Karen Krantzcke

Karen Krantzcke

Karen Krantzcke
Country (sports)  Australia
Born (1946-02-01)1 February 1946
Brisbane, Australia
Died 11 April 1977(1977-04-11) (aged 31)
Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Highest ranking No. 9 (1970)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (1970, Jan. 1977)
French Open SF (1970)
Wimbledon QF (1970)
US Open QF (1969)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1968)
French Open SF (1969, 1972)
Wimbledon F (1974)
US Open QF (1968, 1973, 1974)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open SF (1968)
French Open R3 (1969, 1970)
Wimbledon SF (1969, 1973)
US Open R2
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (1970)

Karen Krantzcke (1 February 1946 – 11 April 1977) was an Australian female tennis player who achieved a World Top Ten singles ranking in 1970.[1] In her short career, she made the quarterfinals or better at each of the four Grand Slam championships. She also assisted Australia to victory in the Federation Cup.

At the age of 31, Krantzcke died from a heart attack while jogging.[2]


  • Early career 1
  • Professional career 2
  • Death 3
  • Team results 4
  • Grand Slam finals 5
    • Doubles (1 title, 3 runner-ups) 5.1
  • Grand Slam singles tournament timeline 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early career

Karen Krantzcke was born on 1 February 1946,[3] in Brisbane, Australia.

A tall right-handed player, she achieved much junior success including winning the Australian junior singles title in 1966.[3]

Professional career

Krantzcke's most successful season came in 1969/70. After reaching the US Open quarterfinals, she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open and then reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.[3] At these tournaments, she upset such highly ranked players as Virginia Wade, Françoise Dürr, and Judy Tegart Dalton.[4]

During this time, she also combined with Dalton to win the Federation Cup for Australia, remaining undefeated in singles and doubles on the German clay.[5]

After Wimbledon in 1970, 'Kran' took eighteen months off the tour after discovering she was hypoglycemic.[6]

On returning to the tour, she was never able to get back to her best form. She continued to do well in her home Australian title and reached the semifinals for the second time in 1977.[3]


While playing on the Challenger circuit in the USA in 1977, Krantzcke suffered a heart attack while jogging. In response to her untimely death, the WTA instituted the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award which is still awarded annually to a female professional tennis player.

A street in the Canberra suburb of Nicholls, Australian Capital Territory, Krantzcke Crescent, is named after the tennis star.[7]

Team results

Krantzcke played twice in Federation Cup for Australia; in 1966 and 1970.[5] She also represented Australia in the Bonne Bell Cup in 1974.[7]

Grand Slam finals

Doubles (1 title, 3 runner-ups)

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Winner 1968 Australian Championships Kerry Melville Reid Judy Tegart Dalton
Lesley Turner Bowrey
6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1970 Australian Open Kerry Melville Reid Margaret Court
Judy Tegart Dalton
3–6, 1–6
Runner-up 1972 Australian Open Patricia Coleman Gregg Helen Gourlay Cawley
Kerry Harris
0–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1974 Wimbledon Helen Gourlay Cawley Evonne Goolagong Cawley
Peggy Michel
6–2, 4–6, 3–6

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Australia 2R 2R 3R 3R QF QF SF A 3R QF QF A A SF A
France A A A A 3R 2R SF A 3R A A A A A
Wimbledon A A 4R 3R 2R 4R QF A 2R 2R 4R A A A
United States A A A A 3R QF A A 3R 3R 3R A A A

A = did not participate in the tournament.

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.


  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 724.  
  2. ^ Time Magazine – Ready, Set, Sweat – 6 January 1977
  3. ^ a b c d ITF Database
  4. ^ Sporting Heroes – Karen Krantzcke
  5. ^ a b Fed Cup profile – Karen Krantzcke
  6. ^ TennisForum – Kerry Reid
  7. ^ a b ACT Legislation 2000

External links