2022 Sportsmanship Award - Frank Sedgman
The legendary Frank Sedgman, or ‘Sedge’ as he’s widely known, was presented with the 2022 Jean Jean Borotra CQS Sportsmanship award at a gala luncheon held at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon, July 3.
Honoring Frank and celebrating the 70th anniversary celebration of his Wimbledon triple crown win in 1952, the event was brilliantly hosted by Kooyong, along with the IC and the Australian Davis Cup foundation.
Frank’s 1952 sweep of singles, doubles and mixed remains an extraordinary feat. And he’d done the same at the US Championships the previous year, such was his dominance.
Turning 95 this year, Frank, with his lovely wife Jean, had originally planned to travel to Wimbledon for the anniversary, but when this was not possible, the Kooyong event evolved.
The Sedgman family were seated at the ‘Royal Box’ table, and the lunch had a very festive Wimbledon theme, including an Aussie take on strawberries and cream!
Over 200 people attended, enjoying former Davis Cup player Sam Groth as MC, with video tributes and messages from many in the tennis world: Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Todd Martin, Wimbledon Chairman Ian Hewitt (giving the luncheon a ‘behind the scenes’ video tour of the All England Club), Paul McNamee with IC Chair Peter McQuibban and Sir Michael Hintze saluting Frank from Wimbledon, and IC Australia President Kerryn Pratt announcing the Award. Neale Fraser also spoke on the day, and musical opera star David Hobson was a hit performing some of Frank’s favourite songs.
IC Australia’s Cedric Mason and Chris Kachel presented Frank with the Borotra trophy, a replica, as Frank’s was awaiting him at Wimbledon! The Sedge edition will arrive in Melbourne shortly.
Frank was truly delighted to receive the IC’s ultimate accolade which is richly deserved on so many counts - his brilliant playing record, his sportsmanship, his pioneering role in pro tennis and for the contributions he’s made to the IC in Australia and worldwide over many decades. He was part of the founding of the IC in Australia, served as President, remains Patron, and is currently the President of the IC Council.
Sedge was rated world number 1 as both an amateur and a professional player.
As an amateur he won 5 majors in singles, 8 in mixed and 9 in doubles, a total of 22 grand slam titles before the age of 25 when he turned pro. Alongside fellow Aussie Ken McGregor, he achieved the Grand Slam in men’s doubles in 1951 and in the 50’s led Australia to Davis Cup victory on three occasions.
Sedge is a great champion on court and off, revered in Australia and around the globe, truly living the IC motto of ‘hands across the net, friendships across the ocean’ throughout his illustrious tennis life.