Kevin Curren

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This article is about the former tennis player. For similarly named people, see Kevin Curran (disambiguation).

Kevin Curren
Country South Africa South Africa
 United States
Residence Austin, TX, USA
Born (1958-03-02) 2 March 1958 (age 56)
Durban, South Africa
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro 1979
Retired 1993
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Prize money $3,055,510
Singles
Career record 338–235 (Grand Prix, WCT, ATP & Grand Slam-level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 5
Highest ranking No. 5 (22 July 1985)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open F (1984)
French Open 2R (1992)
Wimbledon F (1985)
US Open 4R (1981, 1990)
Other tournaments
WCT Finals SF (1984)
Doubles
Career record 430–249 (Grand Prix, WCT, ATP & Grand Slam-level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 26
Highest ranking No. 3 (3 January 1983)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open SF (1981)
French Open QF (1984)
Wimbledon SF (1982, 1983)
US Open W (1982)
Mixed Doubles
Career titles 3
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon W (1982)
US Open W (1981, 1982)

Kevin Melvyn Curren (born 2 March 1958 in Durban, South Africa) is a former professional tennis player. He played in two Grand Slam singles finals and won four Grand Slam doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 5.

Personal life[edit]

Curren became a naturalized American citizen in April 1985.[1]

Tennis career[edit]

Curren played both tennis and cricket at Glenwood High School in Durban. He also quickly rose among the ranks as a junior at Montclair Lawn Tennis Club in Montclair, Durban. At college he played tennis for the University of Texas at Austin in the United States and won the NCAA singles title in 1979. He turned professional later that year, and won his first top-level singles title in 1981 in Johannesburg.

In 1983, Curren reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon, beating defending champion, Jimmy Connors, 6–3, 6–7, 6–3, 7–6, in the fourth round, snapping Connors' streak of 27 consecutive major quarterfinals appearances. It would go on to be his only 4th round loss in 35 Grand Slam tournaments appearances. Curren lost to unseeded New Zealander Chris Lewis in a dramatic five-set semifinal match, 7–6, 4–6, 6–7, 7–6, 6–8, which allowed Lewis to become only the seventh unseeded player to reach the Wimbledon final. In 1984, Curren powered his way through the draw and played Mats Wilander in the final of the Australian Open, after making a comeback from two sets down to defeat Ben Testerman in the semifinals. Wilander won the match, played on the grass courts at Kooyong, in four sets, 6–7, 6–4, 7–6, 6–2.

In 1985, Curren became an American citizen, and reached the final at Wimbledon with the help of coaching from Tony Roche. After defeating future champion Stefan Edberg in the fourth round in straight sets, 7–6, 6–3, 7–6, he comprehensively eliminated the then-World No. 1 John McEnroe in the quarterfinals, 6–2, 6–2, 6–4, and World No. 3 Jimmy Connors in the semifinals, 6–2, 6–2, 6–1. Curren was the first player to beat both legends in the same Grand Slam event. McEnroe commented that he felt overpowered[2] and later that he had difficulty in dealing with Curren's highly individualistic and very fast serving[citation needed], which, in its low toss, was hard to read and tended to produce low balls that skipped on the grass courts of the time. In the final, he lost in four sets to Boris Becker, 3–6, 7–6, 6–7, 4–6, in a match best remembered for making the 17-year-old Becker the youngest male Grand Slam champion (a record which was later eclipsed by Michael Chang in 1989 at the French Open). The final was very heated and intense, and Becker sent several hostile glares to Curren before and after points. On one of the final change-overs, Becker even bumped Curren's shoulder as they passed one another. After his defeat, Curren was noted as saying that he thought the game would see an increase in the number of successful young players and predicted that they would have more intense, but shorter, careers.[3] Curren would be the last American man to reach the final at Wimbledon until Andre Agassi did so seven years later in 1992.

Though he never won a Grand Slam singles title, Curren did win four Grand Slam doubles titles. In 1981, he won the US Open mixed doubles, and in 1982 he won the Wimbledon mixed doubles and both men's doubles and mixed doubles at the US Open. During his career, Curren won five top-level singles titles and 26 doubles titles. His career-high rankings were World No. 5 in singles and World No. 3 in doubles. His career prize-money earnings totaled $3,055,510. His final career singles title came in 1989 at Frankfurt, and his last doubles title was won in 1992 in Seoul. Curren retired from the professional tour in 1993.

Since retiring from the tour, Curren has served as captain of South Africa's Davis Cup team.

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 finals (2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1984 Australian Open Grass Sweden Mats Wilander 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 6–7(3–7), 2–6
Runner-up 1985 Wimbledon Grass West Germany Boris Becker 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–7(3–7), 4–6

Doubles (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1982 US Open Hard United States Steve Denton United States Victor Amaya
United States Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7(4–7), 5–7, 6–2, 6–4

Mixed doubles (3 titles)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1981 US Open Hard United States Anne Smith United States JoAnne Russell
United States Steve Denton
6–4, 7–6
Winner 1982 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Anne Smith Australia Wendy Turnbull
United Kingdom John Lloyd
2–6, 6–3, 7–5
Winner 1982 US Open Hard United States Anne Smith United States Barbara Potter
United States Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–5)

Singles finals 13 (5-8)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 1981 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard South Africa Bernard Mitton 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1. 1982 Los Angeles, U.S. Carpet Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–7(5–7), 5–7, 1–6
Runner-up 2. 1982 Amsterdam, Netherlands Carpet Poland Wojtek Fibak 5–7, 6–3, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 2. 1982 Cologne, Germany Hard (i) Israel Shlomo Glickstein 2–6, 6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 3. 1983 Milan, Italy Carpet Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 7–5, 3–6, 6–7
Runner-up 4. 1984 Australian Open Grass Sweden Mats Wilander 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 6–7(3–7), 2–6
Winner 3. 1985 Toronto, Canada Carpet Sweden Anders Järryd 7–6(8–6), 6–3
Runner-up 5. 1985 Houston, U.S. Carpet United States John McEnroe 5–7, 1–6, 6–7(4–7)
Runner-up 6. 1985 Wimbledon Grass West Germany Boris Becker 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–7(3–7), 4–6
Winner 4. 1986 Atlanta, U.S. Carpet United States Tim Wilkison 7–6(7–5), 7–6(7–2)
Runner-up 7. 1986 Scottsdale, U.S. Hard United States John McEnroe 3–6, 6–3, 2–6
Runner-up 8. 1988 Toronto, Canada Hard Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–7(10–12), 2–6
Winner 5. 1989 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet Czechoslovakia Petr Korda 6–2, 7–5

Doubles finals 53 (26-27)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. 1980 Denver, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton Poland Wojtek Fibak
Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 1. 1980 Washington-2, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton United States Ferdi Taygan
United States Brian Teacher
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Runner-up 2. 1980 North Conway, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton United States Jimmy Connors
United States Brian Gottfried
6–7, 3–6
Winner 2. 1980 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton Poland Wojtek Fibak
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl
3–6, 7–6, 6–4
Winner 3. 1980 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) United States Steve Denton South Africa Bob Hewitt
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 4. 1981 Monterrey WCT, Mexico Carpet United States Steve Denton South Africa Johan Kriek
New Zealand Russell Simpson
7–6, 6–3
Runner-up 3. 1981 Brussels, Belgium Carpet United States Steve Denton United States Sandy Mayer
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 4. 1981 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass United States Steve Denton United States Pat Du Pré
United States Brian Teacher
6–3, 6–7, 9–11
Runner-up 5. 1981 Newport, U.S. Grass United States Billy Martin Australia Brad Drewett
United States Erik Van Dillen
2–6, 4–6
Winner 5. 1981 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton Mexico Raúl Ramírez
United States Van Winitsky
6–3, 5–7, 7–5
Winner 6. 1981 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) United States Steve Denton United States Sherwood Stewart
United States Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 6–4, 6–0
Runner-up 6. 1982 Masters Doubles WCT, London Carpet United States Steve Denton Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
7–6, 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Winner 7. 1982 Denver, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton Australia Phil Dent
Australia Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Winner 8. 1982 Memphis, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
7–6, 4–6, 6–2
Runner-up 7. 1982 Munich-2 WCT, Germany Carpet United States Steve Denton Australia Mark Edmondson
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 8. 1982 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet United States Fritz Buehning Australia Mark Edmondson
United States Sherwood Stewart
5–7, 2–6
Winner 9. 1982 Houston, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton Australia Mark Edmondson
Australia Peter McNamara
7–5, 6–4
Winner 10. 1982 U.S. Open, New York Hard United States Steve Denton United States Victor Amaya
United States Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 11. 1982 Los Angeles-2 WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Hank Pfister United States Andy Andrews
United States Drew Gitlin
4–6, 6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 9. 1982 Amsterdam WCT, Netherlands Carpet United Kingdom Buster Mottram United States Fritz Buehning
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 3–6, 0–6
Winner 12. 1983 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
6–4, 7–6
Winner 13. 1983 Munich WCT, Germany Carpet United States Steve Denton Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
7–5, 2–6, 6–1
Winner 14. 1983 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton United States Mark Dickson
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–7, 6–1
Winner 15. 1983 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard United States Steve Denton United States Tracy Delatte
United States Johan Kriek
6–3, 7–5
Runner-up 10. 1983 Forest Hills WCT, U.S. Clay United States Steve Denton United States Tracy Delatte
United States Johan Kriek
7–6, 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 11. 1983 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass United States Steve Denton United States Brian Gottfried
Australia Paul McNamee
4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 12. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton United States John McEnroe
United States Patrick McEnroe
6–7, 2–6
Runner-up 13. 1984 Brussels, Belgium Carpet United States Steve Denton United States Tim Gullikson
United States Tom Gullikson
4–6, 7–6, 6–7
Winner 16. 1984 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet Poland Wojtek Fibak United States Fritz Buehning
United States Ferdi Taygan
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 14. 1984 Milan, Italy Carpet United States Steve Denton Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 15. 1985 Memphis, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–1, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 16. 1985 Brussels, Belgium Carpet Poland Wojtek Fibak Sweden Stefan Edberg
Sweden Anders Järryd
3–6, 6–7
Winner 17. 1986 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass France Guy Forget Australia Darren Cahill
Australia Mark Kratzmann
6–2, 7–6
Winner 18. 1987 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard United States Paul Annacone Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Sweden Anders Järryd
6–4, 7–6
Winner 19. 1987 Los Angeles, U.S. Hard United States David Pate United States Brad Gilbert
United States Tim Wilkison
6–3, 6–4
Winner 20. 1987 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard (i) United States David Pate United States Eric Korita
United States Brad Pearce
6–4, 6–4
Winner 21. 1988 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i) United States David Pate Sweden Peter Lundgren
Sweden Mikael Pernfors
6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 17. 1988 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet South Africa Danie Visser New Zealand Kelly Evernden
United States Johan Kriek
6–7, 3–6
Runner-up 18. 1988 Vienna, Austria Carpet Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd Austria Alex Antonitsch
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Winner 22. 1988 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) United States Jim Grabb United States Paul Annacone
Australia John Fitzgerald
7–5, 7–5
Winner 23. 1988 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard (i) United States David Pate South Africa Gary Muller
United States Tim Wilkison
7–6, 6–4
Runner-up 19. 1989 Indian Wells, U.S. Hard United States David Pate West Germany Boris Becker
Switzerland Jakob Hlasek
6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 20. 1989 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard United States David Pate United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso
4–6, 4–6
Winner 24. 1989 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet United States David Pate Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Živojinović
4–6, 6–3, 7–6
Runner-up 21. 1989 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet West Germany Eric Jelen South Africa Pieter Aldrich
South Africa Danie Visser
6–7, 7–6, 3–6
Runner-up 22. 1989 Wembley, U.K. Carpet United Kingdom Jeremy Bates Switzerland Jakob Hlasek
United States John McEnroe
1–6, 6–7
Runner-up 23. 1990 Toronto Indoor, Canada Carpet South Africa Neil Broad United States Patrick Galbraith
Australia David Macpherson
6–2, 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 24. 1990 Hong Kong Hard United States Joey Rive Australia Pat Cash
Australia Wally Masur
3–6, 3–6
Winner 25. 1990 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass United Kingdom Jeremy Bates France Henri Leconte
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl
6–2, 7–6
Runner-up 25. 1990 Berlin, Germany Carpet United States Patrick Galbraith South Africa Pieter Aldrich
South Africa Danie Visser
6–7, 6–7
Runner-up 26. 1991 Lyon, France Hard (i) United Kingdom Jeremy Bates United States Steve DeVries
Australia David Macpherson
6–7, 6–3, 3–6
Runner-up 27. 1992 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i) South Africa Gary Muller Australia Todd Woodbridge
Australia Mark Woodforde
5–7, 6–4, 6–7
Winner 26. 1992 Seoul, South Korea Hard South Africa Gary Muller New Zealand Kelly Evernden
United States Brad Pearce
7–6, 6–4

References[edit]

  1. ^ ITF Tennis – Mens Circuit – Player Biography
  2. ^ "McEnroe Gets What He Had Coming: a Loss", Los Angeles Times, 4 July 1985.
  3. ^ "1985: Boris Becker wins Wimbledon at 17". BBC. 7 July 1985. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 

External links[edit]