Steve Denton

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Steve Denton
Country  United States
Residence College Station, Texas, USA
Born (1956-09-05) September 5, 1956 (age 58)
Kingsville, Texas, USA
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Turned pro 1978
Retired 1987
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
College University of Texas
Prize money $1,084,664
Singles
Career record 108–117 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 12 (April 18, 1983)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open F (1981, 1982)
French Open 1R (1982, 1984)
Wimbledon 4R (1982)
US Open 4R (1982)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals 1R (1982)
WCT Finals QF (1983)
Doubles
Career record 325–198 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 18
Highest ranking No. 2 (August 15, 1983)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (1983)
French Open QF (1984)
Wimbledon SF (1982, 1983)
US Open W (1982)
Other Doubles tournaments
Tour Finals F (1982)

Steve Denton (born September 5, 1956, in Kingsville, Texas) is a former professional tennis player for the ATP Tour. He is currently the head men's tennis coach at Texas A&M University.

After becoming an all-American at the University of Texas in 1978, Denton spent nine seasons playing for the ATP Tour. He reached the final of both the 1981 and 1982 Australian Open, and won the 1982 US Open doubles championship with Kevin Curren, attaining career-high rankings of World No. 12 in singles and World No. 2 in doubles. He won a total of 18 tour level doubles titles and, despite reaching 6 finals, never won a singles title. In 1984, his 138 miles per hour (222 km/h) serve broke the world record, which would not be broken until 13 years later. After retiring from the pros, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, coaching several local junior tennis teams. In 2001, he debuted his college coaching career at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, where he led his teams to three conference championships and a first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. In 2006, he resigned to become the head coach at Texas A&M University.

For his accomplishments, he is a member of the ITA Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Blue-Gray Tennis Class Hall of Fame, and the Longhorn Hall of Honor.

Playing career[edit]

High school and college[edit]

Denton attended Bishop High School in Bishop, Texas. As a prep, he won four consecutive UIL state 3A singles titles. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played tennis from 1976–79. He earned all-American honors in 1978. Along with teammate Kevin Curren, he won the U.S. Tennis Association amateur indoor and SWC doubles title in 1979. He completed his college career with an 85–22 singles record, which currently ranks third all-time in school history. He also compiled a 72–18 doubles record, and a 78–27 team record. For his collegiate and professional accomplishments, he was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2006.[1]

Professional[edit]

Denton was ranked as high as World No. 12 on the ATP Rankings in singles and No. 2 in doubles, both in 1983. Denton was known for his big serve and employed an unusual service motion which involved taking two steps forward prior to striking the ball. Current ATP rules prohibit such a motion (or any service motion involving a running or walking start). In 1984, Denton set a service record of 138 mph (222 km/h) that would stand for 13 years until it was broken in 1997 by Mark Philippoussis who recorded a 142 mph (229 km/h) delivery. The current record of 156 mph (251 km/h) is held by Ivo Karlović.

He reached six singles finals, most notably the Australian Open (in 1981 and 1982) and the Cincinnati Masters (in 1982). He also won 18 doubles titles (including the US Open and the Canada Masters) in 1982, and reaching 23 additional doubles finals.

Grand Slam Finals, 7[edit]

Singles, 2 (2 finals)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-Up 1981 Australian Open Grass South Africa Johan Kriek 6–2, 7–6, 6–7, 6–4
Runner-Up 1982 Australian Open (2) Grass United States Johan Kriek 6–3, 6–3, 6–2

Men's Doubles, 2 (1 win, 1 loss)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1982 US Open Grass South Africa Kevin Curren United States Victor Amaya
United States Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Runner-Up 1983 Australian Open Grass United States Sherwood Stewart Australia Mark Edmondson
Australia Paul McNamee
6–3, 7–6

Mixed Doubles, 3 (3 finals)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-Up 1983 Wimbledon Grass United States Billie Jean King United Kingdom John Lloyd
Australia Wendy Turnbull
6–7, 7–6, 7–5
Runner-Up 1983 US Open Grass United States JoAnne Russell United States Anne Smith
South Africa Kevin Curren
6–4, 7–6
Runner-Up 1984 Wimbledon (2) Grass United States Kathy Jordan United Kingdom John Lloyd
Australia Wendy Turnbull
6–3, 6–3

Titles and Finals[edit]

Doubles titles (18)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1979 Hong Kong Carpet United States Jeff Turpin United States Pat Du Pré
United States Robert Lutz
3–6, 4–6
Winner 1. 1980 Denver, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Poland Wojtek Fibak
Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 2. 1980 Washington-2, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States Ferdi Taygan
United States Brian Teacher
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Runner-up 3. 1980 North Conway, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren United States Jimmy Connors
United States Brian Gottfried
6–7, 2–6
Winner 2. 1980 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren Poland Wojtek Fibak
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl
3–6, 7–6, 6–4
Winner 3. 1980 Barcelona, Spain Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
6–2, 6–7, 6–3
Winner 4. 1980 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) South Africa Kevin Curren South Africa Bob Hewitt
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 4. 1980 Bologna, Italy Carpet Australia Paul McNamee Hungary Balázs Taróczy
United States Butch Walts
6–2, 3–6, 0–6
Winner 5. 1981 Monterrey WCT, Mexico Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren South Africa Johan Kriek
New Zealand Russell Simpson
7–6, 6–3
Runner-up 5. 1981 Brussels, Belgium Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States Sandy Mayer
South Africa Frew McMillan
6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 6. 1981 London/Queen's Club, England Grass South Africa Kevin Curren United States Pat Du Pré
United States Brian Teacher
6–3, 6–7, 9–11
Winner 6. 1981 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren Mexico Raúl Ramírez
United States Van Winitsky
6–3, 5–7, 7–5
Winner 7. 1981 Vienna, Austria Hard (i) United States Tim Wilkison United States Sammy Giammalva, Jr.
United States Fred McNair
4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 8. 1981 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) South Africa Kevin Curren United States Sherwood Stewart
United States Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 6–4, 6–0
Runner-up 7. 1982 Masters Doubles WCT, London Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
7–6, 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Winner 9. 1982 Denver, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Australia Phil Dent
Australia Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Winner 10. 1982 Memphis, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
7–6, 4–6, 6–2
Runner-up 8. 1982 Munich-2 WCT, Germany Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Australia Mark Edmondson
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 5–7, 2–6
Winner 11. 1982 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet Australia Mark Edmondson United States Tony Giammalva
United States Tim Mayotte
6–7, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 12. 1982 Houston, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren Australia Mark Edmondson
Australia Peter McNamara
7–5, 6–4
Winner 13. 1982 Toronto, Canada Hard South Africa Kevin Curren United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
6–7, 7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 9. 1982 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard Australia Mark Edmondson United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
2–6, 3–6
Winner 14. 1982 US Open, New York Hard South Africa Kevin Curren United States Victor Amaya
United States Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 10. 1982 Sydney Indoor, Australia Hard (i) Australia Mark Edmondson United States John McEnroe
United States Peter Rennert
3–6, 6–7
Winner 15. 1983 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
6–4, 7–6
Winner 16. 1983 Munich WCT, Germany Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
7–5, 2–6, 6–1
Winner 17. 1983 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren United States Mark Dickson
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–7, 6–1
Winner 18. 1983 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard South Africa Kevin Curren United States Tracy Delatte
United States Johan Kriek
6–3, 7–5
Runner-up 11. 1983 Forest Hills WCT, U.S. Clay South Africa Kevin Curren United States Tracy Delatte
United States Johan Kriek
7–6, 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 12. 1983 London/Queen's Club, England Grass South Africa Kevin Curren United States Brian Gottfried
Australia Paul McNamee
4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 13. 1983 Dallas, U.S. Hard United States Sherwood Stewart Nigeria Nduka Odizor
United States Van Winitsky
3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 14. 1983 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet Australia John Fitzgerald Australia Mark Edmondson
United States Sherwood Stewart
1–6, 4–6
Runner-up 15. 1983 Wembley, England Carpet United States Sherwood Stewart United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 16. 1983 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass United States Sherwood Stewart Australia Mark Edmondson
Australia Paul McNamee
3–6, 6–7
Runner-up 17. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States John McEnroe
United States Patrick McEnroe
6–7, 2–6
Runner-up 18. 1984 Brussels, Belgium Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren United States Tim Gullikson
United States Tom Gullikson
4–6, 7–6, 6–7
Runner-up 19. 1984 Milan, Italy Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 20. 1985 Memphis, U.S. Carpet South Africa Kevin Curren Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–1, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 21. 1985 Atlanta, U.S. Carpet Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd United States Paul Annacone
South Africa Christo van Rensburg
4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 22. 1987 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard Australia John Fitzgerald United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso
5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 23. 1988 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard United States David Pate Australia John Fitzgerald
United States Johan Kriek
4–6, 7–6, 4–6

Singles runner-ups (6)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1981 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass South Africa Johan Kriek 2–6, 6–7, 7–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 1982 Metz, France Hard (i) United States Erick Iskersky 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 1982 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 2–6, 6–7
Runner-up 4. 1982 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass United States Johan Kriek 3–6, 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 5. 1983 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet Argentina Guillermo Vilas 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet United States John McEnroe 3–6, 6–7

Coaching career[edit]

Denton made his first head coaching debut at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi in 2001. In his five seasons there, he led the Islanders to three Southland Conference regular-season championships, two tournament championships, and the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year twice, in 2004 and 2005. He finished with a 64–48 overall record.[2]

On August 8, 2006, Denton became the head men's tennis coach at Texas A&M University. After struggling for two years in Big 12 Conference play, Denton led the Aggies to a 5-1 conference record and 2nd place finish in his third year, earning Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.[3]

Coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Islanders (Southland Conference) (2001–2006)
2001–2002 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 8–12
2002–2003 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 13–9
2003–2004 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 14–7 1st
2004–2005 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 19–8 6–0 1st NCAA Second Round
2005–2006 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 10–12 5–1 1st
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi: 64–48
Texas A&M Aggies (Big 12 Conference) (2006–present)
2006–2007 Texas A&M 15–12 1–5 7th NCAA Second Round
2007–2008 Texas A&M 13–12 2–4 5th NCAA Second Round
2008–2009 Texas A&M 17–9 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2009–2010 Texas A&M 25–7 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2010–2011 Texas A&M 29–6 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Texas A&M: 99–46 18–12
Total: 163–94

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steve Denton". Texas Longhorns Athletics. Retrieved March 22, 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ "A&M's Denton Selected to 2008 ITA Hall of Fame Class". Big 12 Sports. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Denton, Pollock and Krajicek Earn Big 12 Conference Honors". AggieAthletics.com. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 

External links[edit]