Herbert Lawford

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Herbert Lawford
19th century Tennis champions.jpg
Lawford, standing, on the right side
Full nameHerbert Fortescue Lawford
Country (sports)United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Born(1851-05-15)15 May 1851
Bayswater, England
Died20 April 1925(1925-04-20) (aged 73)
Dess, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro1878 (amateur tour)
Retired1890
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2006 (member page)
Singles
Career titles17 [1]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1887, Karoly Mazak)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
WimbledonW (1887)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon1R (1884)

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).

Career[edit]

In the 1887 final, the native of Bayswater defeated Ernest Renshaw (also of Great Britain) in five sets: 1–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4. He reached the finals of Wimbledon in 1880, 1884–86, and 1888.

Lawford won the first major men's doubles tennis tournament, the Oxford University Men’s Doubles Championship, in 1879 partnering Lestocq Robert Erskine.[3] 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[edit]

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.[4]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (1 title, 5 runners-up)[edit]

Result Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1880 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland John Hartley 3–6, 2–6, 6–2, 3–6
Loss 1884 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland William Renshaw 0–6, 4–6, 7–9
Loss 1885 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland William Renshaw 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 5–7
Loss 1886 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland William Renshaw 0–6, 7–5, 3–6, 4–6
Win 1887 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Ernest Renshaw 1–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1888 Wimbledon Championships Gras United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Ernest Renshaw 3–6, 5–7, 0–6

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some sources show the result of the final set as 10–8

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Herbert Fortescue Lawford: Stats". tennisrachives.com. Tennis Archives. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 15.
  3. ^ "Oxford University Lawn Tennis Club: 1879-1883". Norham Gardens Lawn Tennis Club.
  4. ^ http://www.tennisfame.com/hall-of-famers/inductees/herbert-lawford

External links[edit]