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Sammy Giammalva Sr.

tennis player
Full name: Samuel Antone Giammalva Sr.
Nickname: Sammy
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Bio Giammalva was the first student on the first tennis team at St. Thomas High School and studied all four years. He was a member of the student council in his junior and senior years, he was the state junior champion in singles and doubles in 1951, and became the youngest player to win the state men’s tennis title the same year. During his years at St. Thomas, Giammalva won the Orange Bowl junior championship and the River Oaks junior championship. He succeed the national junior indoor championship in both singles and doubles in Florida in 1952 and repeated as champion in both singles and doubles in the following year. He attended the University of Texas in Austin and was almost unbeatable as a collegian in the mid 1950s. Giammalva is still the only Longhorn to sweep NCAA singles and doubles titles for three consecutive years (1955 – 1957). In 1957, he played in the finals of National Intercollegiate (NCAA) in 1957 in Salt Lake City. Giammalva is one of only 130 men to represent the United States in Davis Cup play in the over 100 years of competition. He participated in seven ties between 1956 and 1958, going 4-1 in singles and 3-2 in doubles. In 1956, he played in the Davis Cup challenge round in Australia against Ken Rosewall. He won the Eastern Grass Court Championship in 1955 in South Orange, New Jersey (before the US Nationals). After turning professional in 1958, Sammy Giammalva went on to coach at Rice University for 14 years from 1959 to 1972, leading the Owls to 10 Southwest Conference titles and two second-place NCAA tournament finishes in 1968 and 1970. He produced 15 All-Americans during his tenure as head coach. After leaving Rice, Sammy served as general manager and tennis director of the Metropolitan Club in downtown Houston until his retirement.
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