Frank Sedgman

Born Oct 29, 1927
Nationality Australia Australia

Frank Arthur Sedgman was the World No. 1 tennis player in 1952. He was born on October 29, 1927 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was known to be the top 21 greatest player in tennis history.

As an amateur, Sedgman already dominated the sports. In 1951 and 1952, there were no known professional tours. By that time, Sedgman was in the top ranking position. Though expectedly he should have advanced to the professional level, Harry Hopman took advantage of Frank’s position. They made ways to make money for Sedgman’s future bride generating fund-raising drives through the Melbourne Herald. Sedgman practically earned more than $100,000 that single year. It was in 1953 that Frank became professional but had a rough start. He was close to defeating Jack Kramer, king of professional tennis if he didn’t have trouble with his shoulder and suffered flu. Kramer only lost 2 matches out of 19.

From 1949 to 1952, Frank earned at least 22 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. He led the sport during his first three years in the Davis Cup matches where they won 15 times in 18 years starting from 1950 to 1967. During this time, the doubles play gathers more spectators than the singles and this time Sedgman was a noted doubles player. He, together with Ken McGregor, was the only team to take home a Grand Slam in a single year, winning at least four major competitions in 1951. In 1952, the team continued to be successful winning the first three major games held at Forest Hills. They defeated Mervyn Rose, from Australia and Vic Seixas from America. During the 1960’s Sedgeman tennis career became smooth sailing.

Sedgman’s 5’11” build was exceptionally fast in the courts. He was perfect for difficult serve and volley rallies then popularized by Jack Kramer. Playing in his right hand, he was one of the few male Australian players who uses Continental grip. He uses the same grip with both forehand and backhand. His maintained grace, style and grace became a good example to budding players after him.

Sedgeman as inducted to the 1979 International World of Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

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