Vic Seixas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vic Seixas
Vic Seixas.jpg
Seixas in 1954
Full nameElias Victor Seixas Jr.
Country (sports) United States
Born (1923-08-30) August 30, 1923 (age 95)
Philadelphia, United States
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1940
Retired1970
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1971 (member page)
Singles
Career record801-236 (77.2%) [1]
Career titles49 [1]
Highest rankingNo. 3 (ITHF)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (1953)
French OpenF (1953)
WimbledonW (1953)
US OpenW (1954)
Doubles
Career record4–9
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1955)
French OpenW (1954, 1955)
WimbledonF (1952, 1954)
US OpenW (1952, 1954)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenW (1953)
WimbledonW (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956)
US OpenW (1953, 1954, 1955)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1954)

Elias Victor Seixas Jr. (/ˈsʃəs/; pronounced SAY-shus;[3] born August 30, 1923)[4] is an American former tennis player.

Thirteen times he was ranked in the Top Ten in the US between 1942 and 1956. In 1951 Seixas was ranked No. 4 in the world, two spots below Dick Savitt, while he was No. 1 in the U.S. ranking, one spot ahead of Savitt. In 1953, Seixas was ranked No. 3 in the world by Lance Tingay, and was also cited as being the World No. 1 in the Reading Eagle newspaper the same year.

In his career he won 15 Major championships. He won both Wimbledon and the US Open in singles. He also won the Australian Open, French Open (twice), and US Open (twice) in doubles, and the French Open, Wimbledon (four times), and US Open (three times) in Mixed Doubles.

Seixas was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, and the Southern Conference Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

Seixas was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Victoria (Moon), who was of Irish descent, and Elias Victor Seixas Sr., who was born in Brazil, of Portuguese Sephardi Jewish ancestry, and is Jewish.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] He attended and graduated from the William Penn Charter School, where he was a tennis star.[13][14][15][16]

He served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War II for three years, which interrupted his tennis career.[17][3][18]

He then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he was a member of Alpha Sigma of the Chi Psi fraternity.[17][3][18] He was 63-3 at UNC, won the Southern Conference singles championship in 1948 and the doubles championship in 1949, and was an All American.[3][17] He graduated in 1949, the same year that UNC awarded him the Patterson Medal, the school's top medal in athletics.[19]

Tennis career[edit]

In a very long career, Seixas won scores of singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles. He entered the US Championships men's singles a record 28 times between 1940 and 1969.[20]

Thirteen times he was ranked in the Top Ten in the US between 1942 and 1956.[21] In 1951 Seixas was ranked No. 4 in the world, two spots below Dick Savitt, while he was No. 1 in the US ranking (a ranking he also held in 1954 and 1957), one spot ahead of Savitt.[22][23][24] In 1953, Seixas was ranked No. 3 in the world by Lance Tingay, and was also cited as being the World No. 1 in the Reading Eagle newspaper the same year.[25]

His major singles wins include Wimbledon in 1953 over Kurt Nielsen, and the US National (U.S. Open) in 1954 over Rex Hartwig.[17]

He was also a successful doubles and mixed doubles player. In 1952 he won the US National doubles with Mervyn Rose. In the mid-fifties he formed a successful partnership with Tony Trabert, winning the 1954 French and US Championships, as well as the 1955 Australian and French Championships. Additionally they won the decisive third point in the 1954 Davis Cup win over Australia. Seixas won four consecutive mixed doubles crowns at Wimbledon from 1953–56, the first three with Doris Hart and the fourth with Shirley Fry; the US National mixed doubles from 1953–55, all with Doris Hart; and the French Championships mixed doubles in 1953, with Doris Hart.[17]

In 1966 at 42 years of age, he played 94 games over four hours to defeat 22-year old Australian Bill Bowrey, 32-34, 6-4, 10-8, at the 1966 Philadelphia Grass Championship.[17]

That same year, Seixas was rated as the Senior Squash Champion of America.

Davis Cup[edit]

Seixas and Trabert won the Davis Cup in 1954, against Australia. Seixas is rated fifth in the category of Most Davis Cup Singles matches (24), just behind Bill Tilden (25) and Arthur Ashe (27). He served three times as Captain of the US Davis Cup team. He was 38–17 lifetime in Davis Cup matches.[26]

Halls of Fame[edit]

Seixas was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971.[27] He was also inducted into the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic Hall of Fame.[28]

Seixas was inducted into Class II of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He was inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in 2011.[3]

After tennis retirement[edit]

Seixas was a stockbroker from the late 1950s until the early 1970s.[29] Afterwards, he worked as a tennis director for the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and at a Hilton Hotel in New Orleans.[30][31] He moved to California in 1989, where he lived in Mill Valley[3] and established a tennis program at the Harbor Point Racquet and Beach Club in Mill Valley (Marin County). In 1998, unable to play tennis any longer due to his knees, he chose to become a bartender.[32][29][4]

He is currently the oldest living male Grand Slam singles champion.[33]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (2 titles, 3 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1951 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Frank Sedgman 6–4, 6–1, 6–1
Runner-up 1953 French Championships Clay Australia Ken Rosewall 6–3, 6–4, 1–6, 6–2
Winner 1953 Wimbledon Grass Denmark Kurt Nielsen 9–7, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1953 U.S. Championships Grass United States Tony Trabert 6–3, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1954 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Rex Hartwig 3–6, 6–2, 6–4, 6–4

Men's doubles: 8 (5 titles, 3 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1952 Wimbledon Grass South Africa Eric Sturgess Australia Ken McGregor
Australia Frank Sedgman
6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Winner 1952 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Mervyn Rose Australia Ken McGregor
Australia Frank Sedgman
3–6, 10–8, 10–8, 6–8, 8–6
Winner 1954 French Championships Clay United States Tony Trabert Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Ken Rosewall
6–4, 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 1954 Wimbledon Grass United States Tony Trabert Australia Rex Hartwig
Australia Mervyn Rose
6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4
Winner 1954 U.S. Championships Grass United States Tony Trabert Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Ken Rosewall
3–6, 6–4, 8–6, 6–3
Winner 1955 Australian Championships Grass United States Tony Trabert Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Ken Rosewall
6–3, 6–2, 2–6, 3–6, 6–1
Winner 1955 French Championships Clay United States Tony Trabert Italy Nicola Pietrangeli
Italy Orlando Sirola
6–1, 4–6, 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1956 U.S. Championships Grass United States Ham Richardson Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Ken Rosewall
6–2, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4

Grand Slam performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Australian A A A A A A A A A A A A A SF QF QF A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
French A A A A A A A A A A QF A A F QF 4R A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
Wimbledon A A A A A A A A A A SF A QF W QF 2R SF QF A A A A A A A A A 2R A 1R
U.S. 3R 3R 2R A 2R A 3R 4R 4R 1R 3R F 4R F W SF SF QF QF 4R 4R 3R 4R 3R 4R 4R 2R 2R 2R 1R

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vic Seixas: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ "https://www.tennisfame.com/hall-of-famers/inductees/vic-seixas.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gone Pro: North Carolina: Tar Heel Stars Who Became Pros - Tim W.
  4. ^ a b "A Bartender at 76, Seixas Has Trophies, but Little Money," Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson Co. 1953.
  6. ^ "x". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Saul S. Friedman. A History of the Middle East. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  8. ^ Bob Wechsler. Day by Day in Jewish Sports History. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  9. ^ "Everyculture.com: Portuguese-Americans".
  10. ^ American Jewish Desk Reference - American Jewish Historical Society
  11. ^ A History of the Middle East - Saul S. Friedman
  12. ^ The B'nai B'rith International Jewish Monthly
  13. ^ "Education's More Than Just A History Lesson At . . . The Penn Charter School". philly.com. July 9, 2007.
  14. ^ "Seixas Relishes His Memories Of Aussies' Tumble". Philadelphia Daily News. July 16, 1999. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  15. ^ "x". The Day. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  16. ^ "x". Reading Eagle. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Vic Seixas
  18. ^ a b "A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE; An Informal History of Alpha Sigma of Chi Psi at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill"
  19. ^ "Patterson Medal Winners" - UNC Tar Heels Athletics
  20. ^ "GRAND SLAM TENNIS STATISTICS What are the men's singles Grand Slam records?"
  21. ^ Bud Collins' Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis
  22. ^ A Century of Philadelphia Sports - Rich Westcott
  23. ^ Sporting Gentlemen: Menâ s Tennis from the Age of Honor to the Cult of the ... - E. Digby Baltzell
  24. ^ Newsweek
  25. ^ "Seixas Tests Shea in Eastern Tennis", Reading Eagle, August 6, 1953.
  26. ^ "Davis Cup Official Website".
  27. ^ "Elias Victor Seixas, Jr. "Vic" – International Tennis Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  28. ^ "Blue Gray National Tennis Classic Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011.
  29. ^ a b "Help is on the way for tennis' forgotten champions" - NY Daily News
  30. ^ "Arthritis Tackled Seixas at Knees But Ex-Wimbledon Champ Keeps on Playing"
  31. ^ "US-Open-Sieger „Vic“ Seixas: Der vergessene Champion der Tennis-Geschichte" - WELT
  32. ^ Steve Flink (30 June 2003). "Seixas the humble champion recalls his 'crowning jewel'". The Independent.
  33. ^ "Historical plaque for tennis ace Bill Tilden hits roadblock" - Philly

External links[edit]