Thomas Emmrich

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Thomas Emmrich (born July 21, 1953 in East Berlin ) is a former tennis player from the GDR .


Emmrich is 46-time GDR champion with 17 singles and 29 doubles and mixed titles (1970–1988). If you add youth championship and team championship titles, it comes to well over 100 GDR championship titles, as was once demonstrated in the GDR TV program Outsider Leader . Since tennis was of little importance in the GDR, especially after 1968/69, when it was taken out of competitive sports funding, Emmrich was not allowed to travel to “ capitalist countries ” and take part in tournaments there. When a tournament in Sofia was upgraded to an ATP tournament, probably because of the sponsor Volvo , Emmrich was able to take part in a professional tournament once in his life and he reached the second round after successfully passing the qualification . He was even able to win the double elimination together with a Czech partner. Total earned Emmrich in this tournament the equivalent of € 2000 prize money, which he described as amateur , however, could not accept what one mitgereister East German functionary strictly respected. Emmrich's suggestion to donate the money to the GDR Tennis Association was ignored, so the prize money was forfeited. Emmrich was briefly listed in the ATP world rankings, his highest position was 482nd on December 22, 1980. Martina Navrátilová , with whom Emmrich had a relationship for a time, was of the opinion that without the travel ban, Emmrich would have been able to win a grand slam tournament.

At the Universiade (student world championships) Emmrich was second in doubles in 1977, and fourth in singles in 1973 and 1981; at least once international champions of all European socialist countries with the exception of the ČSSR . Emmrich was able to defeat in his career, among other things, in 1975 in the final of the indoor tournament of Sofia Leo Palin from Finland, who had previously defeated the Wimbledon finalist from 1973, Alexander Metreweli from the USSR. He also defeated Tomáš Šmíd and, in one of two matches, he later became No. 1 in the tennis world rankings, Ivan Lendl , who was still quite young at this match.

From the age of 17 Emmrich was No. 1 in the ranking list of the GDR, in which he remained unbeaten in the individual for 16 years. Emmrich received the title of Master of Sports in the GDR and the Artur Becker Medal of the FDJ in silver. Despite repeated requests, Emmrich did not join the SED until the fall of the Berlin Wall .

Among the young seniors (35 to 45 years old), Emmrich was European champion in doubles in 1995 and 1996, vice European champion in singles in 1996 and German champion in singles and doubles in 1991 and 1992. From 1998 to 2003 he was five times senior champion in the age group (AG) 50+. In 2003 Emmrich was part of the German team that became world champions in the age group 50+. In the same year he became vice world champion in doubles in the AK 50+ (2003). In 2006 Emmrich became both German and European champions in the 50+ age group. In the men's 55 he was together with the team of the TC Weiß-Blau Hemer German team champion 2008.

Emmrich's shortest game lasted only 18 minutes - in the 6-0, 6-0 final of a GDR pioneer championship in Blankenburg in the early 1960s . His longest game lasted 4:45 hours - 1970 in Kiev at 6: 4, 2: 6, 5: 7, 10: 8, 6: 4 against Koljaskin ( USSR ) in the tournament finals of the youth leaders of socialist countries.

In 1990 Emmrich married his wife Monika, who played in the regional tennis league and with whom he had lived for over ten years. The couple have two children, tennis professional Martin Emmrich, born in 1984, and Manuela, who is four years older.

Today Emmrich heads a tennis academy in Hilden .

Individual evidence

  1. Martina Navrátilová about Thomas Emmrich in an interview (English)
  2. IKZ Hemer : WB Hemer German master of tennis men 55


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