Gottfried von Cramm

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by egn, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    For a long time I had the same impression of von Cramm, until I started learning more about him. Again I think that comes from focusing on his Wimbledon career and his Davis Cup loss to Budge. If those are the two focal points, there's not a single win in there by von Cramm.

    He did beat Budge in a long match which you've mentioned before, in Melbourne, as part of a series among the U.S., Australia and Germany. The score was 6-4, 8-10, 12-10.

    That comes to 50 games, which is more than in any of their previous matches that I know of (I count 7) -- except of course for the classic Davis Cup meeting which went to 58 games.

    And the Melbourne match, I presume, was on grass.

    Von Cramm's record against Budge is somewhat contradictory. He pushed Budge to five sets at Forest Hills and in Davis Cup, both times on grass -- and beat him in Melbourne. But Budge beat him decisively in the Wimbledon final, dropping only 9 games.

    Here's another quote from Kuhn, written after the '35 Wimbledon final: "[Perry's] greatest problem was von Cramm’s service – the first serve delivered with almost the speed of Tilden’s cannonball and the second twisting viciously to Perry’s backhand."
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think von Cramm was a gracious loser. But, that is not mutually exclusive of his being a great and gracious winner, which he also was. Losing a few big matches to all time greats like Budge and Perry doesn't define his truncated career, IMO.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    When Von Cramm came back from two sets down to beat Riggs at Forest Hills in '37, Allison Danzig showed him a lot of respect in the NY Times:

    "Baron Gottfried von Cramm came from behind again yesterday to thwart Robert L. Riggs of Los Angeles with his superb fighting qualities after losing the first two sets and now stands face to face with Donald Budge in the match the American tennis public has waited all Summer long to see....

    "Though Riggs's failure to show stronger lasting powers was disappointing, it should be remembered that von Cramm was never hitting so mercilessly as in the final set. Considering the ordeal he has gone through in four successive matches, the Baron's recuperative powers place him in a class with William Tilden."
     
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  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Danzig goes into detail about how New York tennis fans were overwhelming the Forest Hills complex and quickly snapping up all available tickets on the final weekend, trying to see Budge and von Cramm and hoping that they would meet in the final.

    I was wondering if 1980 was the next time that the same two men contested a five-setter at Wimbledon and then a five-set rematch in New York.

    There are some similarities between the summers of '37 and '80. Each time the tennis world seems to have been lit up by an "instant" classic, which produced a kind of clamor for a rematch. When Borg beat McEnroe at Wimbledon there were a lot of people referring back to the Budge-von Cramm match, and saying that the new match had surpassed the old one.

    Von Cramm labored through five-setters to make the final in New York, just as Borg did; and they both lost. Borg had not lost a five-setter in four years, and we haven't confirmed it, but it seems possible that von Cramm had not lost a five-setter himself in about five years, when he lost that Davis Cup match to Budge.

    Von Cramm is reminding me already of Borg with descriptions of how he played his best in fifth sets (and all those fifth-set bagels).

    The buzz in 1980 was dominated by Borg's quest for a Grand Slam, and that was no factor in '37. Davis Cup was a dominant theme in '37, and much less so in 1980. Plenty of other differences too -- but it's kind of fun to see how things repeat themselves, with a twist, in sports.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
    #54
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    A list of von Cramm matches spanning his entire career is posted at Tennis Archives: http://www.tennisarchives.com/coureurfiche.php?coureurid=1172

    On that list there are, in fact, no five-set losses between June 1932 and July 1937 (on those dates he lost five-setters in Davis Cup, the latter to Budge).

    And the only five-setter he ever lost in the Slam events appears to be the US final against Budge in New York.

    I can't say how complete the list is. It does not include Davis Cup, which is not a problem because that information is available elsewhere. But it also does not include the exos with Budge in Australia from early '38.

    And I noticed mistakes in the scorelines of at least a few matches: 1935 RG semifinal and final; 1937 US semifinal.
     
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  6. Idzznew

    Idzznew Rookie

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    Krosero I saw your remarks about results on my website Tennisarchives.
    Always good to hear about errors so they can be changed. I changed the results.

    best
    Alex
    www.tennisachives.com
     
    #56
  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Von Cramm was kind of a prussian junker, thus, the **** regime hated him and was eager to deposses him of any nobiliary title...
     
    #57
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    why the use of **** is banned? nazionalsocialism
     
    #58
  9. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    National socialism (Nationalsozialismus) in its long form. Some words appear to be banned here, although they are not swear words as such. Don't ask me why this is so.

    Anyway, those people did a good job in messing up the latter part of Gottfried von Cramm's career, when he was nearing his peak. He could well have won the Wimbledon singles title in 1939 if he had entered that particular tournament.
     
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  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    No problem, appreciate your hard work.

    I guess the term is used here more often as an insult than as a reference to the real thing.
     
    #60
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Below I’ve put together a chronological list of von Cramm’s five-set matches, using information from Newmark’s posts and from Tennis Archives.

    By my count von Cramm is:

    11-1 overall in Grand Slam events.
    6-4 in Davis Cup.
    15-2 outside the Slams and Davis Cup.

    Overall he is 32-7 (.821)

    Between a Davis Cup loss in June 1932 and another to Don Budge in 1937, I count 20 straight wins in five-setters: 7 in Slams, 5 in Davis Cup, 8 outside of Slams and Davis Cup.

    For comparison, Bjorn Borg won 13 straight five-setters between May 1976 and the 1980 USO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    #61
  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Von Cramm's five-set matches

    For now just a rough cut-and-paste from our various sources.

    His losses are in bold.


    1931 French Championships, R32
    Von Cramm d. Du Plaix 8-6, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4


    1932 Europe 2nd Round
    GER d. AUT 3-2 in AUT 21 May - 23 May 1932
    Vienna, Austria ()
    R4 W Von Cramm d. MATEJKA, Franz-Wilhelm
    6-2 2-6 6-3 5-7 8-6


    1932 Europe Quarterfinal
    GER d. IRL 4-1 in GER 10 Jun - 12 Jun 1932
    Berlin, Germany
    R1 L LYTTLETON-ROGERS, George d. von Cramm 6-4, 10-8, 4-6, 5-7, 6-4



    1932-08-00 German International Championships
    Round 3 – Von Cramm d. Siba, Josef
    3-6 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-4


    1932 International German Championships, Hamburg (August)
    QF: Gottfried von Cramm d. Harry Lee (GBR)
    6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4


    1933 Europe Quarterfinal
    JPN d. GER 4-1 in GER 09 Jun - 11 Jun 1933
    Slav-Weiss TC, Berlin, Germany Clay (O)
    R5 W Von Cramm d. NUNOI, Ryosuki
    3-6 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-3


    1933 International German Championships, Hamburg
    (ending Aug. 13)
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Roderich Menzel
    7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4


    1934 German Covered Court Championships, Bremen (January)
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Pierre-Henri Landry (FRA)
    6-1, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2


    1934 French Championships, R32
    Von Cramm d. Palmieri 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2


    1934 French Championships, QF
    Von Cramm d. Menzel 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3


    1934 French Championships SF
    Von Cramm d. de Stefani 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2


    1934 French Championships final
    Von Cramm d. Crawford, 6-4, 7-9, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, saving match point


    1934-08-04 German International Championships
    Semifinals - Von Cramm d. Quist, Adrian Karl
    6-2 3-6 6-3 6-8 6-3


    1934 Capri, Italy
    September
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Christian Boussus
    2-6, 6-8, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0


    1935 German Covered final (date?)
    Gottfried Von Cramm d. Marcel Bernard 12-14 6-0 6-2 4-6 8-6


    1935 French Championships, SF
    Von Cramm d. Austin 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-0


    1935 Europe Semifinal
    GER d. AUS 4-1 in GER 14 Jun - 16 Jun 1935
    Rot-Weiss TC, Berlin, Germany Clay (O)
    R4 W Von Cramm d. MCGRATH, Vivian
    6-3 4-6 6-3 4-6 6-2


    1935 Europe Final
    GER d. TCH 4-1 in TCH 12 Jul - 14 Jul 1935
    Prague, Czechoslovakia ()
    R4 W Von Cramm d. MENZEL, Roderich
    6-2 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-1


    1935 Merano, Italy
    (date?)
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Henner Henkel
    4-6, 0-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4


    1936 Rot-Weiss Club Tournament final (May 10)
    Gottfried von Cramm d. Henkel 6-3 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-2


    1936 Lyon final (date?)
    Gottfried Von Cramm d. Max Ellmer 4-6 6-1 4-6 6-3 6-1


    1936 Monte Carlo, Monaco
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Henner Henkel
    4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5


    1936 French Championships final
    Von Cramm d. Perry 6-0, 2-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-0


    1936 Inter-Zonal Final
    AUS d. GER 4-1 in GBR 18 Jul - 21 Jul 1936
    No. 1 Court, Wimbledon, London, England Grass (O)
    R2 W Von Cramm d. QUIST, Adrian
    4-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 11-9


    1937 Wimbledon QF
    Von Cramm d. Crawford 6-3, 8-6, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2


    1937 Europe Final
    GER d. TCH 4-1 in GER 10 Jul - 12 Jul 1937
    Berlin, Germany ()
    R2 W Von Cramm d. MENZEL, Roderich
    3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-2


    1937 Inter-Zonal Final
    USA d. GER 3-2 in GBR 17 Jul - 20 Jul 1937
    Centre Court, Wimbledon, London, England Grass (O)
    R5 L BUDGE d. VON CRAMM
    6-8, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 8-6



    1937 International German Championships, Hamburg (Aug. 2)
    R3: Bromwich d. von Cramm
    1-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, 2-6



    1937 US Championships, QF
    Von Cramm d. Grant 9-7, 2-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3


    1937 US Championships SF
    Von Cramm d. Riggs 0-6, 6-8, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2


    1937 US Championships final
    Budge d. von Cramm 6-1, 7-9, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1



    1937 Pacific Southwest Championships, California
    SF: Gottfried von Cramm d. Joseph Hunt
    6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2


    1938 Australian Championships QF
    Von Cramm d. McGrath 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0


    1939-06-00 West of England championships
    Final – Butler, Donald William (Don) d. von Cramm, Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt
    6-4 6-3 1-6 5-7 8-6



    1939 Elvishallen, Norway Dec. 21
    (the location is my best guess from the “Avilshallen” reported in a letter, published in American Lawn Tennis)
    Von Cramm d. Schroder, Kalle 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 8-6


    1940-04-00 San Remo
    Final – Von Cramm d. Romanoni, Francesco
    3-6 3-6 6-3 7-5 6-2


    1952 Europe 2nd Round
    GER d. BRA 3-2 in GER 16 May - 18 May 1952
    Dusseldorf, Germany ()
    R2 L VIEIRA, Armando d. Von Cramm
    10-8, 6-2, 6-8, 3-6, 6-1


    1953
    FRA d. GER 4-1 in FRA 12 Jun - 14 Jun 1953
    Roland Garros, Auteuil, Paris, France Clay (O)
    R4 L HAILLET, Robert d. Von Cramm
    1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4



    1954 Saarbruecken, Germany
    FI: Gottfried von Cramm d. Engelbert Koch
    8-6, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    #62
  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Funny thing is that Budge beat him in several five setters and some thought Budge's stamina wasn't that good.
     
    #63
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Just two five-setters. :)

    Budge did have a stamina problem early in his career though I remember reading in Fisher that he resolved around '36 to get fit and not lose a long match again due to poor stamina.
     
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  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Bobby Riggs was among the players who did not think much of Budge's stamina. He thought Perry was able to defeat Budge in some matches because of Perry's superior stamina. I suppose Budge improved it but Riggs also felt one of the reasons he defeated Budge on tour was that he wore Budge down with lobs.

    Actually this brings up an interesting question, Jack Kramer mentioned a number of times that late in a fifth set he would pick Pancho Gonzalez over anyone that ever played. I would think from his fifth set record that von Cramm is clearly one of the toughest players in history in a fifth set.

    I wonder who would be picked if you had to win a fifth set. I suppose you have to take into account the surface of course.

    Borg is an obvious possible pick as is Gonzalez. Laver and Rosewall maybe. Henri Cochet was supposed to be great in fifth sets. I suppose in recent times that Nadal would be a possible choice. I don't like Sampras in a fifth set because he has stamina problems but I would guess his fifth set record was very good. John Newcombe was great also in fifth sets.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    All of those were great five-set players, including Sampras who had a great five-set record despite his anemia. I do think you have include Wilander, who physically and mentally was first-tier.

    You're more familiar with Riggs' writings, how much of what he says about Budge's stamina refers to the period before the war? I wouldn't expect any continuity in a player's tennis career after a war (though there might be; it depends on the individual circumstances), and in this case Budge had that shoulder injury in '43 that permanently affected his game. That seems to have been one of the reasons that Riggs, according to Kramer, lobbed Budge to death in their postwar matches, to test the shoulder.

    That's why I wonder whether Riggs is referring to prewar matches when he refers to his lobbing strategy and to the Perry/Budge matches.

    Budge does seem to have gotten exhausted at the end of that Forest Hills final that he lost to Perry in '36, which went to 55 games. That was just some months, I think, after Budge resolved to improve his fitness.

    I'll see if I can put together a basic list of five-setters for Budge.
     
    #66
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I just read the name of great Vivian Mc Grath.He and Crawford should have teamed up for a great DC team, along Germany,GBR,US (France was not as good as in the 20´s).I think Mc Grath won just one Australian Championship (AO) but was one of the predecesors of Connors and Borg in the use of a 2 HBH.It is curious, and not too much talked about, but in the late 30´s, guys like Mc Grath,Browmich and Segura, top players of that era, used a 2 HBH . Browmich played also a 2 HFH-Advanced people, noneless
     
    #67
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Na-zi regim was very populist and didn´t like or trust the old prussian junkers, that were the very heart of the Wermacht.Von Cramm, with his class, demenour and international connections was somebody to hate and prosecute.

    he was a true gentleman, and peers like Perry or Budge offered their help to him.Nice nice sportmanship .
     
    #68
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Very good remark on Newcombe´s talent to win the fifth set.He won many majors beating very good players in the fifth set: Kodes,Smith,Rosewall ...and Borg and Connors also feared him in the fifths et ( that is why they lost to him in 4 sets in the WCT Finals or AO finals???)

    Ashe in his book descirbed newk as your " favourite fifth set man".That speaks volume for the strength of character and athleticism of Newcombe, one of the greatest and nicest , yet underrated modern champions.
     
    #69
  20. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Now, von Cramm's relationship with the regime is quite complex. They used him for a while, as they used other sportsmen like Schmeling, Luz Long or footballers. After he had a connection with a Jew, he fell out for them. Von Cramm never emigrated, nor was he a rebell. He got some shielding by the neutral Swedish monarch Gustav at the end of the War. Besides: The Prussian Wehrmacht was very much pro-Hitler, until 1944, when the War became a losing game, and Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler.
     
    #70
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It is not the forum but, even if I agree with you on much of your post, I cannot agree that Wehrmacht liked Hitler.They were loyal and very nationalistic but Hitler made a razzia in the OKW, and the breaches OKH,OKK,OKL and put loyal chiefs, most of them with solid ties with the NSDAP, and deprive the traditional junkers of their base of power.He always feared them much much before the Stauffemberg issue.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In any case, we have a sound expert on National Socialismus, Joe Pike, who is very active on those boards.We would like to know his opinion on that, surely.....
     
    #72
  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Is there any reason to bring up that dispute (between you and him) in a thread like this?
     
    #73
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Not at all.In fact, I was enjoying our small point about Hitler and Junkers.I look at it as an historical, factual thing and not my style to judge it.

    It also helps us point out how much politics can seriously affect a player, even in the game of tennis which was, generally, way out of political involvement.

    Do you remember something like that? I was thinking about eastern players that could not fare better because of the bad consideration tennis had as a " capitalist" sport.I was thinking of Alexei Metrevali, a great player of the early 70´s...and, of course, we have the Ashe activities that brought him enormous stature amnong black - and non black- community in an era of true giants (Ali,Ashe,Tommy Smith,John Carlos)
     
    #74
  25. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    All of those things are interesting topics and I'm not objecting to them. I'm asking, why is it necessary to bring up another poster who is not even participating in this thread? It makes it look like you're the one looking for a fight.
     
    #75
  26. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Budge's five-setters

    Budge's five-set record as an amateur is far less extensive than von Cramm's.

    I've put this list together using Tennis Archives, the Davis Cup site, AndrewTas' data and various newspaper archives.

    Feel welcome to chime in if you know of other matches.


    By my count:

    Budge is 3-1 in Grand Slam events, losing only to Perry.

    Budge is 2-0 in Davis Cup. Each of those matches lasted 58 games. He beat Crawford 13-11 in the fifth set, and the next year he beat von Cramm 8-6 in the fifth.

    Budge is 6-4 outside of Slams and Davis Cup, not including his pro career which I will leave for a separate post.

    So altogether Budge is 11-5 in amateur five-setters.

    In all these matches he won twice from two sets down (Parker, von Cramm) and lost once from two sets up (Grant).

    Again, losses are in bold.


    1934
    June 16
    California State Championships
    F Budge d. Chandler 64 57 75 36 75


    1934
    July 2
    US Clay Court (Chicago)
    SF Budge d. Parker 26 36 63 60 97


    1934 0000-00-00 US Open
    Round 3 -- Budge, John Donald (Don) d. Grant, Bryan M. (Bitsy)
    3-6 6-3 6-4 6-8 6-3


    1934-09-14 Pacific Southwest tournament
    Quarterfinals -- Budge, John Donald (Don) d. Millman, Jess
    9-7 1-6 6-2 3-6 6-2


    1934-09-29 Pacific coast championship
    Final Perry, Frederick John (Fred) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 5-7



    1935-08-12 Newport Casino tournament
    Final Budge, John Donald (Don) d. Shields, Francis Xavier (Frank)
    6-3 5-7 2-6 8-6 6-1


    1935
    June 1
    Davis Cup Test Matches (Pro-Am meet)
    Allison d. Budge 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4


    1936-04-20 Mason & Dixon tournament
    Final Grant, Bryan M. (Bitsy) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 0-6, 4-6



    1936 America Final
    AUS d. USA 3-2 in USA 30 May - 01 Jun 1936
    Germantown Cricket C,Philadelphia,PA,USA Grass (O)
    R2 W CRAWFORD, Jack
    6-2 6-3 4-6 1-6 13-11


    1936 0000-00-00 US Open
    Final Perry, Frederick John (Fred) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    6-2, 2-6, 6-8, 6-1, 8-10



    1937-01-11 Dixie championships
    Final Grant, Bryan M. (Bitsy) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 2-6



    1937 Inter-Zonal Final
    USA d. GER 3-2 in GBR 17 Jul - 20 Jul 1937
    Centre Court, Wimbledon, London, England Grass (O)
    R5 W VON CRAMM, Gottfried
    6-8 5-7 6-4 6-2 8-6


    1937 0000-00-00 US Open
    Final Budge, John Donald (Don) d. von Cramm, Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt
    6-1 7-9 6-1 3-6 6-1


    1938 0000-00-00 Roland Garros
    Round 4 -- Budge, John Donald (Don) d. Kukuljevic, Franjo
    6-2 8-6 2-6 1-6 6-1


    1938
    Czechoslovakia Championships, quarterfinal on July 7, probably on clay
    Budge d. Drobny 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-8, 6-2
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
    #76
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    For Budge's pro career I've used Tennis Archives, Ray Bowers, Joe McCauley, and various newspaper archives.

    But I do not have lists of all of Budge's matches in head-to-head series, and of course those were extensive.

    Feel free to chime in with information about those series or his formal tournaments.


    1939 Chicago pro tour stop (Jan 7)
    Vines d. Budge 3-6, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-3


    1939 Vancouver pro tour stop (March 30)
    Perry d. Budge 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0



    1940 Havana pro tour match (February 17)
    Budge d. Perry
    Unknown score


    1946 Chicago pro tour stop (March 9)
    Riggs d. Budge 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-8, 6-3



    1946 Southern Pro Championships – Memphis, Tenn (Jun 11-16)
    Final – Budge d. Riggs 6-2, 1-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2


    1946 Richmond Championships – Richmond, Va (June 18-24)
    Final – Budge d. Riggs 5-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4


    1946 New England Champs. – Longwood C.C. Chestnut Hills, Mass (June 25-30)
    Semifinal – Budge d. Kovacs 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3


    1946 New England Champs. – Longwood C.C. Chestnut Hills, Mass (June 25-30)
    Final – Riggs d. Budge 6-3, 1-6, 1-6, 8-6, 3-6



    1947 0000-00-00 US Pro championships [Forest Hills – Jun 16-22]
    Final Riggs, Robert Larimore (Bobby) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    6-3, 3-6, 8-10, 6-4, 3-6



    1948-06-00 US Pro championships
    Semifinals Kramer, John Albert (Jack) d. Budge, John Donald (Don)
    4-6, 10-8, 6-3, 4-6, 0-6



    1950 London Pro Indoor Championships – Wembley, England (Oct.)
    Third Place playoff – Riggs d. Budge
    6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6



    1952 Slazenger Pro Championships – Scarborough, England (Jul 28-Aug 2)
    Semifinal – Gonzales d. Budge
    4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
    #77
  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    In the famous Kramer-Budge 1948 US Pro match according to the newspapers Budge only won one point in the fifth set. He was apparently exhausted. Budge broke Kramer twice in the fourth set but still lost the set.
     
    #78
  29. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    It's interesting that Gottfried von Cramm seems never to have played a professional tennis match, i.e. earned money for playing. That meant he was able to come back after the Second World War and resume play, winning several more tournaments, including his fifth and sixth singles title at the German Championships, in 1948 and 1949.

    He had won the same title in the years 1932-35 (there was no German Championships tournament in 1936, probably due to the Olympic Games being held in Berlin, although the venue for the tournament in question was almost always Hamburg, and still is for the men.)

    If I'm not mistaken, another German, Otto Froitzheim, with seven, holds the record for most wins in the men's singles event at the German Championships.
    -----
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    #79
  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Well Newmark401, as you know, the so called amateurs often really wouldn't amateurs but essentially were pros. Bill Tilden, who was an amateur in the 1920's lived like a king.

    Germany would have had an extremely powerful Davis Cup team in the 1930's if Nusslein was allowed to compete. A team of Nusslein and von Cramm may have been one of the all time great teams.
     
    #80
  31. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The old pros like Najuch or Maskell, even Nuesslein made money mainly by giving tennis lessons. That made them ineligible for all official tournaments. Von Cramm came from a pretty rich family, and always stayed amateur. He had however good contacts with the outcast pros, he often trained with Tilden, played pro am matches with Nuesslein, and if i recall it right played some exos in Germany with pro Budge after the war. He organized some pro tours in Germany by Budge, Riggs and Betz and others, to rebuild some German sports structures and international contacts, which were destroyed during the war. Germany was banned from the Olympics in 1948, and excluded from all major international competitions. I think, von Cramm was the first German sportsman, who got invited to France and England.
     
    #81
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I always found his marriage to Barbara Hutton unusual.
     
    #82
  33. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    Most of the celebrities, politicians and movie stars of today are homos as well,nothing has changed. Eyes wide shut as usual.
     
    #83
  34. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    How good was Brian Gottfried?
     
    #84
  35. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Fisher mentions that von Cramm returned to the German Championships in '37 and lost in five sets, right after losing the Davis Cup match to Budge.

    It was a loss to Bromwich:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QFBVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=aJUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7178,550616.

    Von Cramm was so rarely defeated in five-setters, but suddenly in the summer of '37 he lost three (two to Budge).
     
    #85
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Kramer almost got a golden set there. Budge was up a break in the fourth, and Danzig in the NY Times thought that it was more Budge's exhaustion, rather than Kramer's comeback, that decided the match. Danzig thought Budge, up to that point, might have been playing his best tennis since the 30s.

    Riggs was right about Budge's stamina in the postwar years. That list of five-setters may not be complete, but it's clear that by the late '40s he was losing five-set matches frequently.

    And Riggs was right that Budge lost the '36 US final to Perry due to poor stamina. Budge did not quite collapse there (it went to 10-8 in the fifth) but by all accounts, including his own, he was gassed.

    I mentioned that in '36 Budge decided to get fit and never to lose another match due to poor stamina. I said his decision came before the Perry match, but I checked again in Fisher, and it was the loss to Perry that prompted Budge to make that decision.

    Just going by his five-set record in the next couple of years, the decision seems to have paid off. And in the big Davis Cup match it was actually von Cramm who tired first, according to a few press reports. Von Cramm said himself a few weeks later, when he arrived in America, that he tired in the match (though he quickly added that Budge was playing well enough to beat him anyway).
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    #86
  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The von Cramm interview I referred to took place when he arrived in New York on August 23rd aboard the Queen Mary. Excerpt from the NY Times:

    ********************

    The Baron was a very confident young man as the huge ship moved up the river toward the pier. He was more than anxious for a return meeting with Donald Budge, and is looking forward with keen interest to the national singles championships at Forest Hills next month. There, if all goes well, the two will battle it out in the final.

    Baron Uses English Accent

    The odd part about von Cramm’s confidence is that he rates Budge as perhaps a better player than Fred Perry. Speaking with a clipped English accent, Oxford style, that was as surprising as the statement he made, the Baron said:

    “I think that perhaps Budge is a superior player to Perry. Fred is a remarkably steady performer but your American boy is capable of reaching far greater heights of play.”

    As for his anticipated meeting with his conqueror at Wimbledon and in the Davis Cup interzone final, the blond, good-looking Baron declared rather ruefully that Budge would have the advantage on him in playing in his own country and under more familiar conditions.

    “But,” he said, “I feel very fit. I really had intended making my debut in America last season but pneumonia spoiled my plans. Now I am here at last and I want to make my visit a memorable one.”

    The 28-year-old German has neither illusions nor delusions of grandeur. Although confident of his own talents and of his ability to turn his tennis into cash, von Cramm stated very flatly that he never would turn professional and that “they won’t catch me no matter what they propose.”

    ...When Budge and von Cramm clashed in the final and deciding match of the Davis Cup interzone play, they divided the first four sets and the German had a 4-1 lead in the last one. Eventually the American won the set, 8-6, but there was some curiosity as to whether or not the Reich racquet-swinger had believed himself on the brink of victory.

    “Not a bit of it,” he declared. “Budge played poorly when I broke service on him and I knew that the reaction would inspire him to greater heights. I had hit my peak and was due for a slump myself. I was tired at Wimbledon that time, but Don played so magnificently that I doubt that I could have stopped him anyway.”
     
    #87
  38. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Von Cramm probably lost some other five-set matches throughout the 1930s. I haven't seen the draws for most of the tournaments held in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and in countries like Hungary and Italy during the period in question. But I imagine von Cramm played in a certain number of them. He really begins to come into his own around 1932.
     
    #88
  39. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    At least we know his full five-set record in the Davis Cup and the Slams.

    As always if anyone has further information please feel welcome to share!

    Unfortunately von Cramm's Wikipedia page doesn't have a performance timeline, but I've put this list together:


    Played Australian

    1938 – lost to Bromwich in semis, straights

    Played Roland Garros

    1931 – lost to Lott in R16, straights
    1932 – lost to Sertorio in R64, walkover
    [1933 – allowed to enter only the doubles]
    1934 – champion
    1935 – lost to Perry in final, four sets
    1936 – champion
    1952 – lost to Martinez, R128, walkover

    Played Wimbledon

    1931 – lost to Perry in R16, straights
    1932 – lost to Boussus in R64, four sets
    1933 – lost to Sutter in R32, straights
    1934 – lost to Kirby in R16, four sets
    1935 – lost to Perry in final, straights
    1936 – lost to Perry in final, straights
    1937 – lost to Budge in final, straights
    1951 – lost to Drobny, R128, straights

    Played US Nationals

    1937 – lost to Budge in final, five sets
     
    #89
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Brian Gottfried was excellent...but Gottfried Von Cramm was even better.:)
     
    #90
  41. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    More on the 1936 RG final, by William Roberston in American Lawn Tennis:

    ***********************​

    The singles ran more or less true to form, and the final was a tennis lesson by von Cramm. It can be admitted that Perry failed to hold his concentration throughout the match, but I doubt under any circumstances if he would have won. His poor start put him in a hole that he could not get out of. It took all of his concentration to pull even, and each time he suffered a relapse and von Cramm was off to the races. I doubt if ever there has been a final where one man played more perfect tennis than von Cramm did. His mistakes could be counted on your fingers. Every shot had a purpose and the way he manoeuvered Perry out of position and then went in and scored the point was a marvel to see.

    He started the match by attacking Perry’s forehand and following it to the net. These tactics caught Fred time and time again, as he was covering his backhand side. Then, as the match progressed, von Cramm kept playing the forehand side of Perry but not attacking it. He would wait till he had Fred covering that side of the court, and then he would attack Fred’s backhand and take the net. In other words he had Fred guessing all the time. He also brought off a number of drop shots which Perry managed to retrieve, but found himself passed by von Cramm’s next shot, which was usually a backhand crosscourt.

    In the fifth set von Cramm began to follow his service to the net, with good results. All during the match he had followed it in only when behind 30-40 or 15-40 in game score. His high bounding service to Perry’s backhand usually brought a weak return, and in the fifth set Fred could not handle it at all. Von Cramm may not have played the best Perry, but on that day he would have beaten anyone. He has worked hard on his tennis all winter and he now is a most complete player. He has developed a good chop and a drop shot that caught even Perry, and that’s something!

    ***********************​
     
    #91
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    TIME magazine profiled von Cramm as the US Championships got underway in '37. Excerpt below in two parts.

    One of the most fiercely competitive of all games, amateur tennis has no international championship. To answer the constantly perplexing question as to who is the best amateur player in the world, the chief contenders must rely on meeting either in team play for the Davis Cup or in the grand tour's series of national championships. In the days when Tilden, Richards and Johnston were the world's three top-ranking players and the U. S. won the Davis Cup with monotonous regularity, the U. S. Singles was as great a championship as any tennist could win. Since then a new generation of players, headed by the gaunt-faced figure of England's Frederick John Perry, has shifted the spotlight inexorably to Wimbledon. For the past four years Forest Hills has been notable to tennists chiefly because Fred Perry appeared there.

    Last week it was the fact that Fred Perry would not appear there that made the U. S. singles once more promise to be not only the conclusion but the climax of the tennis season. Having withdrawn to the professional ranks, Fred Perry has, like Ellsworth Vines before him, given the season that refreshing stimulation that follows the abdication of a recognized champion. The question he left behind him was one that Forest Hills would go a long way toward answering. It was simply whether J. Donald Budge of Oakland, Calif., having achieved almost single-handed the return of the Davis Cup to the U. S. this year for the first time since 1926, and having smashed his way to an unprecedented triple victory in the All-England singles, doubles, and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, is the best amateur tennis player in the world.

    The U. S. field was good but there was no one in it whom Donald Budge should be expected to fear. Of his Davis Cup teammates, Frank Parker is a precise but lacklustre youth who has never fulfilled his apparent potentialities, and Atlanta's bantam Bryan ("Bitsy") Grant is a highly erratic performer. California's most recent schoolboy sensation, 19-year-old Robert Riggs, who was seeded No. 2 among his countrymen and proceeded to put Gene Mako out as the matches got under way at Forest Hills last week, had bowed to Budge when they met at Newport last month.

    The foreign field seemed to present a more effective picture. It was one of the largest and best to appear at Forest Hills in recent years, including Japan's No. 1 Jiro Yamagishi, France's No. 2 Yvon Petra, England's No. 2 Charles Edgar Hare. England's No. 1 Bunny Austin was not there, but Budge had already given him a conclusive beating this year in the Davis Cup challenge round. The player who seemed to stand firmly in Donald Budge's path, however, was none of these. At Forest Hills for the first time in his life and representing his nation there for the first time since the War was the man who is currently supposed to be at least the world's second best amateur and may well be the best, Germany's Baron Gottfried von Cramm.

    Champions. Tennis' unofficial No. 1 and unofficial No. 2 are technically almost twins. Both hit with apparently effortless length and accuracy, forehand and backhand; both have a deadly overhead, a stinging service. Both are stylists whose repertory takes in all the shots that tennis knows. All-court players, they can chop, drop-shot, lob or volley with equal fluency. But no two characters could be so antipodal as 22-year-old Donald Budge and 28-year-old Gottfried von Cramm.

    Even more than his contemporaries, Parker (ne Paikowski) and Riggs, the offspring respectively of a Polish laborer and an impoverished minister, Donald Budge, son of an Oakland laundry truck driver, is the archetype of the thousands of prodigious youngsters who since the War have taken U. S. tennis away from Society and made it the remarkable thing it is. When he became an international celebrity at Wimbledon two years ago, Donald Budge's sophistication was such that he cheerily waved his racket at Queen Mary in the royal box. Gottfried von Cramm, who put Budge out in the semi-finals that year, greeted the Queen with the courtliest bow of the dav.

    Today a maturing international competitor at an age when many a great U. S. tennis player has flashed and expired, blond, green-eyed, handsome Gottfried von Cramm stands a husky 6 ft., plays with the sureness and ease of a methodically trained master. One of the seven sons of an Oxford-educated, tennis-loving Junker, he used to roll the courts for his father and brothers on the family estate, Oelber, near the little village of Nettlingen in Hannover. He started to play at the age of 9. Four years later, asked what his plans for the future were, he soberly replied: "World's Tennis Champion."

    By that time he had attracted the attention of two of his father's guests at Oelber, Professional Roman Najuch and Otto Froitzheim, the finest tennist in German history. Froitzheim commented that young Gottfried's brand of tennis was "good." But Gottfried foreshadowing the day when he would become the most self-critical player of his generation, noted: "Good (but, unfortunately, not very good)."

    In 1927, preparing to enter the German junior championships, young von Cramm smartly telephoned the tennis club to find out what brand of ball would be used, religiously used the prescribed brand in practice. The committee at the last moment shifted to another brand and methodical von Cramm was quickly eliminated. The next year he decided to move to Berlin where he could receive better instruction.

    So, aged 19, Gottfried von Cramm leased a flat in swank suburban Charlottenburg, simultaneously entered the University of Berlin as a student of law (his family wanted him to go into diplomacy) and the exclusive Rot-Weiss Club as a student of tennis. He was soon spending most of the money that came from Oelber on lessons with famed Professional Robert Kleinschroth. Two years later, after he had progressed to the point of beating Tilden-trained Wilbur Coen Jr., he got his father's permission to marry his childhood friend, dark, vivacious Baroness Lisa von Dobeneck, and to abandon his studies in favor of a career in tennis.

    For methodical Gottfried von Cramm that meant a rigid training schedule with no alcohol or tobacco, eleven hours' sleep every night, long hours of practice at the Rot-Weiss club with Teacher Kleinschrroth, who, he now believes, "contributed more to my game than any other instructor." What Teacher Kleinschroth contributed was not only an array of effective strokes but the habit of not depending on any one of them. Froitzheim had taught him the necessity of sound ground strokes and good physical condition. All these qualities were beginning to be apparent in 1931 when he handily won his first big tournament, the Greek National Singles Championship, but when Gottfried von Cramm returned to Germany, he was not included in the German Davis Cup team. The team lost to South Africa, and von Cramm had the satisfaction of giving a sound beating to the South African No. i, Louis Raymond, in a later tournament. When he further distinguished himself that year by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, he became Germany's white hope on the Davis Cup team.​
     
    #92
  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Part II

    Since then Gottfried von Cramm, the only great post-War player in a country where until recently tennis and squash courts were discouragingly rare, has put Germany into the Davis Cup interzone final four times (1932-35-36-37). He has played 74 Davis Cup matches and lost only 14, five in his first season. He has defeated every leading amateur in the world. Last year in the French champion ships, fortified by a cleaner backhand stroke he had learned from William Tatem Tilden, he beat Fred Perry for the title. Then the following month at Wimbledon he strained a thigh muscle and lost to Perry in the final.

    This year at Wimbledon, with Perry out of the way, von Cramm had a chance to become the world's No. i amateur by beating Donald Budge in the final. But he failed, 3-6, 4-6, 2-6. A fortnight later they met again—in the Davis Cup interzone final, with the matches between the U. S. and Germany standing at two all— in a match which, as an exhilarating display of two great tennis machines was not so much a contest as a cumulative spectacle. It made a gloriously crowded hour of Wimbledon history. With both men constantly attacking, it seemed to the crowd as if every hard-hit rally had its incredible gets, its finishing shots whipped back for aces. "How pleased we all were," said a reporter for the London News, "with the admiring gasp of 'Oh Baby!' that burst from Budge when von Cramm left him standing with an astonishing stop-volley from the centre of the court." When after splitting four sets, Budge worked up from 1-4 in the fifth set to 7-6, the well-behaved Wimbledon audience crumpled as von Cramm, having saved five match points, finally had to yield, 6-8, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 8-6. There were many spectators who agreed with the London News Chronicle that they had seen "the greatest match of all time."

    Although the fact that Gottfried von Cramm came to the peak of his deft, flawless game along with two players so formidable as Perry and Budge may keep him at No. 2 as long as Budge remains an amateur, this misfortune has helped him to become another kind of champion even more impressive to the tennis public. He is by far the most gracious loser in the game. In the Davis Cup interzone final in _1935, he and Kay Lund had Wilmer Allison & John Van Ryn at match point four times. As von Cramm served and came in for the volley, he just checked himself from hitting Van Ryn's high return, let it sail out. The umpire called match point for Germany again. Von Cramm walked up to the umpire to explain that his racket had touched the ball, a piece of Quixotry that cost Germany the match. And when he had come within an ace of his first Wimbledon championship only to be nosed out by Budge this year, his remark at the net was typical: "I played the best tennis in my life, and if you can beat me, it is a pleasure to lose."

    Gottfried von Cramm speaks some French and Italian and a reasonably fluent English, is equally amiable in any of them. Although umpires may insist on pronouncing his full name as resonantly as possible, his fellow players call him Gottfried or Cramm. He likes dancing, field hockey, swimming, hiking, the cinema, Wagner and after tournaments, night clubs and champagne. He also likes to race his Opel limousine from Berlin to Oelber. Independently rich, he is currently the only outstanding amateur who is certain not to turn professional, may thus some day be unquestionably the world's best amateur. From Forest Hills, he plans to go on to California. He will go alone, for this year he and the Baroness, who used to knit and read during his matches, are divorced.

    Says tennis' modest No. 2: "For three years Tilden has been saying that I am the best amateur. It is the only time I have known him to be wrong." With Tilden's judgment still in doubt, von Cramm and his 22-year-old doubles partner, Henner Henkel, prepared for Forest Hills last fortnight at Chestnut Hill (Mass.), where they met Budge & Mako in the final of the U. S. doubles championship, neatly reversed the two defeats they suffered earlier in the season (Wimbledon semi-finals and Davis Cup interzone final). 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

    As the Forest Hills matches got under way, von Cramm put out young Alfred Jarvis and Donald McNeill, but had to work his hardest to beat Hal Surface of Kansas City, who twice was within a point of making it a five-set battle. With much greater dispatch, Budge put out William Winslow, Joseph Abrams.​
     
    #93
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Nüsslein was the first to be invited to England (Wembley).
     
    #94
  45. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Here's the entry on Gottfried von Cramm in the 1938 edition of "Ayres' Lawn Tennis Almanack" (for 1937):

    "von Cramm, Baron Gottfried. B. July 7, 1909. In 1931 represented Germany at Wimbledon and won London Doubles Champs. (with Jacques Brugnon); in 1932 represented Germany in Davis Cup v. India, Ireland, Great Britain (defeating Bunny Austin), Italy and in inter-zone final against America (defeating Frank Shields), won German singles and mixed doubles champs. [with Hilde Krahwinkel] and Berlin doubles champs.; ranked no. 8 in World's 'First Ten'; in 1933, again won German Champs., also mixed double champs. (with Hilde Krahwinkel) at Wimbledon; in 1934 won French Champs. at Auteuil, defeating Jack Crawford in final, retained German Champs. and won Danish Champs.; in 1935 was finalist in French Champs. and at Wimbledon, mainly responsible for Germany winning European Zone of Davis Cup (beating Jack Crawford, Vivian McGrath and Roderich Menzel), retained German Champs.; ranked no. 3 in World's First Ten; in 1936 was ranked no. 2, won French Champs. (defeating Fred Perry in final) and in final at Wimbledon, defeating Austin; assisted Germany to win European Zone Davis Cup fourth time, beat Jean Borotra in Paris; in 1937 represented Germany in Davis Cup team which won European Zone fifth year; led Budge 4-1 in fifth set of fifth match at Wimbledon in inter-zone contest v. USA; in final of singles at Wimbledon and of American Champs.; won USA doubles champs., French doubles champs. and Butler Cup doubles at Monte Carlo (all with Henner Henkel); won Japanese singles and doubles champs. at Tokyo and toured Australia.

    "Address: Dernburg, Strasse 35, Berlin, C.3"
    ------
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
    #95
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, It could be that Nüsslein was the first German sportsman to be invited to England after the war.
     
    #96
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    They were married for six years, quite a long time by celebrity standards, longer than her marriage to Cary Grant.
    Budge claimed that she had a deep crush on von Cramm.
     
    #97
  48. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Von Cramm made her happy.
     
    #98
  49. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Everyone should know about this fascinating tennis player.
     
    #99
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    wasn' t he a typichal junker?
     

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