Jack Crawford (tennis)
|Full name||John Herbert Crawford|
22 March 1908|
|Died||10 September 1991
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Turned pro||1926 (amateur tour)|
|Plays||Right-handed (1-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HOF||1979 (member page)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1933, A. Wallis Myers)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1931, 1932, 1933, 1935)|
|French Open||W (1933)|
|US Open||F (1933)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1929, 1930, 1932, 1935)|
|French Open||W (1935)|
|US Open||F (1939)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1931, 1932, 1933)|
|French Open||W (1933)|
Crawford was born on 22 March 1908 in Urangeline, near Albury, New South Wales, the second youngest child of Jack Sr. and Lottie Crawford. He had no tennis training as a child and practiced mainly by hitting against the house and school and playing his brother. Crawford played his first competition match at age 12 in a mixed doubles match at the Habersfield club. He won the Australian junior championships four consecutive times from 1926 to 1929 which entitled him to the permanent possession of the trophy.
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.
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.
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)
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
|Runner-up||1929||Australian Championships||Marjorie Cox Crawford|| Daphne Akhurst
|Runner-up||1930||Australian Championships||Marjorie Cox Crawford|| Nell Hall Hopman
|9–11, 6–3, 3–6|
|Winner||1930||Wimbledon Championships||Elizabeth Ryan|| Hilde Sperling
|Winner||1931||Australian Championships||Marjorie Cox Crawford|| Emily Hood Westacott
|Winner||1932||Australian Championships||Marjorie Cox Crawford|| Nell Hall Hopman
|6–8, 8–6, 6–3|
|Winner||1933||Australian Championships||Marjorie Cox Crawford|| Marjorie Gladman
|3–6, 7–5, 13–11|
|Winner||1933||French Championships||Margaret Scriven|| Betty Nuthall
- List of male tennis players a detailed list of tennis greats throughout the years
- Tennis records of All Time - Men's Singles
Notes and references
- "Mr Wallis Myers' Ranking", The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1933.
- Kendall (1995), p. 57
- Kendall (1995), p. 60
- Bradshaw, Finn, ed. (2004). Our Open : 100 Years of Australia's Grand Slam. Melbourne: News Custom Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 9781876176600.
- Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
- "Jack Crawford OBE - Tennis". The Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
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