60 Sporting Heroes for 60 Years: No. 8 Amos Mansdorf

The tennis player was a world beater, a player every top ranked opponent feared.

mansdorf 88 (photo credit: )
mansdorf 88
(photo credit: )
Unlike Pe'er, who is clearly a work in progress, Amos Mansdorf completed his superb career more than a decade ago, and can be safe in the knowledge that he is still considered the best ever Israeli singles player to pick up a racket, at least for the moment. Mansdorf had a highest world ranking of 18 and his finest moment came at the Australian Open in 1992, where he reached the quarter-finals before being knocked out by the eventual champion Jim Courier. From when he turned professional in 1983 to his retirement 11 years later, Mansdorf was a world beater, a player every top ranked opponent feared. He won tournaments around the globe, overcoming superstars such as Henri Leconte. In total Mansdorf won 304 professional matches, six singles tournaments and earned prize money of $2,412,691. His second singles title was won on home soil when he beat Jimmy Connors in the semis and Brad Gilbert in the final at Ramat Hasharon in 1987. A year later he defeated then world number 4 Boris Becker in Orlando and won the Paris Open a few months after, overcoming Gilbert in straight sets. Just like the other Israeli tennis greats, Mansdorf also excelled at team tennis, providing Israel with an accomplished player in the Davis Cup at a time when the team was consistently in the World Group. In 1987 he led the Israeli Davis Cup team to the quarterfinals of the competition with a classic victory away at Czechoslovakia. And in 1993 Israel beat both Switzerland and Portugal with Mansdorf's help. Since retiring he has continued to work with the Israel Tennis Center's youngsters. Tomorrow: The pole vaulter who soared to new heights