In April 1953, Jack Kramer's pro tennis tour stopped in Minneapolis for the first time in three years. After suffering a “sound licking” at the hands of Australian Frank Sedgman, Kramer was upbeat about the future of pro tennis in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Star sent a reporter and two photographers to the auditorium to cover the event. Marty Nordstrom captured an artsy image of two fans that might make you queasy. (The photo, not the fans. See bottom of post.) 

Pro Tennis Is
Assured Here,
Kramer Says

Jack Kramer, his racket under his arm, looked at the bustling 4,847 fans who paid $10,132 to see him and his tennis stalwarts, decided Minneapolis is a pretty good tennis town, after all.
Pro tennis tours have been passing up Minneapolis almost as regularly as Frank Sedgman passed Kramer on the green canvas court at the Auditorium Wednesday night.
From now on it will be different.
After that box office showing last night Minneapolis will probably see pro tennis regularly, whether it is Kramer or Joe Doaks who is the promoter. Kramer said so.
From Kramer’s standpoint last night was more a financial than an artistic success.
JACK got beat by Australia’s Sedgman 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and, although Kramer demonstrated with power service and strong back hand how he got to be the top pro in the business, it was a sound licking.
Kramer has yet to win here. Pancho Gonzales, no longer with the tour, did the same thing to him here three years ago – the last time Minneapolis saw pro tennis.
In the other two matches, Australia didn’t do as well.
Pancho Segura, who uses two hands on the racket, beat Ken McGregor’s back hand to death 1-6, 6-1, 8-6. Then the Americans out-tricked the Australians 6-4 in a single set of doubles.
THE UNORTHODOX Segura kept McGregor off-balance constantly with his passing shots at the unexpected side of the court and with his high lob. He was also the American ace in the doubles because of his alertness at the net.
It is not hard to understand why he is leading McGregor 54-21 in their cross-country series, despite his unorthodoxy.
Contrary-wise, Kramer and Sedgman are both “form” players and both played it straight last night before a cosmopolitan crowd which was so enthusiastic that the referee twice let it overrule the linesman.
Sedgman wheeled free and easy from the base line and with his back hand broke Kramer’s service in the lengthy (14 point) fourth game and went on to win five straight games and the first set.
KRAMER, who has a tremendous eye, forced Sedgman off balance a couple of crucial times in the second set and broke service in the eighth game for the win.
In the third set Kramer just couldn’t get to Frank’s power serve. Sedgman took  a love set on Kramer’s third serve and that was it. Kramer still leads 43-32 on the tour, however.

Mr. and Mrs. Vaal Rai kept their eyes on the ball during the Kramer-Sedgman match. (Minneapolis Star photo by Marty Nordstrom)


Older Post

Aug. 18, 1946: Mayor reads the comics on WCCO

Newer Post

May 10, 1953: How to play the 'noble game' of marbles