G.O.A.T.? Gardner Malloy

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Frank Silbermann, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Feb 24, 2004
    IMO, the Greated Tennis Player of All Time is Gardner Malloy. He is the only player in the history of the game who has maintained world top-ten status within his age group over most of a seven-decade adult playing career. (If he competed in the juniors, one might be able to add an eighth decade.)

    Heck, lots of other top players didn't even _live_ for seven decades, much less compete in tournaments as an adult for that long.

    Bobby Riggs would be a distant second place.
  2. [K]aotic

    [K]aotic Semi-Pro

    Feb 4, 2007
    lol i dont' really know the historical players of tennis, but i do read about modern tennis players and their acheivements.
  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Dec 11, 2004

    I don't know about the GOAT (don't believe in that) but I do think that, if any two players epitomise all that is good about tennis it's Gardnar Putnam Mulloy and Kenneth Robert Rosewall.
  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Apr 22, 2005
    He won Wim doubles 1957 with Patty at the age of 47. And besides that,I think, he is the eternal ladies man, now close to 100 years old.
  5. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

    Nov 6, 2005
    Don't forget Dorothy Cheney on the women's side, who I believe has won more seniors titles than any other player, and has also excelled in every age bracket in which she's competed.
  6. Edberg&Becker

    Edberg&Becker New User

    May 25, 2008
    Ken Rosewall by far, the greatest.
    Second on this one, Bill Tilden.
  7. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Banned

    Nov 26, 2011
    Bradenton, FL
    I actually read Mulloy's self-publoished autobiography (As It Was) and it's fantastic. Not much on the WWW about Gar but I did find this interview...

    Biofile with Gardnar Mulloy
    Published by Scoop Malinowski
    Status: International Tennis Hall of Famer. Wimbledon doubles champion.

    DOB: November 22, 1913 In: Washington DC

    First Tennis Memory: “When my father (Robin) and two uncles built a clay tennis court in our backyard and they made me take care of it. I was 10. I didn’t like tennis much at first because I had to work at it. He made me play every Sunday morning. When he invited his cronies over and one was tired or one didn’t show up, I played. When I got to be 11 I got to be better than them, so I didn’t want to play with them any more.”

    Tennis Inspirations: “Make the Davis Cup team, which I finally did. Win a national championship, which I finally won several. And travel and play at Wimbledon.”

    Last Book Read: “Helter Skelter. Written Vincent Bugliosi. He was a tennis player, I got him a scholarship at the University of Miami.”

    Favorite Movies: “Not really.”

    First Job: “Paper boy for Miami Daily News, on my bike.”

    First Car: “Oh, let me see. My father had the agency for the Franklin which of course are long and dead. He gave me one of his trade-ins for high school – a 1919 black aluminum Franklin. I used to pile the neighborhood in and kept it in high school and college.”

    Favorite Meal: “I like breakfast most. Cereal and milk. (Which kind?) Any kind.”

    Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”

    Greatest Career Moment: “Winning match point at Wimbledon doubles, when we won against Hoad and Fraser of Australia.”

    Most Painful Moment: “The match point at Wimbledon.”

    Funny Tennis Memory: “With Art Larsen. He had so many superstitions, we harassed him all the time, Talbert and I.”

    Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “We were playing Australia in the Davis Cup and the captain of the Davis Cup team was wondering who to play in singles. He finally picked me. On the way to the draw, he changed his mind, and I didn’t know it. I was told I was going to play. Everybody was congratulating me. Then at the draw I found out the captain changed his mind. (Who was the captain?) Billy Talbert, my doubles partner.”

    Favorite Players To Watch: “Roger Federer. Little Mo, on the womens side. Just like the way she played. (What about her playing style did you like?) She wasn’t a big serve and volleyer, she was an all around player. I played mixed doubles with her, that helped. Alice Marble too. She was a great gal. (Any women from today?) Not many from today. Like Pancho Segura says, They don’t play tennis any more, they play ping pong. Which means, very steady all the time.”

    Closest Tennis Friends: “Well, Billy Talbert and Tony Trabert. I was just talking with him on the phone yesterday. And of course Art Larsen.”

    Funniest Players Encountered: “Art Larsen, by far. Also Earl Cochell. He was a hot red head. He was always mouthing off. We would egg him on. He would dig a hole and we’d laugh. He acted up at nationals at Forest Hills against me and got suspended for life. I tried to intervene and if he would apologize they would let him back. But he wouldn’t. He said he didn’t want to give them the satisfaction. Then he disappeared from the tennis scene. The word is he married a rich girl and traveled around the world. Who knows.”

    Strangest Match: “Semifinals of Australian national championship. There were foot fault judges on both baselines. On the one side, I was foot-faulted nine times. On the other side I wasn’t foot-faulted once. I queried the judge, What the hell am I doing? So here I’m foot-faulted nine times. I say it cost me the match. I lost 7-5 in the fifth. In the last set, I’m serving, it was deuce at five all. I served a first serve – it was a fault. I served a second serve – it was a double fault. Then serving to the ad court, I served the first one – it was a fault. I very timidly served the second serve – they called it a fault. I’m fit to be tied. He was leading then 6-5 or 5-4. We changed course and walked by each other. He said, Gar, I’m very sorry, but that wasn’t a fault. I said, What can I do about it? In those days we spoke to each other, today they fight for everything. Then, the funny part is, a couple of distractors in the stands, were yelling at me the whole match. I threw my racquet in the air and said, If you had any guts, come down here. And they did! After the scramble with the police, I told them I’ll meet you after the match. After I lost the match I ran out hunting for them. Of course I never found them. After that I complained about the difficult officiating and said I could do a better job. I said, Well, let me do it. I insisted on calling the finals. Some of the reporters around said to let me call the final. It was on the record. So I officiated the final. So after the final I said, That’s the way a match should be called – impeccable.”

    Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “Football. I played a little bit in high school and college. Frankly speaking – not to brag, but I am – I was a great passer. But in those days, it wasn’t a passing game then. The football was fat back then, with more air. In those days I could punt a ball 60 yards without a problem. It just sailed away.”

    Favorite Tournaments: “Of course, Wimbledon, you can’t beat that. Nothing else compares to it. Secondly, I would say Australia. And I’d be criticized for not saying U.S. Open.”

    At Your Best: “I think it would be against Ken Rosewall in semifinals of nationals at Forest Hills. He had me 4-2 in the fifth and I pulled it out. According to Allison Danzig, do you remember him? (Yes, the renowned tennis writer.) He wrote up all the tournaments in the east. The semifinals of Southampton, a big tournament in the east, I beat Gonzalez in the semifinal and Billy in the final. Danzig wrote an article about the match. The way he wrote that I played was a bit the way I felt. I just felt I couldn’t do anything wrong.”

    Pre-Match Feeling: “I was scared to death. I was saying to myself, Why didn’t I practice more? This guy is so good, what do I do? My knees were weak. The night before I’d sleep for 16 hours if I could. Keep thinking, I’m not getting enough rest. Then I’d walk on the court, I’d say, This guy is great, how could I beat him. Then the match would start and I’d hit three or four points and I got a lot of points. Then I’d get a lot of confidence: This guy isn’t so good, I can beat him. No matter who it was. Even against Budge at Forest Hills, I won the first set. Then he killed me.”

    People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty. I can’t stand the people running for office and then getting into office and not keeping their promises. And not being greedy. Everybody is so greedy. We gotta win, we gotta win. A basketball teams wins by a point and their heroes, if they lose by a point, the sportswriters ask what’s wrong with them?

    Career Accomplishments: Won U.S. Mens Doubles titles with partner Talbert in 1942, ’45, ’46, ’48; Won Wimbledon Doubles in 1957 at age 44 with partner Patty (received Cup from Queen Elizabeth II); Won over 127 national championships and 25 international titles in over 75 years of playing; Achieved #1 U.S. singles ranking in 1942; Wrote autobiography titled “Will To Win” in 1960 and updated it in 2009 with “As It Was”; Met President Clinton who was watching one of his senior matches in Virginia; Coached tennis at University of Miami (recruited future Hall of Famer Pancho Segura from Ecuador).

  8. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Mar 24, 2008
    thanks for the post, gonzalito. i admire mulloy greatly

Share This Page