Don Budge - Won The Grand Slam
Won the Grand Slam
The time was ripe to turn professional. Budge was at the top of the sport and could command the highest fees. Yet he turned down the professional offers to defend the Davis Cup for the U.S. team one more time. Few could expect that in 1938 he would turn in an even more spectacular performance than the previous year.
That year Budge demolished every obstacle in his way to win the first ever tennis Grand Slam. At the Australian competition he lost only one set the entire tournament and handily beat John Bramwich 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 at the final. Budge was just as unstoppable in the French championship only dropping three sets and defeating Roderich Menzel of Czechslovakia 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. At Wimbledon Budge won every set he played, routing Bunny Austin of Britain, 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 for the championship.
Six days of rain pushed the final match of the U.S. championship back to September 24. But neither weather nor his friend Gene Mako could deter Budge. He took the first set 6-3 before losing his first set of the competition 6-8. Then he came back to flatten Mako 6-2, 6-1 and complete the Grand Slam.
After the historic sweep of the Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships Budge led the U.S. to victory in the Davis Cup over Australia, overpowering Adrian Quist and Bramwhich. He posted a 42-2 record in 1938, capturing six of eight tournaments. From January of 1937, Budge won an amazing 92 consecutive matches until Adrian Quist finally broke the winning streak in late 1938. Again, Budge was named best athlete of the year by the Associated Press.