Ladislav Hecht was a Jewish professional tennis player, well known for representing Czechoslovakia in the Davis Cup during the 1930s where he compiled an 18 victories 19 losses record. Despite being of Jewish origin he was also invited to the Germany Davis Cup team but chose not to accept it.
He was born in Zsolna, Upper Hungary (now Zilina, Slovakia) in 1909, and developed a successful tennis career, some considering him to be the best tennis player in Europe immediately before the Second World War. He then fled to the United States three days before Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, working in a munitions factory during World War II. Before that he moved to Budapest, capital of Hungary in 1936 then sought livelihood in Australia three month prior the German occupation.
In 1934 he won the Butler Trophy of Monte Carlo alongside Roderich Menzel defeating Jacques Brugnon and Jean Lesueur in the final. In singles he was victorious at the Hungarian International Tennis Championships having upset Henner Henkel in the semifinal and Ignacy Tłoczyński in the final. He reached the doubles finals as well partnering Josef Caska.
In late 1935 and early 1936 Hecht and Roderich Menzel toured the Far East and as a result they traveled to Japan to participate in the Japanese National Championships, where Menzel fell in the final and despite their united effort they lost in the doubles final as well both times to title defender Jiro Yamagishi.From there they sailed to India where they were the finalists at the East of India Championships. Arriving home he was defeated in the Czechoslovakian International Championship match by eventual world number one Fred Perry. He was a second straight time finalist in Budapest.
After the war he continued his tennis career, becoming a #1 ranked player in the eastern United States. In 1941 he was a runner-up for the Brooklyn tennis tournament his volleying yet came short behind Pancho Segura passing shots and thus lost the final. In 1947 he finally clinched the Brooklyn tennis tournament by beating Peruvian Enrique Buse in straight sets. He added the Eatern Clay Court Championships to his accolades the same year by eliminating Dick Savitt in the final.
He continued on starting toy and paintbrush businesses, and later in life was honored by the city of Bratislava, having a new multisport stadium named after him in 1966.
He had two children Timothy and Andrew both of whom settled in Aspen.
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