Vintage Tennis Autographs

Stars of the Past -- 1920s thru 1960s

Don Budge  (1915-2000)

Australian Men’s Singles 1938, Wimbledon 1937-38, French Men’s Singles 1938, USLTA Men's Singles 1937-38, Grand Slam Singles 1938, Number One World Men’s Player 1937-38, James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1937, A.P. Athlete of the Year 1937-38, International Tennis Hall of Fame 1964  [he was the first player to achieve the Grand Slam]

I was one of those players who grew up in the era of Don Budge.  He was the King of the Tennis world from 1937 until World War II, and to those of us who were on the circuit with him he was not only untouchable but the greatest player of all time.  The same arguments as to who was the better, Tilden or Budge, started in 1937 and are still going on.  "Untouchable" was the right word to describe Don.  He never allowed his opponent to get his teeth in the match, and his overwhelming power was not subject to bad streaks.  His unfortunate victim had the feeling of complete helplessness, for there was no way in which he could touch Don. . . .Budge, like his arch-rival Fred Perry, made a magnificent court appearance.  Dressed in immaculate long flannels, carefully whited shoes, imported woolen shirts, traditional cable-stitch tennis sweaters, and a white Davis Cup blazer, he looked every inch the champion.  In contrast to Perry, Budge was always serious and straightforward.  There were no casual quips, no light-hearted behavior, and absolutely no comments during the match.  He never questioned a call during his entire amateur career and he was always a perfect gentleman, even during those rare occasions when the going got rough.  The game was everything to him and he always gave it 100 per cent effort.
    Julius D. Heldman

This 1935 Jack Sords cartoon was autographed by Don Budge and Gene Mako.  I have two other cartoons, both from 1938, autographed by Don Budge.

Watch a video clip of Don Budge in the 1938 U. S. Singles Championship.  Watch a video clip of 1937 Davis Cup action with Frank Parker, Don Budge, and Gene Mako garnering a victory for America; see the trio pose with the trophy after their Wimbledon win.  Watch a video clip of Budge winning the 1937 U. S. Men's Singles title.

Edward G. “Bud” Chandler (1905-1996)

National Intercollegiate Singles Champion (California) 1925-26, National Intercollegiate Doubles Champion 1926   [Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame 1985]

 

Bud Chandler autographed this July 1926 illustrated newspaper article.

Chandler moved to Berkeley with his family as a young boy and began playing tennis on public courts at the age of 10.  He attended Berkeley High School and graduated from UC Berkeley ''with highest honors'' in 1926 — one year after leading his school to an NCAA tennis championship. In 1925 and 1926 he won the NCAA singles crown.  In 1929, Chandler graduated from Harvard Law School and practiced with the firm now called Chandler, Wood, Harrington & Maffly from 1930 to 1994 — except for three years during World War II when he worked as a civilian lawyer for the Navy Department in Washington, D.C.  There followed a long string of tennis wins throughout his career, including the 1930 and 1932 California singles championships and the 1939 doubles title.  In 1937, he was president of the Northern California Tennis Association Board and was inducted into the University of California Athletic Hall of Hame in 1986. 

Roy Emerson  (1936-    )

Wimbledon Men's Doubles 1959, 1961, 1971, US Men's Doubles Championships/Open 1959-60, 1965-66, French Men's Doubles Championships/Open 1960-65, Australian Men's Doubles Championships/Open 1962, 1966, 1969, Australian Men's Singles 1961, 1963-67, French Men's Singles 1963, 1967, Wimbledon 1964-65, US Open 1961, 1964  [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1982]

 

 

Roy Emerson autographed this 1964 Alan Maver cartoon in November 2009.

Watch a video clip of Roy Emerson visiting a tennis club and giving a clinic at Martha's Vineyard.

Jack Kramer  (1921-2009)

USLTA Junior Doubles Champion 1939, USLTA Interscholastic Men's Singles Champion 1938, USLTA No. 1 Ranking 1946-47, No. 1 World Ranking 1946-47, William M. Johnston Trophy 1947, USLTA Men's Singles 1946-47, USLTA Men's Doubles 1940-41,1943,1947, USLTA Mixed Doubles 1941, USLTA Indoor Men's Singles 1947, USLTA Indoor Men's Doubles 1947, USLTA Clay Court Men's Doubles 1941, USPTA National Men's Singles 1948, USPTA National Men's Doubles 1948, All-England Men's Singles 1947, All-England Men's Doubles 1946-47, Professional World Singles Tournament Winner 1949 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1968]

I needed the money, simple as that.  So on the Wednesday night before the finals of the U.S. Open, I signed a contract for $50,000.  I was playing Frankie Parker in the finals. The man who signed me to the contract, Jack Harris, was in the front row and he was bald. I lost the first two sets to Frankie and I looked over at Harris. All I could see was his bald head in his hands. He was thinking, “What have I done?” He wanted to promote me as the best player in the world and I was going to lose this match.  But I came back to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-0. I was up 5-3 in the fifth and serving. Frankie had an ad point and he hit a great volley. I got to the net, hit another volley and lucky for me it hit the line. You could see the chalk kick up and it was called good for deuce. Two points later I had held serve and won the match. If I had lost, it would have been hard to justify getting that contract.
    Jack Kramer, on
    turning pro in 1947

Too much time has elapsed for me to remember what question I asked Jack Kramer to elicit the above comment regarding Don Budge on this 3x5 card. It may have been who would he most like to have had as a doubles partner ("Don Budge would be perfect").

Kramer was born in 1921 in Las Vegas, Nev. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and became interested in tennis as a youngster. He won the Dudley Cup at Santa Monica, Calif., in 1936, and that same year he won the national boys' singles and doubles championships. In 1940, he and Ted Schroeder, both 19-year-olds, became the youngest pair to win the national doubles championship. Kramer again won the national doubles tournament in 1941 and in 1943.  He won the Wimbledon doubles in 1946 and 1947, the U.S. national singles championship in 1946 and 1947 and the U.S. indoor and Wimbledon singles in 1947. He was the world's top amateur player when he turned professional in October 1947. He lost his first two professional matches to Bobby Riggs, but Kramer became U.S. Professional Champion in 1948.  He played professionally and organized tours through 1953. Then in 1954 he became a promoter of professional tennis. He devised the Grand Prix for men's tennis, a series of tournaments leading to a Masters Championship for the top finishers. In 1972, he was instrumental in forming the Association of Tennis Pros and he was the organization's first executive director. He later served on the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, the worldwide governing board.  For more than 20 years, Kramer was an analyst on tennis telecasts for the American television networks and the British Broadcasting Corp.

Watch a video clip of Jack Kramer.

Rod Laver  (1938-  )

USLTA Junior Singles Champion 1956, No. 1 World Ranking 1961-62,1968-69, Grand Slam Singles 1962,1969, USLTA Men's Singles 1962, USLTA Open Men's Singles 1969, USLTA Indoor Men's Doubles 1962, Australian Men's Singles 1960,1962,1969, Australian Men's Doubles 1959-61,1969, Canadian Men's Singles 1970, French Men's Singles 1962,1969, French Men's Doubles 1961, French Mixed Doubles 1961, German Men's Singles 1961-62, All-England Men's Singles 1961-62,1968-69, British Hard Courts Men's Singles 1962, British Indoor Men's Singles 1969-70, Italian Men's Singles 1962,1971, Italian Men's Doubles 1962, South African Men's Singles 1969-70, Professional World Singles Tournament Winner 1964-67,1970, Professional World Doubles Tournament Winner 1965,1967 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1981]

I was blessed with natural talent to follow and strike a tennis ball.  And being left-handed probably helped.  Charlie Hollis said: "You've got to learn to hit a top-spin backhand."  He said: "You're not going to win big tournaments unless you have a better backhand."  Left-handers were always known to have a slice backhand. He taught me from age 13 to learn a top-spin backhand. I started trying to perfect it.  You can have all the assets in stroke production in your game, but your ability to enjoy the game is just as important. You enjoy the game, you're going to practice longer. You can produce the shots other people can't. I didn't mind hard work. I didn't mind practice.
    Rod Laver

 

Rod Laver autographed this 1962 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

Watch a video clip of Rod Laver winning at Wimbledon in 1962.

George Lott  (1906-1991)

USLTA Junior Singles Champion 1923-24, USLTA Junior Doubles Champion 1923-24, USLTA Clay Court Junior Singles Champion 1923, USLTA Men's Doubles 1928-30,1933-34, USLTA Mixed Doubles 1929,1931,1934, USLTA Indoor Men's Doubles 1932,1934, USLTA Clay Court Men's Singles 1932, USLTA Clay Court Men's Doubles 1932, USPTA National Men's Doubles 1935,1937, Canadian Men's Singles 1924, Canadian Men's Doubles 1924,1932, French Men's Doubles 1931, All-England Men's Doubles 1931,1934 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1964]

Once Lott served an ace which Tilden, alone in the arena, understood to be a fault, so he went over to the offending linesman, who happened to be a petrified young man.  "How was that, boy?" he demanded of him.  "Out!" the kid replied, changing his decision immediately.  Satisfied now that justice had been tended to, Tilden returned to the baseline, but when he looked up to receive serve, he discovered Lott over by the umpire's chair enjoying a drink of water.  "Come on, let's go," Tilden hollered.  Lott responded by picking up a comb and casually, patiently attending to his hair.  "Come on!" Tilden screamed again.  "Can't," Lott replied.  He was really setting him up.  "Can't?"  "Too noisy, Bill."  "Noisy?  What d'ya mean?" Tilden asked.  "I can't concentrate until that linesman's teeth stop chattering," Lott said.  Tilden fumed the rest of the match.
    Frank Deford

 

 

In addition to this Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by George Lott, I also have a signed 1927 Jack Sords cartoon. 

In this note, Lott declines to name a preferred doubles partner. In his opinion, John Van Ryn was the "best all-around player, steady as a rock."  In mixed doubles he played once with Helen Wills. She was a good partner ("it was like sitting in a rocking chair"). 

In 1931, he won the Wimbledon, Pan American and French doubles titles with John Van Ryn. That same year, he captured the Wimbledon mixed doubles with Anna McCune and the Pan American singles championship. He won his third Wimbledon doubles crown with Lester Stoefen in 1934. He also captured five U.S. Open Doubles titles and was unbeaten for seven consecutive years (1928-1935) in Davis Cup competition. In 1936, he turned professional. The U.S. Lawn Tennis Association ranked him as one of its top 10 players in the world nine times in the 1920s and 1930s.  He was a tennis coach at DePaul University for more than twenty years.

Watch a video clip of Ellsworth Vines defeating George Lott in a 1931 Forest Hills match. 

Barry MacKay (1935-2012)

NCAA Singles Champion (Michigan) 1957, Davis Cup Team  1956-60  [NCAA Hall of Fame 1987]

I won the NCAA Singles in Salt Lake City in June 1957. I missed my graduation at Michigan Stadium because of it, but I got my diploma later on. Then I played amateur tennis. In those days, there were two opportunities: the professional tennis tour and amateur tennis. There was no Open Tennis as we know it today. I played the amateur tennis circuit for three more summers and represented the United States on our Davis Cup team. I actually played my first Davis Cup match while I was still at Michigan in the summer of 1956. The United States won the Davis Cup in 1958 in Australia. I was ranked No. 1 in the United States in 1960, and then I turned professional in 1961. In those days, that meant you went on the Jack Kramer Professional Tennis Tour because it was the only professional tour. Matches were played in one city after another on a nightly basis across the country and around the world. It was a barnstorming type of tour. I signed a professional contract with Jack Kramer and played pro tennis from 1961 through 1963. In 1964, when I decided there no longer was a future for me in professional tennis, I migrated to California and started working for Jack on the International Professional Tennis Tour. I’ve been in California ever since. I worked with Jack until the late 1960’s. In 1970, I took control of the Pacific Coast Championships at Berkeley, inNorthern California. Our first winner was Arthur Ashe; our next winner was Rod Laver. After that, this tournament became the major tennis event in Northern California. John McEnroe has won the most titles in the tournament. In 1973, I started my own company, named BMK Sports. The Company put on this major tennis event of the year, until I sold it in 1995. In addition, I did regular television commentary and many other promotions.

       Barry MacKay

 

 

Barry MacKay autographed this 1958 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2010.

Watch newsreel footage of Barry MacKay winning the Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship in 1959.

Don McNeill  (1918-1996)

National Intercollegiate Singles Champion (Kenyon) 1934, French Singles Champion 1939, French Doubles Champion 1939, USLTA Men's Singles 1940, U.S. Doubles Champion 1944 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1965]

His backhand crosscourt shot from a short ball is the envy of all who have watched it.
    F. G. McMurray

Don McNeill autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon. The note on the cartoon to me reads:  I don't recall ever having seen this. I beat Bobby Riggs also later that year (1940) at Forest Hills for the national title but it wasn't easy." I also have two other McNeill-signed cartoons dating to newspapers in 1940.

The "Toast of Tennis" in 1940, W. Donald McNeill was easily Oklahoma's greatest tennis player ever, winning five state tennis titles (singles in 1934-35 and doubles in 1933-35) and claiming numerous national titles. He was ranked in the top 10 six times between 1937-46, and was ranked seventh in the world in 1939.  Before graduating from Classen High School in Oklahoma City, he won many local and state tournaments. McNeill spent his summers hitchhiking around the Midwest and Southwest competing in tournaments. He entered the national boys tournament, in Culver, Indiana in 1932, where he was defeated by Bobby Riggs. McNeill played at Ohio's Kenyon College, which was becoming a collegiate tennis hotspot in the 1930's. McNeill and four other Americans were chosen by the Indian Lawn Tennis Association for a team that would go play in India. They traveled to Yokohama, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Calcutta playing in exhibitions.  In the summer of 1939, he entered the French Open Championships, meeting tournament favorite Bobby Riggs in the finals. McNeill became only the second American to capture the French Open. In addition to the singles titles, he took home the doubles titles with partner Charles Harris. He won three of America's most prestigious tennis titles, the National Clay Court, the National Intercollegiate and the U.S. Nationals. He was the collegiate and national champion the same year and the number one ranked player in the U.S. Although he lost several of his prime years to World War II, serving as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, McNeill still competed while stationed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he won four consecutive Argentine championships. In 1944, while on leave, he partnered with Bob Falkenberg and won the U.S. Open doubles title.

Watch a video clip of Don McNeill winning the 1940 U. S. Men's Singles Title.

Gene "The Cat" Mako  (1916-2013)

National Intercollegiate Singles Champion (USC) 1934   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1973]

Don Budge and Gene Mako--here was a great [doubles] team along the lines of Vines and [Keith] Gledhill.  Mako was the play maker and a very capable one, but the success of the team depended on Don. . . .For three years (1936-38) they were the best American team, winning two U.S. titles, one Wimbledon and one Challenge Round match.
    George Lott

 

Gene Mako autographed this Art Krenz cartoon.

Though brief, the career of Hungarian-born Constantine Gene Mako was one of the most remarkable in that he achieved his foremost results after sustaining a devastating and painful right-shoulder injury that would have finished most men as competitors. As a teenager he had one of the most powerful serves, but he injured himself by overdoing it. This was compounded by a 1936 tumble in London that finished the job of wrecking his right (playing) shoulder, and kept him out of Wimbledon that year.  "I continued only because my friend and doubles partner, Don Budge, asked me to do so," Mako says. "I told him I'd be serving like a little old lady and would have to shovel the ball around, but it was okay with him." Despite the sometimes puny appearance of his strokes, 6-foot, 170-pound Mako, in the right court alongside Budge, was a canny playmaker, a man who knew the angles and where to put the ball--and competed fiercely--as they became one of the greatest teams. They won Wimbledon in 1937 and 1938, and were in four successive U.S. finals from 1935, triumphing in 1936 and 1938. A formidable singles player as well, he performed on four Davis Cup teams (two winners), seizing the go-ahead point with Budge in the 1937 lifting of the Cup from Britain, 4-1, to end a l0-year U.S. dry spell. They beat Charles Tuckey and Frank Wilde, 6-3, 7-5, 7-9, 12-10. Just as vital was their go-ahead win in the previous round, a 3-2 thriller over Germany--a 4-6, 7-5, 8-6, 6-4 squeeze past Henner Henkel and Gottfried von Cramm. Mako was in the U.S. Top Ten in 1937 and 1938, No. 3 the second year, and No. 9 in the world ranking of 1938. That year he was the last obstacle between Budge and the original Grand Slam in the U.S. final at Forest Hills. Unseeded, Mako dashed to his only major singles final on victories over sixth-seed Frank Kovacs and the third and first foreign seeds, Franjo Puncec and John Bromwich. He resisted Budge well, holding off the inevitable for four sets, 6-3, 6-8, 6-2, 6-1. Mako had one of the four sets Budge lost during the Slam. Gene had a brief fling at pro tennis while serving in the Navy during World War II, winning the U.S. pro doubles in 1943 with Bruce Barnes. Upon discharge, he made another sort of sporting name on the West Coast as a semipro basketball player. Born in Budapest January 24, 1916, he moved with his family to Buenos Aires, then to Los Angeles when he was seven. There he remained, winning the intercollegiate singles and doubles for Southern California in 1934. Today he's a gregarious art dealer.

Watch a video clip of Gene Mako in the 1938 U. S. Singles Championship.  Watch a video clip of 1937 Davis Cup action with Frank Parker, Don Budge, and Gene Mako garnering a victory for America.  

John Newcombe (1944-    )

U. S. Open Men's Singles 1967, 1973, Australian Open Men's Singles 1973, 1975, Wimbledon Men's Singles 1967, 1970-71, Australian Open Men's Doubles 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1976, French Open Men's Doubles 1967, 1969, 1973, Wimbledon Men's Doubles 1965-66, 1968-70, 1974, U. S. Open Men's Doubles 1967, 1971, 1973 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1986, Australian Tennis Hall of Fame 1998]

 

 

John Newcombe autographed this 1968 Alan Maver cartoon in February 2011.  I thought he might be at his tennis ranch in Texas, but he generously mailed it at his own mailing costs from Australia--a generosity of spirit and most unusual.

Watch a video clip of John Newcombe playing against Jimmy Connor in the 1975 Australian Open finals.  Watch newsreel footage of John Newcombe winning Wimbledon in 1967.

Alex Olmedo  (1936-    )

U. S. Men's Doubles Champion 1958, Australian Men's Singles 1959, Wimbledon 1959   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1987]

 

 

 

Alex Olmedo autographed this 1958 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2010.

Watch newsreel footage of Olmedo winning Wimbledon in 1959.

Frank Parker  (1916-1997)

USLTA Junior Singles Champion 1932, USLTA Indoor Junior Singles Champion 1933, USLTA No. 1 Ranking 1944-45 (17 years in Top Ten 1933-49), No. 1 World Ranking 1948, USLTA Men's Singles 1944-45, USLTA Indoor Men's Singles 1937, USLTA Indoor Men's Doubles 1937, USLTA Clay Court Men's Singles 1933,1941,1946-47, USLTA Clay Court Men's Doubles 1939, Canadian Men's Singles 1932,1938, Canadian Men's Doubles 1938, French Men's Singles 1948-49, French Men's Doubles 1949, All-England Men's Doubles 1949   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1966]

Frank Parker, a great champion, was noted for his powers of concentration.  It was said that you could almost see him thinking out loud, so intense was his concentration.
    Doris Hart

Frank Parker autographed this 1948 Tom Paprocki cartoon.  The colored pencil sketch of Frank Parker was drawn by my son, David, in 1990.  David was about ten years old at the time.  Parker wrote, "I wish I looked this well!"  The signed sketch is in David's collection.

As a 10-year-old in Wisconsin in the mid-1920s, Franciszek Andzej Paikowski earned $2 a week as a tennis ball boy at the Milwaukee Town Club. He kept a nickel and gave the rest to his widowed mother to help support the family. She took in laundry work to support him, his three brothers and a sister. The value of money was learned early by Paikowski, who later simplified his Polish name to Frank Parker and become one of tennis' first touring professionals.  By 12, he won his first national title, the boys' indoor championship in New York. He next won the National Boys Tennis Championship (ages 15 and younger) in 1931 and the next year the National Junior (ages 18 and younger) title. Although ranked in the top 10 for 17 consecutive years, he did not turn professional until he was 31 years old. There had not been enough money in it until then. After turning pro, he toured with Pancho Gonzalez, with whom he won the doubles championship at Wimbledon in 1949. He traveled to 115 cities in a year, driving with his wife and Gonzalez and his wife in one car.  Known for his backhand and coolness under pressure, he was described by one writer as “the human backboard.”

Watch a video clip of 1937 Davis Cup action with Frank Parker, Don Budge, and Gene Mako garnering a victory for America. 

Budge Patty (1924-    )

French Singles Champion 1950, Wimbledon 1950, Number One World Men’s Player 1950  [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1977]

Budge Patty was able to capture Wimbledon in 1950 largely because of his ability to win the key points.  There have been many stronger players than Patty but few smarter.  Patty had a fine serve, forehand, and volley, but his backhand left something to be desired.  He structured his games to hit as few backhands as possible and was a master at knowing what points were crucial and what to do with them.
    Ellsworth Vines

Budge Patty autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.

Watch newsreel footage of Budge Patty winning Wimbledon in 1950.

Fred Perry  (1909-1995)

Wimbledon 1934-36, U.S. Singles Champion 1933-34,1936, Australian Singles Champion 1934, French Singles Champion 1935, Number One World Men’s Player 1934-36 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1975]

Perry had the swashbuckling good looks and the air of supreme confidence of a Walter Hagen; the grace and ease of a Joe DiMaggio gathering in a fly ball; the cleverness and agility of a Billy Conn; the brute strength of a Man Mountain Dean; and the skill and know-how of a Tilden. . . .I first came across Perry in 1928 or 1929 when the English Association sent a team to play at Newport, Longwood and Forest Hills.  he had a match with John Van Ryn on a side court at Newport.  It was a close one and I was quite impressed with this Englishman who didn't seem quite like an Englishman.  I thought he was an American with an English accent and a pipe.  The accent came naturally but not the pipe.  He carried it around unlit because he thought it would make him seem more British--and British was what he wanted to be.  In those days English society peered down its nose at anyone who didn't wear the old school tie.  Fred's parents were in "trade" and, consequently, Fred's education did not include Eton or Harrow, which left him outside the inner circle.  This class consciousness always annoyed Fred but it acted in his favor; it made him more determined than ever to reach the top.
    George Lott

 

 

Fred Perry autographed this 1936 Phil Berube cartoon. I have two other Perry-signed cartoons from 1935 and 1936.  In about 1990, my son, David, drew this colored pencil sketch that Perry signed.  David was about ten years old at the time.  The signed sketch is in his collection.

Watch a video clip of Ellsworth Vines and Fred Perry (who jumps over the net in jubilation) at Wimbledon in the 1930s.  Watch a video clip of Perry winning the U. S. Men's Singles title in 1933.  Watch a video clip of Perry winning the U. S. Men's Singles title in 1934.

William M. "Bill" Potter (1919-2001)

Coach--Citrus Union High School, Pomona College 1942; University of Florida 1952-78   [National College Tennis Coach of the Year 1975, College Tennis Hall of Fame 1985]

This is the last page of a 3-page letter that has personal interest for me. My father and Bill Potter were close friends in school. Both played baseball at Pomona College and were in a dance band. He detailed his war experiences and subsequent coaching career.

Dennis Ralston (1942-    )

National Intercollegiate Men's Singles Champion (USC) 1963-64   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1987]

I was gone, literally, 10 months a year for two years, on the road, making $ 35,000.
    Dennis Ralston,
    on joining the
    pro tour in 1966

Dennis Ralston autographed this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon. I have one other Ralston-signed Pap cartoon from 1960.

Watch a video clip of Dennis Ralston losing to Manolo Santana in the finals of the 1966 Wimbledon Tournament.

Marty Riessen  (1941-    )

French Open Doubles 1971, U.S. Open Doubles 1976, Australian Open Mixed Doubles 1969, French Open Mixed Doubles 1969, Wimbledon Mixed Doubles 1975, U. S. Open Mixed Doubles 1969-70, 1972, 1980

 

 

Marty Riessen autographed two copies of this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2010.

Watch a video clip of Marty Riessen in a match against Tom Okker in 1968.

Bobby Riggs  (1918-1995)

Wimbledon 1939, USLTA Men's Singles 1939,1941, Number One World Men’s Player 1939   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1967]

He could make the ball talk. He had all the shots. That's the reason I nicknamed him “Mighty.”  Off the court he was even more fun for me because he kept me in a state of alertness.  He taught me how to play poker and gin rummy when we were on tour and working for $300 a week, and I had no money coming to me. He was fun.
    Pancho Segura

I have five different cartoons signed by Bobby Riggs.  All of them are autographed using a pen except this Tom Paprocki cartoon in which he used a Sharpie.

Watch a video clip of Bobby Riggs taking runner-up in the 1940 U. S. Men's Singles Tournament.

He is buried in Nassau Knolls Cemetery, Port Washington, New York.

Dick Savitt  (1927-  )

Wimbledon 1951, Australian doubles champion 1951, Italian doubles champion 1951, U.S. indoor singles champion 1952,1958,1961, Davis Cup team 1951, [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1976, B’nai B’rith Sports Hall of Fame 1991]

I guess I was just lucky.  There's got to be a first time that you play anywhere, and 1951 was probably the first year that I was good enough to go to Wimbledon. My game had come on a lot in the previous year, and I was confident because I'd gone to Australia and won there.  Well, they were the Davis Cup holders, and I somehow beat their entire Cup squad — John Bromwich in the quarter-finals, Frank Sedgman in the semis and Ken McGregor in the final!
    Dick Savitt, on
    winning Wimbledon on
    his first attempt

 

Dick Savitt autographed this 1951 Alan Maver cartoon.

Watch a video clip of Dick Savitt winning Wimbledon in 1951.

Ted Schroeder, Jr.  (1921-2006)

National Intercollegiate Singles Champion (Stanford) 1942, USLTA Men's Singles 1942,  Wimbledon 1949   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1966]

I knew that if I could get anyone into a fifth set I'd probably beat him.  In a way, it was my only hope.  You see, I was always in sound condition, I played tactically, and if I could hang on long enough till the other fellow got tired, my determination usually saw me through.
    Ted Schroeder

 

Ted Schroeder autographed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.  I have two other Schroeder-signed cartoons, dating from 1943 and 1949.

Ted Schroeder is the only tennis player to win the national junior (1939) and national intercollegiate (1942) championships as well as the U.S. Open (1942) and Wimbledon (1949).

Watch newsreel footage of Ted Schroeder beating Gardner Mulloy at Wimbldon in 1949. 

Frank Sedgman  (1927-    )

Australian Men’s Singles 1949-50, Wimbledon 1952, USLTA Men's Singles 1951-52, Number One World Men’s Player 1951-52   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1979]

It was a great feeling. I'd lost in the final in 1950, so I knew what the other side felt like. The Duchess of Kent presented me with the cup. You got to keep a replica of it, and two other cups as well. And you won a shopping voucher for something like pounds 10 too.
    Frank Sedgman,
    on winning Wimbledon

 

Frank Sedgman autographed this 1951 Alan Maver cartoon.

Watch a video clip of Frank Sedgman in a 1980s TV commercial.

Francisco "Pancho" Segura  (1921-  )

National Intercollegiate Men's Singles Champion (Miami-Florida) 1943-45, National Intercollegiate Men's Doubles Champion  (Miami-Florida) 1945, USLTA Indoor Men's Singles 1946, USLTA Clay Court Men's Singles 1944, USLTA Clay Court Men's Doubles 1944-45, USPTA National Men's Singles 1950-51,1966, USPTA National Men's Doubles 1948,1951,1966, Professional World Doubles Tournament Winner 1951-52   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1984]

It was one-day stands, like the big bands would do.  It was tough, playing four or five nights a week, sleeping in the station wagon sometimes.  It's not like today where Andre Agassi gets $100,000 to play an exhibition. We were playing for $1,000 for the group some nights.  Nothing bothered me when I played. A guy shouted at me, “I've seen better strokes in the hospital!” because I played with two hands. I was the people's choice because of my two-handed shots, because I was small, bowlegged and brown.
    Pancho Segura, on
    pro tennis tours in his era

 

 

Pancho Segura autographed this 1943 cartoon. I have two other Segura-signed cartoons dating to 1943 and 1950.

Vic Seixas   (1923-    )

Wimbledon 1953, US Open Men's Singles 1954   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1971]

I can't tell you just how great a feeling I had when I won Wimbledon. . . . I had an awful lot of highs as a player, but Wimbledon was the single greatest highlight. If you ask the best players today, they would still say Wimbledon is the one they would most like to have in their bank.
    Vic Seixas

 
Vic Seixas autographed this 1954 Bill Pevear cartoon.
 
Watch newsreel footage of the final match at Wimbledon in 1953 that Seixas wins.
 

Stan Smith  (1946-    )

Wimbledon 1972, U.S. Open 1971, Australian Open Doubles 1970, Davis Cup Team captain 1953-57   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1987]

 

 

This 1971 Alan Maver cartoon was autographed by Stan Smith in November 2010.

Watch a video clip of a 1973 match in France between Stan Smith and Georges Goven.

Bill Talbert  (1918-1999)

National Doubles Champion 1942,1945,1946,1948, French Doubles Champion 1950, U.S. Mixed Doubles Champion 1943-46, Davis Cup Team captain 1953-57   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1967]

Billy has been a diabetic since he was 9.  At the age of 13 he made medical history when he became the first diabetic to participate in an active sport.  Before that he seldom ventured from his parents' small apartment in Cincinnati.  He had a protective mother, a carefully watched diet and a comfortable chair.  He felt great but he was not allowed to do a thing.  Total inactivity was the only treatment for diabetics.  But Billy, who had been a keen baseball and basketball player before his illness, couldn't adjust to a sedentary life.  He persuaded his father and his doctor to let him take exercise, which was a revolutionary medical hypothesis.  Tennis was selected.  All the energy bottled inside for four years shot out like a whoosh of compressed steam.  Billy threw himself into the sport like a starved Dickensian foundling sitting down to his first full-course meal.  In six months this so-called invalid was the tenth ranking junior of the country.
    Richard Evans

 

Bill Talbert autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.

Watch a video clip of Bill Talbert in a public service TV announcement for diabetes.

Tony Trabert   (1931-    )

National Intercollegiate Men's Singles Champion (Cincinnati) 1951, US Open Men's Singles 1953,1955, French Singles Champion 1954-55, Wimbledon 1955, Number One World Men’s Player 1953,1955 [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1970]

I had beaten a couple of people by then [1949] and Bill asked the USTA if they'd help with some of the expenses of the trip.  But they said no, that I wasn't good enough.  What he did really was a rocket for my career. I still don't know if Bill spent any of his own money or not  I asked Bill once if I could pay him something back and he just told me to do something good for a tennis player someday. Because I always respected him so much, that's what I've always tried to do.
    Tony Trabert, on
    teaming up with Bill Talbert
    for a European excursion
    when he was 19 years old

 

Tony Trabert autographed this 1956 Bill Pevear cartoon.

He smashed his first tennis ball 66 years ago at the age of 6. He won 10 Grand Slam titles and made a name for himself as a U.S. Davis Cup player and team captain. And for 30 years, he has broadcast the U.S. Open and other major tennis events on networks worldwide. The year 1955 was perhaps Trabert's most memorable, the type of year most players only dream of. He won the Australian Open doubles crown (with Vic Seixas), the French Open singles and doubles titles (also with Seixas) and the Wimbledon and U.S. singles trophies.

Watch a video clip of Tony Trabert beating Ken Rosewall for the U. S. Men's Singles title.

H. Ellsworth Vines, Jr.  (1911-1994)

Tennis/Golf--Pro Tour 1942-50s, All-American Open runner-up 1946, USPGA semi-finals 1951, Wimbledon 1932   [International Tennis Hall of Fame 1962]

Until the emergence of Don Budge in the latter part of the 1930s, the most sensational player of that decade was H. Ellsworth Vines, Jr.  It is still the consensus of many experts that on a given day the greatest player who ever lived was Vines . . . .Ellsworth Vines is one of the most knowledgeable men tennis has ever known, and he played the game as well as any athlete who ever walked on a court . . . .The Vines I remember was a 6'2" whipcord who hit a flat forehand that had to be seen to be believed.  It was without question the hardest forehand in the history of the game.  His backhand lacked the power of his starboard side, but it was still a strong, consistent shot, and he could hit winners off it.
    Jack Kramer

Ellsworth Vines autographed this Jack Sords cartoon.

Watch a video clip of Ellsworth Vines and Fred Perry (who jumps over the net in jubilation) at Wimbledon in the 1930s.  Watch a video clip of Vines taking the Davis Cup finals in 1932.  Watch a video clip of Vines defeating George Lott in a 1931 Forest Hills match.

Watch a Video Clip of:

  • Don Budge

  • Rosie Casals

  • Louise Brough Clapp

  • Margaret Court

  • Sarah Palfrey Cooke Danzig

  • Roy Emerson

  • Shirley Fry Irvin

  • Doris Hart

  • Helen Hull Jacobs

  • Jack Kramer

  • Rod Laver

  • George Lott

  • Barry MacKay

  • Don McNeill

  • Gene Mako

  • Alice Marble

  • John Newcombe

  • Alex Olmedo

  • Frank Parker

  • Budge Patty

  • Fred Perry

  • Dennis Ralston

  • Marty Riessen

  • Bobby Riggs

  • Dick Savitt

  • Ted Schroeder

  • Frank Sedgman

  • Stan Smith

  • Bill Talbert

  • Tony Trabert

  • Ellsworth Vines

Recent Blog Entries

by vintagetennisautographs | 0 comments

New Additions

Rosie Casals

Barry MacKay

John Newcombe

Marty Riessen

Stan Smith