Sidney Wood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sidney Wood
Sidney Wood.jpg
Full name Sidney Burr Beardslee Wood Jr.
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1911-11-01)November 1, 1911
Black Rock, Connecticut, USA
Died January 10, 2009(2009-01-10) (aged 97)
Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Turned pro 1927 (amateur tour)
Retired 1956
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1964 (member page)
Highest ranking No. 5 (1938, A. Wallis Myers)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 3R (1928, 1932)
Wimbledon W (1931)
US Open F (1935)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open F (1942)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open F (1932)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1934)

Sidney Burr Wood Jr. (November 1, 1911 – January 10, 2009) was an American tennis player.

Wood won the 1931 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles title. Wood was ranked in the world's Top 10 five times between 1931 and 1938, and was ranked World No. 6 in 1931 and 1934 and No. 5 in 1938 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph.[2]

Wood was born in Black Rock, Connecticut. He won the Arizona State Men’s Tournament on his 14th birthday, which qualified him for the French Championship and earned him a spot at Wimbledon.[3] He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where he created the tradition of "J-ball." In the 1927 Wimbledon Championships, Wood became the youngest competitor in the Men's Singles at 15 years 231 days old and the Men's Doubles at 15 years 234 days old.[4] He was the third youngest winner of the Wimbledon Championships, which he won in 1931 at the age of 19 after Frank Shields withdrew due to an ankle injury. Shields did so on request of the U.S. Davis Cup Committee, "Frank wanted to play me and it was an insult to Wimbledon and the public that he didn't," recalled Wood.[5] Wood is the only uncontested winner of a Wimbledon final.[6] He also reached the finals of the Mixed Doubles of the French Championships in 1932, the Davis Cup in 1934, and the U.S. National Championships Men's Singles in 1935.

Wood is credited with inventing, designing and patenting Supreme Court, a synthetic playing surface used for indoor courts.[citation needed] It was used by the World Championship Tennis tour from 1973 to 1978. He was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Hall of Famer.[7]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1931 Wimbledon Grass United States Frank Shields walkover [8]
Runner-up 1935 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Wilmer Allison 2–6, 2–6, 3–6 [9]

Doubles: 1 runner-up[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1942 U.S. Championships Grass United States Ted Schroeder United States Gardnar Mulloy
United States Bill Talbert
7–9, 5–7, 1–6 [10]

Mixed Doubles: 1 runner-up[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1932 French Championships Clay United States Helen Wills Moody United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
United Kingdom Fred Perry
4–6, 2–6


Wood's uncle Watson Washburn was a Davis Cup team member. He credited his uncle with introducing him to tennis.[3]

Wood was the father of David, Colin[a], Sidney III, and W. Godfrey Wood. Sidney Wood III, a Yale tennis player, died at the age of 22 in an early morning car accident in a car driven by a tennis teammate on a North Carolina highway in 1961.[12]

Wood is survived by his other three sons.


  1. ^ Colin is the subject of Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, arguably Diane Arbus' most well known photograph.[11]


  1. ^ "Bromwich Placed Third", The Sydney Morning Herald, October 5, 1938.
  2. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (November 1, 1931). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf. III (in Hungarian) (Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda. Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt.) 20: 16–17. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Tennis Master Sydney Wood Dies Southampton Press, January 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Wimbledon Records & Statistics". Event Guide - History. AELTC. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780942257700. 
  6. ^ Richard Goldstein (January 14, 2009). "Sidney Wood, 97, only Wimbledon winner by default". NY Times. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ Tennis Great Sidney Woods Dies Associated Press, January 11, 2009
  8. ^ "Wimbledon Rolls of Honour / Gentlemen's Singles". Wimbledon official tournament website. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Open Past Champions / Men's Singles". U.S. Open official website. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Open Past Champions / Men's Doubles". U.S. Open official website. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  11. ^ Segal, David. "Double Exposure: a Moment With Diane Arbus Created a Lasting Impression." Washington Post, May 12, 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  12. ^ Father & Son Time Magazine, March 31, 1961

External links[edit]