Download file (right-click and "save as...")
Junior & college
Gottfried was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When he was five years old, some Japanese players stayed with his family while competing in a local tournament. Before leaving, they gave him a tennis racket as a present, thus launching his tennis career. In all, Gottfried won 14 national junior titles. He won the 1962 National 12-and-under singles title, and the doubles title with Jimmy Connors. Gottfried repeated the victory in 1963 with Dick Stockton. In 1964, he won the 12-and-under singles crown.
In 1970, as a freshman at Trinity University in Texas, he won the USTA boys 18s singles championship, as well as the doubles championship with Alexander Mayer. He was an All-American in 1971 and 1972. He was the runner-up in NCAA singles and doubles in 1972.
Gottfried turned professional in 1972, and the following year he won his first career singles title in Las Vegas. In 1976, he reached 15 singles finals, winning 5, and was runner-up at the French Open. In April 1977, Newsweek said he was "simply the best male tennis player in the world at the moment." He won the Italian Open doubles championship in four consecutive years (1974-77). He won the men's doubles at the French Open in 1975 and 1977. In 1976, he won the men's doubles title at Wimbledon. He finished his career ranked tied for 22nd in the 50 all-time open era singles titles leaders (16) and tied for 12th among the doubles leaders.
His game was viewed as technically flawless and workman-like, particularly his potent forehand volley, considered one of the best in the game. He honed his game to perfection with dedication and an addiction to practice. The story about his penchant for practice that is most often heard came from Arthur Ashe, who recalled how Gottfried missed a scheduled practice in Miami one afternoon in order to get married, but atoned by putting in a double session the next day.