60 Sporting Heroes: No. 21 Shlomo Glickstein

He changed the image of Tennis in Israel forever by becoming the first Israeli to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event.

tennis 88 (photo credit: )
tennis 88
(photo credit: )
Before Shlomo Glickstein there had never been any real international stars in Israeli tennis. Glickstein changed the image of the sport in Israel forever when in 1981 he became the first Israeli to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event, leading the way for modern players like Shahar Pe'er and Andy Ram. His defeat to American Steve Denton in the quarters of the Australian Open was the highlight of a career which gave joy to thousands of Israelis. A 21-year-old Glickstein joined the professional tour in the summer of 1979. A few months later he began to make his mark, taking the great John McEnroe to three sets in the first round of the Stockholm Grand Prix after losing the first set 6-0 in five minutes. But it was a first-round upset of the then 35-ranked Raul Ramirez at Wimbledon in 1980 that won Glickstein international recognition before losing to Bjorn Bjorg. Until his retirement in 1988 Glickstein knocked up numerous tournament wins and many victories over top ranked players such as Ivan Lendl. His highest ranking was 22 in the world in 1982. He was also part of a successful Israeli Davis Cup team which beat Britain the 1985 Europe final. Tomorrow: The best ever Israeli paralympic athlete