General Michael
Westphal
Male
Germany
1965-02-19
Hamburg, West-Germany
1991-06-16
Hamburg, Germany


About

The following piece was translated and slightly adapted from the Wikipedia entry in German on Michael Westphal, which can be accessed via the following link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Westphal

Michael Westphal started playing tennis at the age of nine, and in 1980 won the boys’ singles title at the European Under 16 Junior Championships. He later reached a career high of No. 49 in the ATP singles and No. 293 in the ATP doubles rankings. Westphal was a member of both the Pinneberg Tennis Club and the Hamburg Klipper Tennis and Hockey Club (THC).

Westphal became known to the wider public in West Germany through his appearances in the West German Davis Cup team. Between 1982 and 1986, he represented his country in 19 singles matches. His biggest success as a member of the West German Davis Cup team came in 1985 when, in the semi-final against Czechoslovakia, he defeated Tomáš Šmíd in five sets: 6-8, 1-6, 7-5, 11-9, 17-15. The match lasted 5 hours and 29 minutes, and its 85 games are the most played in a Davis Cup singles rubber. West Germany won the semi-final tie 5-0, but lost to Sweden in the final by 3 rubbers to 2.

In July 1989, an article in the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper stated that Westphal “had not been able to train for seven months because of a mysterious viral illness”, and that he had lost almost ten kilogrammes of body weight. Westphal himself said at the time: “I can’t play tennis at the moment, I have to be very careful.”

Westphal subsequently worked as a representative for a company selling spirits. In January 1991, Westphal was invited to take part in an invitational tournament in Hamburg but, citing a back injury, later withdrew before the tournament started. Westphal died of an AIDS-related illness on the night of 20 June 1991 at the age of 26. He was buried in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg. According to his partner, the actress Jessica Stockmann, Westphal contracted HIV while being unfaithful.

When Westphal died, doctors stated that the cause was an unspecified viral illness. In 2001, ten years after his death and on a German talk show, Jessica Stockmann spoke for the first time about the real cause of Westphal’s death. (However, as early as 28 November 1991 Bild newspaper had carried a headline stating that Westphal died as a result of AIDS.) His illness, which had been diagnosed in 1988, was kept secret from the public for fear that he would be ostracised.

The Michael Westphal Award, which is given to people who have contributed to the sport of tennis, is named after the late player. His partner of many years, Jessica Stockmann, later married another tennis player, Michael Stich.



Media


Archive statistics 1980 - 1989
5
183
105


Tournament wins 1983 - Travemünde International (Amateur)
1983 - German Grand Prix Masters (Open)
1982 - Lingen General Tournament (Open)
1982 - Hamburg Closed Championships (Amateur)
1982 - Grunewald (Amateur)


Tournaments Australian Open - 1989 Wimbledon - 1987 Roland Garros - 1987 Wimbledon - 1986 Roland Garros - 1986 Roland Garros - 1985 Wimbledon - 1984 Roland Garros - 1984 US Open - 1984 Olympics, Olympic Games - 1984 US Pro Championships - 1984 German International Championships - 1984 Bavarian International Championships - 1984 Madrid Open - 1984 Bielefeld - 1984 Washington Open - 1984 Monte Carlo - Qualifying - 1984 King's Cup - Premier Division - 1984 Fürth - 1984 AMF Head Cup - 1984 West of England - Qualifying - 1984 US International Indoor - Qualifying - 1984 Indian Wells - Qualifying - 1984 Milano Indoor - Qualifying - 1984 Aix-En-Provence - Qualifying - 1984 Bahrain Challenger - 1984 Livingston - 1984 US Open - 1983 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1983 US Pro Championships - 1983 German International Championships - 1983 South African Championships - 1983 German National Championships - 1983 Swiss International Covered Courts - 1983 Bavarian International Championships - 1983 Travemünde International - 1983 South Orange Open - 1983 German National Indoor - 1983 Trier - 1983 British Hard Court Championships - Qualifying - 1983 Washington Open - Qualifying - 1983 Vienna International Indoor - 1983 Stockholm Open - 1983 King's Cup - Premier Division - 1983 German Grand Prix Masters - 1983 NRW Cup - 1983 Tunis Challenger - 1983 European Community Championship - 1983 Kuwait City - 1983 Aix-En-Provence - Qualifying - 1983 German International Championships - 1982 Championships of Berlin - 1982 German National Championships - 1982 Championships of Stuttgart - 1982 Grunewald - 1982 German National Indoor - 1982 Hong Kong Open - 1982 Hamburg Closed Championships - 1982 Unterhaching - 1982 Bavarian International Championships - Qualifying - 1982 Lingen General Tournament - 1982 Cologne Indoor Open - 1982 Taipei International - 1982 NRW Cup - 1982 Toulouse Indoor - 1982 Barcelona Challenger - 1982 Buchholz - 1982 Swiss International Indoor - Qualifying - 1982 Cologne Challenger - 1982 Austrian International - Qualifying - 1982 Vienna International Indoor - Qualifying - 1982 Hong Kong Open - Qualifying - 1982 Taipei International - Qualifying - 1982 Thailand Open - Qualifying - 1982 Toulouse Indoor - Qualifying - 1982 Barcelona Challenger - Qualifying - 1982 Hamburg Closed Championships - 1981 Netherlands 2 Satellite - Leg 1 - 1981 Netherlands 2 Satellite - Leg 3 - 1981 Netherlands 2 Satellite - Leg 4 - 1981 Netherlands 2 Satellite - Masters - 1981 North West German Indoor - 1981 North West German Indoor - 1980

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