20 Facts About Tom Okker


Thomas Samuel Okker is a Dutch former tennis player who was active from the mid-1960s until 1980.


Tom Okker won the 1973 French Open Doubles, the 1976 US Open Doubles, and two gold medals at the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel.


Tom Okker was ranked world No 1 in doubles in 1969.


Tom Okker was born in Amsterdam, is Jewish on his father's side, and identifies as Jewish.


Tom Okker's father was Jewish, and was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II, but managed to go into hiding by assuming the papers and identity of another man.


Tom Okker played his first tournament at Wolfsburg, West Germany, on clay in 1963.


At Wimbledon, Tom Okker reached the quarterfinals in 1968 and the semifinals in 1978.


Tom Okker achieved his best result in a Grand Slam tournament at the 1968 US Open, where he competed as a registered professional player, a professional player allowed to compete for prize money but playing under the control of their national associations and eligible to play in Davis Cup.


Tom Okker reached the final after defeating Pancho Gonzales in the quarterfinal and Ken Rosewall in the semifinal.


Tom Okker lost the final to Arthur Ashe in five sets.


Tom Okker was awarded the first prize money at the 1968 US Open, as Ashe was still considered an amateur player rather than a registered professional.


In February 1969, Tom Okker signed a four-year contract with the Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis.


Tom Okker is among the most successful men's doubles players of all time.


Tom Okker won two Grand Slam doubles titles, at the US Open in 1976 and the French Open in 1973.


In total, Tom Okker won 68 doubles events, a record that was finally broken by Todd Woodbridge in 2005.


In 1965, Tom Okker won both the singles and the mixed doubles titles at the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel.


Tom Okker was among the first players of his era to hit the ball with heavy topspin.


Tom Okker was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.


Tom Okker was nominated for consideration in 2018, but not inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


Since the mid-1980s Tom Okker has been involved in art and was a founding partner in the Jaski art gallery in Amsterdam, specializing in works of the CoBrA movement.