Ilana Kloss

Ilana Kloss

Date Of BirthMarch 22, 1956
Age66 years 6 months 2 days
Day of BirthThursday
Place Of BirthJohannesburg, South Africa
Zodiac SignAries
ProfessionsBusinesswoman , Tennis Player
Birth Name Ilana Sheryl Kloss

Personal Information
Residence Chicago, United States
ReligionsJudaism , Christianity
Languages Afrikaans , English
NationalitiesSouth African , American
Ethnicity Caucasian
Complexion White
Body Features & Measurements
Height165 CM
5 Feet 5 Inches
Eye color Brown
Hair color Brown
Weight55 KG
121 lbs
Figure Type Hourglass
Body Type Athletic
Family Information
Father Shlaim Kloss
Mother Ruth Kloss
Sister Yvette Merle Kloss
Love, Romance, Marriage
Spouse Billie Jean King (Former world #1 tennis player)
Career Information
Years Active 1974-
Social Networks, Web links
Twitter ProfileIlana Kloss Twitter Profile

Biography

Ilana Kloss is a former world rank #1 tennis player who played for South Africa and the United States. Ilana has been a Tennis coach as well as the World Team Tennis commissioner (from 2001 to 2021).

Ilana Sheryl Kloss was born on 22nd March 1956 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Shlaim Kloss(father) and Ruth Kloss(mother). She has a younger sister named Yvette.

Ilana Kloss with her baby sister Yvette Kloss

[Ilana Kloss with her baby sister Yvette Kloss; Source: IG post]

 

Religion

Ilana was born to Jewish parents, she has participated in the Maccabiah Games which are held in Israel for Jews from all over the world.

She won doubles and mixed doubles at the 1973 Maccabiah Games. In the women's doubles, she along with her partner Helen Weiner won a hard-fought 2 and half hour game against the American duo of Jodi Applebaum and Dona Robin. [4]

She won silver at the 1977 Maccabiah Games in mixed doubles.

  • US National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame: She was inducted into the Jewish half of fame in 2006
  • International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame: She was inducted into the Jewish half of fame in 2010
  • The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players Of All Time: The book by Sandra Harwitt lists Ilana along with Aaron Krickstein, Amos Mansdorf, Angela Buxton, Anna Smashnova, Brad Gilbert, Brian Teacher, Dick Savitt, Julie Heldman, Justin Gimelstob, Brian Gottfried.

 

Relationship

Billie Jean King

Ilana has been living with her former doubles partner Billie Jean King, a former #1 Tennis player from the United States. Billie had realized that she was attracted to women in 1981, she had been divorced from her marriage to Larry King by then. Ilana and Billie have been partners for around 40 years.

Ilana Kloss with Billie Jean King

[Ilana Kloss with Billie Jean King]

Secret Wedding: Billie and Ilana had been wearing each other's rings for years. Their close celebrity friends like Elton John and John McEnroe had been encouraging them to announce their relationship to the public.

It turns out that the two had a secret wedding on 18th October 2018 officiated by the former New York City Mayor David Dinkins in his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The event was so secretive that only a couple of other people knew about it, including David Dinkins's wife Joyce Dinkins, and a city hall employee who processed the marriage license.

One of them wore jeans and a red scarf, the other had a black shirt on, a warm-up suit, and pearls. Speaking about the reasons behind keeping it private, Billie King told "So much of our life has been public, keeping this private was something special we could hold on to, just for us" in an interview.[2]

An interesting Trivia: When Billie and Ilana first met, Billie was a 23-year-old superstar and Ilana was an 11-year-old ball girl. The next time they met, Ilana was 23 years old herself.

 

Career

Ilana Kloss

[Ilana Kloss playing Tennis]

Playing

South African Days

  • Western Province Sugar circuit tennis tournament: In 1973, she beat Brenda Kirk 6-4, 6-3 to win the tournament held in Capetown.
  • Sugar Tournament, East London, South Africa: In 1974, Ilana beat her doubles partner Linky Boshoff 6-2, 7-5 to win the tournament
  • Border Championship: In the same year, Ilana again beat Linky Boshoff 7-5, 6-1 to win the Border championship tennis tournament in South Africa.
  • South African Open: She won the 1974 South African Open doubles title pairing with Kerry Melville in Johannesburg.

 

Ilana Kloss & Linky Boshoff: Ilana had been a long-time partner of her fellow countrywoman Linky Boshoff. The duo had won the South Africa doubles title thrice in 1973, 1975, and 1977. The two also won the US Open women's doubles in 1976.

Linky Boshoff has been her most frequent doubles partner.

Ilana Kloss, with a women's doubles title cup

[Ilana Kloss, with a women's doubles title cup]

 

  • Wimbledon Junior title: At the age of 16 Ilana had won the junior singles title at the Wimbledon.
  • Ilana turned pro in 1973 at the age of 17. 
  • US Open juniors: She won the US Open juniors title in the year 1974, she was 18 at the time.
  • World #1: She was ranked World #1 in Doubles back in 1976.
  • World #19: Her highest ever singles ranking was 19 back in 1979.
  • Highest Results in Doubles:
    • US Open: She won the US Open women's doubles in 1976 with her South African partner Linky Boshoff against the pair of Olga Morozova (Soviet Union) and Virginia Wade (United Kingdom ) in two straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
    • French Open: She Won the Mixed doubles title in 1976 with the Australian male player Kim Warwick. Interestingly it came against the pair of Linky Boshoff(South African), her women's doubles partner, and Colin Dowdeswell (Rhodesia). It was a hard-fought 3-set win, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.
    • Wimbledon: reached the Semifinals in 1976.
    • French Open: Made it to Semifinals in 1979.
    • Australian Open: Made it to Quarterfinals in 1983.
  • Highest Singles Results:
    • French Open: 2nd round, twice in 1976 and 1979.
    • Wimbledon: 3rd round, thrice in 1975, 1976, and 1978.
    • US Open: 3rd round, twice in 1973 and 1978.
  • Some of the titles Ilana has won are:
    • Cincinnati Masters: She won the Cincinnati Masters in 1973 with Pat Walkden against the pair of Evonne Goolagong and Janet Young
    • French Open (1976) (mixed doubles)
    • German Open (1976)
    • Hilton Head Open (1976)
    • Italian Open (1976)
    • US Open (Clay courts) (1976)
    • US Clay courts (1976)
    • German Championships (1977)
    • British Hard Courts Championship (1977)
    • Canadian Championship  (1977)
  • 35-and-over tour:
    • In 1999, she won the US Open doubles and mixed doubles championship. 
    • In 2003, she paired with Kathi Rinaldi to defeat Jo Durie and Gretchen Magers 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to win the women's doubles championships at Wimbledon.
  • Federation Cup: She represented the South African national team from 1973 to 1977. She was a member of the Federation cup team during that team. She has a Win: Loss ratio of 12:5 in the Federation cup.
  • San Francisco Golden Gaters WTT: Ilana joined the San Francisco Golden Gaters WTT team in 1974, her team reached the finals in 1975. She however left the team in 1976, because her schedule wouldn't allow her to compete in the European clay-court tournaments of 1976. She rejoined the team in 1978.

 

Coaching & Post Retirement

 Ilana turned coach at the World Team Tennis in 1983 after participating in the sport for a few years, she coached Chicago Fyre to the championship. She was announced Coach of the year.

 In 1985, she started coaching Miami Beach Breakers. She became the vice-president of WTT in 1987 and the executive director in 1991.

World Team Tennis commissioner: Ilana has been the CEO & commissioner of the mixed-gender professional tennis league WTT in the United States from 2001 to 2021.

 

 

Facts & Trivia

  • Youngest #1: She is the youngest #1 ranked player in the South African Tennis history.
  • Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer- a 60-minute documentary based on Billie was made by HBO, Ilana appears as herself in that.
  • WTT Smash Hits: Ilana co-hosts the annual charity event with Billie Jean King and Elton John. They have raised about $10 Million through the charity for Elton John AIDS Foundation and other charity works
  • Battle of the Sexes: Ilana worked as the special consultant on the movie, movie is the biographical film of Ilana's partner Billie.
  • She is a fan of Barack Obama
  • She supports LGBT causes and is often seen participating in LGBT pride.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: in September 2018 Billie and Ilana became minority owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
  • Angel City Football Club: in October 2020 Billie and Ilana became co-owners of the Los Angeles-based soccer team that is set to play in the National Women's Soccer League in 2022.

 

Quotes

  • It has been an incredible journey for me, for more than 30 years, to be with a person who looks at the world the way Billie does. She sees the best in everybody. She's the love of my life."
  • [On equality in sports in the modern day] We all stand on the shoulders of the generations that came before us.
  • Tonight after hearing President Obama's farewell address we all go to sleep proud Americans fortunate to be blessed by his class & dignity.
  • It's great to have your opinion valued and to be respected [3]

 

Sources

  1. Ilana Kloss on wikipedia
  2. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss's private wedding
  3. Ilana and Billie become owners of the Dodgers
  4. 1977 Maccabiah games
  5.  

Photos/ Pictures

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