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Czesław Spychała (Polish pronunciation: [t͡ʂɛswaf spɨˈxala]; 1 January 1917 – 25 December 1994) was a Polish tennis player active in the decade before and after World War II.

Czesław Spychała
Czeslaw Spychala portrait 1932.jpg
Country (sports) Poland
Born(1917-01-01)1 January 1917
Poznań, German Empire
Died25 December 1994(1994-12-25) (aged 77)
PlaysRight-handed
Singles
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open3R (1938)
Wimbledon2R (1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1954)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon3R (1946)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon3R (1957)

BiographyEdit

Spychała was born in Posen, German Empire (modern Poznań, Poland).

He represented Poland in the Davis Cup on a single occasion. In 1938 Poland played against Italy in the second round of the European zone. He played the doubles match with his teammate Ignacy Tłoczyński against Ferruccio Quintavalle and Valentino Taroni and lost in five sets. Italy won the tie, played on clay courts in Milan, by 3–2.[1] Spychała was scheduled to play the doubles match against The Netherlands in the first round of the 1939 Davis Cup competition but was replaced by Tłoczyński when he did not how up on time.[2]

His first participation in a Grand Slam event was the 1938 French Championships. He made it to the third round of the singles event in which he was defeated in straight sets by Robert Abdesselam.[3] That year he was ranked No.3 in Poland.[4]

In 1939 at the start of World War II Spychała was taken prisoner by the Soviet Army after they invaded Poland but escaped captivity and went underground. He took the identity of "Marian Tworowski" and as a member of the "Ruczaj" battalion of the Polish resistance was involved in raids on the German forces.[5][6] In 1944 during the Warsaw uprising he was shot through the hand and retaken prisoner which he remained until the end of the war.[7]

In 1946 he was the runner-up at the All England Plate, a tennis competition held at the Wimbledon Championships which consisted of players who were defeated in the first or second rounds of the singles competition. He lost the final in straight sets to Robert Abdesselam.[8] Until 1954 he played a further eight times in the singles event at Wimbledon but did not make it past the second round. He reached the third round in both the doubles (1946) and mixed doubles events (1957).[9]

Spychała won the Welsh Championships singles title in July 1946 as well as the doubles title with compatriot Ignacy Tłoczyński. The same year he also won singles titles at tournaments in Bognor and Chiswick. In April 1947 he won the singles title at the Tally Ho tournament in Birmingham and in July successfully defended his Welsh singles and doubles title.[4] In August 1948 he won the singles titles at Cranleigh and New Malden and in September he defeated Tłoczyński in the final of the South of England Championships in Eastbourne and together they won the doubles title.[10] The titles at the Cranleigh and New Malden tournaments were successfully defended the following year.

In 1949 he won the singles event at the Surrey Grass Court Championships in Surbiton, defeating Geoffrey Paish in the final. The following year, 1950, he lost this title to Narendra Nath but in 1952 regained it after a win in the final against David Samaai. In 1950 Spychała and Tłoczyński were to play the doubles final of the Midlands Counties Championships in Birmingham against Jaroslav Drobný and Bill Sidwell but rain prevented play and the prize was shared with their opponents.[11]

Spychała was decorated by the Polish government in exile with the Gold Cross of Merit in 1966.[7] In 1971 he received the Lawn Tennis Writers award for his services to the game.[12][13]

He was married to Gladys Pilkington.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Davis Cup draws & results". International Tennis Federation (ITF).
  2. ^ "Nederland wint het dubbelspel". De Tijd. 7 May 1939 – via Delpher.
  3. ^ "Roland-Garros 1938 (Grand Slam) – Men singles" (PDF). Fédération Française de Tennis. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-03.
  4. ^ a b G.P. Hughes, ed. (1948). The Dunlop Lawn Tennis Almanack 1948. London: Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd. p. 234.
  5. ^ "Historia powstańcze biogramy – Czesław Spychała". The Warsaw Rising Museum.
  6. ^ "Czołowi polscy tenisiści bohaterami Powstania Warszawskiego". Eurosport.
  7. ^ a b c Bill Edwards (30 December 1994). "Czeslaw Spychala: Obituaries". The Independent.
  8. ^ Alan Little, ed. (2011). 2011 Wimbledon Compendium. London: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. pp. 493–497. ISBN 9781899039364.
  9. ^ "Wimbledon players archive – Czeslaw Spychala". AELTC.
  10. ^ G.P. Hughes, ed. (1949). The Dunlop Lawn Tennis Almanack 1949. London: Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd. pp. 99, 102, 117.
  11. ^ "Drobny wins U.K. tourney" (PDF). The Argus. Melbourne: Argus Office: 13. 18 July 1950 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "Award for service to tennis". The Glasgow Herald. 25 November 1971 – via Google News Archive.
  13. ^ "Annual Award for Services to British Tennis". Lawn Tennis Writers' Association.

External linksEdit