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1930s & Earlier / Tony Wilding - First Wimbledon Superstar
New Zealand's Anthony (Tony) Wilding won four straight men's singles titles at Wimbledon from 1910 through 1913. (At the time, the defending champion automatically got a bye all the way to the final.) The handsome and popular Wilding was quite a hit with the ladies who adoringly packed the grandstand wherever he played. According to newspaper reports, many of the fairer sex were in tears when Wilding lost in straight sets to Australia's Norman Brookes in the 1914 Wimbledon final. Shortly afterward, Wilding joined the army when the First World War broke out. Wilding was killed in an attack on a German-held position in France on May 9, 1915. He was 31.