Athlete Navy officer Tennis player

Gardnar Mulloy

Quick Facts

IntroAmerican tennis player
A.K.A.Gardnar Putnam Mulloy
Was Athlete
Tennis player
Navy officer
From United States of America
Type Military
Sports
Gendermale
Birth 22 November 1913, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, U.S.A.
Death 14 November 2016, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.A.
Star signSagittarius

Biography

Gardnar Putnam “Gar” Mulloy (November 22, 1913 – November 14, 2016) was a U.S. No. 1 tennis player primarily known for playing in doubles matches with partner Billy Talbert. He was born in Washington, D.C. and turned 100 in November 2013. During his career he won five Grand Slam doubles tournaments and was a member of the winning Davis Cup team on three occasions.

Tennis career

While he was the tennis coach at the University of Miami, Mulloy recruited Pancho Segura for the tennis team. Segura won three straight NCAA singles titles in 1943, 1944, and 1945, a college record now matched by Steve Johnson, who won in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Segura went on to enjoy a successful professional tennis career, competing against the top touring professional players from 1947 until his retirement in 1962.

Mulloy was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 as part of its inaugural class of inductees.

Mulloy reached the U.S. Championships men’s singles final in 1952, losing to second-seeded Frank Sedgman in three straight sets. He reached the U.S. No. 1 ranking the same year and was ranked World No. 6 by Harry Hopman in 1947 and World No. 7 by American Lawn Tennis Magazine in 1949.

The pair of Mulloy and Talbert won the U.S. men’s doubles title in 1942, 1945, 1946, and 1948. He also won the Wimbledon doubles with Budge Patty in 1957, at age 43.

Mulloy was a Davis Cup team member in 1946, 1948–50, 1952–53 and 1957, winning the Cup on three occasions against Australia. His Davis Cup record stands at 11 wins and 3 losses. Mulloy, who served as the commanding officer of LST 32 during World War II in the Mediterranean Theater, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1972.

In 2015 Mulloy was awarded a French Legion of Honor knighthood for his service in the US Navy in relation to operations in Italy and Provence. As such he became the oldest first time recipient of the order ever since it was created by Napoleon.

Mulloy was a 1936 graduate of the University of Miami, and tennis coach at the school. He also was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He recruited to Miami and played doubles with George Toley, who went on to win 10 NCAA team titles at the University of Southern California. Probably Mulloy’s greatest contribution to tennis was advancing the popularity of senior tennis. He played the senior circuit around the world into his nineties, and established the Mulloy Cup for international competition between men tennis players 80 years of age and over. He won over 127 national championships and 25 international titles in 75 years of playing competitive tennis.

As of 2006, Mulloy was still participating in and winning senior matches.

Personal life

In 1938, Mulloy married Madeline L. Cheney (1917–1993), with whom he had two daughters, Diane Mulloy Mazzone and Janice Mulloy Poindexter. He married his second wife, Jacqueline Mayer, in 2008, when he was 95 years old.

Mulloy died in Miami on November 14, 2016 from stroke complications, aged 102, survived by his second wife, his daughters, four grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Grand Slam finals

Singles (1 runner-up)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfaceOpponentScore
Runner-up1952US National ChampionshipsGrass Frank Sedgman1–6, 2–6, 3–6

Doubles (5 titles, 9 runners-up)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfacePartnerOpponentsScore
Runner-up1940US National ChampionshipsGrass Wayne Sabin Jack Kramer
Ted Schroeder
7–6, 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up1941US National ChampionshipsGrass Henry Prussoff Jack Kramer
Ted Schroeder
4–6, 6–8, 7–9
Winner1942US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert Ted Schroeder
Sidney Wood
9–7, 7–5, 6–1
Winner1945US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert Bob Falkenburg
Jack Tuero
12–10, 8–10, 12–10, 6–2
Winner1946US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert Don McNeill
Frank Guernsey
3–6, 6–4, 2–6, 6–3, 20–18
Runner-up1948WimbledonGrass Tom Brown John Bromwich
Frank Sedgman
7–5 5–7, 5–7, 7–9
Winner1948US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert Frank Parker
Ted Schroeder
1–6, 9–7, 6–3, 3–6, 9–7
Runner-up1949WimbledonGrass Ted Schroeder Pancho Gonzales
Frank Parker
4–6, 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up1950French ChampionshipsClay Dick Savitt Ken McGregor
Frank Sedgman
2–6, 6–2, 7–9, 5–7
Runner-up1950US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert John Bromwich
Frank Sedgman
5–7, 6–8, 6–3, 1–6
Runner-up1951French ChampionshipsClay Dick Savitt Ken McGregor
Frank Sedgman
3–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up1953US National ChampionshipsGrass Bill Talbert Rex Hartwig
Mervyn Rose
4–6, 6–4, 4–6, 2–6
Winner1957WimbledonGrass Budge Patty Neale Fraser
Lew Hoad
8–10, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up1957US National ChampionshipsGrass Budge Patty Ashley Cooper
Neale Fraser
6–4, 3–6, 7–9, 3–6

Mixed doubles (2 runner-ups)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfacePartnerOpponentsScore
Runner-up1955US National ChampionshipsGrass Shirley Fry Doris Hart
Vic Seixas
5–7, 7–5, 2–6
Runner-up1956WimbledonGrass Althea Gibson Shirley Fry
Vic Seixas
6–2, 2–6, 5–7

Book

Mulloy wrote an autobiography, The Will To Win, that was published in 1960. In 2009, he released an update to his autobiography, titled As It Was, with an introduction by Billie Jean King. According to the book, Mulloy is enshrined in a record nine Halls of Fame.