Jack Crawford (tennis)

John Herbert Crawford, OBE (22 March 1908 – 10 September 1991) was an Australian tennis player during the 1930s. He was the World No. 1 player for 1933, during which year he won the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon, and was runner-up at the U.S. Open in five sets, thus missing the Grand Slam by one set that year.[3] He also won the Australian Open in 1931, 1932, and 1935. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.

Jack Crawford
Full nameJohn Herbert Crawford
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1908-03-22)22 March 1908
Urangeline, Australia
Died10 September 1991(1991-09-10) (aged 83)
Sydney, Australia
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1926 (amateur tour)
PlaysRight-handed (1-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1979 (member page)
Career record681-182 (78.9%) [1]
Career titles66 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1933, A. Wallis Myers)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1931, 1932, 1933, 1935)
French OpenW (1933)
WimbledonW (1933)
US OpenF (1933)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1929, 1930, 1932, 1935)
French OpenW (1935)
WimbledonW (1935)
US OpenF (1939)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1931, 1932, 1933)
French OpenW (1933)
WimbledonW (1935)

Early life

Crawford was born on 22 March 1908 in Urangeline, near Albury, New South Wales, the second youngest child of Jack Sr. and Lottie Crawford.[4] He had no tennis training as a child and practiced mainly by hitting against the house and school and playing his brother.[4] Crawford played his first competition match at age 12 in a mixed doubles match at the Haberfield club.[5] He won the Australian junior championships four consecutive times from 1926 to 1929 which entitled him to the permanent possession of the trophy.[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.

In 1933, Crawford won the Australian Championships, French Championships, and Wimbledon Championships, leaving him needing to win the U.S. Championships to complete the Grand Slam.[7] An asthmatic who suffered in the muggy summer heat of Forest Hills, Crawford was leading the Englishman Fred Perry in the final 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.

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.[8]

He was also known for taking a shot of whiskey between sets if the game was tense.

Crawford was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1979 and into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1976 for his services to sport.[9]

Playing style

Crawford was a right-handed baseline player with a game that was based more on technical skills and accuracy than on power. He was not particularly fast but had excellent anticipation and his game was described as fluent and effortless. His style was compared with Henri Cochet. Crawford played with an old-fashioned flat-topped racket and always wore long, white flannels and a long-sleeved shirt.

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win1931Australian ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman6–4, 6–2, 2–6, 6–1
Win1932Australian ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1
Win1933Australian ChampionshipsGrass Keith Gledhill2–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
Win1933French ChampionshipsClay Henri Cochet8–6, 6–1, 6–3
Win1933Wimbledon ChampionshipsGrass Ellsworth Vines4–6, 11–9, 6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Loss1933U.S. ChampionshipsGrass Fred Perry3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6
Loss1934Australian ChampionshipsGrass Fred Perry3–6, 5–7, 1–6
Loss1934French ChampionshipsClay Gottfried von Cramm4–6, 9–7, 6–3, 5–7, 3–6
Loss1934Wimbledon ChampionshipsGrass Fred Perry3–6, 0–6, 5–7
Win1935Australian ChampionshipsGrass Fred Perry2–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Loss1936Australian ChampionshipsGrass Adrian Quist2–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–9
Loss1940Australian ChampionshipsGrass Adrian Quist3–6, 1–6, 2–6

Doubles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win1929Australian ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman Jack Cummings
Edgar Moon
6–1, 6–8, 4–6, 6–1, 6–3
Win1930Australian ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman Tim Fitchett
John Hawkes
8–6, 6–1, 2–6, 6–3
Loss1931Australian ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman James Anderson
Norman Brookes
2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Win1932Australian ChampionshipsGrass Edgar Moon Harry Hopman
Gerald Patterson
12–10, 6–3, 4–6, 6–4
Loss1933Australian ChampionshipsGrass Edgar Moon Keith Gledhill
Ellsworth Vines
4–6, 8–10, 2–6
Loss1934French ChampionshipsGrass Vivian McGrath Jean Borotra
Jacques Brugnon
9–11, 3–6, 6–2, 6–4, 7–9
Win1935Australian ChampionshipsGrass Vivian McGrath Patrick Hughes
Fred Perry
6–4, 8–6, 6–2
Win1935French ChampionshipsClay Adrian Quist Donald Turnbull
Vivian McGrath
6–1, 6–4, 6–2
Win1935Wimbledon ChampionshipsGrass Adrian Quist Wilmer Allison
John Van Ryn
6–3, 5–7, 6–2, 5–7, 7–5
Loss1936Australian ChampionshipsGrass Vivian McGrath Adrian Quist
Donald Turnbull
8–6, 2–6, 1–6, 6–3, 2–6
Loss1939U.S. ChampionshipsGrass Harry Hopman Adrian Quist
John Bromwich
6–8, 1–6, 4–6
Loss1940Australian ChampionshipsGrass Vivian McGrath John Bromwich
Adrian Quist
3–5, 5–7, 1–6

Mixed doubles: 8 (5 titles, 3 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss1928Wimbledon ChampionshipsGrass Daphne Akhurst Elizabeth Ryan
Patrick Spence
5–7, 4–6
Loss1929Australian ChampionshipsGrass Marjorie Cox Crawford Daphne Akhurst
Edgar Moon
6–0, 7–5
Loss1930Australian ChampionshipsGrass Marjorie Cox Crawford Nell Hall Hopman
Harry Hopman
9–11, 6–3, 3–6
Win1930Wimbledon ChampionshipsGrass Elizabeth Ryan Hilde Sperling
Daniel Prenn
6–1, 6–3
Win1931Australian ChampionshipsGrass Marjorie Cox Crawford Emily Hood Westacott
Aubrey Willard
7–5, 6–4
Win1932Australian ChampionshipsGrass Marjorie Cox Crawford Nell Hall Hopman
Jiro Sato
6–8, 8–6, 6–3
Win1933Australian ChampionshipsGrass Marjorie Cox Crawford Marjorie Gladman
Ellsworth Vines
3–6, 7–5, 13–11
Win1933French ChampionshipsClay Margaret Scriven Betty Nuthall
Fred Perry
6–2, 6–3

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

(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)
Tournament 19261927192819291930193119321933193419351936193719381939194019411942194319441945194619471948194919501951 SR W–L Win %
Australia 1R QF SF QF SF W W W F W F SF 3R SF F NH NH NH NH NH 3R 1R 3R 3R 2R 1R 4 / 21 52–17 75.4
France A A QF A 2R A A W F SF A A A A NH NH NH NH NH NH A 3R A A A A 1 / 6 20–5 80.0
Wimbledon A A 4R A 3R A SF W F SF QF QF A A NH NH NH NH NH NH A 1R A A A A 1 / 9 36–8 81.8
United States A A QF A A A A F A A A A A 3R A A A A A A A 3R A A A A 0 / 4 10–4 71.4
Win–Loss 0–12–112–42–16–35–010–123–115–314–28–27–21–15–24–10–00–00–00–00–01–11–41–11–10–10–1 6 / 40118–3477.6

See also

Notes and references

  1. Garcia, Gabriel. "Jack Crawford: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennismem SL. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  2. Garcia, Gabriel. "Jack Crawford: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennismem SL. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  3. "Mr Wallis Myers' Ranking", The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1933.
  4. Kendall (1995), p. 57
  5. Kendall (1995), p. 60
  6. Bradshaw, Finn, ed. (2004). Our Open : 100 Years of Australia's Grand Slam. Melbourne: News Custom Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 9781876176600.
  7. "Jack Crawford :". Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938). NSW: National Library of Australia. 12 July 1933. pp. 14–16.
  8. Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best 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.
  9. "Jack Crawford OBE - Tennis". The Sport Australia Hall of Fame.


  • Kendall, Allan (1995). Australia's Wimbledon Champions. Sydney, NSW: ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. ISBN 9780733304101.

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