Tony Wilding’s Motorbike

Angel, Madonna, Mother, Wife, Starlet, Actress: the one looking over all the dead, or the one Tony Wilding was about to marry. Child in arm. Barbed wire in the background. Troubetzkoy sculpted this angel, this monument to WWI. A decade earlier he sculpted Wilding hitting a forehand drive. “Physical Energy,” he called it.

“Physical Energy,” Sculpture of Tony Wilding by Paolo Troubetzkoy

Women swooned as they watched Wilding play as their granddaughters swooned for Borg. Four straight Wimbledon titles: 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912. Three years later, Wilding was one of 11,000 who died at the Battle of Aubers Ridge. Wilding luckier (unluckier?) than all the rest because he already had his titles. World #1. Wimbledon champion. Davis Cup Champion. The only Kiwi to win a grand slam singles title. Luckier than most because he had already had his fun. Motorcycle rides all over Europe from chateau to chateau and schloss to schloss to play tennis with the rich and famous. Better than Hells Angels for Christ. Better than BBQs, Bikes, and Blues. The roar of a motorbike. The road beneath your feet.

Tony Wilding on a Motorbike. Source:

Tony Wilding’s Page at the International Hall of Fame.

Artist Bio: For more on Paolo Troubetzkoy, see his Wikipedia page.

For more on Tony Wilding as a motorcylist, see Motorcycle.

For free posts every Thursday in your email featuring original art from around the world and creative new perspectives and prose, follow Tennis Players as Works of Art below:

Happy to announce that this blog has been named one of Feedspot’s top tennis blogs, websites & influencers of 2023.

4 replies on “Tony Wilding’s Motorbike”

Leave a Reply