Born: 9/12/1864 Died: 27/9/1943
Willoby Hamilton was the first Irishman to win the Wimbledon championships. Hamilton was a good tactician and was one of the few players of his generation who was able to consistently beat William Renshaw. Hamilton was also a good footballer and represented his country at soccer on several occasions. He first entered the Wimbledon championships in 1886, where he lost in the quarters to Herbert Lawford. In 1888 Hamilton beat six times champion William Renshaw in the quarters before losing to Ernest Renshaw in the semis. The following year Hamilton made the semis again, where he lost to Harry Barlow. In 1890 Hamilton beat Arthur Gore in the opening round, Wilfred Baddeley in the quarters and Joshua Pim in the semis. Harry Barlow took him all the way in the All Comers final before Hamilton came through 7-5 in the fifth set. In the Challenge Round Hamilton faced William Renshaw, who was going for his eighth title. Hamilton dealt with Renshaw’s power game and after trailing two sets to one, he won the fourth and fifth sets 6-1,6-1 to take his first Wimbledon title. Hamilton, who was far from robust, and who was nicknamed ‘The Ghost’, did not defend his title the following year. Ill health had forced him out of the game permanently. He died in 1943 at the age of 78.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: W.Baddeley 1-0, A.Gore 1-0, H.Lawford 0-1, J.Pim 1-0, E.Renshaw 0-1, W.Renshaw 2-0
GRAND SLAM RECORD
1886 Wimbledon 5 1888 Wimbledon 6 1889 Wimbledon 6 1890 Wimbledon 8
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