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Danzig’s Top Twenty

May 2024
1min read

Allison Danzig was for over forty years a New York Times sportswriter, with tennis as his principal interest. Now retired but still the dean of court commentators, Mr. Danzig was recently asked to list the ten men and the ten women who in his view have been the best in the history of American tennis. Here they are as he ranks them, with the dates of their pre-eminence: Men: (1) William T. Tilden II (1920’s); (2) J. Donald Budge (late 1930’s); (3) John A. Kramer (1946–47); (4) H. Ellsworth Vines, Jr. (1931–32); (5) Richard A. “Pancho” Gonzales (194849); (6) William Johnston (1915, 1919); (7) Arthur Ashe (1968); (8) Maurice McLoughlin (1912-13); (9) R. N. Williams II (1914, 1916); (10) Vincent Richards (mid-1920’s). Women: (i) Helen Wills Moody (1920’s); (2) Maureen Connolly (1951–53); (3) Alice Marble (1936–40); (4) Helen Jacobs (1932–35); (5) Margaret Osborne duPont (1948–50); (6) Pauline Betz (1942–44); (7) A. Louise Brough (1947); (8) Sarah Palfrey Cooke (1941, 1945); (9) Billie Jean King (1967); (10) Althea Gibson (1956). Most of these stars are pictured on the next two pages.

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