Abe Segal

South African tennis player

Abe Segal (23 October 1930 – 4 April 2016) was a South African tennis player. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was the doubles partner of Gordon Forbes. Together, they were thought of as one of the best doubles teams in the world.[1]


Due to South Africa's policy of Apartheid, Alex Metreveli and István Gulyás both refused to compete in the 1964 Wimbledon against Segal, a white South African. This created the International Lawn Tennis Federation to pass a resolution prohibiting racial discrimination and dropping out of the tournament except due to "health or bereavement"[2]

In 1951 he won the singles title at the Irish Open defeating Guy Jackson in the final in straight sets. He played for the South African Davis Cup team in 19 ties in the years 1955, 57, 59, 61-65 and compiled a record of 24 wins and 14 losses.

After retiring from tennis, Segal worked on painting.[3] In 2008 he published a memoir titled Hey Big Boy!.[4][5]


Segal died of cancer on 4 April 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa at the age of 85.[6][7]


  1. Plimpton, George (1992). The Norton Book of Sports. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-393-03040-2.
  2. Djata, Sundiata A. (2008). Blacks at the net: Black achievement in the history of tennis. Syracuse University Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8156-0898-1.
  3. Bills, Peter (25 March 2009). "Abe Segal & Gordon Forbes: 'sport was all fun and now it almost isn't at all'". The Independent. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. "Hey, big boy! : [a legacy of laughs by an ex No. 1]". Worldcat.
  5. "Tennis KGB Style" (PDF). Sports Illustrated. August 2008.
  6. "Death of SA tennis legend Abe Segal a great loss". www.tennissa.co.za. Tennis South Africa. 5 April 2016.
  7. "Tennis legend Abe Segal dies". Supersport. 5 April 2016.