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Vitas Gerulaitis
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Tennis Player
    (July 26, 1954-September 18, 1994)
    Birth name was Vytautas Kevin Gerulatis
    Nickname: The Lithuanian Lion
    Played professional tennis from 1971-85
    Won the Australian Open (1977)
    Ranked in the Top 10 (1977-82)
    Won 27 singles and 9 doubles tournaments
    Career earnings: $2,778,748
    Coached Pete Sampras at the 1994 Italian Open
    Died of carbon monoxide poisoning at age 40
    He hawked Brut cologne by Faberge (1978-79).
    He did a Peugeot car commercial with his dad, who asks, 'When are you going to get a haircut?'
    He won only one major.
    He bet his house that Martina Navratilova couldn't beat the 100th ranked male tennis player (1983).
    He abused cocaine.
    He was engaged to Janet Jones for 3 years.
    He never married her. She went on to become Mrs. Wayne Gretzky.
    He played a tennis coach in the smarmy movie 'Nobody's Perfect (1989).'
    It was first reported he committed suicide via carbon monoxide.
    Winning against Jimmy Connors after 16 straight losses, he stated: 'Let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.'
    He led fundraisers and conducted free tennis clinics in parks around New York City.
    He enjoyed giving back to the community.
    He was admired by his competitors.
    His death was an accident. Carbon monoxide from a swimming pool heater seeped into his room through the air-conditioning system.
    At his funeral, his pallbearers included Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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