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Von Cramm 110!

Today is 1⃣1⃣0⃣th anniversary of Gottfried von Cramm‘s birth. He was the 1⃣st German No.1⃣player of the world before Boris Becker. 2x Roland Garros champ, International Tennis Hall of Fame , a real Baron and gentleman who placed sportsmanship above victory, respected court etiquette and fairness.

At 1935 Davis Cup Interzone Final against United States, in the most important doubles match against Wilmer Allison and John Van Ryn, at the match point, von Cramm – partnered with Kai Lund – went for the same ball, the former one missed, but the later one hit the winner. Thus they won the rally and the match, however while the umpire declared Germany as a winner, von Cramm went to him and admitted that the ball ticked his racquet before Lund’s shot. The umpire overruled his own announcement and awarded the point to the Americans who found the way and won the clash. Von Cramm called a point against himself, although no one had witnessed the error…

After the match, German captain Heinrich Kleinschroth was not the happiest man on earth and accused von Cramm to disgrace his country. The German No.1 player gave one of the most iconic response to him: “When I chose tennis as a young man, I chose it because it was a gentlemen’s game, and that’s the way I’ve played it ever since I picked up my first racquet. Do you think that I would sleep tonight knowing that the ball had touched my racquet without my saying so? Never, because I would be violating every principle I think this game stands for. On the contrary, I don’t think I am letting the German people down. As a matter of fact, I think I am doing them credit.