Dora Boothby

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePenelope Dora Harvey•Boothby (-Geen)
Used nameDora•Boothby
Born2 August 1881 in Finchley, England (GBR)
Died22 February 1970 in Hammersmith, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Before she started earning herself a reputation for being one of the finest British female tennis players at the turn of the 20th century, Dora Boothby displayed her talents as a fine table tennis player and reached the All-England ladies singles final at Crystal Palace in 1903 but lost 2-1 to Helen Madden. The following year Dora made the first of her 14 Wimbledon appearances but went out in the second round. She reached the semi-finals in 1908 where she was beaten by Charlotte Sterry (née Cooper) and just over a week later Dora was the Olympic Games silver medalist – without winning a set. She received byes in her first two rounds and was then beaten in two straight sets by Dorothea Lambert Chambers in the final.

However, success was not far away from Dora and she started 1909 by winning the mixed doubles at the All-England Badminton championships with Albert Prebble and then went on to win the singles title at Wimbledon by beating Agatha Morton in the final. She also reached the final of the Open mixed doubles event with Prebble but lost to Morton and Henry Roper Barrett. To make 1909 a memorable year for Boothby she also won the Covered Court championship at Queen’s Club and the South of England championship at Eastbourne, along with many other events across the country. As the defending champion in 1910 she lost to Dorothea Lambert Chambers in the Challenge Round at Wimbledon but the following year won the the all-comers final against Edith Hannam to earn the right to challenge Chambers for the title but Boothby suffered an embarrassing 6-0, 6-0 defeat. It was the first such scoreline in a Grand Slam singles final and it would not be until the 1988 French Open final when Steffi Graf beat Nataliya Zvereva that the scoreline was repeated. Dora never got beyond the third round of the singles after that but did win the doubles in 1913 when Boothby and partner Winifred McNair were fortunate to beat Sterry and Lambert Chambers when Sterry had to retire with a torn tendon in her leg when leading 6-4, 4-2. Dora made her final Wimbledon appearance in 1922 and after her retirement turned to tennis coaching for fun but in 1932 she decided to take up coaching professionally. In 1929 she designed the first official team jackets for the Great Britain Wightman Cup team and Dora traveled with the team to Forest Hills, New York, although she did not play.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Tennis GBR Dora Boothby
Singles, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Singles, Covered Courts, Women (Olympic) =5