Kloss, a South African, was one of the best doubles players in the world in the mid-1970s. In 1976, she was No. 1 in the world, winning six titles, including the U.S. Open and the French Open mixed doubles. She is currently the CEO/Commissioner of World TeamTennis.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 26, 1956
Before turning professional and becoming the world's best doubles player, Kloss won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open junior singles title in 1973. The youngest player ever to be ranked South Africa's No. 1 in the country's history, Ilana was ranked as high as No. 19 in the world in singles play in 1976. The following year she won both the German and Canadian championships. It was as an outstanding doubles player, however, that Kloss was best known. In 1976, when she was ranked the world's best doubles player, she won titles at the French Open, the U.S. Open, the Italian Open, Hilton Head, and the British Hardcourt championship. The following year, Ilana also won the British clay court championship; most of these titles were achieved with partner Linky Boshoff. After retiring, Kloss took part in the 35-and-over tour, winning the U.S. Open doubles and mixed doubles championship in 1999. In 2001, she was named chief executive officer and commissioner of World TeamTennis.
Johannesburg, South Africa
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Great Jews in Sports, by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)