|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Born||September 17, 1952|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Turned pro||1972 (amateur from 1971)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||583–339 (63.2%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (September 8, 1980)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||F (1976)|
|Wimbledon||1R (1972, 1974, 1977, 1986)|
|US Open||SF (1977)|
|Tour Finals||SF (1976)|
|WCT Finals||QF (1975, 1976)|
|Highest ranking||No. 4 (1976)|
Harold Solomon (nicknamed the "Human Backboard"; born September 17, 1952) is an American former professional tennis player who played during the 1970s and 1980s. He achieved a career-high world ranking of No. 5 in singles in 1980, and of No. 4 in doubles in 1976. Over the course of his career, he won 22 singles titles.
Solomon was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame, the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Hall of Fame, the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Early and personal life
Solomon grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Springbrook High School, lived in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is Jewish. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has a wife named Jan, a daughter named Rachel, and a son named Jesse.
He began playing tennis when he was five. He attended Springbrook High School. He was ranked as high as second in the United States in his junior career, and won the Clay Court Championship when he was 18. He was named an All-American at Rice University, where he was a political science major and a member of Wiess College.
At the French Open, Solomon's best showing was when he reached the finals in singles play in 1976. He reached the quarterfinals in 1972 and 1976, and made it to the semifinals in 1974 and 1980. At the US Open, he was a semifinalist in 1977. He also won the tournament now known as the Cincinnati Masters twice (in 1977 and 1980), and was a finalist at the 1976 and 1978 United States Pro Championships.
Solomon captured a total of 22 professional singles titles. His lifetime professional win-loss record is 564–315, and he earned over $1.8 million. He was ranked among the top 10 singles players worldwide in 1976, 1978, 1979, and 1980, and was among the top 20 from 1974 to 1980. His best year was in 1980, when his win-loss record was 64–23, and he was ranked No. 5 in the world. He appeared in Playgirl Magazine' list of 10 sexiest men that same year.
Solomon played in the Davis Cup on the American team in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1978. He has a record of nine wins and four losses in this competition. The US team won the Davis Cup final in 1972 (3–2 against Romania) and 1978 (4–1 against Great Britain) although Solomon did not play in either final.
Halls of Fame
Solomon was inducted into the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Hall of Fame in 1994 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame (player) in 2013. He was inducted into the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Solomon began coaching in the 1990s, working with Jennifer Capriati, Mary Joe Fernandez, Shahar Pe'er, Justin Gimelstob, Eugenie Bouchard, Allie Kiick, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Anna Kournikova and others. Some of his players won Grand Slam events and the Olympic Games. He founded and runs the Harold Solomon Tennis Center, now known as the Florida Tennis SBT Academy, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Grand Slam finals
Singles: 1 runner-up
|1976||French Open||Clay||Adriano Panatta||1–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7|
Singles: 38 (22 wins, 16 losses)
Grand Slam singles performance timeline
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (P) postponed; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)