William Larned
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William Larned

William Larned
Bill larned.jpg
Full name William Augustus Larned
Country (sports)  United States
Born December 30, 1872
Summit, NJ, United States
Died December 16, 1926(1926-12-16) (aged 53)
New York, NY, U.S.
Turned pro 1890 (amateur tour)
Retired 1911
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1956 (member page)
Career record 291/71 (80.3%) [1]
Career titles 48 [2][3]
Highest ranking No. 1 (1901, Karoly Mazak)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon QF (1896, 1905)
US Open W (1901, 1902, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon SF (1905)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1902)
Charles Dixon vs. William Augustus Larned on September 9, 1911
William Larned in action

William Augustus Larned (December 30, 1872 - December 16, 1926) was an American tennis player who was active at the beginning of the 20th century. He won seven singles titles at the U.S. National Championships.


Larned was born and raised in Summit, New Jersey on the estate of his father, William Zebedee Larned. Larned Road in Summit honors both father and son. He came from a family that could trace its American roots to shortly after the arrival of the Mayflower. He was the eldest child of a wealthy lawyer and his wife. In 1890 he came to Cornell University to study mechanical engineering. He first gained fame in his junior year, when he became the first (and to this day, the only) Cornellian to win the intercollegiate tennis championship.

An all-around athlete, Larned captained the St. Nicholas Hockey Club in 1896-97 and was also a fine horseman, golfer, and rifle shot. He invented the steel-framed racquet in 1922 and founded a company to manufacture it.

As one of the "Big Three of the U.S. men's championship"[], Larned won the title seven times, as did Richard Sears before him and Bill Tilden after.[5] Larned was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team in 1902-03, 1905, 1908-09 and 1911-12. Larned achieved a career-high U.S. ranking of No. 1. He twice participated in the Wimbledon Championships, in 1896 and 1905, but could not match his success at home, losing on both occasions in the quarterfinals.

He was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1956.

Larned in 1898 had served in the Spanish-American War as one of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. While serving in the war, Larned caught rheumatism in Cuba; Rheumatoid arthritis later deteriorated his health forcing him to retire from tennis after losing the Davis Cup challenge round in early 1912. Partially paralyzed by spinal meningitis, he was unable to do any of the activities he loved most, and became depressed. On the evening of December 15, 1926, inside the private chambers of the exclusive Knickerbocker Club in Manhattan, the 53-year-old Larned committed suicide by shooting himself.

Playing style

In their book R.F. and H.L. Doherty - On Lawn Tennis (1903) multiple Wimbledon champions Reginald and Laurence Doherty described Larned's playing style:

On Lawn Tennis - 1903[6]

Grand Slam finals

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

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1900 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Malcolm Whitman 4-6, 6-1, 2-6, 2-6
Winner 1901 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Beals Wright 6-2, 6-8, 6-4, 6-4
Winner 1902 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Reginald Doherty 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 8-6
Runner-up 1903 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Laurence Doherty 0-6, 3-6, 8-10
Winner 1907 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Robert LeRoy 6-2, 6-2, 6-4
Winner 1908 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Beals Wright 6-1, 6-2, 8-6
Winner 1909 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Bill Clothier 6-1, 6-2, 5-7, 1-6, 6-1
Winner 1910 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Tom Bundy 6-1, 5-7, 6-0, 6-8, 6-1
Winner 1911 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Maurice McLoughlin 6-4, 6-4, 6-2


  1. ^ "William Larned:Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ "William Larned:Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ "William Augustus (Bill) Larned". www.tennisarchives.com. Tennis Archives, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  4. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 29.
  5. ^ "Larned works Bundy". The Baltimore Sun. August 26, 1910. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. (Subscription required (help)). For the fourth consecutive time and for the sixth time in his career as tennis player William A. Larned, of Summit, N. J., today won the challenge match of the singles championship of the United States, defeating Thos. C. Bundy, of Los Angeles, Cal., on the Casin courts, 6-1, 5-7, 6-0, 6-8, 6-1 
  6. ^ Doherty, R.F.; Doherty, H.L. (1903). R.F. and H.L. Doherty on Lawn Tennis (1st ed.). London: Lawn Tennis. pp. 62-63. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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