Champion’s point : 7 : Jan Kodeš

” The best I can do is do my best”

Jan Kodeš

Jan Kodeš (CzechJan Kodeš; born March 1, 1946, in PragueCzechoslovakia) is a right-handed Czech former tennis player who won three Grand Slam events in the early-1970s.

Kodeš’s greatest success was on the clay courts of the French Open. He won the title there in 1970, beating Željko Franulović in the final, and in 1971, defeating Ilie Năstase in the final. He also won Wimbledon on grass in 1973, although 13 of the top 16 players, and 81 players in total, did not play the tournament[1] that year because of a boycott over the ILTF banning Nikola Pilic from that Wimbledon. Kodeš beat home favorite Roger Taylor in the semifinals 8–9, 9–7, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5 and Alex Metreveli in the final 6–1, 9–8, 6–3.

Kodeš never played the Australian Open but he was twice the runner-up at theUS Open, in 1971 and 1973.

Kodeš reached his highest tour ranking of World No. 4 in September 1973. During his career, he won a total of 8 top-level singles titles and 17 doubles titles.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990.

A lovely guy and one of the hardest fighters on tour, he looked tinny but had great stamina and an enormous menthal strength, that he used to win 3 GS titles, beating guys like Newcombe,Nastase,Franulovic or Metrevali.he also reached 2 more finals ( both at the USO which he never won, in spite of being a few games away to win it, both in 1971 and 1973).

Was a very complete player, solid and percutant groundies, a tigger at the net, he fought every single point and he had just an average serve for a top player.He led Checoslovaquia to his only DC win, heading the team of 1980 ( which had Ivan Lendl as the big star).

Tennis in eastern europe was first known because guys like Kodes and his close friend – yet distant personality-Nastase broke into the top of the tennis world.

To me, the group of 1970-71: Laver,Rosewall,Newcombe,Ashe,Kodes,Nastase,Smith,R oche,Gimeno and Okker may be, possibly, the best top 10 ever in terms of variety and talent.

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