Vinnie Richards
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Vinnie Richards
Vincent Richards
Vincent Richards 1922.jpg
Richards at the 1922 Davis Cup
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1903-03-20)March 20, 1903
Yonkers, New York, U.S.[1]
Died September 28, 1959(1959-09-28) (aged 56)
New York City, U.S.[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[1]
Turned pro 1927
Retired 1930 (very brief comeback in 1933 and 1945)
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1959 (member page)
Singles
Career record 472-154 (75.4%) [2]
Career titles 46 [3]
Highest ranking No. 2 (1924, A. Wallis Myers)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open SF (1926)
Wimbledon QF (1924)
US Open SF (1922, 1924, 1925, 1926)
Professional majors
US Pro W (1927, 1928, 1930, 1933)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1926)
Wimbledon W (1924)
F (1926)
US Open W (1918, 1921, 1922, 1925,       1926)
F (1919)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US Open W (1919, 1924)
F (1925)

Vincent "Vinnie" Richards (March 20, 1903 - September 28, 1959) was an American tennis player.[1] He was active in the early decades of the 20th century,[4] particularly known as being a superlative volleyer. He was ranked World No. 2 both as an amateur in 1924 by A. Wallis Myers, and as a pro by American Lawn Tennis magazine in 1930.[5]

Biography

Born in Yonkers, New York, he attended the Jesuit Fordham Preparatory School, attended Fordham University and studied at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1922.[1][6]

Richards won the National Boys Outdoor Singles Tournament in 1917. He became a protégé of Bill Tilden after being defeated by the latter in a match, and he then teamed up with him to win the United States doubles championship in 1918 at the age of 15. He remains the youngest male to have ever won a major championship.[1] Twenty-seven years later, in 1945, he and Tilden won the United States Pro doubles title. While Bill Tilden teamed with Richards to win titles together, he was also beaten by Richards in both singles and doubles, including for several major titles. During their long rivalry, they faced each other 102 times, with Richards holding a career record of 52-50 against Tilden.

Richards retained his amateur status for 10 years because his ambition was to compete in the 1924 Olympics held in Paris, France. He realized this ambition by winning the gold medal for the United States in both singles and doubles, additionally collecting the silver medal in mixed doubles.[1] Richards is one of two American male tennis players to win the gold medal in both singles and doubles (Beals Wright was the other), and he ranks second all-time with his three medals won in 1924 (second to Reginald Doherty of Great Britain, who won four Olympic tennis medals). Between both men and women, Richards is tied with Venus Williams with three overall medals, with Williams collecting three gold medals over multiple Olympics. Richards was a semi finalist at the French championships in 1926, where he beat Colin Gregory and Bela Von Kehrling begore losing to Henri Cochet.[7] He was also a semi finalist at the U. S. championships in 1922 (losing to Bill Johnston), 1924 (losing to Tilden), 1925 (where he beat Rene Lacoste before losing to Tilden) and 1926 (losing to Jean Borotra). While there was no official ATP Tour in the 1920s, Richards was one of the pioneers in creating a version of a "world tennis tour", playing in the equivalent of all four grand slams during his career, additional major tournaments, and exhibition matches in front of emperors, presidents, and other heads of states. While Tilden may have overshadowed Richards, even in the Davis Cup, Richards held a perfect 5-0 record when he played for his country.

Richards was one of the best singles players of the 1920s and played on several United States Davis Cup teams.[8] In 1927 he was the first prominent male player to turn professional. In 1928, he was still generally considered to be one of the top 5 or 6 players in the world and played a brief tour at the end of the year against Czech player Karel Ko?eluh, another new professional. Richards only beat Ko?eluh five times in 20 matches. Richards won the United States Pro Championship in 1927, 1928, and 1930, beating Ko?eluh in the finals in both 1928 and 1930, while losing to him in the 1929 final. He lost the 1931 final to Tilden and won the U. S. Pro Championships for the last time in 1933, this time beating Frank Hunter in the final. He continued to play in the U. S. Pro championships in most years until 1946.[9] Richards and Tilden won the doubles at the 1945 U. S. Pro championships.

Richards was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1959.[10]

Business career

After retiring from tennis, Richards joined the Dunlop Tire and Rubber Company as general manager of the sporting goods division and became vice president.[6]

Personal life

In February 1924 he married Claremont Gushee in Greenwich, Connecticut and the couple had three children.[11] She died in 1950.[12] On September 28, 1959 Richards died of a heart attack at Doctors Hospital in New York.[6]

Grand Slam finals

Doubles: 9 (7 titles, 2 runners-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1918 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Bill Tilden United States Fred Alexander
United States Beals Wright
6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2
Runner-up 1919 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Bill Tilden Australia Norman Brookes
Australia Gerald Patterson
6-8, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6
Winner 1921 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Bill Tilden United States Watson Washburn
United States R. Norris Williams
13-11, 12-10, 6-1
Winner 1922 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Bill Tilden Australia Pat O'Hara Wood
Australia Gerald Patterson
4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4
Winner 1924 Wimbledon Grass United States Frank Hunter United States Watson Washburn
United States R. Norris Williams
6-3, 3-6, 8-10, 8-6, 6-3
Winner 1925 U.S. National Championships Grass United States R. Norris Williams Australia John Hawkes
Australia Gerald Patterson
6-2, 8-10, 6-4, 11-9
Winner 1926 French Championships Clay United States Howard Kinsey France Jacques Brugnon
France Henri Cochet
6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Runner-up 1926 Wimbledon Grass United States Howard Kinsey France Jacques Brugnon
France Henri Cochet
5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6
Winner 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass United States R. Norris Williams United States Alfred Chapin
United States Bill Tilden
6-4, 6-8, 11-9, 6-3
The grave of Vincent Richards in Woodlawn Cemetery

Mixed Doubles: 3 (2 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1919 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Marion Zinderstein United States Florence Ballin
United States Bill Tilden
2-6, 11-9, 6-2
Winner 1924 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Helen Wills United States Molla Bjurstedt Mallory
United States Bill Tilden
6-8, 7-5, 6-0
Runner-up 1925 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Ermyntrude Harvey United Kingdom Kitty McKane
Australia John Hawkes
2-6, 4-6

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Vinnie Richards. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Vincent Richards: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Vincent Richards: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 424.
  5. ^ K. De Lang, ed. (January 14, 1930). "Lawntennis" (PDF). Het Vaderland (in Dutch). Beetsterzwaag, Netherlands: C.M. Schilt. 61: 15. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Vinnie Richards, Dunlop vp, Former Tennis Great Dies in September" (PDF). Michigan State University. 
  7. ^ "French Open 1926". www.tennis.co.nf. 
  8. ^ "Davis Cup - Vincent Richards". International Tennis Federation (ITF). Retrieved 2017. 
  9. ^ "U. S. Pro Championships". www.tennis.co.nf. 
  10. ^ "Tennis Hall of Fame - Player Profile Vinnie Richards". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2012. 
  11. ^ "Vincent Richards, Class of 1920". www.fordhamprep.org. Fordham Prep. 
  12. ^ "Milestones: Feb. 11, 1924". Time. February 11, 1924. 

External links


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