfth to fifteen, deuce games being again called. Miss Cooper for the second time got the advantage game, and again Miss Martin brought the score back to deuce, but only to lose the next two games to 15 and 30, giving the set and match to her opponent.”
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DF: Ruth Dyas/Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper/O. Martin 6-3, 6-8, 6-2
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June 13-18, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Venue: Liverpool Cricket Club, Aigburth

Draw of 12

QF: Louisa Martin d. Maude Garfit 6-1, 6-1
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Bertha Steedman 6-1, 7-5
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ACF: Louisa Martin d. Muriel Robb 6-2, 6-3
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CR: Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper (holder) 10-8, 6-4

From ‘Lawn Tennis,’ June 1898: “In the Challenge Round, which was played in the wet, Charlotte Cooper seemed ill at ease on the wet court and fell more than once. She played very well, however, and her volleying was certainly superior to Louisa Martin’s. It was a very close match, Miss Martin’s victory being largely due to her passing strokes and excellent service.”
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DF: Charlotte Cooper/Ruth Dyas d. Amy Kirby/Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-4
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June 20-28, The Championships, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club

Draw of 18

2R: Louisa Martin d. 'Miss Ireland', walkover
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QF: Louisa Martin d. E.R. Morgan 6-2, 6-0
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Ruth Pennington-Legh, walkover
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ACF: Charlotte Cooper d. Louisa Martin 6-4, 6-4

From ‘Lawn Tennis,’ June 29, 1898: “Owing to Blanche Hillyard's decision not to defend her title, this match became the championship round as well as the All-Comers' Final. It was played on Monday last on the centre court under a threatening sky in a dull but fairly even light.

“Charlotte Cooper started the service, but lost the game. She also lost the second game, but then settled to her work, and gave a fine exposition of her skill. She was, in fact, never again headed during the remainder of the match, although in this set three-all and four-all were called. The set was won by her in the tenth game.

“She advanced to 4-2 in the second set, Louisa Martin's backhand failing her on several occasions hereabouts. She also appeared to be puzzled by the twist which Miss Cooper imparts to her strokes. However, the Irish lady then added two games to her score, the second of these being won to love.

“The next game - in which some fine play was seen - should also have been gained by her, for when wanting a stroke to win it, and with her opponent at her mercy, she put a ball into the net which she tried to drop very shot. This mishap may have affected the result of the set, for it occurred at a most critical juncture. The game went to Miss Cooper, who also gained the following one, and thus the set and match.

“There was very little to choose between the two ladies in point of stroke; of the two Miss Martin shows probably the finer lawn tennis, but on this occasion she was certainly not giving proof of the same accuracy as her English opponent, her backhand returns in particular often finding the net. Nor was her service - a very powerful weapon of attack - quite up to its usual standard. Ever and anon she played beautifully to Miss Cooper's backhand, but was was unfortunate in seeing many otherwise excellent returns drop just outside the lines.

“On the other hand Miss Cooper was ubiquitous, letting very few returns pass her. Her backhand was exceedingly strong, and she was serving with more power than usual. She always ran in on a good stroke, and generally finished the rest with a capital volley. The play was certainly of a very high class. Charlotte Cooper thus wins the title for the third time, as she was lady champion in 1895 and 1896.”
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
1899

May 22-27, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 10

QF: Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper 2-6, 6-4, 10-8

From ‘Lawn Tennis’, May 31, 1899: “The match between Charlotte Cooper and Louisa Martin resulted in some very fine tennis. Miss Cooper required only one stroke at one time to win the match; her bid for victory took the form of a drop, which Miss Martin just scraped up, Miss Cooper lobbed over her head, the ball just falling a few inches out. Afterwards Miss Martin got within a stroke of home, only to have the score brought level again. In the end she won the third set by 10-8.”
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Ruth Dyas 6-1, 6-2
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DF: Ruth Durlacher/Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson/Muriel Robb 6-2, 6-4
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June 12-17, Northern Championships, Manchester, England
Venue: Old Trafford

CR: Louisa Martin (holder) d. Ruth Durlacher 6-8, 6-2, 6-2

From ‘Lawn Tennis, June 21, 1899: “Louisa Martin showed excellent form, her passing strokes being very good; she also volleyed with great effect. Ruth Durlacher missed some easy overhead strokes, but the rest of her play was very good indeed. Miss Martin was the safer, especially on her backhand, and eventually won the match and the cup for the third [?] year in succession.”
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DF: Charlotte Cooper/Muriel Robb d. Ruth Durlacher/Louisa Martin 6-4, 8-6
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
1900

May 21-28, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 8

1R: Louisa Martin d. Miss Monahan 6-0, 6-3
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Miss Hodson 6-1, 6-1
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Charlotte Cooper 2-6, 6-1, 6-2

From ‘The Irish Times,’ May 28, 1900: “This was the final round of the Ladies’ Championship and attracted a good deal of attention. The play was not as interesting as it would have been if the ground was harder, but being in the soft state in which it was, and with the balls so heavy, the ladies found it difficult at times to take each other’s strokes when they came away fast.

“Louisa Martin, to the surprise of everyone, lost the first set very easily, only wining two games. But in the next set she showed that she meant to win, and playing up in her well-known hard style – strong overhead serve and strong, well-directed drives – she won the second set at 6 games to 1. She also rapidly annexed the third and concluding set at 6 games to 2 and thus repeats her performance of last year, and becomes lady champion for 1900.”
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DF: Charlotte Cooper/E. Cooper d. Louisa Martin/Miss Hodson 9-7, 6-2
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June 18-23, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Grass)
Venue: Liverpool Cricket Club, Aigburth

CR: Blanche Hillyard d. Louisa Martin (holder) 2-6, 8-6, 6-4

From ‘Lawn Tennis,” June 27, 1900: “Louisa Martin began particularly well in the Challenge Round against Blanche Hillyard, winning the first set by 6 games to 2. In this set there was one game which for its length must have been a record, as it lasted as long as a set in the mixed doubles in the next court.

“It is hardly necessary to say that the second set was most stubbornly contested, for Mrs Hillyard never knows when she is beaten, while Miss Martin would not give up her advantage without a desperate struggle. After deuce games had been called the set passed to Mrs Hillyard.

“Everything now pointed to a great battle in the concluding set. Miss Martin went away with 4-3, and was within a stroke of the next game, but Mrs Hillyard caused 4 games-all to be called, and finally secured the set and match by 6 games to 4.

“Miss Martin has had bad luck with this cup. She has now won it five times in all, although not in successive years, but if she had been victorious last week, it would have been her third successive win, and she would have retained the cup as her own property. Throughout the match her strokes were finer than those of her famous opponent, and it was chiefly from want of condition that she lost the match.”
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DF: Alice Pickering/Muriel Robb d. Blanche Hillyard/Louisa Martin 6-3, 12-10
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FI: Charlotte Cooper/Laurie Doherty d. Louisa Martin/Reggie Doherty 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
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June 25-July 4, The Championships, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club

Draw of 16

1R: Louisa Martin d. ‘Miss Ireland’ 6-4 6-3
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Dorothea Douglass 6-4, 6-3
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Ellen Evered 6-0, 6-2
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ACF: Charlotte Cooper d. Louisa Martin 8-6, 5-7, 6-1

From: ‘Lawn Tennis,’ July 4, 1900: “The final of the ladies’ championships between Charlotte Cooper and Louisa Martin was commenced half an hour late. Neither lady could do herself justice in the first set, in which points were more often won by the mistakes of an opponent than by good play. Often ludicrous during this set were the mistakes that were made from nervousness and anxiety to finish the point. The rally was seldom sustained more than two or three returns from each racket before a stroke was attempted which was more often lost than won.

“Miss Cooper has got into a peculiar habit of allowing the racket, to all appearances, to turn her hand as it meets the ball, which leaves the racket in a direction often not expected. The fault seems to arise from her taking the ball too much in front of her – due chiefly to the position of her feet, viz., the right foot forward instead of the left – instead of waiting for the ball to come level or almost level with her, and also from her holding her racket loosely. Her backhand is just the contrary. The racket, held firmly, is carried well through the ball which is played when level with body. She had developed this stroke greatly. Imparting an immense cut screw, she also brings her racket across her body, which causes the ball to leave the ground (on her opponent’s side) fast and with a curl, well calculated to upset the accuracy of the return shot.

“Miss Martin experienced this very often, for when she was in a position to drive from the back of the court the ball would curl away, causing her to make a quick, unstable effort to return it, which accounts to a great extent for the number of times she hit the top of the net, strokes that might have been brilliant winning ones had they been one or two inches higher.

“After the first set play became better and keener, and spectators were treated to splendid play of all kinds. Of the two, Miss Martin volleyed the more. The best tennis was seen when she had worked her way up. Volleying really well she put many balls well away from Miss Cooper. Especially notable were her backhand smashes.

“But Miss Cooper, who improves as the critical moment approaches, played with her head really well. Finding herself forced out of position and in difficulties, with Miss Martin at the net ready to kill a weak return, she generally lobbed – and lobbed well – to gain time to get back again. Miss Martin missed few occasions to smash, though she was frequently beaten by a well-judged lob. It was in this more than anything else that Miss Cooper outplayed her.

“Miss Martin’s driving from the baseline was a treat for spectators, but she would play, from force of habit, to Miss Cooper’s backhand – her strong point. Naturally, Miss Cooper would frequently score in the way previously described. The ground was in condition to help these screws. The play all through the last two sets was of a high order.”
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DF: Alice Pickering/Muriel Robb d. Blanche Hillyard/Louisa Martin 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
1901

May 27-June 3, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 8

QF: Louisa Martin d. Mrs Nevill, walkover
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SF: Ruth Durlacher d. Louisa Martin 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
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DF: Ruth Durlacher/Louisa Martin d. Miss Golding/Muriel Robb default
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June 17-22, Northern Tournament, Manchester, England (Grass)
Venue: Old Trafford

Draw of 15

1R: Louisa Martin d. L. Everard 6-3, 7-5
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Ellen Green 6-2, 6-1
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Constance Hill 6-3, 6-1
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ACF: Louisa Martin d. Maud Garfit, walkover
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CR: Louisa Martin d. Blanche Hillyard (holder) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

From ‘Lawn Tennis,’ June 26, 1901: “A very good match. Louisa Martin played a very fine game throughout. She had a great advantage by reason of the number and variety of her strokes; while Blanche Hillyard, as is well known, relies to a great extent on the drive. The latter fought hard, but was clearly overmatched. Miss Martin plays with the most delightful ease, and never seems to tire.”
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All England Mixed Doubles Championship

ACF: Louisa Martin/Sidney H. Smith d. Ida Cressy/Harold Mahony 6-2, 6-2
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CR: Louisa Martin/Sidney H. Smith d. Charlotte Sterry/Laurie Doherty (holders), walkover
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June 24-July 3, The Championships, Wimbledon, London, England (Grass)
Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club

Draw of 30

1R: Louisa Martin d. Adelaide Norton-Barry 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
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QF: Louisa Martin d. Edith Greville 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
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SF: Louisa Martin d. Agnes Morton 7-5, 6-2
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ACF: Charlotte Sterry d. Louisa Martin 6-3, 6-4

From ‘Lawn Tennis and Croquet,’ July 10, 1901: “On Monday Charlotte Sterry played Louisa Martin for the first prize and the right to meet Blanche Hillyard in the championship round. Play commenced punctually at two o’clock. Mrs Sterry, winning the toss and taking the service, succeeded in placing the first game to her credit. The second game (Miss Martin’s service) was one of the longest seen at Wimbledon; in fact, it must almost be a record. Deuce was called again and again, both players managing to reach advantage several times, but it was not until the game had lasted well over ten minutes that Miss Martin, with advantage against her, just misjudged length of the court and Mrs Sterry won the game.

“The third game also went to Mrs Sterry, Miss Martin apparently misjudging the cut from Mrs Sterry’s backhand, which seemed to come off very much on the damp ground. Eventually Mrs Sterry secured the set at 6-3.

“In the second set Mrs Sterry, playing very well and very steadily, won the first three games, Miss Martin never seeming at home with the ground. She managed to win the next game, and lost the fifth, the score now being 4-1, Mrs Sterry leads. Here and extraordinary mistake was made by umpire and players, as they all forgot the usual change of courts after the odd game, and it was not noticed till after Mrs Sterry had won the sixth game, making the score 5-1, when the umpire had to call in the assistance of the referee, which caused a cessation of the game for a few minutes.

“The rest seemed to benefit Miss Martin, who, playing very steadily, with an excellent length won the next three games, and with the score at 5-4 in Mrs Sterry’s favour, the next game was commenced amidst great excitement. Twice previously Mrs Sterry had been within a point of the set, and each time failed to win; once again at 40-30 she stood within a point of the match, but Miss Martin won the next stroke; Mrs Sterry, however, won the next two strokes and match at 6-3, 6-4, having been four times within a point of the match before she actually won it.

“Miss Martin probably lost the match owing to the number of mistakes she made rather than to being beaten in actual play by her opponent, as she seemed to win as many strokes as Mrs Sterry, who, nevertheless, very seldom gave any away.”
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
1902

May 26-June 2, Irish Championships, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, Ireland (Grass)

Draw of 6

SF: Louisa Martin d. Maud Garfit 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
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FI: Louisa Martin d. Ruth Durlacher 6-8, 6-4, 7-5

From the ‘The Irish Times,’ June 2, 1902: “The two ladies to compete in the final round were Louisa Martin and Ruth Durlacher. The first four games were won turn about, and it was evident from the start that the match was to be a close one. Both ladies were hitting strongly, and apparently were not much put about by the condition of the ground. After the score had been called 2-all Miss Martin won the next two games to 15 each. Mrs Durlacher got the next to love, but lost the eighth. Miss Martin now led by 5 to 3, but losing the next two, 5-all was called. The eleventh was closely contested, and eventually fell to Miss Martin, after deuce and vantage had been called a couple of times. Mrs Durlacher then ran off the three following and got the set at 8-6.

“The games in the second set were gained almost turn about up to four all, when Miss Martin secured the ninth and tenth to love, leaving the score 1 set-all. Mrs Durlacher won the first two games in the last set, the first after deuce and vantage, and the second to 15. Miss Martin got the third. Then Mrs Durlacher winning the next 3, led by 5 to 1, but lost the seventh off her own service. She was 40-15 in the next, but lost. In the ninth Mrs Durlacher again led 40-30, but failed to secure the winning ace. Miss Martin looked hopelessly out of it, when Mrs Durlacher’s return struck the top of the net and fell short. Miss Martin, however, pulled off the stroke, and from this on played in splendid style, winning the next three games and the set, 7-5.”
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DF: Ruth Durlacher/Miss Hazlett d. Louisa Martin/Miss Morant 6-3 6-4
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June 16-21, Northern Tournament, Liverpool, Lancashire, England (Grass)
Venue: Liverpool Cricket Club, Aigburth

Draw of 24

CR: Louisa Martin (holder) d. Muriel Robb 6-8, 7-5, 6-1

From ‘Lawn Tennis and Croquet,’ June 25, 1902: “By splendid, clean, hard drives Muriel Robb secured the first set, after leading at 5-3, only to let Louisa Martin draw level. The latter also held the ‘vantage game, only to have the score equalised and to lose the set at 8-6.

“The second set really deserved to be won by the challenger. The score was called 5-3, 40-0 against her but by most sterling play she drew level, only to lose at 7-5. This was the end of the match, for in the merciless rain Miss Robb could win only one game in the last set. The slippery court gave the holder a great advantage, as it did not affect her volleying in the same way as it did Miss Robb’s ground play.”
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All England Mixed Doubles Championship

XDCR: Sidney Smith/Louisa Martin (holders) d. Frank L. Riseley/Muriel Robb 7-5, 1-6, 8-6
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