|Competed in Olympic Games • Non-starter
|Hugh Lawrence "Laurie"•Doherty
|8 October 1875 in Wimbledon, England (GBR)
|21 August 1919 in Broadstairs, England (GBR)
|All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon (GBR)
The Doherty brothers, Laurie and Reggie, reigned supreme in the tennis world at the turn of the century and were one of the finest doubles pairings in the history of the game. Both educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, they won the Wimbledon doubles a record eight times, took he US title twice and were unbeaten in the five Davis Cup rubbers they played together. When they were at their peak, the Doherty’s lost only four of the countless doubles matches they played together.
The younger of the two, Laurie, had slightly the better record as a singles player, winning Wimbledon five times to Reggie’s four and also winning the US singles in 1903, being the only overseas player to do so between 1881 and 1925. Laurie also enjoyed an impeccable record in the Davis Cup, winning all twelve of his rubbers. Reggie won the Wimbledon singles from 1897-1900 and Laurie took the title from 1902-1906, with Arthur “Wentworth” Gore being the only person able to prevent the brothers from completely monopolizing the Championship for a full decade when he beat Reggie in the 1901 Challenge Round. Their feats are commemorated by “The Doherty Gates” at the south-west entrance of the All-England Club.
In the Olympic singles in 1900, Laurie Doherty was scheduled to meet Reggie in the semi-finals but Reggie conceded a walkover so that Laurie met the Irishman, Harold Mahony, in the final. Mahony reputedly had the best volley and the worst forehand in the game and at times this was clearly an adequate enough combination as Mahony had won the 1896 Wimbledon singles. But in Paris, Mahony’s assets and liabilities failed to meet the searching demands of Doherty’s audit and the Englishman won the gold medal in straight sets.
Laurie won a second gold medal in the men’s doubles with Reggie as his partner. The 1900 Official Report indicates that the scratch pairing of Max Décugis (FRA) and Spalding de Garmendia (USA) gave the Doherty’s a good match before losing 6-3, 6-3, 7-5, but The Field reported that the British pair had a rather more comfortable victory at 6-1, 6-1, 6-0. Laurie also played in the Mixed Doubles at the 1900 Olympics with the American, Marion Jones, as his partner but they were beaten in the semi-finals by Reggie and Charlotte Cooper, winner of the Women’s singles.
After poor healthy forced Laurie to retire from top class tennis in 1906 he turned to golf and with a handicap of plus two at Royal St. George’s he played several times in the Amateur Championship. His best performance was on his home course in 1908 when he reached the last sixteen. In 1914, Laurie Doherty joined the Royal Naval Reserve but the rigors of service in an anti-aircraft unit hastened the breakdown of his delicate constitution and he died, aged 43, after a long illness.
|Discipline (Sport) / Event
|NOC / Team
|1900 Summer Olympics
|Singles, Men (Olympic)
|Doubles, Mixed (Olympic)
|Doubles, Men (Olympic)
|Doubles, Handicap, Mixed (Olympic (non-medal))
|Singles, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal))
|Doubles, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal))
|1908 Summer Olympics
|Singles, Men (Olympic)