Photo: Robert MaksimovFranz Feldbausch (GER) and ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti
Franz Feldbausch died on 9 August aged 81. Feldbausch was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany on 24 February 1931 but lived for most of his life in Bielefeld. He was one of the best German tennis players of the 1950s, helping Germany reach the Davis Cup quarterfinals in 1956 and playing at Roland Garros in 1955 and 1956, and Wimbledon in 1956. As well as representing his country in Davis Cup, he also played for Germany in the Galea Cup, Kings Cup and Dubler Cup.
Following the end of his playing career, Feldbausch remained closely involved in tennis. In 1966, together with Gottfried von Cramm, Feldbausch founded the International Tennis Club of Germany and became its president in 1978, a position he held until 2007.
From 1971-1979 he was vice president of the Deutscher Tennis Bund EV (DTB), where he was responsible for youth and sports. He was one of only 14 honorary members of the DTB.
Feldbausch was also a founder member of Tennis Europe, formerly known as the European Tennis Association, and served five successive terms on their junior committee from 1987-2002.
In 2008 Feldbausch received an ITF Board of Directors’ nomination for outstanding contribution to the game in the field of junior tennis over 31 years as member of the ITF Junior Committee. He is the longest serving member of the ITF Junior Committee after holding the position from 1976-2007.
“This is a great loss to the tennis family. Franz’s devotion throughout his life to tennis was extraordinary, as a player and as an administrator,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “On a personal basis, I learned a great deal from Franz and I am proud to have been his friend. We shared a passion for junior tennis and his wisdom and foresight were invaluable to me and to the committee.”