Former Top 20 Player Karl Meiler Passes Away
by ATP Staff|
Former Top 20 player Karl Meiler passed away at the age of 64 on 17 April. The German had been in a coma since November after suffering a fall down the stairs at his home.
Meiler was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 1973 (l. to Parun) and won four ATP World Tour singles titles. He reached a career-high World No. 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 23 August, 1973.
Also a successful doubles player, Meiler won 17 doubles trophies, including the WCT World Doubles Championships in 1976 with Wojtek Fibak. The right-hander represented West Germany in Davis Cup from 1968 until 1980.
After retiring, Meiler became a successful coach to many German players, including Michael Stich, Carl-Uwe Steeb and Bernd Karbacher.
“I was shocked when I heard that Karl Meiler died,” said Stich. “He took a great part in my professional career. His dedication and his will to make us good tennis professionals was a great inspiration for me as a young player. He gave so much of his energy and time to coach us not only in tennis, but also in life. He created the best tennis generation in Germany and German tennis owes him a lot. We will miss Karl very much as a person, but also as a great coach in tennis. Thank you, Karl, for putting me on the right track.”
Steeb also paid tribute, saying, “I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Karl Meiler. Karl was not only a great tennis player and sportsman; he was a great person and had a strong influence as a coach in my early tennis career.”
Karbacher said, “When I heard about Karl Meiler’s death I was shocked. As the coach of the German Tennis Federation, Karl helped many young players break the Top 100. His goal and motivation was not only to improve your tennis; he helped you to become a better sportsman. When Karl asked me to be part of the German rookie team, I felt honoured and I tried not to disappoint him. He had a great influence on German tennis as a player and as a very successful coach. We will miss him.”
Meiler’s peers also sent their tributes:
Wojtek Fibak: “One of the most educated and intelligent players.”
Jan Kodes: “Karl was a good friend.”
Chris Lewis: “Karl always conducted himself with class.”
Balazs Taroczy: “Karl was always friendly.”
Johan Kriek: “Nice guy, quiet and always proper.”
Claudio Panatta: “Such a nice person.”
Colin Dowdeswell: “A really good guy.”