Mrs Lambert Chambers

Born Dorothea Katharine Douglass, Mrs Chambers made history as one of the greatest lawn tennis players of her time.    She also excelled at badminton, but her time on badminton courts was limited as a result of her tennis commitments. Despite this she must be regarded as one of the leading badminton players in the early 20th century.

She was born on 13th September 1878 in Ealing, her father being a vicar.  

She started playing badminton at the Ealing BC, and the first badminton tournament at which she competed was the All England in 1902 at the Crystal Palace when she was already showing exceptional promise. It was in 1903 that she established herself as a great player, and in that year at the All England, playing with Miss Hardy she won the ladies’ doubles beating Miss Thomson and Miss Bateman. She also reached the final of the ladies’ singles losing to Miss Thomson. In the All England of 1904, she and Miss Hardy were unable to retain the ladies' doubles losing to Miss Lucas and Miss Thomson who were never beaten playing together. She won the mixed doubles playing with Dr. Marrett beating Mr Prebble and Miss Lucas in the final, and she again reached the final of the ladies’ singles losing to Miss Thomson.

She missed the 1905 All England as she was away playing tennis on the Riviera and did not play much serious badminton in the 1905/6 season.

In 1907 she again reached the final of the ladies’ singles at the All England – she played Miss Lucas in what was described at the time as one of the most exciting finals ever contested in this event – 14 all was reached in the final set with Miss Douglass serving – Miss Lucas decided not to set, put her out and gained the deciding ace.

lambert chambersShe married Robert Lambert Chambers in June 1907, and dropped out of badminton for two years.

She played in the All England 1908 reaching the final of the ladies’ doubles playing with Miss Lyon.  In 1909/10 she was a member of the victorious Ealing team in the London League.

The Badminton Gazette notes that her style of play reveals the lawn tennis player to an unusual degree and that she is of the coolest of players, possessing noticeable good judgement, and is usually at her best in a crisis.

It is worth noting - she won the gold medal at the 1908 Olympics in the lawn tennis ladies' singles , and seven Wimbledon tennis championships between 1903 and 1914 - in 1914 she won singles, ladies’ doubles and mixed. She continued to play in the Wimbledon Championships until 1927.  She became a professional tennis player in 1928

She also played hockey for Middlesex.

She died on January 7th 1960 at Kensington, aged 81.