Bill Talbert

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Bill Talbert
Full nameWilliam Franklin Talbert
Country (sports) United States
Born(1918-09-04)September 4, 1918
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
DiedFebruary 28, 1999(1999-02-28) (aged 80)
New York City, U.S.
PlaysRight-handed
Int. Tennis HoF1967 (member page)
Singles
Career record651-201 (76.4%) [1]
Career titles49 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 3 (1949, John Olliff)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1947)
French OpenSF (1950)
WimbledonQF (1950)
US OpenF (1944, 1945)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1947, 1954)
French OpenW (1950)
US OpenW (1942, 1945, 1946, 1948)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenF (1950)
US OpenW (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946)

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

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.[3] 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.[5]

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 reached the final of the U.S. Championships in 1944 and 1945 (losing both finals to Frank Parker). He also reached the semi finals of the French championships in 1950 (beating John Bromwich before losing to Budge Patty 13–11 in the fifth set).[6]

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]

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

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

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1942 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Ted Schroeder
United States Sidney Wood
9–7, 7–5, 6–1
Loss 1943 U.S. Championships Grass United States David Freeman United States Jack Kramer
United States Frank Parker
2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Loss 1944 U.S. Championships Grass United States Pancho Segura United States Don McNeill
United States Bob Falkenburg
5–7, 4–6, 6–3, 1–6
Win 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
Win 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
Loss 1947 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Bill Sidwell United States Jack Kramer
United States Ted Schroeder
4–6, 5–7, 3–6
Win 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
Win 1950 French Championships Clay United States Tony Trabert Egypt Jaroslav Drobný
South Africa Eric Sturgess
6–2, 1–6, 10–8, 6–2
Loss 1950 U.S. Championships Grass United States Gardnar Mulloy Australia John Bromwich
Australia Frank Sedgman
5–7, 6–8, 6–3, 1–6
Loss 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]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Bill Talbert: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Bill Talbert: Career tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  4. ^ "Bill Talbert, Tennis Champion, Is Dead at 80". The New York Times. March 2, 1999.
  5. ^ William F. Talbert; John Sharnik (May 4, 1959). "What Price Independence?". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 10 no. 18. pp. 76–88.
  6. ^ "French Open 1950". www.tennis.co.nf.

External links[edit]