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-   -   Austrian tennis legend Franz Saiko dead at 81 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=437950)

treblings 08-30-2012 05:41 AM

Austrian tennis legend Franz Saiko dead at 81
 
one of the best austrian players in the 50´s and 60´s , long-term daviscupper beating players like Bobby Wilson or Mike Sangster.
died of a stroke two days ago.
maybe some of you have heard about him or even have some stories
to share

BobbyOne 08-30-2012 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treblings (Post 6846460)
one of the best austrian players in the 50´s and 60´s , long-term daviscupper beating players like Bobby Wilson or Mike Sangster.
died of a stroke two days ago.
maybe some of you have heard about him or even have some stories
to share

Thanks that you remind to Franz Saiko. I did not hear about his death in Austria itself.

Saiko won the Austrian Nationals eight times! As he was a pure amateur (his profession was druggist) he was limited in his playing schedule and he semi-retired rather early. But it was curious: His last Austrian Championships were in 1962 but he used to beat some following champions outside the Nationals year for year till he was about 40.

Saiko was a strict baseliner and some called his game a bit boring. He had some fine wins in Davis Cup and beat in tournament play excellent players like Hans Redl, Fredi Huber (the clown) and Laci legenstein. All these names are forgotten now...

urban 08-30-2012 07:43 AM

Wasn't Hans Redl the brave man, who had lost an arm in the War, and had to serve by throwing up the ball with the racket?

BobbyOne 08-30-2012 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 6846676)
Wasn't Hans Redl the brave man, who had lost an arm in the War, and had to serve by throwing up the ball with the racket?

Yes, he was it.

t's curious but it seems as though Redl was a bit stronger with one arm than with two...

Redl reached fourth round at Wimbledon in 1948.

In 1953 Huber/Redl reached QFs at Wimbledon and won a set off Hoad/Rosewall!

treblings 08-30-2012 11:38 AM

Fred Huber must have been the most talented of the group i guess, with singles victories against Hoad, Patty, or Drobny.
and Franz Saiko still played team competition for his club last year as an 80year old

BobbyOne 08-30-2012 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treblings (Post 6847234)
Fred Huber must have been the most talented of the group i guess, with singles victories against Hoad, Patty, or Drobny.
and Franz Saiko still played team competition for his club last year as an 80year old

Yes, he was very talented but also had a strange character. In 1958 he was banned by Austrian Tennis Federation.

Yes, he beat Hoad and Drobny in 1956, Patty, Nielsen and Mottram sen.

He was a fine icehockey goalie and on a claycourt court he often had a red shirt because of his Becker-like parades at the net...

newmark401 08-31-2012 03:06 AM

From the www.tenniswien.at website:

28 August 2012

"Farewell

"'He was my role model in my youth and a very great player within Austrian tennis,' said Ronnie Leitgeb, President of the Austrian Tennis Federation, referring to his former colleague at the Brühl Mödlinger Tennis Club in Vienna. Now Franz Saiko is dead, from a stroke, at the age of 81. For a decade (1954-64), Saiko was one of the best players in the history of Austrian tennis and defined the sport in this country.

"Over a period of nine years the future chemist played 35 Davis Cup matches for Austria, winning 22 of them. While doing so, he beat the British players Mike Sangster and Bobby Wilson and, in a match against the future Wimbledon referee Alan Mills, allowed the British player his first game when leading 6-0, 6-0, 3-0.

"Saiko first made sporting headlines in 1954, when he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon with Hans Riedl. In 1957, he and Fred Huber played unforgettable matches at the International Austrian Championships tournament. Both reached the semi-finals, where Huber lost to Lew Hoad, that year's Wimbledon champion, 2-6, 8-6, 3-6, while Saiko lost to Jaroslav Drobny (Wimbledon champion in 1954), 6-8, 0-6.

"Franz Saiko, whose best stroke by far was his technically perfect forehand, seldom played tennis abroad. However, in Austria he was an institution and was later awarded the 'Golden Badge of Honour' by the Austrian Tennis Federation. He also became an honorary member of the Park Club in Vienna.

"With the arrival of Franz Hainka and, subsequently, the multiple Austrian national champion Franz Saiko, the Brühl Mödlinger Tennis Club in Vienna was able to win the Austrian Team Tennis Championships in 1965 and 1967.

"'He was admired above all for his tactical dexterity on the court,' said Leitgeb. Both the Austrian Tennis Federation and the Viennese Tennis Federation 'deeply regret having lost a very good friend and a very great tennis player within Austria,' said Franz Sterba, president of the Viennese Tennis Federation."
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