Born: March 5, 1960
Fritz Buehning was born March 5, 1960 in Summit. He grew up in Short Hills, where he began garnering national attention as a ranked 10-year-old. He learned the game at the Racquets Club of Short Hills, where he befriended Peter Fleming, who was six years older. Fritz attended Millburn High School, and won the state singles championship as a junior. He accepted a scholarship to UCLA in 1978.
In 1979, Fritz played #1 singles and #1 doubles for UCLA and led the Bruins to an NCAA Championship. That season the sophomore was honored as an All-American and named Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Fritz joined the pro tour in 1979 and won four doubles titles in 1980. He won eight more doubles championship over the next four seasons. Two of Fritz’s victories came at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club, on the same courts he used to sneak onto as a kid.
Fritz shared the winner‘s stand with nine different partners during his pro career, including Fleming, Johan Kriek, Tomas Smid, Tom Gullikson and Brian Teacher. In 1983, Fritz and Van Winitsky reached the US Open final but lost to Fleming and John McEnroe. His highest doubles ranking was #4 in the world.
Fritz won only one pro singles title, in 1980, but during his career he was ranked as high as #21 and defeated a slew of Top 10 players, including Mats Wilander, Brad Gilbert, Andres Gomez, Pat Cash and Vitas Gerulaitis. Fritz’s playing career ended in 1985 after a foot injury.
Fritz turned his attention to coaching and player development, earning a sterling reputation in both realms. In 2011, he was named head coach of the New York Sportimes of World Team Tennis. Among his players is McEnroe, someone he has known since they were teenagers, and someone whom Fritz worked for in the past.