Harold Solomon

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Harold Solomon
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceFort Lauderdale, Florida
Born (1952-09-17) September 17, 1952 (age 68)
Washington D.C.
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Turned pro1972 (amateur from 1971)
Retired1986
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,802,769
Singles
Career record583–339 (63.2%)
Career titles22
Highest rankingNo. 5 (September 8, 1980)
Grand Slam Singles results
French OpenF (1976)
Wimbledon1R (1972, 1974, 1977, 1986)
US OpenSF (1977)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (1976)
WCT FinalsQF (1975, 1976)
Doubles
Career record73–129
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 4 (1976)

Harold Solomon (nicknamed the "Human Backboard";[1] 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.[2] 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[edit]

Solomon grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Springbrook High School, lived in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is Jewish.[3][4][5][6][7] He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has a wife named Jan, a daughter named Rachel, and a son named Jesse.[3]

Tennis career[edit]

He began playing tennis when he was five.[1] He attended Springbrook High School.[8] 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.[9] He was named an All-American at Rice University, where he was a political science major and a member of Wiess College.[2][10][3]

He turned professional when he finished university in 1972, and first won pro matches in 1974.[2][9] Among his shots was the moonball—a high and deep shot, normally hit with a lot of spin.[10][11]

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.[9] At the US Open, he was a semifinalist in 1977.[9][10] 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.[12] His lifetime professional win-loss record is 564–315, and he earned over $1.8 million.[2] 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.[2] His best year was in 1980, when his win-loss record was 64–23, and he was ranked No. 5 in the world.[10] He appeared in Playgirl Magazine' list of 10 sexiest men that same year.[9]

Solomon played doubles with Eddie Dibbs. In 1976 they were ranked No. 4 worldwide, and were among the top ten in 1974, 1975, and 1976. They were nicknamed "The Bagel Twins."[2]

Davis Cup[edit]

Solomon played in the Davis Cup on the American team in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1978.[2] He has a record of nine wins and four losses in this competition.[10] 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.[10]

ATP[edit]

Solomon served as president of the Association of Tennis Professionals from 1980 to 1983,[2] and later on its board of directors.[9][10]

Halls of Fame[edit]

Solomon was inducted into the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Hall of Fame in 1994[13] and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.[2] 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.[14]

Coaching career[edit]

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.[15][16][17][18][2][10] Some of his players won Grand Slam events and the Olympic Games.[12] He founded and runs the Harold Solomon Tennis Center, now known as the Florida Tennis SBT Academy, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[10][19]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 runner-up[edit]

Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
1976 French Open Clay Italy Adriano Panatta 1–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 38 (22 wins, 16 losses)[edit]

Category Titles
Grand Slam 0
Grand Prix Masters (1970–89) 0
WCT Finals (1971–89) 0
Grand Prix Super Series (1970–89) 3
Grand Prix Series (1970–89), WCT Series (1968–89) 19
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 1974 Washington DC., U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 6–3, 6–4
Loss 1. 1974 Bretton Woods, U.S. Clay Australia Rod Laver 4–6, 3–6
Loss 2. 1974 Los Angeles, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors 3–6, 1–6
Win 2. 1975 Toronto Indoor, Canada Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith 6–4, 6–1
Win 3. 1975 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i) Czechoslovakia Jiří Hřebec 2–6, 6–1, 6–4
Loss 3. 1975 Washington DC., U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 3–6
Loss 4. 1975 Melbourne, Australia Grass United States Brian Gottfried 2–6, 6–7, 1–6
Win 4. 1975 Perth, Australia Hard United States Alex Mayer 6–2, 7–6, 7–5
Win 5. 1975 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard United States Brian Gottfried 6–3, 6–2, 5–7, 6–2
Loss 5. 1976 Monterrey WCT, Mexico Carpet United States Eddie Dibbs 6–7, 2–6
Win 6. 1976 Washington WCT, U.S. Carpet (i) New Zealand Onny Parun 6–3, 6–1
Win 7. 1976 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay Australia Ken Rosewall 6–4, 1–6, 6–1
Loss 6. 1976 French Open, Paris Clay Italy Adriano Panatta 1–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7
Win 8. 1976 Louisville Open, U.S. Clay Poland Wojciech Fibak 6–2, 7–5
Loss 7. 1976 Boston, U.S. Clay Sweden Björn Borg 7–6, 4–6, 1–6, 2–6
Win 9. 1976 Maui, U.S. Hard United States Bob Lutz 6–3, 5–7, 7–5
Win 10. 1976 Johannesburg WCT, South Africa Hard United States Brian Gottfried 6–2, 6–7, 6–3, 6–4
Win 11. 1977 Brussels, Belgium Clay West Germany Karl Meiler 7–5, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Win 12. 1977 Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Clay United Kingdom Mark Cox 6–2, 6–3
Win 13. 1977 WCT Tournament of Champions, U.S. Carpet (i) Australia Ken Rosewall 7–6, 6–2, 2–6, 0–6, 6–3
Loss 8. 1978 Springfield, U.S. Carpet (i) Switzerland Heinz Günthardt 3–6, 6–3, 2–6
Win 14. 1978 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard Italy Corrado Barazzutti 6–1, 3–0 ret.
Win 15. 1978 Louisville Open, U.S. Clay Australia John Alexander 6–2, 6–2
Loss 9. 1978 Boston, U.S. Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 4–6, 3–6
Loss 10. 1978 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard United States Tim Gullikson 6–2, 6–7, 6–7, 7–6, 4–6
Win 16. 1979 Baltimore WCT, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Marty Riessen 7–5, 6–4
Loss 11. 1979 Hamburg, Germany Clay Spain José Higueras 6–3, 1–6, 4–6, 1–6
Loss 12. 1979 Forest Hills WCT, U.S. Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 6–7, 1–6
Win 17. 1979 North Conway, U.S. Clay Spain José Higueras 5–7, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 13. 1979 Bordeaux, France Clay France Yannick Noah 0–6, 7–6, 1–6, 6–1, 4–6
Win 18. 1979 Paris Masters, France Hard (i) Italy Corrado Barazzutti 6–3, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Loss 14. 1979 Wembley Championship, England Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Win 19. 1980 Baltimore WCT, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Tim Gullikson 7–6, 6–0
Loss 15. 1980 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard Sweden Björn Borg 3–6, 1–6
Win 20. 1980 Hamburg Masters, Germany Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–7, 6–2, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3
Win 21. 1980 Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Hard Paraguay Francisco González 7–6, 6–3
Win 22. 1980 Tel Aviv, Israel Hard Israel Shlomo Glickstein 6–2, 6–3
Loss 16. 1981 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 4–6, 2–6

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(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)
Tournament 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 Career W-L
Australian Open A A A A A A A A A A A A A A NH 0–0
French Open QF 3R SF QF F 4R 3R 4R SF 1R 2R A 3R A A 37–12
Wimbledon 1R A 1R A A 1R A A A A A A A A 1R 0–4
US Open 2R 1R A 4R 1R SF 4R 4R 4R 3R 3R 1R A A A 22–11
Win-Loss 5–3 2–2 5–2 7–2 6–2 8–3 5–2 6–2 8–2 2–2 3–2 0–1 2–1 0–0 0–1 59–27

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Goldman, David J. (2013). Jewish Sports Stars (2nd Revised Edition): Athletic Heroes Past and Present. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781467716499 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Harold Solomon". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Harold Solomon | Bio | Tennis". ATP Tour.
  4. ^ Slater, Robert (2000). Great Jews in Sports. J. David Publishers. ISBN 9780824604332 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Horvitz, Peter S. (2007). The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes: An Illustrated Compendium of Sports History and the 150 Greatest Jewish Sports Stars. SP Books. ISBN 9781561719075 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Goldman, David J. (2013). Jewish Sports Stars (2nd Revised Edition): Athletic Heroes Past and Present. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781467716499 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Lorge, Barry (June 6, 1980). "Tennis, Life Are Growing On Solomon" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  8. ^ Shapiro, Len; Pollin, Andy (2008). The Great Book of Washington DC Sports Lists. Running Press. ISBN 9780786741700 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Solomon, Harold". Jews in Sports. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Grasso, John (September 16, 2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810872370 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Campbell, Shep (1981). Quick Tips from the CBS Tennis Spot. Golf Digest/Tennis, Incorporated. ISBN 9780914178453 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ a b "Meet The Staff". Harold Solomon Tennis Institute. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  13. ^ "USTA Mid Atlantic Section – Hall of Fame". USTA Mid Atlantic Section. Archived from the original on July 19, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "Washington, D.C. Sports Hall Inducts Class of 2016". Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame.
  15. ^ "International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame". www.jewishsports.net.
  16. ^ "TN Q & A: Harold Solomon - Tennis Now". www.tennisnow.com.
  17. ^ "Harold Solomon leaves Team Genie Bouchard" - Tennis.life
  18. ^ Christopher, Matt (2007). On the Court with ... Jennifer Capriati. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 9780316030793 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Academy, Florida Tennis SBT. "Florida Tennis SBT Academy Names Rob Castorri GM and Director of Tennis". www.prnewswire.com.

External links[edit]