Beals Wright

Beals Coleman Wright (December 19, 1879 – August 23, 1961) was an American tennis player who was active at the end of the 1890s and early 1900s. He won the singles title at the 1905 U.S. National Championships. Wright was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and the older brother of American tennis player Irving Wright.[3][4]

Beals Wright
Wright (LOC) (28319838813).jpg
Wright circa 1915
Full nameBeals Coleman Wright
Country (sports) United States
BornDecember 19, 1879
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
DiedAugust 23, 1961(1961-08-23) (aged 81)
Alton, Illinois, United States
PlaysLeft-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1956 (member page)
Career record254–70 (78.4%)[1]
Career titles27[1]
Highest rankingNo. 2 (1905, ITHF)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
WimbledonF (1910AC)
US OpenW (1905)
Career record0–0
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonF (1907)
US OpenW (1904, 1905, 1906)
Medal record
Olympic Games – Tennis
Gold medal – first place 1904 St. Louis Singles
Gold medal – first place 1904 St. Louis Doubles
1910 Wimbledon All Comers' Final against Tony Wilding


Beals was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 19, 1879 to George Wright, the shortstop for the Cincinnati Red Stockings and founder of the sporting goods store Wright & Ditson.[5] Beals was the brother of Irving Wright, the 1917 and 1918 U.S. Championship men's doubles champion. Together they won the men's doubles title at the Canadian Tennis Championship four times (1902, 1903, 1904, 1905).[6] Beals was the nephew of baseball pioneer Harry Wright.

In 1899 Beals Wright traveled with his father to California where he played at the Delmonte Tennis Championship in Monterey. George Wright managed the team the same year he coached at Harvard. Two Harvard University players participated in the DelMonte Tournament-the first time east coast players took on California tennis champions.[citation needed]

Wright played at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics and won gold medals in both the singles and doubles competition.[7] He also won three consecutive singles titles (1904–1906) at the tournament now known as the Cincinnati Masters, and reached the doubles final (with Edgar Leonard) in 1904.

Wright won the Canadian Tennis Championship, played in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in 1902, 1903 and 1904.[6] In 1902 he won the Niagara International Tennis Tournament, also played in Niagara-on-the-Lake, by defeating Harold Hackett in the final in five sets and the default of Raymond Little in the challenge round.[8]

Wright's most important victory came in 1905 when he won the men's singles title at the U.S. National Championships by defeating reigning champion Holcombe Ward in the Challenge Round in straight sets 6–2, 6–1, 11–9.[9]

In 1915 he was hit by an errant baseball during a baseball game.[10] In 1921 he was arrested following a car accident.[11]

Beals Wright was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1956. He died in Alton, Illinois on August 23, 1961.[2][3]

Playing styleEdit

In their book R.F. and H.L. Doherty - On Lawn Tennis (1903) multiple Wimbledon champions Reginald and Lawrence Doherty described Wright's playing style:

Beals Wright is certainly the best in America at low volleys, and is very good overhead. His volleying is distinctly superior to his ground strokes, and his forehand somewhat stronger than his backhand. He has a good service, which he follows up to the net.

On Lawn Tennis - 1903[12]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles: 4 (1 title, 3 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1901 U.S. National Championships Grass   William Larned 2–6, 8–6, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1905 U.S. National Championships Grass   Holcombe Ward 6–2, 6–1, 11–9
Loss 1906 U.S. National Championships Grass   William Clothier 3–6, 0–6, 4–6
Loss 1908 U.S. National Championships Grass   William Larned 1–6, 2–6, 6–8

Doubles: 7 (3 titles, 4 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1901 U.S. National Championships Grass   Leo Ware   Dwight Davis
  Holcombe Ward
3–6, 7–9, 1–6
Win 1904 U.S. National Championships Grass   Holcombe Ward   Kreigh Collins
  Raymond Little
1–6, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 6–1
Win 1905 U.S. National Championships Grass   Holcombe Ward   Fred Alexander
  Harold Hackett
6–4, 6–4, 6–1
Win 1906 U.S. National Championships Grass   Holcombe Ward   Fred Alexander
  Harold Hackett
6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–3
Loss 1907 Wimbledon Grass   Karl Behr   Norman Brookes
  Anthony Wilding
4–6, 4–6, 2–6
Loss 1908 U.S. National Championships Grass   Raymond Little   Fred Alexander
  Harold Hackett
1–6, 5–7, 2–6
Loss 1918 U.S. National Championships Grass   Fred Alexander   Vincent Richards
  Bill Tilden
3–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 2–6


  1. ^ a b "Beals Wright:Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Hall of Famers - Beals Wright". 1 International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Beals C. Wright, 82, Former Tennis Star". The New York Times. August 24, 1961.
  4. ^ "Beals Wright". Olympedia. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Baltzell, E. Digby (2013). Sporting Gentlemen: Men's Tennis from the Age of Honor to the Cult of the Superstar. Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 978-1412851800.
  6. ^ a b "Wright Brothers Win at Tennis" (PDF). The New York Times. July 13, 1902.
  7. ^ "Beals Wright Olympic Results". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Ohnsorg, Roger W. Robert Lindley Murray: The Reluctant U.S. Tennis Champion. Victoria, BC: Trafford On Demand Pub. p. 339. ISBN 978-1-4269-4514-4.
  9. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. p. 456. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  10. ^ "Beals C. Wright Injured". The New York Times. July 25, 1915.
  11. ^ "Beals C. Wright Arrested. Ex-National Tennis Champion Bumps Motor Car And Carriage". The New York Times. June 21, 1921.
  12. ^ Doherty, R.F. (1903). R.F. and H.L. Doherty on Lawn Tennis (1st ed.). London: Lawn Tennis. p. 63.

External linksEdit