Iván Balás

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Iván Balás
Country (sports)  Yugoslavia (1922-1928)
 Hungary (1930-1944)
Born 1894
Elemir, Banat, Austria-Hungary
Died 1971 (aged 76–77)
Paris, France
Turned pro 1922 (amateur tour)
Retired 1951
Plays right-handed
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 1R (1924)
Career record 2R (1924 Olympic Games)
Team competitions
Davis Cup 2REU

Iván Balás (Serbian: Iván Balaž, Иван Балаж [ǐʋan balâːʒ]; Hungarian: Balázs Iván [ˈbɒlaːʒ ˈivaːn]; 1894 – 1971) was a Yugoslav tennis player of Hungarian ethnicity. He was the one of the first to play for the Yugoslavian team at the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, and later the Davis Cup in 1927. Technically his match was the second rubber of the tie. Apart from team competitions, he clinched international championships for Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Romania and Slovakia in various events.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Iván Balás was born in 1894 in Elemir, Bečkerek (renamed Zrenjanin in 1946), Banat, then part of Austria-Hungary and now Serbia. He was born into a wealthy landowner family of ethnic Hungarians, the son of Iván Balás, Sr. (1866, Tápióbicske – 1909, Budapest and Erna Koronghy (1874, Baracháza – 1850, Budapest).[2] Hs family's wealth contributed to his rapid growth in tennis. His Hungarian father ), built two tennis courts in Elemir where his son Iván learned tennis. Iván attended the Nagybecskerek high school.[3] He continued his studies in Budapest.[1]

Tennis career[edit]

In college Balás played tennis as well as basketball, hockey, football and athletics.[1] He began to win club and international tournaments in Nagybecskerek.[1] Balás' first public triumph was recorded in 1922 in the men's singles of the National Championship in Novi Sad.

At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he played both singles in doubles. In the men's singles, he was defeated in the first round by Jack Nielsen (Norway). And in doubles, he and György Dungyersky advanced to the second roundbut lost to Jacques Brugnon/Henri Cochet (France).[3]

In 1926, he was crowned the champion of Yugoslavia. He was drafted into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Davis Cup team for the first-ever Davis Cup match against India in Zagreb in May 1927, joined by György Dungyersky.[4] Although they didn't win a game or set, both of them provided strong resistance. Balás even had two balls to have a chance to serve out the first set in the match against Hassan-Ali Fyzee, but did not succeed, as the Indian player came back to claim the match. On the third ball, the game was suspended due to bad weather, and so the match was decided after the first two days' results. The organizers agreed not to wait on Monday but to pass the remaining two dead rubbers and the victory to India.[1]

Balás next represented Hungary, debuting in a match against Austria.[5] At the time he was fifth/sixth on the Hungarian rankings.[5] In 1930 he earned the second place in mixed doubles at the Bucharest International Championship (lost to Ghica Poulief and Nini Golescu)[5] In Cluj-Napoca he lifted the doubles trophy with partner Béla Kehrling, defeating Romanian champion Constantin Cantacuzino and Alexandru Botez; he also finished third in singles and mixed contest.[6] In 1931 he reached four doubles finals, including the Hungarian Covered Courts tournament mixed and men's doubles, and the Warsaw International Championships doubles and mixed doubles.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1928, Balás was engaged in Hungary, and he was no longer in the Davis Cup team of Yugoslavia.[1] He mostly played and practised in Budapest and joined the Magyar Atlétikai Club.[5] In 1944 he moved to Austria, where he continued his tennis career. In 1951 he lived and worked in France, where he was a devoted tennis player and coach for the rest of his life.

Balás died in Paris in 1971. The tennis club Galeb in Zrenjanin organizes a traditional tournament each year that bears his name.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Šoškić 2012, pp. 251-252.
  2. ^ "BALÁS Iván, sipeki" (in Hungarian). Magyar Családtörténeti Adattár. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b László, Táborosi. "Balázs Iván és Nagy István". Hungarians of Vojvodina in the Olympic Team of SZHSZ and Royal Yugoslavia 1924-1936 (in Hungarian). Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Šoškić 2012, pp. 251.
  5. ^ a b c d Tennisz és Golf II/12, pp.215-217.
  6. ^ Tennisz és Golf II/15, p.295.
  7. ^ Tennisz és Golf III/5-6, pp.74-75.
  8. ^ Tennisz és Golf III/11–12, pp. 201-202.

Works cited[edit]



  • Béla Kehrling, ed. (28 June 1930). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor írod. és Nyomdai Rt. II (12): 215. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  • Béla Kehrling, ed. (18 March 1931). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda, Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. III (5-6): 74–75. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  • Béla Kehrling, ed. (6 June 1931). "Párizsi Nemzetközi Bajnokságok" [French International Championships] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda. Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. III (11–12): 201–202. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  • Béla Kehrling, ed. (22 August 1930). "A Kolozsvári A. C. nemzetközi versenye" [The International Tournament of the AC Cluj-Napoca] (pdf). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor Irod. és Nyomdai RT. II (15): 295. Retrieved 21 July 2013. Cluj-Napoca

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