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George Clifford Richey Jr. (born December 31, 1946) is an American former amateur and professional tennis player who was active during the 1960s and 1970s. Richey achieved a highest singles ranking of World No. 6 and reached at least the quarterfinal stage of the singles event at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

Cliff Richey
Cliff Richey 1972.jpg
Cliff Richey in 1972
Full nameGeorge Clifford Richey Jr.
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceSan Angelo, Texas, US
Born (1946-12-31) December 31, 1946 (age 72)
San Angelo, Texas, US
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro1964 (amateur tour from 1963)
Retired1979
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Singles
Career record421–210
Career titles28
Highest rankingNo. 6 (1970, Martini-Rossi panel)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenQF (1967)
French OpenSF (1970)
WimbledonQF (1971)
US OpenSF (1970, 1972)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (1971)
Doubles
Career record62–100
Career titles1
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1967)
French OpenQF (1971)
Wimbledon2R (1967, 1968, 1969)
US Open2R (1971)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenQF (1969)
Wimbledon2R (1964, 1966, 1967)
US OpenQF (1970)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1969, 1970)

Tennis careerEdit

Richey was the American junior national tennis champion in 1962 (16 years) and 1963 (18 years) and in 1964 he won the boys' singles title at the French Championships.[1][2][3]

Richey was a member of the American team which won the 1969 Davis Cup against Romania but did not actively participate. He was an active member of the team that won the 1970 Davis Cup, winning both his singles matches in the final against West Germany, and was voted the most valuable player.[4] In September 1971, Richey quit the Davis Cup team before the final against Romania citing his disagreement with the USLTA over the choice of surface and the lack of consultation with players.[5] In total, Richey played in seven Davis Cup ties between 1966 and 1970 and compiled a record of ten wins and three losses.[6]

Richey was the winner of the first Grand Prix tennis circuit, organized in 1970, finishing ahead of Arthur Ashe and Ken Rosewall.[7] His career-high singles ranking was World No. 6, achieved in 1970, and No. 1 in the U.S for that same year. The No. 1 ranking was decided by the outcome of the semifinal match at the Pacific Coast Championships against his direct competitor, Stan Smith, and ultimately came down to just a single point when both players had a match-point at 4–4 in the sudden death tiebreak of the final set.[8][9][10]

Richey reached the semifinal of a Grand Slam tournament on three occasions. His first semifinal appearance was at the 1970 French Open where he lost to Yugoslav Željko Franulović in a five-set match after leading two-sets-to-one and 5–1 in the fourth set and having failed to convert two match points.[11] At the 1970 US Open later that year Richey again reached the semifinal which he lost in straight sets to Australian Tony Roche. His last Grand Slam semifinal appearance came two years later at the 1972 US Open where he defeated Rod Laver in the fourth round but was beaten in the semis in straight sets by compatriot Arthur Ashe.[12] His best singles result at the Wimbledon Championships was reaching the quarterfinal in 1971 in which he lost to Ken Rosewall in a close four-hour five-set match.[13][14]

During the first years of the Open Era, which started in 1968, Richey chose to be an independent professional but in April 1972 he became a contract professional when he signed a four-year contract with Lamar Hunt to join the World Championship Tennis tour.[15][16]

He is the brother of Nancy Richey, a Hall of Fame tennis player who won two Grand Slam singles tournaments.[17] They were the first brother-sister combination to both be concurrently ranked in the US Top Ten.[18] They were ranked in the Top Three concurrently in 1965, 1967, 1969 and 1970.[19]

Career highlightsEdit

  • 45 tournament titles over the span of a 26-year career (1964–1992) including:
    • Canadian Open (1969)[20]
    • South African Open (1972)
    • U.S. Indoor Championships (1968)
    • U.S. Clay Court Championships (1966, 1970)
    • South American Championships (1966, 1967)
    • Western Open (1965, 1966, 1969)
    • Legends Senior Tour Championships (1983)
    • CBS Tennis Classic (1974)
  • Founding member, Association of Tennis Professionals (1972)

Singles titles (28)Edit

No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
1. July 5, 1965 Western Open Milwaukee Clay   Marty Riessen 5–7, 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
2. June 6, 1966 West of England Tennis Championships Grass   Mike Belkin 6–1, 6–3
3. July 11, 1966 U.S. Clay Court Championships Clay   Frank Froehling 13–11, 6–1, 6–3
4. October 30, 1966 South American Championships Clay   Thomaz Koch 6–3, 6–2, 2–6, 6–0
5. April 17, 1967 River Plate International Championships Clay   Clark Graebner 3–6, 6–4, 7–5
6. October 30, 1967 South American Championships Clay   José Edison Mandarino 7–5, 6–8, 6–3, 6–3
7. February 12, 1968 U.S. National Indoor Championships Clay   Clark Graebner 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
8. April 16, 1968 River Oaks Invitational Houston Clay   Boro Jovanović 6–4, 6–1, 6–0
9. December 23, 1968 Sugar Bowl tennis Classic New Orleans Hard   Ron Holmberg 6–4, 6–4, 4–6, 8–6
10. February 24, 1969 Curaçao International Championships Clay   Mark Cox 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
11. March 17, 1969 Thunderbird Invitational Phoenix   Manuel Santana 6–4, 6–4
12. July 14, 1969 Cincinnati Open Clay   Allan Stone 6–1, 6–2
13. August 9, 1969 Canadian Open Clay   Butch Buchholz 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–0
14. August 15, 1969 Pennsylvania Grass Court Championship Grass   Robert Carmichael 6–4, 7–9, 6–2, 6–4
15. December 22, 1969 Sugar Bowl Tennis Classic New Orleans Hard   Jim Osborne 6–4, 6–4, 6–2
16. January 19, 1970 Austin Smith Tennis Championship Hard   Clark Graebner 6–3, 7–5
17. February 23, 1970 Macon International Tennis Tournament Hard   Arthur Ashe 6–3, 3–6, 8–6
18. April 13, 1970 Charlotte International Tennis Tournament   Robert Carmichael 6–4, 6–4
19. April 27, 1970 Atlanta Invitational Tennis Tournament   Frank Froehling 6–2, 6–2
20. July 13, 1970 Washington Star International Hard   Arthur Ashe 7–5, 6–2, 6–1
21. August 2, 1970 U.S. Clay Court Championships Clay   Stan Smith 6–2, 10–8, 3–6, 6–1
22. April 26, 1971 River Oaks Invitational Houston Clay   Clark Graebner 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
23. January 24, 1972 London Indoor Hard   Clark Graebner 7–5, 6–7, 7–5, 6–0
24. April 10, 1972 South African Open Hard   Manuel Orantes 6–4, 7–5, 3–6, 6–4
25. July 10, 1972 Bretton Woods Hard   Jeff Borowiak 6–1, 6–0
26. January 14, 1974 WCT Lakeway CBS Tennis Classic   John Alexander 7–6, 6–1
27. September 13, 1976 Bermuda Tennis Classic Clay   Gene Mayer 7–6, 6–2
28. April 3, 1978 South African Tennis Meet Hard   Colin Dowdeswell 6–2, 6–4

Personal lifeEdit

Golf highlights:

  • Founding member, Celebrity Players' Tour (1997)[21]
  • Played celebrity golf tour for 15 years (1992–2007)
  • Won tour events in Jamaica (2004) and Baltimore (2006)
  • Scratch golfer (74.5 career stroke average; career best round 63)

Mental health awareness fundraising and activism:

  • Richey organized tennis and golf tournaments to benefit charities:
  • Angelo Catholic School (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)
  • James Phillips Williams Memorial [Dyslexia] Foundation (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR) (1999)
  • United Way (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • Nominated for Frank M. Adams Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service (2000)

Public lectures and presentations:

  • Keynote presentation, Texas state convention for executive directors of MHMR (2000)
  • Community legislative forums (1999, 2000)
  • Invited lectures to college campuses and psychology classes (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Keynote address, MHMR banquet (Palestine, TX, 2000)
  • 2010 Mental Health America/TX Boots, Bells, and Hearts award
  • 2010 Texas Council of MHMR's Annual Conference, Keynote Speaker, Woodlands TX
  • 2010 NAMI[expand acronym] National Convention, breakfast presentation
  • Fourteen-city book tour for Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion's Toughest Match, 2010
  • 2010 Lecture at the Grand Rounds, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University to Faculty and trainees
  • 2010 Keynote speaker Montana State Convention on Mental Illness, Billings, Montana

WorksEdit

  • Richey, Cliff; Kallendorf, Hilaire Richey; Connors, Jimmy (April 1, 2010). Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion's Toughest Match. New Chapter Press. ISBN 978-0-942257-66-3.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "U.S. Junior National Championships" (PDF). USTA.
  2. ^ "Junior and Boys Tennis Champs are Crowned". The Owosso Argus-Press. August 2, 1963.
  3. ^ "Velotti Wins Boys Championship". The New York Times. June 6, 2010.
  4. ^ Grimsley, Will (September 9, 1970). "Four Americans in Tennis Quarter-final". The Day.
  5. ^ "Bitter Richey Quits Davis Cup Squad". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. September 22, 1971.
  6. ^ "Davis Cup player profile – Cliff Richey". ITF.
  7. ^ John Barrett, ed. (1971). World of Tennis 1971. London: Queen Anne Press. pp. 133–135. ISBN 978-0362000917.
  8. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. pp. 706, 707. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  9. ^ United States Tennis Association (1979). Bill Shannon (ed.). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (Rev. and updated 1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row. p. 427. ISBN 0060144785.
  10. ^ Richey, Cliff; Hilaire Richey Kallendorf (2010). Acing Depression : A Tennis Champion's Toughest Match. New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0942257663.
  11. ^ "The Analysis of the Choke". World Tennis Magazine. June 4, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  12. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 462. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  13. ^ "Wimbledon draws archive – 1971 Gentlemen's Singles". AELTC.
  14. ^ "Cliff Richey Loses Match To Rosewall". Gettysburg Times. June 30, 1971. p. 22.
  15. ^ "Cliff Richey Says he May Earn Less but prefers to be his own Boss in Tennis". Gettysburg Times. February 18, 1971. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  16. ^ "Richey Goes Over To Hunt's Group With 4-Year Pact". The New York Times. April 12, 1972. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  17. ^ "Sports briefs". The Leader-Post. July 11, 1966. p. 24. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  18. ^ "ATP player profile – Cliff Richey". ATP.
  19. ^ Bill Shannon, ed. (1981). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (3rd, Revised and updated ed.). New York [u.a.]: Harper & Row. pp. 427, 433, 434. ISBN 9780060148966.
  20. ^ "RICHEY CAPTURES CANADA NET FINAL; Conquers Buchholz in 4 Sets". New York Times. August 11, 1969. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  21. ^ McCarton Ackerman (June 12, 2012). "The Alcoholism of a Tennis Great". TheFix.

External linksEdit