Class of 1956
World No. 1 (1901)
Grand Slam Results
7-time U.S. Nationals singles champion, and 2-time finalist at the same event
Member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team 1902, 1903, 1905, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912
Member of the U.S. Championship Davis Cup Team 1902
Served as Player/Captain in 1903, 1909, 1911, 1912
Overall Record: 9-5
Singles Record: 9-5
The old adage that good things come to those who wait held true for William Augustus Larned, who didn’t win his first major championship until the advanced age of 28, the 1901 U.S. National Men’s Singles Championship. He needed four sets to conquer Beals Wright, 6-2, 6-8, 6-4, 6-4, but it was none-the-less a satisfying victory.
Larned became a star of the America’s premier tennis event, winning seven national singles titles, a record shared with only two other men – Dick Sears and Bill Tilden. He won his last national title in 1911 at age 38, making him the oldest champion in history, a record that holds firm today. In fact, five of Larned’s triumphs came in his mid-to-late 30s, evidence that he got better with age; Larned was the oldest champion in history every time he won a title. He appeared in nine U.S. Singles finals, second best all-time to only Tilden. Four of those forays were in succession (1900-03).
Big and strong and distinguished-looking in his tennis whites, Larned had powerful groundstrokes and did have the makings of a fine player from the outset, winning the 1892 Intercollegiate Singles Championship as a Cornell University student.
Larned’s dedication to tennis was evidenced by his ten years with the Davis Cup Team, seven times as a player and four times as a captain. His singles prowess helped the U.S. win the title in 1902 and reach the finals in 1903, 1905, 1908, 1909 and 1911.
As part of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders while fighting in Cuba in 1898, Larned developed rheumatism, an illness that affects the joints and connective tissue, an illness that ultimately led to his retirement from tennis in 1911. Post-tennis, Larned worked at the New York Stock Exchange.
Wimbledon: QF 1896, 1905
U.S. Nationals: W 1901, 1902, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911
Wimbledon: SF 1905