John Hartley (tennis)

John Hartley (tennis) bigraphy, stories - English tennis player

John Hartley (tennis) : biography

9 January 1849 – 21 August 1935

John Thorneycroft Hartley (9 January 1849 – 21 August 1935) was a former World No. 1 tennis player from England, and the only clergyman to win Wimbledon.

Born in Tong, Shropshire, as the winner of the All Comer’s Final, Hartley won the 1879 Gentlemans Singles title against an Irish champion, De Vere Goold in three sets. Hartley retained his title the following year, 1880, by defeating Herbert Lawford in the Challenge Round, 6–3, 6–2, 2–6, 6–3.

Hartley lost in 37 minutes in the 1881 Gentleman’s Singles final, to William Renshaw, 0–6, 1–6, 1–6. This was the shortest final on record and it was reported that Hartley was suffering from an attack of ‘English cholera’. Hartley did not compete in the 1882 championships and made a final return at the 1883 championships, losing in the second round to HWW Wilberforce.

Hartley married Alice Margaret Lascelles, a granddaughter of Henry Lascelles, 3rd Earl of Harewood, in 1875. They had no children.

In 1926, at the Golden Jubilee championships, Hartley was presented with a Silver medal by Queen Mary, as one of thirty four surviving champions.

Hartley was the vicar of Burneston and died at the age of 86 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Grand Slam singles finals

Wins (2)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score
1879 Wimbledon Frank Hadow default
1880 Wimbledon Herbert Lawford 6–3, 6–2, 2–6, 6–3

Runner-ups (1)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score
1881 Wimbledon William Renshaw 6–0, 6–1, 6–1