Search

The Question: What tennis player gave you your toughest match?

Aug. 29, 1955
Aug. 29, 1955

Table of Contents
Aug. 29, 1955

Events & Discoveries
Spectacle
Preview
  • By William F. Talbert

    So says the U.S. team captain in analyzing the players and their chances in the Davis Cup Challenge Round. But he concedes that both sides have problems, and that it will be a tense struggle

Match Race
The Wonderful World Of Sport
Davis Cup Preview
Conversation Piece
Sport In Art
Anniversary
Mr. Smith Meets The President
Acknowledgments
Walking Horses
Yesterday
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

The Question: What tennis player gave you your toughest match?

HELEN JACOBS, New York
U.S. and Wimbledon champion
"Hilda Krahwinkel Sperling in the 1936 Wimbledon. Neither of us had won that title and we battled for three hours. The match meant so much to us that at its conclusion we were too winded to speak when we met at the net. All we could do was shake hands and smile in understanding."

This is an article from the Aug. 29, 1955 issue

TAKEICHI HARADA, Okayama, Japan
Captain, Japanese
Davis Cup team
"Bill Tilden. He was the best in the world, the master of every stroke. There has been no one since who could match him at his peak. We played in tournaments throughout the U.S. 28 years ago. He always beat me in singles, but I did beat him occasionally in doubles."

BILL TALBERT, New York
Captain, U.S. Davis Cup team
"Bobby Riggs. When a man beats you 23 times in a row he must be considered your toughest opponent. It got pretty dull. He was a great tactician, extremely steady off the ground. I compare him to Carl Hubbell in baseball. Like Carl, he never gave you anything to hit."

GUSSIE MORAN, New York
U.S. Women's Indoor champion, 1949
"Opening night at Madison Square Garden, when I turned pro, Pauline Betz really gave me a beating. In straight sets too. I remember being introduced and my knees knocking together in rhythm to The Star-Spangled Banner. The news reports said I was not only badly beaten but outdressed."

JEAN BOROTRA, Paris, France
Wimbledon champion, 1924 and 1926
"France's Rene Lacoste. He won the American championship from the great Bill Tilden in 1927. The year before he beat me for the American championship when I was the Wimbledon champion. In 1929 we went to five sets, the most exciting match ever seen in Europe, before he took the French title."

ALICE MARBLE, Los Angeles, Calif.
American champion, 1936, '38, '39 and '40
"Helen Jacobs—master competitor and psychologist. In the 1939 U.S. finals, I won the first set at love. She chased me from corner to corner, winning the second 10-8, leading 3-1 in the final before I won because of my youth. A salute to Helen, the best sport and my toughest opponent."

HARRY HOPMAN, Melbourne, Australia
Captain
Australian Davis Cup team
"My wife and I played together in the mixed doubles finals at Wimbledon in 1935 against Fred Perry and Dorothy Round, the great players of the time. That I remember as the best and most interesting of all my matches. They beat us 2-1, with a very close and exciting third set."

JACK KRAMER, Los Angeles, Calif.
American and Wimbledon champion
"Jaroslav Drobny at Wimbledon in 1946. It was a five-set match that took about three hours. One set went 17-15. I had blisters on my hand and had to wear a golf glove. It did me a lot of good, even getting beat. Drobny fled from behind the Iron Curtain and now plays out of Egypt."

VINCENT RICHARDS, New York
U.S. Indoor champion, 1919, '23 and '24
"Tilden was the toughest. I played him a thousand times, but he always won the big ones. One of my toughest matches was with Henri Cochet in the finals of the Olympics at Paris in 1924. I won. Since there have been no other tennis matches in the Olympics, I'm still Olympic champion."

VANNI CANEPELE, Florence, Italy
Captain
Italian Davis Cup team
"Frank Sedgman. I'll never forget the toughest of all the matches against him at Wimbledon in 1951. He was tough right from the opening service, with terrific pressure on every shot. Frank always served to the right and smashed the return to the opposite corner. I lost in straight sets."

KEN ROSEWALL, Sydney, Australia
Australian champion
"All of them. When you play the top two or three in the world, you're really bushed at the end. Perhaps my toughest match was against Davidson, the Swedish player, in the American tournament at Forest Hills in 1953. But the best player I've ever encountered was Sedgman."

ELEVEN PHOTOSILLUSTRATION

NEXT WEEK:

Is sailing as glamorous as it was in the days of the America's Cup?