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Francis "Frank" Arthur Sedgman, AO (born 29 October 1927) is a retired World No. 1 amateur tennis champion. In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and player, included Sedgman in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.[4] Sedgman is one of only five tennis players all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams. In 1951 he and Ken McGregor won the men's doubles Grand Slam. Sedgman turned professional in 1953.

Frank Sedgman
AO
Frank Sedgman.jpg
Full nameFrancis Arthur Sedgman
Country (sports) Australia
Born (1927-10-29) 29 October 1927 (age 92)
Mont Albert, Victoria, Australia
Turned pro1953 (amateur tour from 1945)
Retired1976
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1979 (member page)
Singles
Career record765-452 (62.8%) [1]
Career titles49 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1951, Pierre Gillou)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1949, 1950)
French OpenF (1952)
WimbledonW (1952)
US OpenW (1951, 1952)
Other tournaments
TOCF ( 1957 Sydney, 1957 Forest Hills)
Professional majors
US ProF (1954, 1961)
Wembley ProW (1953, 1958)
French ProW (1953)
Doubles
Career record5–13
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1951, 1952)
French OpenW (1951, 1952)
WimbledonW (1948, 1951, 1952)
US OpenW (1950, 1951)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1949, 1950)
French OpenW (1951, 1952)
WimbledonW (1951, 1952)
US OpenW (1951, 1952)

CareerEdit

 
Frank Sedgman

Sedgman led the Australian Davis Cup team to victory in 1950, 1951, and 1952. In a five-year span from 1948 through 1952 Sedgman won 22 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Sedgman and his partner Ken McGregor were the only men's doubles team to ever win the Grand Slam in a single year—they won all four majors in 1951. The following year they also won the first three majors, then, at Forest Hills, were upset by a pick-up team of another Australian, Mervyn Rose, and an American Vic Seixas, denying them 8 consecutive Grand Slam victories. According to Rose in a 2005 interview, Harry Hopman, the coach of the Australian team, would not talk to him for two months afterwards.[5]

Sedgman was a 5'11" (1.80 m) right-hander who played the serve-and-volley game that had just been popularised by Jack Kramer. He was one of a number of Australian players who used the Continental grip in which the racquet is held the same way for both the forehand and the backhand. He was particularly known for his volleying and speed at the net. When asked in 2005 who was the best player he had ever faced, Mervyn Rose replied, "Hopman's pet, Sedgie."[5]

In late 1951, Sedgman was tempted to turn professional for 1952. Harry Hopman, however, led a fund-raising drive via his newspaper column in the Melbourne Herald to keep Sedgman an amateur. Enough money was raised to purchase a gasoline station in the name of Sedgman's future bride.[6] Sedgman remained an amateur for another year but finally turned professional from the start of 1953. Sedgman lost the 1953 World Series tour to Jack Kramer 54 matches to 41. Sedgman was the winner of two major titles in professional tennis, which were the Wembley Pro titles of 1953 and 1958, defeating Gonzales in both tournaments. Sedgman was also the runner-up in four more pro majors in the years before Open tennis.

In 1958, Sedgman won his richest tournament, the Sydney Masters, with prize money of 21,000 USD.[7] Sedgman defeated both Gonzales and Trabert in five set matches to win.[8] Kramer designated the Sydney Masters of 1958 as one of the four major professional tournaments.[9] Sedgman also won the Melbourne event in the Ampol world series in January 1959, defeating Gonzales in the final in three straight sets. The match was played outdoors on a fast wooden court.[10] Sedgman won the Grand Prix de Europe tour in 1959, finishing ahead of Rosewall, Hoad, and Trabert.[11] He continued to play professionally until his 1976 retirement. His last appearance in the Australian Championships men's singles in 1976 was 30 years after his first appearance (a record span at Australian championships men's singles).[12]

HonoursEdit

Sedgman was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1979; in 1985 he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.[13][14] He received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.[15] Sedgman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours for "distinguished service to tennis as a player at the national and international level, and as a role model for young sportspersons".[16]

In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and player, included Sedgman in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.[17]

Major finalsEdit

Grand Slam tournamentsEdit

Singles: 8 (5 titles, 3 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1949 Australian Championships Grass   John Bromwich 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
Win 1950 Australian Championships Grass   Ken McGregor 6–3, 6–4, 4–6, 6–1
Loss 1950 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Budge Patty 1–6, 10–8, 2–6, 3–6
Win 1951 US Championships Grass   Vic Seixas 6–4, 6–1, 6–1
Loss 1952 Australian Championships Grass   Ken McGregor 5–7, 10–12, 6–2, 2–6
Loss 1952 French Championships Clay   Jaroslav Drobný 2–6, 0–6, 6–3, 4–6
Win 1952 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Jaroslav Drobný 4–6, 6–2, 6–3, 6–2
Win 1952 US Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy 6–1, 6–2, 6–3

Doubles: 14 (9 titles, 5 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1947 Australian Championships Grass   George Worthington   John Bromwich
  Adrian Quist
1–6, 3–6, 1–6
Loss 1948 Australian Championships Grass   Colin Long   John Bromwich
  Adrian Quist
6–1, 8–6, 7–9, 3–6, 6–8
Loss 1948 French Championships Clay   Harry Hopman   Lennart Bergelin
  Jaroslav Drobný
6–8, 1–6, 10–12
Winner 1948 Wimbledon Grass   John Bromwich   Tom Brown
  Gardnar Mulloy
5–7, 7–5, 7–5, 9–7
Loss 1949 U.S. Championships Grass   George Worthington   John Bromwich
  Bill Sidwell
4–6, 0–6, 1–6
Win 1950 U.S. Championships Grass   John Bromwich   Gardnar Mulloy
  Bill Talbert
7–5, 8–6, 3–6, 6–1
Win 1951 Australian Championships Grass   Ken McGregor   John Bromwich
  Adrian Quist
11–9, 2–6, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3
Win 1951 French Championships Clay   Ken McGregor   Gardnar Mulloy
  Dick Savitt
6–2, 2–6, 9–7, 7–5
Winner 1951 Wimbledon Grass   Ken McGregor   Jaroslav Drobný
  Eric Sturgess
3–6, 6–2, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Win 1951 U.S. Championships Grass   Ken McGregor   Don Candy
  Mervyn Rose
10–8, 6–4, 4–6, 7–5
Win 1952 Australian Championships Grass   Ken McGregor   Don Candy
  Mervyn Rose
6–4, 7–5, 6–3
Win 1952 French Championships Clay   Ken McGregor   Gardnar Mulloy
  Dick Savitt
6–3, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1952 Wimbledon Grass   Ken McGregor   Vic Seixas
  Eric Sturgess
6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Loss 1952 U.S. Championships Grass   Ken McGregor   Mervyn Rose
  Vic Seixas
6–3, 8–10, 8–10, 8–6, 6–8

Pro Slam tournamentsEdit

Singles: 9 (3 titles, 6 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Opponent Score
Win 1953 Wembley Pro   Pancho Gonzales 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
Win 1953 French Pro Championship   Pancho Gonzales
Loss 1954 US Pro Championship   Pancho Gonzales 3–6, 7–9, 6–3, 2–6
Loss 1956 Wembley Pro   Pancho Gonzales 6–4, 9–11, 9–11, 7–9
Loss 1957 Tournament of Champions   Pancho Gonzales 7–5, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 3–6
Win 1958 Wembley Pro   Tony Trabert 6–4, 6–3, 6–4
Loss 1959 French Pro Championship   Tony Trabert 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Loss 1961 US Pro Championship   Pancho Gonzales 3–6, 5–7

Singles performance timelineEdit

Sedgman joined the professional tennis circuit in 1953 and as a consequence was banned from competing in the amateur Grand Slams until the start of the Open Era at the 1968 French Open.

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments 5 / 31 84–26 76.4
Australian Open 3R 1R QF W W SF F not eligible A 2R 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 2R 2 / 14 25–12 67.6
French Open A A 4R A 4R SF F not eligible A A A 1R A A A A A 0 / 5 13–5 72.2
Wimbledon A A 3R QF F QF W not eligible A A A 3R A 1R A A A 1 / 7 26–6 81.3
US Open A A 4R QF 3R W W not eligible A A A A A A A A A 2 / 5 20–3 87.0
Pro Slam tournaments 2 / 18 27–16 62.8
U.S. Pro A A A A A A A A F A A A A A A F A A A 1R A A 0 / 3 3–3 50.0
French Pro not held SF NH SF F SF A A SF QF QF A A 0 / 7 11–7 61.1
Wembley Pro not held A A A A W NH NH F A W QF SF A A 1R SF SF A A 2 / 8 13–6 68.4
Win–Loss 1–1 0–1 9–4 12–2 14–3 17–3 23–2 4–0 2–1 0–0 3–2 0–0 5–1 4–2 3–2 1–1 0–0 2–2 2–2 1–3 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 3–3 2–1 0–2 0–1 1–1 1–1 7 / 49 111–42 72.6

The results of the Pro Tours are not listed here.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Frank Sedgman: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Frank Sedgman: Career tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  3. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  4. ^ Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
  5. ^ a b Interview with tennis historian Rich Hillway in 2005 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  6. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley, page 58
  7. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 1958
  8. ^ McCauley, p. 208
  9. ^ World Tennis, November 1958
  10. ^ McCauley p. 211
  11. ^ McCauley, p. 214
  12. ^ "GRAND SLAM TENNIS STATISTICS What are the men's singles Grand Slam records?". www.tennis.co.nf.
  13. ^ "Sedgman, Francis Arthur, AM". It's an Honour. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Frank Sedgman AM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Sedgman, Frank: Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Francis Arthur Sedgman AM". honours.pmc.gov.au. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  17. ^ Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.

ReferencesEdit

  • The Game, My 40 Years in Tennis (1979), Jack Kramer with Frank Deford (ISBN 0-399-12336-9)

External linksEdit