Sedgman - underrated giant of the fifties

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by urban, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In another thread, the discussion moved to Gonzales and his pro rivals in the 50s. A name, that came up here, was Frank Sedgman. Compared to Gonzales, whom many declare the dominant force of the fifties, Jack Kramer, who was the pro king in the early fifties, and Lew Hoad, who was Adonis and tennis Hercules in one person, Sedgman is often underrated. But if one takes a closer look on the basis of McCauley's book, Sedgman was maybe the best players for three years, as amateur 1951 and 52 (when the pro circuit was weak), as pro in 1958. He had a great amateur career with 5 majors and several Davis Cup triumphs, comparable only to Hoad and Trabert (in the fifties), and could have won even more with a bit of luck (at Wimbledon he lost close matches to eventual winners Schroeder and Patty). As a pro, he had the back luck, to meet Kramer, the mighty promoter of pro tennis, in his debut series 1953, losing a close match series 41-50 (or something). Kramer was a bit over the top, but Sedgman had a slight lead, before he got a cold. It was played indoors on canvas, totally new for the fresh pro, who came from the Australian summer.
    In the pro system, Sedgman never got another chance for a head-to head, mano a mano series for the Pro kingship , only a round robin series with Gonzales and others. But over the years, he was still a strong factor. In 1953, he demolished Gonzales at the unoffical World Champs at Wembley, in 1958 he won again in a clear straight setter over Trabert. In 1958, he won also the Australian pro, and had the most compelling record at the pro majors that year - not Gonzales, Hoad or Rosewall. His 1956 Wembley loss to Gonzales in a tight 4 setter, was called by the British press corps (real cognocscendi of the game) as one of the best all time matches, not the least for Sedgman immaculate stroke making.
    Sedgman had a very athletic, yet pure style, with probably the best forehand volley of all time. Often he left room on his right side, to allow players to hit to the alley. As a doubles player, he won the only Grand Slam in doubles history, with Ken McGregor in 1951. The next year, he almost doubled it. Maybe the Aussie brigade here on TW know more about Sedg.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
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  2. NadalandFedererfan

    NadalandFedererfan Banned

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    It would have been amazing to see him and Gonzales do battle in the 50s had it been open tennis back then. He probably would be alot more respect in history then he is now had that been the case.
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sedgman is in my top-30, near Trabert, Wilander, and Becker.
     
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  4. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    Sedgman also played quite well as a senior player. In the 70s there was a senior pro tour similar to what they have now. Sedgman more than held his own. He had a "7 year theory" about senior pro play. He felt that if two senior pros were playing, as long as the older pro was no more than 7 years older than his opponent, he would be competitive but if the age difference was more than 7 years, the younger senior pro would win rather easily. Sedgman was also well known for being in great condition.
     
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  5. Tony Sideway

    Tony Sideway Banned

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    Sedgman was the best in 58, close to Gonzalez.
     
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  6. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    Sedgman

    Great topic Urban and good write-up.

    Just a few things I can add. Sedgman grew up in Melbourne and his first senior tournament win was the 1947 Nhill tournament in country Victoria. His first major tournament win was the 1947 Victorian Hardcourt title in Melbourne. He originally was not selected for the 1948 overseas team but a local newspaper set up a fund to send him abroad where he won the Kent Championships in Beckenham. Before turning professional in 1953 Sedgman won 37 amateur singles titles including 5 Grand Slams.

    During his early professional years there were not many pro tournaments but Sedgman won 9 tournaments between 1953 and 1959. After turning pro he didn't return to Australia to play until the 1954/ 55 Australian tour with Gonzales, McGregor (replaced later by Ian Ayre) and Segura. Sedgman won the only pro tournament (the Australian Pro Invitational) of the tour in Perth by defeating Segura in the final 57 63 64.

    Sedgman had a good record against Hoad. Sedgman and Hoad played each other in the amateur and pro ranks at least 40 times and I have Hoad just in front 21-19. During the 1959 European tour Sedgman had the edge over Hoad 4-1 and Sedgman defeated Hoad in the semi-finals of the French Pro. Rosewall and Sedgman met at least 55 times between 1952 and 1972 with Rosewall having a 38-17 record. The first time they met was the semi-finals of the 1952 Queensland Championships and Sedgman won 46 61 63 36 64 and their last meeting was in the quarter-finals of the 1972 Australian Hardcourt where Rosewall won 63 62 61.

    His new tennis career occurred in the Open era when he became a registered player. Sedgman won another 6 tournaments in Australia between 1970 and 1972 including the 1971 Victorian Hardcourt title at the age of 43 and 11 months. In the '71 final he defeated Neale Fraser 61 64. Therefore Sedgman won at least 52 singles titles (not including Seniors or Grand Masters events) during his career.
     
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  7. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    andrew,
    If the 1959 european tour referred to is the roundrobin against rosewall, hoad and trabert, then sedgman' record is 5-4 aqainst hoad, 4-5 against rosewall, and 9-0 against trabert. sedgman's 18 wins made him the winner of this tour just edging out rosewall on 17. I reckon this to be last important win of segman's career as he failed to win any tournaments on the pro circuit between 1960 -65; 1965 was his last full year competing against the top players.

    jeffrey
     
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  8. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thank you urban and Andrew for the information.
     
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  9. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    Yes I was refering to the 1959 tour. Unfortunately all the results are not in McCauley's book and I only mentioned those matches that I know off.

    I have noticed that I have different Sedgman vs. results. Segdman vs. Trabert 8-1, Sedgman vs. Hoad 6-3 and vs. Rosewall 4-5. Just for the record here are other matches not in the McCauley book, including a win by Trabert over Sedgman in Berlin.

    Stockholm October 5 (1st match on tour)
    Hoad d. Rosewall 61 16 64
    Sedgman d. Trabert 63 36 63

    Gothenburg October 7
    Hoad d. Sedgman 75 86
    Trabert d. Rosewall 75 64

    Berlin October 18
    Trabert d. Sedgman 63 64
    Rosewall d. Hoad unknown score

    Vienna Oct. 28-29
    Sedgman d Trabert 5-7,7-5,7-5
    Rosewall d Hoad 6-3,6-1
    Rosewall/Sedgman d Hoad/Trabert 6-4,6-4

    Sedgman d Hoad 6-1,6-3
    Rosewall d Trabert 3-6,6-0,6-2
    Rosewall/Sedgman d Hoad/Trabert 6-4,4-6,6-4

    Maybe if anyone has World Tennis magazines there were matches played in Oslo, Marseille and Lyons that are not recorded.
     
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  10. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    my list of sedgman results was based on rosewall's own comments in the rowely biography. rOSEWALL stated that sedgman beat trabert 9-0, and rosewall beat sedgman 5-4. your source obviously conradicts rosewall by the berlin match where trabert beat sedgman in one match. I'm not sure who to believe.


    jeffrey
     
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  11. TennisExpert

    TennisExpert New User

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    Who could imagine?
    I'm out:cry:
     
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  12. Heyford Price

    Heyford Price New User

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    Look in one thread here in FP, there some user making corrections to the book (i believe the same book?), maybe can help a little. Don't have the link but the post is new
     
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  13. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the thread on Frank Sedgeman.
    He deserves to be better remembered.
    Does anyone know, what he did after his tennis career?
    and whether he is still alive?
     
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  14. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Wikipedia has a good article on Sedgman.

    In the four years 1949,1950,1951,1952, Frank Sedgman won 22 majors (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) out of the 48 major titles contested.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
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  15. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    For my money Frank Sedgman was in the top10 players post WWII. I can't evaluate the professional game but in the amateur game his series of results, the quality of his opposition and his short term domination were exceptional up to the end of 1952. This alone is sufficient evidence for me. Personally I would rate him above Lew Hoad at their respective peaks in the amateur game.

    Tim
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    One of the top 10 in Australian tennis hsitory and an all time great.

    1-.Laver
    2-.Rosewall
    3-.Hoad
    4-.Sedgman
    5-.Newcombe
    6-.Emerson
    7-.Crwaford
    8-.Brookes
    9-.Fraser
    10-Stolle,Roche,Quist,Bromwich.Mc Gregor,Cooper,Anderson,Cash
     
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  17. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Anyone ? (bump)
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In fact, he was the first true great product from Harry Hopman.
     
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  19. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I once read, that Sedge won far more money on his senior tours in the 70s, that in his prime pro years in the 50s.
     
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  20. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Sedg was a legend. He was the guy to beat in the amateur game 1949-1952 and he reached the top in the pro game as well. I believe he remained Australia-based and his ability to compete was hindered by running a sizeable company in Melbourne. He was still a force in the early 1970s winning or pushing regular tour players. To think he and Rosewall played one another in regular tournaments twenty years apart - 1952 and 1972 - is amazing. That's longer than Rosewall's rivalry with Laver and maybe longer than the one with Hoad.I'm talking men's comp here, not juniors and not vets.
     
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  21. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Sedgman turning pro was close to a national disaster in Australia. Luckily we had these two kids called Lew and Ken who stepped up and the rest is history. Had open tennis come along ten years earlier, Sedg might be remembered in a similar way to Laver.
     
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  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder how Roche feels about Laver?

    Or maybe his record against Laver?

    It seems that he came so close, but a ranking such as that above suggests he was not that close.
     
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  23. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Cash in top 10 but no rafter

    You'd have to rate rafter above cash but he is not listed here.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.Put him co ninth with Fraser
     
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  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    hewitt above both actually .....
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tony Roche & John Newcombe were the new wunderboys of Australian tennis, they were the Hoad-Rosewall of the 60´s, and they thought they´d **** Laver ( and Emerson) who were dominating the pro and amateur scene in the middle to last 60´s.They had the press pressure and the need of a nationa to continue produce champions.Their last wonderteam was a fake (Alexander-Dent in early 70´s).

    So Roche was having a sick prosecution complex of Laver and Laver clearly 8 as he did in his book) identified Tony as his heritier and main ****** as he thought Rosewall and Emmo´s day were touching to an end ( wrongly for Rosewall) and Newcombe was not nearly as good as Roche ( although he won much more titles).Roche put himself under uncredible pressure and I am sure, he could have beaten in one of those matches: 1968 W, 1969 A=, 1969 USO...Laver had eneormous pride, and saw himself as the last defender of the former australian generation ( Hoad,Laver,Rosewall,Fraser and Emerson).
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hewitt took advantage of an extremely weak era, when Sampras and Agassi were close to retirement and unconsistent guys like Safin,Roddick or Philippousis couldn´t really match his consistency.He is a notch below Rafter or Cash, just because of that context.
     
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  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Rafter also took advantage of Sampras' injury in 98 ( you could also say the same about Korda knocking Sampras out in 97 ). Funny you mention Phillippousis as Hewitt's rival when it was Rafter who faced him in a USO final and not Hewitt

    Cash was also lucky Peter Doohan took out Becker in R2 in 87 Wimby

    Agassi wasn't close to retirement at all in 2001/02, he retired in 2006 for heaven's sake ... Hewitt beat Sampras in a magnificent display of returning/passing in the USO 2001 final. Dare say Sampras was a tad lucky Agassi took Hewitt out in the USO 2002 semi-final.

    Hewitt also won 2 YECs in 2001-2002.

    Also Hewitt as a 18 year old kid was beating up on prime Rafter in 99. Leads their H2H 3-1 . If he was slightly lucky with weaker fields in 2001-02, he was much much more unlucky having to face peak federer in 2004-05 and the slow death of SnV ( he loved targets at the net - see his records vs rafter/henman/sampras)

    Hewitt won 29 titles overall , which is more than 4 times more than what Cash did ( 7 ) and more than two and half more times than what Rafter did ( 11 ) . By some distance more than them combined ( 18 )

    He was/is by some distance better than either of Cash/Rafter by all counts and it isn't even close

    P.S. Oh and yeah , he is above Fraser as well IMO ....
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Coming back to Sedgman, haven't seen him play, but from all accounts, he was a phenomenal volleyer, especially his forehand volley was said to be the best of all time
     
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  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    All of the Aussie players you mention here rate Hoad as the number one.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which shows how good their criteria is.Myself, I consider peak Hoad as good, if not better than peak Laver.So did Gonzales.

    But career wise, Laver and Rosewall certainly surpass him.
     
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  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    It was a question of who played the best tennis as opposed to who lasted longer.
    I will go with who played better.
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    This is my opinion, of course just another opinion.

    Talent wise and play wise, the difference in 1969 between Laver and Roche could be just as close as their semifinal at Brisbane shows.But, career wise ( and because of tennis injuries ), Roche felt short, not only to Laver, but to the top 5-6 aussies.

    Tony Roche, a super talented player that I never got tired watching, is an example of how strong was the australian croop.Take no offense, there´s never been, and probably there will never be a nation like Australia´s 1950 or 1960.
     
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  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hoad was flashier than Ken.But not a better player.It´s extremely difficult to play " better " than Rosewall.The guy did everything just damn well.Ever seen him play?
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    First senseful post from you.Congratulations¡¡¡ you are going the right way:)
     
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  36. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I watched him play on live television in the 1970 Wimbledon and Forest Hills finals, and thought then that his groundstrokes were the best of the bunch, but not his serve. First impressions are lasting.
    Until 1960, Rosewall's record against Hoad was actually a losing record, and Rosewall admitted he could not handle Hoad's best play, even on a clay surface.
     
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  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It´s hard to find a doubles team where the strengths of both players complement as well as the Wunderkind team.
     
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  38. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    no, clueless Kiki, I know a LOT more than you realise ...... Just that you are programmed to think anyone who doesn't sing praises of the olden eras all the time hasn't seen/read about it ......
     
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  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Then either you are a betrayer or, most likely, a guy that sees things without understanding much about it.
     
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  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Did the first part of your sentence make any sense even to you ? :)

    So if a person sees the olden era and doesn't go on and on singing praises about it and deriding the current era, he doesn't understand things ? Good to know more of Kiki logic !

    Here's a clue :

    every era has its pros and cons.... Unless the era is seriously deprived of top players due to extreme circumstances like say war/boycotts , there is really no era that isn't worth watching IMO ......

    I'm not a hypocrite like you who'd praise Vilas style of play and in the same sentence call nadal-djoker matches boring when you have epic borefests involving vilas and borg on clay ( infinitely more boring than nadal-djoker )
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Some matches between Borg and Vilas could be annoying, indeed some were, but even then, they made a lot more shotmaking than Nadkovic.

    The difference is that you could have many matches with variety.Nowadays, unfortunately, you don´t.Except some strokemaking from Federer...where is the genious and the creativity? in Nadal´s butpicking? in Djokovic pathetic and boring on court jokes?...and some jerks still call him the new Connors¡¡¡ Connors worst joke was much funnier than the Serbian´s best .
     
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  42. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    no, they absolutely did not. Get rid of those past tinted glasses. Borg-Vilas involved boring rallies and it was just a matter of patience and who blinked first . Nadal-Djoker have way more usage of variation in pace, depth and angles ......borg-vilas on clay lot more shotmaking than nadal-djokovic. LOLZ, give me a break !!!! Oh wait even after that break, Borg-Vilas rally is still going on , not an action-replay is it ? :lol:

    its obvious you don't watch much of modern tennis.......from say 2002 onwards :

    big servers in roddick, isner, karlovic , johansson,raonic etc ...

    counter-punchers in nadal, murray, hewitt, ferrer, djoker,ferrero, coria, moya etc ...

    aggressive baseliners in agassi, safin, soderling, berdych,kuerten, del potro etc ..

    aggressive all-court players in federer, tsonga, nalbandian, ancic etc ...

    junkballers like dolgopolov, tomic, santoro etc ... ( bet you never watched either of tomic/dolgopolov play or even heard of them ! )

    just decent at SnV , but can't have much success in this era of slowed down courts - (henman),dent, stepanek, llodra etc ....
     
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  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Since you don´t have any tennis background before 2000 or so, I understand your cluelessness, and I can forgive it.As a matter of fact, I agree just with your last sentence about " just decent S&V ").
     
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  44. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    clueless, I know MUCH MUCH more than you about tennis before 2000. If I didn't know about tennis before 2000, I wouldn't be mentioning the last set as just decent S&V .......

    Net play is one thing that has declined a lot in this generation because of the present day conditions- the speed of the courts, strings, racquets etc which make returning/passing easier. Actually its been declining since the 90s

    But players don't play the same from the baseline, there's quite a bit of variety . You'd know if you actually watched tennis in depth rather than one GS final here and there involving nadal, djokovic etc ....

    Now lets hear it from you about the likes of dologoplov and tomic .......What clue do you have about them ? Like zero ? negative !?
     
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  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.I am clueless about those 2 guys you mentioned.I´ve never been interested in journeymen, except for guys I just feel sympathy for...and we´ll agree that there is no net game today.In the 90´s it was declining from 1996 or so onwards, but not before (Sampras,Rafter,Becker,Edberg,Krajicek,Stich)
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ABMK is doing his best effort in promoting the new cast of journeymen, Tomic and Dolgo...let´s see if they land in the Journeymanship Higher Class or just broke into the broader middle class.
     
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  47. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    jeez, like I said you are clueless. Totally clueless. I don't think they are going to be real top players soon or anything. I was referring to their style of play. But then apparently on top of being clueless and a hypocrite, you can't read properly either .......
     
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Do you understand difference between social classes in journeymen´s world?
     
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  49. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    jeez, clueless Kiki, I was not referring to them being world beaters or real top players or anything like that , but rather their style of play. You keep whining about less variety in today's game, as you have NO clue .....

    Again, like I said, show up when you can give a decent description of their games ...... I'm not talking about their achievements or anything like that ....
     
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  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You think? I know little about his game, although I've read that his biggest weapon was his physical conditioning and athleticism.
     
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