Robert Wrenn

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For other people named Robert Wrenn, see Robert Wrenn (disambiguation).
Robert Wrenn
Robert Bob Wrenn.jpg
Full name Robert Duffield Wrenn
Country (sports)  United States
Born September 20, 1873
Highland Park, IL, United States
Died November 21, 1925(1925-11-21) (aged 52)
New York, NY, United States
Retired 1903
Plays Left-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1955 (member page)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1897, Karoly Mazak)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
US Open W (1893, 1894, 1896, 1897)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open W (1895)
Last updated on: September 17, 2012.
Robert "Bob" Wrenn

Robert "Bob" Duffield Wrenn (September 20, 1873 – November 21, 1925) was a former co-World No. 1 left-handed American tennis player, four-time U.S. singles championship winner, and one of the first inductees in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


Wrenn was born in Highland Park, Illinois. Wrenn attended Harvard University where he was a prominent quarterback on the football team. He won his tennis titles in 1893, 1894, 1896 and 1897 (losing out to Fred Hovey in 1895). In 1898, he was serving in Cuba with Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders in the Spanish–American War. He contracted yellow fever while in Cuba.

Wrenn played for the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1903 together with his brother George. In the final against the British Isles at the Longwood Cricket Club, Boston, MA they were defeated 1–4 and Wrenn lost both his singles matches against Reginald and Lawrence Doherty as well as the doubles against the Doherty brothers.[2]

He was arrested in 1914 when his chauffeur-driven car ran over and killed Herbert George Loveday, the choir director of St Mary's Church, in Tuxedo Park, New York.[3] Wrenn was exonerated when, according to The New York Times (May 21, 1914), "The Grand Jury, finding from testimony that the mechanism of the car had become disarranged, and the steering gear powerless, declined to find an indictment, and the complaint was dismissed."

Wrenn was vice-president of the United States Tennis Association from 1902 until 1911 and president from 1912 until 1915.[4] He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (4 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Partner Score in final
Winner 1893 U.S. Championships United States Fred Hovey 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1894 U.S. Championships United Kingdom Manliff Goodbody 6–8, 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1895 U.S. Championships United States Fred Hovey 3–6, 2–6, 4–6
Winner 1896 U.S. Championships United States Fred Hovey 7–5, 3–6, 6–0, 1–6, 6–1
Winner 1897 U.S. Championships United Kingdom Wilberforce Eaves 4–6, 8–6, 6–3, 2–6, 6–2

Doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Winner 1895 U.S. Championships United States Malcolm Chace United States Clarence Hobart
United States Fred Hovey
7–5, 6–1, 8–6
Runner-up 1896 U.S. Championships United States Malcolm Chace United States Carr Neel
United States Sam Neel
3–6, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3, 1–6


  1. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 25.
  2. ^ "Davis Cup - Profile Robert Wrenn". ITF. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Exonerates R.D. Wrenn". The New York Times. May 21, 1914. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ USTA (1979). Bill Shannon, ed. Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (Rev. and updated 1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row. p. 379. ISBN 0060144785. 

External links[edit]