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Richard Sears (tennis)

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Richard Sears (tennis)

Richard Sears
Full name Richard Dudley Sears
Country  United States
Born October 26 1861
Boston, MA, USA
Died April 8, 1943(1943-04-08) (aged 81)
Boston, MA, USA
Turned pro 1880 (amateur tour)
Retired 1888
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1955 (member page)
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)
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 male tennis player.


He was the son of Frederic Richard Sears and Albertina Homer Shelton. He married Eleanor M. Cochrane on November 24, 1891 and they had Richard Dudley Sears, Jr. and Miriam Sears. His brothers Philip and Herbert were also tennis players.

He learned to play tennis in 1879.[2] Sears 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.

He 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] Sears 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.

He died on April 8, 1943.

His grandson is the Massachusetts politician John W. Sears.


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

Controversial date of birth

There are some controversial information regarding his date of birthday, however, the date of October 26 is considered as the most authentic one according the most of the genealogy reports and researches.[4]

Grand Slam record

U.S. championships

  • Singles champion: 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887
  • Doubles champion: 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887

Grand Slam singles finals

Titles (7)

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

Grand Slam doubles finals

Titles (6)

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


  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.  
  3. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 407.
  4. ^

External links

  • International Tennis Hall of Fame

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