Class of 1970
U.S. No. 6 (1916)
Grand Slam Results
3-time U.S. Nationals Doubles champion
Griffin was the uncle of TV personality Merv Griffin
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.
U.S. Nationals: SF 1916
Wimbledon: QF 1919
U.S. Nationals: W 1915, 1916, 1920