Tennis greats to honor Kramer

9/22/2009 - Tennis

LOS ANGELES -- Tennis champion Jack Kramer will be honored by Hall of Fame players Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver and Donald Dell at a memorial service.

The service is Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, where since the 1950s Kramer was heavily involved in the men's professional tournament played there.

Kramer died of cancer Sept. 13 in Los Angeles. The 88-year-old player won the Wimbledon singles title in 1947 and the U.S. Championships, the forerunner of the U.S. Open, in 1946 and '47.

Shriver and Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre will host the memorial. Among the speakers will be Austin, U.S. Open tournament director Jim Curley, Dell, former player Charlie Pasarell, promoter Barry MacKay, and members of Kramer's family.

Kramer was the world's No. 1 player from the late '40s until 1954, when an arthritic back forced him into retirement.

He worked as a tireless promoter of the sport and was among those who led the way for a more unified, open tennis tour. Kramer was a founder of the Association of Tennis Professionals and served as its first executive director. In 1973, he led ATP's boycott of Wimbledon, which helped players gain more control of their own careers from national tennis associations.