William was the younger of the Renshaw-brothers by 15 minutes and half an inch shorter.
William "Willie" Charles Renshaw was a former World No. 1 British tennis player active during the late 19th century.
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.
The right-hander was known for his power and technical ability which put him ahead of competition at the time. William Renshaw was known primarily for his serve and overhead.
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).
He died of epileptic convulsions.
In 1983, William Renshaw was elected posthumously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame together with his brother.
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