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-   -   Sedgman - underrated giant of the fifties (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=221155)

urban 09-12-2008 05:32 AM

Sedgman - underrated giant of the fifties
 
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.

NadalandFedererfan 09-12-2008 05:36 AM

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.

hoodjem 09-12-2008 06:11 AM

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

dirtballer 09-12-2008 12:36 PM

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.

Tony Sideway 09-13-2008 06:26 AM

Sedgman was the best in 58, close to Gonzalez.

AndrewTas 09-14-2008 04:10 AM

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.

jeffreyneave 09-14-2008 12:03 PM

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

Q&M son 09-14-2008 03:00 PM

Thank you urban and Andrew for the information.

AndrewTas 09-14-2008 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffreyneave (Post 2713610)
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

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.

jeffreyneave 09-15-2008 12:22 PM

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

TennisExpert 10-06-2008 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AndrewTas (Post 2712905)
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.

Who could imagine?
I'm out:cry:

Heyford Price 11-08-2008 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisExpert (Post 2764436)
Who could imagine?
Only reading Mc Cauley is not enough, i'm out:cry:

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

treblings 11-09-2008 01:31 PM

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?

ClarkC 11-15-2008 08:05 PM

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.

Wuornos 02-17-2009 10:57 AM

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

kiki 02-11-2012 07:18 AM

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

Q&M son 03-03-2012 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AndrewTas (Post 2714119)
Maybe if anyone has World Tennis magazines there were matches played in Oslo, Marseille and Lyons that are not recorded.

Anyone ? (bump)

kiki 03-03-2012 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirtballer (Post 2709281)
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.

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

urban 03-03-2012 06:29 AM

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.

Doug_Hartley_2012 03-24-2012 05:52 AM

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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