Grand Slam

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. krosero

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    I’m starting this thread to show the number of ways in which the term “grand slam” was used from the 1930s to the 1960s. We’ve often debated whether the term should refer to taking the Australian, French, Wimbledon and USO in one season or across two calendar years – but that doesn’t even begin to show how many ways the term has been used historically.

    I’ll post links below to newspaper articles in which the term “grand slam” was used to describe all of the following things:
    • Winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles in a single year
    • Winning the above titles consecutively, across two calendar years (a meaning in use as late as 1953)
    • Winning the Wimbledon, French, US and Italian titles
    • Winning the US, Australian, Wimbledon and British Hard Court titles
    • Winning the US, French and Wimbledon titles, in that order (that is, across two calendar years)
    • Winning the Wimbledon, US and Davis Cup titles
    • Winning the Australian, Wimbledon and US titles
    • Winning the Wimbledon and US singles titles
    • Winning the Wimbledon and US doubles titles
    • One player taking the singles, doubles and mixed at Wimbledon
    • One nation taking the men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed, at Wimbledon
    • Players from the same international region taking the men’s and women’s singles at Wimbledon
    • One nation’s team winning all the rubbers in a Davis Cup tie
    • One player winning all of her singles matches in a Wightman Cup tie
    • Players from one city taking all the singles and doubles titles at a public parks tournament
    • A team sweeping all their singles matches on one day of play at a college tennis tournament
    • A men’s team winning singles and doubles at a college tennis tournament
    • A spectacular attack of offensive tennis in a doubles match
    • Winning all the major championships in one season beginning with the US Indoors and including other unspecified tournaments, presumably Wimbledon and Forest Hills, but not the Australian and possibly not the French
    • Winning various combinations of American tournaments during World War II, a time when three of the traditional Slams were suspended and only the US Nationals continued to be held
    • Winning various combinations of American tournaments even after the war, as late as 1960 – for example all the major outdoor events in the country, or all the grasscourt tournaments in the eastern part of the country

    I found all these uses of the term “grand slam” by searching for “grand slam tennis” in the Google News archives, one year at a time starting with 1933.

    I will be posting links to some articles that use the term in the conventional sense of winning the four Slams in one season, but I have not recorded every such instance. Such instances are numerous, and listing them all would obscure the other uses of the term. So I have quoted from articles stating that Don Budge achieved his grand slam after winning in New York in 1938, for example. But I will not be listing every instance in which articles from the 30s and 40s, reporting on Budge’s pro matches, refer to him in passing as having won the grand slam of tennis. I’ve taken a similar approach to Lew Hoad’s bids for a Grand Slam in 1956 and Laver’s bid in 1962, since both of those campaigns – particularly the latter – were mentioned often and in many places.

    However, I have posted everything I could find on Jack Crawford’s bid in 1933, because that’s when the term “grand slam” was first applied to tennis. And how the term was first used in tennis is an important point in debates about the Grand Slam.

    I’ll post each link in its own separate post, in chronological order.
     
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  2. krosero

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    [Edit: this is not the first use of the term "grand slam" in tennis, it turns out. See here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=6422237#post6422237]

    July 18, 1933

    Sportswriter Alan Gould applied the term “grand slam” to tennis in The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania)

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...3gzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DeIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2327,2495314

    **********************​

    Tennis “Grand Slam”

    Crawford, now holder of the Australian, French and British singles title, has the chance for a “grand slam” by coming over for the United States championships at Forest Hills in September.

    Vines held both the American and British singles crowns when he lost to Vivian McGrath in the Australian championship tournament last Winter.

    Big Bill Tilden in 1920 won the British and American championships, as well as the New Zealand title, in connection with his triumphant Davis Cup trio to the Antipodes with Little Bill Johnston. The following year, 1921, Tilden won the French hard-court title, repeated at Wimbledon and retained the American for the nearest approach to the cleanup Crawford is aiming at.

    Rene Lacoste and Henri Cochet never held more than two of these “Big Three” titles (French, British and American) at one time.​


    **********************​

    Gould says that Vines was stopped from sweeping all the titles when he lost at the 1933 Australian championships after winning the 1932 Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals. He seems to be talking about sweeping all four titles, even across two calendar years. On the other hand when he refers to what Tilden did in 1920 and 1921 he seems to be talking about two distinct seasons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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  3. krosero

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    September 2, 1933
    New York Times
    John Kieran

    **********************​

    Jack Crawford, the Australian, has the most impressive record so far this year. He defeated Cochet in France for the French hard-court championship. He won at Wimbledon. He holds the Australian title. If he wins at Forest Hills, he will have captured about everything in sight for the year. That would be something like scoring a grand slam on the courts, doubled and vulnerable.​
     
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  4. krosero

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    September 8, 1933
    An Associated Press story in the LA Times, the Hartford Courant and the Baltimore Sun, reporting on Crawford’s quarterfinal win over Clifford Sutter at the US Nationals:

    **********************​

    Crawford is seeking the “grand slam” of tennis, having already taken the Australian, French and British singles championships this year in competition with the world’s foremost players. So far this week the resourceful Anzac has not been seriously pressed except at a few stages of his sparkling [R16] match with Sidney Wood, Jr., yesterday. He looks to have everything that a world champion needs but it remains to be seen whether he can hold the rampant Shields in check [in the semis].​
     
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  5. krosero

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    September 10, 1933
    New York Times
    Allison Danzig

    **********************​

    The final between Crawford and Perry should be a classic. Crawford, holder of the British, French and Australian titles, has the chance to set a mark never before equaled if he can carry off his fourth major crown.​
     
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  6. krosero

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    September 11, 1933
    New York Times
    Allison Danzig

    **********************​

    Of all the year’s many disappointments, none was perhaps more bitter to the vanquished than was the defeat of Crawford. Champion of England, France and his own country, he saw his quest of a “grand slam” frustrated.​

    **********************​

    At the end of the year the Times looked back on Crawford's season and said his loss had "prevented him from doing the unprecedented and making a grand slam of the four major crowns of tennis." No reference was made to the idea of doing it within a calendar year.
     
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  7. krosero

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    January 28, 1934
    An AP story in the New York Times, reporting on the final at the Australian championships:

    **********************​

    It was the fourth meeting between the world’s two ranking amateur players and the third victory for Perry. The Australian’s only triumph came in an Australian-English series a few weeks ago.

    It was in the Australian tournament last year that Crawford started a victory string which carried him to within one set of a “grand slam” in world tennis and it was his conqueror of yesterday, Perry, who stopped him then.​
     
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  8. krosero

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  9. krosero

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    July 1934, from Wimbledon
    An AP story in The Montreal Gazette:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bn0tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=h5gFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6569,708182

    **********************​

    Perry went to Australia to take Crawford’s home title away on his own grounds, and he whipped Crawford for the American singles championship last September[;] but for an injured ankle, which probably cost him a quarter final match against Georgio de Stefani, in the French championships, he might have achieved the tennis equivalent of Bobby Jones’ golfing grand slam of 1930.​

    **********************​

    This implies that Perry would complete a grand slam by winning Wimbledon in 1934. True, it refers to Bobby Jones’ achievement, which was restricted to a calendar year. But it refers to Perry winning the 1933 US Nationals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
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  10. krosero

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    July 1934, from Wimbledon
    A. Wallis Myers in the Daily Telegraph:

    **********************​

    Thus Perry became the holder of a notable triple crown. He is the champion of Wimbledon, Australia and America.​

    **********************​

    Myers does not say so explicitly, but these three championships were the three Slams played on grass.

    The term “triple crown” is again used in 1949, though with reference to the Davis Cup.
     
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  11. krosero

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  12. krosero

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    May 24, 1935
    Chicago Tribune

    **********************​

    Maroons Take Lead In Big Ten Tennis Tourney

    The University of Chicago’s tennis team scored five points to take first place at the end of the first day’s play in the Western conference tennis tournament on the Northwestern university courts yesterday. Play will be resumed this afternoon at 2 o’clock.

    Chicago’s Maroons, defending champions, made a grand slam of their four singles matches and captured one of their two doubles matches to gain a point lead over the field.​
     
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  13. krosero

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    June 1936
    American Lawn Tennis reported that von Cramm, by winning the French Championships, won “one of the three great championships.”
     
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  14. krosero

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  16. krosero

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    August 2, 1937
    A report in the Los Angeles Times describes players from Los Angeles winning the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and finally the women’s doubles at the Southern California public courts playoff tournament:

    **********************​

    Los Angeles Netters Win Every Title in Public Parks Tourney

    …. Los Angeles municipal players then made it a grand slam for the day when the local women’s doubles team of Mary Arnold and Gertrude Dockstader subdued Marjorie Blair and Mildred Ward of Santa Ana, 6-2, 7-5.​
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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  17. krosero

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    September 1937
    The cover of Canadian Lawn Tennis and Badminton featured a photo of Don Budge with a caption entitled, “Grand Slammer.” Unfortunately the article within does not elaborate on what the term means.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. krosero

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  19. krosero

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    May 13, 1938
    Budge reveals the grand slam as his goal: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AAAAIBAJ&dq=grand-slam tennis&pg=2677,3612544

    The grand slam is defined in that report as non-calendar year, though Allison Danzig in the New York Times, reporting the same meeting between Budge and the press, adds the calendar year qualification:

    **********************​

    Seeks Tennis “Grand Slam”

    Before going on the court, Budge put himself at the disposal of interviewers in the clubhouse. He stated definitely that he would not play in Germany because of the fact that his friend Von Cram [sic] cannot play against him. He has his heart set on adding the French, British and American crowns to the Australian championship to become the first player in history to win the four major tennis titles of the world in the same year.​
     
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  20. krosero

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  21. krosero

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    June 11, 1938
    Hartford Courant headline:

    **********************​

    Donald Budge Completes ‘Grand Slam’ of Tennis By Winning French Championship

    Californian Trounces Menzel In Title Match

    Crushes Huge Czech in Straight Sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, to Become First American to Ever Win Tournament; Will Seek Doubles Crown Today​

    **********************​


    Chicago Tribune headline:

    **********************​

    Don Budge Wins French Title to Complete Slam​

    **********************​


    An AP story in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (South Carolina):
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zossAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zsoEAAAAIBAJ&dq=budge menzel&pg=3381,3859140

    **********************​

    Don Budge completed his tennis “grand slam” today.

    The red-headed Californian crushed Roderich Menzel, huge Czech, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, to add the French hard court championship to his American, British and Australian singles titles and became the first player in history to hold all four at the same time.

    If that’s not honor enough, Budge can aim at repeating his British and American championship victories later this summer and thus win all four singles crowns in the same year.​

    **********************​


    The New York Times:

    **********************​

    Donald Budge today easily captured the second of four major titles he has set out to win this year. ​
     
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  22. krosero

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  23. krosero

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    July 1938, from Wimbledon
    A. Wallis Myers in the Daily Telegraph:

    **********************​

    Budge .... is the only player ever to hold the four major titles of the world at the same time. ​
     
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  24. krosero

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    September 1938
    New York Times
    Allison Danzig

    **********************​

    The book was closed yesterday on the greatest record of success ever compiled by a lawn tennis player in one season of national and international championship competition.

    J. Donald Budge of Oakland, Calif., stood as the first player in history to win all four of the world’s major tennis titles in the same year when he defeated Gene Mako of Los Angeles in the Forest Hills Stadium in the final round of the national championship....

    The triumph of the 23-year-old red-headed giant ... completed a campaign of unparalleled achievement on three continents.

    No one before him has held at one and the same time the American, British, French and Australian crowns, all of which have fallen in 1938 to the rapacity of Budge’s fifteen-ounce racquet for a grand slam that invites comparison with the accomplishment of Bobby Jones in golf.

    In this respect, at least, Budge takes precedence over William Tilden, the Frenchmen, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste; Ellsworth Vines, Wilmer Allison, Fred Perry, the Briton, and all the other great modern champions. Jack Crawford of Australia came closest to winning four major crowns when, in 1933, he won three of the titles and led Perry, two sets to one, in the American final.​
     
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  25. krosero

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    July 16, 1939
    The New York Times carried a headline, “TENNIS GRAND SLAM”, referring to the U.S. sweeping all the Wimbledon titles:

    **********************​

    Wimbledon tennis this year was expected to be a wide open scramble with Donald Budge, 1938 sensation, no longer in the amateur ranks. But the United States made a clean sweep of the five titles, as in 1938—women’s and men’s singles, women’s, men’s and mixed doubles. Bobby Riggs and Alice Marble won or shared three titles each.​
     
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  26. krosero

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    September 3, 1939
    John Kieran in the New York Times, referring to the first two days of play in the US/Australia Davis Cup tie:

    **********************​

    Of course doubles is a much faster game than singles, but, even so, the difference in pace between the first day’s play and the second was sensational, and pleasantly so.

    The speed-up was due to Kramer and Hunt. They started with cannon-ball services and were prepared to make it a grand-slam attack, win or lose.​
     
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  32. krosero

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    June 19, 1943
    The New York Times reported that Pauline Betz was hoping to achieve a Grand Slam in 1943:

    **********************​

    Miss Pauline Betz of Los Angeles, who hopes to make 1943 a grand slam year, captured the national clay courts tennis championship today by defeating her Rollins College (Fla.) pal, Miss Nancy Corbett of Chicago, 6-1, 6-0....

    Miss Betz added the clay courts title to the national indoor crown she won in March at Boston. A successful defense of her National Grass Courts title later this Summer at Forest Hills, N.Y., would give her the three major championships all in one year.​
     
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  33. krosero

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  35. krosero

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    October 1948
    Associated Press

    **********************​

    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5 (AP) -The national champion, Richard (Pancho) Gonzales of Los Angeles, opened his bid for a grand slam of United States outdoor tennis honors with two victories in the national hard court tournament at the California Club today.

    Gonzales defeated Norman Bakulich of San Francisco, 6-1, 6-2, in a first-round match and ousted Buddy Beale of San Francisco, 6-2, 8-6 in a second-round contest.

    Gonzales won the national clay court title at Chicago earlier this year and captured the national title at Forest Hills in September.​
     
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  36. krosero

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  39. krosero

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    August 21, 1949
    Baltimore Sun defines the "Grand Slam of tennis" as Wimbledon, Forest Hills and the Davis Cup.

    **********************​

    Grand Slam For Ted?
    PHILIP HARKINS

    That rough-and-tumble tennis ace, Ted Schroeder, has his eye on a triple crown. Can he make it?

    .... this spring ... He set his sights on the three major targets in the world of tennis – Wimbledon, Forest Hills, and the Davis Cup. In other words, the “grand slam” of tennis.​

    **********************​

    The term “triple crown” had been used for Perry back in 1934, though not inclusive of the Davis Cup.
     
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  47. krosero

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    delete ....
     
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  48. krosero

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  49. krosero

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    September 8, 1953
    New York Times
    Allison Danzig

    **********************​

    ...Maureen Connelly [sic] of San Diego, Calif., carried off the women’s crown for the third successive year.

    In so doing she completed the first grand slam of the world’s four major national tournaments scored by a woman.... Miss Connolly previously had won the Wimbledon, Australian and French grass-court [sic] titles....​
     
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