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
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.
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.