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Kevin Melvyn Curren (born 2 March 1958) is a South African former professional tennis player. He played in two Grand Slam singles finals and won four Grand Slam doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 5.

Kevin Curren
Kevin Curren (1982).jpg
Curren in 1982
Country (sports)South Africa South Africa
 United States
ResidenceAustin, Texas, USA
Born (1958-03-02) 2 March 1958 (age 61)
Durban, South Africa
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1979
Retired1993
PlaysRight-handed (1-handed backhand)
Prize money$3,055,510
Singles
Career record338–235 (Grand Prix, WCT, ATP & Grand Slam-level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles5
Highest rankingNo. 5 (22 July 1985)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (1984)
French Open2R (1992)
WimbledonF (1985)
US Open4R (1981, 1990)
Other tournaments
WCT FinalsSF (1984)
Doubles
Career record430–249 (Grand Prix, WCT, ATP & Grand Slam-level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles26
Highest rankingNo. 3 (3 January 1983)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1981)
French OpenQF (1984)
WimbledonSF (1982, 1983)
US OpenW (1982)
Mixed doubles
Career titles3
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonW (1982)
US OpenW (1981, 1982)

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

Curren was born in South Africa, and he became a naturalized American citizen in April 1985.[1]

Tennis careerEdit

Curren played both tennis and cricket at Glenwood High School in Durban. He also quickly rose among the ranks as a junior at Montclair Lawn Tennis Club in Montclair, Durban. At college he played tennis for the University of Texas at Austin in the United States and won the NCAA singles title in 1979. He turned professional later that year, and won his first top-level singles title in 1981 in Johannesburg.

In 1983, Curren reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon, beating defending champion, Jimmy Connors, 6–3, 6–7, 6–3, 7–6, in the fourth round, snapping Connors' streak of 27 consecutive major quarterfinals appearances. It went on to be his only 4th round loss in 35 Grand Slam tournaments appearances. Curren lost to unseeded New Zealander Chris Lewis in a five-set semifinal match, 7–6, 4–6, 6–7, 7–6, 6–8, which allowed Lewis to become only the seventh unseeded player to reach the Wimbledon final. In 1984, Curren played Mats Wilander in the final of the Australian Open, after making a comeback from two sets down to defeat Ben Testerman in the semifinals. Wilander won the match, played on the grass courts at Kooyong, in four sets, 6–7, 6–4, 7–6, 6–2.

In 1985, after becoming an American citizen, Curren reached the final at Wimbledon with the help of coaching from Tony Roche. After defeating Larry Stefanki, Mike De Palmer, David Mustard and then future champion Stefan Edberg in the fourth round in straight sets, 7–6, 6–3, 7–6, he eliminated the then-World No. 1 John McEnroe in the quarterfinals, 6–2, 6–2, 6–4, and World No. 3 Jimmy Connors in the semifinals, 6–2, 6–2, 6–1. Curren was the first player to beat both American players in the same Grand Slam event. McEnroe commented that he felt overpowered[2] and later that he had difficulty in dealing with Curren's highly individualistic and very fast serving[citation needed], which, in its low toss, was hard to read and tended to produce low balls that skipped on the grass courts of the time. In the final, he lost in four sets to Boris Becker, 3–6, 7–6, 6–7, 4–6, in a match best remembered for making the 17-year-old Becker the youngest male Grand Slam champion (a record which was later eclipsed by Michael Chang in 1989 at the French Open). The final was very heated and intense, and Becker sent several hostile glares to Curren before and after points. On one of the final change-overs, Becker even bumped Curren's shoulder as they passed one another. After his defeat, Curren was noted as saying that he thought the game would see an increase in the number of successful young players and predicted that they would have more intense, but shorter, careers.[3] Curren was the last American man to reach the final at Wimbledon until Andre Agassi did so seven years later in 1992.

Though he never won a Grand Slam singles title, Curren did win four Grand Slam doubles titles. In 1981, he won the US Open mixed doubles, and in 1982 he won the Wimbledon mixed doubles and both men's doubles and mixed doubles at the US Open. During his career, Curren won five top-level singles titles and 26 doubles titles. His career-high rankings were World No. 5 in singles and World No. 3 in doubles. His career prize-money earnings totaled $3,055,510. His final career singles title came in 1989 at Frankfurt, and his last doubles title was won in 1992 in Seoul. Curren retired from the professional tour in 1993.

Since retiring from the tour, Curren has served as captain of South Africa's Davis Cup team.

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles: 2 finals (2 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1984 Australian Open Grass   Mats Wilander 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 6–7(3–7), 2–6
Loss 1985 Wimbledon Grass   Boris Becker 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–7(3–7), 4–6

Doubles (1 title)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1982 US Open Hard   Steve Denton   Victor Amaya
  Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7(4–7), 5–7, 6–2, 6–4

Mixed doubles (3 titles)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1981 US Open Hard   Anne Smith   JoAnne Russell
  Steve Denton
6–4, 7–6
Win 1982 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Anne Smith   Wendy Turnbull
  John Lloyd
2–6, 6–3, 7–5
Win 1982 US Open Hard   Anne Smith   Barbara Potter
  Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–5)

ATP Career finalsEdit

Singles: 13 (5 titles, 8 runner-ups)Edit

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 1981 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard   Bernard Mitton 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1. 1982 Los Angeles, U.S. Carpet   Ivan Lendl 6–7(5–7), 5–7, 1–6
Loss 2. 1982 Amsterdam, Netherlands Carpet   Wojtek Fibak 5–7, 6–3, 4–6, 3–6
Win 2. 1982 Cologne, Germany Hard (i)   Shlomo Glickstein 2–6, 6–2, 6–3
Loss 3. 1983 Milan, Italy Carpet   Ivan Lendl 7–5, 3–6, 6–7
Loss 4. 1984 Australian Open Grass   Mats Wilander 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 6–7(3–7), 2–6
Win 3. 1985 Toronto, Canada Carpet   Anders Järryd 7–6(8–6), 6–3
Loss 5. 1985 Houston, U.S. Carpet   John McEnroe 5–7, 1–6, 6–7(4–7)
Loss 6. 1985 Wimbledon Grass   Boris Becker 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–7(3–7), 4–6
Win 4. 1986 Atlanta, U.S. Carpet   Tim Wilkison 7–6(7–5), 7–6(7–2)
Loss 7. 1986 Scottsdale, U.S. Hard   John McEnroe 3–6, 6–3, 2–6
Loss 8. 1988 Toronto, Canada Hard   Ivan Lendl 6–7(10–12), 2–6
Win 5. 1989 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet   Petr Korda 6–2, 7–5

Doubles: 53 (26 titles, 27 runner-ups)Edit

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1. 1980 Denver, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Wojtek Fibak
  Heinz Günthardt
7–5, 6–2
Loss 1. 1980 Washington-2, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Ferdi Taygan
  Brian Teacher
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Loss 2. 1980 North Conway, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Jimmy Connors
  Brian Gottfried
6–7, 3–6
Win 2. 1980 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Wojtek Fibak
  Ivan Lendl
3–6, 7–6, 6–4
Win 3. 1980 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i)   Steve Denton   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
Win 4. 1981 Monterrey WCT, Mexico Carpet   Steve Denton   Johan Kriek
  Russell Simpson
7–6, 6–3
Loss 3. 1981 Brussels, Belgium Carpet   Steve Denton   Sandy Mayer
  Frew McMillan
6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Loss 4. 1981 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass   Steve Denton   Pat Du Pré
  Brian Teacher
6–3, 6–7, 9–11
Loss 5. 1981 Newport, U.S. Grass   Billy Martin   Brad Drewett
  Erik Van Dillen
2–6, 4–6
Win 5. 1981 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Raúl Ramírez
  Van Winitsky
6–3, 5–7, 7–5
Win 6. 1981 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i)   Steve Denton   Sherwood Stewart
  Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 6–4, 6–0
Loss 6. 1982 Masters Doubles WCT, London Carpet   Steve Denton   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
7–6, 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Win 7. 1982 Denver, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Phil Dent
  Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Win 8. 1982 Memphis, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
7–6, 4–6, 6–2
Loss 7. 1982 Munich-2 WCT, Germany Carpet   Steve Denton   Mark Edmondson
  Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 5–7, 2–6
Loss 8. 1982 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet   Fritz Buehning   Mark Edmondson
  Sherwood Stewart
5–7, 2–6
Win 9. 1982 Houston, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Mark Edmondson
  Peter McNamara
7–5, 6–4
Win 10. 1982 U.S. Open, New York Hard   Steve Denton   Victor Amaya
  Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Win 11. 1982 Los Angeles-2 WCT, U.S. Carpet   Hank Pfister   Andy Andrews
  Drew Gitlin
4–6, 6–2, 7–5
Loss 9. 1982 Amsterdam WCT, Netherlands Carpet   Buster Mottram   Fritz Buehning
  Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 3–6, 0–6
Win 12. 1983 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
6–4, 7–6
Win 13. 1983 Munich WCT, Germany Carpet   Steve Denton   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
7–5, 2–6, 6–1
Win 14. 1983 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Mark Dickson
  Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–7, 6–1
Win 15. 1983 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard   Steve Denton   Tracy Delatte
  Johan Kriek
6–3, 7–5
Loss 10. 1983 Forest Hills WCT, U.S. Clay   Steve Denton   Tracy Delatte
  Johan Kriek
7–6, 5–7, 3–6
Loss 11. 1983 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass   Steve Denton   Brian Gottfried
  Paul McNamee
4–6, 3–6
Loss 12. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   John McEnroe
  Patrick McEnroe
6–7, 2–6
Loss 13. 1984 Brussels, Belgium Carpet   Steve Denton   Tim Gullikson
  Tom Gullikson
4–6, 7–6, 6–7
Win 16. 1984 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet   Wojtek Fibak   Fritz Buehning
  Ferdi Taygan
6–4, 6–4
Loss 14. 1984 Milan, Italy Carpet   Steve Denton   Pavel Složil
  Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 3–6
Loss 15. 1985 Memphis, U.S. Carpet   Steve Denton   Pavel Složil
  Tomáš Šmíd
6–1, 3–6, 4–6
Loss 16. 1985 Brussels, Belgium Carpet   Wojtek Fibak   Stefan Edberg
  Anders Järryd
3–6, 6–7
Win 17. 1986 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass   Guy Forget   Darren Cahill
  Mark Kratzmann
6–2, 7–6
Win 18. 1987 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   Paul Annacone   Andrés Gómez
  Anders Järryd
6–4, 7–6
Win 19. 1987 Los Angeles, U.S. Hard   David Pate   Brad Gilbert
  Tim Wilkison
6–3, 6–4
Win 20. 1987 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard (i)   David Pate   Eric Korita
  Brad Pearce
6–4, 6–4
Win 21. 1988 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i)   David Pate   Peter Lundgren
  Mikael Pernfors
6–2, 6–2
Loss 17. 1988 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet   Danie Visser   Kelly Evernden
  Johan Kriek
6–7, 3–6
Loss 18. 1988 Vienna, Austria Carpet   Tomáš Šmíd   Alex Antonitsch
  Balázs Taróczy
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Win 22. 1988 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i)   Jim Grabb   Paul Annacone
  John Fitzgerald
7–5, 7–5
Win 23. 1988 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard (i)   David Pate   Gary Muller
  Tim Wilkison
7–6, 6–4
Loss 19. 1989 Indian Wells, U.S. Hard   David Pate   Boris Becker
  Jakob Hlasek
6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Loss 20. 1989 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   David Pate   Ken Flach
  Robert Seguso
4–6, 4–6
Win 24. 1989 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet   David Pate   Andrés Gómez
  Slobodan Živojinović
4–6, 6–3, 7–6
Loss 21. 1989 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet   Eric Jelen   Pieter Aldrich
  Danie Visser
6–7, 7–6, 3–6
Loss 22. 1989 Wembley, U.K. Carpet   Jeremy Bates   Jakob Hlasek
  John McEnroe
1–6, 6–7
Loss 23. 1990 Toronto Indoor, Canada Carpet   Neil Broad   Patrick Galbraith
  David Macpherson
6–2, 4–6, 3–6
Loss 24. 1990 Hong Kong Hard   Joey Rive   Pat Cash
  Wally Masur
3–6, 3–6
Win 25. 1990 London/Queen's Club, U.K. Grass   Jeremy Bates   Henri Leconte
  Ivan Lendl
6–2, 7–6
Loss 25. 1990 Berlin, Germany Carpet   Patrick Galbraith   Pieter Aldrich
  Danie Visser
6–7, 6–7
Loss 26. 1991 Lyon, France Hard (i)   Jeremy Bates   Steve DeVries
  David Macpherson
6–7, 6–3, 3–6
Loss 27. 1992 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i)   Gary Muller   Todd Woodbridge
  Mark Woodforde
5–7, 6–4, 6–7
Win 26. 1992 Seoul, South Korea Hard   Gary Muller   Kelly Evernden
  Brad Pearce
7–6, 6–4

Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit

Tournament 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 SR W–L
Australian Open A A A 2R A A F A NH 3R A A A A A 0 / 3 9–3
French Open A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 2R 0 / 1 1-1
Wimbledon A A 4R 2R 3R SF 4R F 1R 2R 1R 3R QF 2R 1R 0 / 13 28–13
US Open 2R 2R A 4R 1R A 2R 1R 2R A 2R A 4R 2R 1R 0 / 11 12–11
Win–Loss 1–1 1–1 3–1 5–3 2–2 5–1 10–3 6–2 1–2 3–2 1–2 2–1 7–2 2–2 1–3 0 / 28 50–28

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ITF Tennis – Mens Circuit – Player Biography
  2. ^ "McEnroe Gets What He Had Coming: a Loss", Los Angeles Times, 4 July 1985.
  3. ^ "1985: Boris Becker wins Wimbledon at 17". BBC. 7 July 1985. Retrieved 18 October 2008.

External linksEdit