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Steve Denton (born September 5, 1956) is a former professional tennis player for the ATP Tour. He is currently the head men's tennis coach at Texas A&M University.

Steve Denton
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceCollege Station, Texas, U.S.
Born (1956-09-05) September 5, 1956 (age 63)
Kingsville, Texas, U.S.
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Turned pro1978
Retired1987
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
CollegeUniversity of Texas
Prize money$1,084,664
Singles
Career record108–117 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 12 (April 18, 1983)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (1981, 1982)
French Open1R (1982, 1984)
Wimbledon4R (1982)
US Open4R (1982)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals1R (1982)
WCT FinalsQF (1983)
Doubles
Career record325–198 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles18
Highest rankingNo. 2 (August 15, 1983)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1983)
French OpenQF (1984)
WimbledonSF (1982, 1983)
US OpenW (1982)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour FinalsF (1982)

After becoming an all-American at the University of Texas in 1978, Denton spent nine seasons playing for the ATP Tour. He reached the final of both the 1981 and 1982 Australian Open, and won the 1982 US Open doubles championship with Kevin Curren, attaining career-high rankings of World No. 12 in singles and World No. 2 in doubles. He won a total of 18 tour level doubles titles and, despite reaching 6 finals, never won a singles title. In 1984, his 138 miles per hour (222 km/h) serve broke the world record, which would not be broken until 13 years later. After retiring from the pros, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, coaching several local junior tennis teams. In 2001, he debuted his college coaching career at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, where he led his teams to three conference championships and a first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. In 2006, he resigned to become the head coach at Texas A&M University.

For his accomplishments, he is a member of the ITA Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Blue-Gray Tennis Class Hall of Fame, and the Longhorn Hall of Honor.

Contents

Playing careerEdit

High school and collegeEdit

Denton attended Bishop High School in Bishop, Texas. As a prep, he won four consecutive UIL state 3A singles titles. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played tennis from 1976–79. He earned all-American honors in 1978. Along with teammate Kevin Curren, he won the U.S. Tennis Association amateur indoor and SWC doubles title in 1979. He completed his college career with an 85–22 singles record, which currently ranks third all-time in school history. He also compiled a 72–18 doubles record, and a 78–27 team record. For his collegiate and professional accomplishments, he was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2006.[1]

ProfessionalEdit

Denton was ranked as high as World No. 12 on the ATP Rankings in singles and No. 2 in doubles, both in 1983. Denton was known for his big serve and employed an unusual service motion which involved taking two steps forward prior to striking the ball. Current ATP rules prohibit such a motion (or any service motion involving a running or walking start). In 1984, Denton set a service record of 138 mph (222 km/h) that would stand for 13 years until it was broken in 1997 by Mark Philippoussis who recorded a 142 mph (229 km/h) delivery. The current record of 163 mph (262 km/h) is held by Sam Groth.

He reached six singles finals, most notably the Australian Open (in 1981 and 1982) and the Cincinnati Masters (in 1982). He also won 18 doubles titles (including the US Open and the Canada Masters) in 1982, and reaching 23 additional doubles finals.

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (2 finals)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1981 Australian Open Grass   Johan Kriek 6–2, 7–6, 6–7, 6–4
Loss 1982 Australian Open (2) Grass   Johan Kriek 6–3, 6–3, 6–2

Men's Doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1982 US Open Grass   Kevin Curren   Victor Amaya
  Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Loss 1983 Australian Open Grass   Sherwood Stewart   Mark Edmondson
  Paul McNamee
6–3, 7–6

Mixed Doubles (3 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1983 Wimbledon Grass   Billie Jean King   John Lloyd
  Wendy Turnbull
6–7, 7–6, 7–5
Loss 1983 US Open Grass   JoAnne Russell   Anne Smith
  Kevin Curren
6–4, 7–6
Loss 1984 Wimbledon (2) Grass   Kathy Jordan   John Lloyd
  Wendy Turnbull
6–3, 6–3

Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)

SinglesEdit

Tournament 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open F F 3R 1R 2R NH 1R 0 / 6
French Open A 1R A 1R A A A 0 / 2
Wimbledon 1R 4R 1R 1R 2R A A 0 / 5
US Open 1R 4R 3R 2R 1R A A 0 / 5
Strike Rate 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 18

Career finalsEdit

Doubles (18 titles, 21 runner-ups)Edit

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1. 1979 Hong Kong Carpet   Mark Turpin   Pat Du Pré
  Robert Lutz
3–6, 4–6
Win 1. 1980 Denver, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Wojtek Fibak
  Heinz Günthardt
7–5, 6–2
Loss 2. 1980 Washington-2, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Ferdi Taygan
  Brian Teacher
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Loss 3. 1980 North Conway, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Jimmy Connors
  Brian Gottfried
6–7, 2–6
Win 2. 1980 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Wojtek Fibak
  Ivan Lendl
3–6, 7–6, 6–4
Win 3. 1980 Barcelona, Spain Clay   Ivan Lendl   Pavel Složil
  Balázs Taróczy
6–2, 6–7, 6–3
Win 4. 1980 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i)   Kevin Curren   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 4. 1980 Bologna, Italy Carpet   Paul McNamee   Balázs Taróczy
  Butch Walts
6–2, 3–6, 0–6
Win 5. 1981 Monterrey WCT, Mexico Carpet   Kevin Curren   Johan Kriek
  Russell Simpson
7–6, 6–3
Loss 5. 1981 Brussels, Belgium Carpet   Kevin Curren   Sandy Mayer
  Frew McMillan
6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Loss 6. 1981 London/Queen's Club, England Grass   Kevin Curren   Pat Du Pré
  Brian Teacher
6–3, 6–7, 9–11
Win 6. 1981 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Raúl Ramírez
  Van Winitsky
6–3, 5–7, 7–5
Win 7. 1981 Vienna, Austria Hard (i)   Tim Wilkison   Sammy Giammalva, Jr.
  Fred McNair
4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Win 8. 1981 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i)   Kevin Curren   Sherwood Stewart
  Ferdi Taygan
6–7, 6–4, 6–0
Loss 7. 1982 Masters Doubles WCT, London Carpet   Kevin Curren   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
7–6, 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Win 9. 1982 Denver, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Phil Dent
  Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Win 10. 1982 Memphis, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
7–6, 4–6, 6–2
Loss 8. 1982 Munich-2 WCT, Germany Carpet   Kevin Curren   Mark Edmondson
  Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 5–7, 2–6
Win 11. 1982 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet   Mark Edmondson   Tony Giammalva
  Tim Mayotte
6–7, 6–3, 6–3
Win 12. 1982 Houston, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Mark Edmondson
  Peter McNamara
7–5, 6–4
Win 13. 1982 Toronto, Canada Hard   Kevin Curren   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
6–7, 7–5, 6–2
Loss 9. 1982 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard   Mark Edmondson   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
2–6, 3–6
Win 14. 1982 US Open, New York Hard   Kevin Curren   Victor Amaya
  Hank Pfister
6–2, 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4
Loss 10. 1982 Sydney Indoor, Australia Hard (i)   Mark Edmondson   John McEnroe
  Peter Rennert
3–6, 6–7
Win 15. 1983 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
6–4, 7–6
Win 16. 1983 Munich WCT, Germany Carpet   Kevin Curren   Heinz Günthardt
  Balázs Taróczy
7–5, 2–6, 6–1
Win 17. 1983 Houston WCT, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Mark Dickson
  Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–7, 6–1
Win 18. 1983 Las Vegas, U.S. Hard   Kevin Curren   Tracy Delatte
  Johan Kriek
6–3, 7–5
Loss 11. 1983 Forest Hills WCT, U.S. Clay   Kevin Curren   Tracy Delatte
  Johan Kriek
7–6, 5–7, 3–6
Loss 12. 1983 London/Queen's Club, England Grass   Kevin Curren   Brian Gottfried
  Paul McNamee
4–6, 3–6
Loss 13. 1983 Dallas, U.S. Hard   Sherwood Stewart   Nduka Odizor
  Van Winitsky
3–6, 5–7
Loss 14. 1983 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet   John Fitzgerald   Mark Edmondson
  Sherwood Stewart
1–6, 4–6
Loss 15. 1983 Wembley, England Carpet   Sherwood Stewart   Peter Fleming
  John McEnroe
3–6, 4–6
Loss 16. 1983 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass   Sherwood Stewart   Mark Edmondson
  Paul McNamee
3–6, 6–7
Loss 17. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   John McEnroe
  Patrick McEnroe
6–7, 2–6
Loss 18. 1984 Brussels, Belgium Carpet   Kevin Curren   Tim Gullikson
  Tom Gullikson
4–6, 7–6, 6–7
Loss 19. 1984 Milan, Italy Carpet   Kevin Curren   Pavel Složil
  Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 3–6
Loss 20. 1985 Memphis, U.S. Carpet   Kevin Curren   Pavel Složil
  Tomáš Šmíd
6–1, 3–6, 4–6
Loss 21. 1985 Atlanta, U.S. Carpet   Tomáš Šmíd   Paul Annacone
  Christo van Rensburg
4–6, 3–6
Loss 22. 1987 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard   John Fitzgerald   Ken Flach
  Robert Seguso
5–7, 3–6
Loss 23. 1988 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   David Pate   John Fitzgerald
  Johan Kriek
4–6, 7–6, 4–6

ATP Career finalsEdit

Singles: 6 ( 6 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1981 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass   Johan Kriek 2–6, 6–7, 7–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 1982 Metz, France Hard (i)   Erick Iskersky 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 1982 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard   Ivan Lendl 2–6, 6–7
Runner-up 4. 1982 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass   Johan Kriek 3–6, 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 5. 1983 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet   Guillermo Vilas 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 1984 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet   John McEnroe 3–6, 6–7

Coaching careerEdit

Denton made his first head coaching debut at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi in 2001. In his five seasons there, he led the Islanders to three Southland Conference regular-season championships, two tournament championships, and the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year twice, in 2004 and 2005. He finished with a 64–48 overall record.[2]

On August 8, 2006, Denton became the head men's tennis coach at Texas A&M University. After struggling for two years in Big 12 Conference play, Denton led the Aggies to a 5-1 conference record and 2nd-place finish in his third year, earning Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.[3]

Coaching recordEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Islanders (Southland Conference) (2001–2006)
2001–2002 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 8–12
2002–2003 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 13–9
2003–2004 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 14–7 1st
2004–2005 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 19–8 6–0 1st NCAA Second Round
2005–2006 Texas A&M–Corpus Christi 10–12 5–1 1st
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi: 64–48
Texas A&M Aggies (Big 12 Conference) (2006–present)
2006–2007 Texas A&M 15–12 1–5 7th NCAA Second Round
2007–2008 Texas A&M 13–12 2–4 5th NCAA Second Round
2008–2009 Texas A&M 17–9 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2009–2010 Texas A&M 25–7 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2010–2011 Texas A&M 29–6 5–1 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Texas A&M: 99–46 18–12
Total: 163–94

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Steve Denton". Texas Longhorns Athletics. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "A&M's Denton Selected to 2008 ITA Hall of Fame Class". Big 12 Sports. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2008.
  3. ^ "Denton, Pollock and Krajicek Earn Big 12 Conference Honors". AggieAthletics.com. Retrieved May 7, 2009.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit