Karen Krantzcke

Karen Krantzcke (1 February 1946 – 11 April 1977) was an Australian tennis player. She achieved a world top ten singles ranking in 1970.[1] In her short career, she made the quarterfinals or better at each of the four Grand Slam championships in both singles and doubles. She also won the Australian Open in doubles, and assisted Australia to victory in the Federation Cup.

Karen Krantzcke
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1946-02-01)1 February 1946
Brisbane, Australia
Died11 April 1977(1977-04-11) (aged 31)
Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Career recordno value
Highest rankingNo. 9 (1970)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenSF (1970, 1977Jan)
French OpenSF (1970)
WimbledonQF (1970)
US OpenQF (1969)
Career recordno value
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1968)
French OpenSF (1969, 1972)
WimbledonF (1974)
US OpenQF (1968, 1973, 1974)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1968)
French Open3R (1969, 1970)
WimbledonSF (1969, 1973)
US Open2R
Team competitions
Fed CupW (1970)

At the age of 31, Krantzcke died from a heart attack while jogging.[2]

Early careerEdit

Krantzcke, a tall right-handed player, achieved much junior success including winning the Australian junior singles title in 1966.[3]

Professional careerEdit

Her most successful season came in 1969/70. After reaching the US Open quarterfinals, she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open and then reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. At these tournaments, she upset highly ranked players like Virginia Wade, Françoise Dürr, and Judy Tegart Dalton.[4]

During this time, she also combined with Dalton to win the Federation Cup for Australia, remaining undefeated in singles and doubles on the German clay.[5]

After Wimbledon in 1970, 'Kran' took eighteen months off the tour after discovering she was hypoglycemic.[6]

On returning to the tour, she was never able to get back to her best form. She continued to do well in her home Australian championship and reached the semi-finals for the second time in 1977.[3] During her career she defeated Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley four times, Billie Jean King twice, Kerry Melville Reid four times, and Virginia Wade. At the New South Wales Open in 1974 Krantzcke defeated Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final 6-2, 6-3 and at Strathfield in 1969 she defeated Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final 6-3, 6-4.[7]


While playing on the Challenger circuit in the USA in 1977, Krantzcke suffered a heart attack while jogging. In response to her untimely death, the WTA instituted the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award which is still awarded annually to a female professional tennis player.

A street in the Canberra suburb of Nicholls, Australian Capital Territory, Krantzcke Crescent, is named after the tennis star.[8]

Team resultsEdit

Krantzcke played twice in Federation Cup for Australia; in 1966 and 1970.[5] She also represented Australia in the Bonne Bell Cup in 1974.[8]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles (1 title, 3 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1968 Australian Championships Grass   Kerry Melville   Judy Tegart Dalton
  Lesley Turner Bowrey
6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1970 Australian Open Grass   Kerry Melville   Margaret Court
  Judy Tegart Dalton
3–6, 1–6
Runner-up 1972 Australian Open Grass   Patricia Coleman   Helen Gourlay
  Kerry Harris
0–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1974 Wimbledon Grass   Helen Gourlay   Evonne Goolagong
  Peggy Michel
6–2, 4–6, 3–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timelineEdit

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Australia 2R 2R 3R 3R QF QF SF A 2R QF QF A A SF A
France A A 3R 2R 3R 1R SF A 3R A A A A A
Wimbledon A A 4R 3R 2R 4R QF A 2R 2R 4R A A A
United States A A A A 3R QF A A 3R 3R 3R A A A

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.


  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 724. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  2. ^ Time Magazine – Ready, Set, Sweat – 6 January 1977
  3. ^ a b ITF Database
  4. ^ Sporting Heroes – Karen Krantzcke[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Fed Cup profile – Karen Krantzcke
  6. ^ "TennisForum – Kerry Reid". Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  7. ^ "Tennis Abstract: Karen Krantzcke Match Results, Splits, and Analysis".
  8. ^ a b ACT Legislation 2000

External linksEdit