I. F. Hellmuth

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Isidore Frederick (I.F.) Hellmuth (1845–1944) was the first champion of what became the Canadian National Tennis Championship, now known as the Canadian Open or the Rogers Cup. He was also a three-time runner-up as well as one-time doubles champion.

Born at Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1845, he was the son of Isaac Hellmuth, Bishop of Huron. After an early education at London, Ontario, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and trained for the English bar at the Inner Temple.[1] Returning to Canada, he became a barrister at Toronto. He was a Life Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. In 1880, he married Harriet Emily Gamble (b. 1847), granddaughter of Henry John Boulton. One of his junior partners, John Meredith (who was to die in WWI),[2] son of Sir William Ralph Meredith, married his daughter, Miriam (b:16 Feb 1881).[3] Their daughter Diana (b. Feb 1910) was married to Marcel Provost ([4]) then Edward Curtis.

In 1874, Hellmuth founded the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. He was runner-up at an unofficial United States national tennis championship in 1880, before winning the inaugural tournament played in 1881 at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, by defeating W.H. Young, also of Canada, 6-2, 6-2. The following year, Hellmuth lost the final to compatriot Harry D. Gamble, 2-6, 3-6, 2-6.

After a two-year hiatus, Hellmuth lost in consecutive finals in 1885 and 1886, the first to American J.S. Clark 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6 and the second to his compatriot and childhood friend, C.S. Hyman, in the first of his four consecutive championships, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 4-6. That year Hellmuth and Hyman also teamed to capture the doubles title.

Hellmuth also founded the London Lawn Tennis Club in 1890. He was an inaugural inductee into the Tennis Canada Hall of Fame, in 1991. He died in 1944, at his home, Allandale House, Toronto.

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