Gordon Forbes

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Gordon Forbes
Country (sports)South Africa South Africa
Born (1934-02-21) 21 February 1934 (age 85)
Burgersdorp, Cape Province, South Africa
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (1971)
French Open3R (1955, 1956, 1957, 1959)
Wimbledon4R (1956)
US OpenQF (1962)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (1962)
French OpenF (1963)
WimbledonSF (1963)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenW (1955)
WimbledonQF (1962)
Team competitions
Davis CupSFEu (1962, 1963)

Gordon Forbes (born 21 February 1934 Cape Town, South Africa) is a former South African professional tennis player and author. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was the doubles partner of countryman Abe Segal. Together, they were considered one of the best doubles teams in the world.[1]


Forbes learnt to play tennis in his childhood on the family farm. At age 12 he played and won his first junior tournament in East London.[2]

Forbes won the singles title of the South African Championships in 1959 and 1961 and was runner-up in 1955, 1962, 1963 and 1964. He played for the South African Davis Cup team in 14 ties in the period 1955 to 1963 and compiled a record of 20 wins and 11 losses.

After retiring from tennis, Forbes wrote three books about his experiences as a player, his contemporaries in the sport and other tennis topics.[3][4][5]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Doubles (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1963 French Championships Clay South Africa Abe Segal Australia Roy Emerson
Spain Manuel Santana
2–6, 4–6, 4–6

Mixed doubles (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1955 French Championships Clay United States Darlene Hard Australia Jenny Staley
Chile Luis Ayala
5–7, 6–1, 6–2


  • A Handful of Summers. 1979. ISBN 978-0-8317-4362-8.
  • Too Soon To Panic. 1995. ISBN 978-0-670-86329-7.
  • I'll Take the Sunny Side: A Memoir. 2017. ISBN 978-1928257448.


  1. ^ Plimpton, George (1992). The Norton Book of Sports. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-393-03040-2.
  2. ^ Forbes, Gordon (1997). A Handful of Summers (1st American ed.). London: HarperCollins. p. 22. ISBN 9780007291304.
  3. ^ Allen, Brook (8 June 1997). "Sports Books in Brief". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. ^ Brent Shearer (6 September 2011). "New York Tennis Magazine's Literary Corner: A Handful of Summers by Gordon Forbes". New York Tennis Magazine.
  5. ^ David Southey (7 November 2017). "SA's raconteur racquet man aces another memoir". Business Day. Retrieved 16 November 2017.

External links[edit]