The Century's First Champion.
William Larned ranks as the twentieth century's first great tennis champion. From 1901 to 1902 and from 1907 to 1911 he captured the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) men's singles title seven times, equaling the record established by Richard Sears in the 1880s. Only Bill Tilden, during the 1920s, has matched the record shared by Sears and Larned. The son of a wealthy New York landowner and lawyer, Larned attended but did not graduate from Cornell University. In 1890 he won the intercollegiate tennis singles championship.
A Complete Player.
Larned's game was characterized by precise footwork, balance, ease, and grace, except when nervousness or annoyance marred his concentration. His service and volleys were powerful and accurate. Larned frustrated his opponents with forehands and backhands to the corners. Although easily distracted throughout the...
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