Bill Talbert

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Bill Talbert
Full name William Franklin Talbert
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1918-09-04)September 4, 1918
Cincinnati, OH
Died February 28, 1999(1999-02-28) (aged 80)
New York, NY
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HoF 1967 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 3 (1949, John Olliff)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (1947)
French Open SF (1950)
Wimbledon QF (1950)
US Open F (1944, 1945)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open QF (1947, 1954)
French Open W (1950)
US Open W (1942, 1945, 1946, 1948)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open F (1950)
US Open W (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946)

William Franklin "Billy" Talbert (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 1999) was an American tennis player and administrator.[2]

Tennis career[edit]

He was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 13 times between 1941 and 1954, and was ranked World No. 3 in 1949 by John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph.[1] He won nine Grand Slam doubles titles, and also reached the men's doubles finals of the U.S. National Championship nine times, mainly with his favorite partner, Gardnar Mulloy. He also was a Davis Cup player and one of the most successful Davis Cup captains in U.S. history.

Talbert was a Type 1 diabetic, one of the few known to be in sports at a highly competitive level, and for many years was held up as an example of how this disease could be surmounted.[3]

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Talbert still holds records at the Cincinnati Masters in his hometown. His records are for most doubles titles (six), most total finals appearances (14), and most singles finals appearances (seven). He won three singles titles (in 1943, '45 & '47), and his six doubles titles came in 1943, '44, '45, '47, '51 & '54.

Talbert also won the singles title at the U.S. Clay Court Championship in 1945 and was a finalist in 1946 and '43. Before starting out on the international tour, he played for the University of Cincinnati and won an Ohio State singles title in 1936 while at Cincinnati's Hughes High School.

Talbert was enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967 and was in the first class, along with his former protégé Tony Trabert, enshrined into the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002. Barry MacKay, another protégé, was inducted into the same Hall of Fame in 2003. After his playing career, he wrote tennis books, including the best seller The Game of Doubles in Tennis with Bruce Old in 1977, served as a tennis commentator for NBC Sports, and was Tournament Director of the US Open.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (2 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1944 U.S. Championships Grass United States Frank Parker 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1945 U.S. Championships Grass United States Frank Parker 12–14, 1–6, 2–6

Doubles (5 titles, 5 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1942 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Ted Schroeder
United States Sidney Wood
9–7, 7–5, 6–1
Runner-up 1943 U.S. Championships Grass United States David Freeman United States Jack Kramer
United States Frank Parker
2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1944 U.S. Championships Grass Ecuador Pancho Segura United States Don McNeill
United States Bob Falkenburg
5–7, 4–6, 6–3, 1–6
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Bob Falkenburg
United States Jack Tuero
12–10, 8–10, 12–10, 6–2
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Don McNeill
United States Frank Guernsey
3–6, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3, 20–18
Runner-up 1947 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Bill Sidwell United States Jack Kramer
United States Ted Schroeder
4–6, 5–7, 3–6
Winner 1948 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Frank Parker
United States Ted Schroeder
1–6, 9–7, 6–3, 3–6, 9–7
Winner 1950 French Championships Clay United States Tony Trabert Egypt Jaroslav Drobný
South Africa Eric Sturgess
6–2, 1–6, 10–8, 6–2
Runner-up 1950 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy Australia John Bromwich
Australia Frank Sedgman
5–7, 6–8, 6–3, 1–6
Runner-up 1953 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy Australia Rex Hartwig
Australia Mervyn Rose
4–6, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6

Mixed Doubles (4 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1943 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne United States Pauline Betz
United States Pancho Segura
10–6, 6–4
Winner 1944 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne United States Dorothy Bundy
United States Don McNeill
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne United States Doris Hart
United States Bob Falkenberg
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne United States Louise Brough Clapp
United States Robert Kimbrell
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1948 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne duPont United States Louise Brough Clapp
United States Tom Brown
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1949 U.S. Championships Grass United States Margaret Osborne duPont United States Louise Brough Clapp
South Africa Eric Sturgess
6–4, 3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 1950 French Championships Clay United States Patricia Canning Todd United States Barbara Scofield
Argentina Enrique Morea
w.o.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  2. ^ "Bill Talbert, Tennis Champion, Is Dead at 80". The New York Times. March 2, 1999. 
  3. ^ William F. Talbert; John Sharnik (May 4, 1959). "What Price Independence?". Sports Illustrated. pp. 5–10. 

External links[edit]