BOB FALKENBURG(U. S. A. / BRAZIL)
Bob Falkenburg, the ‘Praying Mantis’ as he was known, had questionable stamina but he was a shrewd tactician and managed to pace himself well to win a Grand Slam title. He made his Grand Slam debut at the US Open in 1942 and lost in the second round. He made the quarters in 1944 and 1945 and in 1946 he beat Budge Patty and Bill Talbert before losing in the semis to Jack Kramer. In his Wimbledon debut in 1947, Falkenburg made the quarters, where he lost to Dinny Pails. At Wimbledon the following year Falkenburg was two sets to one down in his third round match against Dragutin Mitic before winning in five sets. Falkenburg proved unpopular with the Wimbledon crowds because he threw sets to conserve his energy and stalled while he got his breath back. He made his way through to the final, where he met the popular Aussie John Bromwich. After winning the first set, Falkenburg threw the second set 6-0. They shared the next two sets and in the final set Bromwich got an early break and served for the match at 5-3 and held two match points at 40-15. Falkenburg, with nothing to lose, hit out and got it back to deuce. He saved another match point before breaking serve to make it 4-5. Bromwich had missed his chance and Falkenburg went on to take the set 7-5, and with it his first Grand Slam title. Bromwich got his revenge the following year in the quarter finals. Then Falkenburg emigrated to Brazil with his Brazilian wife and the next time he entered a Grand Slam event at the French Open in 1954, he played under Brazilian nationality. He played his last Grand Slam event at the US Open in 1955, where he lost in the second round to Neale Fraser. Falkenburg was part of the Champions Parade at Wimbledon in 2000.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: J.Asboth 1-0, J.Bromwich 1-1, J.Drobny 0-1, N.Fraser 0-1, J.Kramer 0-3, D.Pails 0-1, B.Patty 2-0, K.Rosewall 0-1, F.Sedgman 1-0, P.Segura 0-1, T.Trabert 0-1
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