Henry Wilfred "Bunny" Austin
(26 August 1906 – 26 August 2000) was an English tennis
Austin was the last male tennis player from the United Kingdom to reach the final of the Gentlemen's Singles at Wimbledon
, a feat he achieved in 1938 (having also been losing finalist in 1932). He was also a finalist at the 1937 French Championships
and a championship winner at Queen's Club
. Along with Fred Perry
, he was a vital part of the British team that won the Davis Cup
in three consecutive years (from 1933-35). He is also remembered as the first tennis player to wear shorts.
Austin was brought up in South Norwood
, London. The nickname Bunny
came from a comic strip, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred
. Encouraged by his father, who was determined that he become a sportsman, he joined Norhurst Tennis Club aged six.
While still an undergraduate at Cambridge University
he reached the semi-finals of the men's doubles at Wimbledon
in 1926. By the 1930s he was ranked in the world's top ten players. In his first Wimbledon men's singles final in 1932 he was beaten by Ellsworth Vines
of the United States in three sets.
In 1932 he decided that the traditional tennis attire, cricket flannels, weighed him down too much. He bought a pair of shorts to use at Forest Hills and subsequently became the first player to wear them at Wimbledon.
In the years 1933-6, he and Fred Perry
helped win the Davis Cup
Austin also... Read More