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Paul Gerken (born March 15, 1950) is a former professional tennis player from the United States.[1]

Paul Gerken
Country (sports)United States United States
ResidenceEast Norwalk, Connecticut
Born (1950-03-15) March 15, 1950 (age 69)
New York
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Turned pro1972
Career record109–112
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 35 (August 23, 1973)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open4R (1973)
Wimbledon2R (1975)
US Open3R (1968, 1972, 1974)
Career record56–90
Career titles0
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open3R (1974)
Wimbledon2R (1972)
US Open2R (68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77)

Early life and careerEdit

Gerken was born in New York but his family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut a year after his birth. When he was only 14 he was the top ranked junior in New England for the 16-year-old age division. In 1968 he was called up to the American junior Davis Cup team. He was the third ranked junior in the country at the time. He was runner-up to Dick Stockton at the Orange Bowl 18s in 1968. A student at Norwalk High School, he won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference singles championship in 1967 and 1968.[2]

College yearsEdit

Gerken attended Stanford University on a tennis scholarship and while there was an All-American college player. He later transferred to Trinity University, in San Antonio, Texas, where he played beside Dick Stockton and Brian Gottfried. Gerken was also an All-American at Trinity University and was a member of the team which won the NCAA Championship in 1972. He also reached the NCAA doubles final that year.[3]

Professional careerEdit

Gerken competed in the main singles draw at the US Open every year from 1968 to 1975, as well as in 1977.[4] He appeared three times in both the French Open and Wimbledon Championships.[4] His best performance in a Grand Slam tournament came at the 1973 French Open, where he had wins over Eric Deblicker, Torben Ulrich and Guillermo Vilas, before losing his fourth round match to Roger Taylor, in five sets.[4]

He never won a Grand Prix or WCT title during his career, but reached six finals, two in singles and four in doubles.[4]

Gerken had a winning record against Björn Borg, beating him twice, in 1973 and 1974, and losing just once.[4] He also defeated Ilie Năstase at Salt Lake City in 1973, John Newcombe at Hamburg the same year and Arthur Ashe at a Tokyo WCT tournament in 1974.[4]

He had surgery in 1975 for a torn rotator cuff and as a result didn't feature at all in the 1976 tennis season. His comeback in 1977 was unsuccessful and he retired the following year.[5]


Gerken was the head tennis coach for the men's team at Columbia University from 1979 to 1982. He continues to coach in the New England area.[6]

Grand Prix/WCT career finalsEdit

Singles: 2 (0–2)Edit

Outcome No. Year Tournament Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1973 Salt Lake City, United States   Jimmy Connors 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 2. 1973 Calgary, Canada   Ilie Năstase 4–6, 6–7

Doubles: 4 (0–4)Edit

Outcome No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1972 Cincinnati, United States Clay   Humphrey Hose   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
6–7, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 1973 Baltimore, United States Hard   Sandy Mayer   Jimmy Connors
  Clark Graebner
6–3, 2–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 1973 Hong Kong Hard   Brian Gottfried   Colin Dibley
  Rod Laver
3–6, 7–5, 15–17
Runner-up 4. 1975 Dayton, United States Carpet   Brian Gottfried   Ray Ruffels
  Allan Stone
6–7, 5–7


External linksEdit