Townsend defeated defending champion Hansell in 1888, 6-3, 6-5. She became the first female repeat champion in the young history of the Championships in 1889 when she ousted Linda Vorhees, 7-5, 6-3. A bid for a three-peat was nullified in 1890, when Ellen Roosevelt
won her first title, defeating Townsend, 6-2, 6-2. Quiet until 1894, Townsend still had enough polish in her game to advance to the all-comers final, losing to Helen Hellwig, 6-2, 7-5. She advanced to the semifinals the following year and ended her career with an 8-3 record at the U.S. Nationals.
Townsend captured the first U.S. Women’s Doubles Championships in 1889, partnering with Margarette Ballard to defeat Laura Knight and Marian Wright, 6-0, 6-2.
An excerpt from the book Wild Woman by Autumn Stephens contained the following, “The backhand tennis stroke was invented in 1886 by tennis champion Bertha Townsend. Townsend was a 'lefty' and felt it was a liability to leave that part of the court vulnerable, especially in highly competitive matches. So, she transformed her weakness into a winning strategy by tailoring the new stroke to her unique body mechanics. It wasn’t long before the backhand was adopted to great effect by her competitors, and of course, is still used today...Townsend used under-hand serving as a technique to provide a winning edge, and although it didn’t catch on among her contemporaries, it was unique to her style and playing strategy.”