Michael Fishbach (born December 1, 1954) is a former professional tennis player from the United States.

Mike Fishbach
Full nameMichael Fishbach
Country (sports) United States
Born (1954-12-01) December 1, 1954 (age 69)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Career record17–41
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 47 (January 16, 1978)
Grand Slam singles results
French Open1R (1978)
Wimbledon1R (1978)
US Open3R (1977)
Career record38–51
Career titles1
Grand Slam doubles results
French Open1R (1978)
Wimbledon1R (1978)
US Open3R (1978)

Biography edit

Fishbach, who grew up in Great Neck, New York, was a right-handed player, who famously used the controversial "spaghetti racquet" at the 1977 US Open.[1] The racquet, which was double-strung and greatly increased topspin, was first used professionally by Barry Phillips-Moore.[1] While in a camera store in Gstaad, Switzerland, Fishbach found a similar racquet and although the owner didn't allow him to buy it, he examined it and set about making one of his own when he returned home.[1] With help from his brother, Fishback used nylon strings, cord from a Venetian blind, plastic tubing, and adhesive tape to make the racquet, which he would use in the US Open.[1] After getting through qualifying, he beat Billy Martin in the first round and faced 16th seed Stan Smith in the second round, a match he won easily 6–0, 6–2.[2][3] His run ended in the third round when he lost to British player John Feaver, who later described seeing balls coming off Fishback's racquet as looking like "an egg in flight".[1] Several weeks later the racquet was banned, soon after Guillermo Vilas had conceded a match against Ilie Năstase who was using one.[1][4] By the end of the 1977 season, Fishbach was ranked in the world's top 50.

In 1978, he made the main draw of both the French Open and Wimbledon, in addition to the US Open.[5] He also had a win over John Lloyd in the Indianapolis Clay Court Championships that year and won a Grand Prix doubles title at Kitzbühel, with Chris Lewis. His season ended in September when he ruptured two discs in his back.[5] The injury was serious enough that he was unable to walk for six months and it wasn't until late in 1979 that he was able to return to tennis.[5]

He continued on the professional circuit until 1982 and now works as a whale conservationist.[1]

Grand Prix career finals edit

Doubles: 3 (1–2) edit

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Jul 1978 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay   Chris Lewis   Pavel Huťka
  Pavel Složil
6–7, 6–4, 6–3
Loss 1–1 Aug 1978 North Conway, U.S. Clay   Bernard Mitton   Robin Drysdale
  Van Winitsky
6–4, 6–7, 3–6
Loss 1–2 Aug 1982 Stowe, U.S. Hard   Eric Fromm   Andy Andrews
  John Sadri
3–6, 4–6

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Steinbergeraug, Michael (August 23, 2012). "Queens Was Burning, Too". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Vilas Takes Zing Out of Controversial Racquet". Star-Banner. September 27, 1977. p. 4B. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Romanian Tennis Star Upset". Observer–Reporter. September 3, 1977. p. C3. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Double-strung". The Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 5 October 1977. p. 32. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Farrell, Lynne (12 July 1980). "Fishback still battling back". The Register-Guard. p. 3C. Retrieved 29 November 2015.

External links edit