He was a former World No. 1 amateur tennis champion as well as being an ice hockey player (!!) for the Czechoslovakian national team. He left Czechoslovakia in 1949 and travelled as an Egyptian citizen before becoming a citizen of Great Britain in 1959, where he died in 2001.
As a tennis player, Drobný was good enough as early as 1946 to be able to beat Jack Kramer in the round of 16 at Wimbledon before losiing in the semi-finals. In 1951 and 1952 he won the French Open and after he was the losing finalist at Wimbledon in both 1949 and 1952 before finally winning it in 1954 as the first left-hander to capture Wimbledon since Sir Norman Brookes.
Drobný was ranked World No. 1 in 1954 in the Daily Telegrap. He has also won the French Open doubles and mixed doubles title in 1948.
Drobný held the distinction of having competed at Wimbledon under four different national identities. In 1938, at the age of 16, he started for his native Czechoslovakia. A year later, following the German invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia, he was officially representing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After World War II, he started at Wimbledon yet again as Czechoslovakian but chose to defect from the communist regime in 1949 – he left Czechoslovakia for good on 11 July 1949.
During his amateur career, Drobný won over 130 singles titles, and was world ranked in the top 10 from 1946–55. Drobný was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1983. He is the only person to win the rare combination of Wimbledon in tennis and a world championship title in ice hockey.
As a additional information, Drobný first attempted to gain Swiss, US and Australian papers until finally Egypt offered him citizenship and so he started in Wimbledon for Egypt from 1950 through 1959, including his title winning run in 1954.
He is the only Egyptian citizen ever to win a grand slam tennis tournament. At the time of his Wimbledon win in 1954, Drobný was already living in the United Kingdom but only in his final appearance at Wimbledon in 1960, at the age of 38, was he representing his new homeland, Great Britain.In 1954, he became the first and, to date, only player with African citizenship to win the Wimbledon Championships.
In total, Drobný started in Wimbledon 17 times, always sporting his trademark tinted prescription glasses as an old hockey injury affected his eyesight. Drobný is the only male tennis player who ever won a Wimbledon singles title while wearing glasses. Billie-Jean King and Martina Navratilova are the only female Wimbledon champions wearing glasses. Arthur Ashe, who was known for playing with spectacles, had switched to contact lenses by the time he won Wimbledon in 1975.
Drobný also has the distinction of winning the most clay court titles of anyone in history (over 90).
About his ice hockey career: He was a Silver medalist with the Czechoslovakian ice hockey team in the 1948 Olympics. In the final match, Czechoslovakia and Canada tied goalless but Canada won the gold medal due to a better overall goal average. Drobný scored 9 goals in 8 games at the Olympics. Jaroslav Drobný was also a member of the Czechoslovakian national ice hockey team which won the gold medals at the 1947 World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague. He scored 15 goals in 7 games in the tournament including a hat-trick in the decisive victory over USA which gave his country its first ever World Championships title. In 1997, Drobný was inducted in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame.
Drobný could have become the first ever European player to start in the National Hockey League when the Boston Bruins put him on their reserve in 1949. Apparently, he was offered $20,000 to come over to play for Boston but he refused, preferring to remain playing amateur ice hockey and retain the flexibility to play tennis during the summers. The first European to play in the NHL eventually became Ulf Sterner from Sweden when he started for the New York Rangers for the first time on 27 January 1965.
In 1955, Jaroslav Drobný published his autobiography titled Champion in Exile. He was married to Rita Anderson Jarvis, onetime English tournament player. He died September 13, 2001 in Tooting, London aged 79.
Jaroslav was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1983.
Misc He's the only person to win the rare combination of Wimbledon in tennis and a world championship title in ice hockey.