Tigers of the Week: Jay Lapidus ’81 and Leif Shiras ’81

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Former Princeton tennis teammates Jay Lapidus ’81, left, and Leif Shiras ’81 have a lot in common: Both were All-Americans for the Tigers; both found success in the pros, making appearances in the top 50 of the world rankings; and both launched second careers in tennis after their playing days were done — Lapidus as the highly successful coach of the Duke University men’s team, and Shiras as a television commentator for the Tennis Channel.

Lapidus and Shiras will add another common bond May 26 when the two are inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in Athens, Ga. Shiras is one of five player inductees this year, while Lapidus is being recognized for his contributions as both a player and coach.

Lapidus ranked No. 1 among U.S. collegians during his junior year at Princeton. As a pro, he reached the final 32 in the 1984 U.S. Open. After retiring in 1987, he was an assistant coach at South Carolina before taking over at Duke. With the Blue Devils, he won won 11 Atlantic Coast Conference championships, was named the conference’s Coach of the Year six times, and guided his squad to 17 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Since 2008, he has served as Duke’s director of tennis.

Shiras, an NCAA singles semifinalist in 1980, had a long pro career that included a three-year stint on the U.S. Davis Cup team. His second career, as a commentator, has spanned more than a decade. He is currently the lead analyst for FOX Sports Net’s international coverage of the ATP tour and has been a Tennis Channel commentator since the network launched in 2003.

Photos: Courtesy Duke Photography (Lapidus); Courtesy Tennis Channel (Shiras)

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