Frank Sedgman

FRANK SEDGMAN (AUSTRALIA)

Born: 29/10/1927

Australian Open 1949,1950

Wimbledon 1952

US Open 1951,1952

British Pro 1953,1958

Frank Sedgman glided around the court with a grace and speed that few could match. He had a distinctive rocking motion on his service. Sedgman was the first in the line of Australian champions of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Sedgman grew up in Melbourne, where his father was secretary of the local tennis club and his mother was a keen player. He was a good all round sportsman, excelling at schoolboy cricket, football and hurdling. Harry Hopman spotted him at a tennis tournament when he was 12 years old and invited him to join a squad of juniors. He worked hard in the gym to build up his physical strength. Sedgman made his Grand Slam debut at the 1946 Australian championships, losing in the last 16 to Geoff Brown. At the 1948 Australian he beat the veteran Jack Crawford before losing easily to John Bromwich in the quarter finals. Enough money was raised to pay for him to make the trip overseas to play at Wimbledon. He reached the fourth round where he lost to Bob Falkenburg and won the doubles. At the Australian Open in 1949 Sedgman exploited the ageing Adrian Quist's failing stamina by running him all around the court and beat him in 4 sets in the quarter finals. In the semis Sedgman’s net play was too good for Billy Sidwell in straight sets. In the final against John Bromwich, Sedgman kept his opponent pinned back behind the baseline before coming in for the kill at the net. He lobbed to perfection when Bromwich ventured to the net. Sedgman won 6-3,6-3,6-2 to take his first Grand Slam title. At Wimbledon Sedgman made it to the quarters, where he faced Ted Schroeder. Sedgman took the first two sets and held two match points in the third set but Schroeder fought back to win in five sets. At the Australian Open in 1950, Sedgman beat Eric Sturgess in the semis in 5 sets before overcoming Ken McGregor in the final in four sets. At Wimbledon that year, Sedgman twice had to fight back from two sets to love down again Arthur Larsen in the quarters and Jaroslav Drobny in the semis. In the final he lost to Budge Patty in four sets. The 1951 Australian championships were badly affected by rain and the courts were saturated as Sedgman took to the court against Dick Savitt in the semi finals. Sedgman couldn't rush to the net as much as usual for fear of slipping and the steadier backcourt game of Savitt eventually prevailed in five sets, denying Sedgman a hat trick of titles. At Wimbledon he lost in the quarters to Herbie Flam. At the US Open Sedgman beat Bill Talbert and Tony Trabert before thrashing defending champion Arthur Larsen in the semis in just 46 minutes! In the final he annihilated Vic Seixas in just 48 minutes, his volleys and overheads doing most of the damage, as he took the title for the first time. Sedgman reached the final of the 1952 Australian Open, but lost surprisingly to his doubles partner Ken McGregor. At Wimbledon he faced Jaroslav Drobny in the final on a windy day. Drobny couldn't time his shots properly in the wind and Sedgman got to the net at every opportunity to put away the volley. Sedgman won in four sets to take his first Wimbledon title. At the US Open he beat Merv Rose in the semis before overcoming Gar Mulloy in the final. Sedgman then turned professional. He then contested a head to head tour known as the World Championship Series with Jack Kramer. Kramer won 54 matches to 41. In 1953 Sedgman won the British Pro, thrashing Pancho Gonzales in the final at a time when Gonzales was nearing his peak. In 1954 he finished third out of four in a World Championship Series won by Gonzales. Sedgman won the British Pro for a second time in 1958 beating Gonzales in the semis and Tony Trabert in the final. He continued to play on the pro tour well into the 1960s but he didn't achieve as much success as someone with his class should have done. When the game went open, the ageing Sedgman returned at the Australian Open in 1970. He had match point against Bill Bowrey in the second round but lost in five sets. Sedgman was still as popular as ever and continued to play until 1977, when he was 50 years old. He also helped run the tournament in the 1970s and was influential in persuading Jimmy Connors to play in the event in 1974 and 1975. Sedgman attended the Champions Parade at Wimbledon 2000.

© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE

HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: B.Bowrey 0-1, J.Bromwich 2-1, J.Crawford 1-0, S.Davidson 1-0, J.Drobny 2-2, B.Falkenburg 0-1, L.Hoad 2-0, A.Larsen 2-0, K.McGregor 1-1, F.Parker 0-1, B.Patty 1-1, A.Quist 1-0, M.Rose 3-0, D.Savitt 0-1, T.Schroeder 0-2, V.Seixas 1-0, F.Stolle 0-1, T.Trabert 1-0

PRO SLAM HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: M.Anderson 0-1, D.Budge 1-0, A.Gimeno 3-1, P.Gonzales 2-3, L.Hoad 1-0, R.Laver 0-3, A.Olmedo 0-1, K.Rosewall 0-3, P.Segura 4-1, T.Trabert 2-2

Frank Sedgman's Grand Slam record
Frank Sedgman's Pro Slam record

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