No Country Club Princess

Lottie-DodON THIS DATE in 1887, fifteen-year-old Charlotte “Lottie” Dod became the youngest-ever winner of a Wimbledon singles championship.

No country club princess, Dod introduced women’s volley-and-smash tennis en route to winning five Wimbledon titles in a seven-year stretch. All five of her victories came against Blanche Bingley, the first a 6-2, 6-0 trouncing. The young Brit lost just five matches during her tennis career.

Lottie also made an impact on tennis attire. In 1887, her outfit included long sleeves and a full-length skirt, the standard women’s tennis wear, but she switched to shorter skirts that gave her greater on-court mobility. Shorter skirts eventually caught on with other female players.

When not playing tennis, the uber-athletic Dod was excelling at other sports. She played on her nation’s field hockey team in 1899, won the 1904 British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship, and took home a silver medal in archery at the 1908 London Olympics.

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