Instagram_round1   Facebook_Round1   Twitter_round1

Find_a_team_Sidebar2

League_State_Championships_Sidebar3
Schools_Sidebar2
SCTPF2
 

Wilmer M. Hines was born in Lake City, SC and soon after moved to Columbia, SC where he graduated from Columbia High School in 1929. According to newspaper clippings of that period, Hines competed at the national level where he won U.S. junior singles and junior doubles titles in 1930 (with partner, J.L. Beaver) at Culver, Indiana. After winning the national singles and doubles titles and upon his return home, a 50 car motorcade, along with a squad of policemen, escorted Hines down Main Street in Columbia. Later that evening, a dinner with several hundred people attending gathered to honor his accomplishments.

Other accomplishments began to unfold during his underclassman days at the University of North Carolina. During his tenure on the tennis team at UNC, the team won the Southern Conference (before the formation of the ACC) every year from 1929-1933. In fact, the UNC team never lost a match compiling a 52-0-1 record. The UNC team was National Champions in 1931, 1932, 1933 (retiring the intercollegiate trophy). During the 1931 season, Hines coupled with the legendary Bitsy Grant to make an outstanding team. In 1933, Hines was ranked #4 in the National Intercollegiate singles rankings. Hines, only 17 years old as a sophomore at UNC, was elected captain of the tennis team his last year in college. For a period of 3 years on the UNC tennis team, Hines never lost a singles match. In 1933, Hines proved his singles skills by winning the Southern Conference title and also the doubles championship with partner Lenoir Wright.  Also in 1933, Hines was selected as a tennis All-American.

In one stretch in 1930 Hines won 5 titles in a row in a 4 week period: the South Carolina State Closed, the Mid-Atlantic Championship (SC, NC, GA),  Cotton States Tennis Tournament (Georgia), Tri-State Tennis Tournament (held in Memphis, TN) and, finally, the  Southern Lawn Tennis Association (now the Southern Tennis Assoc.). Also, Hines did well with partner J.L. Beaver by winning the SLTA's doubles titles in 1930 and 1931.

A great all-around athlete, Hines also lettered in basketball three times and captained the 1932-33 UNC basketball squad that finished with a 12-5 record.  There are very few records regarding his tennis tour of Europe in 1935, but it has been said that he did not lose a doubles match during this tour and he capped it off by winning the Italian Open. According to the record books, playing in Rome, Hines beat a native Italian, Giovanni Palmieri, to capture the Italian Open title. Hines was the first American to win the Italian Tennis Open since Bill Tilden's victory in 1930. It remained until 1954 for another American, Budge Patty, to win. Also, during his European play, Hines and partner Henry Culley defeated the famous Davis Cupper Harry Hopman and his partner Marcell Bernard at the Easter Week Tennis Tournament at Monte Carlo. 

Hines was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team, but no records could be found as to his play.

U.S.L.T.A. (now USTA) national amateur rankings (professional tennis did not exist until the 1950’s) for Hines:

Singles             Doubles
1933 #23        1935  #3 (p. Mr. Culley)
1934 #18        1936  #8 (p. Mr. F. Lawrence)
1935 #9

Possibly one of the most noteworthy tennis moments in South Carolina occurred upon Hines’ return from winning the Italian Open. The late Heyward Belser (a SC Tennis Hall of Fame member) offered an eyewitness account. Belser was present the day Hines was given a ticker-tape parade down Main Street in Columbia in recognition of his accomplishments in Europe. As he stood on the sidewalks of Main Street, Belser commented that seeing this unusual parade ignited his interest in tennis, as it surely did others at that time.

 

 
 
 
 
Close