June 16, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Former University of Michigan men's tennis standout and NCAA singles champion Barry MacKay (1955-57) passed away yesterday (Friday, June 15) in San Francisco, Calif., at the age of 76 after a lengthy illness.
MacKay was the first tennis player inducted into the prestigious Michigan Hall of Honor, in 1980, and was elected to the NCAA Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
The first NCAA All-American in the history of the Wolverine program, MacKay captured the 1957 NCAA singles title to clinch Michigan's first and only national team championship. His 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Texas' Sammy Giammalva gave U-M the outright NCAA championship, helping the Maize and Blue edge Tulane by a narrow 10-9 margin in the team standings. MacKay was crowned the NCAA singles champion, and he teamed with Dick Potter for a runner-up finish in the doubles championship.
Michigan ended the 1957 season with a perfect 12-0 record and claimed its third straight conference title. With his win over Giammalva, MacKay became the first Big Ten player to claim the NCAA singles title.
In addition to his national success, MacKay also captured a number of individual Big Ten Conference titles -- two in singles (1956-57) and three in doubles with Potter (1955-57).
Upon his graduation from Michigan, MacKay embarked on a successful amateur and professional career. He played on five United States Davis Cup teams (1956, '57, '58, '58, '60), helping the 1958 Davis Cup team claim the championship with a win over Australia, and he teamed with Giammalva for a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open that same year.
He reached the Wimbledon singles semifinals in 1959, falling to Rod Laver in five sets, 11-13, 11-9, 10-8, 7-9, 6-3, and was the top seed at the 1960 French Open. He earned the No. 1 U.S. amateur ranking in 1960 after a series of national tournament victories and was presented the Bob Hope Award that year as Amateur Athlete of the Year. MacKay turned pro in 1961 and played three years on the Jack Kramer Professional Tennis Tour.
MacKay's success and knowledge of the game led him to other avenues within the tennis industry. He was regarded as one of the most respected tournament directors and television analysts. He spent 30 years broadcasting the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and several ATP and WTA tournaments for various networks, and as recently as 2008, he was NBC's play-by-play announcer for Olympic tennis.
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