|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||East Norwalk, Connecticut|
March 15, 1950 |
|Height||6'1" (185 cm)|
|Highest ranking||No. 35 (August 23, 1973)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||4R (1973)|
|US Open||3R (1968, 1972, 1974)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|French Open||3R (1974)|
|US Open||2R (68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77)|
Early life and career
Gerken was born in New York but his family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut a year after his birth. When he was only 14 he was the top ranked junior in New England for the 16-year-old age division. In 1968 he was called up to the American junior Davis Cup team. He was the third ranked junior in the country at the time. He was runner-up to Dick Stockton at the Orange Bowl 18s in 1968. A student at Norwalk High School, he won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference singles championship in 1967 and 1968.
Gerken attended Stanford University on a tennis scholarship and while there was an All-American college player. He later transferred to Trinity University, in San Antonio, Texas, where he played beside Dick Stockton and Brian Gottfried. Gerken was also an All-American at Trinity University and was a member of the team which won the NCAA Championship in 1972. He also reached the NCAA doubles final that year.
Gerken competed in the main singles draw at the US Open every year from 1968 to 1975, as well as in 1977. He appeared three times in both the French Open and Wimbledon Championships. His best performance in a Grand Slam tournament came at the 1973 French Open, where he had wins over Eric Deblicker, Torben Ulrich and Guillermo Vilas, before losing his fourth round match to Roger Taylor, in five sets.
Gerken had a winning record against Björn Borg, beating him twice, in 1973 and 1974, and losing just once. He also defeated Ilie Năstase at Salt Lake City in 1973, John Newcombe at Hamburg the same year and Arthur Ashe at a Tokyo WCT tournament in 1974.
He had surgery in 1975 for a torn rotator cuff and as a result didn't feature at all in the 1976 tennis season. His comeback in 1977 was unsuccessful and he retired the following year.
Grand Prix/WCT career finals
Singles: 2 (0–2)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Tournament||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Runner-up||1.||1973||Salt Lake City, United States||Jimmy Connors||1–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||2.||1973||Calgary, Canada||Ilie Năstase||4–6, 6–7|
Doubles: 4 (0–4)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in the final||Score in the final|
|Runner-up||1.||1972||Cincinnati, United States||Clay||Humphrey Hose|| Bob Hewitt
|Runner-up||2.||1973||Baltimore, United States||Hard||Sandy Mayer|| Jimmy Connors
|6–3, 2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||3.||1973||Hong Kong||Hard||Brian Gottfried|| Colin Dibley
|3–6, 7–5, 15–17|
|Runner-up||4.||1975||Dayton, United States||Carpet||Brian Gottfried|| Ray Ruffels
- ITF Pro Circuit Profile
- The Hour, "Who - Paul Gerken - When", September 30, 2001, pg. 43
- USTA New England: Paul Gerken
- ATP World Tour Profile
- New York Times, "Former Tennis Pros Share Their Talents", October 24, 1993, Jack Cavanaugh
- Columbia Spectator, "For Jacobs men, Columbia tennis runs in the family ", October 5, 2011, Mia Park