Pancho Segura (the unknown champ) [Archive] -

Pancho Segura (the unknown champ)

04-05-2007, 09:30 PM
This guy was Michael Chang in his time. He had a two-handed forehand and a one-handed backhand. Won three titles at the Miami and got to the semi's at the U.S. Amateur. However, his playing got better when he became a professional with Jack Kramer. 1954 was his best year. He played at a time when Jack Kramer was the best of all time and the Pancho Gonzales was the best of all time. He gave Ken Rosewall fits with the two-hander. The same fits that Jimmy Connors gave at Wimbledon and U.S. Open (Pancho was his coach as well as his mom).

He was criticized by Jack Kramer for using that forehand shot too much but that it was the best of all time because of the disguise of being a drop, spin, slice, and a power shot. If I was coaching him, I would say if you got a gun use it and use if often. I would tell to jump on your opponents early and get rid of them. What is your memory of Pancho Segura?

04-08-2007, 12:28 AM
He was from Ecuador?

04-08-2007, 12:43 AM
He was from Ecuador?

Yes, he was!:worship:

04-08-2007, 06:38 AM
I didn't know he used a one handed backhand. You'd expect such players to use two hands on both sides. But the funny thing is that his 2h fh looks like a lefty 2h bh :) Atleast that's how I saw it on the pics of his forehand.

04-09-2007, 02:37 AM
He was a great tennis player :worship:, but he is very unknown, as the title says :p

04-09-2007, 06:28 PM
I didn't know he used a one handed backhand. You'd expect such players to use two hands on both sides. But the funny thing is that his 2h fh looks like a lefty 2h bh :) Atleast that's how I saw it on the pics of his forehand.

According to Jack Kramer-- all two-handed backhands is actually a two-handed forehands because the top hand is doing all the work. Monica Seles is the only one hit a two-handed backhanded because she did it cross-handed on her left-side. However, on her right side, it is a two-handed forehand. That is according to Jack.

Haile Selassie
08-12-2007, 02:39 PM
Despite his bowed legs (caused by a childhood case of rickets), he had such a calculating, diabolical, cunning mind other players gave him the nickname ‘Sneaky.’ Though he never made it to the finals in Forest Hills, he did reach the semis four times. At Miami he won the US Intercollegiate in 1943, ’44, and ’45, becoming the first man to take three-straight. He was a member of the US Top Ten six times. He won the US Pro Singles Championship three times, and played the longest doubles game ever at Wimbledon- 62 sets. After he retired from playing, he became a teaching pro, and was instrumental in the development of Jimmy Connors. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.

Ma. Estefania
08-21-2007, 05:57 PM
Yes, he is from Ecuador, and as usual, he's more recognized in foreign countries than in his own one. Great player.

08-22-2007, 01:56 PM
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.

08-02-2008, 09:07 PM
He was a great tennis player :worship:, but he is very unknown, as the title says :p

Perhaps the main reason he is not well known is because he played his best tennis on the Pro Tour. There he had many good results but was not quite in the same league with Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver though he gave them all a tough time and did have victories over them. I will never forget a doubles match he was in. He was at the net when Gonzalez hit a shot at him as hard as he could. Segura^s reaction was perfect and he returned the blast with a winner. The sheer elation he showed was a joy to see. It was obvious that he absolutely loved playing tennis. He was one of the the greatest overachievers of all time.

08-17-2008, 10:05 PM
Pancho Segura, born Francisco Olegario Segura (June 20, 1921), was a leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and as a professional. In 1950 and 1952, as a professional, he was the World Co-No. 1 player. He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but moved to the United States in the late 1930s and is a citizen of both countries.
Segura almost died at his premature birth, then suffered from hernias and malaria. No more than 5'6" (1.68 m) tall, he had badly bowed legs from the rickets that he also had as a child. In spite of this, he had extremely fast footwork and a devastating two-handed forehand that his frequent adversary and tennis promoter Jack Kramer once called "the greatest single shot ever produced in tennis".

Moose Malloy
11-06-2008, 05:28 PM
Great player, great champ, gentleman at all