Born: 17/12/1895 Died: 13/6/1967
Australian Open 1927
Gerald Laidlaw Patterson, who was a nephew of Dame Nellie Melba, began playing tennis on the family court in Melbourne. Patterson's father knew many of the top Australian players of the time and the likes of Norman Brookes and Alf Dunlop gave some invaluable advice to the young Gerald. One thing Patterson failed to learn is a good backhand, but he more than compensated for it with a booming serve and penetrating forehand. He was still a teenager when he made it to the final of the 1914 Australian Open, beating former champion Rod Heath before losing to Arthur O' Hara Wood. At Wimbledon in 1919, Patterson beat Algy Kingscote in the All comers final before beating the ageing defending champion Norman Brookes in the Challenge round to claim the title. The following year Patterson lost in the challenge round to Tilden. In 1922 Patterson took his second Wimbledon title, beating James Anderson in the semis and Randolph Lycett in the final. At the US Open he lost in the semis to Tilden. In the 1922 Australian, Patterson beat Jack Hawkes 10-8 in the fifth set in a marathon semi final before losing to Anderson in the final. Patterson reached the semis of the 1924 US Open but only managed to win two games against Bill Johnston. Patterson lost to Anderson in the final of the 1925 Australian. Two years later Patterson beat Gar Moon in the semis before an epic final with Hawkes. Trailing two sets to one, Patterson saved five match points before winning the fourth set 18-16. In the fifth set Hawkes began to tire and Patterson took it 6-2 to take his first Australian Open title. Defending his title the following year, Patterson had to retire in the quarters against Bob Schlesinger. Patterson retired at the end of the year and devoted much of his time to his role as Managing Director of A.G.Spalding. He died in 1967.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: F.Alexander 1-0, J.Anderson 1-2, J.Borotra 1-0, N.Brookes 1-0, J.Hawkes 2-0, R.Heath 1-0, B.Johnston 0-2, A.Kingscote 2-0, A.O'Hara Wood 0-1, G.Moon 1-1, B.Tilden 0-2, D.Williams 1-0
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