MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida sports legend reached a major milestone today.

Tennis champion Gardnar Mulloy celebrated his 100th birthday at his home in Miami surrounded by close friends and family.

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“Gardnar is a living institution in tennis,” said Jim Martz, editor of Florida Tennis Magazine He told CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez, “I’ve never met anyone more inspirational. He always has a positive attitude, and always looks at the bright side of things.”

Mulloy began playing professional tennis in 1934 and was still working as a tennis pro at Fisher Island until just a few years ago.

The former Wimbledon and U.S. National Champion has 127 tennis championships and 25 international titles.

“Gardnar is a true Renaissance man,” said longtime Miami tennis pro Don Petrine. “Not only was he a great tennis player well into his 50s, which is unheard of these days, he was also a war veteran, captain of his naval ship, and an animal activist.”

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In fact, Mulloy is the former president of Pet Rescue in Miami, an organization that supports adoption and no-kill options for stray pets.

Mulloy spent his birthday relaxing with family members at his home near the Miami River. It’s a home he built more than 60 years ago.

(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

“Gardnar has been an ambassador for tennis and for Miami,” said Miami tennis pro John Geraghty, a former University of Miami All American player. “He grew up near downtown Miami not far from the Orange Bowl and he never left. He loves tennis and he loves Miami.”

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Miami also loves Gardnar Mulloy. And this weekend he will receive plenty of birthday love from Miami and beyond.