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gmonfils
07-11-2007, 11:21 AM
Does anyone have any info on either Harold Solomon or Eddie Dibbs, style of play, racquets they used (during there prime in the 70's). Anyone seen them play? Have any matches on video/DVD? I'm quite curious they were considered from what I've read 2 of the more accomplished clay court players that the U.S. ever produced.

LttlElvis
07-11-2007, 11:36 AM
They had similar styles. Stocky little guys who could grind it out from the baseline forever. Their games were similar to Michael Chang, except Chang was much better with more weapons. Personally, I thought they were kind of painful to watch because their games were so boring. Just my opinion.

I have seen both of them play, but on indoor carpet.

I think I remember Soloman using a Garcia wood racquet. I think Dibbs used a Maxply Forte. I can't recall for sure.

Moose Malloy
07-11-2007, 11:40 AM
you can find a solomon match here:

http://www.geocities.com/mariabkbcards/mcenroe.html

I haven't been able to find any Dibbs matches on the internet.

I think Dibbbs led the tour in prize money one year in the 70s(which was a bit of a surprise, the prize money list was a bit more publicized in those days)

LttlElvis
07-11-2007, 11:45 AM
Harold Solomon pic:

http://www.sporting-heroes.net/tennis-heroes/displayhero.asp?HeroID=381

urban
07-11-2007, 09:55 PM
Dibbs, whom i saw live once, hit harder then Solomon, who invented (after Lea Pericoli) the 'moonball'. Dibbs looked a bit like Peter Falk in 'Columbo'. He was especially successful at Hamburg, where he won thrice, beating - as far i can remember - Vilas, Orantes and others.

rasajadad
07-12-2007, 05:02 AM
I saw Dibbs doing exhibitions at a resort in upstate NY about 20 years ago. He had had both hips replaced. I also had a feeling he didn't save much of his prize money, if you know what I mean.

I understood that Solomon's father managed his money VERY well and Harold owns or owned the Budget Rent-a-Car franchises in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa.

Rabbit
07-12-2007, 09:48 AM
Harold Solomon played with a Garcia racket, I have one and will look up the model when I get home. It was white with red letters spelling Garcia down the shaft, a good looking frame.

Eddie Dibbs played with a Dunlop Maxply Fort.

Solomon was strictly a baseliner. He got everything back and worked the court side to side basically waiting for his opponent to miss or move forward so he could pass. There was one match which involved Solomon in the finals of the Alan King against Borg. This was in 1980 when Borg was allegedly burnt out. Borg cleaned Solly's clock, 6-3, 6-1. The first set was even enough and Borg was pretty much feeling Solomon out. Once Borg got warmed up, however he spent the second set seeing how hard he could hit the ball.

The announcers were amazed that Borg was hitting clean winners with both players on the baseline with a wood racket. After the match, Arthur Ashe, who was one of the commentators, interviewed both players on court. Being a former player, Ashe decided to offer some strategy to Solomon. Ashe asked Solomon why, after Borg clearly dominated from the baseline he (Solomon) didn't hit a drop shot to try and draw Borg in. In that way, Solomon could have exploited Borg's weaker net play and possibly pass him. Solomon looked at Ashe and said in a deadpan voice "Because I can't hit a drop shot".

Solomon played Adriano Panatta in the finals of the '76 Roland Garros. Tennis magazine covered the match and the article has one of the best titles I ever read. It was "The Antelope and the Armadillo". I leave it to you to decide who was who.

Dibbs had more firepower and variety in his game. Dibbs had a little hitch in his backhand which was cool to watch. When he took the racket back, he'd turn it about 90 degrees when he got it back. Dibbs was able to volley, but not very good at it. He served and hit harder than Solomon and was basically more offensive on court. Keep in mind that any discussion of the term "offensive" with these two is relative. Both were by and large defensive players. Dibbs had wins over several top name players, McEnroe, Connors, etc.

At one time, Eddie Dibbs was the leading prize money winner on the ATP tour. He chose to play smaller events and bunches of them. I can't remember the year, but one year he lead the tour in prize money. Dibbs also had a love of horses and horse racing. He, for a long period of time, lived in the Miami area.

I used to love to watch those guys play.

Moose Malloy
07-12-2007, 10:28 AM
Solomon used to coach MJ Fernandez & Anna K, among others. I'm sure he's still involved in the game.

Don't know if this is true(esp considering the source) but Mac said during the French that one year, Solomon played Borg at the French & started cramping at 3-2 in the 1st set(they had already played an hour)

Looking up Dibbs' record, he had some impressive wins, winning Hamburg, Canadian Open, Cincinnati, Paris Indoor, Wembley(beating Connors in the '75 final)

3 time US QF, 2 times FO SF

but only played Wimbledon once?

CyBorg
07-12-2007, 10:32 AM
Harold Solomon played with a Garcia racket, I have one and will look up the model when I get home. It was white with red letters spelling Garcia down the shaft, a good looking frame.

Eddie Dibbs played with a Dunlop Maxply Fort.

Solomon was strictly a baseliner. He got everything back and worked the court side to side basically waiting for his opponent to miss or move forward so he could pass. There was one match which involved Solomon in the finals of the Alan King against Borg. This was in 1980 when Borg was allegedly burnt out. Borg cleaned Solly's clock, 6-3, 6-1. The first set was even enough and Borg was pretty much feeling Solomon out. Once Borg got warmed up, however he spent the second set seeing how hard he could hit the ball.

The announcers were amazed that Borg was hitting clean winners with both players on the baseline with a wood racket. After the match, Arthur Ashe, who was one of the commentators, interviewed both players on court. Being a former player, Ashe decided to offer some strategy to Solomon. Ashe asked Solomon why, after Borg clearly dominated from the baseline he (Solomon) didn't hit a drop shot to try and draw Borg in. In that way, Solomon could have exploited Borg's weaker net play and possibly pass him. Solomon looked at Ashe and said in a deadpan voice "Because I can't hit a drop shot".

Solomon played Adriano Panatta in the finals of the '76 Roland Garros. Tennis magazine covered the match and the article has one of the best titles I ever read. It was "The Antelope and the Armadillo". I leave it to you to decide who was who.

Dibbs had more firepower and variety in his game. Dibbs had a little hitch in his backhand which was cool to watch. When he took the racket back, he'd turn it about 90 degrees when he got it back. Dibbs was able to volley, but not very good at it. He served and hit harder than Solomon and was basically more offensive on court. Keep in mind that any discussion of the term "offensive" with these two is relative. Both were by and large defensive players. Dibbs had wins over several top name players, McEnroe, Connors, etc.

At one time, Eddie Dibbs was the leading prize money winner on the ATP tour. He chose to play smaller events and bunches of them. I can't remember the year, but one year he lead the tour in prize money. Dibbs also had a love of horses and horse racing. He, for a long period of time, lived in the Miami area.

I used to love to watch those guys play.

Some funny stuff. Thanks.

NoBadMojo
07-12-2007, 10:35 AM
In many respects I think you can say that Dibbs and Solomon play like todays players except unaided by the modern gear. They are old school Davydenkos <sp?>. They played boring baseline low risk high net clearance tennis...painful to watch IMO, especially on the clay.

gmonfils
07-12-2007, 10:52 AM
A big thank you for all the info I would love to get my hands on any video/dvd's that involved either of these 2 playing. I had read somewhere that during a lull in US Davis Cup success back in the mid 70's that the US captain had chosen to bypass Dibbs and Solomon for Gottfried and I can't recall who the others were but may have been Gene Mayer and the US had suffered several away defeats to South American countries on clay... the question arose why weren't Dibbs and Solomon chosen they were excellent clay court players and even during a couple of those years were ranked only behind Connors (who for some reason wasn't playing Davis Cup).

FiveO
07-12-2007, 01:16 PM
Dibbs did in fact play the Dunlop Maxply Fort, a standard of the era.

As far as Solomon's frame, it was the Garcia Pro 240 and at some point added Solomon's signature on the shoulders and became the Garcia Pro 240/Harold Solomon Autograph. Later he left Garcia and played the Rossignol "Strato" model which was nearly identical.

The 240 and Strato were those companies version of the other standard of the wood era Wilson's Jack Kramer Autograph, which, if memory serves, Solomon played prior to the Garcia.

LttlElvis
07-12-2007, 01:47 PM
By the way, were their nicknames the "Bagel Brothers" and not Bagel Twins ?

FiveO
07-12-2007, 02:04 PM
By the way, were their nicknames the "Bagel Brothers" and not Bagel Twins ?

As per Bud Collins usage in the 1976 US Open program, it was the "Bagel Twins".

Kirko
07-12-2007, 02:31 PM
that spalding tournament in the vintage racket section was used by Dibbs also he was still using it in 1982. I saw him beat Carlos Kirhmayr at forest hills final. 1980.

FiveO
07-12-2007, 02:45 PM
Solomon was strictly a baseliner....
Solomon played Adriano Panatta in the finals of the '76 Roland Garros. Tennis magazine covered the match and the article has one of the best titles I ever read. It was "The Antelope and the Armadillo". I leave it to you to decide who was who.

Rabbit,

I thought you and perhaps some others would get a kick out of these descriptions printed in the 1976 and 1977 US Open Program player biographies:

Harold Solomon

'Harold Solomon I watched play," comedian Alan King once recalled. 'I went to lunch, went to the john, took a shower, changed clothes in the clubhouse, came back and the score was 2-1.' Above all else, Harold Solomon has patience. His is quick of foot, slow of game. Give him a couple of thousand square feet of clay, plant him along the baseline and then try to stay awake. He is the Human Backboard, always returning, always running, smacking a tow-fisted backhander cross court for a winner, chipping a forehand, lobbing, moon-balling. No big serve, no rush to net. Just lots of patience, lots of wins. This year the No. 7 player in the US chalked up WCT victories at Washington (where he and buddy Eddie Dibbs also won doubles) and Houston (over Rosewall) and earned an invitation to join the Elite Eight at the Dallas finals. There he defeated Arthur Ashe in the opening round, then lost to eventual winner Bjorn Borg in the semis. At Rome, the 5-6, 130-pound Slomon became embroiled in a controversial lin call in a quarterfinal match with Adriano Panatta, then, depending upon whose side of the sotry you believe, he either was defaulted or refused to play on. His play had been so tenacious to that point, though, that the Italians dubbed him--with respect--"that damned rat." At Paris he became the ffirst American since Herbie Flam in 1957 to reach the finals of the French Open, where once again, he succumbed to Panatta, this time in a completed four-set match in the sweltering heat at Roland Garros.

The 1977 US Open bio starts:

Maybe someday Harold Solomon will hit a tennis ball so high in the air that it will get hooked up in the stratoshpere with a stellite and orbit the earth for a light year or two. The master of the moonball has changed his game a bit over the past couple years though. Solly no longer treats the net as if it were contaminated....

Keep in mind that this was the description of Solomon printed by the USTA in the program for their premire event about an American who would finish the year ranked number 8 in the world in 1976.



...At one time, Eddie Dibbs was the leading prize money winner on the ATP tour. He chose to play smaller events and bunches of them. I can't remember the year, but one year he lead the tour in prize money. Dibbs also had a love of horses and horse racing. He, for a long period of time, lived in the Miami area.

Yep, "Fast Eddie" (Dibbs) was the leading money winner in 1978, topping the list with $575,273. He had finished 7th in prize money right behind Solomon in 1976, 5th in 1977 and 8th in 1979.

Something I had forgotten was that the "Bagel Twins" actually qualified for the Elite Eight WCT doubles final in 1976.

With Solomon at 5'6" 130 lbs. and Dibbs at 5'7" 170 lbs. they may have been one of the shortest, fairly successful tandems in history, in a time when the net was still everything in doubles.

Kirko
07-12-2007, 03:03 PM
also saw Solomon play a seniors event here in st.louis,mo; when he hit his moonball you could hear it make a "fluttering" noise. he was using the POG oversize then. I saw both play at the Alan King classic. I would fly down from Reno to see the tournament. got their autographs along with Borg and the rest on two of the promo. posters for the event. man that was a classy tournament!

slice bh compliment
07-12-2007, 04:29 PM
So there's a bagel joint we cometimes hit on Saturdays after tennis. They've got these tall aryan twin girls working the counter whose real names are Whitney/Brittany/Tiffany or something. But naturally we call them Eddie and Harold -- the bagel twins.

35ft6
07-12-2007, 10:39 PM
Harold Solomon played with a Garcia racket, I have one and will look up the model when I get home. It was white with red letters spelling Garcia down the shaft, a good looking frame.

Eddie Dibbs played with a Dunlop Maxply Fort.

Solomon was strictly a baseliner. He got everything back and worked the court side to side basically waiting for his opponent to miss or move forward so he could pass. There was one match which involved Solomon in the finals of the Alan King against Borg. This was in 1980 when Borg was allegedly burnt out. Borg cleaned Solly's clock, 6-3, 6-1. The first set was even enough and Borg was pretty much feeling Solomon out. Once Borg got warmed up, however he spent the second set seeing how hard he could hit the ball.

The announcers were amazed that Borg was hitting clean winners with both players on the baseline with a wood racket. After the match, Arthur Ashe, who was one of the commentators, interviewed both players on court. Being a former player, Ashe decided to offer some strategy to Solomon. Ashe asked Solomon why, after Borg clearly dominated from the baseline he (Solomon) didn't hit a drop shot to try and draw Borg in. In that way, Solomon could have exploited Borg's weaker net play and possibly pass him. Solomon looked at Ashe and said in a deadpan voice "Because I can't hit a drop shot".

Solomon played Adriano Panatta in the finals of the '76 Roland Garros. Tennis magazine covered the match and the article has one of the best titles I ever read. It was "The Antelope and the Armadillo". I leave it to you to decide who was who.

Dibbs had more firepower and variety in his game. Dibbs had a little hitch in his backhand which was cool to watch. When he took the racket back, he'd turn it about 90 degrees when he got it back. Dibbs was able to volley, but not very good at it. He served and hit harder than Solomon and was basically more offensive on court. Keep in mind that any discussion of the term "offensive" with these two is relative. Both were by and large defensive players. Dibbs had wins over several top name players, McEnroe, Connors, etc.

At one time, Eddie Dibbs was the leading prize money winner on the ATP tour. He chose to play smaller events and bunches of them. I can't remember the year, but one year he lead the tour in prize money. Dibbs also had a love of horses and horse racing. He, for a long period of time, lived in the Miami area.

I used to love to watch those guys play. Nice post. I don't even really know these guys and it was still interesting. I would buy a book of nothing but anecdotes, collected from all over the place, about random top tennis players. Like somebody saw Becker eating at a restaurant... or Federer at the dentist... etc.

Rabbit
07-13-2007, 04:51 AM
Rabbit,

I thought you and perhaps some others would get a kick out of these descriptions printed in the 1976 and 1977 US Open Program player biographies:



The 1977 US Open bio starts:



Keep in mind that this was the description of Solomon printed by the USTA in the program for their premire event about an American who would finish the year ranked number 8 in the world in 1976.





Yep, "Fast Eddie" (Dibbs) was the leading money winner in 1978, topping the list with $575,273. He had finished 7th in prize money right behind Solomon in 1976, 5th in 1977 and 8th in 1979.

Something I had forgotten was that the "Bagel Twins" actually qualified for the Elite Eight WCT doubles final in 1976.

With Solomon at 5'6" 130 lbs. and Dibbs at 5'7" 170 lbs. they may have been one of the shortest, fairly successful tandems in history, in a time when the net was still everything in doubles.

That's great stuff.

Yes, Dibbs did switch to a Spalding late in his career. His career was ended by a bad hip, which I believe he got replaced. He said later that he could still move "pretty" good (unbelievable for us mortals) and could compete with some good players. I read somewhere that Dibbs took to hustling 5.0s for fun and money. I sure hope it isn't true that he's broke. I remember reading that when he was on tour, he was a miser and hoarded his money. That was the primary reason he played the smaller events, cash money. He and Connors were alike in that respect, early on neither cared about Grand Slams, just lining the pocket.

Dibbs was one of Jimmy Connors' favorite people on tour mostly because of his sense of humor. It seems that Dibbs was always messing with someone. At one event, he stole Connors' shoes and replaced them with some store bought duplicates (only they were a size smaller/larger). And at another, about an hour before a match he cut Nastase's strings out of all but one racket.

They had a senior tour that was a precursor to Connors' tour. It was called the Legends tour. I remember watching a "round robin" they had on TV. The players were all lounging courtside. Dibbs was giving everyone crap as they went on and came off court. He was especially vocal when John Lloyd was on court. Later, they called Dibbs up to the booth to deliver "color" commentary. It was probably the single worst effort I've ever heard. Dibbs' voice still had the heavy Brooklyn accent and a couple of times when a guy hit an unbelievable shot, Dibbs would say "Yeah, he hit a pretty good shot there". That was the extent of his commentary.

Another player who fit the mold of the Bagel Twins was Elliot Telstcher(sp?). He pretty much did everything they did except with one hand. He had one of the most unusual looking backhands I can remember. It was fluid and elegant, but had a hitch or two. I saw him in Memphis one year. He beat the crap out of Greg Holmes who was the NCAA champ and played with two hands on both sides.

That was also the year I saw my first Volkl. Wotek Fibak was playing doubles with a hot pink Volkl frame. :)

gmonfils
07-13-2007, 06:19 AM
Does anyone know if the Tennis Channel shows any old matches from the 60's, 70's and 80's that might have shown players like Dibbs and Solomon? I don't get TC in my area. Surely these matches must exist somewhere... The WCT used to have a highlight show back in the day that one of the networks carried.

Rabbit
07-13-2007, 11:03 AM
You know, I think everyone should contact the Tennis Channel and suggest this. For a while, they were showing teh old ABC series from Hilton Head in which 4 top men and 4 top women competed for a then big $50,000 top prize. The players were on equal footing and I think Margaret Court won the first series. It was on for 3 or 4 years.

Frank Silbermann
07-15-2007, 04:19 AM
Does anyone have any info on either Harold Solomon or Eddie Dibbs, style of play, racquets they used (during there prime in the 70's). Anyone seen them play? Have any matches on video/DVD? I'm quite curious they were considered from what I've read 2 of the more accomplished clay court players that the U.S. ever produced. I think they both played the juniors together in Silver Springs, Maryland; that's how they became friends. Solomon is Jewish, Dibbs' background is Lebanese.

Eddie Dibbs had a conventional forehand, but Solomon's forehand was called western back then (nowadays it would be called extreme eastern). Dibb's backhand had the two hands overlapped; it looked almost as though his left hand wrapped around his right hand (sort of like the Weaver or Isosceles grip on an handgun). Solomon's backhand was hooked and open-faced; it seemed difficult for him to do anything but pull it sharply cross-court.

In interviews Solomon said that opponents hated to find him in their draw, because he was fast, ran everything down, and never gave up on a ball or a point. Opponents knew that, win or lose, they were in for a long, exhausting afternoon. Some just didn't have the heart for that and simply stopped trying.

Eddie Dibbs had a funny, shuffling walk like a sailor on a swaying ship. After he retired he explained that it was a limp due to a degenerating hip.

Moose Malloy
07-16-2007, 01:52 PM
just watched some wct highlights of dibbs, very interesting backhand.

gmonfils
07-17-2007, 05:36 AM
just watched some wct highlights of dibbs, very interesting backhand.

Was the WCT programme on TC?

Nuke
07-17-2007, 05:58 AM
I hear Fast Eddie's making ice cream now:

http://www.dreyers.com/brand/dibs/images/fl_carton_E.gif