Alexander Van Rensselaer

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Alexander Van Rensselaer
Country  United States
Born (1850-10-01)October 1, 1850
Burlington, New Jersey[1]
Died July 18, 1933(1933-07-18) (aged 82)
Grand Slam Singles results
US Open QF (1884)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open F (1881, 1883, 1884)

Alexander Van Rensselaer (October 1, 1850 – July 18, 1933) was an American tennis player and patron of Princeton University.


Alexander Van Rensselaer was born in 1850 into a wealthy and influential Philadelphian family. His grandfather was Stephen Van Rensselaer. He graduated from Princeton University in 1871. On January 27, 1898, he married Sarah Drexel Fell, daughter of Anthony Joseph Drexel.

Due to their ancestry, it was never necessary for the couple to work for a living. Instead they focused on fostering science and arts in Philadelphia. From 1901 until shortly before his death, Alexander was president of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. In addition, he was a member of the board of trustees at Princeton University. Sarah gave large parts of her wealth to the Drexel Institute that was founded by her father.

In 1901, Alex and Sarah travelled around the world and were guests of Japanese Emperor Meiji, the British royal family and the Viceroy of India.

An outstanding tennis player, Alexander took part in the first stagings of the US Tennis Championships in the 1880s. In 1881, 1883 and 1884, he reached the finals of the doubles competition.[2]

Alexander died in 1933, four years after his wife, at the age of 82. He was buried at the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery at Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.[1]

Grand Slam record[edit]

Runners-up (3)[edit]

Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
1881 U.S. Championships United States Arthur E. Newbold United States Clarence Clark
United States Frederick Winslow Taylor
5–6, 4–6, 5–6
1883 U.S. Championships United States Arthur E. Newbold United States James Dwight
United States Richard Sears
0–6, 2–6, 2–6
1884 U.S. Championships United States Walter V.R. Berry United States James Dwight
United States Richard Sears
4–6, 1–6, 10–8, 4–6


  1. ^ a b "Alexander Van Rensselaer". Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed. ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 476. ISBN 978-0942257700.