Robert Lindley Murray

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Robert Lindley Murray
R Lindley Murray.jpg
Country (sports) United States
Born(1893-11-03)November 3, 1893
San Francisco, CA, United States
DiedJanuary 17, 1970(1970-01-17) (aged 77)
Lewiston Heights, New York
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Turned pro1913 (amateur tour)[1]
Retired1926 (played part-time afterwards)
PlaysLeft-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1958 (member page)
Career record131-24 (84.5%)[2]
Career titles16 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 2 (1917, Karoly Mazak)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
US OpenW (1917, 1918)
Professional majors
US ProSF (1933)

Robert Lindley Murray (November 3, 1893 – January 17, 1970) was an American chemist[1] and tennis player.


Robert Lindley Murray

Robert Lindley Murray was born in San Francisco, California, United States to Augustus Taber Murray and Nellie Howland Gifford. He graduated from Stanford in 1913 with a degree in chemistry and received a chemical engineering master's degree the following year. Murray played for the varsity team and became the 1913 Pacific Coast intercollegiate champion.[1]

In June 1914 Murray won the New York Metropolitan title defeating Fred Alexander in the final in five hard-fought sets[4] and in August he won the coveted Meadow Club Cup, at Southampton, NY, beating Watson Washburn in the final in three straight sets.[5]

Murray won his first national tennis title in February 1916 when he became the singles champion at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships, played at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York. In the final he defeated Alrick Man in three sets 6–2, 6–2, 9–7.[6]

He won the U.S. National Championship men's singles title in 1917 and 1918.[7] The tournaments were renamed National Patriotic Tournaments in support of the war effort. No trophies were handed out to the winners and the entrance fees were dedicated to the Red Cross. In 1917 Murray defeated Bostonian Nathaniel W. Niles in four sets.[8] Murray did not intend to play the 1918 National Patriotic Tournament as his skills as chemical engineer were considered too important for him to play during wartime.[9] Only after a lengthy effort to persuade him by the president of his company, Elon Hooker, did Murray finally consent to play.[1] Despite little preparation he managed to reach the final in which he faced Bill Tilden, the future seven-time champion. In an impressive performance Murray easily defeated Tilden in three sets 6–3, 6–1, 7–5.[10]

In the USLTA national rankings, he was the U.S. No. 1 in 1918, and was ranked fourth in 1914, 1916 and 1919.[11] He was ranked the World No. 2 for 1917 by Karoly Mazak.[3]

Murray died on January 17, 1970 in Lewiston Heights, New York.

Grand Slam record[edit]

U.S. championships[edit]

  • Singles champion: 1917, 1918

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (2 titles)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1917 U.S. Championships Grass United States Nathaniel W. Niles 5–7, 8–6, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 1918 U.S. Championships Grass United States Bill Tilden 6–3, 6–1, 7–5


  1. ^ a b c d Ohnsorg, Roger W. Robert Lindley Murray: The Reluctant U.S. Tennis Champion;. Victoria, BC: Trafford On Demand Pub. pp. 266–272. ISBN 9781426945144.
  2. ^ a b Garcia, Gabriel. "Robert L. Murray: Career match record". Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 45.
  4. ^ "California Tennis Player Wins Title" (PDF). The New York Times. June 21, 1914.
  5. ^ "Californians Win All Tennis Prizes" (PDF). The New York Times. August 23, 1914.
  6. ^ "Tennis Title Won by Lindley Murray" (PDF). The New York Times. February 23, 1916.
  7. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 457. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  8. ^ "Murray New Leader of Tennis Cohorts" (PDF). The New York Times. August 26, 1917.
  9. ^ "Murray Out of Nationals" (PDF). The New York Times. July 24, 1918.
  10. ^ "Murray Easily Beats Tilden in Final for National Tennis Title" (PDF). The New York Times. September 4, 1918.
  11. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 374.

External links[edit]