Former American tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis was found dead aged 40 on Sunday (September 18) at the home of a friend.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 31, 1977)
1. GERULAITIS (BLOND HAIR) BEATS JOHN LLOYD IN FINAL OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Background: Former American tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis was found dead aged 40 on Sunday (September 18) at the home of a friend.
His body was found by police the bedroom of an acquaintance shortly after three p.m., a Long Island police spokesman said. He said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
Gerulaitis, who was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on July 26, 1954, won 27 singles titles in his career and was ranked among the world's top 10 players from 1977 to 1982, climbing as high as number four in the late 1970s.
He won the 1977 Australian Open championship and reached the semifinals or better in the other three Grand Slam events.
A tremendous battler who hustled hard for points, Gerulaitis was also successful in doubles, winning nine tournaments including the 1975 Wimbledon title.
His father, Vitas, was also a tennis champion in his native Lithuania. His sister, Ruta, was a women's player on the tennis circuit. After his playing career ended, he became a television tennis commentator.
The cause of death will not be determined until the medical examiner completes his autopsy Monday (September 20), a clerk at the medical examiner's office said.