General Captain Ernest Douglas
Black
Male
England
1876-07-14
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
1931-02-13
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


About

From the Sheffield Lawn Tennis Association website (link now broken):

Ernest Black and the first-ever Davis Cup rubber

Alex Ritchie’s 2008 history of our Association tells of “Edmund Black”, actually born Ernest, of the Hallamshire Club, playing in the Davis Cup tie of 1900 versus the USA in Boston, Massachusetts. As a result of further research this week by Andy Lusis, and more research in Sheffield, it is now clear that this was the first Davis Cup match and was played at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston in August of that year.

Black’s two fellow British Isles team members, Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett were eventually to win Wimbledon titles and Olympic gold medals between them, and it is suggested that Ernest was picked because the Doherty brothers, Laurie and Reggie were not available. However, he had the privilege of playing in the opening singles rubber against Dwight Davis, originator of the competition and presenter of the trophy, who must have been surprised to lose the first set against this less well-known player, but eventually winning 4-6 6-2 6-4 6-4.

Ernest Black having given a good account of himself, he was selected for the crucial doubles with Roper Barrett, Gore having lost his singles in three easier sets. That doubles too was lost but only to three sets of 6-4, resulting in a 3-0 win for the US, the dead rubbers not being played.

So, our man from Nether Edge and the Hallamshire Club won the first ever set, in the world’s first international tennis competition, which in 2015 is the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, with 122 nations taking part.

Ernest Black was born in Sheffield in 1876 to Scottish parents (why does that strike a chord with the 2015 Great Britain vs USA Davis Cup match?) and the family home was 26 Oakhill Rd, Nether Edge, although in 1911 he was lodging in 19 Wiseton Road, Brocco Bank, within walking distance of his then club, Hallamshire.

Ernest Black’s father, William, a mining engineer, was company secretary to the Nunnery Mine in Sheffield. Ernest played his early tennis at the Brincliffe Club off Cemetery Road. He served in World War One as a Captain with both the British and Canadian Infantry (Engineers), and died in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1931 leaving £3,868 in his will.



Media


Archive statistics 1893 - 1923
4
142
91


Tournament wins 1922 - Nova Scotia Championships (Open)
1914 - Alberta Championships (Amateur)
1899 - Scottish Championships (Amateur)
1896 - Northumberland Championships (Amateur)


Tournaments Nova Scotia Championships - 1923 Nova Scotia Championships - 1922 Wimbledon - 1921 Wimbledon - 1919 Queens Club Tournament - 1919 Kent Championships - 1919 Alberta Championships - 1914 Sheffield - 1909 Northumberland Championships - 1905 Yorkshire Championships - 1905 Northumberland Championships - 1902 Scottish Championships - 1901 Yorkshire Championships - 1901 Wimbledon - 1900 US Open - 1900 Welsh Championships - 1900 Davis Cup - Final - 1900 British Covered Court Championships - 1900 Wimbledon Plate (Consolation) - 1900 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1900 Warwickshire Championships - 1900 German International Championships - 1899 Scottish Championships - 1899 European Championship - 1899 Midland Counties Championships - 1899 Northumberland Championships - 1899 Homburg - 1899 Warwickshire Championships - 1899 Scottish Championships - 1898 Midland Counties Championships - 1898 Northumberland Championships - 1898 Yorkshire Championships - 1898 Bournemouth - 1898 Scottish Championships - 1897 Northumberland Championships - 1897 Scottish Highland Championships - 1897 Bradford - 1897 Midland Counties Championships - 1896 Northumberland Championships - 1896 Teignmouth and Shaldon - 1896 Sheffield - 1896 Bradford - 1896 Northumberland Championships - 1895 Yorkshire Championships - 1895 Sheffield - 1895 Warwickshire Championships - 1895 Edgbaston - 1895 Bradford - 1895 Northumberland Championships - 1894 Sheffield - 1894 Warwickshire Championships - 1894 Edgbaston - 1894 North of England Championships - 1893 Sheffield - 1893

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