Godfrey Brinley

Godfrey Malbone Brinley (November 22, 1864 – May 6, 1939) was a tennis player from the United States, born in Perth Amboy, NJ.

Godfrey Brinley
Godfrey Brinley.jpg
Brinley in 1901
Full nameGodfrey Malbone Brinley
Country (sports) United States
Born(1864-11-22)November 22, 1864
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S. [1]
DiedMay 6, 1939(1939-05-06) (aged 74)
Ragusa, Yugoslavia [1]
Turned pro1882 (amateur tour)
Grand Slam Singles results
US OpenF (1885Ch)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US OpenSF (1884)

Godfrey was a boy when tennis was first introduced to the Garden State and he took the game quickly. At St. Paul’s boarding school in New Hampshire, he excelled in tennis and squash.[1]

At age 17, Godfrey entered the Orange Invitation tournament and defeated Howard Taylor in the semis and J.F. Bacon in the finals to win his first top-tier title. In 1883, while studying at Trinity College, he entered the U.S. Championships in Newport and reached the quarterfinals before falling to James Dwight in three sets. In 1884, Godfrey bowed out in the second round, defeated by Taylor, but he reached the semifinals of the doubles.

In 1885, Godfrey joined the ranks of the game’s top players when he won the all-comers draw at the U.S. Championships to earn a berth in the Challenge Round against defending champion Dick Sears. He lost to Sears in four sets. Godfrey was crowned U.S. Intercollegiate champion in 1886, beating Philip Sears of Harvard in the final in New Haven. Sears would go on to win the 1887 and 1888 titles.

He reached the challenge round at the U.S. National Championships in 1885, beating Henry Slocum and Percy Knapp before finishing runner-up to four-time defending champion Richard Sears.[2] Brinley also reached the quarterfinals in 1883 and 1887 and was amongst the top ten American tennis players from 1885 to 1887.[3] Godfrey continued to play competitively until 1889, when he entered the priesthood.[1] He served as Master of School at St. Paul's in Concord, NH from 1888-1930, and was buried there in 1939.

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1885 U.S. Championships Grass   Richard D. Sears 3–6, 6–4, 0–6, 3–6

Doubles (1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1886 U.S. Championships Grass   Howard Taylor   James Dwight
  Richard Sears
5–7, 8–6, 5–7, 4–6


  1. ^ a b c d "Godfrey Brinley". NJSports.com.
  2. ^ Talbert, Bill (1967). Tennis Observed. Boston: Barre Publishers. p. 63. OCLC 172306.
  3. ^ "Year-end rankings: Top 10 U.S. Men". United States Tennis Association. January 1, 2017.