Willoughby Hamilton
Full nameJames Willoughby Hamilton
Country (sports)Republic of Ireland Ireland
Born(1864-12-09)9 December 1864
Monasterevin, Kildare, Ireland
Died27 September 1943(1943-09-27) (aged 78)
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Career record79–13 (85.8%)[1]
Career titles29[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
WimbledonW (1890)

Willoughby Hamilton (born as James Willoughby Hamilton; 9 December 1864 – 27 September 1943) was a co-world No. 1 Irish male tennis player, a footballer and international badminton player.[3]

Personal life

Hamilton was born on 9 December 1864 in Monasterevin, County Kildare, to Alfred Hamilton, a Church of Ireland rector, and Henrietta Cole.[4]

He died in Sydenham House, Dundrum, Dublin, on 27 September 1943 at the age of 78.[5]


Hamilton won the Gentlemen's Singles title at the 1890 Wimbledon Championships, defeating William Renshaw in five sets, and becoming the first Irish player to win the tournament. The previous year, he had won both the North England Championships and the Irish Championships. In the latter tournament he defeated the six time Wimbledon champion William Renshaw in the all-comers final and then went on to defeat his brother Ernest Renshaw in the challenge round. This made him one of the favorites for the 1889 Wimbledon title but he suffered a five set defeat in the semifinal against Harry Barlow. For the span 1889–90, Hamilton was ranked by many as the best tennis player in the world. Hamilton did not defend his Wimbledon title in the 1891 challenge round.[6]

Hamilton was educated at Trinity College Dublin and he played association football for both Dublin University A.F.C. and for Dublin Association F.C.. Hamilton also played for Ireland in an 1885 game against Wales. Among his teammates was his brother William Hamilton.[7]

Grand Slam finals

Singles (1 title)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1890 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom William Renshaw 6–8, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1, 6–1


Willougby came from a famous sporting playing family. Three brothers all excelled at sports; William Drummond Hamilton represented Ireland at cricket and tennis, Francis Cole Lowry Hamilton played cricket for Ireland and Blayney Hamilton represented Ireland at cricket and badminton. In addition three of his nephews and nieces (Blayney's children) were badminton internationals (Arthur Hamilton, Willoughby Hamilton and Mavis Hamilton).[8][9]


  1. ^ "Willoughby James Hamilton: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Willoughby James Hamilton: Stats". tennisarchives.com. Tennis Archives. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. ^ Willoughby & Drummond Hamilton. NIFG. 8 July 2012.
  4. ^ "General Registrar's Office". IrishGenealogy.ie. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  5. ^ "General Registrar's Office". IrishGenealogy.ie. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  6. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 415. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  7. ^ Willoughby Hamilton at National-Football-Teams.com
  8. ^ "Welcome page". Badminton Ireland Museum.
  9. ^ "Ireland, Census, 1911". Ancestry.co.uk.