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Old 08-31-2012, 02:06 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,031

From the website:

28 August 2012


"'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."

Last edited by newmark401; 09-01-2012 at 02:36 AM.
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