|Residence||Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA|
August 22, 1952 |
Washington D.C., USA
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (2-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (September 8, 1980)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||F (1976)|
|Wimbledon||1R (1972, 1974, 1977, 1986)|
|US Open||SF (1977)|
|Tour Finals||SF (1976)|
|WCT Finals||QF (1975, 1976)|
|Highest ranking||No. 4 (1976)|
|Last updated on: March 31, 2012.|
Harold Solomon (born September 17, 1952, in Washington, D.C.) is a former American professional tennis player during the 1970s and 1980s. He achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world in 1980.
Solomon began playing tennis at the age of five, and as a junior player he was ranked as high as No. 2 in the United States in the 14, 16, and 18 age groups, and won the U.S. Boys 18 Clay Court Championship.
He then turned professional in 1972, and won his first pro singles titles in Washington, D.C. in 1974.
Solomon would go on to reach the singles final at the French Open in 1976, falling to Adriano Panatta. He also reached the semifinals at the French Open in 1974 and 1980, and was a quarterfinalist in 1972 and 1975.
At the U.S. Open, he was a semifinalist in 1977. He also won the tournament now known as the Cincinnati Masters twice (in 1977 and 1980), and was a finalist at the 1976 and 1978 United States Pro Championships.
Solomon captured a total of 22 professional singles titles . His professional career won-loss record is 564–315, and his career prize money winnings is $1,802,769 (not including the Senior Tour).
He ranked among the world's Top 10 singles players four out of five consecutive years: 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980.
In 1980, his best year, he won 64 matches and lost 23. Also that year, Playgirl Magazine named him one of the 10 sexiest men of the year.
Solomon was ranked in the world's Top 20 for 7 consecutive years between 1974 and 1980.
He and his doubles partner, Eddie Dibbs, were dubbed "The Bagel Twins." They reached the No. 4 doubles ranking in the world in 1976, and ranked in the world doubles Top 10 from 1974 to 1976.
Grand Slam singles finals
|Year||Championship||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|1976||French Open||Adriano Panatta||1–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7|
Singles finals 38 (22/16)
|Winner||1.||1974||Washington, D.C., U.S.||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||1–6, 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1.||1974||Bretton Woods, U.S.||Clay||Rod Laver||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||2.||1974||Los Angeles, U.S.||Hard||Jimmy Connors||3–6, 1–6|
|Winner||2.||1975||Toronto Indoor WCT, Canada||Carpet||Stan Smith||6–4, 6–1|
|Winner||3.||1975||Memphis, U.S.||Carpet||Jiří Hřebec||2–6, 6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||3.||1975||Washington, D.C., U.S.||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||1–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||4.||1975||Melbourne Indoor, Australia||Grass (i)||Brian Gottfried||2–6, 6–7, 1–6|
|Winner||4.||1975||Perth, Australia||Hard||Alex Mayer||6–2, 7–6, 7–5|
|Winner||5.||1975||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Brian Gottfried||6–3, 6–2, 5–7, 6–2|
|Runner-up||5.||1976||Monterrey WCT, Mexico||Carpet||Eddie Dibbs||6–7, 2–6|
|Winner||6.||1976||Washington WCT, U.S.||Carpet||Onny Parun||6–3, 6–1|
|Winner||7.||1976||Houston WCT, U.S.||Clay||Ken Rosewall||6–4, 1–6, 6–1|
|Runner-up||6.||1976||French Open, Paris||Clay||Adriano Panatta||1–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7|
|Winner||8.||1976||Louisville, U.S.||Clay||Wojtek Fibak||6–2, 7–5|
|Runner-up||7.||1976||Boston, U.S.||Clay||Björn Borg||7–6, 4–6, 1–6, 2–6|
|Winner||9.||1976||Maui, U.S.||Hard||Bob Lutz||6–3, 5–7, 7–5|
|Winner||10.||1976||Johannesburg WCT, South Africa||Hard||Brian Gottfried||6–2, 6–7, 6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||11.||1977||Brussels, Belgium||Clay||Karl Meiler||7–5, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||12.||1977||Cincinnati, U.S.||Clay||Mark Cox||6–2, 6–3|
|Winner||13.||1977||WCT Tournament of Champions, Lakeway||Hard (i)||Ken Rosewall||7–6, 6–2, 2–6, 0–6, 6–3|
|Runner-up||8.||1978||Springfield, U.S.||Carpet||Heinz Günthardt||3–6, 6–3, 2–6|
|Winner||14.||1978||Las Vegas, U.S.||Hard||Corrado Barazzutti||6–1, 3–0, RET.|
|Winner||15.||1978||Louisville, U.S.||Clay||John Alexander||6–2, 6–2|
|Runner-up||9.||1978||Boston, U.S.||Clay||Manuel Orantes||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||10.||1978||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Tim Gullikson||6–2, 6–7, 6–7, 7–6, 4–6|
|Winner||16.||1979||Baltimore WCT, U.S.||Carpet||Marty Riessen||7–5, 6–4|
|Runner-up||11.||1979||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||José Higueras||6–3, 1–6, 4–6, 1–6|
|Runner-up||12.||1979||Forest Hills WCT, U.S.||Clay||Eddie Dibbs||6–7, 1–6|
|Winner||17.||1979||North Conway, U.S.||Clay||José Higueras||5–7, 6–4, 7–6|
|Runner-up||13.||1979||Bordeaux, France||Clay||Yannick Noah||0–6, 7–6, 1–6, 6–1, 4–6|
|Winner||18.||1979||Paris Indoor, France||Hard (i)||Corrado Barazzutti||6–3, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||14.||1979||Wembley, England||Carpet||John McEnroe||3–6, 4–6, 5–7|
|Winner||19.||1980||Baltimore WCT, U.S.||Carpet||Tim Gullikson||7–6, 6–0|
|Runner-up||15.||1980||Las Vegas, U.S.||Hard||Björn Borg||3–6, 1–6|
|Winner||20.||1980||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||6–7, 6–2, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3|
|Winner||21.||1980||Cincinnati, U.S.||Hard||Francisco González||7–6, 6–3|
|Winner||22.||1980||Tel Aviv, Israel||Hard||Shlomo Glickstein||6–2, 6–3|
|Runner-up||16.||1981||Las Vegas, U.S.||Hard||Ivan Lendl||4–6, 2–6|
Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
|Australian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||NH||0 / 0|
|French Open||QF||3R||SF||QF||F||4R||3R||4R||SF||1R||2R||A||3R||A||A||0 / 12|
|Wimbledon||1R||A||1R||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||0 / 4|
|US Open||2R||1R||A||4R||1R||SF||4R||4R||4R||3R||3R||1R||A||A||A||0 / 11|
NH = tournament not held.
A = did not participate in the tournament.
Solomon was a member of United States Davis Cup Teams in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1978 and has a record of 9 wins vs. 4 losses in this competition. The US team won the Davis Cup final in 1972 (3-2 against Romania) and 1978 (4-1 against Great Britain) although Solomon did not play in either final.
Style of play
Known as "the Human Backboard", because he played like one, Solomon was notorious for frustrating his opponents with his lobs and relentless, methodical returns. He employed a slow, methodical, gritty, determined style marked by tireless effort, and a powerful two-fisted right-handed backhand.
"When you played Harold", observed fellow pro Erik Van Dillen, "you'd better bring your lunch and dinner – you might be out there all day." Solomon defended himself this way: "I guess it's not so exciting to see eight million balls hit back and forth, but I wonder, is it any more exciting to see Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl each hitting 40 aces?"
Solomon was President of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) from 1980 to 1983. After 1983 he served on the ATP Board of Directors.
Halls of Fame
Solomon was inducted into the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Hall of Fame in 1994. and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame (player) in 2013.
Solomon began coaching in the early 1990s. He is largely identified with women's pro Mary Joe Fernandez, whom he tutored for five years.
He also helped Jennifer Capriati return to top form in the late 1990s. He was initially contacted by Jennifer's father, but said he would not coach her until Jennifer called him herself. After she did, he helped lead her to two titles in 1999 and to the semifinals in the Australian Open. In 2000, however, Solomon and Capriati parted ways after he was frustrated by her lack of focus. She would then go on to win 3 Grand Slams and obtain the Number One ranking.
He also aided and refined the careers of Jim Courier, Justin Gimelstob, Monica Seles, Mirjana Lučić, Anna Kournikova, and Daniela Hantuchová. Solomon has also coached players in the finals of Grand Slam Events, and to Gold and Silver medals at the Olympic Games.
- After retiring from the ATP tour in 1986, Solomon worked as the Vice President of Human Resources in the family-owned business, Diversified Services.
- He was also Chairman of the Board of End World Hunger, a not-for-profit organization that taught residents of low-income housing projects in the U.S. how to grow food and become self-sufficient.