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The Baddeley Years

In 1991, Willoughby Hamilton, who had ended the Renshaw era with a win in 1990, suffered from blood poisoning and could never recover from his illness to play at Wimbledon again. Wilfred Baddeley, 19 , son of a London solicitor won the title in 1991, thus becoming the youngest champion till Boris Becker broke that record in 1985. Dr. Joshua Pim, an Irishman and Baddeley contested four finals between 1891 and 1894, the former winning in 93 and 94, and the young Baddeley winning in 91 and 92. Dr. Pim then retired to concentrate on his profession, and Baddeley won once more in 1895. Baddeley was a good mover on the court and Pim, a flamboyant stroke player and their on-court battles attracted huge crowds.

Wilfred Baddeley finally met his equal in Irishman, Harold Mahony in the challenge round of 1896. Mahony, long legged and possessing powerful volleys had a weak forehand, but made up for it with his strong backhand. He beat Baddeley in five sets, 6-2, 9-8, 5-7, 8-6, 6-3. That was the first year that Wimbledon showed a loss of 33-pound sterling.

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