Famed American tennis player (1893-1953) whose major tournament victories number in the dozens (including six consecutive years as U.S. Singles Champion). Though his reputation was tainted by a pedophilic scandal and a jail term in the 1940s, a 1950 Associated Press poll named him the greatest tennis player of the first half of the twentieth century.
Two-page (recto and verso of one sheet) autograph letter signed (ALS) “Love your Bill“ on two lightly-lined 5×8 sheets, no date, to the mother of his protege, Arthur “Brat” Anderson, in full:
I just wrote Bratto and mailed it before your letter came & I think [?] is going to sent it out for me this afternoon so he may get it before you get this.
I know how pleased & proud you are of Bratto’s win & you can imagine me. I do not know Mazano at all but I feel sure if Bratto plays him, and is not thinking about playing Sibert next, he will win easily. Tell him to beat Mazano as it were his only match of the day & once that is over he can work on Sibert.
Tell the Babe to keep working on exactly the same lines all week but only play two hard sets on Friday. I’ll be looking for you on Sunday & hoping the Brat can’t come owing to the finals but if he can I want to see him. Tell him to be confident but not [?] or satisfied by his fine win.
I have no needs except to saw how much your visits mean to me – and how much Bratto’s fine work inspires me to keep going too. I love you all very much & will see you Sunday. I wrote [?] about his father but I didn’t have his address & he may not get it. Please tell him how sorry I am. Great work again Bratto.