Harold Mahony

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For the Australian footballer, see Harold Mahony (footballer).
Harold Mahony
Harold mahony.jpg
Full name Harold Segerson Mahony
Country (sports) United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom
Born (1867-02-13)13 February 1867
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 27 June 1905(1905-06-27) (aged 38)
County Kerry, Ireland
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Turned pro 1890 (amateur tour)
Retired 1905 (due to death)
Singles
Career titles 59 [1]
Highest ranking No. 2 (1896, Karoly Mazak)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon W (1896)
US Open 4R (1903)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon F (1892AC, 1903AC)
US Open F (1897)

Harold Segerson Mahony (13 February 1867 – 27 June 1905) was a Scottish-born Irish tennis player who is best known for winning the singles title at the Wimbledon Championships in 1896. His career lasted from 1890 until his death in 1905. Mahony was born in Scotland but lived in Ireland for the majority of his life; his family were Irish including both of his parents, the family home was in County Kerry, Southwestern Ireland. He was the last Scottish born man to win Wimbledon until the victory of Andy Murray at the 2013 championships.[3]

Career[edit]

Mahony was born at 21 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh to Richard John Mahony, an Irish barrister and prominent landowner. The family had a home in Scotland but spent most of their time at Dromore Castle, in County Kerry, Ireland. Harold trained on a specially built tennis court at Dromore.[4]

Mahony made his Wimbledon debut in 1890 exiting in the first round.[5] He reached the semifinal in 1891 and 1892.[4] Mahony spent some time in America in the mid-1890s, before returning to England and finally taking the Wimbledon crown in 1896. In the final he beat Wilfred Baddeley of Great Britain in five sets: 6–2, 6–8, 5–7, 8–6, 6–3.[4] Under the challenger system Mahony was entitled to defend the Wimbledon title in 1897 but this time he was beaten in the Challenge Round in three straight sets by Reginald Doherty.[5] He was the last Scottish-born player to win a grand slam until Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012 and win Wimbledon until Murray won it in 2013. He was recognised as the third and last Irishman to win the Wimbledon singles.[6]

He won the singles title at the British Covered Court Championships, played at the Queen's Club in London, in 1893 and successfully defended his title the following year. In 1895 Mahony forfeited the defence of his title due to illness.[7] In 1898 he won the singles titles at the prestigious Irish Championships. That same year Mahony, who was a regular competitor in Germany and spoke fluent German, also won the singles title at the German Championships.[8]

At the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris he won a silver medal in the men's singles event and a bronze medal in the doubles competition (for Great Britain and Ireland) as well as a silver medal in the mixed doubles event with Hélène Prévost from France. Mahony won the Kent Championships in 1899, defeating Wilberforce Eaves in the final, and in 1904, defeating Brame Hillyard in the final.[9]

Mahony was a member of the 1903 British Isles Davis Cup team that won the against the United States at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston but did not play in the event. When four-time Wimbledon champion Reginald Doherty had a shoulder injury the British team captain William Collins elected to forfeit his first match, instead of letting Mahony play, so that Doherty would be allowed to play the reverse singles match later in the event.[10]

Mahony was 1.91m (6 ft 3in) tall and possessed a formidable backhand. His forehand was less notable, his fellow-player, George Hillyard, wrote that he "never did acquire the right method of hitting the ball on the forehand".[4]

Mahony was killed on 27 June 1905, aged 38, in a bicycling accident while descending a steep hill near Caragh Lake in Co. Kerry.[4][7]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1896 Wimbledon Championships Grass United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Wilfred Baddeley 6–2, 6–8, 5–7, 8–6, 6–3

Doubles[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1897 U.S. Championships Grass United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Harold Nisbet United States George Sheldon
United States Leo Ware
13–11, 2–6, 7–9, 6–1, 1–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harold Segerson Mahony: Stats". tennisarchives.com. Tennis Archives. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 24.
  3. ^ The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 8 July 2013
  4. ^ a b c d e David Randall (31 January 2010). "Scotland's only winner of a Grand Slam. So far". The Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Wimbledon players archive – Harold Mahony". AELTC. 
  6. ^ Devastating backhand nets glory for Mahony By Ryle Dwyer, The Irish Examiner, Wednesday, 1 August 2012
  7. ^ a b "ME. H. S. MAHONY KILLED.". Bunbury Herald (WA : 1892 – 1919). WA: National Library of Australia. 14 August 1905. p. 1. 
  8. ^ "Scottish Wimbledon champion that history forgot". The Scotsman. 13 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Harold Mahony Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  10. ^ Randy Walker (2 March 2015). "Brothers Vs. Brothers In A USA Vs. Britain Davis Cup? It's Happened Before…". World Tennis Magazine. 

External links[edit]