Tennis Prose



Biofile George Dieffenbach Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

DOB: April 27, 1953 In: Williamsport, PA.

Status: Pittsburgh University Men’s Tennis Coach 1975-1995; and the Women 1981-2012.

First tennis memory: My Grandfather George Miles Dieffenbach and my Father Fred Milton Dieffenbach feeding tennis balls to me on the Memorial Park Courts in Williamsport, PA at age four.

Tennis inspirations: My Father, my Grandfather, Richard Baker, Ron Travis, Paul Fineman, Jan Schnitzer, Torben Ulrich, Helen Dieffenbach Lutes
Satchel, Arthur Ashe.

Greatest tennis moment: Defeating a top 15 ranked player in straight sets in the semis of a Long Island tournament, which greatly helped me earn enough points for a no. 12 USTA National singles ranking in 2020 for men 65-69.

Strangest match: Playing a high school match when it was snowing.

Most painful tennis moments: Losing a 3.5 hour night match in a third set tiebreaker, having completely run out of energy, because I was too busy to eat during a work day. Losing another 3.5 hour match in the finals of the Virginia State Men’s 65’s, after breaking a bone in my right ankle, and severing the biggest tendon, at 2-5 in the first set. Continued the match, basically playing on one leg, was down 2-6, 1-5, 0-40, and battled back to lose 6-2 in the third set. Strange and painful.

Favorite players to watch: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Simona Halep, Chris Evert, Diego Schwartzman, Bob Lutz, Monica Seles.

Fiercest competitors encountered: Joe Rasgado, Burt Reese, Paul Fineman, Kristy Borza, Dave Sivertson, John Chatlak.

Favorite artists: Leroy Neiman, Shirley Dieffenbach, Linda Dieffenbach Lundy, Vincent Van Gogh.

Why do you love tennis: It is like boxing, we are trying to defeat our opponents by knocking them out, point by point, but doing it like gentlemen, with good sportsmanship. It requires mind, body, and spirit, and it is fun and helps us live longer.

People qualities most admired: Humility, work ethic, the will to sacrifice to win, and honesty.

Career accomplishments: George’s legacy has seen numerous feats, including the 2012 season when he achieved his 500th career victory in a 6-1 win over Bucknell on Feb. 4, 2012. Dieffenbach concluded his tenure with the men’s program with a 189-157 record from 1976-95 and has collected another 318 wins at the helm of the women[apos]s team since 1981.

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