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Roland Garros Tennis From The Archives • A Peak @ Kathleen Horvath

Photo by Dusan Vemic



By Nancy Gill Mc Shea


From the French Archives –Talk about young women who have made news at the French and proceeded to excel in other areas of life, KATHLEEN HORVATH, a native of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., qualifies as the ultimate professional. She turned pro at 15, won eight pro singles titles, was a finalist in six events, and in 1984 was ranked No. 10 in the world. At the 1983 French Open, Horvath recorded one of her greatest memories when she snapped Martina Navratilova’s 84-match win streak in the round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals. Bud Collins recorded the dramatic encounter in his Tennis Encyclopedia: “… Martina Navratilova and Kathy Horvath shared a court in Paris… In retrospect, it may have been the most significant match of the year… Navratilova had won her first 36 matches of 1983 before meeting the teenager… A former child prodigy… Horvath had been runner-up to Chris Evert in the German Open the previous week… But nothing prepared her for what happened at Stade Roland Garros… The unseeded American… posted a stunning 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 victory.” Horvath became the star of every TV sports highlight film and gained instant celebrity around the world. She said later that her tennis career was a stepping stone, a successful experience that gave her confidence. she said she was privileged to play her first pro tournament on her home turf at the 1979 U.S. Open on her 14th birthday, and the next day she and Bjorn Borg were pictured hitting forehands on the front page of The New York Times. “It’s fun when you have wisdom from something that you can apply to something new,” she said. “You start with the work ethic and discipline and get the analytical tools to back up the tennis.” That could be an understatement. Having been ranked among the world’s top ten professional tennis players, at age 23 she changed her career direction, went on to graduate magna cum laude with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, later signed on as a vice president at Goldman, Sachs, specializing in private wealth management and is now raising her three children.


Editors Note:

Nancy Gill McShea has spent 40 years writing over 2,500 tennis articles about the game’s stars — pros, collegians, juniors, league players, officials, volunteers, etc. — and 87 of USTA Eastern’s Hall of Fame profiles. To showcase those stars, Nancy has connected with the sport’s legends throughout the country and received five press service awards — as the Public Relations Director/Writer/Editor for the USTA Eastern Section; the Managing Editor/Writer for Eastern Roundup and Passing Shot magazines; a Copy Editor/Columnist for Tennis Week magazine; a Sectional Reporter for Tennis USA and USTA; a Columnist for Newsday; and a Staff Writer for College and Junior Tennis magazine. In 2011, She co-authored the book, Tennis in New York, with Dale Caldwell.


Photos by Dusan Vemic


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