Ken McGregor

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For the former AFL player, see Ken McGregor (footballer).
Ken McGregor
Ken McGregor.jpg
McGregor in 1950
Full name Kenneth Bruce McGregor
Country (sports)  Australia
Born (1929-06-02)2 June 1929
Adelaide, Australia
Died 1 December 2007(2007-12-01) (aged 78)
Adelaide, Australia
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Turned pro 1952 (amateur tour from 1948)
Retired 1957
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1999 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 3 (1952, Lance Tingay)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1952)
French Open SF (1951, 1952)
Wimbledon F (1951)
US Open 4R (1951)
Doubles
Highest ranking No. 1 (1951)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1951, 1952)
French Open W (1951, 1952)
Wimbledon W (1951, 1952)
US Open W (1951)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US Open W (1950)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1950, 1951, 1952)

Kenneth Bruce McGregor (2 June 1929 – 1 December 2007) was an Australian tennis player from Australia who won the Men's Singles title at the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open) in 1952. He and his longtime doubles partner, Frank Sedgman, are generally considered one of the greatest men's doubles teams of all time and won the doubles Grand Slam in 1951. McGregor was also a member of three Australian Davis Cup winning teams in 1950–1952. In 1953, Jack Kramer induced both Sedgman and McGregor to turn professional. He was ranked as high as World No. 3 in 1952.[1]

Career[edit]

In 1951 and 1952 McGregor and Frank Sedgman won seven consecutive Grand Slam doubles titles – a feat that is unmatched to date.[2][3]

McGregor was a fine all-round athlete, excelling in cricket, Australian rules football, and tennis. At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), he had a powerful serve and overhead. The great tennis player Ellsworth Vines said of McGregor: "He was the same height as Pancho Gonzales, faster, moved as well and could jump higher, and once he got to the net he was difficult to pass because of his prehensile reach. The handsome Aussie had the most extraordinary overhead of all time." In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, who brought McGregor into professional tennis, wrote that "McGregor was one of the weakest players but one of the nicest guys who ever played for me in the pros. As nearly as I could tell, all he wanted to do was save up some money, go back Down Under and play Australian-rules football, which in fact, he played better than he did tennis. And that's what he did."

In early January 1953 McGregor and Sedgman signed a contract to join Jack Kramer's professional tour.[4][5] This made them ineligible to compete in the amateur Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup.

In his 1952–1953 tour against Pancho Segura, McGregor was beaten by 71 matches to 25. In a subsequent 1953–1954 tour against Pancho Gonzales, he was beaten 15 matches to 0.[6][2]

After his retirement from tennis at the age of 25 he returned to Australian football and played five seasons for West Adelaide in the SANFL.[7]

Honours[edit]

In 1999, McGregor was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island followed in 2000 by induction into Australian Tennis Hall of Fame.[8] The Ken McGregor Foundation was established by Tennis SA, the governing body of tennis in South Australia, with the aim of assisting the next generation of international tennis players.[9]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (1 title, 3 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1950 Australian Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman 3–6, 4–6, 6–4, 1–6
Runner-up 1951 Australian Championships Grass United States Dick Savitt 3–6, 6–2, 3–6, 1–6
Runner-up 1951 Wimbledon Championships Gras United States Dick Savitt 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Winner 1952 Australian Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman 7–5, 12–10, 2–6, 6–2

Doubles (7 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1951 Australian Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman Australia John Bromwich
Australia Adrian Quist
11–9, 2–6, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 1951 French Championships Clay Australia Frank Sedgman Australia Gardnar Mulloy
Australia Dick Savitt
6–2, 2–6, 9–7, 7–5
Winner 1951 Wimbledon Grass Australia Frank Sedgman Egypt Jaroslav Drobný
South Africa Eric Sturgess
3–6, 6–2, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1951 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman Australia Don Candy
Australia Mervyn Rose
10–8, 6–4, 4–6, 7–5
Winner 1952 Australian Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman Australia Don Candy
Australia Mervyn Rose
6–4, 7–5, 6–3
Winner 1952 French Championships Clay Australia Frank Sedgman Australia Gardnar Mulloy
Australia Dick Savitt
6–3, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1952 Wimbledon Grass Australia Frank Sedgman United States Vic Seixas
South Africa Eric Sturgess
6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Runner-up 1952 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman United States Mervyn Rose
United States Vic Seixas
6–3, 8–10, 8–10, 8–6, 6–8

Mixed doubles (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1950 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne duPont United States Doris Hart
Australia Frank Sedgman
6–4, 3–6, 6–3

Personal life[edit]

Ken McGregor hitting a smash in the early 1950s

Ken McGregor is the son of Bruce and Winnifred McGregor. Bruce was the winner of the 1926 and 1927 SANFL Magarey Medal's and was the West Adelaide Football Club's premiership captain-coach in 1927 as well as the Glenelg Football Club's inaugural premiership coach in 1934. Ken has one sister (Betty) who was born in 1927, the day their father Bruce was awarded his 2nd Magarey Medal.

In 1953 he married Winifred Caro.[2] McGregor had a history of heart problems, but was diagnosed with stomach cancer ten days prior to his death on 1 December 2007.[10] He was survived by his wife, two children, and five grandchildren.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  2. ^ a b c "Ken McGregor". The Telegraph. 15 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Richard Evans (13 December 2007). "Ken McGregor". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Sedgman, McGregor Ready For Pro Debut". The Newcastle Sun (10,857) (New South Wales, Australia). 5 January 1953. p. 11 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "Sedgman and McGregor Sign Pro. Contracts". Illawarra Daily Mercury (New South Wales, Australia). 6 January 1953. p. 8. Retrieved 17 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley, page 199.
  7. ^ Jesper Fjeldstad (22 November 2013). "How Ken McGregor became one of sport's few two-event players". Herald Sun. 
  8. ^ "Australia's forgotten tennis ace finally recognised". ABC. 9 July 1999. 
  9. ^ "Ken McGregor Foundation". www.tennis.com.au/. Tennis SA. 
  10. ^ "Tennis ace Ken McGregor dies". The Advertiser. 30 November 2007. 

Sources[edit]

  • The Game, My 40 Years in Tennis (1979), Jack Kramer with Frank Deford (ISBN 0-399-12336-9)
  • The History of Professional Tennis (2003) Joe McCauley

External links[edit]