Don Budge

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Don Budge
Don Budge2.jpg
Full nameJohn Donald Budge
Country (sports) United States
Born(1915-06-13)June 13, 1915
Oakland, California
DiedJanuary 26, 2000(2000-01-26) (aged 84)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Turned pro1938 (amateur tour from 1932)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1964 (member page)
Career record649-297 (68.6%)[1]
Career titles43[1]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1937, A. Wallis Myers)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1938)
French OpenW (1938)
WimbledonW (1937, 1938)
US OpenW (1937, 1938)
Professional majors
US ProW (1940, 1942)
Wembley ProW (1939)
French ProW (1939)
Career record0–0
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1942, Ray Bowers)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1938)
WimbledonW (1937, 1938)
US OpenW (1936, 1938)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonW (1937, 1938)
US OpenW (1937, 1938)

John Donald Budge (June 13, 1915 – January 26, 2000) was an American tennis player. He is most famous as the first player — male or female, and still the only American male — to win the four tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam of tennis in a single year.[3] Budge was the second man to win the Career Grand Slam after Fred Perry, and is still the youngest to achieve that feat. He won ten majors, of which six were Grand Slam events (consecutively, a men's record) and four Pro Slams, the latter achieved on three different surfaces. Budge is considered to have the best backhand in the history of tennis, with most observers rating it better than that of later player Ken Rosewall.[4][5] He is also the only man to have achieved the Triple Crown (winning singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles at the same tournament) on three separate occasions (Wimbledon in 1937 and 1938, and the US Open in 1938), and the only man to have achieved it twice in one year.

Early life[edit]

Budge was born in Oakland, California, the son of Scottish immigrant and former soccer player John "Jack" Budge, who had played several matches for the Rangers reserve team before emigrating to the United States, and Pearl Kincaid Budge.[6] Growing up, he played a variety of sports before taking up tennis at age 13 at the urging of his older brother, Lloyd, who played tennis for the University of California team.[7] He also had an older sister. He was red-headed, tall and slim, and his height would eventually help what is still considered one of the most powerful serves of all time.[8] Budge studied at the University of California, Berkeley in late 1933 but left to play tennis with the U.S. Davis Cup auxiliary team.

Amateur career[edit]

Accustomed to hard-court surfaces in his native California, Budge had difficulty playing on the grass courts in the east. However, a good instructor and hard work changed that


Budge reached the semi finals of the West Canada championships in July, where he lost in five sets to Henry Prusoff. "The Oakland youngster carried brawny Hank Prusoff of Seattle to five sets, surprising most of the onlookers, including the tournament favorite from Puget Sound. The scores were 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, with Budge playing a calm and collected game all the way and letting the hardhitting Prusoff make the errors. The chop stroke of the Seattle man worked to perfection, particularly In the last set, and he always seemed to have something in reserve."[9]


At the Del Monte championships in May, Budge beat Wallace Bates in straight sets in final.[10] In July, Budge beat John Murio in the final of the California State championship. "Tennis fans will be talking for days of the men's singles event and of Budge, whom the experts candidly admit "has everything." Not only has he the strokes of a champion, but the presence and strategy of one far beyond his years. Murio's most burning drives failed to ruffle one of the flaming red hairs on his head".[11] In the final of the Colorado championships in Denver in July, Budge beat Jack Tidball in five sets.[12]


Budge beat Ed Chandler in the final in five sets to retain his California State championship title in June. "Chandler went to the net often throughout the match, while Budge elected to play a baseline game almost exclusively, going to the webbing only when forced to by chop or cross court shots; Chandler, exhausted after his gruelling five-set match with John Murio in the semi-final on Saturday, fought largely on his nerve against the Champion, and at the end of yesterday's strenuous competition again was completely exhausted."[13]


Budge beat Gene Mako in the final of the Palm Springs tournament in April.[14] Budge beat Frank Shields in the final of the Newport Casino tournament in August.[15] In the final of the Pacific Southwest tournament in September, Budge was leading 2 sets to 1 against Roderich Menzel, when Menzel retired, in order to preserve his energy for a mixed doubles match.[16] Budge beat Bobby Riggs in the final of the Pacific Coast championships in October.[17]


In January, Budge beat Walter Senior in the final of the Northern California indoor event.[18] In April Budge won the North and south tournament at Pinehurst beating Hal Surface in three-straight sets for the loss of just one game with a "superb exhibition of speed and control".[19] In June, Budge beat Dave Jones in the final of Queen's club tournament.[20] Budge beat Riggs in the final of the Eastern championships in August.[21] Budge beat Perry in the final of the Pacific Southwest tournament in September.[22] In October, Budge beat Walter Senior in the final of the Pacific Coast championships.[23] In December Budge beat Riggs in the final of the Southern California midwinter tournament.[24]


In February, Budge beat Bryan Grant in the final of the Miami tournament.[25] In June, Budge beat Bunny Austin in the final at Queen's club tournament. "Seldom has a star of Austin's standing absorbed so crushing a defeat in full view of the public."[26] Budge swept Wimbledon, winning the singles (beating Gottfried von Cramm in straight sets in the final), the men's doubles title with Gene Mako, and the mixed doubles crown with Alice Marble. In August, Budge beat Riggs in the final of the Newport Casino tournament.[27] Budge beat von Cramm in the U. S. Championships final which "was a strange see-saw affair in which Budge twice lapsed from his normally brilliant genius guided game".[28] Budge beat von Cramm again in the final of the Pacific Southwest tournament in September.[29] Budge beat Riggs in the final of the Pacific Coast tournament in October.[30] In December Budge won the Victorian championships beating John Bromwich in the final in a match in which "the hot, humid weather proved trying for the players".[31] Budge gained the most fame for his match that year against von Cramm in the Davis Cup inter-zone finals against Germany. Trailing 1–4 in the final set, he came back to win 8–6. His victory allowed the US team to advance and to then win the Davis Cup for the first time in 12 years. For his efforts, he was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and he became the first tennis player ever to be voted the James E. Sullivan Award as America's top amateur athlete.


In 1938, Budge dominated amateur tennis defeating John Bromwich in the Australian final, Roderick Menzel in the French final, Henry "Bunny" Austin at Wimbledon, where he never lost a set (he also won the doubles and mixed doubles), and Gene Mako in the U.S. Championships final (winning doubles and mixed doubles also), to become the first person ever to win the Grand Slam in tennis. He also is the youngest man in history to complete the "Career Grand Slam" (the four majors in one's career). He completed that on June 11, 1938, in winning the French singles, two days before his 23rd birthday. Budge beat Ladislav Hecht in the final of the Czech championships in Prague in July.[32] Budge beat Sidney Wood in the final of the Newport Casino tournament in August.[33]

Professional career[edit]


Budge turned professional in October 1938 after winning the Grand Slam, and thereafter played mostly head-to-head matches. In 1939, he beat the two reigning kings of professional tennis, Ellsworth Vines, 22 matches to 17, and Fred Perry, 28 matches to 8.[34][35][36] That year, he also won two major pro tournaments, the French Pro Championship over Vines and the Wembley Pro tournament over Hans Nüsslein. He also finished in first place on the European tour in the summer that also featured Vines, Tilden and Stoefen.


There was no World series professional tour in 1940 but seven principal tournaments. Budge kept his world crown by winning four of these events: the Southeastern Pro at Miami Beach (beating Perry in the final),[37] the North & South Pro at Pinehurst (beating Dick Skeen in the final),[38] the National Open at White Sulphur Springs (beating Bruce Barnes in the final)[39] and the United States Pro Championship (beating Perry in the final).


In 1941, Budge played another major tour beating the 48-year-old Bill Tilden, the final outcome being 47–6[40] plus one tie. Budge (who had only recently left hospital) lost his opening match in the U. S. Pro championships to John Faunce. "You see, Don was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago fell down some stairs and banged up his nose and left ear. He didn't have his court legs today and naturally that was my cue to make him run and. believe me, I never hit better drop shots in my life than I hit today. I could put that ball on a dime!" said Faunce afterwards.[41]


In 1942, Budge won his last major tour over Bobby Riggs, Frank Kovacs, Perry and Les Stoefen. He also won the U.S. Pro at Forest Hills, crushing Riggs 6–2, 6–2, 6–2 in the final. The crowd booed when Riggs was denied a request to wear spiked shoes.[42] After that many of the top pros, including Budge, became involved in World War 2.

Military service[edit]

Don Budge at the White City Stadium, Sydney in December 1937

In 1942, Budge joined the United States Army Air Forces to serve in World War II. At the beginning of 1943, in an obstacle course, he tore a muscle in his shoulder. In his book 'A Tennis Memoir' page 144 he said:

The tear didn't heal, and the scar tissue that was formed complicated the injury and made it even serious. Nevertheless ... I was able to carry on with my military duties ... as long as two years afterwards, in the spring of '45, I was given a full month's medical leave so that I could go to Berkeley and have an osteopath, Dr. J. LeRoy Near, work with me.

This permanently hindered his playing abilities. During his wartime duty he played some exhibitions for the troops in particular during the summer 1945 with the war winding down, Budge played in a US Army (Budge-Frank Parker) – US Navy (Riggs – Wayne Sabin) competition under the Davis Cup format: the main confrontations were the Budge-Riggs meetings knowing that both Americans were the best players in the world in 1942 just before being enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and again when they came back to the professional circuit in 1945. In the first match, on the island of Guam, Budge trounced Riggs 6–2, 6–2. On the island of Peleliu, Budge won again 6–4, 7–5. Riggs won the next two matches against Budge, 6–1, 6–1 (island of Ulithi) and 6–3, 4–6, 6–1 (island of Saipan). Budge confided in Parker his disbelief at losing two matches in a row to Riggs. In the fifth and final match on the island of Tinian, scheduled for the first week of August 1945, Riggs defeated Budge 6–8, 6–1, 8–6. This was the first time Budge had been beaten by Riggs in a series (Riggs also won three matches out of five against the amateur Parker, both holder and future titlist of the U.S. Amateur Nationals at Forest Hills) thereby giving Riggs an important psychological edge in their forthcoming peacetime tours.[43]

Post war[edit]


In 1946, Budge lost narrowly to Riggs in their U.S. tour, 24 matches to 22. Riggs thereby established himself as the world No. 1. According to Kramer,

Bobby played to Budge's shoulder, lobbed him to death, won the first twelve matches, thirteen out of the first fourteen, and then hung on to beat Budge, twenty-four matches to twenty-two. At the age of thirty, Don Budge was very nearly a has-been. That was the way pro tennis worked then.

The hierarchy was confirmed at the U.S. Pro, held at Forest Hills where Riggs easily defeated Budge in the last round. There was a tournament circuit in 1946. Budge won events at Memphis in June (beating Riggs in the final),[44] Richmond in June (beating Riggs in the final),[45] Philadelphia in July (beating Van Horn in the final)[46] and San Francisco in October (beating Riggs in the final).[47] Budge finished second in the points table behind Riggs.[48]


In 1947 Budge beat Riggs in two European tours, one early in the year and one in the summer. According to Riggs, Budge still had a very powerful, very deadly overhead and rather than winning outright very many points with his lobbing, he actually achieved two other goals: his constant lobbing led Budge to play somewhat deeper at the net than he would have otherwise, thereby making it easier for Riggs to hit passing shots for winners; and the constant lobbing helped to wear Budge down by forcing him to run back to the backline time after time.[43] Riggs stayed the pro king by defeating Budge in the U.S. Pro final in five sets, so Riggs would face Kramer on the big tour in 1948.


Budge reached two more U.S. Pro finals, losing in 1949 at Forest Hills to Riggs and in 1953 in Cleveland to Pancho Gonzales. In 1954, Budge recorded his last significant victory in a North American tour with Pancho Gonzales, Pancho Segura, and Frank Sedgman when, in Los Angeles, he defeated Gonzales, by then the best player in the world. In April 1955 Budge won the U. S. Pro Clay Court Championships at Fort Lauderdale beating Riggs in the final.[49] Budge was playing very infrequently by now. He continued playing until 1961, when he lost in the Southern Pro final to Jack Arkinstall in straight sets. "He still hits a wonderful backhand, but he's five years older than I am and I guess I just got around too fast for him," said Arkinstall.[50]

Later years and honors[edit]

He appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1948 and the Steve Allen Plymouth Show in 1951. He appeared as himself in the 1953 film Pat and Mike.[51]

After retiring from competition, Budge turned to coaching and conducted tennis clinics for children. According to Riggs' 1949 autobiography as of that writing, Budge owned a laundry in New York with Sidney Wood as well as a bar in Oakland. A gentleman on and off the court, he was much in demand for speaking engagements and endorsed various lines of sporting goods. With the advent of the Open era in tennis, in 1968 he returned to play at Wimbledon in the Veteran's doubles. In 1973, at the age of 58, he and former champion Frank Sedgman teamed up to win the Veteran's Doubles Championship at Wimbledon before an appreciative crowd.

Budge was the resident tennis pro at the Montego Bay Racquet Club in Jamaica in 1977. In October 1978 he became the tennis pro at the Cambridge Towers Hotel in Las Vegas.[52] After a few months he was terminated but he sued the owner for breach of his five-year contract and was awarded $455,041.[53]

Budge was inducted into the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame, now the International Tennis Hall of Fame, at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1964.[54][52] He was elected to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.[7] The once-gravel tennis courts at Bushrod Park in north Oakland, which he played on as a youth, are named for him.[55]

He is referenced in the 1977 Broadway musical Annie in the song "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here." When Annie says she's never picked up a tennis racket, Daddy Warbucks' secretary tells an underling: "Have an instructor here at noon. Oh, and get that Don Budge fellow if he's available."[56] The reference is technically an anachronism, as the story is set in 1933, at which time Budge was an undergraduate at Berkeley and had not yet achieved prominence.

Personal life[edit]

He wed Deirdre Conselman (1922-1978), the daughter of screenwriter and cartoonist William Conselman, at St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church in Chicago on June 2, 1941.[57]

In his later years he lived in Dingman's Ferry, Pennsylvania, with his second wife, Loriel.[58]

In December 1999, Budge was injured in an automobile accident from which he never fully recovered. He died on January 26, 2000, at a nursing home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, aged 84.[59]

He had two sons, David and Jeffrey.[59]


Budge is a consensus pick for being one of the greatest players of all time. He had a graceful, overpowering backhand that he hit with a slight amount of topspin and that, combined with his quickness and his serve, made him the best player of his time. E. Digby Baltzell wrote in 1994 that Budge and Laver "have usually been rated at the top of any all-time World Champions list, Budge having a slight edge."[60] Will Grimsley wrote in 1971 that Budge "is considered by many to be foremost among the all-time greats."[61] Paul Metzler, in his analysis of ten of the all-time greats, singles out Budge as the greatest player before World War II, and gives him second place overall behind Jack Kramer.[62]

Jack Kramer himself has written that Budge was, in the long run, the greatest player who ever lived although Ellsworth Vines topped him when at the height of his game.[63] Kramer said:

Budge was the best of all. He owned the most perfect set of mechanics and he was the most consistent... Don was so good that when he toured with Sedgman, Gonzales, and Segura in 1954 at the age of 38, none of those guys could get to the net consistently off his serve—and Sedgman, as quick a man who ever played the game, was in his absolute prime then. Don could keep them pinned to the baseline with his backhand too.

In his 1979 autobiography, Kramer considered the best player 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. All of these sources were written, after Rod Laver completed his second, and Open, Grand Slam in 1969.

In early 1986 Inside Tennis, a magazine edited in Northern California, devoted parts of four issues to a lengthy article called "Tournament of the Century", an imaginary tournament to determine the greatest of all time. 25 players in all were named by the 37 experts in their lists of the ten best. The magazine then ranked them in descending order by total number of points assigned. The top eight players in overall points, with their number of first-place votes, were: Rod Laver (9), John McEnroe (3), Don Budge (4), Jack Kramer (5), Björn Borg (6), Pancho Gonzales (1), Bill Tilden (6), and Lew Hoad (1). McEnroe was still an active player and Laver and Borg had only recently retired. In the imaginary tournament, Laver beat McEnroe in the finals in five sets.

More recently, an Associated Press poll conducted in 1999 ranked Budge fifth, following Laver, Pete Sampras, Tilden, and Borg. Even more recently, in 2006, a panel of former players and experts was asked by TennisWeek to assemble a draw for a fantasy tournament to determine who was the greatest of all time. The top eight seeds were Roger Federer, Laver, Sampras, Borg, Tilden, Budge, Kramer, and McEnroe.

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam tournaments[edit]

Singles: 7 (6 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1936 U.S. Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 2–6, 6–2, 8–6, 1–6, 10–8
Win 1937 Wimbledon Grass Nazi Germany Gottfried von Cramm 6–3, 6–4, 6–2
Win 1937 U.S. Championships (2) Grass Nazi Germany Gottfried von Cramm 6–1, 7–9, 6–1, 3–6, 6–1
Win 1938 Australian Championships Grass Australia John Bromwich 6–4, 6–2, 6–1
Win 1938 French Championships Clay Czechoslovakia Roderich Menzel 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
Win 1938 Wimbledon Championships (2) Grass United Kingdom Bunny Austin 6–1, 6–0, 6–3
Win 1938 U.S. Championships (3) Grass United States Gene Mako 6–3, 6–8, 6–2, 6–1

Doubles: 7 (4 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1935 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gene Mako United States Wilmer Allison
United States John Van Ryn
2–6, 3–6, 6–2, 6–3, 1–6
Win 1936 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gene Mako United States Wilmer Allison
United States John Van Ryn
6–4, 6–2, 6–4
Win 1937 Wimbledon Grass United States Gene Mako United Kingdom Pat Hughes
United Kingdom Raymond Tuckey
6–0, 6–4, 6–8, 6–1
Loss 1937 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gene Mako Nazi Germany Henner Henkel
Nazi Germany Gottfried von Cramm
4–6, 5–7, 4–6
Loss 1938 French Championships Clay United States Gene Mako French Third Republic Bernard Destremau
French Third Republic Yvon Petra
6–3, 3–6, 7–9, 1–6
Win 1938 Wimbledon Grass United States Gene Mako Nazi Germany Henner Henkel
Nazi Germany George von Metaxa
6–4, 6–3, 3–6, 8–6
Win 1938 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gene Mako Australia John Bromwich
Australia Adrian Quist
6–3, 6–2, 6–1

Pro Slam tournaments[edit]

Singles: 8 (4 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Opponent Score
Win 1939 Wembley Pro Nazi Germany Hans Nüsslein 13–11, 2–6, 6–4
Win 1939 French Pro Championship United States Ellsworth Vines 6–2, 7–5, 6–3
Win 1940 US Pro Championships United Kingdom Fred Perry 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 6–3
Win 1942 US Pro Championships United States Bobby Riggs 6–2, 6–2, 6–2
Loss 1946 US Pro Championships United States Bobby Riggs 3–6, 1–6, 1–6
Loss 1947 US Pro Championships United States Bobby Riggs 6–3, 3–6, 8–10, 6–4, 3–6
Loss 1949 US Pro Championships United States Bobby Riggs 7–9, 6–3, 3–6, 5–7
Loss 1953 US Pro Championships United States Pancho Gonzales 6–4, 4–6, 5–7, 2–6

Performance timeline[edit]

Don Budge joined professional tennis in 1939 and was unable to compete in the Grand Slam tournaments.

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament Amateur career Professional career Titles / Played Career Win-Loss Career Win %
'34 '35 '36 '37 '38 '39 '40 '41 '42 '43 '44 '45 '46 '47 '48 '49 '50 '51 '52 '53 '54 '55
Grand Slam tournaments 6 / 11 58–5 92.06
Australian Championships A A A A W A A Not Held A A A A A A A A A A 1 / 1 5–0 100.00
French Championships A A A A W A Not Held A A A A A A A A A A 1 / 1 6–0 100.00
Wimbledon A SF SF W W A Not Held A A A A A A A A A A 2 / 4 24–2 92.31
U.S. Championships 4R QF F W W A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 2 / 5 23–3 88.46
Pro Slam tournaments: 4 / 17 37–13 74.00
U.S. Pro A A A A A A W 1R W A NH A F F SF F A A SF F SF QF 2 / 11 24–9 72.73
French Pro A A A A A W Not Held 1 / 1 3–0 100.00
Wembley Pro A A NH A NH W Not Held SF SF A SF SF NH 1 / 5 10–4 71.43
Total: 10 / 28 95–18 84.07

Single titles[edit]

Amateur era[edit]

Singles (1934–1938) : 26 titles

Date Event Surface Runner up Score
1934 June 18 California State, Berkeley Hard United States Edward Chandler 6–4, 5–7, 7–5, 3–6, 7–5
1935 March 26 Palm Springs Invitation, California Hard United States Gene Mako 6–2, 6–2
August 12 Casino Trophy, Newport Grass United States Frank Shields 6–3, 5–7, 3–6, 8–6, 6–1
September 16 Pacific Southwest, Los Angeles Hard First Czechoslovak Republic Roderich Menzel 1–6, 11–9, 6–3 ab.
September 23 Pacific Coast, Berkeley Hard United States Bobby Riggs 6–0, 6–2, 7–9, 6–4
1936 January 13 Northern California, San Francisco United States Walter Senior 6–4, 6–1, 6–3
April 13 North & South Tournament, Pinehurst United States Harold Surface 6–0, 6–0, 6–1
June 8 Queen's Club Grass Court, London Grass United States David P. Jones 6–4, 6–3
August 3 Eastern Grass Court Championships, Rye Grass United States Bobby Riggs 6–8, 6–2, 6–4, 6–3
September 13 Pacific Southwest, Los Angeles Hard United Kingdom Fred Perry 6–2, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3
September 18 Pacific Coast, Berkeley Hard United States Walter Senior 6–1, 6–0, 6–3
December 26 Southern California, Los Angeles United States Bobby Riggs 6–4, 6–4
1937 February 1 Surf Club, Miami United States Brian Grant 6–3, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
June 14 Queen's Club Grass Court, London Grass United Kingdom Henry Austin 6–1, 6–2
June 22 Wimbledon, London Grass Germany Gottfried von Cramm 6–3, 6–4, 6–2
August 16 Casino Trophy, Newport Grass United States Bobby Riggs 6–4, 6–8, 6–1, 6–2
September 2 US Championships, Forest Hills Grass Germany Gottfried von Cramm 6–1, 7–9, 6–1, 3–6, 6–1
September 20 Pacific Southwest, Los Angeles Hard Germany Gottfried von Cramm 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, 7–5
October 4 Pacific Coast, Berkeley Hard United States Bobby Riggs 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
December 6 Victorian Championships, Melbourne Grass Australia John Bromwich 8–6, 6–3, 9–7
1938 January 21 Australian Championships, Adelaide Grass Australia John Bromwich 6–4, 6–2, 6–1
June 2 French Championships, Paris Clay First Czechoslovak Republic Roderich Menzel 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
June 20 Wimbledon, London Grass United Kingdom Henry Austin 6–1, 6–0, 6–3
July 5 Prague International, Prague First Czechoslovak Republic Ladislav Hecht 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
August 15 Casino Trophy, Newport Grass United States Sidney Wood 6–3, 6–3, 6–2
September 8 US Championships, Forest Hills Grass United States Gene Mako 6–3, 6–8, 6–2, 6–1


  • These records were attained in pre-Open Era of tennis.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
Championship Years Record accomplished Player tied Ref
Grand Slam tournaments 1938 Calendar Year Grand Slam winning all 4 Major singles titles Rod Laver [54]
Grand Slam tournaments 1937–38 6 consecutive Grand Slam singles titles Stands alone
Grand Slam tournaments 1938 Youngest men's player in tennis history to achieve the Grand Slam (23 years, 3 months) Stands alone
Grand Slam tournaments 1937–38 Youngest men's player in tennis history to achieve the Career Grand Slam (22 years, 11 months) Stands alone
Grand Slam tournaments 1937–38 3 times achieved the "Triple Crown" winning singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at one Grand Slam event Wimbledon (1937–38) US Championships (1938) Stands alone
Grand Slam tournaments 1937–38 37 match win streak in consecutive tournaments Stands alone [64]
Grand Slam tournaments 1934–38 92.06% (58–5) Career winning percentage Stands alone
Grand Slam tournaments 1938 100% (24–0) Single Season winning percentage Rod Laver
Jimmy Connors
Grand Slam tournaments 1934–38 91.22% (52–5) Career Grass Court winning percentage Stands alone
All tournaments 1937–38 14 consecutive tournament wins Stands alone [65]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Don Budge: Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  2. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 425.
  3. ^ Larry Schwartz. "In big matches, he wouldn't budge". ESPN. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Joel Drucker (September 1, 2013). "Oakland's Tennis Revolutionary". Jim McLennan - Essential Tennis Instruction. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Michael Gray (January 27, 2000). "Don Budge (Obituary)". The Guardian. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Craig, Jim: Scotland's Sporting Curiosities, Birlinn, Edinburgh, 2005
  7. ^ a b "Budge's legacy lives on". SFGATE. January 27, 2000. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Bob Oats (May 29, 1988). "The Best Ever? : Strong Case Made for Don Budge, Who Won Tennis Grand Slam 50 Years Ago". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Province (Vancouver)". July 9, 1932 – via
  10. ^ "The Los Angeles Evening Post". May 31, 1933 – via
  11. ^ "Oakland Tribune". July 3, 1933 – via
  12. ^ "The Los Angeles Times". July 23, 1933 – via
  13. ^ "Oakland Tribune". June 25, 1934 – via
  14. ^ "The Courier-Journal (Louisville)". April 2, 1935 – via
  15. ^ "Star Press (Muncie)". August 18, 1935 – via
  16. ^ "Pomona Progress Bulletin". September 24, 1935 – via
  17. ^ "Oakland Tribune". October 7, 1935 – via
  18. ^ "The San Francisco Examiner". January 27, 1936 – via
  19. ^ "The Los Angeles Times". April 18, 1936 – via
  20. ^ "The Observer". June 21, 1936 – via
  21. ^ "Belvidere Daily Republican". August 18, 1936 – via
  22. ^ "Charlotte Observer". September 28, 1936 – via
  23. ^ "Oakland Tribune". October 12, 1936 – via
  24. ^ "The Los Angeles Times". January 3, 1937 – via
  25. ^ "The Santa Maria Times". February 8, 1937 – via
  26. ^ "The Baltimore Sun". June 20, 1937 – via
  27. ^ "Journal and Courier (Lafayette)". August 23, 1937 – via
  28. ^ "Honolulu Star Bulletin". September 13, 1937 – via
  29. ^ "The Richmond Item". September 26, 1937 – via
  30. ^ "The Boston Globe". October 5, 1937 – via
  31. ^ "The Age (Melbourne)". December 13, 1937 – via
  32. ^ "The Daily Item (Sunbury)". July 11, 1938 – via
  33. ^ "Asheville Citizen Times". August 21, 1938 – via
  34. ^ "Budge Wins, 6–2, 6–2, 6–3; Don Beats Vines in Montreal and Will Arrive Here Today". The New York Times. March 7, 1939. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  35. ^ "Budge Triumphs, 8–6, 6–2; Don Beats Perry for 28th Time at White Plains". The New York Times. May 9, 1939. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  36. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New Chapter Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-942257-41-0.
  37. ^ The Miami Herald, February 26, 1940
  38. ^ The Nebraska State Journal, April 22, 1940
  39. ^ The Lincoln Star, April 29, 1940
  40. ^
  41. ^ "The Chicago Tribune, 28 May 1941".
  42. ^ "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 July 1942".
  43. ^ a b Riggs, Bobby (1949). Tennis Is My Racket. New York. pp. 166–167.
  44. ^ "The Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 June 1946".
  45. ^ "Valley Times (North Hollywood), 24 June 1946".
  46. ^ "The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 July 1946".
  47. ^ "The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 21 October 1946".
  48. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley (2003 reprint), p. 43
  49. ^ "Nashville Banner, 18 April 1955".
  50. ^ "The Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12 October 1961".
  51. ^ "Don Budge". IMDb. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  52. ^ a b "Nancy Snider Is Betrothed to Jeffrey Budge". The New York Times. January 14, 1979. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  53. ^ "Donald Budge, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Troy v. Post, Defendant-appellant, 643 F.2d 372 (5th Cir. 1981)". Justia Law. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  54. ^ a b Finn, Robin (January 27, 2000). "Don Budge, First to Win Tennis's Grand Slam, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  55. ^ Dragin, Burt (March 10, 2000). "Budge (Who?) Leaves His Legacy on Oakland Tennis Courts". SFGATE. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  56. ^ "I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here lyrics by from Annie soundtrack". Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  57. ^ "HD Stock Video Footage - Tennis player Don Budge weds Deirdre Conselman at Chrysostom Church in Chicago, Illinois". Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  58. ^ Silverman, Al (January 27, 2004). It's Not Over 'Til It's Over: The Stories Behind Most Magnificent Heart-Stopping Sports Miracles of Our Time. ABRAMS. ISBN 978-1-4683-0431-2.
  59. ^ a b Finn, Robin (January 27, 2000). "Don Budge, First to Win Tennis's Grand Slam, Dies at 84". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  60. ^ Baltzell, E. Digby: Sporting Gentlemen: Men's Tennis from the Age of Honor to the Cult of the Superstar
  61. ^ Grimsley, Will: Tennis: Its History, People and Events
  62. ^ Metzler, Paul: Tennis Styles and Stylists
  63. ^ In his 1979 autobiography, Kramer considered the best player ever to have beaten 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.
  64. ^ "Djokovic Begins Historic Quest At Wimbledon". Association of Tennis Professionals. June 27, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  65. ^ Robrish, Dan (January 27, 2000). "Tennis Great Budge Dies First Grand Slam Winner Dead at 84". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 29, 2015.


  • Sporting Gentlemen: Men's Tennis from the Age of Honor to the Cult of the Superstar, (1994), E. Digby Baltzell
  • Tennis: Its History, People and Events, (1971), Will Grimsley
  • Tennis Styles and Stylists, (1969), Paul Metzler
  • The Game, My 40 Years in Tennis (1979), Jack Kramer with Frank Deford (ISBN 0-399-12336-9)
  • Tennis Is My Racket, (1949), Bobby Riggs

Further reading[edit]

  • Fisher, Marshall Jon (2009). A Terrible Splendor: Three Extraordinary Men, a World Poised for War and the Greatest Tennis Match Ever Played. ISBN 978-0-307-39394-4

External links[edit]