Danzig goes into detail about how New York tennis fans were overwhelming the Forest Hills complex and quickly snapping up all available tickets on the final weekend, trying to see Budge and von Cramm and hoping that they would meet in the final.
I was wondering if 1980 was the next time that the same two men contested a five-setter at Wimbledon and then a five-set rematch in New York.
There are some similarities between the summers of '37 and '80. Each time the tennis world seems to have been lit up by an "instant" classic, which produced a kind of clamor for a rematch. When Borg beat McEnroe at Wimbledon there were a lot of people referring back to the Budge-von Cramm match, and saying that the new match had surpassed the old one.
Von Cramm labored through five-setters to make the final in New York, just as Borg did; and they both lost. Borg had not lost a five-setter in four years, and we haven't confirmed it, but it seems possible that von Cramm had not lost a five-setter himself in about five years, when he lost that Davis Cup match to Budge.
Von Cramm is reminding me already of Borg with descriptions of how he played his best in fifth sets (and all those fifth-set bagels).
The buzz in 1980 was dominated by Borg's quest for a Grand Slam, and that was no factor in '37. Davis Cup was a dominant theme in '37, and much less so in 1980. Plenty of other differences too -- but it's kind of fun to see how things repeat themselves, with a twist, in sports.
Last edited by krosero; 01-04-2012 at 05:23 PM.