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Olympic medalist
Center
Anthony Wilding
Medal record
Competitor for  Australasia
Men's Tennis
Bronze 1912 Stockholm Indoor singles

Anthony "Tony" Frederick Wilding (October 31, 1883 in Christchurch, New Zealand – May 9, 1915 near Neuve-Chapelle, Pas-de-Calais, France) was a champion tennis player and a soldier killed in action during World War I. He was the co-World No. 1 in 1911 and 1912 and the World No. 1 player in 1913. Pete Sampras was the first person to break his record across multiple Wimbledon wins in doubles, singles and mixed doubles.

Wilding was the son of Frederick and Julia Wilding. His father was a well-to-do lawyer in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was educated there at Mr Wilson's School in Cramner Square, then attended the Canterbury University College for six months before going to England in 1902 to enter Cambridge University, where he developed his tennis game as a member of the Cambridge University Lawn Tennis Club.

In 1905, Wilding made his first Davis Cup appearance as part of the Australasian team and the following year won the Australasian Championship singles and doubles championships. Finishing his education, he was called to the English Bar in 1906.

Between 1907 and 1909 he helped the Australasian team win the Davis Cup, and he won his second Australian Open in 1909, the same year he qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor at the Supreme Court of New Zealand. Focusing on his tennis game, he then won the Wimbledon singles title for four straight years between 1910 and 1913. In 1913 at Wimbledon Myers says that he played "the best game of his life", beating Maurice McLoughlin in three sets. In 1914 he narrowly missed winning his fifth in a row, losing in the 1914 finals to Norman Brookes. In addition, he won four doubles titles at Wimbledon. In 1914, he returned to Davis Cup play, leading the Australasian team to another championship.

He missed the 1908 Olympics in London because of administrative bungling, but at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm won a bronze medal in the men's indoor singles for Australasia.

At the outbreak of World War I, Tony Wilding joined the Royal Marines, serving as a Captain with the Armoured Car Division in the battlefields of France. He was killed in action on May 9, 1915 during the Battle of Aubers Ridge at Neuve-Chapelle, France. He had been dating and was about to marry Hollywood silent screen star Maxine Elliott.[1]

Captain Tony Wilding was buried in the Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery in Richebourg-L'Avoue, Pas-de-Calais, France. In 1978, he was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Wilding Park, the principal venue for tennis in Christchurch, New Zealand, is named in his honour.

He also played for the Canterbury cricket team in the early 1900s where he played two first-class matches. He was a keen motorcycle (with sidecar) rider with many long trips in Europe, New Zealand and America. In 1908 he won a gold medal in a reliability trial from Land's End to John o' Groats. Several "mighty rides" (Myers) in Europe in 1910 included London to Lake Geneva and back, some 3000 miles (4800 km), including 350 miles (560 km) from Evian to Paris in one day. He ventured into poorly roaded places like Hungary and Serbia.

Contents

Wilding's singles titles (at least 112)

Sources:

  • Source : ANTHONY WILDING, A Sporting Life, Len and Shelley Richardson, Canterbury University Press, 2005
  • On the Court and Off by Anthony F. Wilding (1912, Methuen, London)
  • Captain Anthony Wilding by A. Wallis Myers (1916, Hodder and Stoughton, London)
No. Date Tournament Surface
Not counted. 1901 Canterbury, New Zealand
Not counted. 1901 Ashburton, New Zealand
Not counted. 1902 University of New Zealand, New Zealand
Not counted. 1903 Cambridge University (Freshmen's), New Zealand
1. 1904 (Amateur) Championships of Shropshire, Shrewsbury
2. 1904 Redhill
3. 1904 (Amateur) Championships of Scotland, Moffat Grass
4. 1904 Carlisle (North Cumberland)
5. 1905 Hertfordshire and North Middlesex Championship at Lyonsdown Lawn Tennis Club in New Barnet
6. 1905 Redhill
7. 1905 Hamburg (Poseldorf Cup), Germany
8. 1905 Championship of Europe-Homburg
9. 1905 Le Touquet, France
10. 1906 Championship of Cannes-Cannes Beau Site, France
11. 1906 Championship of the Riviera-Menton, France
12. 1906 French Covered Court Championship-Paris, France
13. 1906 Lyon, France
14. 1906 Reading, Berkshire
15. 1906 Championships of Spain-Barcelona, Spain
16. 1906 Wiesbaden, Germany
17. 1906 Sheffield
18. 1906 Championship of Austria-Prague, Czechoslovakia
19. 1906 Prague*, Czechoslovakia
20. 1906 Epsom
21. 1906 Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Not counted **. 1906 Marienbad (Cup)
22. 1906 Marienbad
23. 1906 Carlsbad
24. 1906 Homburg
25. 1906 Baden-Baden, Germany
26. 1906 Eastbourne (South of England)
27. 1906 Queen's (Covered Court) probably Wood
28. 1906 Australasian Championship-Christchurch, New Zealand Grass
29. 1906 (ended on New Year's Day 1907) New Zealand Championship-Christchurch Grass
30. 1907 Nice, France probably Clay
31. 1907 Paris (Covered Court), France probably Wood
32. 1907 Lyon, France
33. 1907 Queen's (Covered Court) probably Wood
Not counted **. 1907 Wiesbaden (Cup)
34. 1907 Wiesbaden
35. 1907 Prague, Czechoslovakia
36. 1907 Vienna, Austria
37. 1907 Swiss Championship-Lucerne, Switzerland
38. 1907 Budapest, Hungary
39. 1907 Sheffield
40. 1907 Beckenham, Kent
41. 1907 June 22 London Championships-Queen's Grass
Not counted ***. 1907 Wimbledon (All England Plate)
42. 1907 Marienbad Cup
43. 1907 Franzenbad
44. 1907 Carlsbad
45. 1907 September Baden-Baden
46. 1908 San Remo, Italy probably Clay
47. 1908, March 15-22 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay
48. 1908 Nice, France probably Clay
49. 1908 Championship of Cannes-Cannes Beau Site, France probably Clay
50. 1908 Cannes (Métropole), France probably Clay
51. 1908 Lyon, France
Not counted **. 1908 Wiesbaden (Cup), Germany
52. 1908 Wiesbaden, Germany
53. 1908 Lille, France
54. 1908 Bordeaux, France
55. 1908 Sheffield
56. 1908 Dieppe, France
57. 1908 Baden-Baden, Germany
58. 1908 Eastbourne (South of England)
59. 1908 New Zealand Championship-Nelson
60. 1909 Taranaki
61. 1909 Masterton
62. 1909 Otago
63. 1909 Simultaneously Championship of Australasia and Western Australia-Perth, Australia
64. 1909 Championship of Victoria-Melbourne, Australia
65. 1909 Championship of New Zealand-Auckland
66. 1910 Championship of South Africa-Johannesburg
67. 1910 Italian Riviera Championships-San Remo, Italy
68. 1910 Brussels (Leopold Club), Belgium
69. 1910 Lille, France
70. 1910 Brussels (International Singles), Belgium
71. 1910 London Championships-Queen's Grass
72. 1910 Wimbledon Grass
73. 1910 Ostend
74. 1910 The Hague
75. 1910 Évian-les-Bains, France
76. 1910 Paris, France
77. 1910 Sapicourt
78. 1910 Queen's (Covered Court) probably Wood
79. 1911 San Remo, Italy probably Clay
80. 1911, February 27 - March 5 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay
81. 1911 Championship of the Riviera-Menton, France probably Clay
82. 1911 Nice, France probably Clay
83. 1911 Cannes (Beau Site), France probably Clay
84. 1911 Lyon, France
85. 1911 Beckenham (Kent)
86. 1911 Queen's Grass
87. 1911 Wimbledon (Challenge Round)**** Grass
88. 1912, February 12-18 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay
89. 1912 Beckenham (Kent) Grass
90. 1912 Queen's Grass
91. 1912 Wimbledon (Challenge Round)**** Grass
92. 1912 Deauville, France probably Clay
93. 1913, February 24 - March 3 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay
94. 1913 Menton (Riviera), France probably Clay
95. 1913 Menton (Forme-Becharat Cup), France probably Clay
96. 1913 Hard ***** Court Championship of the World-Paris, France Clay
97. 1913 Grass Court Championship of the World-Wimbledon (Challenge Round)**** Grass
98. 1913 Deauville, France probably Clay
99. September 8, 1913 Le Touquet, France probably Clay
100. September 15, 1913 Montreux Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay
101. September 22, 1913 Montreux Palace Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay
102. October 18, 1913 Covered Court Championship of the World-Stockholm probably Wood
103. 1914 Cannes (Beau Site) 1st meeting, France probably Clay
104. 1914 Cannes (Carlton) 1st meeting, France probably Clay
105. 1914 Bordighera, Italy ?? probably Clay
106. 1914 Beaulieu, France probably Clay
107. 1914, February 23 - March 3 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay
108. 1914 Riviera Championship-Menton, France probably Clay
109. 1914 Nice, France probably Clay
110. 1914 Championships of Cannes-Cannes (Beau Site), France probably Clay
111. 1914 Cannes (Carlton) 2nd meeting, France probably Clay
112. 1914 Hard ***** Court Championship of the World-Paris, France Clay
  • * It seems to be a different tournament from the previous one held in the same city
  • ** It is not clear if it was a different tournament from the following one in the list
  • *** The All England Plate was a tournament played by the losers of the first two rounds of the Wimbledon Men's Singles tournament (in 1907 Wilding lost in five sets in the 2nd round to the future winner Norman Everard Brookes)
  • **** Up until 1921, the winners of the previous year's competition (except in the Ladies Doubles and Mixed Doubles) were automatically granted byes into the final round (then known as the challenge round). This led to many winners retaining their titles for successive years, as they were able to rest while their opponent competed from the start of the competition. From 1922, the title holders played through from the start of the championships. In 1912 at Wimbledon he had offered to "play through" instead of standing out to meet the All Comers' winner, though his offer was not accepted.
  • ***** "Hard Court" in the Commonwealth countries (UK, Australia, ...) means "Clay Court"
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Grand Slam titles

Davis Cup

  • Winning team: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1914

Notes

  1. ^ Anna Wilding Official fansite at www.anthonywilding.com

See also

External links


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