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Frank Kovacs

:
Frank
:
Kovacs
:
United States of America
:
M
:
:
1919-12-04
:
Oakland, CA, United States of America
:
1990-02-00
:
Unknown

Memo(s)

   His father was a HungarianHungarian people
Hungarians are an ethnic group primarily associated with Hungary. There are around 10 million Magyars in Hungary . Hungarians were the main inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hungary that existed through most of the second millennium....
immigrant upholsterer. Probably the most eccentric major player ever, stories of his antics are still told in the tennis world. Once, serving for a match pointMatch Point
Match Point is a dramatic thriller film written and directed by Woody Allen, and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox and Penelope Wilton....
, he tossed three balls in the air - hitting the middle one for an aceAce (tennis)
In tennis, aces are serve that go untouched by the server's opponent's Racquet#Tennis and thus are unreturned.In professional tennis, aces are generally seen on a player's first serve, where the server can strike the ball with maximum force and take more chances with ball placement ....
. He was known to jump into the stands to applaud his opponents, and once staged a sit-down strike during a match. He often stopped play so that he could complain about the heavy nap on the balls, and would then shove the offending balls into his mouth so that he could chew on the nap.

Although he showed flashes of brilliance his career results were relatively disappointing. It was said of him that on the right days, when he was briefly "in the zone", he could be unbeatable: Fred Hawthorne, reporter for New York Herald-Tribune who watched nearly all the early matches of the 1941-1942 pro tour thought that Kovacs at his best reached "sheer brilliancy never before excelled", but at other times Frank played "surprisingly poor tennis." For instance in his first pro match, on December 26, 1941 he gave Donald Budge a tennis lesson and as late as 1952, at 33, he was still able to defeat Pancho GonzalesPancho Gonzales
Ricardo Alonso Gonz?lez or Richard Gonzalez, , who was generally known as Pancho Gonzales or, less often, as Pancho Gonzalez, was the World number one male tennis player rankings tennis player for an unequalled 8 years in the 1950s and early 1960s....
then the best pro in the world.

His best amateur result was a second-place finish in the U.S. Amateur National Singles ChampionshipU.S. Open (tennis)
The US Open tennis tournament is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, first contested in 1881. The tournament is chronologically the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament each year....
in 1941, losing to Bobby RiggsBobby Riggs
Robert Larimore Riggs was a 1930s?40s tennis player who was the World number one male tennis player rankings or the co-World No. 1 player for three years, first as an amateur in 1941, then as a professional in 1946 and 1947....
;

In the pro circuit his only very great success was his win in the World Pro Championships held at Lakewood just outside Cleveland where he defeated Pancho SeguraPancho Segura
Pancho Segura, born Francisco Olegario Segura , was a leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and as a professional....
in the final 6–2 3–6 6–3 1–6 9–7 on June 17, 1951. Unfortunately a week later he withdrew from the U.S. Pro Tennis ChampionshipsU.S. Pro Tennis Championships
U.S. Pro Tennis Championships was the oldest professional tennis tournament played until its final year of 1999.American's first prominent professional player, Vinny Richards, arranged what became the first U.S....
won by his last victim, Segura. The previous year, in 1950, he had reached the final of that tournament, losing to Pancho Segura.

As tennis great Jack KramerJack Kramer (tennis player)
.John Albert Kramer was a champion U.S. tennis player of the 1940s. A World number one male tennis player rankings player for a number of years, he is a possible candidate for the title of the greatest tennis player of all time....
, and Kovacs' near contemporary, has written: "Kovacs had picture strokes, but the reason he could never win anything is because he didn't have any idea how to go about winning. He never had a set plan for a match. Hell, he never had a set plan for a shot. He could sort of decide what to do with it halfway through the stroke." Kovacs' best shot, says Kramer, was "a hard, angled backhand crosscourt, but he could never figure out how to set it up so he could take advantage of it." As Riggs said to Kramer one day: "...don't worry about Frankie.... He looks great, but give him long enough and he'll find some way to keep you in the match, and give him a little longer and he'll find a way to beat himself." Nevertheless Kovacs had a very positive win-loss record against Kramer both in the amateur circuit (in that one Kramer almost never beat Kovacs) and in the pro circuit too.

Finally many forget that though the tennis activity was very limited between 1943 and 1945 Kovacs dominated all the players he met as Welby Van HornWelby Van Horn
Welby Van Horn was an American professional tennis player who went on to have a career as a major tennis coach.As a 19-year-old player, Van Horn reached the finals of the 1939 U.S....
, Don McNeillDon McNeill (tennis)
William Donald McNeill was an United States male tennis player. He was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma and died in Vero Beach, Florida, United States....
, Adrian QuistAdrian Quist
Adrian Karl Quist was an Australian male tennis player. The tennis legend grew up in Adelaide and once played Harry Hopman, however lost, only because he gave Hopman a head start....
, Bill TildenBill Tilden
William Tatem Tilden II , often called "Big Bill", was an American tennis player who was the World number one male tennis player rankings player for 7 years, the last time when he was 38 years old....
, Jack Crawford, Jack Jossi, Martin Buxby, Joe WhalenJoe Whalen
Joe Whalen was an American tennis player in the 1930s who won a number of championships; he was originally from Millinocket, Maine but grew up in Miami, Florida....
, George LottGeorge Lott
George Martin Lott was an United states tennis player and tennis coach who was born in Springfield, Illinois, United States. Lott is mostly remembered as being one of the greatest doubles players of all time....
, George Lyttelton Rogers.

Kovacs was also responsible for something of a scandal over money in tennis, which before the Open era was strictly divided into amateurs and professionals. After he was barred from amateur tennis in 1941 (leaving with a characteristic witticism - "Amateur tennis stinks - there's no money in it any more."), he talked about how money was quietly - and widely - paid to supposedly amateur players for entering tournaments.

After being evicted from the amateur ranks, he and Riggs turned professional at the same time. In December 1941 - April 1942 the Pro tour consisted of round-robin matches between Don BudgeDon Budge
John Donald Budge was an United States tennis champion who was a World number one male tennis player rankings player for five years, first as an amateur and then as a professional....
, Bobby RiggsBobby Riggs
Robert Larimore Riggs was a 1930s?40s tennis player who was the World number one male tennis player rankings or the co-World No. 1 player for three years, first as an amateur in 1941, then as a professional in 1946 and 1947....
, Fred PerryFred Perry
Frederick John Perry born in Stockport, Cheshire, was an English people tennis and table tennis player and three-time Wimbledon Championships champion....
, and Kovacs (with Gene MakoGene Mako
Constantine Mako is a former American tennis player; and is also an art gallery owner. He was born in Budapest, capital of Hungary. He won four Grand Slam doubles titles in the 1930s....
, Lester StoefenLester Stoefen
Lester Stoefen was an American tennis player of the 1930s. He won three Grand Slam doubles titles: 1934 Wimbledon Championships, 1933 U.S. National Championships and 1934 U.S. National Championships U.S. National Championships....
and even Bill Tilden, for one match, as replacements). Budge ended up with the best record, 52 wins to 18 losses, ahead of Riggs 36-36 and Kovacs, 25 wins to 26 losses : Kovacs even led the very first part of the tour mainly because he had defeated Budge in their first five matches. After the tour he entered the U.S. Pro Championships and reached the semifinals and as the other great pros of the time he then joined the U.S. Army.

His cousin was the famous entertainer Ernie KovacsErnie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs was an United States comedian whose uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his early death in an automobile accident....
. He married San Francisco vocal coach Judy Davis in 1950 and they lived for many years in a beautiful home on Ivanhoe Road in the Rockridge district of Oakland, until his death in 1990.


AbsoluteAstronomy.com

Stats

Matches in database: 362
Victories in database: 286
Tournaments won in database: 40

Men's singles
Quarterfinals


Round 4
Kovacs, Frank d. Dranga, Mel (6-4 5-7 6-3)

Quarterfinals


Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Murio, John (6-0 6-1 6-2)

Final
Bennett, Richard (Dick) d. Kovacs, Frank (3-6 2-6 6-4 6-4 6-2)


Semifinals

Final


Round 3

Round 4



Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Semifinals

Final
Kovacs, Frank d. Ruehl, Milton (6-3 6-0 2-6 6-0)


Final


Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Semifinals

Final
Anderson, Owen d. Kovacs, Frank (4-6 6-2 6-0 2-6 10-8)


Round 1

Quarterfinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2
Kovacs, Frank d. Kuramitsu, Yasumine (6-3 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5)

Round 3


Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 2

Round 3


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Sabin, Wayne R. d. Kovacs, Frank (6-3 3-6 6-0 6-4)


Round 2

Quarterfinals


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2


Round 4

Quarterfinals


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 2

Quarterfinals


Round 3
Kovacs, Frank d. Clekak, T. (6-2 4-6 6-3)

Round 4


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Cooke, Elwood Thomas (6-2 8-6 0-6 1-6 6-3)

Final
Guernsey, Frank d. Kovacs, Frank (4-6 7-5 6-1 6-3)


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Peacock, Robert (6-4 6-4 3-6 6-1)

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Parker, Frank Andrew d. Kovacs, Frank (4-6 6-0 6-2 3-6 6-4)


Semifinals

Final


Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Punčec, Franjo (12-10 6-3 8-6)

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2
Kovacs, Frank d. Anderson, J. Norman (6-1 3-6 6-1 10-8)

Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Tidball, Jack (7-5 4-6 6-2 6-4)

Final


Round 4

Quarterfinals


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Hunt, Gilbert A. (8-10 6-1 6-3 6-3)

Semifinals

Final
Kovacs, Frank d. Cooke, Elwood Thomas (6-4 6-2 3-6 4-6 6-4)


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Dee, Larry (6-0 6-1 6-1)

Final


Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Semifinals
Parker, Frank Andrew d. Kovacs, Frank (6-4 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2)


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1
Kovacs, Frank d. Guerry, Alex (11-9 5-7 7-5)

Quarterfinals


Round 1
Kovacs, Frank d. Welsh, Barnard (6-3 4-6 6-1 7-5)

Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals


Quarterfinals


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Gurley, Jack (6-4 2-6 6-0 6-4)

Final


Round 3

Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Hecht, Ladislav (6-2 2-6 7-5 ret.)

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 4

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Rericha, Frank (6-2 3-6 6-0 9-7)

Semifinals


Unknown


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final
Kovacs, Frank d. Earn, Carl (1-6 4-6 10-8 6-3 6-1)


Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Howard, John (3-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-3)

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Skeen, Richard (Dick) (6-4 3-6 12-10 7-5)

Final


Semifinals

Final
Skeen, Richard (Dick) d. Kovacs, Frank (6-1 6-0 4-6 4-6 6-4)


Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Jones, C.S. (6-1 1-6 6-2)

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Jossi, Jack (6-4 4-6 6-2)

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Earn, Carl (0-6 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-0)

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Budge, John Donald (Don) d. Kovacs, Frank (6-4 7-5 5-7 4-6 6-3)


Round 1
Kovacs, Frank d. Howard, John (5-7 6-4 8-6)

Quarterfinals


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final
Kovacs, Frank d. Earn, Carl (6-3 6-4 6-2)


Quarterfinals

Semifinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Earn, Carl (1-6 8-6 6-4)

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Final


Semifinals

Final


Final


Round 2

Round 3

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Semifinals

Final

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Final


Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Final


Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Nogrady, John (6-2 6-4 1-6 6-4)

Semifinals


Round 1

Round 2
Kovacs, Frank d. Woods, Ralph (6-3 6-1 6-0)

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Round 1

Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals
Kovacs, Frank d. Faunce, John B. (2-6 6-1 6-4 ret.)

Semifinals

Final
Kovacs, Frank d. Earn, Carl (7-5 6-4 9-7)


Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Semifinals


Final


Round 1

Round 2

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Unknown

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Final


Quarterfinals

Semifinals


Quarterfinals


Round 1
Hartwig, Rex Noel d. Kovacs, Frank (21-10 21-13 21-16)


Round 1

Quarterfinals


Round 1


Round 1


Round 3









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