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Professional tennis star and SIUE Hall of Famer Ken Flach dies after sudden illness

Ken Flach, former doubles tennis professional and NCAA singles champion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, died Monday after a sudden illness, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) confirmed.

Christina Flach took to Twitter on Sunday, asking prayers for her husband who had been placed on life support. According to NBC Sports, Flach contracted bronchitis, which progressed to pneumonia then septic shock in a span of four days. He was 54 years old.

"SIUE Athletics is mourning the loss of one of its finest former tennis players," said SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "Ken Flach was a tremendous individual and doubles player at SIUE and was responsible for bringing great recognition to the tennis program."

As a singles player at SIUE, the Kirkwood High School graduate won three consecutive NCAA Division II titles from 1981 to 1983. He was part of a doubles team that won NCAA titles in 1982 and 1983, each with a different partner.

He was inducted to the SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

Professionally, Flach teamed with Robert Seguso to win four Grand Slam titles, including two Wimbledon doubles championships in 1987 and 1988, and a pair of U.S. Open titles in 1985 and 1993. The pair also placed runner up at the U.S. Open in 1987 and 1989 and won at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Flach teamed with Kathy Jordan for an additional Wimbledon mixed-doubles championship in 1986. In all, he earned 34 career doubles titles. He also reached a No. 56 ranking as a singles player.

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