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Jack Crawford was one of Australia’s great sporting heroes of the 1930s, along with Donald Bradman, Hubert Opperman and Haydn Bunton— sportsmen who achieved success around the Great Depression and were greatly loved by an Australian public seeking some reprieve from the economic struggles faced by all. In 1933 Crawford won the Australian Championship, (one of four), the French Championship, and Wimbledon, and was just one match away from winning tennis’s Grand Slam for the first time, losing the US Open to the English great, Fred Perry in five sets. Gentleman Jack tells the story of Crawford’s wonderful sporting career, but also gives a detailed account of the achievements of some his rivals—Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, and Donald Budge—champions of the game during one of its greatest decades. This was also that time the Davis Cup reached new levels of intensity and the Australian Championships became acknowledged as a significant world event. Gentleman Jack’s author Richard Naughton is one of Australia’s pre-eminent tennis historians. He has previously written acclaimed biographies of Norman Brookes (The Wizard), Daphne Akhurst (Daphne Akhurst, the women behind the trophy) and Ken Rosewall (Muscles).
“Jack was one of the world’s best … a favourite wherever he played” —Sir Norman Brookes
“It is important that Australia’s tennis history, and the stories of the great players of the past are preserved and protected”—Ken Rosewall
Author details: Richard Naughton is a Melbourne-based legal academic and writer. A teaching associate in the Monash law faculty he is undertaking research into Australia’s industrial relations system. He has written several notable sporting biographies—The Wizard, the story of Norman Brookes (2011); Muscles, the story of Ken Rosewall, Australia’s little master of the courts (2012); and Daphne Akhurst, the woman behind the trophy (2021).