Baron Umberto Louis De Morpurgo
– February 26
) was a male tennis
player from Italy
De Morpurgo was born in Trieste when it was part of Austria, but became Italian when the city changed hands after World War I.
He was ranked in the World’s Top 10 1928-30 —- 9th in 1928, 10th in 1929, and 8th in 1930.
American tennis icon Bill Tilden ranked him 10th in the world in 1924, , and 6th in the world in 1929.
He was junior champion in Great Britain in 1911, and student champion in Paris in 1915.
He was Italy’s # 1 ranked tennis player in 1927, and in 1929 through 1931.
The American Tennis magazine labeled Baron de Morpurgo “the Tilden of his country.”
In 1929, the Baron was named Italian Commissioner of Tennis by Benito Mussolini.
At the 1924 Paris Olympics
de Morpurgo defeated France’s Jean Borotra
, the reigning Wimbledon
Singles Champion, to win the bronze medal
in the men's singles event.
He was a member of Italy’s first-ever Davis Cup
team in 1922, and played on every Italian Davis Cup team through 1933. He won 39 singles matches and lost 14, while in doubles he was 16-10.
De Morpurgo used a terrific very fast serve on his first ball, and an exaggerated American twist
serve on the second serve which was of extreme contortion. His baseline game consisted of flat drives. He had an excellent net attack, owing to his great reach. His overhead, like his service, was hard but erratic.
Hall of Fame
De Morpurgo, who was Jewish, was inducted as a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.