Budge improving in hospital

Tennis great Don Budge, injured in a car accident in the Pocono Mountains, remains on a ventilator but is improving daily.

Tennis great Don Budge, injured in a car accident in the Pocono Mountains, remains on a ventilator but is improving daily.

His condition was upgraded from critical to serious and he "seems increasingly alert," hospital spokesman Jon Wojciechowski said Wednesday.

Budge, 84, drove off the road on December 14 near Milford, Pennsylvania. He was airlifted to St Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, where he was treated in the coronary care unit.

"We think he either fell asleep at the wheel or suffered some kind of ministroke," said Karl Merchant, a supervisory park ranger with the Delaware Water Gap, National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania. "But all the while I was with him he seemed alert and he talked for about 20 minutes before he was evacuated."

In 1938, Budge became the first player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year. He was The Associated Press athlete of the year in 1938.

Budge was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964 and selected one of Tennis Magazine's 20 greatest players of the century.

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