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Old 01-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #51
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,533

Originally Posted by urban View Post
When i read several German and British accounts of von Cramm, i got the impression, that he was heralded as a sort of gracious loser, a man with an elegant game and courtly manners, but without killer instinct, who always lost the big matches to the more battle hard anglo-american tigers Perry and Budge. But his superb 5 set record indicates, that he was in truth a tenacious, resilient fighter, who battled through many long, tough matches and tournaments (at RG 1934 he seems to have won at least 3 straight 5 setters).
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.

Originally Posted by urban View Post
Also his serve was not mentioned as a special weapon, while these accounts often referred to Tilden's cannon ball serve.
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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