Jaroslav Drobny ' 1954 Wimbledon Mens Singles Champion ' Tennis Signed Cards Autograph £25.00
This is a vintage signed card approx 3.5" x 2.5" by the late Czech Amateur Tennis Champion who also represented his Country at Ice Hockey. He beat Ken Rosewall in the Final at Wimbledon in 1954 becoming the 1st Left Hander to win the Championship. The signed note on the card reads :- " Sorry but this letter was delivered to me by mistake - as Miss Hart's gone already I am sending your letter back. Sincerely Jaroslav Drobny.
Jaroslav Drobny (October 12, 1921 in Prague, Czechoslovakia - September 13, 2001 in London, United Kingdom) was an amateur tennis champion as well as being an ice hockey player for the Czechoslovakian national team. He left Czechoslovakia in 1949 and travelled as an Egyptian citizen before becoming a citizen of Great Britain in 1959, where he died in 2001. He was a silver medalist with the Czechoslovakian ice hockey team in the 1948 Olympics. In the final match, Czechoslovakia and Canada tied goalless but Canada won the gold medal due to a better overall goal average. Drobny scored 9 goals in 8 games at the Olympics. Jaroslav Drobny was also a member of the Czechoslovakian national ice hockey team which won the gold medals at the 1947 World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague. He scored 15 goals in 7 games in the tournament including a hat-trick in the decisive victory over USA which gave his country its first ever World Championships title. In 1997, Drobny has been inducted in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame. Drobny could have become the first ever European player to start in the National Hockey League when the Boston Bruins put him on their reserve in 1949. Apparently, he was offered $20,000 to come over to play for Boston but he has refused, preferring to remain playing amateur hockey and retain the flexibility to play tennis during the summers. The first European to play in the NHL eventually became Ulf Sterner from Sweden when he started for the New York Rangers for the first time on January 27, 1965. As a tennis player, Drobny was good enough as early as 1946 to be able to beat Jack Kramer in the round of 16 at Wimbledon before losing in the semi-finals. In 1951 and 1952 he won the French Open, defeating in the final Eric Sturgess and then retaining the title the following year against Frank Sedgman. Drobny was the losing finalist at Wimbledon in both 1949 and 1952 before finally winning it in 1954 by beating Ken Rosewall for the title, the first left-hander to capture Wimbledon since Sir Norman Brookes. He has also won the French Open doubles title in 1948, playing with Lennart Bergelin, and he won the mixed doubles title paired with Patricia Canning Todd at 1948 French Open. Drobny was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1983. He's the only person to win the rare combination of Wimbledon in tennis and a world championship title in ice hockey. Jaroslav Drobny's plaque in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Drobny held the distinction of having competed at Wimbledon under four different national identities. In 1938, at the age of 16, he started for his native Czechoslovakia. A year later, following the German invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia, he was officially representing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After World World II, he started at Wimbledon yet again as Czechoslovakian but he has chosen to defect the communist regime in 1949 - he has left Czechoslovakia for good on July 11, 1949. Becoming stateless, Drobny attempted to gain Swiss, US, and Australian papers until finally Egypt offered him citizenship and so he started in Wimbledon for Egypt from 1950 through 1959, including his title winning run in 1954. He is the only Egyptian citizen to ever win a grand slam tennis tournament. At the time of his Wimbledon win in 1954, Drobny was already living in the United Kingdom but only in his final appearance at Wimbledon in 1960, at the age of 38, he was representing his new homeland, Great Britain. During his amateur career, Drobny won over 130 singles titles, and was world ranked in the top 10 from 1946-55. After the Czechoslovak coup d'etat of 1948, Drobny was increasingly dissatisfied with the way the communist propaganda used him for its purposes. At the time, he was Czechoslovakia's most renowned athlete together with the phenomenal long-distance runner Emil Zatopek. Increasingly, it was becoming apparent to Drobny that he was no longer free to travel freely to tournaments and he grew dissatisfied with the new regime. That has ultimately escalated in his defection from his native land. Drobny is the only male tennis player who ever won Wimbledon singles title while wearing glasses. Billie-Jean King and Martina Navratilova are the only female Wimbledon champions wearing glasses. Arthur Ashe who was known for playing with spectacles had switched to contact lenses by the time he won Wimbledon in 1975.