Karel Kozeluh

KAREL KOZELUH (CZECHOSLOVAKIA)

Born: 7/3/1895 Died: 27/4/1950

French Pro 1930

U. S. Pro 1929,1932,1937

Karel Kozeluh was one of the early pioneers of the pro game. He was playing professional tennis in the days when hardly anyone knew of its' existence. He was also a fine ice hockey player and was part of the Czech team that won the 1924 European championships. Kozeluh came from a large working class family. Young Karel loved tennis, so from a young age he earned money from the game in order to boost the family finances. By the age of six he was earning money from ballboying. By the age of 12 he was earning a decent living by teaching wealthy folk how to play tennis. At the age of 14, Kozeluh became a coach at the sports club in Munich. Because he earned money from the game, he was not allowed to compete in amateur tennis tournaments (his brother Jan did play in Grand Slam tournaments). Kozeluh was invited to play in one of the first ever pro tournaments held at Wiesbaden in 1911. Despite being just 16 years old, Kozeluh defeated Roman Najuch to take the title. Kozeluh won the World Pro championships at Deauville in 1925 and in 1926 won his first of six consecutive titles at the Bristol Cup (the top event held in France). In 1926 C. C. Pyle signed up four men for the first tour of the U. S. and the U. S. Pro championships began the following year. Kozeluh was one of those 'rounded up' from the small number of existing European pros to compete in pro tournaments in America with the new crop of Pyle's troupe. Of those 'original' pros, Kozeluh and Hans Nusslein were the most successful. Kozeluh, a baseliner, won the U. S. Pro title in 1929 (over Vinnie Richards), 1932 (over Bill Tilden and Hans Nusslein) and 1937 (over Bruce Barnes). In the mid 1940s Kozeluh retired and returned to his homeland. He was Czech Davis Cup coach and captain in the late 1940s and clashed with Jaroslav Drobny, who claimed Kozeluh was a poor coach. Kozeluh died in a car crash in 1950.

GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE

PRO SLAM HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: D.Budge 0-1, H.Nusslein 1-1, B.Tilden 1-2

Karel Kozeluh's Pro Slam record

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