General Richard (Dick)
Savitt
Male
United States of America
1927-03-04
Bayonne, New Jersey, United States of America


About

Tennis career
Born in Bayonne, New JerseyBayonne, New Jersey
Bayonne is a City in Hudson County, New Jersey, New Jersey, United States, south of Jersey City. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city had a total population of 61,842....
, Savitt never took a tennis lesson in his life. The self-taught Savitt played tennis well enough to make the finals of the New Jersey Boys Championship and, for two years afterwards, the National Boys Tennis Tournaments before moving up to the junior ranks. His first love was basketball, however, and as co-captain of his El Paso, TexasEl Paso, Texas
El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, Texas, United States, and part of the . According to the United States Census Bureau 2006 population estimates, the city had a population of 606,913....
high school basketball team he was an all-Texas player in 1944 when his family moved to Texas. A year later, Savitt entered the Navy and played on an outstanding service basketball team. At the time, despite considering tennis his \"second\" sport after basketball, he was the ranked 8th nationally among junior tennis players and the 17th ranked amateur overall.

When he completed his tour of duty in 1946, Cornell UniversityCornell University
Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York, USA, is a private university with four Statutory college. Its two medical campuses are in New York City and Education City, Qatar....
offered Savitt a basketball scholarship. When two injuries cut short Savitt\'s basketball career, he decided to resume playing tennis, which he had taught himself as a 14-year old boy. Without benefit of coaching, in 1950 Savitt reached the semifinals of the U. S. Championship at Forest HillsForest Hills, Queens
Forest Hills is a neighborhood in the central part of the New York City borough of Queens . It is bordered to the north by Rego Park, Queens and Corona, Queens, to the east by Flushing Meadows Park, the Grand Central Parkway and Kew Gardens, Queens, to the west by Middle Village, Queens and Glendale, Queens and to the south by Forest Park...
. Savitt was elected for membership into the Sphinx Head Society at Cornell during his senior year.

In 1951, Savitt won the Wimbledon Singles Championship, the Australian Singles title, and was the number 1 player on the United States Davis CupDavis Cup
The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men\'s tennis. The largest annual international team competition in sports, the Davis Cup is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from competing countries in a knock-out format....
Team.

In his prime, Savitt was considered the greatest back-court player in the game, and was ranked 2nd in the world in 1951.

The Cornell UniversityCornell University
Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York, USA, is a private university with four Statutory college. Its two medical campuses are in New York City and Education City, Qatar....
graduate ranked four times in the World\'s Top 10 between 1951 and 1957 ?? No. 2 in 1951; and six times in the U.S. Top 10 between 1950 and 1959??No. 2 in 1951. Interestingly, the player ranked ahead of Savitt on the 1951 U.S. list, Vic SeixasVic Seixas
Elias Victor Seixas, Jr. is a former United States male tennis player.Seixas was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Portuguese people Jewish ancestry....
, was ranked No. 4 in the world, two spots below Savitt. It should also be noted that Savitt did not compete 1953-55.

Although at the top of his game, Savitt abruptly retired from competitive tennis after winning the 1952 U.S. National Indoor Singles Championships. Although he has never publicly discussed his sudden retirement, it was considered most likely the result of a never-explained snub by the United States Davis Cup coaching staff. Savitt had played and won his three early 1951 Cup matches, winning 9 of 10 sets, en route to leading the American team into the championship round against Australia. American Davis Cup coach Frank ShieldsFrank Shields
Francis Xavier Shields was an outstanding amateur American tennis player of the 1920s and 1930s....
, however, did not permit him to compete against the Aussies whom, only months earlier, he had dominated at Wimbledon and in Australia. He had trounced Australia\'s top seed Ken McGregorKen McGregor
Kenneth Bruce McGregor was a former tennis player from Australia who won the Men\'s Singles title at the Australian Championships in 1952. He and his longtime doubles partner, Frank Sedgman, are generally considered to be one of the greatest men\'s doubles teams of all time....
in three straight sets to win at Wimbledon and won the Australian Singles championship, becoming the first non-Aussie to win that title in 13 years. Ted Schroeder, who had lost all three of his Davis Cup matches while losing 9 out of 10 sets in the process the year before and was in semi-retirement, was chosen instead. Without Savitt playing singles, and with Schroder losing two of his three matches, the United States lost the 1951 Davis Cup to Australia.

The controversy spilled over into the next year, at the annual meeting of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association when the national rankings were discussed. In its tentative rankings the U.S.L.T.A. put Savitt at number 3. As it was reported, \"the loudest talker was Frank Shields, non-playing captain of the losing U.S. Davis Cup team. Shields had ignored Savitt in the Davis Cup matches, had put his confidence in aging (30) Ted Schroeder ... who turned out to be the goat of the series. Shields was intent on keeping Savitt ranked ... at No. 3. Cried Shields: \'Never once in the past three months has Savitt looked like a champion. Not only that, but he was not the most cooperative player in the world while we were in Australia, and his sounding off brought discredit to the game. He was not a credit either as a player or a representative of America.\' Shields\'s outburst brought a tart answer from 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....
, onetime (1940) national champion. Amid resounding applause from the assembled delegates, McNeill pointed out that players are ranked on their tennis ability, and personal prejudice should have nothing to do with ranking. The ranking committee, ignoring Shields\'s remarks, proceeded to raise Savitt from No. 3 to 2. After the heated session, one of the longest (five hours) in U.S.L.T.A. history, President Russell B. Kingman tried to restore a touch of dignity to tennis. Choosing his words with due care, Kingman called Shields\'s outburst \'most unseemly.\'

In February 1952, Savitt announced that he would play one more tournament, the National Indoor Championships, and then retire from tournament tennis?at age 25. As his farewell statement, Savitt won the championship.

Savitt returned to the competitive tennis scene part-time in 1956, and though his limited tournament competition prevented him from receiving an official ranking, he was nonetheless considered the number one player in the United States. In 1958, Savitt moved back to New York for business reasons and launched a part-time comeback in tennis. That year, he won his second National Indoors title, and in 1961 he captured his third ? while remaining a weekend player

Among Savitt\'s major victories are the 1952, 1958, and 1961 U.S. National Indoor Championships. He was the first to win that crown three times.

In 1981 he and his son, Robert, won the U.S. Father and Son doubles title.


Style of play
He hit a booming serve that his opponents found difficult to return. Savitt was also enormously competitive. His contemporaries described him as almost driven, a man who hated to lose.



Media


Archive statistics 1943 - 1968
37
425
320


Tournament wins 1961 - Maccabiah Games (Amateur)
1961 - US International Indoor Championships (Amateur)
1961 - Middle Atlantic Indoors (Amateur)
1959 - Pittsburgh Golf Club Invitation (Amateur)
1959 - Buffalo Indoor (Open)
1958 - US International Indoor Championships (Amateur)
1958 - Brooklyn (Amateur)
1958 - Atlanta Invitation Tournament (Open)
1957 - Oklahoma State (Open)
1957 - Triple A (Amateur)
1957 - Tournament of Champions (Amateur)
1957 - Eastern Grass Court Championships (Amateur)
1956 - Dallas Invitation (Amateur)
1956 - Southwest Championships (Open)
1956 - Dallas Open (Open)
1956 - Cotton Carnival (Amateur)
1955 - Buccaneer Days (Open)
1955 - Triple A (Amateur)
1954 - Triple A (Amateur)
1954 - River Oaks Tournament (WCT Circuit)
1952 - US International Indoor Championships (Amateur)
1952 - Canadian International Championships ()
1952 - Kingston International Invitation (Amateur)
1952 - Caribbean Championships (Amateur)
1952 - Priory Club (Amateur)
1952 - Middle Atlantic Grass Courts (Amateur)
1952 - Pacific Coast Championship (Amateur)
1951 - San Remo (Amateur)
1951 - Algiers (Amateur)
1951 - Australian Open (Grandslam)
1951 - Wimbledon (Grandslam)
1950 - Brooklyn (Amateur)
1950 - Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship (Open)
1950 - New York State Championships (Open)
1950 - Eastern Clay Court Championships (Open)
1947 - New Jersey State Championships (Open)
1944 - Delaware and Middle States Clay Courts (Amateur)


Tournaments Bobby Riggs Masters Invitation - 1968 Detroit Invitation - 1965 Buffalo Indoor - 1964 US International Indoor Championships - 1961 Maccabiah Games - 1961 Middle Atlantic Indoors - 1961 US International Indoor Championships - 1960 Buffalo Indoor - 1960 US Open - 1959 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1959 US International Indoor Championships - 1959 Atlanta Invitation Tournament - 1959 River Oaks Tournament - 1959 Buffalo Indoor - 1959 Dallas Invitation - 1959 Pittsburgh Golf Club Invitation - 1959 Tuscaloosa Grass Court Invitation - 1959 US Open - 1958 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1958 US International Indoor Championships - 1958 Atlanta Invitation Tournament - 1958 River Oaks Tournament - 1958 Brooklyn - 1958 Westchester - 1958 Buffalo Indoor - 1958 Pittsburgh Indoor - 1958 Tulsa Invitation - 1958 Dallas Invitation - 1958 O'Keefe International Invitation - 1958 US Open - 1957 Colorado Championship - 1957 Nassau Bowl - 1957 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1957 US International Indoor Championships - 1957 River Oaks Tournament - 1957 Triple A - 1957 Oklahoma State - 1957 Buffalo Indoor - 1957 Dallas Invitation - 1957 Tournament of Champions - 1957 US Open - 1956 River Oaks Tournament - 1956 Southwest Championships - 1956 Dallas Invitation - 1956 Dallas Open - 1956 Cotton Carnival - 1956 Sugar Bowl - 1955 River Oaks Tournament - 1955 Triple A - 1955 Oklahoma State - 1955 Buccaneer Days - 1955 Dallas Invitation - 1955 River Oaks Tournament - 1954 Triple A - 1954 Australian Open - 1952 Wimbledon - 1952 Roland Garros - 1952 US Open - 1952 Canadian International Championships - 1952 Newport Casino Tournament - 1952 Pacific Coast Championship - 1952 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1952 US Clay Courts - 1952 Western States Championships - 1952 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1952 US International Indoor Championships - 1952 River Oaks Tournament - 1952 Cuban Championships - 1952 Palm Beach Invitation - 1952 Caribbean Championships - 1952 Miami Invitational - 1952 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1952 Kingston International Invitation - 1952 Priory Club - 1952 Middle Atlantic Grass Courts - 1952 Greenbrier Autumn Tournament - 1952 Australian Open - 1951 Wimbledon - 1951 South Australian Championships - 1951 Roland Garros - 1951 US Open - 1951 Victorian Championships - 1951 New South Wales Championships - 1951 Paris International Championships - 1951 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1951 US Clay Courts - 1951 Italian International Championships - 1951 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1951 Algiers - 1951 International Championships of Egypt-Alexandria - 1951 Championships of Berlin - 1951 San Remo - 1951 US vs. France Exhibition - 1951 US vs. Australia exhibitions - 1951 Sicilian International Championships - 1951 Nations' Cup (Egypt) - 1951 Harvestehude - 1951 US Open - 1950 Victorian Championships - 1950 New South Wales Championships - 1950 Eastern Clay Court Championships - 1950 Newport Casino Tournament - 1950 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1950 Spring Lake Invitation Tournament - 1950 Brooklyn - 1950 Queensland Championships - 1950 Southampton Invitation (Long Island) - 1950 New York State Championships - 1950 Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship - 1950 US Open - 1949 Newport Casino Tournament - 1949 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1949 Seabright Invitational - 1949 Sugar Bowl - 1949 Southampton Invitation (Long Island) - 1949 Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship - 1949 Intercollegiate Championships - 1949 New York Clay Courts - 1949 US Open - 1948 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1948 Spring Lake Invitation Tournament - 1948 Sugar Bowl - 1948 US International Indoor Championships - 1948 New Jersey State Championships - 1948 New York State Championships - 1948 US Open - 1947 Eastern Clay Court Championships - 1947 US Clay Courts - 1947 New Jersey State Championships - 1947 Intercollegiate Championships - 1947 US Open - 1946 Newport Casino Tournament - 1946 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1946 River Oaks Tournament - 1946 Eastern Clay Court Championships - 1945 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1945 Seabright Invitational - 1945 Arizona State - 1945 US Open - 1944 Southwest Championships - 1944 Delaware and Middle States Clay Courts - 1944 Southampton Qualifying - 1944 Southwest Championships - 1943

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