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George Hillyard

Full name: George Whiteside Hillyard
Gender: Male
Born: February 6, 1864 in Hanwell, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: March 24, 1943 in Pulborough, West Sussex, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Tennis

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

To reach the final of the 1908 Olympic men’s doubles George Hillyard and his partner, Reggie Doherty, had to serve seven match points in the fourth set of the semi-final before finally defeating Clement Cazalet and Charles Dixon. In the final, Hillyard and Doherty faced Josiah Ritchie, the new Olympic singles champion, and James Parke, who had won 20 caps for Ireland at rugby. After their scare in the semi-finals, Hillyard and Doherty were relieved to take the gold medals in straight sets. At the time of his Olympic victory, Hillyard was 44 years old and had been married to Blanche Bingley, six-times winner of the Wimbledon singles, for 21 years. He was in the second year of his 17-year tenure as the Secretary of the All-England Club and his best playing years were already behind him. He had won the English covered courts doubles in 1890 and 1891 with Harry Scrivener and again in 1904 and 1905 with Laurie Doherty as his partner. Hillyard’s outstanding achievement outdoors was to win the German Championship in 1897 and 1898 when this was still one of the major international tournaments.

As a young man, George Hillyard spent some time in the navy and served on the same ship as the Price of Wales. He developed a close personal friendship with the future King George V, the basis on which the still surviving interest of the Royal family in lawn tennis is founded. Upon the outbreak of war, Hillyard rejoined the Navy and rose to the rank of Commander. Hillyard also excelled as a golfer and in 1903 he defeated Harry Hilton, the Open champion of 1892 and 1897 and the reigning amateur champion. It was, however, cricket and not golf that was really George Hillyard’s second sport. He played for Leicestershire, Middlesex, and the Gentlemen of England and went with Lord Hawke’s team to America in 1891 and 1894.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Men's Doubles Great Britain-1 GBR 1 Gold
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Men's Doubles, Covered Courts Great Britain-4 GBR 5

Men's Doubles

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank Date Result SW
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Final Round Match 1/2 1 1908-07-11 GBR-1 3, GBR-2 0 3
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Semi-Finals Match #1 1 1908-07-10 GBR-1 3, GBR-3 2 3
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Quarter-Finals Match #2 1 1908-07-09 GBR-1 3, GBR-4 1 3
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Great Britain-1 GBR Reggie Doherty Round Two Match #3 AC 1908-07-07 GBR-1 walkover

Men's Doubles, Covered Courts

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank Date Result SW
1908 Summer 44 London Tennis Great Britain-4 GBR Wilberforce Eaves Round One Match #1 2 1908-05-06 GBR-2 3, GBR-4 2 2
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