Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling

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Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling
Cochet, Whittingstall, Krahwinkel, von Cramm, 1932 French Championships.jpg
Henri Cochet, Eileen Bennett Whittingstall, Hilde Krahwinkel and Gottfried von Cramm, Roland Garros 1932
Country Germany Germany
Denmark Denmark
Born (1908-03-26)26 March 1908
Essen, Germany
Died 7 March 1981(1981-03-07) (aged 72)
Helsingborg, Sweden
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HOF 2013 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 2 (1936)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open W (1935, 1936, 1937)
Wimbledon F (1931, 1936)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open F (1935)
Wimbledon F (1935)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open 2R (1929, 1930)
Wimbledon W (1933)

Hildegard "Hilde" Krahwinkel Sperling (German pronunciation: [ˈhɪldəɡaʁt kʀaːvɪŋkl̩]; 26 March 1908 – 7 March 1981) was a German tennis player, although she became a dual-citizen after marrying Dane Svend Sperling in 1933.[1] She is generally regarded as the second-greatest female German tennis player in history, behind Steffi Graf. Sperling played a counterpunching game, predicated on speed, and wore down opponents. Helen Jacobs once wrote that Sperling was the third-best player she ever played, behind Helen Wills Moody and Suzanne Lenglen.

Career[edit]

According to A. Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Sperling was ranked in the world top ten from 1930 through 1939 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 2 in those rankings in 1936.[2] But according to Ned Potter of American Lawn Tennis magazine, Sperling was the top ranked player for 1936.

From 1935 through 1937, Sperling won three consecutive singles titles at the French Championships. She is one of only four women in history to do so. The others are Moody (1928–1930), Monica Seles (1990–1992), and Justine Henin (2005–2007).

Sperling's only loss on a clay court from 1935 through 1939 was to Simone Mathieu at a tournament in Beaulieu, France in 1937. The score was 7–5, 6–1, and the two sets took 2 hours and 45 minutes to play. Two games alone lasted an hour. It was Mathieu's only victory versus Sperling in over 20 career matches.

Sperling twice reached the singles final at Wimbledon but never won the title. In 1931, she lost to her compatriot Cilly Aussem. In 1936, she lost to Jacobs. However, Sperling won the mixed doubles title that year, playing with Gottfried von Cramm.

From 1933 through 1939, Sperling won the singles title at the German Championships six consecutive times (the tournament was not held in 1936 because of the Berlin Olympics). This record stood for five decades until Graf won the tournament nine times. Sperling also won the singles title at the Italian Championships in 1935 and defeated Moody in a semifinal of the 1938 Queens Club London championships,[3] just before Moody won her eighth Wimbledon singles title. Sperling's last international singles title was at the 1950 Scandinavian Covered Courts Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark when she was 41 years old. Sperling won several championships in Denmark while that country was occupied by Germany during World War II. Sperling never entered the U.S. Championships because of scheduling conflicts with the German Championships.

In recognition of her winning the French Championships three times, being a Wimbledon finalist twice, reaching the semifinals of the French Championships and Wimbledon an additional six times, and being ranked in the top 10 for ten consecutive years, Sperling was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.[4]

Grand Slam tournament finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (3 titles, 2 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
Runner-up 1931 Wimbledon Championships Grass Germany Cilly Aussem 2–6, 5–7
Winner 1935 French Championships Clay France Simone Mathieu 6–2, 6–1
Winner 1936 French Championships (2) Clay France Simone Mathieu 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1936 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Helen Hull Jacobs 2–6, 6–4, 5–7
Winner 1937 French Championships (3) Clay France Simone Mathieu 6–2, 6–4

Doubles: 2 (0 titles, 2 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1935 French Championships United Kingdom Margaret Scriven France Ida Adamoff
United Kingdom Kay Stammers
4–6, 0–6
Runner-up 1935 Wimbledon Championships United States Freda James Hammersley France Simone Mathieu
United Kingdom Kay Stammers
1–6, 4–6

Mixed doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1930 Wimbledon Championships Germany Daniel Prenn United States Elizabeth Ryan
Australia Jack Crawford
1–6, 3–6
Winner 1933 Wimbledon Championships Germany Gottfried von Cramm United Kingdom Mary Heeley
South Africa Norman Farquharson
7–5, 8–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 Career SR
Australia A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
France 2R 3R SF SF 2R A W W W A A 3 / 8
Wimbledon A 2R F QF SF 4R SF F QF SF SF 0 / 10
United States A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0
SR 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 1 3 / 18

A = did not participate in the tournament

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. p. 688. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  2. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 701–2. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  3. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. p. 63. ISBN 0-942257-41-3. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Famers – Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling". www.tennisfame.com. International Tennis Hall of Fame.