John Bromwich

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John Bromwich
John Bromwich as a Junior.jpg
Bromwich in the 1930s
Full name John Edward Bromwich
Country  Australia
Born (1918-11-14)14 November 1918
Sydney
Died 21 October 1999(1999-10-21) (aged 80)
Geelong
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro 1934 (amateur tour)
Retired 1954
Plays Left-handed (2-handed backhand and right-handed serve)
Int. Tennis HOF 1984 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 3 (1938, A. Wallis Myers)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1939, 1946)
French Open QF (1950)
Wimbledon F (1948)
US Open SF (1938, 1939, 1947)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950)
Wimbledon W (1948, 1950)
US Open W (1939, 1949, 1950)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1938)
Wimbledon W (1947, 1948)
US Open W (1947)

John Edward Bromwich (14 November 1918 in Sydney, New South Wales – 21 October 1999 in Geelong, Victoria)[2] was a male tennis player from Australia who, along with his countryman Vivian McGrath, was one of the first great players to use a two-handed backhand. (He was a natural left-hander.)[3] Bromwich twice won the Australian Championships singles title, in 1939 (over Adrian Quist in a straight sets final) and in 1946 (a thrilling 5-set final victory over Dinny Pails). He was ranked World No. 3 by A. Wallis Myers in 1938 and again by Harry Hopman in 1947.[1][4]

Although a fine singles player, Bromwich was primarily known as being a brilliant doubles player, winning 13 men's doubles titles and 4 mixed doubles titles in the majors. Tennis great (and near contemporary) Jack Kramer writes in his 1979 autobiography that if "Earth were playing in the all-time Universe Davis Cup, I'd play Budge and Vines in my singles, and Budge and Bromwich in the doubles. That's what I think of Johnny as a doubles player."

In the 1939 Davis Cup final, just as World War II was starting, Bromwich played arguably the match of his life in beating the American, Frank Parker, in straight sets, to clinch the Cup for Australia. Australia had trailed 0–2 after the first day, and came back to win the tie, 3–2. This remains the only time in Davis Cup history where the winning team has won a Davis Cup final after trailing 0–2.[5]

In 1948, Bromwich played the American Bob Falkenburg in the Wimbledon final, and had a championship point at 5–3 in the fifth set. He came to the net for a volley but decided that Falkenburg's ball would go long and let it go by. It landed on the baseline and Falkenburg fought his way back into the match. Bromwich later had another two championship points, but was unable to take those either, and Falkenburg came back to win the championship, taking the last four games to win the fifth set, 7–5.[6] Kramer later wrote that "...it never seemed to me that he was the same player after that. He doubted himself. He was a precision player to start with – he used a terribly light racket weighing less than twelve ounces, and it was strung loosely. He could put a ball on a dime, and I suppose after he misjudged that one shot, the most important in his life, he never possessed the confidence he needed." Also worth noting is that Bromwich also missed a championship point in losing the 1947 Australian Championships final to Dinny Pails.

John Bromwich in an 1944 exhibition match against Dinny Pails

Bromwich gained some revenge against Falkenburg in the 1949 Wimbledon quarter finals, coming back from two sets down to win in five sets. Bromwich then lost to Jaroslav Drobný in the semi finals.

Writing about Bromwich, Kramer says, "Bromwich was like McMillan today because as a kid John hit from both sides two-handed, and while he eventually had given up the two-handed forehand, he still hit backhand two-handed and could anything back from the baseline. He had strokes very much like Connors."

Bromwich was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1984.[3]

Grand Slam record[edit]

  • Australian Championships
    • Men's Singles champion (2): 1939, 1946
    • Men's Singles runner-up (5): 1937, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1949
    • Men's Doubles champion (8): 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950
    • Men's Doubles runner-up (2): 1937, 1951
    • Mixed Doubles champion (1): 1938
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up (5): 1939, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1954
  • Wimbledon
    • Men's Singles runner-up (1): 1948
    • Men's Doubles champion (2): 1948, 1950
    • Mixed Doubles champion (2): 1947, 1948
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up (1): 1949
  • US Championships
    • Men's Singles semi finalist (3): 1938, 1939, 1947
    • Men's Doubles champion (3): 1939, 1949, 1950
    • Men's Doubles runner-up (1): 1938
    • Mixed Doubles champion (1): 1947
    • Mixed Doubles runner-up (1): 1938

Grand Slam finals (2–6)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1937 Australian Championships Grass Australia Vivian McGrath 3–6, 6–1, 0–6, 6–2, 1–6
Runner-up 1938 Australian Championships Grass United States Don Budge 4–6, 2–6, 1–6
Winner 1939 Australian Championships Grass Australia Adrian Quist 6–4, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1946 Australian Championships Grass Australia Dinny Pails 5–7, 6–3, 7–5, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1947 Australian Championships Grass Australia Dinny Pails 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–8
Runner-up 1948 Australian Championships Grass Australia Adrian Quist 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 3–6
Runner-up 1948 Wimbledon Grass United States Bob Falkenburg 5–7, 6–0, 2–6, 6–3, 5–7
Runner-up 1949 Australian Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman 3–6, 2–6, 2–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bromwich Placed Third", The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1938.
  2. ^ "Jack Bromwich, 80, Australian Tennis Star" (PDF). The New York Times. 23 October 1999. 
  3. ^ a b "Hall of Famers – John Bromwich". International Tennis Hall of Fame. 
  4. ^ "World's Best 10 in Tennis", The Courier-Mail, 3 February 1947.
  5. ^ "Australia Triumphs". Auckland Star, Volume LXX, Issue 209. 5 September 1939. p. 14. 
  6. ^ "Bromwhich Beaten in Fifth Set". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 July 1948. 

Sources[edit]

  • The Game – My 40 Years in Tennis (1979) — Jack Kramer with Frank Deford (ISBN 0-399-12336-9)

External links[edit]