John Edward Patty, Budge Patty (born February 11, 1924 in Fort Smith, died October 3, 2021 in Lausanne) - American tennis player, winner of four Grand Slam tournaments, including Wimbledon and the French singles championship, national representative in the Davis Cup.
His nickname "Budge" did not come from the name of the famous tennis player Don Budge, but from the English word "budge". As Patty recalled, his brother called him that, which was supposed to jokingly refer to the laziness and immobility of the future athlete. Patty grew up in Los Angeles and learned to play tennis there. During World War II, he was drafted into the army and served in Europe. After the war, he remained on this continent, achieving a number of sports successes and gaining another nickname - "An American in Paris".
The right-handed Patty was known for his effective play from the bottom of the court (he was famous for passing passes, among other things) and enjoyed a reputation as one of the most stylish tennis players of his era. He also had a good forehand volley. During his amateur career, he won a total of 76 tournaments, ranking in the top ten of the unofficial world ranking in the years 1947–1957. He was at the forefront of this classification in 1950, when he was the second American in history - after Don Budge in 1938 - to win one season on Roland Garros court meal and Wimbledon grass. In Paris, he defeated Jaroslav Drobny in five sets, in London he won the semifinals of the second seeded Bill Talbert, and in the final the highest seeded Frank Sedgman in four sets. Patty's defense of the titles in 1951 was unsuccessful - in the French championship he was eliminated in the 1/8 finals with the Swede Lennart Bergelin, at Wimbledon in the second round with Hamilton Richardson.
In 1948, Patty lost in the semi-finals of the Paris Grand Slam event with Drobny in five sets, and a year later he reached the final - he defeated Pancho González in the semi-finals, he lost to Frank Parker in the final. In the semi-finals in 1954 he had to recognize Tony Trabert's superiority. He was also in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1954 (defeat Drobny) and 1955 (defeat Trabert). He was weaker in the US championship, where he reached the quarter-finals in 1951 at best, losing to Dick Savitt. The European clay courts brought him happiness also in Rome, where in 1954 he won the international championship of Italy.
Budge Patty's duels with Jaroslav Drobny, the representative of Czechoslovakia (then Egypt), deserve special attention. They met many times in major tournaments. In the third round of Wimbledon 1953, the rivals fought over a 4-hour duel, which Drobný decided in his favor, although - reportedly for the first time in his life - he had to deal with muscle cramps, as well as Patty's leading 2-1 in sets, three match balls in the fourth game and another three in the last set. The match ended in darkness 8: 6, 16:18, 3: 6, 8: 6, 12:10, and the duration - 4 hours and 20 minutes - remained a Wimbledon record until 1969 (5 hours and 12 minutes). Pancho González and Charlie Pasarell then played in the first round). Patty and Drobný had another match on February 20, 1955 in the final of the tournament in Lyon. Long before the tie-break was introduced, the tennis players played one hundred games to give up the match at 19:21, 10: 8, 21:21 and share the first prize.
In 1957, Patty and 10-year-old Gardnar Mulloy (then 43) won the doubles game at Wimbledon. In the final, they defeated much younger Australian rivals, who were seeded with the first number - 22-year-old Lew Hoad and 23-year-old Neale Fraser 8:10, 6: 4, 6: 4, 6: 4. A few months later, the veterans also reached the US Championship final, where they lost to Fraser and Ashley Cooper. Only title