A majestic striker of the ball and an elegant individual who made the game look easy, the Australian Jack Crawford came agonizingly close to winning a Grand Slam in 1933.
In that year Crawford won the Australian Championships, French Championships, and Wimbledon Championships, leaving him needing to win the US Championships to complete the Grand Slam. An asthmatic who suffered in the muggy summer heat of Forest Hills, Crawford was leading the Englishman Fred Perry in the finals of the US Championships by two sets to one when his strength began to fade. Crawford ended up losing the match, and tennis immortality, by the final score of 3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6.
Although he won a number of major championship titles he is perhaps best known for something he did not do – complete the tennis Grand Slam in 1933, five years before Don Budge accomplished the feat for the first time in 1938. He was the World No. 1 player for 1933.
Nevertheless, he won six majors in a sterling career, achieving an enviable long-term consistency, always comporting himself honorably.
In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, included Crawford in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.
Jack was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.
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