Richard Sears (tennis)

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For other people with the same name, see Richard Sears (disambiguation).
Richard Sears
Richard sears.JPG
Full name Richard Dudley Sears
Country (sports)  United States
Born October 26, 1861
Boston, MA, US
Died April 8, 1943(1943-04-08) (aged 81)
Boston, MA, US
Turned pro 1880 (amateur tour)
Retired 1888
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1955 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 5 (1887, Karoly Mazak)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon 1R (1884)
US Open W (1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open W (1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887)

Richard Dudley "Dick" Sears (October 26, 1861 – April 8, 1943) – was an American tennis player, who won the US Open singles in its first seven years, from 1881-87, and the doubles for six years from 1882-87, after which he retired from tennis.

Early life[edit]

He was the son of Frederic Richard Sears and Albertina Homer Shelton. His brothers Philip and Herbert were also tennis players.

Tennis career[edit]

Sears learned to play tennis in 1879.[2] He was undefeated in the U.S. Championships, he won the first of his seven consecutive titles in 1881 while still a student at Harvard. In those days the previous year's winner had an automatic place in the final. Starting in the 1881 first round, he went on an 18-match unbeaten streak that would take him through the 1887 championships, after which he retired from the game. Not until 1921 was his 18-match unbeaten run overtaken (by Bill Tilden). During his first three championships Sears did not lose a single set. Sears was the first 19-year-old to win in the U.S., slightly older than Oliver Campbell was in 1890 and the youngest winner ever, Pete Sampras, in 1990.

Sears was the first U.S. No. 1 in the USLTA rankings, when they began in 1885 and retained the ranking in 1886 and 1887.[3] He was ranked World No. 5 for 1887 by Karoly Mazak.[1]

After giving up playing lawn tennis, Sears won the U.S. Court Tennis singles title in 1892 and went on to serve as USTA President in 1887 and 1888.

Personal life[edit]

Sears married Eleanor M. Cochrane on November 24, 1891 and they had two children, Richard Dudley Sears, Jr. and Miriam Sears.

He died on April 8, 1943.

His grandson was the Massachusetts politician John W. Sears.

Legacy[edit]

Sears was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955, where his cousin Eleonora Sears also has a place.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (7 titles)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Opponent Score
Winner 1881 U.S. Championships United States William E. Glyn 6–0, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 1882 U.S. Championships (2) United States Clarence Clark 6–1, 6–4, 6–0
Winner 1883 U.S. Championships (3) United States James Dwight 6–2, 6–0, 9–7
Winner 1884 U.S. Championships (4) United States Howard Taylor 6–0, 1–6, 6–0, 6–2
Winner 1885 U.S. Championships (5) United States Godfrey Brinley 6–3, 4–6, 6–0, 6–3
Winner 1886 U.S. Championships (6) United States R. Livingston Beeckman 4–6, 6–1, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1887 U.S. Championships (7) United States Henry Slocum 6–1, 6–3, 6–2

Doubles (6 titles)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1882 U.S. Championships United States James Dwight United States Crawford Nightingale
United States G M Smith
6–2, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1883 U.S. Championships United States James Dwight United States Alexander Van Rensselaer
United States Arthur Newbold
6–0, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 1884 U.S. Championships United States James Dwight United States Alexander Van Rensselaer
United States W.V.R. Berry
6–4, 6–1, 8–10, 6–4
Winner 1885 U.S. Championships United States Joseph Clark United States Henry Slocum
United States Wallace P. Knapp
6–3, 6–0, 6–2
Winner 1886 U.S. Championships United States James Dwight United States Howard Taylor
United States Godfrey Brinley
6–3, 6–0, 6–2
Winner 1887 U.S. Championships United States James Dwight United States Howard Taylor
United States Henry Slocum
6–4, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 15.
  2. ^ Hall, Valentine G. (1889). Lawn tennis in America. New York: D. W. Granbery & Co. p. 1. OCLC 15175498. 
  3. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 407.

External links[edit]