Don Budge 1937-38 seasons

#1
Below I have full results for Budge’s 1937-38 seasons. I am missing only a couple of exos, but his record in tournaments, Davis Cup and Test Matches is fully accounted for.

This includes Budge’s streak of 92 straight wins in tournament/Davis Cup play (14 straight tournament titles). Up till now there’s been a little uncertainty about it, due to a few missing matches, but I have them all now.

(It was particularly tricky finding out exactly what happened in Prague, where Budge played Drobny.)

As so often in the past, I’ve built upon the work of @AndrewTas, who found most of these matches years ago (when this work was not so easy). I’ve made a few additions/corrections to his work.

For those who want to compile stats, just let me know; I can send you a Track Changes file in Word, showing all of the differences between Andrew’s list and the one I have below.

List will follow in a separate post.
 
#2
1937


Miami Biltmore (clay)
January 4-10
1R w/o Parmer, Arley
2R Budge d. Ford, Jimmy 6-3, 6-0
3R Budge d. McKee, D. 6-2, 6-4
QF Budge d. Sabin, Wayne 7-5, 7-5
SF Budge d. Harris 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
F Grant d. Budge 6-2, 7-5, 6-0


Dixie Championships (clay)
January 11-17
1R Budge d. Busbee 6-2, 6-2
2R Budge d. Rose 6-2, 6-0
QF Budge d. Cooke 8-6, 6-1
SF Budge d. Harris 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
F Grant d. Budge 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2


Exhibition in St. Petersburg, FL (clay)
January 18
Budge defeated Grant 6-4, 6-3


14 tournaments and 92 match streak in tournament and Davis Cup play


Title #1
Miami Surf Club Invitation (clay)

February 1-7
1R Budge d. Hardie, Bill 6-2, 6-1
2R Budge d. Marcum, Vernon 6-0, 6-4
QF Budge d. Senior, Walter 8-6, 6-4
SF Budge d. Hendrix 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
F Budge d. Grant 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4


Exhibition in Nassau, Bahamas
February 9
Budge defeated Senior 6-4, 6-4
Budge defeated Hendrix 8-6, 6-4


Exhibition in Atlanta (red clay)
February 14
Budge defeated Grant 5-7, 6-3, 6-4



Davis Cup vs Japan (outdoors on clay in San Francisco)
April 30-May 2
Budge d. Nakano 6-1, 6-1, 6-0
Budge d. Yamagishi 6-2, 6-2, 6-4


Davis Cup vs Australia (on grass at Forest Hills)
May 29-31
Budge d. Crawford 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
Budge d. Bromwich 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1


Title #2
Queens Club (grass)

June 14
1R Budge d. Godsell, George 6-2, 6-1
2R Budge d. Van Den Eynde, Jacques 6-0, 6-3
3R Budge d. Williams 6-0, 6-1
QF Budge d. Peters, Eric 6-2, 6-1
SF Budge d. Nakano 6-2, 6-0
F Budge d. Austin 6-1, 6-2


Title #3
Wimbledon (grass)

1R Budge d. Farquharson 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
2R Budge d. Hughes 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
3R Budge d. Boussus, Christian 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
4R Budge d. Hecht, Ladislav 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
QF Budge d. McGrath 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
SF Budge d. Parker 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
F Budge d. von Cramm 6-3, 6-4, 6-2


Davis Cup Inter-Zone final vs Germany (on grass at Wimbledon)
July 17-20
Budge d. Henkel 6-2, 6-1, 6-3
Budge d. von Cramm 6-8, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 8-6


Davis Cup Challenge Round vs Great Britain (on grass at Wimbledon)
July 24-27
Budge d. Hare 15-13, 6-1, 6-2
Budge d. Austin 8-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3


Title #4
Newport (grass)

August 16-21
1R bye
2R Budge d. Daniels, Henry 6-2, 6-1
3R Budge d. Bowman 8-6, 8-6
4R Budge d. Guernsey 1-6, 11-9, 6-4, 6-4
QF Budge d. McDiarmid 10-8, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
SF Budge d. Grant 8-6, 6-0, 6-0
F Budge d. Riggs 6-4, 6-8, 6-1, 6-2


Title #5
US Nationals (grass)

1R bye
2R Budge d. Winslow 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
3R Budge d. Abrams 6-0, 6-1, 6-1
4R Budge d. Petra 6-0, 6-3, 6-1
QF Budge d. Hunt 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
SF Budge d. Parker 6-2, 6-1, 6-3
F Budge d. von Cramm 6-1, 7-9, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1


Exhibition in Detroit
Detroit Tennis Club
Sept. 13
Budge defeated Mako 10-8, 6-3


Exhibition in Chicago
Onwentsia Club
Sept. 14
Henkel defeated Budge 6-4, 10-8


Title #6
Pacific Southwest (cement)

Sept 17
1R bye
2R Budge d. Wellman 6-3, 6-1
3R Budge d. Hope-Doeg, Bill 6-3, 6-2
QF Budge d. Yamagishi 8-6, 6-3
SF Budge d. Mako 8-6, 6-0, 6-0
F Budge d. von Cramm 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5


Title #7
Pacific Coast Championships (cement)

October 3
1R Budge d. Guilmette, Henry 6-0, 6-1
2R Budge d. Neiden, Ben 7-5, 6-3
3R Budge d. Jones, C.M. 6-3, 6-2
QF Budge d. Yamagishi 2-6, 6-4, 10-8
SF Budge d. Kovacs 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
F Budge d. Riggs 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4


Title #8
Victorian Championships (grass)

December 4-11
1R Budge d. Weston, Mervyn 6-3, 6-0, 6-4
2R Budge d. Long, Colin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
QF Budge d. Crawford 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6
SF Budge d. McGrath 8-6, 6-3, 8-6
F Budge d. Bromwich 8-6, 6-3, 9-7


USA vs Australia Davis Cup Test Match
On grass at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney
December 16-18
Budge defeated Quist 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, 6-0
Bromwich defeated Budge 6-2, 6-3, 8-10, 6-4


Exhibition in Sydney
December 27
Von Cramm defeated Budge 6-1, 6-3


Exhibition in Sydney
December 29
Budge defeated Crawford 7-5, 6-1, 6-1


For the entire year I have Budge at 69-5 (.932) in all matches.

His record in tournament/Davis Cup play was 62-2 (.969), with a Games Won % of 65.00% (1118/602). If we add the Davis Cup Test Matches (which essentially captures everything except pure exos), he was 63-3 (.954) with a GW% of 64.44% (1160/640).

In known exos, he had 2 losses (to Henkel in Detroit and Von Cramm in Sydney) and at least 6 wins (Grant twice; Senior, Hendrix, Mako, Crawford each once).
 
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#3
1938


US/Australia/Germany Triangular Davis Cup Test Matches
On grass at Kooyong in Melbourne
January 6-8
Budge defeated Bromwich 6-4, 8-6
Von Cramm defeated Budge 6-4, 8-10, 12-10


USA vs Australia Davis Cup Test Match
In Adelaide, probably on grass
January 13-15
Quist w/o Budge on first day (Don unable to play due to fever)
Bromwich defeated Budge 6-8, 6-1, 6-3 on last day


Title #9
Australian Championships (on grass in Adelaide)

1R Budge d. Hancock 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
2R Budge d. Whillians 6-1, 6-0, 6-1
QF Budge d. Schwartz 6-4, 6-3, 10-8
SF Budge d. Quist 6-4, 6-2, 8-6
F Budge d. Bromwich 6-4, 6-2, 6-1


Exhibition in Auckland
February 7
Budge defeated Brown, A.D. 8-6, 6-3


Possible exhibition in Suva (Fiji)
February 13 (?)
Results unknown


Budge disembarked in LA on Feb. 21 and did not play tournaments again until the French, at the urging of the USLTA who wanted him well-rested for the Davis Cup Challenge Round.


Exhibition in Berkeley
Sydney Wood defeated Budge 5-7, 6-4, 6-2


Title #10
French Championships (clay)

1R bye
2R Budge d. Gentien 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
3R Budge d. Mohammed 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-0
4R Budge d. Kukuljevic, Franjo 6-2, 8-6, 2-6, 1-6, 6-1
QF Budge d. Destremau 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
SF Budge d. Pallada, Josip 6-2, 6-3, 6-3
F Budge d. Menzel 6-3, 6-2, 6-4


Title #11
Wimbledon (grass)

1R Budge d. Gandar-Dower, Kenneth 6-2, 6-3, 6-3
2R Budge d. Billington 7-5, 6-1, 6-1
3R Budge d. Rogers 6-0, 7-5, 6-1
4R Budge d. Shayes 6-3, 6-4, 6-1
QF Budge d. Cejnar, Franz 6-3, 6-0, 7-5
SF Budge d. Puncec, Franjo 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
F Budge d. Austin 6-1, 6-0, 6-3

On the day of the Wimbledon final (July 2), Budge said he and Mako were departing the next day for Holland and would play in Prague, Budapest “and several other places”. Budge told the press, “Now I think I’ll take a good European tour and get some rest.”


Exhibitions in Budapest
July 5-6
Budge defeated Szigeti 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on first day
Asboth defeated Budge 6-1, 8-6, 3-0 ret., on second day
(the retirement was necessary for Budge and Mako to catch a train to Prague)


Title #12
Czechoslovakia Championships (on clay in Prague)

July 10 final
1R probably a bye (did not arrive in Prague until July 6)
2R probably a bye
QF Budge d. Drobny, Jaroslav 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-8, 6-2 (July 7)
SF Budge d. Cejnar 2-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-4 (July 8)
F Budge d. Hecht 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 (July 10)


Exhibitions in Yugoslavia

Budge and Mako arrived in Belgrade on July 11 and were scheduled to play the next day but a dispute arose over whether the matches would be played in Belgrade or Zagreb. It was decided to play the first two days in Belgrade, the last day in Zagreb.

July 12 in Belgrade
Kukuljevic defeated Budge 15-13, 7-5
July 13 in Belgrade
Budge defeated Puncec 6-2, 6-2
July 14 in Zagreb
Puncec defeated Budge 3-6, 6-3, 6-1


Exhibitions at Fitzwilliam Club in Dublin (clay)
July 18-20
Budge defeated Csikos, M. (Hungarian) 6-0, 6-0
Budge defeated Sin Kie Kho 6-0, 7-5
Budge defeated Mako 6-3, 4-6, 6-2


Exhibition in Birmingham, UK
Edgbaston Club
July 22
Budge 6-3, 7-9 Mako (tie)


Title #13
Newport Casino (grass)

August 15
1R bye
2R Budge d. Low, Robert 6-2, 6-2
3R Budge d. Anderson, Owen 6-0, 6-3
4R Budge d. Henderson 6-4, 6-3
QF Budge d. Allison 7-9, 8-6, 6-4, 9-7
SF Budge d. Parker 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
F Budge d. Wood 6-3, 6-3, 6-2


Davis Cup Challenge Round vs Australia
(on grass at Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia)

September 3-5
Budge d. Bromwich 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Budge d. Quist 8-6, 6-1, 6-2


Title #14
US Championships (grass) ended Sept 24 because of rain

1R bye
2R Budge d. van Horn 6-0, 6-0, 6-1
3R Budge d. Kamrath 6-3, 7-5, 9-7
4R Budge d. Hare 6-3, 6-4, 6-0
QF Budge d. Hopman 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
SF Budge d. Wood 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
F Budge d. Mako 6-3, 6-8, 6-2, 6-1


Pacific Southwest (cement)
September 28
1R Budge d. Carruthers 6-4, 6-3
2R Budge d. Schwartz, Leonard 6-2, 6-3
QF Budge d. Lubin 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
SF Quist d. Budge 7-5, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

Streak ended with Quist loss


Pacific Coast Championships (cement)
October 6 start
1R bye
2R Budge d. Pedlar 6-2, 6-1
3R Budge d. Shayes 6-4, 6-0
QF Hopman d. Budge 6-2, 5-7, 6-1


Exhibition in Long Beach (grass)
October 30
Tidball defeated Budge 6-2, 2-6, 6-4


For the entire year I have Budge at 47-9 (.839) [and 1 tie], with unknown results in a possible exo in Fiji.

In tournament/Davis Cup play he was 40-2 (.952) with a GW of 65.1% (760/408). If we add the Davis Cup Test Matches (which takes in everything except pure exos), he was 41-4 (.911) with a GW of 63.7% (810/462).

He was 6-5-1 in exos thus far documented: 1-0 in New Zealand, 1-0 in Berkeley, 1-1 in Hungary, 1-2 in Yugoslavia, 3-0 in Ireland, 0-1 in U.S. and a tie in England.
 
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#4
The 92-match win streak breaks down as follows:

Miami Surf Club (5-0)
Davis Cup vs Japan (2-0)
Davis Cup vs Australia (2-0)
Queens Club (6-0)
Wimbledon (7-0)
Davis Cup vs Germany (2-0)
Davis Cup vs England (2-0)
Newport (6-0)
US Champs (6-0)
Pacific Southwest (5-0)
Pacific Coast (6-0)
Victorian Champs (5-0)
__________________________________

Australian Champs (5-0)
French Champs (6-0)
Wimbledon (7-0)
Czech Champs (3-0)
Newport (6-0)
Davis Cup vs Australia (2-0)
US Champs (6-0)
Pacific Southwest (3 matches before loss)


That’s his last 54 matches in ’37 and his first 38 in ’38: so 92 altogether.
 
#5
Bud Collins in his encyclopedia:

An undefeated season was not to be for Budge, who took a 1937-38 winning streak home to California. The Aussies got him at last. Quist, in the semifinals of the Pacific Southwest at Los Angeles, 7-5, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, ended the 92-match, 14-tournament string that dated from a January 1937 loss to Bitsy Grant at Tampa. Then Harry Hopman made Budge’s farewell to amateurism a downer, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, in the quarterfinals of the Pacific Coast Championships. But for two years nobody beat Don when it really mattered.​
 
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#6
So now we know of three seasons with a win/loss record above .900, in the 1930s.

I think we should be including the Davis Cup Test Matches (sometimes also known as international team matches), because they were significant events and always distinguished, back then, from exhibitions.

There were many such events back then, such as the North/South California sectionals of 1931 which I recently posted: the matches were played for a title, and they were distinguished from other "exhibition" matches that sometimes took place on the same ground as part of the event.


So leaving out pure exos, but including Davis Cup Test Matches, and by extension any team matches played for a title, we have:

- Vines in 1931 was 88-5 [.946] including the team events in California and the triangular international meet in September

- Budge in 1937 was 63-3 [.954]

- Budge in 1938 was 41-4 [.911]
 
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#7
I have a full record of the matches that Budge and Mako played in summer '38, which will give a better idea of the events they played. I don't believe this has yet been documented anywhere.

On the day of the Wimbledon final, Budge described his upcoming summer tour: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=h_gpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MGoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4844,84280

__________________________________________________________________

July 5-6
Exhibitions in Budapest, Hungary

First day
Budge d. Szigeti 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Budge/Mako defeated Dallos/Asboth 6-3, 6-0, 6-3
Mako d. Gabri 6-2, 6-2

An AP report:

Fresh from their triumphs at Wimbledon, Don Budge of Oakland, Calif., and Gene Mako of Los Angeles today made a clean sweep of three exhibition matches with outstanding Hungarian tennis stars. Budge defeated Otto Szigeti, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Mako triumphed over T. Gabri, 6-2, 6-2, in singles, and in doubles the two-time Wimbledon champions beat George Dallos and P. Asboth 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.​


Second day
Dallos d. Mako 3-6, 6-2, 7-7, ret.
Szigeti/Gabori defeated Budge/Mako 6-4, 6-2
Asboth d. Budge 6-1, 8-6, 3-0, ret.

Budge and Mako both retired in their singles matches, for different reasons.

An AP report:

BUDAPEST, July 6.—(AP)—Hungarian tennis players squared accounts with Don Budge and Gene Mako in exhibition matches today.

C. Dallos won over Mako, 3-6, 6-2, 7-7 as the American quit to save his energies for doubles in which he and Budge were beaten by O. Szigeti and E. Gabori, 6-4, 6-2. P. Asboth was conceded victory over Budge in singles, 6-1, 8-6, 3-0 when the final set was called to allow the Americans time to catch a train for Praha.​

Budge and Mako arrived in Prague late on the 6th.

__________________________________________________________________

Czechoslovakia Championships in Prague

July 7

R16 Mako d. Malecek 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 5-2, ret.
QF Budge d. Drobny 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-8, 6-2

July 8

QF Hecht d. Mako 6-2, 6-1, 7-5
SF Budge d. Cejnar 2-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-4

July 9

SF Hecht d. Menzel 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 2-5, ret. (Menzel wrenching a shoulder)

July 10

F Budge d. Hecht 6-1, 6-3, 7-5
DF Budge/ Mako defeated Hecht/ Drobny 6-1, 7-5, 9-7

Budge seems to have been placed directly into the quarters and Mako into the R16.

Western news reports have the Budge semifinal against Cejnar as 26 60 64 but I found the four-set score in a Czech source (Kramerius). That is certainly correct because all of the other known matches in the tournament were best of five.

__________________________________________________________________


Budge and Mako arrived in Belgrade on July 11 and were scheduled to play the next day, but a dispute arose over whether the matches would be played in Belgrade or Zagreb. It was decided to play the first two days in Belgrade, the last day in Zagreb.

Drobny participated in some of the matches, so he may have traveled with Budge and Mako.


July 12-14
Exhibitions in Yugoslavia

First day (Belgrade)
Kukuljevic d. Budge 15-13, 7-5
Puncec d. Mako 4-6, 6-3, 9-7
Budge/Mako defeated Kukuljevic/Drobny 6-2, 6-2

Second day (Belgrade)
Budge d. Puncec 6-2, 6-2
Propni d. Mako 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Puncec/Kukuljevic defeated Budge/Mako 6-2, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4

Third day (Zagreb)
Puncec d. Budge 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Mako d. Mitic 6-4, 6-1
Budge/Mako defeated Puncec/Kukuljevic 8-6, 6-4, 6-4

The Americans left for Paris immediately afterwards.


Only about a month earlier Tilden had mentioned these Yugoslav players in his latest book, Aces, Places and Faults (p. 146):

A group of young players, particularly the three Davis Cup stars, Pallada, Punjec and Kukuljevic, lifted the game of tennis in Yugoslavia out of the rut and brought it into championship class. Pallada and Punjec are sound baseliners, Kukuljevic is a net rusher with a great service.​


__________________________________________________________________


July 18-20
Exhibitions at Fitzwilliam Club in Dublin
All matches “on the centre hard court”

First day
Budge d. Csikos, M. (Hungarian) 6-0, 6-0
Mako d. Sin Kie Kho (Chinese Davis Cupper) 6-4, 6-4
Budge/Mako defeated Sin Kie Kho/Lyttleton-Rogers 6-1, 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-2

Second day
Budge d. Sin Kie Kho 6-0, 7-5
Mako d. Lyttleton-Rogers 6-2, 6-0
Budge/Mako defeated Csikos/Lyttleton-Rogers 7-5, 6-1, 6-3

Third day
Budge d. Mako 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Csikos d. Ryan, H. J. (Irish Davis Cup player, replacing Rogers) 6-1, 6-1
Budge/Mako defeated Sin Kie Kho/Lyttleton-Rogers 6-2, 6-2, 6-1

(Rogers and Kho were the current doubles titleholders of the British Hard Court Championship.)

Budge and Mako then left for England, “on the night-boat.”

__________________________________________________________________


July 22
Exhibition in Birmingham, UK
Edgbaston Club
Budge 6-3, 7-9 Mako (tie)
Budge/Mako defeated G.P. Hughes/Tuckey, C.R.D. 6-0, 5-7, 6-4


They sailed for home on July 23, arriving in New York aboard the Britannic on July 31.
 
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#8
Great information, krosero. Interesting, that numerically, Vines 1931 and Budge 1937 did better than in their more prominent years 1932 and 1938 respectively. From the test matches and exhibitions of 1938 it looks, that young players like Bromwich, Kukuljevic, Joseph Asboth and Drobny could challenge Budge, mostly on clay. Kukuljevic was a dangerous player (could be a lefthander) who took Budge to 5 sets at RG. While Hecht and some other names were mere ordinary players, Asboth was a dangerous clay courter after the war (was a fimalist once at RG). I remember that Emerson had to play his very first RG match against old Asboth. He didn't know him, and though of a good draw, but Rosewall patted him on the shoulder before the match and said: No chance for you.
Many thought that von Cramm was still emerging as a top player after seeing him on the Australian tour in 1937/38. He was approaching Budge ever more in 1937. Would have been a fine time for tennis without the pro-Amateur split and without the war, with such calibre of international players like von Cramm, Bromwich, Asboth, Henkel, Kukuljevic emerging. Menzel, who was especially dangerous on the Stadium at Hetzinsel in Prague, lost some close matches to von Cramm. He later became a very good writer, whose Tennis books were among the first i read. He once stated, that he played his very best match at Vienna in a mixed with his wife (who couldn't put a ball into play) against Crawford and his wife, who was a real good player.
 
#9
Great information, krosero. Interesting, that numerically, Vines 1931 and Budge 1937 did better than in their more prominent years 1932 and 1938 respectively. From the test matches and exhibitions of 1938 it looks, that young players like Bromwich, Kukuljevic, Joseph Asboth and Drobny could challenge Budge, mostly on clay. Kukuljevic was a dangerous player (could be a lefthander) who took Budge to 5 sets at RG. While Hecht and some other names were mere ordinary players, Asboth was a dangerous clay courter after the war (was a fimalist once at RG). I remember that Emerson had to play his very first RG match against old Asboth. He didn't know him, and though of a good draw, but Rosewall patted him on the shoulder before the match and said: No chance for you.
Many thought that von Cramm was still emerging as a top player after seeing him on the Australian tour in 1937/38. He was approaching Budge ever more in 1937. Would have been a fine time for tennis without the pro-Amateur split and without the war, with such calibre of international players like von Cramm, Bromwich, Asboth, Henkel, Kukuljevic emerging. Menzel, who was especially dangerous on the Stadium at Hetzinsel in Prague, lost some close matches to von Cramm. He later became a very good writer, whose Tennis books were among the first i read. He once stated, that he played his very best match at Vienna in a mixed with his wife (who couldn't put a ball into play) against Crawford and his wife, who was a real good player.
I agree, there were a lot of good players coming up. The war essentially cut off, or postponed, their development. Now that I think of it, this might make Budge's competition in these years seem weaker than it really was, because without the war, these players would have made names for themselves, winning titles in the early 1940s. As it is, most of these names seem to be either nobody's, or else players who belonged to a later time period having nothing to do with Budge's.

Or in von Cramm's case, we've got someone who appears to be only a 2-Slam champion, but who was certainly capable of more.

Didn't know anything about Asboth before. I did run across one report from the '39 Wimbledon. Stanley Doust of the Daily Mail agreed with Cochet's statement that Asboth would be the best player in the world within two years.

Urban do you know if von Cramm was undefeated in that Aussie tour that Budge played? This report says he was still undefeated after beating Budge in their great match at Kooyong:

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/127507585

This was about the time, I think, that von Cramm confided to a friend that he was playing for his life, per Marshall Jon Fisher's book.

That would be extraordinary, to go undefeated on that tour.

That link I gave shows what a weapon von Cramm's serve was.
 
#10
I've made some minor edits to my posts above, removing the 1936 Midwinter Championships from the 1937 season. ALT did list it as part of Budge's 1937 activity, but after a little more digging I see it was really a 1936 tournament. That year it was scheduled to end on January 2, but the tournament typically ended in late December. Vines lost in the semis in December 1930, and that was specifically called the 1930 championships.

Pancho Gonzalez played in the '47 championships and that one was in November.

Removing it makes a slight difference to Budge's win/loss records and percentages (and GW), which I've edited; but otherwise everything is the same.

I wonder if Budge met Jack Kramer in the '36 edition. ALT reports Kramer making the final of the boys' singles that year, losing to a Ted Olewin.

Kramer did meet Vines around this time, and they practiced together starting in '37.
 
#11
In June 1946 Drobny was said to have defeated Budge in an exo before the war (I don't know why but the link I have is dead; Google News Archives seems to have dropped some material):

BIG CZECH THREAT AT WIMBLEDON

… Prior to the war Drobny was a comer, having defeated Don Budge in an exhibition, also defeating Henner Henkle [sic] and Baron Von Cramm.​

I’m not sure if this is correct, about beating Henkel and Cramm.

However I never saw anything about a Budge/Drobny exo in July '38.

Budge's schedule was tight: he arrived in Prague late on July 6 and played Drobny in a five-set quarterfinal of the Czech Championships late in the day on July 7. On July 8 Budge played his semifinal against Cejnar, with a free day on the 9th. (Free at least in singles.) He played the singles and doubles finals on the 10th, then departed immediately for Belgrade, arriving on the 11th. An exo with Drobny could have been added on his free day, but I saw nothing about that in press reports, or in ALT, or at Kramerius (where admittedly I'm working with Google Translate).

Drobny does not mention beating Budge, when he talks about their meeting in a 1955 article, quoted by @newmark401:

Following Wimbledon I returned to Prague for our international championships and here I had my greatest success to date. I ran Donald Budge to five sets and, if I may so, I still regard him as the greatest player I have ever seen. After that I beat Roderich Menzel, our number one player. I was only seventeen at the time and within a few weeks I found myself on the Davis Cup team – as a reserve.

In 1939 it was impossible for Czechoslovakia to enter the Davis Cup owing to political developments, but I was allowed to play at Wimbledon again. This time I reached the third round and had to retire to Bunny Austin owing to a damaged shoulder. This was after the second set when he was leading 7-5, 9-7. I had had two set balls in each set, and as I was reduced to serving underhand I felt it better to stop.​

Drobny mentions beating Menzel, but it cannot have been at the '38 Czech Championships, because Menzel lost in the semis to Hecht. Actually it happened in Prague on July 24, in what The Evening Telegraph (Britain) referred to as “the Czech National Lawn Tennis Championship”. I could be wrong but I guess that was the closed championship, as distinct from the international tournament a few weeks earlier. The score was 2-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Telegraph added: “Drobny recently took two sets off Donald Budge, the Wimbledon champion, in an exhibition match at Prague.”
 
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#12
“Recently took two sets off Budge (in losing to him)” might be misunderstood as “took two sets off Budge (in beating him).” That misunderstanding might be more likely over the years, and particularly in translation.
 
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#14
Interesting stats and information, thanks.

It is a minor tragedy that Budge, and others of that era, never got to fulfil their true potential due to the war.
A number of people were of the opinion that Budge was the best ever. His backhand was considered by many to be the best ever. Apparently he hurt his shoulder badly during a training exercise in the military during WWII and never regained his serving form. Bobby Riggs eventually won the World Title from him after the war, beating him in at least two head to head tours.

Budge ranked Kramer as the best player ever but if you read in between the lines you knew that Budge ranked Budge as the best player ever. His best chance to regain his title was to win the 1948 US Pro. Budge played great in the semis against the World Champion Kramer and led two sets to one and I think he was a break up at 4-3 in the fourth set before Kramer won it. Budge only won one point in the last set losing it of course 6-0. If Budge won the US Pro he may be played a World Championship tour against Kramer. Frankly imo Budge in 1948 probably would have been slaughtered by Kramer. I'm looked at so many results of Kramer versus Budge in the pros and couldn't find one time that Budge won. Budge had to have won one match against Kramer but I have my doubts.

The strength of Budge's game apparently was in his return of service. It was very hard to serve and volley against him. They said he would tear you apart if you tried to serve and volley. I think in reading about his game that he's probably similar to Agassi in style but with a bigger serve at his peak. He was not the fastest player but fast enough.
 
#15
A number of people were of the opinion that Budge was the best ever. His backhand was considered by many to be the best ever. Apparently he hurt his shoulder badly during a training exercise in the military during WWII and never regained his serving form. Bobby Riggs eventually won the World Title from him after the war, beating him in at least two head to head tours.

Budge ranked Kramer as the best player ever but if you read in between the lines you knew that Budge ranked Budge as the best player ever. His best chance to regain his title was to win the 1948 US Pro. Budge played great in the semis against the World Champion Kramer and led two sets to one and I think he was a break up at 4-3 in the fourth set before Kramer won it. Budge only won one point in the last set losing it of course 6-0. If Budge won the US Pro he may be played a World Championship tour against Kramer. Frankly imo Budge in 1948 probably would have been slaughtered by Kramer. I'm looked at so many results of Kramer versus Budge in the pros and couldn't find one time that Budge won. Budge had to have won one match against Kramer but I have my doubts.

The strength of Budge's game apparently was in his return of service. It was very hard to serve and volley against him. They said he would tear you apart if you tried to serve and volley. I think in reading about his game that he's probably similar to Agassi in style but with a bigger serve at his peak. He was not the fastest player but fast enough.
Interesting.

If Budge truly was like Agassi, it nevertheless seems from what you've written that the very best S&V players (i.e. Kramer) could still get the better of him - much as Sampras got the better of Agassi. Of course, Budge was past his prime when he faced Kramer, so an earlier version of Budge may have emerged victorious.

I had heard that his backhand, along with that of Rosewall, was probably the best ever.
 
#16
A number of people were of the opinion that Budge was the best ever. His backhand was considered by many to be the best ever. Apparently he hurt his shoulder badly during a training exercise in the military during WWII and never regained his serving form. Bobby Riggs eventually won the World Title from him after the war, beating him in at least two head to head tours.

Budge ranked Kramer as the best player ever but if you read in between the lines you knew that Budge ranked Budge as the best player ever. His best chance to regain his title was to win the 1948 US Pro. Budge played great in the semis against the World Champion Kramer and led two sets to one and I think he was a break up at 4-3 in the fourth set before Kramer won it. Budge only won one point in the last set losing it of course 6-0. If Budge won the US Pro he may be played a World Championship tour against Kramer. Frankly imo Budge in 1948 probably would have been slaughtered by Kramer. I'm looked at so many results of Kramer versus Budge in the pros and couldn't find one time that Budge won. Budge had to have won one match against Kramer but I have my doubts.

The strength of Budge's game apparently was in his return of service. It was very hard to serve and volley against him. They said he would tear you apart if you tried to serve and volley. I think in reading about his game that he's probably similar to Agassi in style but with a bigger serve at his peak. He was not the fastest player but fast enough.
In the late 30s he was considered one of the fastest players, though probably the first-tier in speed were Riggs (both before and after the war), Bitsy Grant and Perry.

Budge vs. Agassi, bigger serve for sure, and far better net game (but that was true of everyone in those days).
 
#17
Interesting.

If Budge truly was like Agassi, it nevertheless seems from what you've written that the very best S&V players (i.e. Kramer) could still get the better of him - much as Sampras got the better of Agassi. Of course, Budge was past his prime when he faced Kramer, so an earlier version of Budge may have emerged victorious.
I think with Sampras and Agassi there was a firm contrast of styles, because Agassi was firmly rooted at the baseline. The 30s game was in many ways a baseline era (certainly less SV than in Kramer's time), but in his own context, Budge was seen as an all-court player. That's a phrase that comes up a lot in the contemporary reports, when describing Budge's game (Vines' game was also described that way).

It's difficult to know exactly how that looked, without video. But at least I think we can say that in the context of the times, Budge was seen as strong in all parts of the court (strongest at the baseline but always looking to approach).
 
#18
I think with Sampras and Agassi there was a firm contrast of styles, because Agassi was firmly rooted at the baseline. The 30s game was in many ways a baseline era (certainly less SV than in Kramer's time), but in his own context, Budge was seen as an all-court player. That's a phrase that comes up a lot in the contemporary reports, when describing Budge's game (Vines' game was also described that way).

It's difficult to know exactly how that looked, without video. But at least I think we can say that in the context of the times, Budge was seen as strong in all parts of the court (strongest at the baseline but always looking to approach).
Yes clearly Budge approached the net far more than Agassi. Funny story about Budge that a friend told me. Budge was watching Pete Sampras play and Budge apparently was raving about how great Sampras was to my friend. My friend asked Budge how he would do against Sampras and Budge told him that Sampras wouldn't win a set!
 
#19
Match stats broken down into groundstrokes and volleys are very rare for this time period -- or anyway, very hard to find. But I have a few, all from the summer of '37, all from Lawn Tennis and Badminton, a British magazine.

They reported "winning aces," which is equivalent to "winners" today, though probably not clean winners (ie, possibly a lot of judgment calls).


- Wimbledon final in which Budge d. von Cramm 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Budge's winning aces: 15 serves, 16 volleys, 25 groundstrokes (the latter broken down as 11 FH drives, 2 BH drives, 11 passing shots, 1 lob)

Cramm's winning aces: 12 serves, 7 volleys, 31 groundstrokes (11 FH drives, 6 BH drives, 10 passing shots, 1 lob, 3 drop-shots)



- Davis Cup Interzone final, Von Cramm d. Grant 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Cramm: 13 serves, 30 volleys/smashes, 7 drives
Grant: 12 serves, 7 volleys/smashes, 7 drives, 12 passes

The stroke analysis indicated von Cramm’s effectiveness in the forecourt. He scored 30 times on the volley or smash, being passed 12 times. The German sent over 13 services not returned into court, compared to Grant’s 12; each man scored seven times with the drive, and Grant scored 7 times on the volley. Von Cramm was credited with 59 winning aces at the finish to Grant’s 39 [possibly 38, unclear].​


- Davis Cup Interzone final, Budge d. Henkel 6-2, 6-1, 6-3

Budge: 19 serves, 12 volleys/smashes, 11 drives, 11 passing shots
Henkel: 14 serves, 9 volley/smashes, 6 drives, 7 passing shots


Alas there was no such breakdown for the Budge/Cramm match two days later.

But there was a lot of volleying in these matches, at least by our standards.
 
#20
Kukuljevic was a dangerous player (could be a lefthander) who took Budge to 5 sets at RG.
Just saw an article in the British press at '39 Queens Club, where Kukuljevic beat Bunny Austin; it said he was a left-hander.

Author was Sir F. Gordon Lowe, interesting how he says that at Queens "the pace of the courts is so different from those at the All-England Club," though he doesn't specify in what way.
 
#21
It turns out that Budge did not play in Honolulu, either on his way to Australia or on his way back, in the winter of 1937-38. The local tennis officials tried their hardest to arrange a match but Budge and the rest of the troupe declined.

Budge said upon his return to the U.S. that he'd played in Honolulu, and that he was in shape. The press -- the American press to be specific -- was close to obsessed about his physical condition and whether he would be shape for the Davis Cup Challenge Round.

As I said above, the USLTA practically ordered Budge to take a long break after his Australia trip and not to play again until the French, which is why there is such a large gap in his activity at the start of '38.

There was a reason for all this. It all went back to the defeat of Vines in the 1933 Davis Cup Challenge Round. Vines famously collapsed at the end of a long match with Perry. When the U.S. lost, there was loud and sustained controversy about whether Vines and his teammates had been over-trained. Vines and his teammates, and their captain, denied that this was true, and presented some evidence in their favor. But it was widely believed that the US had lost a chance at the Cup due to exhausted players who were over-trained.

It was also widely believed that Vines had unwisely exhausted himself with a long Australian tour in the winter of 1932-33.

I forget in which memoir -- whether in Vines' or Budge's -- this whole episode is discussed. Budge said that Vines advised him not to go all-out in Australia because such a trip was likely to take too much out of him. And Budge's troupe, in fact, did play less on their Australian tour than Vines had in his tour five years earlier (I doubt the USLTA would have otherwise approved it).

In an interview late in '37, Vines in fact told the press that in his opinion Budge should not have gone to Australia, and should have turned pro instead. He said Don was risking exhaustion or injury for no good reason.

But Budge wanted to remain amateur to defend the Cup in '38. For that he had the undying gratitude of the USLTA, but they also were on his back constantly with warnings about taking care of himself. I think even Don's words to the press after the '38 Wimbledon -- "Now I think I’ll take a good European tour and get some rest" -- were probably intended to reassure his handlers back home that he wasn't going to overdo it on his summer tour.
 
#22
Dec. 11, 1937 UP story by Henry McLemore:

Pasadena, Calif.—Ellsworth Vines, who has parlayed his skill with a tennis racquet into a house with grounds and a comfortable fortune (as if any fortune could be uncomfortable) believes that at the present time John Donald Budge is busily engaged in being a very foolish young man.

I was talking to Ellsworth today and he interrupted a fascinating story I was telling about how I got a par four on the 16th hole by asking me to read a newspaper dispatch from Australia. The dispatch told of how Budge, America’s Davis cup star and world ranking amateur player, was suffering from a shoulder ailment and had been defeated in a match.

“Talk about your race track gamblers,” Vines said, “there’s a kid who is gambling a sure $100,000 which he could have made by turning professional this year and going out on tour with Fred Perry and me. Suppose that shoulder ailment you just read about gets more serious and becomes chronic? His game will go to pieces and there he will be, without any of the amateur glory, and without chance of turning professional and making the money which he needs.

“You know, I can’t follow Budge’s reasoning. I understand why he turned down all professional offers before this year. Every tennis player dreams of winning at Wimbledon and Forest Hills, and of playing on the Davis cup team, but when you’ve done all those things, why not make something out of it? It would be different if Budge were fixed like Von Cramm, who has a private income. But he hasn’t. You know what he’s getting on this trip to Australia? His expenses, plus $5 a day spending money. I know, because I made the same trip. The best he can possibly make out of the tour, counting articles for Australian papers and an endorsement or two, is between $1,000 and $1,500.

“You know what he could have made had he turned pro? Well, Perry made pretty close to $85,000 last year and Budge would have been an even bigger attraction than Fred.”

Vines is fairly certain that Budge will desert the amateurs next year—providing he keeps his health and his reputation. A pro has to have both, and in abundance.

Ellsworth and his friendly enemy, Perry, start another of their tours in January and will hit 74 cities for 74 matches. They played the same number last year and when I asked Vines how the victories and defeats were divided he smiled and said:

“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that because you’re going to laugh when I tell you the result. I won 37 and Fred 37. We’ve been kidded about that perfect split, but I swear to you that each of us tried his best to win all of them. We play so nearly the same that neither of us can get an edge. But this year I’m hoping to lick him, and lick him badly. It certainly is to my advantage to beat him. I’d be a sucker not to try to. Because you see if Budge turns pro the tennis fans will want to see him in action against the best professional. And this tour will prove which is the better—Fred or I.”​

Jerry Brondenfield, NEA Service Sports Writer in a Dec. 24 piece:

Budge wound up the year by packing off to Australia for an exhibition tour, which is liable to have a detrimental effect on him later on. He shoved off for down under with a bad shoulder, and wise tennis heads claim he should have stayed home to rest.​
 
#23
After finding the excellent database at Tennis Base, I checked their results against my list. Tennis Base has basically what I have for Budge, in these two seasons; they are missing a few of my results and I was missing some of theirs. I've added the results I was missing to the lists above and edited all the posts with updated win/loss records, GWs, etc.

(Shoutout to @NonP about the updated W/L and GW's).

Newly added:

- Budge's very first match in the first tournament of '37 (Miami Biltmore), a win over Jimmy Ford which I previously had as a bye. Note: he'd gotten a walkover in the previous round, as I confirmed tonight at newspapers.com.

- an exo win over Walter Senior in the Bahamas in Feb. '37

- an exo loss to Sydney Wood at Berkeley in May '38

Bill Tobitt of the Oakland Tribune said he’d never seen Budge play worse than in the loss to Wood.

Tennis Base also has a 4-set loss to Wood on Christmas Day, 1938, in Brooklyn. That was the week when Budge was practicing with a number of champions in preparation for his tour against Vines. (The practice sessions with Wood are mentioned here.) Don was already a pro then so this would be a pro/am match, and therefore not part of Budge's amateur record.
 
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#24
It turns out that Budge did not play in Honolulu, either on his way to Australia or on his way back, in the winter of 1937-38. The local tennis officials tried their hardest to arrange a match but Budge and the rest of the troupe declined.

Budge said upon his return to the U.S. that he'd played in Honolulu, and that he was in shape. The press -- the American press to be specific -- was close to obsessed about his physical condition and whether he would be shape for the Davis Cup Challenge Round.

As I said above, the USLTA practically ordered Budge to take a long break after his Australia trip and not to play again until the French, which is why there is such a large gap in his activity at the start of '38.

There was a reason for all this. It all went back to the defeat of Vines in the 1933 Davis Cup Challenge Round. Vines famously collapsed at the end of a long match with Perry. When the U.S. lost, there was loud and sustained controversy about whether Vines and his teammates had been over-trained. Vines and his teammates, and their captain, denied that this was true, and presented some evidence in their favor. But it was widely believed that the US had lost a chance at the Cup due to exhausted players who were over-trained.

It was also widely believed that Vines had unwisely exhausted himself with a long Australian tour in the winter of 1932-33.

I forget in which memoir -- whether in Vines' or Budge's -- this whole episode is discussed. Budge said that Vines advised him not to go all-out in Australia because such a trip was likely to take too much out of him. And Budge's troupe, in fact, did play less on their Australian tour than Vines had in his tour five years earlier (I doubt the USLTA would have otherwise approved it).

In an interview late in '37, Vines in fact told the press that in his opinion Budge should not have gone to Australia, and should have turned pro instead. He said Don was risking exhaustion or injury for no good reason.

But Budge wanted to remain amateur to defend the Cup in '38. For that he had the undying gratitude of the USLTA, but they also were on his back constantly with warnings about taking care of himself. I think even Don's words to the press after the '38 Wimbledon -- "Now I think I’ll take a good European tour and get some rest" -- were probably intended to reassure his handlers back home that he wasn't going to overdo it on his summer tour.
That tour of 1932-33 when Vines visited Australia was referenced after the Wimbledon final, when one of Vines' assistants was interviewed and stated that the Wimbledon final was not shocking in its result, as Vines and Crawford had played about a dozen matches during the winter tour in Australia, each winning about half of them.

Krosero, do you know any results of that 1932-33 Australian tour for Vines?
 
#25
That tour of 1932-33 when Vines visited Australia was referenced after the Wimbledon final, when one of Vines' assistants was interviewed and stated that the Wimbledon final was not shocking in its result, as Vines and Crawford had played about a dozen matches during the winter tour in Australia, each winning about half of them.

Krosero, do you know any results of that 1932-33 Australian tour for Vines?
I do have a set of results for that tour, but incomplete.

I can tell you that American Lawn Tennis counted up all the meetings that the four Americans (Vines, Allison, Gledhill, van Ryn) had against the four Australians (Crawford, Hopman, McGrath, Quist), both in the Davis Cup Test matches and in tournaments. In that tally, Crawford had the best record (9-3), Vines second (8-4), McGrath third and so on.

But those were not the only matches in that tour. In the traditional tournaments there were meetings among men of the same nationality, and those meetings have to be added to ALT's tally.

On top of that there were true exos, organized as US vs. Australia competitions, which were less important than the Test Matches but were still interesting. And there were other exos, among men of the same nationality. It was a complex tour. I'd like to get all the results together at some point.

In direct meetings, Vines had a 2-1 edge over Crawford in the Test Matches, but he lost to Crawford in a 5-set final of the Victorian Championships.
 
#26
I do have a set of results for that tour, but incomplete.

I can tell you that American Lawn Tennis counted up all the meetings that the four Americans (Vines, Allison, Gledhill, van Ryn) had against the four Australians (Crawford, Hopman, McGrath, Quist), both in the Davis Cup Test matches and in tournaments. In that tally, Crawford had the best record (9-3), Vines second (8-4), McGrath third and so on.

But those were not the only matches in that tour. In the traditional tournaments there were meetings among men of the same nationality, and those meetings have to be added to ALT's tally.

On top of that there were true exos, organized as US vs. Australia competitions, which were less important than the Test Matches but were still interesting. And there were other exos, among men of the same nationality. It was a complex tour. I'd like to get all the results together at some point.

In direct meetings, Vines had a 2-1 edge over Crawford in the Test Matches, but he lost to Crawford in a 5-set final of the Victorian Championships.
The reference by Vines' coach was to about a dozen Vines/Crawford matches, with about six wins to each player...I presume exo's were included in that.
 
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