Wilmer Allison

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Wilmer Allison
Wilmer Allison july 1929.jpg
Full name Wilmer Lawson Allison, Jr.
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1904-12-08)December 8, 1904
San Antonio, TX, US
Died April 20, 1977(1977-04-20) (aged 72)
Austin, TX, US
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 1927 (amateur tour)
Retired 1941
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1963 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 4 (1935, A. Wallis Myers)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (1933)
Wimbledon F (1930)
US Open W (1935)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon W (1929, 1930)
US Open W (1931, 1935)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US Open W (1930)

Wilmer Lawson Allison, Jr. (December 8, 1904 – April 20, 1977) was an American amateur tennis champion of the 1930s. Allison's career was overshadowed by the arrival of Don Budge, although he was both a fine singles player and, along with his frequent partner, John Van Ryn, a great doubles player. At the University of Texas at Austin, Allison was the Intercollegiate tennis champion in 1927. One of Allison's earliest tournament wins was the 1928 Canadian Championship, where he won the final over doubles partner Van Ryn 6–2, 6–4, 6–3.

U.S. Championships[edit]

Right-handed, Allison's greatest triumph was winning the 1935 U.S. Championship singles, defeating Fred Perry in the semifinals 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 and Sidney Wood in the finals 6–2, 6–2, 6–3. He had previously lost to Perry 8–6 in the fifth set in the 1934 finals. He was ranked U.S. No. 1 both years and World No. 4 in 1932 and again in 1935 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph.[1] At Wimbledon, Allison lost the 1930 title to Bill Tilden. As a doubles player with partner John Van Ryn, Allison won the 1929 and 1930 Wimbledon and 1935 U.S. doubles championships. Allison's last major tournament was a 1936 quarterfinal loss to Bunny Austin.[2]

Stats[edit]

At 5'11 (1.80m), 155 lb., Allison played a total of 44 matches, 29 in doubles with Van Ryn, in Davis Cup for the United States, the third most of any player behind John McEnroe and Vic Seixas. He won 32 of those matches but never the cup.

Allison coached tennis for the varsity team of his alma mater from 1946 through 1972. He was head coach from 1957.[3]

Comments[edit]

In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, who had a fine volley himself, devotes a page to the best tennis strokes he had ever seen. He writes: "FOREHAND VOLLEY — Wilmer Allison of Texas, who won the 1935 Forest Hills, had the best I ever saw as a kid, and I've never seen anyone since hit one better. Budge Patty came closest, then Newcombe".[4]

George Lott, who himself won five U.S. doubles titles as well as two at Wimbledon, wrote an article in the May 1973, issue of Tennis Magazine in which he ranked the great doubles teams and the great players. He called the team of Allison and Van Ryn the ninth best of all time.

Allison was a colonel in the United States Army Air Forces in World War II.

Allison was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1963.[5]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (1 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponents Score
Runner-up 1930 Wimbledon Grass United States Bill Tilden 3–6, 7–9, 4–6
Runner-up 1934 U.S. National Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 4–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–8
Winner 1935 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Sidney Wood 6–2, 6–2, 6–3

Doubles (4 titles, 5 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1929 Wimbledon Grass United States John Van Ryn United Kingdom Ian Collins
United Kingdom Colin Gregory
6–4, 5–7, 6–3, 10–12, 6–4
Winner 1930 Wimbledon Grass United States John Van Ryn United States John Doeg
United States George Lott
6–3, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1930 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn United States John Doeg
United States George Lott
6–8, 3–6, 6–3, 15–13, 4–6
Winner 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn United States Berkeley Bell
United States Gregory Mangin
6–4, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1932 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn Australia Keith Gledhill
United States Ellsworth Vines
4–6, 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1934 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn United States George Lott
United States Lester Stoefen
4–6, 7–9, 6–3, 4–6
Runner-up 1935 Wimbledon Grass United States John Van Ryn Australia Jack Crawford
Australia Adrian Quist
3–6, 7–5, 2–6, 7–5, 5–7
Winner 1935 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn United States Don Budge
United States Gene Mako
6–2, 6–3, 2–6, 3–6, 6–1
Runner-up 1936 U.S. National Championships Grass United States John Van Ryn United States Don Budge
United States Gene Mako
4–6, 2–6, 4–6

Mixed doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1930 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Edith Cross United States Marjorie Morrill
United States Frank Shields
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1931 U.S. National Championships Grass United States Anna McCune Harper United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
United States George Lott
3–6, 3–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Moody, Perry Rated Tops By British Expert", Reading Eagle, 17th October 1935.
  2. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 541. ISBN 978-0942257700. 
  3. ^ "Texas Official Athletic Site – Athletics News". Texassports.com. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  4. ^ Kramer, Jack; Frank Deford (1981). The Game : My 40 Years in Tennis. London: Andre Deutsch. pp. 295, 296. ISBN 9780233973074. 
  5. ^ "Hall of Famers – Wilmer Allison". International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

External links[edit]