Richard Norris Williams is today recognized as one of the best tennis players in history, especially in the category of doubles… even though it was very close to not be. A span in fact, that we falt for that one of the chimneys of the Titanic will press on the morning of the 14th and 15th of April, 1912, this same week we met 108 years. When s caught up with him he went to his father, Charles, who has not had your luck and could not dodge the impact. His body was never recovered from the fras waters of the Atlantic, like so many other sufferers of a tragedy that hit ms ferocity that no one the neighbors of the English city of Southampton, the port of departure of the vessel and where was the majority of the crew.
Born in Geneva in 1891, a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin and nationalities swiss and american, the tennis player, or ‘Dick’, as they called their friends, spoke English, French and German, and was considered one of the greatest promises of the sport at the international level. In fact, it had embarked on the Titanic with his father (both first class) to play a few tournaments in America, before studying at the prestigious University of Harvard. But on the fifth night of navigation, the ‘Ship of Dreams’, the largest ship built to date, choc against an iceberg at 23.40 and the dems is history. Tard less than three hours to sink and 1.517 persons died in the water.
The time of the collision pill to ‘Dick’, 21 years old, in his cabin. Cogi his overcoat and, with the initial uncertainty, I tried to calm down in the bar with his father. Didn’t let them: it had just closed. Right after, the young listen to shout to a passenger who had been locked up behind a broken door. ‘Dick’ the broke with the shoulder and saved him varn, though he was reprimanded by an employee for having caused damages to the nth. An event, by the way, that inspired a scene in the film that James Cameron became a success in 1997.
Then, he started the chaos. Just were life boats, but Richard and his father attempted to fight the cold in the gym of the ship, which was foundering. Remained in the transatlntico until almost the end, and the little falling in the water the fireplace aplast his father created a wave that launches a ‘Dick’ to ten meters away. All the young man was very close to a large piece of wood semihundido, which turned out to be one of the four boats, folding emergency boatbrothers small of the other 16 lifeboats that had the vessel, on the other hand do not have the ability to save even to the half of the passage.
That got Norris Williams, coincidentally, it was the last boat to be arriado of the Titanic. The vessel was semihundida and the water came to him the young man by the waist. Next to l, clambered as prune a total of 30 people. 11 of them survived and, hours later, were rescued by a boat ms great, before the 709 survivors of the tragedy were saved by the Carpathia, the nth sac of the sea to all those that perished.
‘Dick’, however, showed serious signs of hypothermia. In fact, the doctor of the Carpathia said they need to amputate both legs. But the young tennis player will rog not to do so. “Please. I’m going to need”, is said to have asked. The toilet finished doing the event… and Norris Williams proving that he was right. Das after he went back to walking on the deck and within a few weeks came back to the tracks to compete in a duel of exhibicin against Karl Behr, another player who also had escaped death on the Titanic.
The systematic of Norris Williams was miraculous and came to your cnit little after, when they had just meet two months of the sinking, and gan his first Grand Slam: the US Championship (now US Open) that beat in the category of mixed doubles alongside Mary Browne. A year later, won the Championship-University of the united States and its first Davis Cup. Besides, he came to the US Open final, lost against Maurice McLoughlin, who will avenge the next year, when I was done with her first wound; the individual reeditara in 1916, at the time that stood as number two in the world.
In 1920, after serving the united States in the First World War and come back as a hroe, is made with another major, Wimbledon in doubles, at the time that it was designated capitn of the national team of your country, that went back to be with the Davis cup in 1921, 1923, 1925 and 1926. Gan two other times ms the US Open in doubles and culmin his career with a gold in the Games Olmpicos of Pars 1924, in mixed doubles. In the end, by the way, your ankle dola so much so that he was on the verge of retiring… until his partner spoke to him with frankness: “He told Me not to give up, that bean survived the Titanic and the Great War, and that tena that follow. What tenamos all odds, I made the case… and we won the game”.
Continu to play until 44 years, and in 1957 was included in the Salon of Fame of the tennis world. Until the irrupcin of Roger Federer was the great tennis player, born in Switzerland, who had won a Grand Slam and still today is the fifth player with ms wins in the US Open. Died June 2, 1968, in his quiet residence in Pennsylvania, full of honors and recognitions. That deserves someone to plant face to the tragedy to write his name with golden letters in the Pantheon of tennis.
1912 (mixed doubles), 1914 (solo), 1916 (solo), 1925 (doubles) and 1926 (double)
1913, 1921, 1923, 1925 and 1926
Gold in 1924 (mixed doubles)
BEST SPOT IN THE RNKING WORLD
DATE OF BIRTH
January 29, 1891
DATE OF DEATH
June 2, 1968 (77 years)
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