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Bill Scanlon

tennis player
Full name: William Neil Scanlon
Nickname: Scaz
Alias: Bill Scanlon
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Bio He was a tennis player from the United States, who won seven singles and two doubles titles during his 13-year professional career. The right-hander reached his career-high ATP singles ranking of World No. 9 in January 1984. He is also known for having upset top-seeded John McEnroe in the fourth round at the 1983 US Open.

After winning the NCAA Singles championships in 1976 as a sophomore for Trinity University (upsetting UCLA's Peter Fleming), Scanlon turned pro and, in his first Grand Prix event, defeated world #7 Harold Solomon to reach the quarter-finals. His first ever ATP singles ranking was No. 154. Later that summer, Scanlon defeated world no. 4 Adriano Panatta at the US Open and, with two wins over former world #1 Ilie Năstase in early 1977, climbed the rankings to No. 23 by March 1977.

After a frustrating season in 1978, Scanlon rebounded in his final tournament of the year to take the title in Maui with wins over John McEnroe, Harold Solomon, and Peter Fleming. In 1979 he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon (losing to Jimmy Connors) before successfully defending his title in Maui, again beating Fleming in the final.

Scanlon peaked in 1983 when he reached the semi-finals of the US Open. He defeated Henrik Sundström, Chris Lewis, Pat Cash, John McEnroe, and Mark Dickson, before losing to Jimmy Connors.

In 1985 Scanlon underwent two knee surgeries, missing most of the season. He continued to compete through 1989, winning only one more singles title, the 1986 Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.

During his career, Scanlon would log wins over eight players who had been or would be ranked #1 in the world, namely Stan Smith, Ilie Năstase (twice), Björn Borg, John McEnroe (three times), Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, and Andre Agassi. Scanlon's other notable victories over top players included wins over Guillermo Vilas (career high No. 2) and Vitas Gerulaitis (career high #3), as well as Adriano Panatta (career high No. 4), Pat Cash (career high No. 4), and Harold Solomon (career high No. 5).

Scanlon achieved a golden set against Marcos Hocevar of Brazil in the first round of the WCT Gold Coast Classic at Delray Beach, Florida on February 22, 1983. Scanlon won the match, 6–2, 6–0. A golden set is a player winning a set without losing a single point. The feat is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Only Tine Scheuer-Larsen, Yaroslava Shvedova, and Julian Reister have since repeated the feat.

Scanlon was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame and the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame. His Golden Set achievement is represented in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He served on the ATP Board of Directors during his professional career and also founded the Dallas Youth Foundation in 1984 to provide sports activities to Dallas area youth featuring professional tennis players, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, and Olympic athletes. He also served on the board of the Southern California Tennis Association and the USTA Davis Cup committee. He was chairman of the Carl Reiner Celebrity Pro-Am and was co-founder of the Beverly Hills Invitational Charity Event.

Scanlon and his wife, Stephanie, lived in Bel Air, California, and Park City, Utah.

Bill Scanlon died of cancer on June 2, 2021, at the age of 64.
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