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Tennis Legend Tony Trabert to Speak at USTA Southern Section Annual Meeting

November 26, 2002 09:23 AM
© Copyright
Tony Trabert, former touring pro and current tennis commentator for CBS Sports, has been named as the Keynote speaker at the upcoming USTA Southern Section Annual Meeting.


On Saturday, January 18, 2003 at 10am, at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Hotel, Trabert will be discussing "the current and future state of tennis" at the Opening Session of the Annual Meeting. Following the Opening Session he will be holding a "Question and Answer" session at the STA Pro's Workshop. If you would like information about the Pro's Workshop please contact Bill Ozaki.

In 1955, Tony Trabert enjoyed one of the finest seasons any man has ever had on a tennis court. He captured the Australian Open doubles crown with Vic Seixas, the French Open singles and doubles titles (also with Seixas) and the Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles trophies to earn acclaim as the No. 1 amateur player of that year.

Overall in 1955, Trabert won 18 tourneys – amassing 30 titles – on a 106-7 match record. This is widely regarded as the most productive ever by an American man. Included was a winning streak of 36 matches. He also won 12 doubles titles (with Vic Seixas).

An exceptional athlete, Marion Anthony Trabert was born August 16, 1930, in Cincinnati, OH. He was a standout basketball player at the University of Cincinnati, for which he also won the U.S. Intercollegiate singles title in 1951.

While the French Open Championship has traditionally been the most difficult tournament for American men to conquer, Trabert won it five times, including the singles championship in 1954 and 1955. Thirty-four years passed before another American, Michael Chang, won in 1989. Trabert also won the doubles in 1950 (with Bill Talbert) and in 1954 and 1955 (with Vic Seixas). Only a defeat by Ken Rosewall (the eventual champ) in the semifinals of the Australian Championships, 8-6, 6-3, 6-3, ruined Trabert's chance at a Grand Slam in 1955.

For five years Trabert was a mainstay of the U.S. Davis Cup team. In each of those years the U.S. reached the challenge round finale, and Trabert's best-remembered match may have been a defeat, a tremendous struggle against Australia’s Lew Hoad on a rainy afternoon in 1953 in Melbourne. Hoad won, 7-5, in the fifth, and Australia kept the Cup. However, Trabert and Seixas returned to Australia a year later and got their revenge. Trabert beat Hoad on the opening day in singles and he and Seixas won the doubles over Hoad and Rex Hartwig in a 3-2 triumph, the only U.S. seizure of the Cup from the Aussies during an eight-year stretch.

He won a total of 10 Grand Slam titles in his career, five each in singles--where he was a perfect 5-0 in finals--and doubles. Trabert also captured three of the four Grand Slam singles titles at least once, including the U.S. Open crown in 1953 and 1955. He still stands as one of only two American males since 1955 to win three of the four Grand Slam singles events in the same year. Amassing 13 U.S. titles in singles and doubles, he was one of two Americans to win singles championships on all four surfaces: grass at Forest Hills, indoor, clay court and hard court.

Following the custom of the time, Trabert, as the top amateur, signed on with the professionals to challenge the ruler, Pancho Gonzalez, on a head-to-head tour in 1956. Gonzalez won, 74-27. Trabert was runner-up to Alex Olmedo for the U.S. Pro singles title in 1960, having won the doubles with Hartwig in 1956.

Trabert had four years in the U.S. and World Top Ten, 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1955, and reached No. 1 in 1953 and 1955, before turning pro. His amateur career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970 and has served as its President since September 2001.

In 1976 he returned to the Davis Cup scene as the US captain, leading the Cup-winning teams of 1978 and 1979.

Today, Trabert is one of the best-known and most highly respected broadcasters in tennis. He joined the CBS Television Network in 1972 and now broadcasts U.S. Open action alongside notable tennis personalities such as John McEnroe, Dick Enberg, Bill Macatee, Mary Carillo and Pam Shriver.

He now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL with his wife, Vicki. He has four children.

 

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