|Full name||Richard Dudley Sears|
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Born||October 26, 1861|
Boston, Massachusetts, US
|Died||April 8, 1943 (aged 81)|
Boston, MA, US
|Turned pro||1880 (amateur tour)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1955 (member page)|
|Career record||43-8 (84.3%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (1887, ITHF)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|US Open||W (1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|US Open||W (1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887)|
Richard Dudley Sears (October 26, 1861 - April 8, 1943) was an American tennis player, who won the US National Championships singles in its first seven years, from 1881 to 1887, and the doubles for six years from 1882 to 1887, after which he retired from tennis.
Sears learned to play tennis in 1879. He was undefeated in the U.S. Championships, he won the first of his seven consecutive titles in 1881 while still a student at Harvard. In those days the previous year's winner had an automatic place in the final. Starting in the 1881 first round, he went on an 18-match unbeaten streak that would take him through the 1887 championships, after which he retired from the game. Not until 1921 was his 18-match unbeaten run overtaken (by Bill Tilden). During his first three championships Sears did not lose a single set. Sears was the first 19-year-old to win in the U.S., slightly older than Oliver Campbell was in 1890 and the youngest winner ever, Pete Sampras, in 1990.
Although primarily remembered for his grand slam titles he did compete in and win other titles. He won his first tournament at Beacon Park, Boston, in 1880 defeating Edward Gray. In May 1883 he reached the semi finals of the Longwood Bowl in Boston conceding to James Dwight by a walkover. In 1884 he traveled to Europe to play tournaments in Great Britain and Ireland. At the Irish Championships held in Dublin he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Herbert Lawford in three sets. Sears had to withdraw from the Bath tournament due to a foot injury but in June he reached the final of the Cheltenham tennis tournament held on clay, losing in three sets to Donald Stewart. He then traveled to Manchester to compete at the Northern Lawn Tennis Championships where he also reached the quarterfinals, again losing to Stewart. Unable to compete at the Wimbledon Championships due to a wrist injury he returned to the United States in July after the U.S. Championships he entered the U.S. National Collegiate Championships in Hartford, Connecticut, where he reached the semi-finals. In June 1885 he won the Middle States Championships in Hoboken, New Jersey, defeating Howard Taylor.
Sears was the first U.S. No. 1 in the USLTA rankings, when they began in 1885 and retained the ranking in 1886 and 1887.
Sears married Eleanor M. Cochrane on November 24, 1891, and they had two children, Richard Dudley Sears Jr. and Miriam Sears.
He died on April 8, 1943.
His grandson was the Massachusetts politician John W. Sears.
Sears was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955, where his cousin Eleonora Sears also has a place.
|Win||1881||U.S. Championships||William E. Glyn||6-0, 6-3, 6-2|
|Win||1882||U.S. Championships (2)||Clarence Clark||6-1, 6-4, 6-0|
|Win||1883||U.S. Championships (3)||James Dwight||6-2, 6-0, 9-7|
|Win||1884||U.S. Championships (4)||Howard Taylor||6-0, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2|
|Win||1885||U.S. Championships (5)||Godfrey Brinley||6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3|
|Win||1886||U.S. Championships (6)||R. Livingston Beeckman||4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4|
|Win||1887||U.S. Championships (7)||Henry Slocum||6-1, 6-3, 6-2|
|Win||1882||U.S. Championships||James Dwight|| Crawford Nightingale
G M Smith
|6-2, 6-4, 6-4|
|Win||1883||U.S. Championships||James Dwight|| Alexander Van Rensselaer
|6-0, 6-2, 6-2|
|Win||1884||U.S. Championships||James Dwight|| Alexander Van Rensselaer
|6-4, 6-1, 8-10, 6-4|
|Win||1885||U.S. Championships||Joseph Clark|| Henry Slocum
Wallace P. Knapp
|6-3, 6-0, 6-2|
|Win||1886||U.S. Championships||James Dwight|| Howard Taylor
|6-3, 6-0, 6-2|
|Win||1887||U.S. Championships||James Dwight|| Howard Taylor
|6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3|