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Howard David Schoenfield (born November 15, 1957) is a former professional tennis player from the United States.

Howard Schoenfield
Full nameHoward David Schoenfield
Country (sports) United States
Born (1957-11-15) November 15, 1957 (age 61)
Fort Hood, Texas
Career record11–41
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 108 (December 22, 1980)
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon1R (1980)
US Open1R (1975, 1977, 1979)
Career record2–11
Career titles0
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open1R (1975)


Early lifeEdit

Schoenfield was born in Fort Hood, Texas on November 15, 1957, one of three sons of Leslie, a doctor for U.S. Army at Fort Hood Hospital, and Nancy Schoenfield.[1] Soon after his birth the family moved to Rochester, Minnesota, as his father had gotten a job at the Mayo Clinic.[2]

A promising junior tennis player, Schoenfield was evaluated by Jack Kramer in Los Angeles, which encouraged the family to move to Beverly Hills when Howard was 14.[1] He developed a marijuana habit while in California and smoked as much as four times a day.[2]

In 1974 his mother Nancy committed suicide by gunshot.[2] The following year he won the junior title at the 1975 US Open, but suffered a breakdown and was sent to a mental hospital, which he remained in for several months.[1][3]

He returned to tennis in 1976.[1] During his junior career he won a total of eight national titles, matched only by John McEnroe.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Schoenfield's most notable performance on the professional circuit was when he won the Tulsa Grand Prix Tennis Tournament. En route to the final he defeated third seed Bob Lutz and won the title with a win over Trey Waltke.[4]

Following his first round loss at the 1980 Surrey Grass Court Championships, Schoenfield was reported by umpire Bill Kempffer for "unsportsmanlike behavior". The umpire alleged that Schoenfield had not been trying. During the match, which he lost to 1–6, 1–6, Schoenfield hit an underarm serve into the bottom of the net and on another occasion didn't make an attempt to return serve.[5]

He made the main draw of the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.[6]

At a Grand Prix tournament two months later, the Canadian International Tennis Championships, Schoenfield was ruled "unfit to play" and disqualified four games into his opening round match against John James. Grand Prix supervisor Dick Robertson stepped in when Schoenfield trailed 0–4 in the first set and ruled that his play was not up to professional standards. Schoenfield later claimed that an official had accused him of having taken drugs, an allegation that he denied. He was fined his entire match fee.[7]


In 1981, Schoenfield was admitted to a halfway house near Jacksonville, Florida.[1] He was diagnosed with schizophrenia.[2]

Grand Prix career finalsEdit

Singles: 1 (1–0)Edit

Result No. Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 1980 Tulsa, U. S. Hard   Trey Waltke 5–7, 6–1, 6–0


  1. ^ a b c d e McDermott, Barry (November 8, 1982). "The Glitter Has Gone". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Paranoid schizophrenic lives life of shut-in". The News. March 24, 1996. p. 10A. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  3. ^ "U.S. Open Winners". Lincoln Evening Journal. September 8, 1975. p. 13. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ "ITF Tennis - Pro Circuit - Tulsa - 07 April - 13 April 1980". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Americans Ousted". The Hour. June 17, 1980. p. 21. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Wimbledon Results". The Salina Journal. June 26, 1980. p. 14. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. ^ Tucker, David (August 12, 1980). "Netter yanked for poor play". Sarasota Journal. pp. Section B. Retrieved 9 January 2016.

External linksEdit