Born: 17/2/1916 Died: 9/4/1978
Australian Open 1937
Though Viv McGrath’s career in the top flight was short lived it included some memorable moments. McGrath played double handed on both sides and began playing tennis against a brick wall at his home in New South Wales, Australia. He was still a few days short of his sixteenth birthday when he reached the quarters of the 1932 Australian Open, where he lost to Jari Satoh. The following year McGrath sensationally beat hot favourite and reigning Wimbledon and US champion Ellsworth Vines in the quarters of the Australian. Newspapers hailed him as the Wonder Boy and everyone expected huge things from McGrath in the future. He lost in the semis to Keith Gledhill and lost at the same stage of the tournament the following two years to Fred Perry. In 1935 he had a successful tour of Europe, making the quarters at the French and at Wimbledon. In 1936 McGrath lost in the quarters of the Australian to Harry Hopman. In the 1937 Australian McGrath came from two sets to love down to beat D.Thompson in the second round before easy wins over Abe Kay and Harry Hopman. In the final he faced John Bromwich. Bromwich fed off the pace of McGrath’s shots and McGrath had to work had to win points. After five sets McGrath was the victor, taking his first Grand Slam title at the age of 20. He reached the quarters of Wimbledon later that year and defending his Australian title the following year lost to Gottfried von Cramm in the quarters. He made the semis of the Australian in 1939 (losing to Bromwich) and again in 1940 (losing to Quist). After being a soldier in the War, McGrath was unable to recapture his old form. After retirement McGrath became a tennis coach and died in 1978 at the age of just 62. Crawford and Quist were among the pallbearers at his funeral.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: W.Allison 1-0, J.Bromwich 1-1, D.Budge 0-1, G.Moon 1-0, F.Perry 0-2, A.Quist 0-1, E.Vines 1-0, G.von Cramm 0-3, S.Wood 0-1
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