1951 and 1957, Herb Flam was ranked in the World’s
Tennis Top Ten four times. His highest position was
number five in 1957 World Tennis magazine.
From 1948 to 1958, he ranked in
the United States Top Ten (except 1953
and 1954, when he served in the U.S.
Navy), reaching the number two spot
in 1950, 1956, and 1957.
Flam first gained attention in 1943,
when he won the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association
(USLTA) Singles Championship
as a 15 year old. As a Beverly Hills
High School junior in 1945, he captured
the USLTA Interscholastic Singles and
Doubles (with Hugh Stewart) titles.
The pair repeated their Doubles success
The Brooklyn-born Californian
earned national prominence in 1948,
when he entered the USLTA Singles
Championships unseeded and reached
the tournament semifinals, en route
defeating the third and sixth seeds.
The achievement earned the 20-yearold
University of California at Los Angeles
undergrad a number nine U.S.
In 1950, the year he won the
USLTA Intercollegiate Singles and
Doubles with Gene Garrett, Flam
reached the finals of the U.S. Singles,
becoming the first Jewish tennis player
ever to advance to the championship
round. (He lost to Art Larsen in five sets.) Nonetheless,
the U.S. National Clay Court Singles
that year and teamed with Larsen to
win the Clay Court Doubles crown as
Flam reached the Wimbledon Singles
semifinals in 1952 and made the
English grass court’s final eight three
times. Flam reached the quarterfinals of
the U.S. Singles six times.
Upon his return to competitive tennis
from Navy service, Flam won the
1955 U.S. Hard Court Championship. A
year later, he won his second U.S. Clay
Competing in his first Davis Cup
matches for the United States in 1951
and his last in 1957, Flam won 12 of 14
The International Tennis Association elected Flam to the
ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.