Meet Dr. Allen Fox
In all his involvement’s, Dr. Allen Fox has been the ultimate achiever. This is true of his days as a tennis player, a psychologist, a businessman, a coach and an author.
Academic: Dr. Fox attended UCLA and was a three-time All-American, (1959-61) winning the NCAA doubles title with Larry Nagler in 1960 and the singles championship in 1961, the same year he earned his B.A. in physics. He remained at UCLA and earned a Ph.D. in psychology.
As impressive as these successes are, Allen is more pleased to have earned All-UCLA and All-University of California Athlete of the Year honors which are presented to the Best Scholar-Athlete.
Tennis Player: As a graduate student at UCLA, he won the Pacific Southwest in 1966. The victory was storied not only because Fox rode his motorcycle each day from UCLA to the Los Angeles Tennis C lub, but also because, on his way to the title, he scored a personal Grand Slam defeating the winners that year of all four major Slam tournaments – Wimbledon champion Manuel Santana, Roland Garros titlist Tony Roche, U.S. National winner Fred Stolle, and Australian title holder Roy Emerson, on his way to the title.
In the final, he won the first set 6-3 and was up 5-3 with Emerson serving to stay in the match.”He played it safe, spinning the second serve in,” said Fox of his second match point.
“It was short and I really hit it. He just got to the ball and floated a duck back at mid-court. I remember running to the ball thinking ‘I will never, in my life, have an easier shot to win the Pacific Southwest.’ I also remember not being able to feel my arm. I was tight, but I hit the ball s hard as I could, with as much top spin as possible. Thank God it went in.”
His playing resume includes 5 years in the U.S. top ten, three-time membership on the US Davis Cup team, and title wins at the US National Hardcourt Chp., Canadian National Chp., Cincinnati, and Southhampton. He also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1965, upsetting third-seeded Jan Erik Lundquist of Sweden.
With the ever present hand towel tucked into his shorts, he was a persistent attacker and didn’t make many mistakes. He was not terribly powerful, but he was fast and had good hands. More importantly, he could always find an opponent’s weaknesses and was extremely mentally “tough.”
As his close friend, college doubles partner and nemesis, Larry Nagler, once noted, “He is the perfect example of how the mental part of tennis is important to maximizing physical ability.” “Many players work on their strengths in an attempt to hide weaknesses. Allen worked on his weaknesses constantly and strengthened them. He was a special player.”
Dr. Fox has been inducted into the UCLA Sports Hall of Fame, the Pepperdine University Sports Hall of Fame, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame, the Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Coaching/college: As a college coach, Fox led the men’s team at Pepperdine University to a top-five ranking in Division I for 10 consecutive years, including six NCAA quarterfinals and two final berths. Among Fox’s team members were Brad Gilbert, Martin Laurendeau (Canadian Davis Cup Captain), Kelly Jones (coach of James Blake and former #1 ranking doubles player in the world), Glen Michibata (Princeton men’s coach, and former Canadian Davis Cupper and #1 ranking doubles player in the world), and Richard Gallien (women’s coach at USC).
Coaching/consulting on tennis psych: Fox is presently coaching Igor Kunitsyn, #66 on the ATP tour (as of 6/23/11), as well as consulting on strategic/psychological issues with a wide range of players, including touring pros such as Dinara Safina, Sam Querrey, Dimitri Tursunov, Justin Gimelstob, Ashley Harkelrod, Scoville Jenkins (US national junior champion in 2003), and Mike McClune (US national junior champion, 2007). He even worked with John McEnroe when he was playing on the tour. He is on the staff of the Weil Tennis Academy (where they train many elite juniors) and has acted as a professional advisor to the Israeli and Indonesian Davis Cup teams.
Author: Dr. Fox has authored two books on tennis, “If I’m the Better Player, Why Can’t I Win?” (Tennis Magazine, 1979) and “Think to Win” (HarperCollins, 1993, still in print), as well as a more recent book on generalized achievement, “The Winner’s Mind” (USRSA, 2005). His latest book, “Tennis: Winning the Mental Match” is available on this web site, Amazon, Tennis Warehouse, and electronically on Kindle and Ibooks. He writes articles for and is an editor of Tennis Magazine and also writes for various web sites such as: Active.com/Tennis and Tennisplayer.net.
Speaking and Media: Dr. Fox is a highly sought-after speaker, having spoken numerous times at the National Conferences of the USTA, USPTA, and PTR, as well as on tours of Argentina, South Africa, and Israel. He also speaks at tennis clubs, academies, and regional USTA and USPTA groups around the country, often at the request of Wilson, where he on their staff, and in conjunction with promoting and selling his latest book.
His very popular One-Minute Clinics have been shown repeatedly on the Tennis Channel for the past three years, and he has been interviewed frequently on the Tennis Channel and on various other television and radio outlets, both nationally and locally.
Business: He spent six years, from 1969 -1975 in the investment business, working first in the investment banking departments of two New York Stock Exchange firms, Kleiner-Bell and Newberger Loeb, and ultimately managed Wyler Associates, a private investment company that specialized in investments that they directly controlled. Later he ran several successful small businesses including Mrs. Beasleys, Inc. (baked goods and gifts) and Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen Inc. (specialty restaurants and wholesale baked goods and salad dressings).
He also has acted as a business consultant to various individuals and businesses, including Kayne-Anderson, Inc. an investment company in Century City, California.
Personal: Allen is an accomplished pilot and has flown light planes all over the U.S. and even as far as Brazil and Argentina. This fit into his youthful adventurous phase, where he also was a scuba diver, a big game hunter in Africa, and a motorcycle rider. His more recent and sedate passion has been studying history, particularly ancient and military history. All together, he is simply an unusual character. As his friend Larry Nagler said, “He is very clever and has a tremendous wit. He looks at the underbelly of things and is the funniest guy I’ve ever met.”