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Tennis Mourns The Passing of Ken Flach

Former World No. 1 Ken Flach, one of the world’s leading doubles players of the 1980s, has passed away aged 54. – Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter.



Ken Flach and Roberto Seguso were the must-see doubles team of their generation.


Now, the tennis worlds mourns the passing of six-time Grand Slam doubles champion Flach, who died at age 54 on Monday after a brief illness.


Flach, who was still an active athlete right up until his passing, initially became ill with bronchitis after playing 36 holes of golf a week ago. The illness progressed to pneumonia and then sepsis before ultimately taking his life on Monday.


“Ken will be remembered as one of the great U.S. doubles players in the history of our sport,” said ATP President Chris Kermode. “On behalf of the ATP, we send our thoughts and deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time.”


Flach and Seguso were savvy, rowdy, flashy and fun.


Most of all, they were Champions.


The pair partnered to win four Grand Slam doubles crowns.


Flach and Seguso made history defeating Spain’s Sergio Casal and Emilio Sánchez in a pulsating five-set final to capture the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, which marked tennis’ return as an offical Olympic medal sport for the first time since 1924.


“This is it for us,” Flach said after that triumph. “On the tour, you always have another big tournament coming up. The Olympics only comes round every four years. You can win $50,000 when you win the U.S. Open. But this by far beats that. It’s the highlight of our career.”


As a shotmaker with a flair for the dramatic, Flach finished his 14-season pro career in 1996 with a 34-24 record in doubles finals and a 443-215 match record.


Flach and Seguso won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open doubles titles twice each. Flach also partnered with compatriot Kathy Jordan to claim the Roland Garros and Wimbledon mixed doubles championships.


“Sometimes we get sobering reminders of the fragility of life and what we have each day, tennis lost a family member: more importantly children lost a father a wife lost a husband , siblings lost brother,” Flach’s friend, Paul Annacone, posted on Twitter. “Thank you for your friendship memories will last forever RIP Ken Flach.”


Flach and Seguso struck gold the same year Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison won the women’s doubles gold creating an American sweep of the doubles discipline. Hall of Famer Shriver posted a tribute to him on Twitter.


“RIP Ken Flach,” posted Shriver. “The social media posts the past five days from his loving family have given us all a chance to pray, reflect, and hope for the best. I am so very sad. Olympic flat mates in Seoul both winning doubles gold. Now, Ken joins Jana Novotna, Seoul silver medalist in tennis in heaven.”


Ken Flach’s younger brother, Doug Flach, also played on the ATP pro circuit.

RIP Ken Flach, fellow professional tennis player of my generation. Former World No. 1 in doubles, winner of four Grand Slam titles and 1998 Seoul Olympics Gold Medalist (w/Seguso) #ronaldagenor #RIPKenFlach #Tennis #atpworldtour #RSeguso #RIP – Photo by @TheRonaldAgenor via Twitter.

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