Hendrik ("Henk") Timmer (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɛn.drɪk ˈtɪmər.]; 8 February 1904 – 13 November 1998) was a Dutch sportsman, who primarily played tennis. Born in Utrecht, Timmer also won golf tournaments, became Dutch squash champion, played badminton and hockey. He died aged 94 in Bilthoven, four days before his former doubles partner Kea Bouman. Apart from being a Dutch tennis champion, he was Swiss, Welsh and Scottish indoors champion as well.

Hendrik Timmer
Hendrik Timmer, 1928.jpg
Country (sports) Netherlands
Born(1904-02-08)8 February 1904[1]
Utrecht, Netherlands[1]
Died13 November 1998(1998-11-13) (aged 94)[1]
Bilthoven, Netherlands[1]
Turned pro1923 (amateur tour)[2]
Highest rankingNo. 6 (1930, Bill Tilden)[3][4]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open4R (1927, 1929)
WimbledonQF (1927, 1929)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games3R (1924)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonQF (1928, 1930)
Olympic Games1R (1924)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon4R (1933, 1936)
Team competitions
Davis CupFEu (1925)

Tennis careerEdit

He began his tennis career at the age of 19 when he won his first Dutch national championships.[2][6] He scored his first international victory over Donald Greig in a mixed international team match between the Netherlands and Great Britain in 1923.[7] The next year he drew international attention when he was featured in the championship match for the Swiss covered courts title in St. Moritz defeating the Hungarian champion Béla von Kehrling in five sets.[8] At the 1924 Paris Olympics he won a bronze medal in the tennis' mixed doubles event, partnering Kea Bouman. He entered the inaugural British Hard Court Championships making it to the quarterfinal stage.[9]

He reached the quarterfinal of the Wimbledon Championships in 1927 and 1929. In both years he lost to Frenchman, and eventual winner, Henri Cochet. In 1927 he was barely recovered from a broken leg, which he suffered four-month prior to the tournament and thus lost in five sets, after winning the first two sets,[10] and in 1929 in three straight sets.[11] He was a 9 times national tennis champion of Netherlands having two four-years streak between 1927–30 and 1932–35.[6] He also won eight national doubles title and five mixed doubles titles as well.[12]

In 1926 he was the mixed doubles challenger for the international edition of the Dutch championships pairing with Irma Kallmeyer, but was overcome by the couple of Julie Stroink-Cords and De Beer.[13] In 1929 he was a finalist of the Dutch international championships with his partner Wilbur Coen losing to the American champions Bill Tilden and Frank Hunter.[14] In the same tournament Timmer reached the semifinal where he was eliminated by Hunter in three sets.[14] Next year he faced Tilden again in an unsuccessful doubles final rematch; that time Timmer teamed with compatriot Arthur Diemer-Kool, while Tilden chose Daniel Prenn.[15] He also lost the mixed doubles final with Else Støckel to Roderich Menzel and Margaretha Dros-Canters.[15] A week later he met Menzel again for the singles trophy of the Grand Hotel Panhans Championships in Semmering where he was beaten in three straight sets.[15] In October 1930 he celebrated a triple crown feat at the Welsh Covered Courts Championhships in Llandudno where he clinched the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles.[16] In November he won the Lowland Championships of England in Peebles.[17] He endorsed the doubles final partnering Francis Fisher.[17]

He missed the whole 1931 season because of an illness.[18] In early 1932 he suffered from pneumonia.[19] In mid-June he made his comeback as a runner-up for the Queen's Club Championships having it lost to Jack Crawford in four sets.[20] In Liverpool at the Northern tournament he clinched the title by defeating home-favorite Nigel Sharpe.[21] The same year he played his first Dutch international final against von Kehrling but came short.[22] The following year he went for the title again but was stopped the second time by Giorgio de Stefani in a four set final.[23] Timmer found consolation in the doubles contest where he and Kehrling took revenge by defeating de Stefani and George Lyttleton-Rogers and gaining the title.[23] The key of the winning form was that Timmer overcame his well-known weak serve.[23] Also in 1933 he participated in the West of England Championships only losing to Daniel Prenn in the final.[24] In the 1934 Dutch International Championships Timmer was eliminated early in the semifinal by Hermann Artens.[25] He was also unsuccessful in retaining the doubles title with Kehrling as the Austrian duo of Artens and Georg von Metaxa won that title as well.[26] He had to skip the 1937 season as a result of rheumatism in his shoulder.[27] He fought one of his last matches in 1938 against Kenneth Gandar-Dower, a victory of only two sets.[28]

Playing styleEdit

His main weapon was his pure and hard backhand.[29] His only weakness was his service, a shot that lacked strength and character.[2] In 1934 Harry Hopman named him "one of the best hardcourt players of the world".[30] Bill Tilden praised his stroke technique and described him as an all-court player, who adapted a "French" tennis style.[31] Timmer considered himself a baseline player.[32] He was coached by former Davis Cup player Gerard Scheurleer.[32][33] He practised three times a week with Davis Cup partner Christiaan van Lennep.[32]

Other sports achievementsEdit

In 1941 he won the national squash championships.[34] In speed skating he completed the Elfstedentocht three times.[34] In golf he won the De Golfbag Cup of Noordwijk in 1934.[35] The next year he won the Noordwijk Golf Club first prize in an 18-hole bogey tournament.[36] During his golf career he claimed ten golf titles.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Timmer was born on 8 February 1904 to an English teacher father.[32] His wife was Annetje Timmer.[32] He worked as an insurance agent for a major company.[32] Apart from playing tennis he also coached the Dutch royalty for free including Juliana of the Netherlands.[37]


  1. ^ a b c d Daviscup.com. "Hendrik Timmer". London, Great Britain: International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Henk Timmer". nocnsf.nl (in Dutch). NOC*NSF. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  3. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (20 November 1930). "A világ tíz legjobb férfijátékosa" [The world's best ten men players] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor irod. és Nyomdai RT. II (21): 398. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Tennis Rankings". Auckland Star. LXI (171). Auckland, New Zealand. 22 July 1930. p. 7. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Obituaries" (PDF). Bulletin du Comité International Olympique (Olympic Review). Los Angeles: LA84 Foundation. XVII (25): 50. February–March 1999. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Nationale kampioenen sinds 1899" [National champions since 1899]. knltb.nl (in Dutch). Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Association. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Lawn-tennis". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands: B.W. Menkhorst (19, 475): 10. 3 September 1923. Retrieved 12 March 2013.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "A Dutch tennis champion". The Evening Post. CVII (98). Wellington, New Zealand. 26 April 1924. p. 19. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Tennis" (PDF). The Hawera Star. XLVIII. Southern Taranaki. 21 June 1924. p. 11. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Cochet Beats Dutch Tennis Star in 5 Sets". Chicago Tribune. 30 May 1927. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  11. ^ Barrett, John (2001). Wimbledon : The Official History of the Championships. London: CollinsWillow. pp. 298, 302. ISBN 0007117078.
  12. ^ "Sir Henry, de alleskunner; HENK TIMMER 1904–1998" [Sir Henry, the all-rounder; HENK TIMMER 1904–1998]. nrc.nl (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Lawntennis". Utrechts Nieuwsblad (in Dutch) (72). Utrecht, Netherlands. 26 July 1926. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Americans abroad". The Evening Post. CVIII (42). Wellington, New Zealand. 17 August 1929. p. 23. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  15. ^ a b c Béla Kehrling, ed. (2 August 1930). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (pdf). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor Irod. és Nyomdai RT. II (14): 278. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  16. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (22 October 1930). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor Irod. és Nyomdai R.T. II (19–20): 388. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Lowland Championships". The Evening Post. CX (118). Wellington, New Zealand. 15 November 1930. p. 22. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  18. ^ Béla Kehrling, ed. (28 February 1931). "Tennis Golf 28 February 1931" (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda. Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt. III (3–4): 5, 12–13, 20. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Wimbledon tennis results". The Straits Times. Singapore, Straits Settlements. 25 June 1932. p. 17. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Crawford" (pdf). The Canberra Times. VI (1, 453). Canberra, Australia. 20 June 1932. p. 1. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Sportsnippers" [Sport bits] (PDF). De Sumatra Post (in Dutch). 34 (147). Medan. 29 June 1932. p. 6. Retrieved 10 March 2013.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Illustratie pagina" [Illustrated page] (PDF). Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). 45 (162). Groningen, Netherlands. 12 July 1932. p. 9. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  23. ^ a b c "de internationale kampioenschappen" [The international championships] (PDF). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch). 106 (24, 638). Amsterdam, Netherlands. 17 July 1933. p. 14. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  24. ^ De Lang, ed. (13 June 1933). "Lawntennis" (PDF). Het Vaderland (in Dutch). Beetsterzwaag, Netherlands: C.M. Schilt. Retrieved 21 October 2012.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Artens en De Stefani in den eindstrijd" [Artens and De Stefani in the final] (PDF). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch). 107 (34, 996). Amsterdam, Netherlands. 15 July 1934. p. 2. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  26. ^ "Lawntennis". Utrechts Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Utrecht, Netherlands. 16 July 1934. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  27. ^ "Australia Leads in Tennis Tie". The Mail. Adelaide, Australia. 1 May 1937. p. 1. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  28. ^ "De tenniswedstrijd Nederland-Cambridge" [The tennismatch Netherlands-Cambridge]. Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands: B.W. Menkhorst. 79 (24, 032): 10. 1 August 1938. Retrieved 12 March 2013.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Oud-tennisser Timmer (94) overleden" [Former tennis player Timmer (94) deceased]. Trouw (in Dutch). 18 November 1998. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  30. ^ Hopman, Harry (15 May 1934). "Crawford defeats Timmer". The Courier-Mail. II (222). Brisbane, Australia. p. 14. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  31. ^ Tilden II, William T. (10 May 1930). "One great star alone cannot win tennis Cup". The Milwaukee Journal. 48. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. p. 11. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g Kools, Frank (6 July 1996). "Aflevering 1: tennisser Henk Timmer (92)" [Episode 1: tennis Henk Timmer (92)]. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  33. ^ "Gerard Scheurleer". tennismuseum.nl (in Dutch). Hilversum, Netherlands: robertblom.nl marketing- en communicatie. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Nationale Ranglijsttoernooien – Henk Timmer Circuit" [National Ranking Tournaments – Henk Timmer Circuit]. knltb.nl (in Dutch). Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Association. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  35. ^ "Noordwijkse Golfweek" [Golfweek of Noordwijk] (PDF). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch). 107 (35, 052). Amsterdam, Netherlands. 9 September 1934. p. 7. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  36. ^ "Golf". Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands: B.W. Menkhorst. 76 (23, 200): 11. 11 November 1935. Retrieved 12 March 2013.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Princess Juliana of Holland Likes Tennis". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut, United States. 25 October 1933. Retrieved 10 March 2013.

External linksEdit