Stan Smith


Born: 14/12/1946

Wimbledon 1972

US Open 1971

Stan Smith was a stalwart of American tennis for over a decade. Although at times his game seemed a little stiff and uninspiring, Smith worked hard to improve his weaknesses and for a short period in his mid twenties he was the best player in the world. He made his Grand Slam debut at the 1964 US Open, where he lost in the second round to Herb Fitzgibbon. Smith first came to prominence in 1969 when he beat his long time doubles partner Bob Lutz in the final of the U.S. Amateur championships (the last time the event was held). At Wimbledon 1971 he reached the final, where he led two sets to one against John Newcombe before losing in five. Then he moved on to the U.S. Open where he beat Tom Okker in five sets in the semis before a four set victory over Jan Kodes in the final. At Wimbledon 1972 Smith was involved in a classic final with Nastase, finally coming through 7-5 in the fifth set. In the 1972 Davis Cup final the U.S. team travelled to Romania. In front of a volatile Romanian crowd and with some biased line calling in the Romanians favour, Smith held his nerve and won both his rubbers in five sets, helping the U.S. to a 3-2 victory. Many still remember Smith’s heroic performance, and his great sportsmanship in not complaining at the biased calls against him. Smith was unable to defend his Wimbledon title because of the players' boycott. At the 1973 U.S. Open Smith reached the semis and led Kodes two sets to one before losing 7-5 in the fifth set. At Wimbledon the following year he led Ken Rosewall by 2 sets to 0 in the semi finals and held match points in the third set but Rosewall came back to win in five sets. Then Smith's career began to decline, though he continued to achieve success in doubles. He played his last Grand Slam event at the U.S. Open in 1983 where he lost in the opening round to John Sadri. Smith gained much respect as a player for his sportsmanship and dignity and after retirement he gained equal respect for his coaching skills. In 2000 he attended the Wimbledon Champions Parade.


HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Ashe 0-1, B.Borg 0-1, B.Bowrey 1-0, J.Connors 0-2, R.Emerson 2-2, V.Gerulaitis 0-1, A.Gimeno 1-1, A.Gomez 1-0, J.Kodes 2-1, R.Laver 0-3, J.McEnroe 0-1, I.Nastase 1-2, J.Newcombe 0-2, M.Orantes 1-1, R.Osuna 1-1, N.Pietrangeli 0-1, T.Roche 0-1, K.Rosewall 0-2, V.Seixas 0-1, R.Tanner 1-1, B.Teacher 1-0, G.Vilas 0-3

Stan Smith's Grand Slam record