William Charles “Willie” Renshaw was a professional English tennis player. He was born on January 03, 1861 in Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, approximately 15 minutes after his twin brother, Ernest. Together with his twin Ernest, who also played tennis, Willie made waves in the history of tennis by ushering in a new and more aggressive style of playing. Sadly, though, not a lot of people know who Willie was or let alone the strength of the “Renshaw Twins”.
Willie was noted particularly for his overhead smash and his great serve. During his debut into Wimbledon, he lost to Woodhouse in the third round of the tournament. However, since that loss, he lost twice only afterwards. As a result, he won 22 of all his 25 Wimbledon matches in singles. Compared to his brother, Willie had more success in the singles division and more titles to his name.
However, in doubles, it was another story. Since the brothers were natural partners and both were right-handed players. They dominated the Wimbledon doubles tournament from 1880-1889. They held the record for most Wimbledon twin partnership wins in doubles for quite some time until the Doherty brothers took it away from them. However, to date, the record held by the Doherty brothers still stands unsurpassed.
The Renshaw twins played with an offense-minded strategy and though both rivals and accomplices, their natural tandem was an undeniable plus. They showed the world a fierce rushing the net as well as volleying more effectively compared to those who came before them.
Willie Renshaw should be remembered especially for the contribution he and his brother have made to tennis. Throughout his career, Willie has a total of 14 Wimbledon titles, which is a record for males. He passed away in August 12, 1904.