Budge Patty, Elegant Tennis Champion of the 1950s, Dies at 97 | NYTimes

Budge Patty, one of only three Americans to win the French and Wimbledon men’s singles tennis championships in the same year and a glamorous figure on the international tennis scene of the 1950s, died on Monday in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was 97.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced his death, in a hospital, on Friday. He had lived in Europe for more than 70 years and at his death resided in Lausanne.

Patty honed his skills as a teenager at the Los Angeles Tennis Club and won the United States junior championship in 1941 and ’42. But he settled in Paris after World War II and played mostly on the Continent and in Britain.

He was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1950, when he defeated Jaroslav Drobny, the Czech defector, in five sets to win the French championships, then needed only four sets to defeat Frank Sedgman of Australia in the Wimbledon final. Don Budge, in 1938, and Tony Trabert, in 1955, are the only other American men to have won the singles titles at both of those Grand Slam tournaments in one year. (Trabert died in February at 90.)

Known for an outstanding all-around game but especially for a strong forehand volley, Patty was usually in the top 10 in the world rankings between 1947 and 1957 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., in 1977.

Budge Patty, Elegant Tennis Champion of the 1950s, Dies at 97


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