Henner Henkel

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Henner Henkel
Henner Henkel 1937.jpg
Full nameHeinrich Ernst Otto Henkel
Country (sports)German Empire / Weimar Republic / Nazi Germany Germany
Born(1915-10-09)9 October 1915
Posen, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died13 January 1943(1943-01-13) (aged 27)
near Voronezh, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of deathDied of wounds
Turned pro1934 (amateur tour)
Retired1943 (due to death)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career record165–76 (68.4%) [1]
Career titles12 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 3 (1937, A. Wallis Myers)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (1938)
French OpenW (1937)
WimbledonSF (1938, 1939)
US Open2R (1937)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1938)
French OpenW (1937)
WimbledonF (1938)
US OpenW (1937)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonF (1938)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (1935, 1936, 1937, 1938)

Heinrich Ernst Otto "Henner" Henkel (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛnɐ ˈhɛŋkl̩]; 9 October 1915 – 13 January 1943) was a German tennis player during the 1930s. His biggest success was his singles title at the 1937 French Championships.


Henner Henkel (l) and Gottfried von Cramm (r) at White City, NWS (1937)

Henner was born in 1915 the son of Ferdinand and Margarete Henkel. After World War I, his family moved to Erfurt in 1919. He joined the Sportclub Erfurt (today TC Erfurt 93) together with his elder brother Ferdinand and learned to play tennis. His father moved to Berlin for job-related reasons, and his entire family followed in 1927.

In 1929, Henkel won the club championships of the THC 99 Berlin. In 1932 and 1933, he won the German junior championships.[4]

Henkel was the second German, after Gottfried von Cramm in 1936, to win the singles title at the French Championships in 1937. The same year, he and Gottfried von Cramm won the Roland Garros doubles title. Later that year they also won the US Championships doubles title defeating Americans Don Budge and Gene Mako in three straight sets.[5]

In March 1937 he became the singles champion at the Cairo International Championships defeating Giorgio de Stefani in the final in straight sets and also won the doubles title partnering Von Cramm.[6] Later that year he won the singles title at the German Championships after a five-sets victory in the final over Vivian McGrath. Two years later, in 1939, he again won the title after defeating Roderich Menzel in the final in four sets.

Between 1934 and 1939 Henkel played 66 matches for the German Davis Cup team in 27 ties. He won 49 matches, lost 17 and was particularly successful in doubles, winning 16 of 20 matches partnering Gottfried von Cramm, Georg von Metaxa and Roderich Menzel.[7]

Henkel played his last tournament at Bad Pyrmont in the summer of 1942. He reached the final which he lost to Roderich Menzel. During the tournament, he had already received his draft notice. In the Battle of Stalingrad, Henkel was shot in the upper leg. He died of this injury on 13 January 1943 near Voronezh.[8]

Since 1950 the German junior team championship has been called the "Große Henner Henkel-Spiele" and since 1963 a commemorative tournament, "Henner-Henkel-Gedächtnisturnier", has been held in Erfurt.[9]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Opponent Score
Winner 1937 French Championships United Kingdom Bunny Austin 6–1, 6–4, 6–3

Doubles (2 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1937 French Championships Germany Gottfried von Cramm South Africa Vernon Kirby
South Africa Norman Farquharson
6–4, 7–5, 3–6, 6–1
Winner 1937 US Championships Germany Gottfried von Cramm United States Don Budge
United States Gene Mako
6–4, 7–5, 6–4
Runner-up 1938 Australian Championships Germany Gottfried von Cramm Australia John Bromwich
Australia Adrian Quist
5–7, 4–6, 0–6
Runner-up 1938 Wimbledon Germany Georg von Metaxa United States Don Budge
United States Gene Mako
4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–8

Mixed doubles (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1938 Wimbledon United States Sarah Palfrey United States Alice Marble
United States Don Budge
1–6, 4–6


  1. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Henner Henkel: Tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Henner Henkel: Tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Budge Seeded First in All-England", Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 17 June 1937.
  4. ^ Brady, Maurice (1958). The Encyclopedia of Lawn Tennis (1 ed.). London: Robert Hale Ltd. pp. 67, 68.
  5. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. pp. 387, 399, 477. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  6. ^ "Cairo tennis finals". The Evening Post. Wellington, New Zealand: Blundell Bros Limited. 123 (69): 22. 23 March 1937. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Davis Cup Players – Henner Henkel". ITF. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  8. ^ Julia, Deiss. "Der Schattenprinz". In Deutscher Tennis Bund (ed.). Tennis in Deutschland. Von den Anfängen bis 2002 [Tennis in Germany. From the beginnings to 2002.] (in German). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. pp. 155–157 ". ISBN 3-428-10846-9.
  9. ^ "Große Henner Henkel". DTB. Retrieved 6 July 2012.

External links[edit]