The Doherty Brothers Clay Court Singles Victories (1896-1909)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by newmark401, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    By Mark Ryan

    Part I of II

    Although neither Reggie (born 1872), the elder of the two great tennis-playing Doherty brothers, nor Laurie (born 1875), Reggie’s junior by almost exactly three years, ever enjoyed robust health, they were able to achieve a tremendous amount in their chosen sport during the periods in which both of them played it competitively.

    They were both multiple Wimbledon champions, Reggie taking the singles title there from 1897-1900 and Laurie following him in the years 1902-06. Together, they took the Wimbledon doubles title eight times in the nine years from 1897-1905 (they lost the final match in 1896, 1902 and 1906). Uniquely for the time, they won the United States doubles title in 1902 and 1903, while Laurie became the first overseas player to take the men’s singles title of the United States in the latter year.

    The Dohertys also excelled on fast indoor courts (Laurie won the British Covered Courts Championships, played on wood at the Queen’s Club in London, every year from 1901-06). Although a Challenge Round was in force at this and other tournaments (including Wimbledon) during this period – the defending champion would thus have to play only one match – the brothers’ achievements are nevertheless hugely impressive.

    Perhaps somewhat ironically, given their relatively delicate constitutions, both of the brothers were also supreme clay court players (this unforgiving, slow surface requires great powers of concentration, determination and limitless physical reserves). The Dohertys dominated the European clay court tournaments they chose to play in the same way that they dominated their favoured grass and indoor tournaments.

    In France the Dohertys preferred the Riviera tournaments, principally those in Monte Carlo and Nice. In Germany, Bad Homburg was their main chosen tournament, at least in the early years (circa 1896-1901). In later years they played little in Germany, possibly because the Bad Homburg and Baden-Baden tournaments were played in August/September. The French Riviera tournaments were played early in spring, at a time when little or no tournaments of any significance were held in the British Isles. There were no Challenge Rounds in the French Riviera tournaments.

    Because they both sometimes took part in the same tournament, Laurie and Reggie Doherty inevitably had to face each other across the net on several occasions (in an era when seedings and rankings did not exist, this could happen at any stage of a tournament, even the first round). However, the brothers did not like playing each other in singles and the one tended to give the other a walkover whenever they were due to meet. The brother who had received the walkover would usually be the winner of the tournament in question.

    The following list of clay court victories for the Doherty brothers spans the years from 1896 to 1909. (By 1909, Reggie’s best years were behind him, but he was still able to take the South African title in that particular year. Reggie died one year later, in 1910.) This list is not meant to be definitive, but it does, nevertheless, provide a clear indication of the Dohertys’ dominance on this surface. The tournaments are listed chronologically, by year and within each year.
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    1896

    Bad Homburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Manliffe Goodbody (IRL) 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1*

    * The main prize for which the men competed at this tournanemt was the Homburg Cup. The Doherty brothers valued this event so much that they preferred playing in it to competing in the German Championships singles event when both events were held simultaneously in Homburg from 1898 to 1901. As a result, neither Reggie nor Laurie ever won the German Championships.
    --

    Baden-Baden, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Count Viktor Voss 6-1, 7-5, 6-2*

    * The Baden-Baden tournament was popular with overseas players and attracted many of the top players at various times. It is not easy to find results from the earliest editions (circa 1895-1904). The Dohertys probably took part in the Baden-Baden tournament more than once because it usually followed on from the tournament in Bad Homburg.
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    1897

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. R. Blackwood-Price (GBR) 6-2, 6-1, 6-2*

    * The main prize for which the men competed at this tournanemt was the Monte Carlo Cup.
    --

    Bad Homburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. George Hillyard (GBR), walkover
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    1898

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. J. Hay-Gordon 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
    --

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Count Viktor Voss (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-0, retired
    --

    Bad Homburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. George Hillyard (GBR), walkover
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    1899

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Count Victor Voss (GER) 6-0, 6-0, 6-0
    --

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Count Victor Voss (GER) 6-2, retired
    --

    Heiligendamm Open, Heiligendamm, Mecklenburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. George Wantzelius 6-2, 6-1, 6-2*

    * This was the first edition of this tournament, where the men competed for the Heiligendamm Cup.
    --

    Bad Homburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Clarence Hobart (GBR) 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
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  2. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Part II of II

    1900

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Laurie Doherty (GBR), walkover
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    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Due to concerns about the condition of the courts and administrative problems, this tournament was not held in 1900.
    --

    Bad Homburg, Germany: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. George Hillyard (GBR) 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2
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    Dinard, Brittany, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Harold S. Mahony (IRL) 4-6, 6-1, 8-6, 7-5*

    * Although the Doherty brothers did not often take part in it, this tournament, one of the earliest tournaments ever to be held in France, was popular with players from the British Isles and elsewhere.
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    1901

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Wilberforce V. Eaves (AUS) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1*

    * This appears to have been a best-of-three-sets final.
    --

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Wilberforce V. Eaves (AUS) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
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    1902

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. George Hillyard (GBR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
    --

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Reggie Doherty (GBR), walkover
    --

    Paris Championships, Paris, France: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Paul Lebreton, walkover*

    * This tournament, played on the Île de Puteaux in Paris, had its origins in the Exhibition Tournament played at the same venue in 1900. The 1900 tournament was effectively the Olympic Games tennis tournament and is listed as such by official Olympic sources. Laurie Doherty won the gold medal in the men’s singles event.
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    1903

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Frank L. Riseley (GBR) 6-1, 14-16, retired
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    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Sidney Smith (GBR) 5-7, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
    --

    Paris Championships, Paris, France: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Max Decugis 6-4, 6-3, 8-6
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    1904

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Major Ritchie (GBR) 6-1, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
    --

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Major Ritchie (GBR) 6-2, 6-3, 6-3
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    Championships of Cannes, Cannes, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Major Ritchie (GBR) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
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    Heiligendamm Open, Heiligendamm, Mecklenburg, Germany: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. E. Lange 6-1, 6-1, 6-1
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    1905

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Major Ritchie (GBR) 6-4, 8-6, 6-4
    --

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Edward R. Allen (GBR) 6-3, 7-5, 7-5
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    1906

    Monte Carlo, Monaco: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Wilberforce V. Eaves (AUS) 6-3, 11-9*

    * This appears to have been a best-of-three-sets final.
    --

    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Anthony F. Wilding (NZL) 6-3, 8-6, 6-2*

    * In his last great year (when he played a limited schedule), Laurie Doherty meets Tony Wilding, who would have his first great year in 1906, winning twenty or so singles titles.
    --

    1908

    Heiligendamm Open, Heiligendamm, Mecklenburg, Germany: Laurie Doherty (GBR) d. Friedrich W. Rahe 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-1*

    * By this stage neither Laurie nor Reggie was playing much competitive tennis. However, as this score shows, they were both still capable of winning tournaments.
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    1909

    South African Championships, Johannesburg, South Africa: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Leonard Escombe (GBR) 6-3, 6-1, 6-1
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    Main sources: “The Field”, “Pastime”, “Lawn Tennis and Croquet”/”Lawn Tennis and Badminton”, “Der Lawn-Tennis-Sport”/”Lawn-Tennis und Golf”.
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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
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  3. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Great read, as always
     
    #3
  4. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Thank you, from a big Federer fan.
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  5. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Rookie

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    You sure about the:

    1899
    South of France Championships, Nice, France: Reggie Doherty (GBR) d. Count Victor Voss (GER) 6-0, 6-0, 6-0

    Helens Annual and Spaulding say that it was Reggie who earlier defaulted to Lawrence and it was Lawrence that won the 1899 SoF tourney in Nice. I've seen Lawrence's wins total 7, 8, or 9 in a row depending on sourcing. They also say Lawrence won the 1898 South of France that you don't have listed.
     
    #5
  6. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    I've made a couple of changes to my original piece, although not with regard to the result of the final of 1899 South of France Championships, which I will be able to check again in "Lawn Tennis and Croquet" in the near future.
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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
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  7. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Re the 1899 South of France Championships tournament:

    According to "Lawn Tennis and Croquet and Badminton" of May 1899, which includes the complete draws for all of the events, Reggie Doherty won the men's singles event, defeating Count Viktor Voss in the final, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
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    #7
  8. Idzznew

    Idzznew Rookie

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    Are you absolutely sure Mark.
    I have from LTB 3/5/1899

    1899-03-13 - 1899-03-20
    Type: Amateur
    Men's singles
    Surface: Clay
    Place/court: Nice, Place Mozart
    South of France Championships Main index

    Source: Lawn tennis, 3/5/1899
    Players list

    Blacker Douglas, Saint John Stewart (IRL)
    De Gordon, A. (GBR)
    De Minerbi, Lionel (ITA)
    Doherty , Hugh Lawrence (Laurie) ()
    Evans, H.K. (GBR)
    Fassit, Francis Louis (USA)
    Lamperti, C. ()
    Laroze, J. (FRA)
    Lemaire de Warzeé, Willie (BEL)
    Morganstern, A.G. ()
    Morrison, E. Burford (GBR)
    Talbot, J.S. (GBR)
    Voss- Schönau, Count Victor Eugen (GER)
    Wills, Ernest S. (GBR)

    Results

    0000-00-00 Round 1
    Doherty and de Minerbi had byes.
    Lemaire de Warzeé, Willie d. Morganstern, A.G. (6-2 6-2)
    Wills, Ernest S. d. Blacker Douglas, Saint John Stewart (6-2 6-4)
    Fassit, Francis Louis d. De Gordon, A. (7-5 6-3)
    Morrison, E. Burford d. Laroze, J. (6-0 6-0)
    Voss- Schönau, Count Victor Eugen d. Talbot, J.S. (6-2 6-2)
    Evans, H.K. d. Lamperti, C. (6-2 5-7 6-1)

    0000-00-00 Quarterfinals
    Wills, Ernest S. d. Fassit, Francis Louis (8-6 6-1)
    Voss- Schönau, Count Victor Eugen d. Morrison, E. Burford (6-2 6-2)
    Evans, H.K. d. De Minerbi, Lionel (6-2 6-4)
    Doherty , Hugh Lawrence (Laurie) d. Lemaire de Warzeé, Willie (6-2 6-1)

    0000-00-00 Semifinals
    Voss- Schönau, Count Victor Eugen d. Evans, H.K. (6-4 6-3)
    Doherty , Hugh Lawrence (Laurie) d. Wills, Ernest S. (6-1 6-1)

    0000-00-00 Final
    Doherty , Hugh Lawrence (Laurie) d. Voss- Schönau, Count Vi

    Alex Tennisarchives
     
    #8
  9. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Rookie

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    I'm glad I asked about this. As I said this 1899 event seems to have multiple sources with two different answers.

    American Lawn Tennis - Official Bulletin of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association - Volume II – 1899

    THE RIVIERA SEASON, 1899
    by "Charleston"

    "Of the crack players, R. F. Doherty and Count Voss took part in all three tournaments. and carried off most of the prizes. In the finals at Nice, the English champion was seen in phenomenal form, and administered a three-love-set beating to Count Voss, who was by no means playing beyond his reputation, as his handicap play at other tournaments showed. Doherty has seldom been seen to more advantage, and if he keeps up his Riviera form, it is difficult to see who will be able to beat him this summer at home. His younger brother, H. L. Doherty, only played doubles at Monte Carlo, and — as everybody will hear with regret — has doctor's orders not to play any more for some time in singles. It is hoped, however, and pretty certain, that the brothers will be seen together in doubles, as they have to defend innumerable championships."
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
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  10. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    From "Lawn Tennis and Badminton (including Croquet)", May 3, 1899: "The annual open tournament of the Nice Lawn Tennis Club was held in the week beginning March 13. Great interest was taken in the meeting, the entries including Reggie Doherty, Count Viktor Voss [...] The principal events were the Championships of the South of France. The handsome Challenge Cup which goes with the men's singles event was won for the first time last year by Laurie Doherty, who, although frequently on the courts, did not play in this year's tournament. The spectators, however, had the satisfaction of seeing his brother, the Wimbledon Champion, in his very best form, and he beat Count Voss in the final round by three love sets!"
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    #10
  11. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting. Thank you for posting
     
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