Vincent Richards

Vincent Richards

Vincent Richards was born in Yonkers on March 20, 1903, son of Edward J. and Mary McQuade Richards. His father was a well-known runner as was his brother, Raymond, three times schoolboy race champion in Yonkers.

Vincent Richards began his athletic career as a substitute second baseman on the St. Denis Boys Club baseball team. He had a tennis racket, however, and began to use it, throbbing the ball “ three and four hours a day” against a wall at Wolff Street and VanCortlandt Pk Avenue. The first tennis court he ever played on he built with his brother on VanCortlandt Park Avenue . From the age of eight to ten years he practiced his game at the old Glancy Courts on Mclean Avenue and Stone Street . He carried newspapers for the Yonkers Statesman and played tennis at the Park Hill Tennis Club and Amackassin Club. He attended Fordham Prep, Fordham University and the Columbia University School of Journalism. In 1921 he became assistant sports editor of The Yonkers Statesman and for three years wrote a column entitled “Strolling through Sportsville with Vincent Richards”

In 1918, at the age of 15, he won his first national title, the National Boys’ Outdoor Singles Championships. A year later he defeated Bill Tilden for the National Indoor Singles Championships. He went on to win 30 national and world championships, a feat that made him all time sports immortal.

Kings, queens and presidents, played in London, Paris and Tokyo received him. By 1930 he had traveled 1,200,000 miles and played on five continents, and was rated one of the top volleyers in tennis history.

Tilden, Richard Norris Williams II, William Johnston and Richards were called the Big Four of American tennis and they were part of the Golden Era of Sports, which included Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Bobby Jones.

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