William Charles Renshaw

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William Charles Renshaw

Also Known As: "Willie"
Birthdate: (43)
Birthplace: Leamington, Warwickshire, England
Death: August 12, 1904 (43)
Swanage, Dorset, England
Immediate Family:

Son of James Renshaw and Ellen Knight
Brother of Edith Ann Renshaw and Ernest James Renshaw
Half brother of Ida Trevor Robins; Nellie Violet Ward Meara and Margaret Brudenell-Bruce

Managed by: Private User
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About William Charles Renshaw

William "Willie" Charles Renshaw (3 January 1861 in Leamington, Warwickshire – 12 August 1904 in Swanage, Dorset) was a British male tennis player active during the late 19th century. He was one of the most successful male players in the history of the Wimbledon Championships. The right-hander was known for his power and technical ability which put him ahead of competition at the time.

He won a total of twelve Wimbledon titles. Seven of those were in singles, an all-time record he shares with Pete Sampras. 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 build at their own cost. In singles play he played brother Ernest three times (1882, 1883 and 1889) in the Wimbledon final, triumphing on all three occasions. The other five titles were in the Gentlemans' doubles, partnering with his twin brother Ernest Renshaw. 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 1983, Renshaw was elected posthumously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


William Renshaw, a forceful right-handed player, was known primarily for his serve and overhead. He won six consecutive singles titles at Wimbledon from 1881-1886, and added a seventh crown to his collection in 1889, defeating older twin brother Ernest in the title round. The Renshaws were both rivals and accomplices. Thrice William stopped Ernest for the Wimbledon title, but five times they combined to win the doubles championship. The Renshaw brothers trained hard on the court throughout the year, almost a novel idea at the time.

International Tennis Hall of Fame

See also - Extensive report on the twin's career



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William Charles Renshaw's Timeline

January 3, 1861
Warwickshire, England
February 8, 1861
Warwickshire, England
August 12, 1904
Age 43
Dorset, England