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Fred Perry, the World No. 1 four years in a row, and Wimbledon Championship winner for three consecutive years was also a Table Tennis World Champion.
Most people know that Fred Perry was the last British Men’s Wimbledon Champion (as well as lending his name to a brand of designer clothing). However, few are aware Fred Perry was also the Tennis Table World Champion in 1929, being the only player in history to have won at least one Major tournament in both tennis and table tennis.
Fred Perry (18th May 1909 – 2nd February 1995) was a championship-winning English tennis and table tennis player who won 10 Majors including eight Grand Slams and two Pro Slams. Perry not only won three consecutive Wimbledon Championships between 1934 – 1936, but was also World No.1 four years in a row, and he became the last British player to win the men's Wimbledon championship in 1936 until Andy Murray in 2013.
Fred Perry was the first player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles (though not all in the same year) and amazingly completed this "Career Grand Slam" at the age of 26. Although Perry began his tennis career aged 18, it is less well known that he was also a Table Tennis World Champion in 1929.
In 1933, Perry helped lead the Great Britain team to victory over France in the Davis Cup, which was the team's first success since 1912. This was followed by wins over the United States in 1934, 1935, and a fourth consecutive title with victory over Australia in 1936.
Perry was acclaimed across the tennis world, but was widely ostracised by the tennis establishment for turning professional after completing a hat-trick of Wimbledon singles triumphs. After becoming disillusioned with the class-conscious nature of the Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain, the working-class Perry moved to the United States before becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1938. In 1942, he was drafted into the US Air Force during the Second World War.
Despite his extraordinary contribution to British tennis, Perry was not given full recognition by tennis authorities until his twilight years. In 1984, a statue of Perry was unveiled at Wimbledon, and in the same year Perry became the only tennis player listed in a survey of 2,000 Britons to find the ‘Best of the Best’ British sportsmen of the 20th century.