Theodore Roosevelt Pell

Theodore Roosevelt Pell

Class of 1966

Master Player

Career Achievements

Top Ranking     
U.S. No. 5 (1913)

Career Titles

Was the only American tennis player to participate in 1912 Stockholm Games

Citizenship: USA Born: May 11, 1879 in New York, New York Died: August 18, 1967 Played: Right-handed

While most players made their mark on the grass courts of Newport, Forest Hills, or Wimbledon, Theodore Roosevelt Pell was an accomplished indoor player. The slender 6-foot Pell won the U.S. Indoor singles titles in 1907, 1909, and 1911. He added four doubles titles with three different partners from 1905-1912:  H.F. Allen in 1909, Wylie Grant in 1909, and Fred Alexander in 1911 and 1912.

Pell was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 five times between 1910 and 1918, reaching a high of No. 5 in 1913 and 1915. He won four straight New England titles played in Hartford (1907-10) and an additional four consecutive doubles titles (1906-1909).

In 1912, Pell traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for the Olympic Games. He was the only American participant (the Games conflicted with the Wimbledon Championships) and had a strong showing. Pell won his first round by default and defeated France’s Albert Canet in the second round before falling to Germany’s Luis Maria Heyden in the Round of 16. 

Pell competed in the U.S. Nationals 14 times from 1897-1924, twice reaching the fourth round. His best showing came in 1915 when he advanced to the semifinals, losing to finalist Maurice McLoughlin, 6-2 6-0 7-5. To reach the semifinals, Pell had an impressive three-set, third round victory over Watson Washburn.

Pell was known for a strong backhand, one that prompted renowned scribe Allison Danzig to write that Pell “unsheathed a backhand that was as much of a sensation as Donald Budge’s was to become a generation later.”

Grand Slam

Grand Slam Best Results

U.S. Nationals: SF 1915