Ken Flach, a 1988 Olympic doubles tennis champion, died at age 54 on Monday after a sudden illness, the ATP confirmed.
Flach’s wife said on social media on Friday that Flach was on life support after a bout with bronchitis that turned into pneumonia and then septic shock in a span of four days.
Flach and fellow American Robert Seguso paired to win the first Olympic men’s doubles title since 1924 when tennis was added back to the medal program for the Seoul Games.
“This is it for us,” Flach said after they beat Spain’s Sergio Casal and Emilio Sánchez in a five-set final, according to The Associated Press. “On the tour, you always have another big tournament coming up. The Olympics only comes round every four years. You can win $50,000 when you win the U.S. Open. But this by far beats that. It’s the highlight of our career.”
Flach also won two Wimbledons and two U.S. Opens with (three with Seguso and one with Rick Leach) and was ranked No. 1 in the world. Flach won French Open and Wimbledon mixed doubles titles with Kathy Jordan in 1986.