|Full name||William Charles Renshaw|
|Country (sports)||United Kingdom|
3 January 1861|
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
|Died||12 August 1904
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (1-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1983 (member page)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1881, Karoly Mazak)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Wimbledon||W (1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Wimbledon||W (1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889)|
William "Willie" Charles Renshaw (3 January 1861 – 12 August 1904) was a former World number 1 tennis player from Great Britain active during the late 19th century. He won 12 Major titles during his career and was one of the most successful male players in the history of the Wimbledon Championships, winning the singles title a record seven times (shared with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer) and a record six times consecutively from (1881–86). 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).
Renshaw won a total of twelve Wimbledon titles. 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. 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. 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'. In 1888 William was elected the first president of the British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). In 1983, William Renshaw was elected posthumously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame together with his brother.
He died in Swanage, Dorset on 12 August 1904, aged 43, of epileptic convulsions.
Grand Slam finals
Singles (7 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Opponent in final||Score in final|
|Winner||1881||Wimbledon||John Hartley||6–0, 6–1, 6–1|
|Winner||1882||Wimbledon (2)||Ernest Renshaw||6–1, 2–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||1883||Wimbledon (3)||Ernest Renshaw||2–6, 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3|
|Winner||1884||Wimbledon (4)||Herbert Lawford||6–0, 6–4, 9–7|
|Winner||1885||Wimbledon (5)||Herbert Lawford||7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5|
|Winner||1886||Wimbledon (6)||Herbert Lawford||6–0, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||1889||Wimbledon (7)||Ernest Renshaw||7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5|
|Runner-up||1890||Wimbledon||Willoughby Hamilton||8–6, 2–6, 6–3, 1–6, 1–6|
Doubles (5 titles)
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Partner||Opponents in final||Score in final|
|Winner||1884||Wimbledon||Ernest Renshaw|| Ernest Lewis
|6–3, 6–1, 1–6, 6–4|
|Winner||1885||Wimbledon (2)||Ernest Renshaw|| C.E. Farrer
|6–3, 6–3, 10–8|
|Winner||1886||Wimbledon (3)||Ernest Renshaw|| C.E. Farrer
|6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 7–5|
|Winner||1888||Wimbledon (4)||Ernest Renshaw|| Herbert Wilberforce
|2–6, 1–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||1889||Wimbledon (5)||Ernest Renshaw|| Ernest Lewis
|6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 0–6, 6–1|
|Tournament||Since||Record accomplished||Players matched|
|Wimbledon Championships||1877||7 overall singles titles won (1881–1889)||Pete Sampras
|Wimbledon Championships||1877||6 consecutive singles titles won (1881–1886)||Stands Alone|
- Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 9.
- Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. pp. 414/415, 435, 630. ISBN 978-0942257700.
- Gillmeister, Heiner (1998). Tennis : A Cultural History (Repr. ed.). London: Leicester University Press. pp. 190, 191, 199. ISBN 978-0718501952.
- "Stands Lawn Tennis Where It Did?". Aberdeen Evening Express (British Newspaper Archive). 16 August 1893. (subscription required (. ))
- "Lawn Tennis – Championship Meeting". Birmingham Daily Post (British Newspaper Archive). 30 June 1891. (subscription required (. ))
- "History of The All England Club and The Wimbledon Championships". AELTC. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "The Start of Something Special". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC. 31 May 2004. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "William Renshaw". db4tennis.com.
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