Clarence Griffin

Clarence Griffin

Class of 1970

Master Player

Career Achievements

Top Ranking     
U.S. No. 6 (1916)

Grand Slam Results
3-time U.S. Nationals Doubles champion

Fun Fact
Griffin was the uncle of TV personality Merv Griffin

Citizenship: USA Born: January 10, 1888 in San Francisco, California Died: March 24, 1973 Played: Right-handed

Though he was ranked in the U.S. three times for his singles prowess in 1915, 1916, and 1920 – largely due to four quarterfinal and one semifinal appearance at the U.S. National Championships – Clarence Griffin made his mark on the doubles court, winning three U.S. National Doubles Championships alongside fellow Californian Bill Johnston.

Before Griffin could earn his first major title, he needed to regroup from coming up just short of a championship in the 1913 U.S. doubles final. He and partner John Strachan fell in three tough sets to Maurice McLoughlin and Tom Bundy, a doubles combination that Griffin would face again in a championship match. There was playing highlights for Griffin in 1913, however, as he and Strachan won the U.S. Clay Court title. In 1914, Griffin showed he was a solid singles player, winning the Clay Court singles title in a comeback effort, 3-6, 6-8, 8-6, 6-0, 6-2 over Ella Fottrel.

In 1915, McLoughlin and Bundy awaited Griffin and Johnston in the U.S. Nationals championship match and it was as thrilling event for the Forest Hills crowd. In five sets, Griffin and Johnston prevailed, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The following year McLoughlin changed partners, pairing with Ward Dawson, but Griffin kept his doubles consistency and it led to a second straight title, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Griffin’s success waned the next three years, but in 1920 he collaborated with Johnston for his final U.S. Doubles Championship, a route 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Roland Roberts and Willis Davis.

Known as “Peck,” Griffin’s best U.S. singles performance came in 1916 when he reached the semifinals, losing to Richard Norris Williams II. He was ranked No. 6 in the U.S. in 1916. He was a quarterfinalist in 1914, 1915, 1917, and 1920.

Grand Slam

Grand Slam Best Results

Titles

3 Doubles

Singles
U.S. Nationals: SF 1916

Doubles
Wimbledon: QF 1919
U.S. Nationals: W 1915, 1916, 1920