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Jack Crawford (tennis)

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Jack Crawford (tennis)

Jack Crawford
Full name John Herbert Crawford
Country  Australia
Born (1908-03-22)22 March 1908
Urangeline, Australia
Died 10 September 1991(1991-09-10) (aged 83)
Sydney, Australia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro 1926 (amateur tour)
Retired 1951
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1979 (member page)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1933, A. Wallis Myers)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1931, 1932, 1933, 1935)
French Open W (1933)
Wimbledon W (1933)
US Open F (1933)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1929, 1930, 1932, 1935)
French Open W (1935)
Wimbledon W (1935)
US Open F (1939)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1931, 1932, 1933)
French Open W (1933)
Wimbledon W (1935)

John Herbert ("Jack") Crawford (22 March 1908 – 10 September 1991) was an Australian tennis player during the 1930s. He was the World No. 1 player for 1933, during which year he won the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon, and was runner-up at the U.S. Open.[1] He also won the Australian Open in 1931, 1932, and 1935. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.

Early life

Crawford was born on 22 March 1908 in Urangeline, near Albury, New South Wales, the second youngest child of Jack Sr. and Lottie Crawford.[2] He had no tennis training as a child and practiced mainly by hitting against the house and school and playing his brother.[2] Crawford played his first competition match at age 12 in a mixed doubles match at the Habersfield club.[3] He won the Australian junior championships four consecutive times from 1926 to 1929 which entitled him to the permanent possession of the trophy.[4]


Although he won a number of major championship titles he is perhaps best known for something he did not do – complete the tennis Grand Slam in 1933, five years before Don Budge accomplished the feat for the first time in 1938.

In 1933, Crawford won the Australian Championships, French Championships, and Wimbledon Championships, leaving him needing to win the US Championships to complete the Grand Slam. An asthmatic who suffered in the muggy summer heat of Forest Hills, Crawford was leading the Englishman Fred Perry in the finals of the US Championships by two sets to one when his strength began to fade. Crawford ended up losing the match, and tennis immortality, by the final score of 3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6.

In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, included Crawford in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.[5]

He was also known for taking a shot of whiskey between sets if the game was tense.

Crawford was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1979 and into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997. He was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 1976 for his services to sport.[6]

Playing style

Jack Crawford in 1929 with flat-topped racket

Crawford was a right-handed baseline player with a game that was based more on technical skills and accuracy than on power. He was not particularly fast but had excellent anticipation and his game was described as fluent and effortless. His style was compared with Henri Cochet. Crawford played with an old-fashioned flat-topped racket and always wore long, white flannels and a long-sleeved shirt.

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runner-ups)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
Winner 1931 Australian Championships Grass Harry Hopman 6–4, 6–2, 2–6, 6–1
Winner 1932 Australian Championships Grass Harry Hopman 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 1933 Australian Championships Grass Keith Gledhill 2–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 1933 French Championships Clay Henri Cochet 8–6, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1933 Wimbledon Championships Grass Ellsworth Vines 4–6, 11–9, 6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Runner-up 1933 US Championships Grass Fred Perry 3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6
Runner-up 1934 Australian Championships Grass Fred Perry 3–6, 5–7, 1–6
Runner-up 1934 French Championships Clay Gottfried von Cramm 4–6, 9–7, 6–3, 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 1934 Wimbledon Championships Grass Fred Perry 3–6, 0–6, 5–7
Winner 1935 Australian Championships Grass Fred Perry 2–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1936 Australian Championships Grass Adrian Quist 2–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–9
Runner-up 1940 Australian Championships Grass Adrian Quist 3–6, 1–6, 2–6

Doubles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runner-ups)

Result Year Championship Partner Opponent in final Score in final
Winner 1929 Australian Championships Harry Hopman Jack Cummings
Edgar Moon
6–1, 6–8, 4–6, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1930 Australian Championships Harry Hopman Tim Fitchett
John Hawkes
8–6, 6–1, 2–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1931 Australian Championships Harry Hopman James Anderson
Norman Brookes
2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 1932 Australian Championships Edgar Moon Harry Hopman
Gerald Patterson
12–10, 6–3, 4–6, 6–4
Runner-up 1933 Australian Championships Edgar Moon Keith Gledhill
Ellsworth Vines
4–6, 8–10, 2–6
Runner-up 1934 French Championships Vivian McGrath Jean Borotra
Jacques Brugnon
9–11, 3–6, 6–2, 6–4, 7–9
Winner 1935 Australian Championships Vivian McGrath Patrick Hughes
Fred Perry
6–4, 8–6, 6–2
Winner 1935 French Championships Adrian Quist Donald Turnbull
Vivian McGrath
6–1, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 1935 Wimbledon Championships Adrian Quist Wilmer Allison
John Van Ryn
6–3, 5–7, 6–2, 5–7, 7–5
Winner 1936 Australian Championships Vivian McGrath Adrian Quist
Donald Turnbull
8–6, 2–6, 1–6, 6–3, 2–6
Runner-up 1939 US Championships Harry Hopman Adrian Quist
John Bromwich
6–8, 1–6, 4–6
Winner 1940 Australian Championships Vivian McGrath John Bromwich
Adrian Quist
3–5, 5–7, 1–6

Mixed doubles: 8 (5 titles, 3 runner-ups)

Result Year Championship Partner Opponent in final Score in final
Runner-up 1928 Wimbledon Championships Daphne Akhurst Elizabeth Ryan
Patrick Spence
5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 1929 Australian Championships Marjorie Cox Crawford Daphne Akhurst
Edgar Moon
6–0, 7–5
Runner-up 1930 Australian Championships Marjorie Cox Crawford Nell Hall Hopman
Harry Hopman
9–11, 6–3, 3–6
Winner 1930 Wimbledon Championships Elizabeth Ryan Hilde Sperling
Daniel Prenn
6–1, 6–3
Winner 1931 Australian Championships Marjorie Cox Crawford Emily Hood Westacott
Aubrey Willard
7–5, 6–4
Winner 1932 Australian Championships Marjorie Cox Crawford Nell Hall Hopman
Jiro Sato
6–8, 8–6, 6–3
Winner 1933 Australian Championships Marjorie Cox Crawford Marjorie Gladman
Ellsworth Vines
3–6, 7–5, 13–11
Winner 1933 French Championships Margaret Scriven Betty Nuthall
Fred Perry
6–2, 6–3

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Mr Wallis Myers' Ranking", The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1933.
  2. ^ a b Kendall (1995), p. 57
  3. ^ Kendall (1995), p. 60
  4. ^ Bradshaw, Finn, ed. (2004). Our Open : 100 Years of Australia's Grand Slam. Melbourne: News Custom Publishing. p. 25.  
  5. ^ Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best ever to have been either Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
  6. ^ "Jack Crawford OBE - Tennis". The Sport Australia Hall of Fame. 

External links

  • International Tennis Hall of Fame


  • Kendall, Allan (1995). Australia's Wimbledon Champions. Sydney, NSW: ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corp.  

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