Radio Wimbledon is the official radio station to the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the AELTC in Wimbledon. It broadcasts daily on 87.7FM between 8am and approximately 10pm during the Championships at Wimbledon. Broadcast from specially designed studios near the Press Centre at the AELTC, it is available in an area approximately within a 5 mile radius of the AELTC under a Restricted Service Licence, as well as online through Wimbledon.org.
In 1932, Gottfried von Cramm
earned a berth as a Davis Cup
competitor for his country and immediately won the first of four straight German national championships. During this time he also teamed up with Hilde Krahwinkel
to win the 1933 Mixed Doubles
title at Wimbledon
. Noted for his gentlemanly conduct and fair play, he gained the admiration and respect of his fellow tennis players. He earned his first individual Grand Slam
title in 1934, winning the French Open
. His victory made him a national hero in his native Germany; however, it was by chance that he did so just after Adolf Hitler
had come to power. The handsome, blond Gottfried von Cramm fit perfectly the Aryan race
image of a Nazi
ideology that put pressure on all German athletes to be superior. However, von Cramm steadfastly refused to be a tool for Nazi propaganda. Germany effectively lost its 1935 Davis Cup Interzone Final against the US, when von Cramm refused to take match point in the deciding game, by notifying the umpire that the ball had tipped his racket, and thus calling a point against himself, though no one had witnessed the error.
For three straight years he was the men's singles runner-up at the Wimbledon Championships, losing memorable matches in the finals to England's Fred Perry in 1935 and again in 1936. The following year he lost in the finals to American Don Budge both at Wimbledon and at the U.S. National Championships. In 1935, he was beaten in the French Open finals by Perry but turned the tables the following year and defeated Perry for his second French championship. In an attempt to get von Cramm on side, the Nazi regime punished his insubordination by not allowing him to compete in the 1937 French championship even though he was the defending champion.
Despite his Grand Slam play, Gottfried von Cramm is most remembered for his match against Don Budge during the 1937 Davis Cup. He was ahead 4–1 in the final set, when Budge launched a comeback, eventually winning 8–6 in a match considered by many as the greatest battle in the annals of Davis Cup play and one of the pre-eminent matches in all of tennis history. In a later interview, Budge said that von Cramm had received a phone call from Hitler minutes before the match started and came out pale and serious and had played each point as though his life depended on winning.