Born: 8/3/1916 Died: 12/9/1984
The tall long legged Frenchman Yvon Petra was the last Wimbledon champion to play in long trousers. He began his career in the mid-1930s but achieved little success before the outbreak of War in 1939. His best pre-war performance in a Grand Slam was a quarter final appearance in the 1937 French Open. By the time the War was over Petra was 30 years old and it seemed his best years were behind him. However, after losing to fellow veteran and countryman Marcel Bernard in the semis of the French, Petra achieved his greatest triumph at Wimbledon. He beat Dinny Pails in the quarters before coming from two sets to love down to beat Tom Brown in the semis. In the final against the double handed Australian Geoff Brown, Petra began well taking the first two sets. However, Brown became more aggressive in the third and fourth sets to level at two sets all. Petra reasserted himself in the fifth, taking it 6-4, and with it his first Grand Slam title. After reaching the quarters of the 1947 French Open, Petra defended his title at Wimbledon, where he lost in the quarters to Tom Brown. Then Petra turned professional and settled in the US. He died in 1984 at the age of 68.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: J.Asboth 0-1, M.Bernard 0-1, D.Budge 0-1, J.Hunt 0-1, D.Pails 1-0, B.Patty 0-1
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