August 10, 2010

VIVA VITAS Tshirt Immortalized the Beloved American Tennis Star

The great American tennis player, Vitas Gerulaitis, is immortalized in this tshirt from Old School Tennis.

Vitas was known for winning the men's singles title at one of the 2 Australian Open tournaments held in 1977. He also won the men's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1975 and was a singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon in both 1977 and 1978. In 1977, he lost a long Wimbledon semi-final to Björn Borg 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6.

Gerulaitis was known for his exceptionally quick hands at the net and for his outstanding court coverage. With his dash of long blond hair he was a precursor, in style at least, to Andre Agassi.

Gerulaitis died in an accident on September 17, 1994, at age 40. While visiting a friend's home in Southampton, Long Island, a malfunction in the heating system caused odorless, poisonous carbon monoxide gas to seep into the guesthouse where Gerulaitis was sleeping, causing his death. Gerulaitis is interred in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.*

I was too young to appreciate his play as much as I'd like. But I do follow his contemporaries quite a bit - McEnroe, Borg, Connors, etc. You will never hear anyone say an ill word of Vitas, he's one of the good guys in tennis, beloved and greatly missed by all.


Check it out at Old School Tennis.

* via Wikipedia

Read More in: US Open | Vintage Tennis

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Posted by Bob Wallace at August 10, 2010 10:30 AM
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