Originally Posted by pc1
In the famous Kramer-Budge 1948 US Pro match according to the newspapers Budge only won one point in the fifth set. He was apparently exhausted.
Kramer almost got a golden set there. Budge was up a break in the fourth, and Danzig in the NY Times thought that it was more Budge's exhaustion, rather than Kramer's comeback, that decided the match. Danzig thought Budge, up to that point, might have been playing his best tennis since the 30s.
Riggs was right about Budge's stamina in the postwar years. That list of five-setters may not be complete, but it's clear that by the late '40s he was losing five-set matches frequently.
And Riggs was right that Budge lost the '36 US final to Perry due to poor stamina. Budge did not quite collapse there (it went to 10-8 in the fifth) but by all accounts, including his own, he was gassed.
I mentioned that in '36 Budge decided to get fit and never to lose another match due to poor stamina. I said his decision came before the Perry match, but I checked again in Fisher, and it was the loss to Perry that prompted Budge to make that decision.
Just going by his five-set record in the next couple of years, the decision seems to have paid off. And in the big Davis Cup match it was actually von Cramm who tired first, according to a few press reports. Von Cramm said himself a few weeks later, when he arrived in America, that he tired in the match (though he quickly added that Budge was playing well enough to beat him anyway).