Roscoe Tanner

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Roscoe Tanner

Class of 1994


Southern Tennis Hall of Fame, 1990

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, 1992

Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, 1993




A world class tennis player Roscoe Tanner turned pro in 1972. Over his ten-year professional career, Tanner won fifteen Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) championships and was runner up in over 20 other tournaments. His Grand Slam record stands at 90-32, including the singles championship at the 1977 Australian Open, a finalist at the 1979 Wimbledon Championship, and a quarterfinalist or semifinalist at nine other Grand Slam events. Tanner represented the United States on the Davis Cup team five times, including the 1981 championship team and was a 1981 WCT Tour Champion. His fastest serve clocked in at 153 MPH. In professional play, Tanner earned more than $2 million dollars but was sidelined by injury and became a corporate spokesman. Tanner’s tennis career began in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he was ranked no. 1 in the nation in the boy’s 18-and-under division. He led the Baylor School team to two straight high school national championships and was considered by many to be the best junior player ever from the South. He was a three time All-American at Stanford, a two-time runner up in the NCAA singles championships and won one NCAA doubles championship. A native of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, the once renowned tennis star suffered a series of legal and financial troubles after his retirement. In the late 2000s, Tanner gave several public interviews detailing his life story. Notably, Tanner said he regrets letting the sport down and not representing the sport well over the last several years. He remains hopeful that his love of the game can help him rebuild his life. He continues to teach tennis at local clubs in Palm Beach, Florida.