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08-15-2007, 04:00 PM
Tennis Mourns 'Larger-than-Life' Rudi Berger
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The tennis world is saying farewell to distinguished official Rudi Berger, who passed away Wednesday. Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP's Executive Vice President of Rules and Competition, pays tribute to one of tennis's favorite sons.

Rudi Eugen Berger
October 30, 1951 – August 15, 2007

Tournament Director, official, father, husband, friend. Tennis has lost one of its own. Rudi Berger passed away today after losing his battle with cancer.

Rudi was a member of the tennis family – a distinguished member. Many people have come to know Rudi through his years as a professional umpire. Holder of an administration degree, Rudi began his officiating career in 1980 and he graduated from the 1984 Men’s Tennis Council Officials School in Basle, Switzerland. He became a full-time professional official in 1987.

Rudi was a member of one of the first teams of professional chair umpires selected by the Men’s Professional Tennis Council in the 1980s. Rudi brought to the umpiring profession a passion for his work and a passion for the game that continues to serve as the benchmark for all officials. Rudi was a larger than life figure, recognized and loved around the globe by the fans – respected by the players and admired by his fellow officials.

Rudi had a way of managing matches that made him a natural for the big stages with the most difficult players. Rudi not only knew how to umpire from a technical position but, more importantly, he knew that umpiring was more than technical. It is an art form that very few people understand or master. Rudi mastered the art of umpiring.

In 2001, Rudi left the umpiring profession to become the Tournament Director for the ATP event in Munich, Germany. Rudi took his passion for tennis and his knowledge of the game and helped make the Munich event one of the most popular stops on the ATP circuit.

For those lucky enough to know Rudi well, it did not take them long to see that behind the larger-than-life exterior, there was a man with a heart of gold; a man that loved his family; loved his sport; loved his friends; loved his profession. He was also a man who was loved by all who knew him – and a man who will be very much missed.

Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family.

Tennis lost a good man today.

Gayle David Bradshaw
Executive Vice President
Rules & Competition

08-15-2007, 11:20 PM
uuuh man....I liked him....thats kinda crappy

08-16-2007, 01:48 AM
It's the one in the front row here, with a beard, isn't it?

Sad news.

08-16-2007, 02:47 AM
Yeah, that's him

08-16-2007, 03:41 AM
Sad news.

He was one of the few umpires who were willing to stand up to players - he didn't take nonsense. I remember him having rows with Agassi and Hewitt over the years, he could look after himself.

08-16-2007, 11:24 AM
Ah yes, I remember him. Always thought he was cute. Very sad, and too bad indeed.

08-16-2007, 01:26 PM
i remember the incident between him and agassi.