Biography of Famous Tennis Player and Athlete Karel Kozeluh

About the biography of the famous tennis player and athlete Karel Kozeluh, history and information.

Karel Kozeluh

In the early days of the game, the amateurs had all of the great tournaments--Wimbledon, Forest Hills, Davis Cup--and so they got the international glory. But there were great professional players who had never spent a day as an amateur, and Karel Kozeluh was one of them.

Kozzie was an all-around athlete in his country, Czechoslovakia. He excelled at soccer and the resultant leg power made him an incredible baseline player in tennis. He became the acknowledged iron man of defensive play.

Some of the top amateurs in the late '20s and early '30s who took Kozeluh on for a "workout" got far more than that. One was Bill Tilden, who was best in the world at the time. Kozzie thought he could beat the master and one day he got the opportunity. Tilden wanted to sharpen his game and asked Kozzie to play a 5-set match. It was the King of Attack against the Sultan of Defense.

In a textbook demonstration of ground strokes and court tactics, Kozeluh took a 5-2 lead in the 1st set. Then Tilden stopped the match and ordered Karel to serve to his backhand for the rest of the session. Kozzie's opinions of this were never officially recorded.

In 1931, Kozeluh got another chance. He met Tilden in Big Bill's professional debut in New York. Tilden's booming drives kept the Czech fighting from backcourt and despite some fantastic recoveries, Kozzie dropped the match 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

The year 1929 had been a pinnacle for Kozeluh: He won the U.S. Professional Tennis Association singles championship and teamed with Vincent Richards to take the doubles title. He swept to singles victories again in 1932 and 1937.

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