Ellsworth Vines

Ellsworth Vines

Henry Ellsworth Vines, Jr. (September 28, 1911 – March 17, 1994) was an American tennis champion of the 1930s, the World No. 1 player or the co-No. 1 for four years in 1932, 1935, 1936 and 1937.


Vines attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, where he played on the freshman basketball team.Ed Atkinson [http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/champions/Ed_Atkinson/ed_atkinson_ellsworth_vines/ed_atkinson_ellsworth_vines.html Ellsworth Vines: Ultimate Ball Striker] , tennisplayer.net, Accessed July 8, 2008.]

In the amateur ranks Vines won three Grand Slam tournaments, the Wimbledon Championships in 1932 and the U.S. Championships in 1931 and 1932 and he reached the final of Wimbledon in 1933. He played his first professional tennis match on January 10, 1934 and then became undoubtedly the leading pro player until 1938 (and the World No. 1 or No. 2 in the combined amateur-professional rankings). In 1934 and 1935 he won almost all the great pro events: the two big annual tours in 1934 and 1935 and the major pro tournaments such as Wembley Pro in 1934 and 1935 (and perhaps in 1936 but sources are uncertain), Paris Indoor (not to be confused with the French Professional Championship) in 1934, Southport Pro in 1935 and the French Professional Championship in 1935.

After two years as the undisputed pro king Vines didn't need to enter any pro tournament to claim the World pro champion title: he then retained his crown by just playing and winning three other great annual pro tours from 1936 to 1938 (see Tennis male players statistics). In 1939 Vines lost his world pro crown to Don Budge but narrowly: in their first pro tour against each other, Vines trailed Budge only 17-22. The tour proved that at his best Vines was unbeatable, but also that Budge's consistency would prevail a majority of the time, making the latter the best player of the time. On October 22, Vines won his last great tournament, the United States Pro Championship at Beverly Hills Tennis Club. In May 1940 Vines, 28 years 7 months old, played his last tennis competition. His physical problems, his desire to enjoy family life, his loss of the world crown and above all his increasing passion for golf forced him to retire.


Comparing Vines and Fred Perry after the 1939 tours, Budge wrote,

Years later, Don deemed that the world's all-time best player had been Ellsworth Vines, "on his day". Budge was always astonished when someone had not ever heard of Vines whom he considered as the champion of the 1930s.

In the opinion of Jack Kramer, himself a great player, Vines was, along with Don Budge one of the two greatest players who ever lived. Budge was consistently the best, according to Kramer's 1979 autobiography, but, at the very top of his game, Vines was unbeatable by anyone:

Tall and thin, Vines possessed a game with no noticeable weaknesses, except, according to Kramer, because of his great natural athletic ability, laziness. He was particularly known for his powerful forehand and his very fast serve, both of which he generally hit absolutely flat with no spin. Although he could play the serve-and-volley game, he generally played an all-court game, preferring to hit winners from the baseline. Playing in the white flannel trousers that were standard dress for the time, he greatly impressed the youthful Kramer in a 1935 match in Southern California:

Kramer made up his mind on the spot to concentrate on tennis. Vines had, according to Kramer,

In his chapter on 1932, Bud Collins writes in "" that Vines . . .

Collins goes on to say that:

After becoming bored with tennis while only in his late twenties, Vines became a professional golfer in 1942 and over the years had a number of high finishes in tournaments, including at least two professional victories (1946 Massachusetts Open, 1955 Utah Open) and a semi-final position in the prestigious 1951 PGA Championship when it was a match play tournament. Writes Kramer,

He compares Vines to another great tennis player, Lew Hoad:

Vines was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1962.

Career statistics

Grand Slam finals


Wins (3)

Runner-ups (1)

Notes and references


* "The Game, My 40 Years in Tennis" (1979), Jack Kramer with Frank Deford (ISBN 0-399-12336-9)
* "Total Tennis: The Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia" (2003), by Bud Collins (ISBN 0-9731443-4-3)

ee also

* List of male tennis players

External links

* [http://www.tennisfame.com/famer.aspx?pgID=867&hof_id=118 International Tennis Hall of Fame profile]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ellsworth Vines — Pays  États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ellsworth Vines — Henry Ellsworth Vines, Jr. (28 de noviembre de 1911 17 de marzo de 1994) fue un tenista estadounidense que brilló en los años 1930 y que fue considerado como Nº1 del mundo durante 4 años. Si bien tuvo una exitosa carrera amateur, su esplendor lo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ellsworth Vines — Henry Ellsworth „Elly“ Vines junior (* 28. September 1911 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien; † 17. März 1994 in La Quinta, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Tennisspieler. Karriere Im Jahr 1933 wurde er Tennisprofi, nachdem er zuvor die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ellsworth — bezeichnet den Mount Ellsworth, einen Berg in der Antarktis Ellsworth heißen folgende Orte: in den USA: Ellsworth (Illinois) Ellsworth (Iowa) Ellsworth (Kansas) Ellsworth (Maine) Ellsworth (Michigan) Ellsworth (Minnesota) Ellsworth (New… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vines (surname) — Vines is a surname, and may refer to * David Vines * Ellsworth Vines * Harry Vines * Jerry Vines * John Vines * Sherard Vinesee also* Vine (surname), Vinesurname|Vines …   Wikipedia

  • Vines — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Ellsworth Vines (1911–1994), US amerikanischer Golfspieler Sydney Howard Vines (1849–1934), britischer Botaniker. Siehe auch: The Vines, australische Rockband Diese Seite …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vines, H. Ellsworth, Jr. — ▪ American athlete in full  Henry Ellsworth Vines, Jr.  born Sept. 28, 1911, Los Angeles died March 17, 1994, La Quinta, Calif.       U.S. tennis player of the 1930s who bounced back after a series of losses at age 18 to win the Wimbledon and U.S …   Universalium

  • Ellsworth — The name Ellsworth could mean: Places ;In the United States *Ellsworth, Illinois *Ellsworth, Indiana, now known as North Terre Haute, Indiana *Ellsworth, Iowa *Ellsworth, Kansas *Ellsworth, Maine *Ellsworth, Michigan *Ellsworth, Minnesota… …   Wikipedia

  • Vines — El término vines puede referirse a: Sydney Howard Vines (1849 1934), botánico. Ellsworth Vines (1911 1994), tenista estadounidense. VINES, sistema virtual de trabajo en red. The Vines, una banda australiana de rock. Esta página de desambiguación… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vines, Ellsworth, Jr. — ▪ 1995       U.S. tennis player and golfer (b. Sept. 28/29, 1911, Los Angeles, Calif. d. March 17, 1994, La Quinta, Calif.), delivered blinding service aces and rapid fire forehand shots that were marvels of precision and power, and he was hailed …   Universalium

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