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Tennis at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: St. Louis, United States
Date Started: August 29, 1904
Date Finished: September 3, 1904
Events: 2

Participants: 36 (36 men and 0 women) from 2 countries
Youngest Participant: USA Robert LeRoy (19 years, 203 days)
Oldest Participant: USA Joseph Charles (36 years, 204 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 4 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (8 medals)

Overview

There were several tennis events held at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. From the newspaper reports, it is actually fairly difficult to sort out exactly which matches were part of the Olympics and which were not. The events that were contested were as follows: Olympic Men's Singles, Olympic Men's Doubles, World's Fair Men's Singles, World's Fair Men's Doubles, Louisiana Purchase Men's Singles, and an Interscholastic Championship. Only the Olympic Singles and Doubles should probably be considered part of the Olympic Games. Strangely, however, there were no restrictions on the entrants in the other sports and there were even foreign competitors in several of them.

Also of note although no women competed in the Olympic events, one woman did enter for the Interscholastic Championships. This was Miss Carrie M. Dwan and a story ran concerning her entry in the St. Louis newspapers of 28 August. She was the girls champion of the St. Louis high school district in 1903 and had also won the double championships, partnered by Carrie Briback. Although Miss Dwan was entered for the interscholastic championships, and was scheduled to play F. E. Sheldon, neither player appeared and she did not compete.

The only foreign entrant in the Olympic events was Dr. Hugo Hardy of Berlin, Germany. He competed in both the Olympic Singles and Doubles and as well competed in the World's Fair Singles and Doubles. The Japanese champion, Shunzo Tokaki, attended the World's Fair and enterd the Missouri State Championships in early July, but he is not mentioned as having entered the "Olympic" tennis events.

All these events were contested during the same time period with multiple events being held on multiple courts. It is not always clear from the newspaper reports which of the events they are discussing, as the events were simply numbered in some of the newspaper articles rather than giving their name.

The director of the Olympic tennis competitions was Dwight Davis, who was a well-known St. Louis politician and later was U.S. Secretary of War. He managed to win the singles championship in the Louisiana Purchase event. He also achieved long-term tennis immortality when he donated a cup as an international team trophy (in 1900), now called the Davis Cup. Davis played on the U.S. teams that won the first two Davis Cup competitions (1900, 1902).

Medalists