Re: Pancho Segura (the unknown champ)
That is from the Time Magazine article from 1941.
Two-fisted South American
Monday, Jul. 07, 1941 Article ToolsPrintEmailReprintsSphereAddThisRSS "Two hands for beginners" is not a saying that applies to tennis. In tennis two hands are for able freaks—one of whom last week made U.S. tennis fans sit up and take notice.
In the first major tournament of the summer, at the plain but pleasant Berkeley Tennis Club in Orange, N.J., a little, bowlegged Ecuadorian named Francisco ("Pancho") Segura got to the quarterfinals, only to be beaten after putting up a stiff fight against Jack Kramer, sixth-ranking player in the U.S.
Little Pancho Segura is the idol of Ecuador. Three years ago, at 16, he romped off with the tennis championship of the Bolivarian Olympics in Colombia. The following year, he won Argentina's River Plate tournament, the Wimbledon of South America. Last summer the Ecuadorian Government sent its beloved little Pancho to the U.S. to compete in the na tional championship at Forest Hills. Green on grass, young Segura did not last one round. But he stayed in the U.S., under the wing of Manhattan's Hispano Tennis Club, to try again this year.
Before last week's tournament, Pancho had played in three spring tune-ups: he won the coveted old Brooklyn champion ship (defeating onetime Czech Davis Cup per Ladislav Hecht in the final) ; reached the semi-finals (where he took two sets from onetime Wimbledon Champion Sid ney Wood) of the Orange (N.J.) Invitation Tournament.
Young Segura may be no Perry, Craw ford or Von Cramm, but he is the most fascinating foreigner to invade U.S. tennis courts since dazzling Henri Cochet. Like Cochet, Segura picked up the game as ball boy: at Ecuador's swank Guayaquil Tennis Club. Small and puny, he found two hands better than one, never gave up his ten-fingered grip.
Two-handed tennists are no longer a novelty to U.S. galleries. Australian Davis Cuppers Vivian McGrath and John Bromwich both held their racquets like baseball bats. McGrath used a two-handed grip for his backhand. Bromwich served with his right hand, switched to his left for shots on that side, used both hands for shots on his right side. Pancho Segura's two-fisted attack is less complicated, more spectacular. He uses both hands for both forehand and backhand (with a singlehanded follow-through on his backhand). Instead of slapping the ball, as Bromwich does, Pancho swings like Joe Di Maggio.
Little Segura's lusty swings are deceptive: a shot that seems to start as a forehand drive sometimes floats over the net for a drop shot. A passionate enthusiast, twinkletoed and tireless, he yells Ay! (Alas) when he gets excited. Waiting for a serve, he jumps up & down with impatient impatience. He is fun to watch, and by last week Ecuador's idol was fast becoming the latest darling of U.S. tennis fans.