With the food shortages combined with six years without any competition, the Europeans certainly did not figure among the favourites for the relaunched Grand Slam tournaments. Not that it was easy to draw up a hierarchy among those present in mid-July 1946. There were those who had turned professional, among them Donald Budge, Fred Perry and Bobby Riggs.
For some, the journey was a bridge too far, ruling out appearances by Australians John Bromwich and Adrian Quist. Others had not returned from the front, including Henner Henkel, who died at Stalingrad. And there were those whose German passport ruled them out of all competition - even Gottfried von Cramm, despite being a fierce opponent of the Nazi regime.
It was anyone’s guess who would emerge from the crowd of unknown newcomers and old-timers who had seen their best years stolen away from them. At Wimbledon, it had been a member of the latter – Frenchman Yvon Pétra – who came through to take the silverware.
The "Americans amazons"
The Americans nevertheless seemed to be just ahead of the pack. Across the pond, planet tennis had continued to turn, shamateurism had become well structured, playing standards had risen and as such, they were ready to bag the various Grand Slam titles for the foreseeable future. This is what happened in the women’s draw at Roland-Garros, where the "Amazons" outstripped the competition. The title went to Margaret Osborne, defeating Pauline Betz in the final, with Louise Brough and Dorothy Bundy the semi-finalists, and this particular foursome also filled the slots in the final of the women’s doubles - with Doris Hart instead of Dorothy Bundy.