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Frank Parker

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Frank Parker
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Frank Parker was born on January 31, 1916 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His real name was Franciszek Paikowski and his career in tennis started out at the very bottom, as a ball boy at the Milwaukee Town Club. He was ten years old when he was discovered by the club coach, Mercer Beasley, hitting discarded tennis balls. It was Beasley who trained Parker how to play tennis. When Beasley became the tennis coach at Lawrenceville Academy in New Jersey, Parker enrolled there as well. They both later continued their training at Princeton. Parker changed his name from Franciszek Paikowski because officials had trouble pronouncing his name properly. His amateur record consisted of being the national junior champion at 16 years old and winning the national clay-court championship at 17 years old.

Parker was known for having a marvelous groundstroke, particularly backhand. He was at the US Top Ten for seventeen straight years and was one of the youngest at age 17 to rank with the elites as well as one of the oldest at the age of 52 to play in the US Championships. He was also in the World Top Ten six times between the years 1937 to 1949.

Frank Parker was one of the few Americans to win both the French and the US Championships. He played just as well on the grass of American courts and clay on French courts. His Grand Slam record included that of being a US Doubles champion in 1943, a US doubles finalist in 1933 and a Mixed Champion in the years 1932, 1935, 1937 and 1941.

In the French Championships, he was the French Singles Champion in the years 1948-1949 and a French Doubles champion in 1939. He was also a Wimbledon Doubles Champion in 1949. He played for the US Davis Cup team and won 12 of 14 matches.

Frank died after undergoing surgery for blood clots in his lung at the University of California Medical Center on July 24, 1997. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the year 1966.

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