Roscoe Tanner

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Roscoe Tanner
Country  United States
Residence Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Born (1951-10-15) October 15, 1951 (age 62)
Chattanooga, TN
Height 6' (183 cm)
Turned pro 1972
Retired 1985
Plays Left-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,696,198
Singles
Career record 587-287
Career titles 16
Highest ranking No. 4 (July 30, 1979)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1977Jan)
French Open 4R (1978)
Wimbledon F (1979)
US Open SF (1974, 1979)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals RR (1976, 1977, 1979, 1981)
WCT Finals SF (1981)
Doubles
Career record 272-182
Career titles 13
Highest ranking No. 14 (August 23, 1977)

Roscoe Tanner (born October 15, 1951) is a former American professional tennis player, who turned pro in 1972[1] and reached a career high world singles ranking of World No. 4 on July 30, 1979.

Tanner was famous for his big left-handed serve, which was clocked at 153 mph at Palm Springs in 1978 during the final against Raúl Ramírez.[2][3][4] He is also known for winning the men's singles title at the first of two Australian Open tournaments held in 1977. Tanner won the tournament held in January, Vitas Gerulaitis won the December tournament. Tanner also reached the Wimbledon final in 1979, losing to Björn Borg in five sets.

Tanner has been in the news in recent years for his legal problems.

Early life[edit]

Leonard Roscoe Tanner III[5] hailed from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, graduated from the Baylor School, and with teammate Sandy Mayer helped to lead Stanford University's rise to the number one ranking in collegiate tennis in 1973. Tanner played number one singles, with Mayer playing number two. The team also featured Rick Fisher, Stanley Pasarell, Jim Delaney, James "Chico" Hagey, Gery Groslimond, Pat DuPre, Tim Noonan and Paul Sidone. Of the winning 1973 Stanford tennis team, Tanner, Mayer and DuPre were all brothers in the Zeta Psi fraternity.

Playing history[edit]

Tanner defeated Haroon Rahim 10–8 in the fifth set to win the 1970 United States Amateur Championships (Men's Tennis).

Tanner defeated Guillermo Vilas in three straight sets in the 1977 Australian Open (January) final, to win his first and only grand slam title. Tanner lost a five set match to Björn Borg in the 1979 Wimbledon final, which was the first Wimbledon final to be broadcast live in the United States as part of NBC's Breakfast at Wimbledon. Tanner avenged this loss to Borg by beating him in four sets in the US Open quarter finals two months later, a match where Tanner's 140 mph serve brought the net down during the fourth set.[6] Tanner lost to Vitas Gerulaitis in the semi finals. Tanner described his 1979 US Open win over Borg and loss to Gerulaitis in his autobiography as "the highest of my highs and the lowest of my lows on a tennis court within two days of each other".[2]

Tanner's strong left-handed serve was thrown very low and struck with a lunge involving the whole body, earning him the nickname "The Rocket".[5] His booming 153 mph serve was the fastest ever recorded in tournament competition from February 1978[2][3][4] until Andy Roddick posted a 155 mph serve[7] in a Davis Cup tournament in September 2004.

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 SR W–L
Australian Open1 A A A A A A A A W 1R A A A 2R A 3R A 1 / 4 9–3
French Open A A A A A 1R 3R A A 4R A A A A A A 0 / 3 5–3
Wimbledon A A A 3R A 4R SF SF 1R 4R F QF 2R 4R QF A 0 / 11 36–11
US Open 1R 2R 3R QF 3R SF 3R 4R 4R 4R SF QF QF 2R 3R 1R 0 / 16 40–16
Win–Loss 0–1 0–1 2–1 6–2 2–1 8–3 9–3 8–2 9–3 9–3 11–2 8–2 6–3 4–2 8–3 0–1 1 / 34 90–33

1The Australian Open was played twice in 1977, in January and December.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (1–1)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1977 Australian Open (January) Grass Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–3, 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 1979 Wimbledon Grass Sweden Björn Borg 7–6(7–4), 1–6, 6–3, 3–6, 4–6

Singles titles (16)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1972 Albany, U.S. Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–7
Runner-up 2. 1972 Los Angeles WCT, U.S. Hard United States Stan Smith 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 3. 1973 Milan WCT, Italy Carpet United States Marty Riessen 6–7, 0–6, 6–7
Runner-up 4. 1974 Palm Desert WCT, U.S. Hard Australia Rod Laver 4–6, 2–6
Winner 1. 1974 Denver WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Arthur Ashe 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 5. 1974 Columbus, U.S. Hard Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–3, 6–7, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 1974 Maui, U.S. Hard Australia John Newcombe 6–7, 6–7
Winner 2. 1974 Christchurch, New Zealand ??? Australia Ray Ruffels 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 7. 1975 St. Petersburg WCT, U.S. Hard Mexico Raúl Ramírez 0–6, 6–1, 2–6
Runner-up 8. 1975 St. Louis, U.S. Clay United States Vitas Gerulaitis 6–2, 2–6, 3–6
Runner-up 9. 1975 Charlotte, U.S. Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–3, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 3. 1975 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard Australia Ross Case 5–7, 7–5, 7–6
Winner 4. 1975 Chicago, U.S. Carpet Australia John Alexander 6–1, 6–7, 7–6
Runner-up 10. 1975 Los Angeles, U.S. Hard United States Arthur Ashe 6–3, 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 11. 1976 Birmingham, U.S. Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 4–6, 6–3, 1–6
Runner-up 12. 1976 Palm Springs, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors 4–6, 4–6
Winner 5. 1976 Cincinnati, U.S. Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 7–6, 6–3
Winner 6. 1976 Columbus, U.S. Hard United States Stan Smith 6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 13. 1976 South Orange, U.S. Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 4–6, 2–6
Winner 7. 1976 San Francisco, U.S. Carpet United States Brian Gottfried 4–6, 7–5, 6–1
Winner 8. 1976 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Clay Italy Corrado Barazzutti 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 14. 1976 Wembley, U.K. Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 6–3, 6–7, 4–6
Winner 9. 1977 Australian Open−1, Melbourne Grass Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–3, 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 15. 1977 South Orange, U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 4–6, 1–6
Runner-up 16. 1977 WCT Challenge Cup, Las Vegas Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–5, 6–3, 2–6, 5–6
Winner 10. 1977 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Grass United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–7, 6–4
Runner-up 17. 1978 Philadelphia WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 11. 1978 Palm Springs, U.S. Hard Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–1, 7–6
Winner 12. 1978 New Orleans, U.S. Carpet United States Victor Amaya 6–3, 7–5
Winner 13. 1979 Rancho Mirage, U.S. Hard United States Brian Gottfried 6–4, 6–2
Winner 14. 1979 Washington Indoor, U.S. Carpet United States Brian Gottfried 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 18. 1979 New Orleans, U.S. Carpet United States John McEnroe 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 19. 1979 Wimbledon, London Grass Sweden Björn Borg 7–6, 1–6, 6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 20. 1979 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard United States Peter Fleming 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 21. 1980 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet United States John McEnroe 1–6, 2–6
Winner 15. 1980 Manchester, U.K. Grass United States Stan Smith 6–3, 6–4
Winner 16. 1981 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–2, 7–6, 7–5
Runner-up 22. 1981 Memphis, U.S. Carpet United States Gene Mayer 2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 23. 1981 Bristol, U.K. Grass Australia Mark Edmondson 3–6, 7–5, 4–6
Runner-up 24. 1981 Sydney Indoor, Australia Hard (i) United States John McEnroe 4–6, 5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 25. 1982 La Costa WCT, U.S. Hard United States Johan Kriek 0–6, 6–4, 0–6, 4–6

Doubles titles (13)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1971 Cincinnati, U.S. Clay United States Sandy Mayer United States Stan Smith
United States Erik Van Dillen
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 1971 Columbus, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors United States Jim McManus
United States Jim Osborne
6–4, 5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 3. 1973 London WCT, U.K. Hard (i) United States Arthur Ashe Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 4. 1973 Washington WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Arthur Ashe Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
6–4, 6–7, 2–6
Runner-up 5. 1973 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay United States Arthur Ashe Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
5–7, 5–7
Winner 1. 1973 Denver WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Arthur Ashe Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
3–6, 6–3, 7–6
Runner-up 6. 1973 Paris Indoor, France Hard (i) United States Arthur Ashe Spain Juan Gisbert, Sr.
Romania Ilie Năstase
2–6, 6–4, 5–7
Runner-up 7. 1974 Bologna WCT, Italy Carpet United States Arthur Ashe Sweden Ove Nils Bengtson
Sweden Björn Borg
4–6, 7–5, 6–4, 6–7, 2–6
Winner 2. 1974 Barcelona WCT, Spain Carpet United States Arthur Ashe United States Tom Edlefsen
United States Tom Leonard
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 8. 1974 Houston, U.S. Clay United States Arthur Ashe Australia Colin Dibley
Australia Rod Laver
6–4, 6–7, 4–6
Winner 3. 1974 Denver WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Arthur Ashe United Kingdom Mark Cox
Japan Jun Kamiwazumi
6–3, 7–6
Winner 4. 1974 Maui, U.S. Hard United States Dick Stockton Australia Owen Davidson
Australia John Newcombe
6–3, 7–6
Winner 5. 1974 Christchurch, New Zealand Egypt Ismail El Shafei Australia Syd Ball
Australia Ray Ruffels
W/O
Winner 6. 1974 Jakarta, Indonesia Hard Egypt Ismail El Shafei West Germany Jürgen Fassbender
West Germany Hans-Jürgen Pohmann
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 9. 1975 St. Petersburg WCT, U.S. Hard United States Charlie Pasarell United States Brian Gottfried
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 10. 1975 La Costa WCT, U.S. Hard United States Charlie Pasarell United States Brian Gottfried
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
5–7, 4–6
Winner 7. 1975 Nottingham, U.K. Grass United States Charlie Pasarell Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 11. 1975 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) United States Charlie Pasarell South Africa Bob Hewitt
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 12. 1976 Memphis WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Marty Riessen India Anand Amritraj
India Vijay Amritraj
3–6, 4–6
Winner 8. 1976 La Costa WCT, U.S. Hard United States Marty Riessen United States Peter Fleming
United States Gene Mayer
7–6, 7–6
Winner 9. 1976 Johannesburg WCT, South Africa Hard United States Marty Riessen South Africa Frew McMillan
Netherlands Tom Okker
6–2, 7–5
Winner 10. 1976 San Francisco, U.S. Carpet United States Dick Stockton United States Brian Gottfried
South Africa Bob Hewitt
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 13. 1976 Maui, U.S. Hard United States Dick Stockton South Africa Raymond Moore
Australia Allan Stone
7–6, 3–6, 4–6
Winner 11. 1976 Perth, Australia Hard (i) United States Dick Stockton Australia Bob Carmichael
Egypt Ismail El Shafei
6–7, 6–1, 6–2
Winner 12. 1976 Wembley, U.K. Carpet United States Stan Smith Poland Wojtek Fibak
United States Brian Gottfried
7–6, 6–3
Runner-up 14. 1977 Palm Springs, U.S. Hard United States Marty Riessen South Africa Bob Hewitt
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–7, 6–7
Runner-up 15. 1977 Cincinnati, U.S. Clay South Africa Bob Hewitt Australia John Alexander
Australia Phil Dent
3–6, 6–7
Runner-up 16. 1977 Hong Kong Hard United States Marty Riessen Australia Syd Ball
Australia Kim Warwick
6–7, 3–6
Winner 13. 1978 Palm Springs, U.S. Hard South Africa Raymond Moore South Africa Bob Hewitt
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 17. 1980 Manchester, U.K. Grass United States Dennis Ralston United States John Sadri
United States Tim Wilkison
3–6, 4–6

Personal life[edit]

Tanner has been married three times, first to Nancy, next to Charlotte and currently to Margaret. He has five children, all daughters.[5]

Has coached Dennis Early, Frank Norman, Jesse Stirge, Adrienne Radakovic and a session with Kenzo Wong.

Criminal record[edit]

Tanner has an extensive record of conflicts with the law. He was first arrested in 1997 for failure to pay child support to Connie Romano, with whom he fathered a child in the early 1990s.[8] Tanner was arrested again in Karlsruhe in June 2003 on a fugitive warrant. He had fled from Florida after felony charges were filed against him. In this case, the charges related to passing a bad cheque to purchase a yacht in 2000 and to further nonpayment of child support to Romano.[3] He pled guilty and received an initial sentence of probation.

After violating the terms of his probation, Tanner was arrested again on Fugitive and Probation Violation warrants and was convicted and sentenced to two years in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections. He was released one year early for "good behavior"and extradited to Orange County California where he was jailed there on an outstanding warrant for Contempt of Court on a charge of refusal to pay child support.[9]

In May 2008, Roscoe Tanner was arrested in Knoxville, Tennessee for the felony of writing US$72,000 in worthless cheques as payment for two Toyota Highlanders.[10] The felony charge was dismissed on August 14, 2008 after the dealership obtained return of the vehicles, which were taken out of town, and upon Tanner's payment of US$5,000 in restitution to the dealership for the reduced value of the vehicles after their recovery.[11] Several years before, Tanner had been arrested in Knoxville for violating probation resulting from his guilty pleas in Florida relating to felony worthless cheques and grand theft.[10]

In April 2010, Tanner was evicted from his residence in Florida, and was in hiding from another warrant for his arrest from July 2010 until he was arrested in January 2012, on charges of writing a worthless $1,200 cheque for boat repairs. [12]

Tanner now lives in Vero Beach, Florida with his third wife, Margaret, and their 8-year old daughter, Lacey. Tanner teaches tennis and says that he is trying to turn his life around.[13]

On March 13, 2013 Tanner was arrested in Indian River County Florida on additional warrants, including a warrant for Worthless Cheque/ Failure to Appear and a Felony 3rd degree Grand Theft warrant from St Lucie County Florida. Tanner was released from jail on a $5000 bond and is awaiting trial.[14]

Additionally, Tanner is wanted in Georgia for Contempt of Court according to the Clerk of Court of Dade County, Georgia as of March 29, 2013. Tanner has been evading service of that warrant since July 23, 2009 according to the Sheriff of that county, where Tanner used to reside.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Big Interview Roscoe Tanner". The Times (London). December 5, 2004. 
  2. ^ a b c Yorkey, Mike; Roscoe Tanner (2005). Double Fault: My Rise And Fall, And My Road Back. Liguori, Mo: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-779-0. 
  3. ^ a b c "Outside Looking In", by L. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated, November 29, 2004.Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Wimbledon '99: Secrets of an express delivery, by Ronald Atkin, The Independent, June 20, 1999 Retrieved 12/9/09.
  5. ^ a b c Wigmore, Barry (August 8, 2003). "How the rocket crashed to earth". The Times (UK). Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Powering up". St. Petersburg Times. August 27, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Serving up a tennis treat...". The Press. October 24, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  8. ^ Jailed Tanner's losses: Game, set, match ...family, ESPN, June 24, 2006. Retrieved July 8/9
  9. ^ "Roscoe Tanner in Trouble With Law, Again". WTVC. May 29, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b Tanner accused of not returning vehicles after check bounced, Associated Press, May 28, 2008. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  11. ^ "Theft Charges Dismissed Against Roscoe Tanner After Restitution Made". The Chattanoogan. August 14, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  12. ^ http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Florida/Indian-River-County-FL/Leonard-Roscoe-Tanner.6482182.html
  13. ^ Roscoe Tanner, Ex-Tennis Star, Says He's Trying to Change New York Times, February 13, 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.mugshotsworld.com/leonard-roscoe-tanner