CHAMPION COLUMN | Tennis champions at rest at Denham Court

The Liverpool & District Historical Society recently toured historic Denham Court Church and graveyard. Graveyard tours always uncover remarkable forgotten notables of the past and this tour didn't disappoint. For a modest little church and graveyard, there are some noteworthy families who chose it as their final resting place. Names like Penfold, McGrath and Throsby dot the headstone landscape. Among the weathered and crooked headstones of this picturesque graveyard lie Australia's power tennis couple of the '30s. Some of us may remember the golden age of Rosewall, Hoad and Laver from the '50s and '60s, but few of us around today would recall the exploits of Jack and Marjorie Crawford. Back in 1933, Jackwas the world No.1 tennis player. In that year he won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon. He was runner-up at the US Open, losing in five sets and just missing the Grand Slam. He won the Australian Open in 1931, 1932 and 1933 and won the Victorian Open six times, defeating Harry Hopman four years in a row. Crawford was a handsome figure on the court. A right-hander, he was an exemplary sportsman with one commentator calling him the "most popular Wimbledon winner in history". His playing style became known as the Australian Style. Jack was belatedly inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979. With his wife Marjorie, he won the Australian mixed-doubles in 1930, 1931 and 1932, and runner-up in 1929 and 1930. He won the Wimbledon mixed-doubles in 1930 and the French mixed-doubles in 1933 with different partners. Marjorie won the Australian women's doubles with Coral Buttsworth in 1932 and was runner-up in the singles final in 1931. She reached the quarter-finals seven times. As Marjorie Cox, she won the NSW, Victorian and Queensland championships several times. Her parents, who lived at Ingleburn, are also buried at Denham Court.

GLEN OP DEN BROUW

President, Liverpool & District Historical Society

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