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Philippe Washer (French pronunciation: ​[filip waʃe]; 6 August 1924 – 27 November 2015) was a Belgian tennis player. He competed in the Davis Cup a number of times, from 1946 to 1961.[1]

Philippe Washer
Philippe Washer and Ivo Rinkel 1950.jpg
Philippe Washer and Ivo Rinkel in 1950
Country (sports) Belgium
Born(1924-08-06)6 August 1924
Brussels, Belgium
Died27 November 2015(2015-11-27) (aged 91)
Knokke, West Flanders, Belgium
Turned pro1940 (amateur tour)
Career record36–22
Grand Slam Singles results
French OpenQF (1957)
Wimbledon4R (1948, 1949, 1954)
US Open4R (1952)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonSF (1953)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenSF (1954)
Wimbledon4R (1947, 1948, 1952)


Early life and familyEdit

Philippe Washer was born on 6 August 1924 in Brussels. He is the son of Jean Washer, another Belgian tennis player and textile industry mogul.[2] His mother, Simone van der Straeten, was the daughter of Ernest Solvay, founder of Solvay International Chemical Group.[2] Philippe had three brothers: Paul Washer, president of the Chemical Industry Federation of Belgium and director of the Solvay company; Jacques Washer, antiquarian who died in the Swissair Flight 316 crash; and Edouard.[2] They were also the cousins of famous sportscar racer Olivier Gendebien.[3] Philippe started playing tennis at the age of six.[4] He was coached by his father.[4] He won his first tournament on 9 May 1940 in La Rasante just one day before the Battle of Belgium during which he volunteered to join the Belgian Army.[4] In 1942 he won the French junior championships. [5]

Tennis careerEdit

Washer won the Belgian National Championships nine times between 1945–1954, the only exception being 1950 when he was forced to retire from the competition due to illness.[4] In 1952, he reached the semifinal of the Royal Belgian Tennis Federation Fiftieth Anniversary tournament.[5] In 1957, he reached the Inter-Zonal Zone Finals of the Davis Cup with the Belgium Davis Cup team.[4] The same year he won the Lebanon international tennis championships by defeating Warren Woodcock.[6] In 1967 he came back from retirement to win the Belgian National Covered Courts Championship doubles, partnering with Jacky Brichant.[4] Also after retirement, he won the Wimbledon Veterans' Doubles with Jaroslav Drobný four times from 1968 to 1971.[7]

Golf careerEdit

Washer did not play in the 1960 Davis Cup match against Great Britain as he was competing in the Belgium Open golf championship.[8] Later in 1960 he played for the Rest of Europe against the British Isles in the St Andrews Trophy and for Belgium in the 1960 Eisenhower Trophy.[9][10] He represented Belgium again in the 1964 Eisenhower Trophy.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Washer retired from tennis in 1961 and moved to Switzerland.[12] In 1955 he lent his own Ferrari 250 Europa GT Pinin Farina Coupe car to Olivier Gendebien who drove it in the Liège-Rome-Liège rally and finished third.[3] After retiring he served as the president of the Royal Léopold Club between 1983 and 1994, which his family saved from bankruptcy in 1948.[5][13] He remained its major shareholder afterwards.[13] Washer died on 27 November 2015 at the age of 91.[14]


  1. ^ "Philippe Washer".
  2. ^ a b c Meuwissen 1992.
  3. ^ a b Chauvin 2010, p. 54.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Tasso 2002.
  5. ^ a b c Royal Léopold Club website.
  6. ^ Lebanon international tennis website.
  7. ^ The Telegraph, 2001.
  8. ^ "Hopes of British Lawn Tennis victories". The Times. 9 June 1956. p. 20.
  9. ^ "British Golf supremacy over Rest of Europe". The Times. 22 October 1956. p. 4.
  10. ^ "British Isles' Big Win over Rest of Europe". The Glasgow Herald. 22 October 1956. p. 4.
  11. ^ 1964 WAGTC.
  12. ^ Leonardi 1997.
  13. ^ a b MIG. T. 2007.
  14. ^ "Belgisch Davis Cup-icoon Philippe Washer overleden". HLN (in Dutch).

Works citedEdit

External linksEdit