Ashley Cooper (tennis)

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Ashley Cooper
Ashley Cooper 1958.jpg
Ashley Cooper in 1958
Full nameAshley John Cooper
Country (sports) Australia
ResidenceAustralia
Born (1936-09-15) 15 September 1936 (age 82)
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro1959 (amateur tour from 1953)
Retired1962
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1991 (member page)
Singles
Career record414-223 (64.9%) [1]
Career titles27 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1957, Lance Tingay)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1957, 1958)
French OpenSF (1958)
WimbledonW (1958)
US OpenW (1958)
Other tournaments
TOCQF (1959)
Professional majors
US ProSF (1959, 1960)
Wembley ProQF (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962)
French ProSF (1962)
Doubles
Career record0–3
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1957)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1958)
French OpenW (1957, 1958)
WimbledonF (1958)
US OpenW (1957)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1957)

Ashley John Cooper AO (born 15 September 1936) is a former tennis player from Australia who was recognised as the world's best amateur player during the years of 1957 and 1958[a].[3] Cooper won four singles and four doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments.

Playing career[edit]

Cooper won his first Grand Slam singles title at the 1957 Australian Championships where he defeated compatriot Neale Fraser in the final in four sets.[4][5]

Cooper played his best year in 1958, becoming one of only eleven men to win three of the four Grand Slam events in the same year. He successfully defended his Australian singles title after a straight-sets victory in the final against Malcolm Anderson.[4] In July he won his first Wimbledon title after beating Fraser in the final, and followed up with a first singles title at the U.S. Championships, again defeating Anderson in the final. Additionally Cooper was a semifinalist at the French Championship, losing to Luis Ayala in five sets.

The right-handed Cooper was the top ranked player in both 1957—when he was a Wimbledon and Forest Hills finalist, and Paris semi-finalist—and in 1958. Cooper played on the Australian Davis Cup team that won the cup in 1957, and were finalists in 1958. In January 1959, Cooper turned professional after signing a contract with Jack Kramer.[6][7][8]

Upon retiring as a player, Cooper has served as a tennis player development administrator with Tennis Queensland, where he has been based for nearly fifty years. He presently also sits on the Board of Directors for Tennis Australia.

Honours[edit]

Cooper was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1987 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.[9] In the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2007, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to tennis.[10]

In 2009 Cooper was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[11]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: (4 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1957 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser 6–3, 9–11, 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 1957 Wimbledon Grass Australia Lew Hoad 2–6, 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1957 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Malcolm Anderson 8–10, 5–7, 4–6
Winner 1958 Australian Championships (2) Grass Australia Malcolm Anderson 7–5, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1958 Wimbledon Grass Australia Neale Fraser 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 13–11
Winner 1958 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Malcolm Anderson 6–2, 3–6, 4–6, 10–8, 8–6

Doubles: (4 titles, 3 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1956 French Championships Clay Australia Lew Hoad Australia Don Candy
United States Robert Perry
5–7, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 1957 Australian Championships Grass Australia Malcolm Anderson Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Neale Fraser
3–6, 6–8, 4–6
Winner 1957 French Championships Clay Australia Malcolm Anderson Australia Don Candy
Australia Mervyn Rose
6–3, 6–0, 6–3
Winner 1957 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser United States Gardnar Mulloy
United States Budge Patty
4–6, 6–3, 9–7, 6–3
Winner 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Robert Mark
7–5, 6–8, 3–6, 6–3, 7–5
Runner-up 1958 Wimbledon Grass Australia Neale Fraser Sweden Sven Davidson
Sweden Ulf Schmidt
4–6, 4–6, 6–8
Winner 1958 French Championships Clay Australia Neale Fraser Australia Robert Howe
South Africa Abe Segal
3–6, 8–6, 6–3, 7–5

Personal life[edit]

Cooper married Helen Wood, Miss Australia 1957, on January 2, 1959. An estimated crowd of five thousand unruly people surrounded St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Brisbane to try to catch a glimpse of the couple[12].

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Lance Tingay

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ashley Cooper: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Ashley Cooper: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  4. ^ a b Paul Newman (20 September 2016). "From the archive: Ashley Cooper, Wimbledon's original marathon man". www.wimbledon.com. AELTC.
  5. ^ "Wimbledon Draws Archive – 1958 Gentlemen's Singles". www.wimbledon.com. AELTC. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Ashley Cooper, Helen Wood Will Wed Today". The News and Courier. Charleston, S.C. AP. 2 January 1959. p. 5B. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  7. ^ "ATP Player Profile". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Cooper Joins Kramer". The Canberra Times. 33, (9, 681). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 January 1959. p. 8. Retrieved 22 September 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Ashley Cooper AO". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  10. ^ It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia
  11. ^ "Mr Ashley Cooper AO". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Near-Riot Marks Cooper Wedding". New York Times. New York City. Associated Press. January 3, 1959. Retrieved October 24, 2018.

External links[edit]