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William Johnston

tennis player
Full name: William Marquitz Johnston
Nickname: Little Bill
Born November 02, 1894 in San Francisco, California, USA
Died May 01, 1946 in San Francisco, California, USA
Class of HOF 1958
Height 5'9" (175 cm)
Weight 151 lbs (70 kg)
Plays Right-handed
Bio "Little Bill" William Marquitz Johnston was born the son of Robert Johnston, an electrical plant mechanic and Margaret Burns, of Irish origin. Bill started to play tennis in early 1906, aged eleven, on the public asphalt courts in Golden Gate Park. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the schools were closed and he spent much of his spare time practicing on the tennis courts. He achieved his first tournament victory at the 1910 Bay Counties junior singles competition.

In 1916 Johnston won the Cincinnati Open (now Cincinnati Masters) after Clarence Griffin defaulted in the Challenge Round. Johnston won the Longwood Challenge Cup, played on the Longwood Courts at Chestnut Hill, MA in 1913, 1916, 1919, 1920 and 1921.

Until "Big Bill" Tilden began to defeat him regularly in 1920, Johnston had been the best American player for a number of years and was ranked No.1 by the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1915 and 1919.
His been the most popular American player of his era, William “Little Bill” Johnston contributed to seven consecutive U.S. Davis Cup triumphs, and garnered a top ten American ranking 12 times between 1913 and 1926.
Perhaps the smallest male champion in history at 120 pounds, he nevertheless used his potent western forehand to beat “Big Bill” Tilden in the final of the 1919 U.S. Championships.

Four years later, he ruled at Wimbledon. He twice secured the No. 1 ranking in his nation.
Johnston was renowned for the power and deadliness of his forehand drive, which he hit shoulder-high with a Western grip, and which was universally considered the best forehand of all time until the advent of Pancho Segura and his two-handed forehand in the late 1940s.

Bill Johnston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1958.
Misc He died of tuberculosis.
He was an ensign in the Navy.
Tournament AO RG W US Win-Loss
1913 A A A R32 2-1
1914 A A A R64 1-1
1915 A A A CH 7-0
1916 A A A RU 6-1
1917 A A A A 0-0
1918 A A A A 0-0
1919 A A A CH 7-0
1920 A A R64 RU 7-2
1921 A A A R16 3-1
1922 A A A RU 6-1
1923 A A CH RU 12-1
1924 A A A RU 6-1
1925 A A A RU 5-1
1926 A A A QF 3-1
1927 A A A SF 4-1
Win-Loss 0-0 0-0 8-1 61-11 69-12