Lawford, standing, on the right side
|Full name||Herbert Fortescue Lawford|
|Country (sports)||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|
15 May 1851|
|Died||20 April 1925
Dess, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Turned pro||1878 (amateur tour)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||2006 (member page)|
|Career titles||17 |
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1887, Karoly Mazak)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
Herbert Fortescue Lawford (15 May 1851 – 20 April 1925) was a former co-World No. 1 tennis player from Scotland who won the Men's Singles championship at Wimbledon in 1887, and was runner-up a record 5 times (shared with Arthur Gore).
Lawford won the first major men's doubles tennis tournament, the Oxford University Men’s Doubles Championship, in 1879 partnering Lestocq Robert Erskine. This event was a precursor to the Wimbledon men's doubles championship, introduced in 1884, and it was played over the best of seven sets ending in a score of 4–6, 6–4, 6–5, 6–2, 3–6, 5–6, 7–5.[a] In 1885 he won the singles title at the inaugural British Covered Court Championships.
Birth of the topspin: the Lawford-stroke
Lawford is said to be the first person to introduce "topspin" to the game of tennis.His formidable forehand was called 'the Lawford stroke'. Lawford made a more substantial contribution in technically advancing the game. He unveiled the “Lawford forehand,” introducing topspin into the sport with that revolutionary shot. Aggressive and unwavering, he was equipped with power, speed and uncanny accuracy.He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
Grand Slam finals
Singles (1 title, 5 runners-up)
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Opponent in final||Score in final|
|Runner-up||1880||Wimbledon Championships||John Hartley||3–6, 2–6, 6–2, 3–6|
|Runner-up||1884||Wimbledon Championships||William Renshaw||0–6, 4–6, 7–9|
|Runner-up||1885||Wimbledon Championships||William Renshaw||5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 5–7|
|Runner-up||1886||Wimbledon Championships||William Renshaw||0–6, 7–5, 3–6, 4–6|
|Winner||1887||Wimbledon Championships||Ernest Renshaw||1–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1888||Wimbledon Championships||Ernest Renshaw||3–6, 5–7, 0–6|
- Some sources show the result of the final set as 10–8
- "Herbert Fortescue Lawford: Stats". tennisrachives.com. Tennis Archives. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 15.
- "Oxford University Lawn Tennis Club: 1879-1883". Norham Gardens Lawn Tennis Club.