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The Doherty Brothers

After the Club showed a loss of 33-Pound Sterling in 1895, the croquet members were readmitted in the hope that they would augment the Club's finances. Though the croquet members did not in any way help the cause, they persuaded the Club to include the word 'Croquet' in their title. The Club was thus renamed 'The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club'. The profit from the Wimbledon Championship in 1899 was 19-Pound Sterling.

What really revived interest in the Championships at the turn of the century was the emergence of the Doherty brothers; dark and handsome, impeccable stylists and brilliant players. Suddenly the crowds flocked to see these young Westminster and Cambridge educated stars, and ladies swooned by the courtside. Reggie, three years older to Laurie, won the singles titles from 1897 to 1900. He won the last Championship beating the reigning All England Badminton champion, Sydney Smith. Smith had an iron-leg and played the forehand like a pile driver that was later dubbed as the 'Smith Punch'.

Arthur Gore - not related to the earlier champion - who beat an ailing Reggie to win the singles title that year, interrupted the Doherty brothers' domination of the Championships in 1901. Laurie however had his revenge on the family's behalf by winning the singles title for five consecutive years from 1902 to 1906. And though Reggie did not play singles after his loss in 1901, he helped Laurie pick up eight doubles titles till 1905. Known as 'Big Do' and 'Little Do', the Doherty brothers died young. Their elder brother, William presented a wrought iron gate to Wimbledon in their memory in 1930, and the same stands at the Church Road entrance till date.

Three ladies dominated the women's event after Lottie Dod lost interest after her last win in 1893. Mrs. Hillyard, Mrs. Sterry and Mrs. Lambert Chambers won 18 singles crowns between them. Mrs. Hillyard had six win in 14 years, Mrs. Sterry won on five occasions, winning her last title when she was 37, and Mrs. Lamber Chambers won seven events.

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