#8 Gottfried von Cramm
Gottfried von Cramm was the first ever German to rise to the top of the professional tennis rankings. He was the number 1 ranked player in singles in 1937. Prior to that, for two full years, he was ranked World Number 2.
Von Cramm was the first German man to win a Grand Slam title. He won the French Open Championships in 1934, and captured his second title in Paris in the year 1936.
He was the runner-up at the Wimbledon Championships in three separate years, losing each time to British tennis legend Fred Perry.
He had a great rivalry with Don Budge, and the two of them remained friends even after their respective retirements.
Von Cramm refused to be used as a propaganda tool by the Nazis at the height of Adolf Hitler's regime. As a result, the Nazis jailed him and even forbade him from participating in the 1937 French Open Championships, where he was to defend his title.Published 29 Nov 2018, 12:18 IST