Cliff Drysdale

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Cliff Drysdale
Cliff Drysdale.jpg
Drysdale at the 1966 Davis Cup in the Netherlands
Full name Eric Clifford Drysdale
Country (sports)  South Africa
Residence Austin, Texas, United States[1]
Born (1941-05-26) 26 May 1941 (age 77)
Nelspruit, South Africa
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1962)
Retired 1980
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 2013 (member page)
Official website
Career record 685-345 (66.5%) [2]
Career titles 23 [3]
Highest ranking No. 4 (1965, Lance Tingay)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (1971)
French Open SF (1965, 1966)
Wimbledon SF (1965, 1966)
US Open F (1965)
Other tournaments
WCT Finals QF (1971, 1972, 1977)
Career record 189–160 (54.15%)
Career titles 6
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (1971)
French Open 3R (1973)
Wimbledon SF (1974, 1977)
US Open W (1972)
Drysdale in 2009

Eric Clifford Drysdale (born 26 May 1941 in Nelspruit, South Africa) is a former top-ranked professional tennis player of the 1960s and early 1970s who became a well-known tennis announcer. Drysdale reached the singles final of the U. S. championships in 1965 (beating Dennis Ralston and Rafael Osuna before losing to Manuel Santana).[5] He was one of the Handsome Eight, a group of players signed by Lamar Hunt in 1968 for the newly formed professional World Championship Tennis (WCT) group.[6] He became President of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) when it was formed by Jack Kramer, Donald Dell, and himself in 1972. Drysdale was ranked World No. 4 in 1965 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph.[4][7]

Drysdale won the singles title at the Dutch Open in Hilversum in 1963 and 1964. In 1965 he won the singles title at the German Championships by defeating Boro Jovanović in the final. During his Open era career, Drysdale captured five singles titles and six doubles titles including winning the 1972 U.S. Open doubles crown with Roger Taylor.[8] He defeated Rod Laver in the fourth round of the first US Open in 1968. He was a pioneer of the two-handed backhand which he used to great effect in the 1960s [USA Today, 11 July 2013]. He became a naturalized United States citizen after retiring as a player. Today, he serves as a tennis commentator on ESPN.[7] He is the founder of Cliff Drysdale Tennis (along with partner Don Henderson) which specializes in resort, hotel, and club tennis management.[9]

In 1998 Drysdale won the William M. Johnston Award for contribution to men’s tennis, given by the USTA.[10] In 2013 Drysdale was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[11]

Grand Slam finals[edit]


Runner-up (1)
Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score
1965 U.S. Championships Grass Spain Manuel Santana 2–6, 9–7, 5–7, 1–6


Title (1)
Year Championship Surface Partnering Opponent in final Score
1972 US Open Grass United Kingdom Roger Taylor Australia Owen Davidson
Australia John Newcombe
6–4, 7–6(7–3), 6–3

Grand Prix Championship Series singles finals[edit]

Runner-up (2)[edit]

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1971 Boston WCT Australia Ken Rosewall 4–6, 3–6, 0–6
1972 Las Vegas Australia John Newcombe 3–6, 4–6

Open Era titles[edit]

No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
1. 22 July 1968 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Netherlands Tom Okker 6–3, 6–3, 6–0
2. 5 April 1971 Miami WCT, U. S. Hard Australia Rod Laver 6–2, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4
3. 24 May 1971 Brussels, Belgium Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–0, 6–1, 7–5
4. 4 March 1974 Miami WCT (2) Hard United States Tom Gorman 6–4, 7–5
5. 23 January 1978 Baltimore, U. S. Carpet United States Tom Gorman 7–5, 6–3



  1. ^ Cliff rysdal partners
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Cliff Drysdale: Career match record". Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Cliff Drysdale: Career tournament results". Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  4. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  5. ^ "U. S. Open 1965". 
  6. ^ Wind, Herbert Warren (1979). Game, Set, and Match : The Tennis Boom of the 1960s and 70s (1. ed.). New York: Dutton. pp. 65–70. ISBN 0525111409. 
  7. ^ a b "Gear Talk: Q&A with Cliff Drysdale". 
  8. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins history of tennis : an authoritative encyclopedia and record book (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 478. ISBN 9780942257700. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The William M. Johnston Award". USTA. 
  11. ^ "Hingis elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]