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Laurie Doherty

Full name: Hugh Lawrence "Laurie" Doherty
Nickname(s): Little Do
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Born: October 8, 1875 in Wimbledon, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: August 21, 1919 in Broadstairs, Kent, Great Britain
Affiliations: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Tennis

Related Olympians: Brother of Reggie Doherty.

Medals: 2 Gold, 1 Bronze (3 Total)

Biography

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.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Men's Singles Great Britain GBR 1 Gold
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Mixed Doubles United States/Great Britain GBR 3T Bronze
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Men's Doubles Great Britain-1 GBR 1 Gold

Mixed Doubles

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank Date Result SW
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis United States/Great Britain GBR Marion Jones Semi-Finals Match #2 2 GBR 2, United States/Great Britain-3 0 0
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis United States/Great Britain GBR Marion Jones Round One Match #3 1 United States/Great Britain-3 2, USA 0 2

Men's Singles

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result SW
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain GBR Final Round Match 1/2 1 Doherty (GBR) 3, Mahony (GBR) 0 3
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Match #1 AC Doherty (GBR) walkover
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Match #1 1 Doherty (GBR) 2, de Garmendia (USA) 0 2
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain GBR Round One Match #2 1 Doherty (GBR) 2, Lebréton (FRA) 0 2

Men's Doubles

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank Date Result SW
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Final Round Match 1/2 1 GBR-1 3, United States/France-1 0 3
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Semi-Finals Match #2 1 GBR-1 3, GBR-2 0 3
1900 Summer 24 Paris Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Round One Match #3 1 GBR-1 2, FRA-3 0 2
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