Brian David Teacher
Teacher was a terrific player in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He achieved his highest ranking in 1981 at No. 7 in the world. Brian had a great college career with UCLA as well. He was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Associaton Hall of Fame in 2001 along with fellow Jewish tennis star, Brad Gilbert of Pepperdine.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Dec. 23, 1954
Brian, who learned both tennis and swimming at the age of five, concentrated solely on tennis after ear and throat troubles caused him to give up swimming. His hard work and dedication paid off in 1972, when he won the Boys' 18 singles and doubles titles. The following year, Teacher enrolled at the University of California-Los Angeles where he was an All-America from 1973-1976, won the Pac 8 singles and doubles championship in 1974, and was a member of UCLA's NCAA championship teams in 1975-1976.
In 1976, just shy of graduating from UCLA with a degree in economics, Teacher turned pro and finished the year ranked No. 81 in the world. The following year, Brian won his first singles title and reached the finals in both the South Australian and New South Wales Opens; he finished the year ranked No. 54. In 1978, Teacher created a sensation at the Seiko World Super Tennis Tournament in Tokyo, by upsetting UCLA graduates Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, losing only in the finals to Bjorn Borg, 6-3, 6-4.
By 1980, Brian was one of the best players in the world. He reached five finals and won the Australian Open in straight sets (7-5, 7-6, 6-2) over Kim Warwick of Australia, becoming the first Jewish male to win a singles title in a Grand Slam event since the 1950s. A terrific player on faster surfaces where he could utilize a serve-and-volley attack, Brian remained among the world's best in the early 1980s. He retired with 8 singles titles, and 15 doubles titles and went on to business school at the University of Southern California after completing his undergraduate work.
San Diego, California
6'3", 175 pounds
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Great Jews in Sports, by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)