player, who is one of only two men to ever win the sport's Grand Slam
in one year.
Budge (DOB: 6/13/1915; Oakland, California) had already established himself as one of the world's premier tennis players by his early 20s, and in 1937 he won three titles at Wimbledon (men's singles, men's doubled and mixed doubles). He also won the U.S. title that year. The Associated Press named Budge its male athlete of the year. He also won the James E. Sullivan Trophy, as the top American amateur athlete
His backhand was tremendous, and considered by some to be the best tennis backhand in history.
The next year, 1938, Budge won the Grand Slam, with victories in the Australian, French, and American championships, along with Wimbledon. The Associated Press gave him the male athlete of the year award for a second straight year. (Australian Rod Laver won the Grand Slam twice in the '60s. Budge and Laver are the only two men to accomplish the feat.)
After the Grand Slam, Budge turned professional. While he dominated the professional ranks, in those days, pros could not compete in major championships and tournaments. Therefore, it's unknown just how many tournaments he could've won.
Budge was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964.
In 1999, ESPN's SportsCentury selected Budge as #98 on its list of the top 100 North American athletes of the 20th century.
Budge passed away on January 26, 2000, at the age of 84.