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Wilmer Allison: Wikis


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Wilmer Lawson Allison, Jr. (December 8, 1904 in San Antonio, Texas – April 20, 1977 in Austin, Texas) was an American amateur tennis champion of the 1930s. Allison's career was overshadowed by the arrival of Don Budge, although he was both a fine singles player and, along with his frequent partner, John Van Ryn, a great doubles player. At the University of Texas at Austin, Allison was the Intercollegiate tennis champion in 1927. One of Allison's earliest tournament wins was the 1928 Canadian Championship. He won the final over doubles partner Van Ryn 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.


U.S. Championship

Right-handed, Allison's greatest triumph was winning the 1935 U.S. Championship singles, defeating Fred Perry in the semi-finals 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 and Sidney Wood in the finals 6–2, 6–2, 6–3. He had previously lost to Perry 8–6 in the fifth set in the 1934 finals. He was ranked U.S. No. 1 both years and World No. 4 in 1932 and 1935. At Wimbledon, Allison lost the 1930 title to Bill Tilden. As a doubles player with partner John Van Ryn, Allison won the 1929 and 1930 Wimbledon and 1935 U.S. doubles championships. Allison's last major tournament was a 1936 quarter-final loss to Bunny Austin.


At 5'11, 155 lb., Allison played a total of 44 matches, 29 in doubles with Van Ryn, in Davis Cup for the United States, the third most of any player behind John McEnroe and Vic Seixas. He won 32 of those matches but never the cup.

Allison coached tennis for the varsity team of his alma mater from 1946 through 1972. He was head coach from 1957[1].


In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, who had a fine volley himself, devotes a page to the best tennis strokes he had ever seen. He writes: "FOREHAND VOLLEY — Wilmer Allison of Texas, who won the 1935 Forest Hills, had the best I ever saw as a kid, and I've never seen anyone since hit one better. Budge Patty came closest, then Newcombe".

George Lott, who himself won 5 U.S. doubles titles as well as 2 at Wimbledon, wrote an article in the May, 1973, issue of Tennis Magazine in which he ranked the great doubles teams and the great players. He called the team of Allison and Van Ryn the ninth best of all time.

Allison was a colonel in the United States Army Air Forces in World War II.

Allison was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1963.

Grand Slam record



  • Doubles champion: 1929, 1930

U.S. Championships

  • Singles champion: 1935
  • Doubles champion: 1931, 1935
  • Mixed Doubles champion: 1929, 1930


  1. ^ [1]



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