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William Franklin "Billy" Talbert (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 1999) was an American tennis player and administrator.[4]

Bill Talbert
Full nameWilliam Franklin Talbert
Country (sports) United States
Born(1918-09-04)September 4, 1918
Cincinnati, OH
DiedFebruary 28, 1999(1999-02-28) (aged 80)
New York, NY
PlaysRight-handed
Int. Tennis HoF1967 (member page)
Singles
Career record651-201 (76.4%) [1]
Career titles49 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 3 (1949, John Olliff)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1947)
French OpenSF (1950)
WimbledonQF (1950)
US OpenF (1944, 1945)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1947, 1954)
French OpenW (1950)
US OpenW (1942, 1945, 1946, 1948)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenF (1950)
US OpenW (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946)

Contents

Tennis careerEdit

He was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 13 times between 1941 and 1954, and was ranked World No. 3 in 1949 by John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph.[3] He won nine Grand Slam doubles titles, and also reached the men's doubles finals of the U.S. National Championship nine times, mainly with his favorite partner, Gardnar Mulloy. He also was a Davis Cup player and one of the most successful Davis Cup captains in U.S. history.

Talbert was a Type 1 diabetic, one of the few known to be in sports at a highly competitive level, and for many years was held up as an example of how this disease could be surmounted.[5]

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Talbert still holds records at the Cincinnati Masters in his hometown. His records are for most doubles titles (six), most total finals appearances (14), and most singles finals appearances (seven). He won three singles titles (in 1943, '45 & '47), and his six doubles titles came in 1943, '44, '45, '47, '51 & '54.

Talbert reached the final of the U. S. Championships in 1944 and 1945 (losing both finals to Frank Parker). He also reached the semi finals of the French championships in 1950 (beating John Bromwich before losing to Budge Patty 13-11 in the fifth set).[6]

Talbert also won the singles title at the U.S. Clay Court Championship in 1945 and was a finalist in 1946 and '43. Before starting out on the international tour, he played for the University of Cincinnati and won an Ohio State singles title in 1936 while at Cincinnati's Hughes High School.

Talbert was enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967 and was in the first class, along with his former protégé Tony Trabert, enshrined into the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002. Barry MacKay, another protégé, was inducted into the same Hall of Fame in 2003. After his playing career, he wrote tennis books, including the best seller The Game of Doubles in Tennis with Bruce Old in 1977, served as a tennis commentator for NBC Sports, and was Tournament Director of the US Open.

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (2 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1944 U.S. Championships Grass   Frank Parker 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1945 U.S. Championships Grass   Frank Parker 12–14, 1–6, 2–6

Doubles (5 titles, 5 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1942 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   Ted Schroeder
  Sidney Wood
9–7, 7–5, 6–1
Runner-up 1943 U.S. Championships Grass   David Freeman   Jack Kramer
  Frank Parker
2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1944 U.S. Championships Grass   Pancho Segura   Don McNeill
  Bob Falkenburg
5–7, 4–6, 6–3, 1–6
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   Bob Falkenburg
  Jack Tuero
12–10, 8–10, 12–10, 6–2
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   Don McNeill
  Frank Guernsey
3–6, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3, 20–18
Runner-up 1947 U.S. Championships Grass   Bill Sidwell   Jack Kramer
  Ted Schroeder
4–6, 5–7, 3–6
Winner 1948 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   Frank Parker
  Ted Schroeder
1–6, 9–7, 6–3, 3–6, 9–7
Winner 1950 French Championships Clay   Tony Trabert   Jaroslav Drobný
  Eric Sturgess
6–2, 1–6, 10–8, 6–2
Runner-up 1950 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   John Bromwich
  Frank Sedgman
5–7, 6–8, 6–3, 1–6
Runner-up 1953 U.S. Championships Grass   Gardnar Mulloy   Rex Hartwig
  Mervyn Rose
4–6, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6

Mixed Doubles (4 titles, 3 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1943 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne   Pauline Betz
  Pancho Segura
10–6, 6–4
Winner 1944 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne   Dorothy Bundy
  Don McNeill
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1945 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne   Doris Hart
  Bob Falkenberg
6–4, 6–4
Winner 1946 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne   Louise Brough Clapp
  Robert Kimbrell
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1948 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne duPont   Louise Brough Clapp
  Tom Brown
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1949 U.S. Championships Grass   Margaret Osborne duPont   Louise Brough Clapp
  Eric Sturgess
6–4, 3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 1950 French Championships Clay   Patricia Canning Todd   Barbara Scofield
  Enrique Morea
w.o.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Bill Talbert: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Garcia, Gabriel. "Bill Talbert: Career tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  4. ^ "Bill Talbert, Tennis Champion, Is Dead at 80". The New York Times. March 2, 1999.
  5. ^ William F. Talbert; John Sharnik (May 4, 1959). "What Price Independence?". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 10 no. 18. pp. 76–88.
  6. ^ "French Open 1950". www.tennis.co.nf.

External linksEdit