William Renshaw

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For other people named William Renshaw, see William Renshaw (disambiguation).
William Renshaw
William Charles Renshaw.jpg
Full name William Charles Renshaw
Country  United Kingdom
Born (1861-01-03)3 January 1861
Leamington, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Died 12 August 1904(1904-08-12) (aged 43)
Swanage, Dorset
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1983 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 1 (1881, Karoly Mazak)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon W (1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889)
Other tournaments
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon W (1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889)
Tennis players William and Ernest Renshaw on a postal card, around 1890
William (L) and Ernest (R) Renshaw

William "Willie" Charles Renshaw (3 January 1861 – 12 August 1904) was a former World No. 1 British tennis player active during the late 19th century. He was one of the most successful male players in the history of the Wimbledon Championships, winning the singles title a record seven times. Additionally he won the doubles title five times together with his brother Ernest. The right-hander was known for his power and technical ability which put him ahead of competition at the time. He was the first president of the British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Career[edit]

Renshaw won a total of twelve Wimbledon titles.[2] Seven of those were in singles, an all-time record he shares with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. The first six were consecutive, an achievement which has been unequaled to this day (although the five successive wins of Björn Borg and Roger Federer are considered the 'modern' record because in Renshaw's time the reigning champion had automatic entry to next year's final. Since 1922 the reigning champions have had to play in the main draw, making such feats considerably more difficult). In the Summer months he would compete in England and Ireland, while competing on the French Riviera during the winter months and practising on a private tennis court he and his brother had built at their own cost.[3] In singles play he played his twin brother Ernest Renshaw three times (1882, 1883 and 1889) in the Wimbledon final, triumphing on all three occasions. He was unable to defend his title in 1887 due to a tennis elbow, the first time this injury received public attention, and during his absence took up golf.[3][4][5] The other five titles were in the Gentlemen's doubles, partnering with Ernest. Additionally, he and his brother dominated the sport for many years in a time when the only other Grand Slam was the US Open, and by custom players did not travel far. The rise in popularity of tennis in this period became known as the 'Renshaw Rush'.[6][7] In 1888 William was elected the first president of the British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).[3] In 1983, William Renshaw was elected posthumously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame together with his brother.

Death[edit]

He died of epileptic convulsions.[8]


Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (8)[edit]

Wins (7)[edit]

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1881 Wimbledon United Kingdom John Hartley 6–0, 6–1, 6–1
1882 Wimbledon (2) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw 6–1, 2–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–2
1883 Wimbledon (3) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw 2–6, 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3
1884 Wimbledon (4) United Kingdom Herbert Lawford 6–0, 6–4, 9–7
1885 Wimbledon (5) United Kingdom Herbert Lawford 7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5
1886 Wimbledon (6) United Kingdom Herbert Lawford 6–0, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4
1889 Wimbledon (7) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw 7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5

Runner-ups (1)[edit]

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1890 Wimbledon United Kingdom Willoughby Hamilton 6–8, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles (5)[edit]

Wins (5)[edit]

Year Tournament Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1884 Wimbledon United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw United Kingdom Ernest Lewis
United Kingdom E.L. Williams
6–3, 6–1, 1-6, 6-4
1885 Wimbledon (2) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw United Kingdom C.E. Farrer
United Kingdom A.J. Stanley
6–3, 6–3, 10-8
1886 Wimbledon (3) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw United Kingdom C.E. Farrer
United Kingdom A.J. Stanley
6–3, 6–3, 4-6, 7-5
1888 Wimbledon (4) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw United Kingdom Herbert Wilberforce
United Kingdom Patrick Bowes-Lyon
2-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
1889 Wimbledon (5) United Kingdom Ernest Renshaw United Kingdom Ernest Lewis
United Kingdom George Hillyard
6–4, 6–4, 3-6, 0-6, 6-1

Grand Slam record[edit]

Wimbledon[edit]

  • Singles champion: 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889
  • Singles finalist: 1890
  • Doubles champion: 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 9.
  2. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed. ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. pp. 414/415, 435, 630. ISBN 978-0942257700. 
  3. ^ a b c Gillmeister, Heiner (1998). Tennis : A Cultural History (Repr. ed.). London: Leicester University Press. pp. 190, 191, 199. ISBN 978-0718501952. 
  4. ^ "Stands Lawn Tennis Where It Did?". Aberdeen Evening Express (British Newspaper Archive). 16 August 1893. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Lawn Tennnis – Championship Meeting". Birmingham Daily Post (British Newspaper Archive). 30 June 1891. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "History of The All England Club and The Wimbledon Championships". AELTC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Start of Something Special". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC. 31 May 2004. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.db4tennis.com/players/male/william-renshaw

External links[edit]

See also[edit]