Blast from the past: Fred Perry and Dorothy Round win Wimbledon

For our second “blast from the past”, we’ve delved through British Pathé‘s seemingly endless archive to bring you this gem from a golden year for British tennis: 1934.

As the tight-lipped newsreader declares, it had been 25 years since an “Englishman” had won Wimbledon, a record that Fred Perry ended in a tough final against Australia’s Jack Crawford.

Three things stand out from the highlights of the men’s final: the gentle pace of the play, the comparatively muted applause when Perry wins (no uncouth cheering here) and the fact that he seems to be holding a ball while playing. We can’t see Andy Murray taking up that particular habit.

The newsreel then goes on to show Dorothy Round winning the women’s title in front of a stern-faced George V. Interestingly, in stark contrast to Perry’s win, Round receives both a few cheers and a standing ovation. One man in the crowd even takes his hat off…

We wonder what George V would have made of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s bizarre “Battle of the Surfaces” in 2007

Image: British Library Newspaper Archive

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