Saša Hiršzon

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Saša Hiršzon
Country (sports) Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
(until 1991)
Croatia Croatia
(from 1991)
Born (1972-07-14) 14 July 1972 (age 45)
Varaždin, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Plays Right-handed
Prize money $312,767
Singles
Career record 10–25
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 214 (20 December 1993)
Doubles
Career record 41–39
Career titles 2
Highest ranking No. 85 (28 July 1997)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open 1R (1997)
Wimbledon 3R (1997)
US Open 2R (1996)

Saša Hiršzon (born 14 July 1972) is a former professional tennis player from Croatia.[1]

Career[edit]

Hiršzon started to play tennis at the Varaždin local tennis club. He won the national titles in the under-12, −14, −16, −18 categories.[2] Hiršzon stated that under-12 match against Michael Chang stayed etched in his memory the most. As he did not have too much money, Hiršzon came into the field with different rackets while Chang had a whole team behind him.[3]

Best known as a doubles player, Hiršzon had most of his success when partnering countryman Goran Ivanišević. The pair appeared together in the 1996 US Open and 1997 French Open, but only won one match, in the former. They did however win two titles on the ATP Tour, the first in 1995, at a French tournament called the Grand Prix Passing Shot Bordeaux. They won their second title on home soil, at the Croatian Indoors in 1997. It would be the only two finals that the pairing reached during their careers although they did make the semi-finals of the 1993 Austrian Open, the 1996 Eurocard Open in Stuttgart and Munich's 1998 BMW Open. The Eurocard Open was one of the tour's Mercedes Super 9 (now Masters) events and the semi-final came down to a third set tiebreak, but the Croatians were unable to defeat Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis.

Hiršzon and Ivanišević also played together at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,[4] reaching the quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by eventual bronze medalists, David Prinosil and Marc-Kevin Goellner, from Germany. The Croatians had made it into the quarter-finals with wins over Jonas Björkman/Nicklas Kulti, the fourth seeds, followed by a victory over the Bahamian pairing of Mark Knowles and Roger Smith.[5]

As a singles player he didn't make an impression on the ATP Tour, but did have a win over world number 17 Guillermo Pérez Roldán at Prague in 1990, although the Argentine did have to retire hurt.[6]

His third and final Grand Slam appearance was in the 1997 Wimbledon Championships, with a new partner, Sander Groen. They made it into the round of 16.[7][8]

He played nine Davis Cup ties for Croatia, from 1994 to 1998. On his debut in 1994, he helped Croatia gain promotion to the World Group, with a good performance in their Euro/African semi-final against Norway. He won the fifth and deciding rubber against Helge Koll-Frafjord, in straight sets, having earlier teamed up with Ivanišević to win a close doubles match, won 11–9 in the final set. His best singles win was over Australian Jason Stoltenberg in 1996, then number 26 in the world. By the end of his Davis Cup career he had won 11 matches for Croatia, six as a singles player and five in the doubles.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Hiršzon was born in Varaždin on 14 July 1972. His grandfather Božidar Hirschsohn was notable Croatian Jewish stage actor in Varaždin who fought with the Partisans during World War II. All members of Hiršzon's paternal family, except his grandfather, perished during the Holocaust.[10]

ATP career finals[edit]

Doubles: 2 (2–0)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponent Score
Winner 1. 1995 Bordeaux, France Hard Croatia Goran Ivanišević Sweden Henrik Holm
United Kingdom Danny Sapsford
6–3, 6–4
Winner 2. 1997 Zagreb, Croatia Carpet Croatia Goran Ivanišević South Africa Brent Haygarth
United States Mark Keil
6–4, 6–3

Challenger titles[edit]

Doubles: (2)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponent Score
1. 1993 Montauban, France Clay Norway Christian Ruud Italy Massimo Cierro
Italy Ugo Colombini
6–1, 6–2
2. 1995 Heilbronn, Germany Carpet Croatia Goran Ivanišević Germany Martin Sinner
Netherlands Joost Winnink
6–4, 6–4

References[edit]

  1. ^ Altius Directory Zagreb Indoors Past Champions Saša Hiršzon
  2. ^ Marijan Dugandžić (17 November 2004). "Povijest varaždinskog tenisa" [History of tennis in Varaždin] (in Croatian). Tennis club Varaždin. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Uoči meča protiv Changa nisam imao novca za reket" [Eve of the match against Chang I did not have money for racket] (in Croatian). 24sata (Croatia). 29 August 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hrvatska olimpijska delegacija Atlanta 1996." [Croatian Olympic delegation Atlanta 1996] (in Croatian). Croatian Olympic Committee. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Sports Reference Profile
  6. ^ ATP World Tour Profile
  7. ^ ITF Tennis Profile
  8. ^ "Tennis: Cash has happy return to his roots". The Independent. 17 June 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Davis Cup Profile
  10. ^ Milivoj Dretar (2010, pp. 149, 174, 175)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dretar, Milivoj (2010). Židovi u ludbreškom kraju. Ludbreg: Pučko otvoreno učilište "Dragutin Novak". ISBN 978-953-7624-00-2.