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Tennis players of the past with hayfever - a scrapbook (M)

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Tennis players with hayfever

This is a slightly edited copy of a scrapbook that I had posted on a now defunct site, but which might be of interest to some. There has been a flurry of videos of tennis players sneezing, though few with hayfever.

Here is a scrapbook of past accounts from the press. I haven't updated the links, they are 90% dead, but it does show that there were geniune sources for all this.

A Swiss study (HELBLING, A, P. JENOURE, U MÜLLER (1990), “ Häufigkeit von Heuschnupfen bei Schweizer Spitzensportlern ”, Die medizinische Wochenschrift 120, 231-236), revealed that 16 out of the country’s 57 top tennis players (28,1%) had hayfever (amongst them the well known Marc Rosset), the highest percentage of any sport.

·Todd Woodbridge

Among the present male players, one certain hayfever sufferer is Australian doubles champion Todd Woodbridge http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Arena/4535/todd_profile.html.

His hayfever is regularly commented on in the Australian press.

“ Woodbridge's recurrent bouts of hay fever ”


Have a look at Woodbridge’s fan club site, though they don’t mention his allergies : http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/7298/

·Lleyton Hewitt

Hewitt allergic to grass but ready for Sampras

Date: 17/06/2001

Lleyton Hewitt has been diagnosed with an allergy to grass.

That discovery does not solve the mystery of Hewitt's continuing breathing problems, but it may provide one small piece of the puzzle.

Allergy or not, Hewitt was not hampered in his defence of the Queen's Club title as he played not one but two matches on Friday - and progressed to a semi-final meeting with seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras.

"As soon as I roll on the grass I've always got a bit of a rash, and I had some allergy tests done and one of the things that showed up was grass," he said.

He did not drop a set. As Wimbledon warm-ups go, it was not one to be, well, sneezed at.


One star's finale, another's beginning DAVIS CUP TENNIS

International Herald Tribune - HighBeam Research - Nov 28, 2003 One star's finale, another's beginning DAVIS CUP TENNIS ... Hewitt may suffer from hay fever, but Moya seems utterly allergic to grass, ..

Wayne Ferreira

Wimbledon Day 2 - Tuesday, 26 June 2001

In the past four months Ferreira has begun to suffer from respiratory problems, and London's unusually warm weather has made life miserable for hayfever sufferers. Ferreira quit with Russian Andrei Stoliarov leading 7-6, 6-3, 3-0.


Then it was almost two years before I saw Wayne for the next time. That was at Wimbledon 2001 where I spent couple of days.

"...After that I headed for Court 2 and there Wayne's match had already started. I climbed up to the free standing places and it was pretty crowded there. But from there I also saw the score board for Centre Court so I'd know when I had to leave there. The first set of Wayne's match was even with no breaks and it went to tie-break. Wayne's shots were missing some edge and especially his returns were not good. So he lost the tie-break to Andrei Stoliarov and also lost his serve in the beginning of the second set. I watched few more games and then I had to leave to Centre Court... ...Just when I was leaving Wayne called for trainer but I don't know what the problem was. (Later I found out that Wayne had retired in the third set because of respiratory problems, hay fever or something like that.)"


  • Ivan Lendl

The most noted hayfever sufferer among top players of the recent past is Ivan Lendl. He sneezed all through the Rome Open in 1989. He is the only international tennis player I have actually seen sneeze on the telecasts. Now there is some classic footage ! Let’s hope that film archiving will make this available again.


Lexington Herald Leader - NewsBank - May 13, 1988 Top-seeded Ivan Lendl, overcoming a case of hay fever

Leconte, Zivojinovic gain historical wins

$2.95 - Chicago Sun-Times - NewsBank - Jul 3, 1986 Among those men who have complained about what's in the air are hay fever sufferers Ivan Lendl, Ricardo Acuna of Chile, American Matt Doyle and ousted No


$2.95 - San Jose Mercury News - NewsBank - May 13, 1988 Top-seeded Ivan Lendl, overcoming a bad case of hay fever and the loss of six of seven games in one stretch, reached the final eight with a 6-3, 3-6,


$Daily News of Los Angeles - NewsBank - Jun 26, 1989 Lendl, for whom the grass here has been nothing less than a nemesis ever since he ... Then he moved on to Wentworth, where, after taking a hay-fever shot to ..

LENDL FINDS GRASS IS ONLY FOR GOLFERS$4.95 – New York Times – Jun 24, 1982 ''I sneeze a lot,'' he said. ''I take shots every second day.'' Lendl spoke a few minutes before teeing off for a round of golf at the Westchester Country

Two Old Stars, One Obsession

$4.95 - New York Times - Jun 24, 1990 Once they were eliminated here last year, Navratilova and Lendl turned toward the 1990 ... Grass makes him sneeze and until three years ago it paralyzed his ..

·Rod Laver

Going back to the more distant past, Australia champion Rod Laver had hayfever in both hemispheres over a long carrier, and a recent newspaper article mentioned that he has a hair-trigger sneeze response when confronted by flowers.

  • Ken Rosewall

Australia's Ken Rosewall is one of the most famous players in [Wimbledon] tournament history to have sufferered from hay fever.


  • Ilie Nastase

She [broquie] has fond memories of treating Romanian former tennis great Ilie Nastase, who still comes to see her every year he visits.

"I don't think I'm betraying any medical secrets if I say he suffers from hay fever," said Broquie.


  • Magnus Norman

"Wimbledon is perhaps the most difficult of the majors for Norman. Like golfer Steve Elkington, he is allergic to grass (along with cats and dogs) and is forced totake anti-histamines to stave off sniffles and sneezes at the lawn tennis championship."


This was in 1999. He must have had the same trouble in 2000 :

According to the Wimbledon doctor, somewhere between 20 and 30 players are affected by what he called "pollinosos," better known as hay fever.

One of the best known current players is third-seeded Swede Magnus Norman, who lost in the second round at the hands of little-known Belgian Olivier Rochus.

As long as they are checked first, nasal sprays and eye drops can be used to fry competitors who are suffering. Those at risk of breathing difficulties are even permitted to inject themselves while waiting in the locker room before the match. And they are allowed on the grass. ...


A: No, I don't like pets as I'm allergic to animals and my eyes start to water. Sometimes I also have asthma so I am allergic to grass which can be a problem at Wimbledon.


  • Nicolas Kiefer

This young German player declared that he “ always had problems with hayfever at this time of year (June). In 1999 he was in serious trouble with the high pollen counts, but found the solution in Chinese acupunture. ”


with picture http://cnnsi.com/tennis/news/1999/03/09/tennis_evert/

·Goran Ivanisevic

Croatian left-hander Goran Ivanisevic (tall player – 194cm, that’s over 6’4! And what a nose!), was mentioned in1996 as having hayfever :

“ Q. So, Goran, you had still this problem with the hay fever? ” Monte Carlo April 1996


These must be spring allergies, are they were reported again at the same time of year in spring 1998 :

  • Marc Rosset

Fifteenth-seeded Swiss Marc Rosset made a miserable return to London. On Monday he withdrew halfway through his match with Haitian Ronald Agenor because of hay fever. http://live.altavista.com/scripts/editorial.dll?ei=1890791&ern=y

Marc Rosset fait une allergie au gazon


  • Cédric Pioline

Pioline sans faire de foin (Wimbledon 2000)

Malgré une allergie tenace au pollen, le Français n'a pas connu de problème pour son premier tour à Wimbledon hier.

TRAHI par la pluie à Roland-Garros, Cédric Pioline (N.6) a été favorisé par elle, hier, au cours de la première journée du 114e tournoi de Wimbledon. Pour respecter la tradition, cette journée a été assez grise et humide. Mais la pluie a eu le bon goût d'attendre 16 h 30 pour se mettre à tomber. Pioline, qui jouait en premier depuis midi sur le court N.13, avait alors déjà eu le temps d'éliminer le Norvégien Christian Rudd, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Cet avertissement sans frais aura permis à Pioline, handicapé par une allergie tenace, de se mettre dans le bain. “ Je suis un traitement pour mon allergie au pollen, mais il y a certains produits que je n'ai pas le droit de prendre. C'est surtout l'allergie qui fatigue, pas tellement les médicaments. Cette année, ça a commencé plus tôt, à Rome, et je n'ai pas été le seul à souffrir, il y a même eu des reportages au journal de 20 heures. Ici, avec le gazon, ce n'est pas l'idéal. Quand le temps se rafraîchit, ça se calme un peu, mais c'est un peu délicat de souhaiter le mauvais temps à Wimbledon ”, expliquait le Français

Cédric Pioline a plus souffert du rhume des foins que de son adversaire hier. AFP


·Tommy Haas

Heuschnupfen geplagt (Wimbledon 2000)

Der in Florida lebende Haas, der wieder einmal von seinem obligatorischen Wimbledon-Heuschnupfen gequält wird, spielte zwei Tage nach seinem Prestigeerfolg über Nicolas Kiefer beim 6:3, 7:6 (7:3), 6:3 über den Andreas Vinciguerra (Schweden) auf dem ungeliebten Gras wie befreit auf..


30. Juni 2000 Archiv der Rubrik Sport vom 30.06.2000:

Haas, Schüttler, Prinosil und Popp schaffen den Einzug in die dritte Runde

Wimbledon. Angeführt von einem verschnupften Tommy Haas haben die deutschen Tennisherren in Wimbledon den größten Erfolg seit Jahren erreicht.

Dennoch hat Haas er in Wimbledon die Nase voll: "Ich habe Heuschnupfen. Ich wache jeden Morgen um halb sechs auf, weil meine Nase läuft. Richtig gut geht es mir nur auf dem Platz, wenn ich spiele."


  • Gilles Elseneer Belgian tennis player

Gilles Elseneer, qui sera peut-être le 2e joueur belge au lendemain du tournoi, va prendre des vacances. “Wimbledon est le tournoi le plus important de la saison pour moi et j'aurais aimé réaliser quelque chose cette année. Au Queen's, j'avais le rhume des foins, et à Nottingham, j'ai perdu au 1er tour contre Srichaphan, qui a gagné le tournoi. Oui, je sais, le rhume des foins et le gazon, c'est incompatible, mais c'est plus fort que moi.”


  • Alexander Cejkas


Alexander Cejkas „annus horribilis“: Sein Tour-Premierenjahr ist geprägt von einem Hundebiss (April), Heuschnupfen-Attacken (Mai), einem Hitzschlag (Juli


  • Jimmy Connors

The News (Newspaper) - June 27, 1975, Frederick, Maryland

The News - NewspaperArchive - Jun 27, 1975 Connors, though still suffering from hay fever, played his best tennis of the week against Cox, dominating the match of left-handers.

  • Eric Van Harpen Dutch coach

Reported in 1998 as suffering from hayfever, and being allergic to grass.


Other possible hayfever sufferers

Apart from these attested cases, there are a number of players, especially current ones, who may get hayfever, but the information I have about them is not sufficient to be sure. It would be worthwhile to follow them up.

  • Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras was reported in the newspapers as using antihistamines at Wimbledon, but could find no reference to this on the web - however, in Paris…

TENNIS: FRENCH OPEN Thursday, May 27, 1999

Philippoussis' feet of clay By RICHARD HINDS in Paris

"It took five sets, lasted four hours and 18 minutes and Sampras will probably be sneezing red dust for weeks after his 6-7 6-4 7-5 6-7 6-4 win."


  • Alex Corretja

Aug. 18, 1999 SportsLine wire reports Corretja is winless this season. While he reached a final at Sydney in January and the quarterfinals at the French Open, the 25-year-old from Barcelona has been undone by allergies.

"Last week was the first in three or four months that I was able to practice 3- 4 hours a day," Corretja said. "I'm allergic to a million things; aspirin, dust and all sorts of food. It's difficult to control your surroundings. When you don't play so much, it's good to play a long match and win it." http://sportsline.netscape.com/u/ce/multi/0,1329,1267106_134532,00.html

2 juin 1999 Meligeni-Medvedev en demi-finale de Roland-Garros

Corretja totalement éteint …Déjà un peu à court de préparation avant son arrivée à Paris, une allergie respiratoire avait achevé de le diminuer. http://www.lemonde.fr/article/0,2320,dos-2394-9176-QUO-100,00.html

Corretja n'était visiblement pas dans son assiette, ennuyé par des allergies. Corretja a mentionné que ce n'était pas la première fois qu'il subissait ces allergies. "Je pensais que tout était sous contrôle. Depuis deux ans, je n'avais pas eu de réaction."


Alex Corretja, "allergies made him ineffective at Roland Garros and for much of the summer" http://www.seattleinsider.com/sportsticker/stnd/current/TEN.LGNS.MENPROFILE.html

  • Richard Krajicek

Richard Krajicek, the tall (6'5" 197cm) Dutch player of Yugoslave orgins, mentions sneezing at the Italian Open of 1997.

"I did miss a few chances at the beginning because I was not moving enough. I had problems with my cold, there were things moving around that just made me sneeze."


Was it really a cold or hayfever ?

Other links for Krajicek :


http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Sideline/29 58/;http://surf.to/krajicek

  • Marcelo Rios

Chilean Marcelo Rios is various reported with a serious allergy, but it does not seem to be to pollen


  • Petr Korda

DUESSELDORF, Germany (May 25, 1998 - 10:50 EDT) - World number two Petr Korda headed for the French Open on Sunday with a heavy cold and low morale after being defeated 7-5, 6-3 by German Nicolas Kiefer in the World

Team Cup final on a miserable afternoon in Duesseldorf.

Sneezing at the post-match news conference, the Czech explained that he had been feeling ill ever since his victory over Australian Mark Philippoussis on Friday.

"I stayed in bed yesterday and I did not practice," he said.

"Because I'm so skinny, I hate it when it's cold and damp. All I can do is take medicine and hope my cold will go away."

Korda, who faces a qualifier in the first round, will not play at Roland-Garros until Tuesday.


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Funny I see this right after watching 7 Days in Hell. I'll have to work my way through these links!

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Funny I see this right after watching 7 Days in Hell. I'll have to work my way through these links!

I'm afraid most of them have lapsed. Now it's just an indication that something has existed.

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