Daniel Prenn (left) and Hans Moldenhauer
|Country (sports)|| Poland (−1932)|
Weimer Republic (1932–33)
United Kingdom (1940–)
|Born||7 September 1904|
Vilna, Russian Empire
|Died||3 September 1991 (aged 86)|
Dorking, Great Britain
|Turned pro||1928 (amateur tour)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Career record||172-59 (74.4%) |
|Career titles||10 |
|Highest ranking||No. 6 (1932, A. Wallis Myers)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||4R (1930, 1933)|
|Wimbledon||4R (1933, 1937)|
|Highest ranking||No. 7 (1934)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|French Open||QF (1934)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|French Open||QF (1930)|
|Davis Cup||F (1932)|
|Last updated on: 18 December 2012.|
Daniel Prenn (7 September 1904 – 3 September 1991) was a Russian-born German, Polish, and British tennis player who was Jewish. He was ranked the World No. 6 for 1932 by A. Wallis Myers, and the European No. 1 by "American Lawn Tennis" magazine. He was ranked world # 8 in 1929 (Bill Tilden), world # 7 in 1934 (American Lawn Tennis), and was ranked # 1 in Germany for the four years from 1928 to 1932. He was a runner-up for the mixed doubles title of Wimbledon in 1930. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they barred him from playing because he was Jewish. He emigrated from Germany to England, and later became a successful businessman.
Prenn was born on 7 September 1904 in Vilna (then part of Russia) to a railway building contractor, and was Jewish. He grew up primarily in St. Petersburg, in Russia. To escape the local antisemitism, the family moved to Berlin after World War I, in 1920.
Table tennis career
In 1930 he was a German Club team champion representing the Rot-Weiss Tennis Club of Berlin, beating fellow hometown club Blau-Weiss eight to one. Prenn won both of his doubles matches. He failed to win the Berlin international Championships, and subsequently lost to Bill Tilden in the final. He also lost the doubles with his Davis Cup teammate Heinrich Kleinschroth to the duo of Tilden and Erik Worm. A month later they met again in a match for the Dutch Championships doubles title, although this time they formed a team and won against the Dutch champions Hendrik Timmer and Arthur Diemer-Kool.
In 1931 he won the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles championships of the City of Dresden tournament. The same year he lost the Berlin International Championships the second time to Roderich Menzel in straight sets, but won the doubles partnering with him.
He was a runner-up for the Danish Covered Court Championships in 1932, losing to Danish champion Einer Ulrich. He received the Reichsmedaille for winning the European Zone of the 1932 International Lawn Tennis Challenge.
In the Davis Cup from 1928 through 1932, Prenn played 13 matches, winning 17 rubbers and losing 5, compiling a 73% winning record.
He rose to the top of the German rankings starting from 1925 when he was ranked 15, in 1926 broke into the top ten at 10th, in 1927 he was the fourth-best player in the country and from 1928 to 1932 he peaked the German tennis charts.
After he was barred from tennis because he was Jewish, first he tried to apply for a Polish playing license to be part of the Poland Davis Cup team but was rejected by the Polski Związek Tenisowy (Polish Tennis Association) mostly as a result of his dismissal of previous Polish invitations and because he dropped his Polish citizenship earlier in 1932. He then changed nationality and represented Great Britain in the 1935 Maccabiah Games.
After moving to Great Britain he had a successive run in winning a series of tournaments in 1933, including the Scottish Lowland Championships against Antoine Gentien, the West of England Championships against Hendrik Timmer (also finalist in doubles) and the Paris Championships against Christian Boussus.
In 1935 he was the runner-up for the mixed doubles contest of the British Hard Court Championships pairing up with Evelyn Dearman. Unfortunately a flu prevented his partner from competing that day and they had to skip the match and so the victory was awarded to their opponents. He lost the Harrow tournament of London to Bunny Austin in straight sets, and the French Covered Court Championships to Jean Borotra, also in straights.
In early 1931 he was accused of turning professional (meaning he broke the rule of amateurism) and had to skip a couple of months before being acquitted, when it turned out that he had been mistaken for another person named Danel Prenn Several months later the German Tennis Union suspended him for another six months for sponsorship charges, based on the accusations of racquet manufacturer Hammer & Co. who claimed Prenn asked for payment for choosing Hammer's equipment. Local media labelled this action as anti-semitic, and it being forged by Hammer Company. As a result of his suspension Prenn's titles were taken back, as well as his amateur license. He was also expelled from the Germany Davis Cup team, though it didn't affected his presence as Germany was eliminated in the first round of the 1931 International Lawn Tennis Challenge
On 24 April 1933 a newly appointed Reichssportführer issued a declaration on behalf of the German Tennis Lawn Association stating that no Jew could be selected for the national team or the Davis Cup, and that no Jewish or Marxist club or association could be affiliated with the German Tennis Federation, and specifically that the Jewish player named Dr. Prenn would not be selected to the German Davis Cup team in 1933. The Swedish king, Gustaf V, a keen tennis player, dined with the German top brass in the summer of 1933, criticizing the new racial policies. After the lunch, the elderly king played a game with Prenn. Shortly thereafter, Prenn moved to Great Britain.
Personal life after Germany
After moving to England he launched his own audio equipment company in 1935 in Kentish Town. In 1946–49 he had five patents related to plastic molding. His company, Truvox Engineering, was sold to Racal in 1969 for $1.26 million. In 1970 he founded Celestion Electronics, a loudspeaker manufacturer.
He had several children, Oliver (b. 1939) later become a Wimbledon Junior Champion, and competed in the main Wimbledon competitions as well. Oliver also took over the family enterprise in 1988 and runs the firm to this day. Another son John Allen Nicholas was a shareholder in Lacoste, and as an avid supporter of tennis and squash he got Celestion involved in a racquet sponsoring venture, which ended in 2010. He still has an interest in or owns a dozen companies.
Grand Slam finals
Mixed doubles: (1 runner-up)
|Runner-up||1930||Wimbledon||Grass||Hilde Krahwinkel|| Jack Crawford
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