Algernon Robert Fitzhardinge Kingscote (3 December 1888 – 21 December 1964) was a British tennis player, who won the Men’s Singles event at the Australasian Championships in 1919
Kingscote also competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.He was born in Bangalore, India, in 1888.
Algernon Kingscote learned playing tennis on the courts of the Château-d’Œx Club in Switzerland, where he won numerous championships.In his early years he trained with American teenager player R. Norris Williams.He was crowned Swiss champion in 1908 and champion of Bengal in 1913. He held the Kent Championships title for four consecutive years between 1919–1922 and in total won the title six times.He won the singles title at the 1919 Australasian Championships, along with the first Anthony Wilding Memorial Medal, beating Eric Pockley of New South Wales in straight sets.In the 1920 Wimbledon Championships he reached the doubles final alongside James Cecil Parke but eventually lost to the team of Garland–Williams.In 1921 Kingscote was a runner-up at the Monte-Carlo Championships losing to fellow countryman Gordon Lowe in four sets.He represented Great Britain in the Davis Cup seven times between 1919 and 1924 compiling a 9–8 win-loss record. In the 1922 Wimbledon Championships first round against Leslie Godfree they established the routine of saluting the Royal Box by bowing in front of it, a tradition that was in effect to 2003.He won the Queen’s Club Championships in 1924 beating Gordon Lowe in four sets in the final.
U.S. Championships quarterfinalist American Dean Mathey described his style as “well rounded” in 1920 at the time when he was considered the best British outdoors player. He favored volleying and had good ground strokes. His service was fair but his game lacked speed and strength.The next year professional world number one player Bill Tilden agreed wi Mathey that his game is well rounded but lacks speed.He described his hitting as well-paced, his service as a fast sliced, well placed, paced, twisted and cleverly disguisedand his style as a defensive one relying mostly on his half-volley baseline returns.He dedicated Kingscote’s court positioning and good volleying skills as a compensation for Kingscote’s rather short appearance.Kingscote adapted to the combination of net attack and baseline game, which Tilden praised as a key factor of successful tennis style. His favorite shot was the cross court forehand shot.His backhand was steady, accurate and deceptive.
Algernon Kingscote was born on 3 December 1888 to Lieutenant-Colonel Howard Kingscote and famous novelist Adeline Wolff known as Lucas Cleeve. He had two siblings, Henry and Iris. Like his father he joined the army in 1910 serving for the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was a Second Lieutenant when stationing at Plympton, Devon in 1911. He was engaged during in World War I where he fought at the First Battle of the Aisne earning the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and the award of Military Cross.After the war he went back competing in tennis tournaments and was appointed the captain of the Great Britain Davis Cup team, while still serving in the army as a colonel.He married Marjorie Paton Hindley and had two daughters Rachel and Marjorie and later a son David. At the age of 52 at the outbreak of World War II he was sent back to action again.He died on 21 December 1964 Woking, Surrey, Great Britain.