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Ladislav Legenstein

Ladislav "Laci" Legenstein (born 19 November 1926) is a Croatian–born Austrian former tennis player.

Ladislav Legenstein
Ladislav Legenstein 1959.jpg
Ladislav Legenstein in 1959
Country (sports) Austria
Born (1926-11-19) 19 November 1926 (age 93)
Čakovec, Yugoslavia
Turned pro1956 (amateur tour)
Retired1966 (played pro event same year)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career titles2
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open4R (1959)
Wimbledon1R (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963)
US Open2R (1960)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonSF (1959)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon2R (1961)

Early yearsEdit

He was born in Čakovec, Croatian (then Kingdom SCS). Both his parents were successful table tennis players and Ladislav also practised this sport in his youth, followed by football and volleyball (OK Mladost Čakovec). He started playing tennis on a court near his school and focused on this sport when he went to study in Zagreb. In 1955 he left Yugoslavia.[1]

Tennis careerEdit

His best singles performance at a Grand Slam event was reaching the fourth round at the 1959 French Championships. In the third round he defeated 20-year-old Rod Laver in five sets but lost in the next round in straight sets to Ian Vermaak.[2] Legenstein participated in five Wimbledon Championships but never made it past the first round in the singles event.[3] Together with Torben Ulrich he reached the semifinal of the 1959 Wimbledon Championships doubles event in which they lost in straight sets to first–seeded and eventual champions Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser.[4]

In July 1956 Legenstein was the finalist at the singles event of the international tennis tournament in Travemünde, West Germany. In the final Ken Rosewall proved too strong, defeating him in three sets.[5] In 1957 Legenstein became the singles champion at the inaugural International Dutch Championships, played at 't Melkhuisje in Hilversum. As a stateless player he defeated Fred Dehnert in the final with the loss of only two games. He also won the mixed doubles event with Mrs. Blaise. In 1958 he won the doubles title with Vladimir Petrovic and successfully defended the mixed doubles title with Mrs. Blaise. In 1959 he again reached the singles final but this time lost in straight sets to Jacques Brichant.[6] In August 1959 he was runner–up at the Austrian Championships, losing in the final in straight sets to Budge Patty.[7]

In April 1960 Legenstein gained the Austrian citizenship which was granted due to the ancestry of his father.[1][8] In September 1960 he won the singles and doubles title at the Canadian Championships. In the singles he defeated Warren Woodcock in the final in straight sets and in the doubles he teamed up with Peter Scholl and won the final against Woodcock and Whitney Reed in straight sets.[9][10] Legenstein played in six ties for the Austria Davis Cup team from 1960 through 1962 and reached the second round of the Europe zone during these years. He has a Davis Cup record of nine wins and six losses.[11]

From 1964 to 1974 he worked as a tennis coach at the Heidelberger Tennisclub.[12][13] Legenstein played on the seniors tour and became the singles and doubles champion in the 75+ category at the 2001 ITF Super-Seniors World Individual Championships .[14] He continued to play senior tournaments until 2010 when, aged 83, he participated in the 34th Int. European Tennis Championships for Seniors.[15]

Singles finals (2–3)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 1956 Travemünde, West Germany NA   Ken Rosewall 6–8, 6–3, 0–6
Winner 1. 1957 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay   Fred Dehnert 6–1, 6–1
Runner-up 2. 1959 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay   Jacques Brichant 2–6, 6–2, 2–6
Runner-up 3. 1959 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay   Budge Patty 6–8, 1–6, 2–6
Winner 2. 1960 Toronto, Canada Clay   Warren Woodcock 6–2, 6–2, 7–5


  1. ^ a b "Mit 86 Jahren sportlich aktiv". Die Stadredaktion. 11 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Roland-Garros 1959 (Grand Slam) – Men singles" (PDF). Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT).
  3. ^ "Wimbledon players archive – Latsi Legenstein". AELTC.
  4. ^ "Wimbledon draws archive – 1959 gentlemen's doubles". AELTC.
  5. ^ "Nur Rosewall souverän". Hamburger Abendblatt. 23 July 1956. p. 6.
  6. ^ 50 jaar Dutch Open Tennis. Hilversum: Jubileum Commissie Dutch Open Tennis. 2007. pp. 2–6, 118.
  7. ^ "Sport in Kürze". Hamburger Abendblatt. 20 August 1959. p. 12.
  8. ^ "Legenstein wurde Österreicher" (PDF). Hamburger Abendblatt. 8 April 1960.
  9. ^ "Legenstein Clicks". The Leader-Post. 19 September 1960.
  10. ^ "Past Champions & Draws". Tennis Canada. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Davis Cup – Player Profile". International Tennis Federation (ITF).
  12. ^ Ulrich Kaiser (15 August 1969). "Sie reden nur vom Geld". Die Zeit.
  13. ^ "Die Clubzeitung 2008" (PDF). Heidelberger Tennisclub 1890. p. 20.
  14. ^ "World Individual Championships – Super Seniors". ITF.
  15. ^ "Seniors ITF player details – Ladislav Legenstein". ITF.

External linksEdit