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Old 01-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #46
pc1
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Originally Posted by urban View Post
Good articles on von Cramm. Yes, von Cramm is often reduced to his 3 Wim final losses to Perry and Budge. He was however, certainly since the times of Cochet, the best clay courter of the 30s. I know, that some historians like Robert Geist, who wrote a book on Nuesslein, refer to the pro Hanne Nuesslein as the better German player, but all German sources like Kleinschroth, Najuch or Menzel prefer von Cramm, who beat Nuesslein in their pro-am encounter at Rot Weiß in four sets. With a bit of luck, von Cramm could have challenged Cochets title haul at RG. He was forced to scratch RG in 1937 by his federation, on order to focus on Davis Cup duties. His team-mate Henner Henkel won RG instead of him. In 1938 and 39 he was banned, then came the War. He would surely have beaten Bill McNeil (i think he actually had beaten him shortly before RG 1939 at Cairo), and would have given Don Budge a run for his money in 1938. He had beaten Budge twice in team matches in Australia begin 1938. He also won a ton of German titles at Rothenbaum, Hamburg.
Two aspects, which are mentioned in the articles, seem to me contradicting some myths and cliches about von Cramm: One, that he had a formidable serve, probably the best twist serve before the War, which contradicts, that he was a pure baseline or clay artist (i heard even Perry making such a statement). And second: He won a lot of 5 set matches, so contradicting any rumor of mental weaknesses, which i often read about him.
I've always heard that von Cramm's serve was superb. Players like Kramer, Sidney Wood and Budge ranked his serve very highly. His stamina was such that he felt he had a huge advantage in the fifth set.
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