Open main menu

Kenneth Eliot Flach (May 24, 1963 – March 12, 2018)[1][2] was a professional tennis player from the United States. A doubles specialist, he won four Grand Slam men's doubles titles (two Wimbledon and two US Open), and two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles (Wimbledon and French Open). He also won the men's doubles Gold Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, partnering Robert Seguso.[3] Flach reached the world no. 1 doubles ranking in 1985.

Ken Flach
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceNovato, California, U.S.
Born(1963-05-24)May 24, 1963
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 12, 2018(2018-03-12) (aged 54)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Turned pro1983
Retired1996 (brief periods of activity after retiring, including winning two Senior Wimbledon titles with Robert Seguso)
PlaysRight-handed (2-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$ 2,064,571
Singles
Career record52-80
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 56 (December 9, 1985)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (1983, 1987)
French Open1R (1986, 1988)
Wimbledon3R (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)
US Open4R (1987)
Doubles
Career record443-215
Career titles34
Highest rankingNo. 1 (October 14, 1985)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1987)
French OpenQF (1985, 1986, 1988)
WimbledonW (1987, 1988)
US OpenW (1985, 1993)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour FinalsF (1987, 1991)

Early lifeEdit

Kenneth Eliot Flach was born on May 24, 1963, in St. Louis[4] and grew up in nearby Kirkwood, Missouri.[5]

Before turning professional, Flach played tennis for Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where he won the NCAA Division II singles championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983, and teamed with Seguso to reach the 1983 Division I doubles final.[6]

Flach married his first wife, model Sandra Freeman, in September of 1986 and had four children together.[5]

CareerEdit

Flach played doubles on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1985–1991, compiling an 11–2 record. He was also a member of the U.S. team which won the World Team Cup in 1985.

During his career, Flach won 36 doubles titles (34 men's doubles and 2 mixed doubles). His final career title was won in 1994 at Scottsdale, Arizona.

Following his retirement from the professional tour in 1996, Flach devoted himself to coaching. He guided Vanderbilt University to its first NCAA tournament berth in 1999. In 2003, he led the team to Vanderbilt's first NCAA championship finals appearance in any sport. He had also played in seniors events, and won the Wimbledon 35-and-over men's doubles title in 1999 and 2000.[4]

In 2010, after moving to California, he married makeup entrepreneur Christina Friedman, and became the director of tennis at Novato's Rolling Hills Club.[7][8][9]

DeathEdit

In early March of 2018, Flach became ill with bronchitis after playing 36 holes of golf. According to his widow, Flach's doctors at Kaiser Permanente failed to act with urgency allowing the infection to turn life-threatening. Christina Flach claims that rather than have Ken come in for an appointment, an advice nurse spent time assessing his health in a telephone conversation.

She claims that when Ken Flach began vomiting blood, he sent a desperate email to his doctor at Kaiser Permanente before the pair rushed to the emergency room, where he was intubated. He was later transferred to University of California San Francisco Medical Center with his organs failing.

Ken Flach was removed from life support and died of sepsis several days later, on March 12.[10]

Christina Flach is now a volunteer with Sepsis Alliance working to educate others about the condition that killed her husband.

Major finalsEdit

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Men's doubles: 6 (4 titles, 2 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1985 US Open Hard   Robert Seguso   Henri Leconte
  Yannick Noah
6–7(5–7), 7–6(7–1), 7–6(8–6), 6–0
Winner 1987 Wimbledon Grass   Robert Seguso   Sergio Casal
  Emilio Sánchez Vicario
3–6, 6–7(6–8), 7–6(7–3), 6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 1987 US Open Hard   Robert Seguso   Stefan Edberg
  Anders Järryd
6–7(1–7), 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–7(2–7)
Winner 1988 Wimbledon (2) Grass   Robert Seguso   John Fitzgerald
  Anders Järryd
6–4, 2–6, 6–4, 7–6(7–3)
Runner-up 1989 US Open Hard   Robert Seguso   John McEnroe
  Mark Woodforde
4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Winner 1993 US Open (2) Hard   Rick Leach   Martin Damm
  Karel Nováček
6–7(3–7), 6–4, 6–2

Mixed doubles: 2 (2 titles)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1986 French Open Clay   Kathy Jordan   Rosalyn Fairbank
  Mark Edmondson
3–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–3
Winner 1986 Wimbledon Grass   Kathy Jordan   Martina Navratilova
  Heinz Günthardt
6–3, 7–6(9–7)

Olympic men's doubles finalEdit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Gold 1988 Seoul Olympics Hard   Robert Seguso   Sergio Casal
  Emilio Sánchez Vicario
6–3, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(1–7), 9–7

Doubles finals (58)Edit

Wins (34)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam (4–2)
Olympic Gold (1–0)
Tennis Masters Cup (1–2)
ATP Masters Series (2–1)
ATP Championship Series (2–3)
ATP Tour (22–16)
Titles by Surface
Hard (16–15)
Clay (6–3)
Grass (5–1)
Carpet (7–5)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. December 12, 1983 Taipei, Taiwan Carpet   Robert Seguso   Wally Masur
  Kim Warwick
6–7, 4–6
Winner 1. June 11, 1984 Rome, Italy Clay   Robert Seguso   John Alexander
  Mike Leach
3–6, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 2. July 16, 1984 Newport, United States Grass   Robert Seguso   David Graham
  Laurie Warder
4–6, 6–7
Winner 2. July 23, 1984 Boston, United States Clay   Robert Seguso   Gary Donnelly
  Ernie Fernandez
6–4, 6–4
Winner 3. August 13, 1984 Indianapolis, United States Clay   Robert Seguso   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
7–6, 7–5
Winner 4. September 17, 1984 Los Angeles, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Wojtek Fibak
  Sandy Mayer
4–6, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 5. October 29, 1984 Hong Kong Hard   Robert Seguso   Mark Edmondson
  Paul McNamee
6–7, 6–3, 7–5
Winner 6. November 6, 1984 Taipei, Taiwan Carpet   Robert Seguso   Drew Gitlin
  Hank Pfister
6–1, 6–7, 6–2
Winner 7. January 6, 1985 Masters Doubles WCT, London Carpet   Robert Seguso   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–0
Runner-up 3. February 25, 1985 La Quinta, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
6–3, 6–7, 3–6
Winner 8. April 1, 1985 Fort Myers, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Sammy Giammalva, Jr.
  David Pate
3–6, 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 4. April 8, 1985 Chicago, United States Carpet   Robert Seguso   Johan Kriek
  Yannick Noah
6–3, 6–4, 5–7, 1–6, 4–6
Winner 9. May 13, 1985 Forest Hills, United States Clay   Robert Seguso   Givaldo Barbosa
  Ivan Kley
7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 5. May 20, 1985 Rome, Italy Clay   Robert Seguso   Anders Järryd
  Mats Wilander
6–4, 3–6, 2–6
Winner 10. June 17, 1985 London/Queen's Club, England Grass   Robert Seguso   Pat Cash
  John Fitzgerald
3–6, 6–3, 16–14
Winner 11. July 29, 1985 Indianapolis, United States Clay   Robert Seguso   Pavel Složil
  Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 6. August 12, 1985 Stratton Mountain, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Scott Davis
  David Pate
6–3, 6–7, 6–7
Winner 12. August 19, 1985 Montreal, Canada Hard   Robert Seguso   Stefan Edberg
  Anders Järryd
5–7, 7–6, 6–3
Winner 13. September 9, 1985 U.S. Open, New York Hard   Robert Seguso   Henri Leconte
  Yannick Noah
6–7, 7–6, 7–6, 6–0
Winner 14. October 28, 1985 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet   Robert Seguso   Scott Davis
  David Pate
4–6, 6–3, 7–6
Winner 15. February 10, 1986 Memphis, United States Carpet   Robert Seguso   Guy Forget
  Anders Järryd
6–4, 4–6, 7–6
Winner 16. March 31, 1986 Chicago, United States Carpet   Robert Seguso   Eddie Edwards
  Francisco González
6–0, 7–5
Winner 17. October 20, 1986 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Carpet   Matt Anger   Jimmy Arias
  Greg Holmes
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 7. March 9, 1987 Miami, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Paul Annacone
  Christo van Rensburg
2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 8. April 27, 1987 Seoul, South Korea Hard   Jim Grabb   Eric Korita
  Mike Leach
7–6, 1–6, 5–7
Winner 18. July 6, 1987 Wimbledon, London Grass   Robert Seguso   Sergio Casal
  Emilio Sánchez Vicario
3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 9. July 20, 1987 Livingston, New Jersey, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Gary Donnelly
  Greg Holmes
6–7, 3–6
Winner 19. August 24, 1987 Cincinnati, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Steve Denton
  John Fitzgerald
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 10. September 14, 1987 U.S. Open, New York Hard   Robert Seguso   Stefan Edberg
  Anders Järryd
6–7, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–7
Runner-up 11. November 16, 1987 Wembley, England Carpet   Robert Seguso   Miloslav Mečíř
  Tomáš Šmíd
5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 12. December 13, 1987 Masters Doubles, London Carpet   Robert Seguso   Miloslav Mečíř
  Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 5–7, 7–6, 3–6
Runner-up 13. March 28, 1988 Miami, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   John Fitzgerald
  Anders Järryd
6–7, 1–6, 5–7
Winner 20. June 13, 1988 London/Queen's Club, England Grass   Robert Seguso   Pieter Aldrich
  Danie Visser
6–2, 7–6
Winner 21. July 4, 1988 Wimbledon, London Grass   Robert Seguso   John Fitzgerald
  Anders Järryd
6–4, 2–6, 6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 14. August 2, 1988 Indianapolis, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Rick Leach
  Jim Pugh
4–6, 3–6
Winner 22. August 15, 1988 Toronto, Canada Hard   Robert Seguso   Andrew Castle
  Tim Wilkison
7–6, 6–3
Winner 23. September 26, 1988 Seoul, South Korea Hard   Robert Seguso   Sergio Casal
  Emilio Sánchez Vicario
6–3, 6–4, 6–7, 6–7, 9–7
Winner 24. November 14, 1988 Wembley, England Carpet   Robert Seguso   Martin Davis
  Brad Drewett
7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 15. November 21, 1988 Detroit, United States Carpet   Robert Seguso   Rick Leach
  Jim Pugh
4–6, 1–6
Winner 25. April 24, 1989 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   Robert Seguso   Kevin Curren
  David Pate
7–6, 7–6
Winner 26. August 21, 1989 Cincinnati, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Pieter Aldrich
  Danie Visser
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 16. September 11, 1989 U.S. Open, New York Hard   Robert Seguso   John McEnroe
  Mark Woodforde
4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 17. October 9, 1989 Orlando, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Scott Davis
  Tim Pawsat
5–7, 7–5, 4–6
Runner-up 18. March 25, 1991 Miami, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Wayne Ferreira
  Piet Norval
7–5, 6–7, 2–6
Winner 27. May 6, 1991 Tampa, United States Clay   Robert Seguso   David Pate
  Richey Reneberg
6–7, 6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 19. July 22, 1991 Washington, D.C., United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Scott Davis
  David Pate
4–6, 2–6
Winner 28. August 12, 1991 Cincinnati, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Grant Connell
  Glenn Michibata
6–7, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 29. August 19, 1991 Indianapolis, United States Hard   Robert Seguso   Kent Kinnear
  Sven Salumaa
7–6, 6–4
Runner-up 20. November 24, 1991 Doubles Championships, Johannesburg Hard (i)   Robert Seguso   John Fitzgerald
  Anders Järryd
4–6, 4–6, 6–2, 4–6
Winner 30. March 23, 1992 Miami, United States Hard   Todd Witsken   Kent Kinnear
  Sven Salumaa
6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 21. July 20, 1992 Washington, D.C., United States Hard   Todd Witsken   Bret Garnett
  Jared Palmer
2–6, 3–6
Winner 31. April 12, 1993 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   Rick Leach   Glenn Michibata
  David Pate
2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 32. June 21, 1993 Manchester, England Grass   Rick Leach   Stefan Kruger
  Glenn Michibata
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 22. August 23, 1993 Indianapolis, United States Hard   Rick Leach   Scott Davis
  Todd Martin
4–6, 4–6
Winner 33. September 13, 1993 U.S. Open, New York Hard   Rick Leach   Martin Damm
  Karel Nováček
6–7, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 34. February 28, 1994 Scottsdale, United States Hard   Jan Apell   Alex O'Brien
  Sandon Stolle
6–0, 6–4
Runner-up 23. May 16, 1994 Coral Springs, United States Clay   Stephane Simian   Lan Bale
  Brett Steven
3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 24. May 13, 1996 Pinehurst, United States Clay   David Wheaton   Pat Cash
  Patrick Rafter
2–6, 3–6

Doubles performance timelineEdit

Tournament 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 Career SR Career Win-Loss
Grand Slams
Australian Open 3R 2R A NH SF A A A A A A QF A 1R 0 / 5 8–5
French Open A 1R QF QF A QF A 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 0 / 11 13–11
Wimbledon A 3R 1R QF W W SF QF 3R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 2 / 13 30–11
U.S. Open 1R 2R W A F SF F 3R SF 2R W 1R QF 1R 2 / 13 37–10
Grand Slam SR 0 / 2 0 / 4 1 / 3 0 / 2 1 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 4 / 42 N/A
Annual Win-Loss 2–2 3–4 9–2 6–2 14–2 13–2 9–2 6–2 7–3 4–3 8–2 4–4 3–3 0–4 N/A 88–37
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells These Tournaments Were Not

Masters Series Events

Before 1990
2R 2R 2R QF 2R A 1R 0 / 6 4–6
Miami 2R F W 2R 3R A 2R 1 / 6 12–5
Monte Carlo A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Rome A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Hamburg A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Canada 1R SF 2R A A A 1R 0 / 4 3–4
Cincinnati 2R W QF 2R 2R A A 1 / 5 10–4
Stuttgart (Stockholm) A 2R A 2R A A A 0 / 2 0–2
Paris A SF 2R 2R A A A 0 / 3 3–3
Masters Series SR N/A 0 / 4 1 / 6 1 / 5 0 / 5 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 3 2 / 26 N/A
Annual Win-Loss N/A 2–4 16–5 8–4 3–5 2–3 0–0 1–3 N/A 32–24
Year End Ranking 103 11 2 19 5 2 11 76 5 60 23 90 121 141 N/A

A = did not attend tournament
NH = tournament not held

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Samulski, Michal. "Doubles legend Ken Flach has passed away at 54 after short illness (pneumonia, septic shock). He has won 6 Grand Slam titles (4 doubles, 2 mixed doubles) and men's doubles Gold Medal at 1988 Olympic Games. He reached the World No.1 doubles ranking in 1985.pic.twitter.com/wWk7v2Vbth".
  2. ^ Press, Associated (March 13, 2018). "Ken Flach, owner of 6 Grand Slam doubles titles, dead at 54" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  3. ^ "Olympic results".
  4. ^ a b Press, The Associated (March 14, 2018). "Ken Flach, Who Won Six Grand Slam Doubles Titles, Dies at 54". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Mason, Joe (March 17, 2018). "Remembering Ken Flach: Tennis great, St. Louis native, rock star". www.stlmag.com. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ken Flach, owner of six Grand Slam doubles titles, dies at 54". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  7. ^ "Ken Flach of Mill Valley - Marin Magazine - June 2011 - Marin County, California". www.marinmagazine.com. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  8. ^ "Tennis: Former Olympic doubles champion Flach dies, aged 54". Reuters. March 13, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Resch, Colin. "After Ex-Tennis Star Dies, Wife Aims to Raise Awareness". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Hein, Alexandria (September 25, 2018). "Wimbledon champ Ken Flach's widow speaks out on tennis great's sepsis death". Fox News. Retrieved February 26, 2019.

External linksEdit