ROSCOE TANNER(U. S. A.)
Australian Open 1977 (Jan.)
The hotheaded, big serving American Roscoe Tanner emerged onto the scene in the early 1970s. His first notable performance was a quarter final appearance at the 1972 US Open. Tanner made the semis of the 1974 US Open, where he lost to Jimmy Connors and lost to Connors again in the semis of Wimbledon in 1975. At Wimbledon 1976, Tanner beat Connors in the quarters before losing to Bjorn Borg in the semis. At the Australian Open in January 1977, Tanner beat Brian Teacher, Peter Fleming, Tony Roche and Phil Dent to set up a semi final against veteran Ken Rosewall. Rosewall was unable to handle Tanner's cannonball service and was made to look almost old fashioned as Tanner scored a four set victory. In the final Tanner's serve was in devastating form against Guillermo Vilas. Vilas, who was more at home on clay, lost in straight sets and said afterwards "there was not much I could have done against a person serving so well". In his winning speech Tanner praised the ground staff for making the courts so quick. Defending his title in December of the same year, Tanner went out in the first round to Chris Lewis. At Wimbledon 1979 Tanner made the final and extended Borg to 6-4 in the fifth set. At the US Open he beat Borg in the quarters before losing to Gerulaitis in the semis. Then Tanner's career began to decline and he retired at the end of 1984. Tanner became a part time TV commentator and played on the senior circuit. Later Tanner hit the headlines when he was jailed for fraud.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Ashe 1-0, B.Borg 1-5, J.Connors 1-4, V.Gerulaitis 0-2, J.Kriek 0-1, I.Lendl 1-1, I.Nastase 1-2, T.Roche 1-0, K.Rosewall 1-1, S.Smith 1-1, B.Teacher 2-0, G.Vilas 3-0, M.Wilander 1-1
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