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Old 02-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #91
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,532

More on the 1936 RG final, by William Roberston in American Lawn Tennis:


The singles ran more or less true to form, and the final was a tennis lesson by von Cramm. It can be admitted that Perry failed to hold his concentration throughout the match, but I doubt under any circumstances if he would have won. His poor start put him in a hole that he could not get out of. It took all of his concentration to pull even, and each time he suffered a relapse and von Cramm was off to the races. I doubt if ever there has been a final where one man played more perfect tennis than von Cramm did. His mistakes could be counted on your fingers. Every shot had a purpose and the way he manoeuvered Perry out of position and then went in and scored the point was a marvel to see.

He started the match by attacking Perry’s forehand and following it to the net. These tactics caught Fred time and time again, as he was covering his backhand side. Then, as the match progressed, von Cramm kept playing the forehand side of Perry but not attacking it. He would wait till he had Fred covering that side of the court, and then he would attack Fred’s backhand and take the net. In other words he had Fred guessing all the time. He also brought off a number of drop shots which Perry managed to retrieve, but found himself passed by von Cramm’s next shot, which was usually a backhand crosscourt.

In the fifth set von Cramm began to follow his service to the net, with good results. All during the match he had followed it in only when behind 30-40 or 15-40 in game score. His high bounding service to Perry’s backhand usually brought a weak return, and in the fifth set Fred could not handle it at all. Von Cramm may not have played the best Perry, but on that day he would have beaten anyone. He has worked hard on his tennis all winter and he now is a most complete player. He has developed a good chop and a drop shot that caught even Perry, and that’s something!

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