June 29, 2017 | 5:40 am
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Bill Tilden by Molly Hale

1 ranking in the world for tennis players for seven years and dominated the tennis scene in the 1920s. With the death of his parents and siblings he was alone. He went through many heartaches, trials, and struggles on his path towards becoming one of the greatest athletes of the early 20th century.

Bill Tilden was born to a family that was plagued with the death of three of his older siblings. One can see that this was effective by the success that followed these efforts. He was rumored to have hit a serve at 163 miles per hour. This begun a life of struggle for Tilden and he spent the majority of his life living with his Aunt. . Though his serve could force weak returns, he never played much at the net, but rather preferred to play in the back court.

Tildens career began to take flight. From 1920-1925 he won the U.S. He was never a star tennis player in his prep school and wasnt a good enough player to make his team in college. He also went to England to play in Wimbledon and won three times there out of 6 attempts.

Tilden was known for one of the most powerful serves in history. William would later take on the nickname Big Bill and become one of the greatest tennis players of all time. In 1953 he passed away at age 60.

Tilden held the No. He dropped out of college and began working on his tennis game, seeking to become a star.

William Tatem Tilden II was born on February 10, 1893 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tildens tennis career extended into his 40s even though he was a heavy smoker and paid little attention to health. An AP poll named him the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century which is recognized by Professional Tennis Players from all around.

Tilden began by practicing hitting against a backboard. Singles Tennis Championships each year, a record that he still holds today and went on to win it seven times total in his career. When he was just 15 years old his mother passed away and a short 4 years later his father followed in passing away. This number is even higher than the modern record recorded by radar. In 1919-1920 he moved to Rhode Island near an indoor tennis court. On this court he sought to perfect his backhand shot, which had been a weak point in his game. Things were not always wonderful for Big Bill from the beginning though. He was the first American ever to win at Wimbledon.

Tildens tennis career did not start off so well either. The struggles of his life did not continue here however. This would be an incredible feat considering he was using a wooden racquet that lacks in power in comparison to the racquets used by players today. Over time he won a few Canadian Doubles titles and began to move up the rankings. Despite these setbacks he was dedicated to becoming a tennis player