Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers

Great Britain
Born 3/9/1878 Died 7/1/1960
Wimbledon 1903,1904,1906,1910,1911,1913,1914

Dorothea Douglass was one of five children of an Ealing vicar. She was a baseliner with a good drop shot. She won four of her seven Wimbledon titles after becoming a mother. She was a fine all round sportswoman, winning the All England Badminton championship. Douglass was sturdy and wore a long skirt. She first entered the Wimbledon singles in 1900 and lost in the quarter finals. She made the semis in 1902. She won her first title in 1903 beating Ethel Thomson-Larcombe in the All Comers final before winning the Challenge Round by default. In 1904 she successfully defended her title in the Challenge Round against Charlotte Cooper-Sterry. She lost to Californian May Sutton in the Challenge Round in 1905. In 1906 she beat Cooper in the All Comers Final and Sutton in the Challenge Round. She lost in the 1907 Challenge Round to Sutton. In 1908 Cooper gained a rare victory over Dorothea (now Mrs. Lambert Chambers) in the quarters. In 1910 Dorothea won again, this time beating defending champion Dora Boothby in the Challenge Round. She beat Boothby again in the 1911 Challenge Round without losing a game. She didn't defend in 1912. In 1913 she took the title beating Winifred McNair in the All Comers Final before winning the Challenge Round by default. In 1914 she won the Challenge Round against Thomson-Larcombe. It was her seventh and last title. In the first post-war championships in 1919 the two defending champions from the last pre-war championships, 41 year old Norman Brookes and 40 year old Dorothea, stood out until the Challenge Round. But whereas Brookes lost easily to the much younger Gerald Patterson in the mens, Dorothea played one of the best matches of her career against Suzanne Lenglen, who was at the peak of her powers. In one of Wimbledon's longest finals, Dorothea had two match points serving for the match at 6-5 40-15 final set. The fairytale victory by the veteran so nearly came to pass, but Lenglen fought back to win the third set 9-7 and didn't lose a completed match after the First World War. Dorothea was still not done yet. At Wimbledon 1920 she swept aside Molla Mallory (in the middle of her spell of eight US titles) and Elizabeth Ryan before losing to Lenglen in the Challenge Round, this time easily. She played until 1927.