Erik van Dillen

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Erik van Dillen (born February 21, 1951) is an American retired tennis player who played over 25 Grand Slam championships at Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Erik van Dillen
Erik van Dillen (1964).jpg
Erik van Dillen (1964)
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceSan Mateo, California
Born (1951-02-21) February 21, 1951 (age 69)
San Mateo
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Turned pro1973
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career record153–205
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 36 (September 13, 1973)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1977)
French Open4R (1974, 1975)
Wimbledon4R (1974)
US Open3R (1979, 1980)
Career record288–178
Career titles13
Highest rankingNo. 35 (August 23, 1977)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1977)
French OpenQF (1978)
WimbledonF (1972)
US OpenF (1971)

Tennis careerEdit

Born in San Mateo, California, van Dillen first played tennis aged six years old. During his junior career, he won both the singles and doubles competitions at the "USTA Boys 16 & 18 National Championships" in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as winning other national titles in the 12- and 14-year-old divisions. In total, he won 12 U.S. junior titles and is the only player ever to win singles and doubles titles in all four age groups: 12, 14, 16, and 18. (Source USTA Yearbooks).[citation needed]

Van Dillen first played on the men's circuit in 1967 when he appeared at the U.S. Championships for the first time. In 1968, he had his first big win when he beat his future doubles partner and then American No. 1 Charlie Pasarell at the U.S. national tournament at Boston in five sets when only 17. He was ranked in the top 20 of the U.S. from 1968 to 1970 and the top 10 from 1971 to 1973.

In 1973, he won his biggest tournament beating Frew McMillan in Nottingham. In 1974, van Dillen had his best Grand Slam singles year reaching the last 16 at the French Open where he narrowly lost to eventual champion Björn Borg in five sets. At Wimbledon, he also reached the last 16, defeating Guillermo Vilas on the way. He repeated the last 16 appearance in Paris in 1975.

In 1978, van Dillen had a very strong grass-court season in England; he qualified at Nottingham and reached the last 16, and also won the doubles with Dick Stockton. At Wimbledon, he again qualified and then had the greatest win of his career defeating John McEnroe in five sets in the first round. Doubles partner Charlie Pasarell provided support and even McEnroe admitted in his book that van Dillen played well.

Van Dillen's last full year on the circuit was 1981 when he won two doubles titles and reached the semifinals of the Volvo International in North Conway with Roscoe Tanner. He also reached the semifinals in singles at Newport, Rhode Island.

He completed his career in 1982 by qualifying at his last singles event the prestigious Alan King Classic in Las Vegas and shortly after reached the final of the WCT Invitation event at Forest Hills in doubles with Dick Stockton.

Van Dillen played in the Wimbledon veterans doubles for a number of years and also played in a veterans event at Indian Wells.

Between 1960 and 1981, he beat six of the then-top players: John McEnroe,[1] Stan Smith,[2] Arthur Ashe,[3] Jimmy Connors,[4] Guillermo Vilas,[5] and Ilie Năstase.[6] At his peak, he was ranked 36th in the world in singles, and 35th in doubles.[7]

After tennisEdit

Erik earned a degree in finance from the University of Southern California and an MBA from San Francisco State University. He joined IMG, a sports marketing agency. While at IMG, Erik worked with Joe Montana, Martina Navratilova, Arnold Palmer, Kristi Yamaguchi and Chris Evert and helped to build a number of sport and lifestyle events including the WTA Bank of the West Tennis Classic (formerly the Virginia Slims of Oakland), the US Open of Surfing (a 10-day sports and lifestyle exhibition), the Transamerica Seniors Golf Championship and the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.[citation needed]

After the death of Mark McCormack in 2003, Erik left the company to create van Dillen Partners, a sports and lifestyle marketing agency. The agency works with professional sports and media associations; such as the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), Stanford University Athletics, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports Net, ABC Sports and CBS Sports.[citation needed]

Erik van Dillen

Personal lifeEdit

Erik is married to Barbara van Dillen and together they have five children. He lives in San Mateo, California. He was formerly married to Lailee Bakhtiar.


  1. ^ Alfano, Peter (June 24, 1988). "Wimbledon exit for McEnroe on centre court". New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  2. ^ "Head-to-head: Erik van Dillen against Stan Smith". ATP World Tour. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Head-to-head: Erik van Dillen against Arthur Ashe". ATP World Tour. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Joel Drucker (June 2005). Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: A Personal Biography. ISBN 9781861058997. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "Erik Van Dillen - Opponents". Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Player profile - Erik VAN DILLEN (USA)". Davis Cup. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  7. ^ "Tennis Players - Erik Van Dillen". ATP World Tour. Retrieved April 23, 2013.

External linksEdit