John Newcombe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Newcombe
John Newcombe c1974.jpg
Newcombe in 1974
Full nameJohn David Newcombe
Country (sports)Australia
ResidenceSydney, Australia
Born (1944-05-23) 23 May 1944 (age 78)
Sydney, Australia
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1967 (amateur from 1960)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$1,062,408
Int. Tennis HoF1986 (member page)
Career record1072–401 (72.8%)
Career titles68 (41 open era titles listed by ATP)
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1967, Lance Tingay)[1]
No. 1 (3 June 1974, ATP)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenW (1973, 1975)
French OpenQF (1965, 1969)
WimbledonW (1967, 1970, 1971)
US OpenW (1967, 1973)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (1973, 1974)
WCT FinalsW (1974)
Professional majors
Career record333–115 (74.3%)
Career titles33
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1965)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1965, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1976)
French OpenW (1967, 1969, 1973)
WimbledonW (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974)
US OpenW (1967, 1971, 1973)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenW (1965)
French OpenF (1965)
US OpenW (1964)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1973)

John David Newcombe AO OBE (born 23 May 1944) is an Australian former professional tennis player. He is one of the few men to have attained a world No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles. At the majors, he won seven singles titles, a former record 17 men's doubles titles, and two mixed doubles titles. He also contributed to five Davis Cup titles for Australia during an age when the Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the majors.[2] Tennis magazine rated him the 10th best male player of the period 1965–2005.


Newcombe played several sports as a boy before devoting himself to tennis. Newcombe's powerful serve and volley was the backbone of his attacking game. He frequently came up with a second-serve ace. He was the Australian junior champion from 1961 to 1963 and was a member of Australia's Davis Cup winning team in 1964. He won his first Grand Slam title in 1965 by taking the Australian Championships doubles title with fellow Australian Tony Roche. That same year, the duo won the Wimbledon doubles title. They teamed to win the Australian doubles championship three more times, Wimbledon another four times and the US Championships in 1967, the French Championships in 1967, and the French Open in 1969. They won 12 Grand Slam titles, which remained the all-time record for a men's doubles team until 2013, when it was surpassed by Bob and Mike Bryan.

Newcombe was the top ranked amateur in the world in 1967 according to Lance Tingay, World Tennis[3] and an Ulrich Kaiser panel of 13 experts[4] and was the first recipient of the Martini and Rossi award after finishing top of their points system in 1967.[5] As a professional, Newcombe was ranked world number one in 1970 by Tingay,[6] World Tennis,[7] Bud Collins,[8] Mike Gibson[9] and Tennis magazine (Germany).[10] He was also ranked world number one in 1971 by Tingay,[6] Rex Bellamy,[11] Collins,[8] Frank Rostron[12] and World Tennis[13] and he and Stan Smith were joint recipients of The 'Martini and Rossi' Award, voted for by 11 journalists.[14] In 1973 Newcombe was ranked world No. 1 by Tingay[6] and Judith Elian.[15] In singles play, he was a two-time winner of the Australian Open, a three-time winner of Wimbledon, and a two-time winner of the US Open.

In January 1968, Newcombe signed a three-year professional contract with Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis (WCT) and became part of the "Handsome Eight", the original eight WCT players.[16] Newcome was guaranteed $135,000 annually, which was higher than the best paid baseball player received that year.[17] As a member of the WCT professional tour group and the Players' Union, Newcombe was banned by the International Tennis Federation from competing in the 1972 Wimbledon Championships and he joined the ATP boycott of the event in 1973.

Newcombe was the WCT champion for 1974, defeating Okker, Smith, and Borg in the final.

Newcombe's final major win was the 1975 Australian Open, where he won a series of five set matches against Masters, Roche in the semifinal (saving match points), and Connors in a classic final. The final against Connors may have been his finest performance in tennis.

Newcombe was the last of the Australians who dominated tennis in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, included Newcombe in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.[18]

Newcombe was captain of the Australian Davis Cup team from 1995 until 2000.

He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and in 1986 his achievements were recognized with his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[19]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 10 (7 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1966 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 6–4, 10–12, 3–6, 4–6
Win 1967 Wimbledon Grass West Germany Wilhelm Bungert 6–2, 6–1, 6–1
Win 1967 U.S. Championships Grass United States Clark Graebner 6–4, 6–4, 8–6
↓ Open Era ↓
Loss 1969 Wimbledon Grass Australia Rod Laver 4–6, 7–5, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1970 Wimbledon Grass Australia Ken Rosewall 5–7, 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1
Win 1971 Wimbledon Grass United States Stan Smith 6–3, 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
Win 1973 Australian Open Grass New Zealand Onny Parun 6–3, 6–7, 7–5, 6–1
Win 1973 US Open Grass Czechoslovakia Jan Kodeš 6–4, 1–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3
Win 1975 Australian Open Grass United States Jimmy Connors 7–5, 3–6, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 1976 Australian Open Grass Australia Mark Edmondson 7–6, 3–6, 6–7, 1–6

Grand Slam performance timeline[edit]


(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open 1R A QF QF QF SF SF SF A QF QF 3R QF W QF W F A QF A 1 / 1 46–14 76.7
French Open A 3R 3R 2R 2R QF 3R 4R A QF A A A 1R A A 1R A A 1 / 7 16–10 61.5
Wimbledon A 1R 2R 1R 1R 4R 3R W 4R F W W A A QF A 3R A 4R 2 / 12 45–11 80.4
US Open A A A 4R 3R A F W QF SF SF 1R 3R W SF A A A A 0 / 6 45–9 83.3
Win–loss 0–1 0–2 5–3 5–4 5–4 10–3 14–4 20–2 7–2 18–4 13–2 8–2 4–2 12–1 12–3 6–0 7–3 3–1 3–1 4 / 26 152–44 77.6

Source: ITF[20]


  • Newcombe served as chairman of the International Tennis Players Association which formed in 1969.[21]
  • He served as president of the Association of Tennis Professionals in 1977 and 1978.
  • Overall, he won 26 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles (27 if his 1965 mixed doubles shared win is added).
  • Newcombe was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978 for services to sport, and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1989, "for service to the community, particularly to youth and to those with physical disabilities".[22][23]
  • Newcombe and Rod Laver are the only players to ever win both the US Open and Wimbledon men's singles titles as an amateur and as a professional. The grass surfaces favoured his game, and the French Open's clay surface was the only major singles championship he never won. However, he did take the French doubles title on three occasions.
  • He is an Australian Living Treasure.
  • The Newcombe Medal, awarded yearly to the most outstanding Australian tennis player, is named in honour of his tennis achievements.[24]
  • He runs the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch & Tennis Academy in New Braunfels, Texas.
  • In 2001, he was revealed to be President George W. Bush's drinking companion on the night of 4 September 1976, when Bush was charged with driving under the influence.[25] This controversy surfaced during the 2000 US Presidential Election.
  • He partners with Cliff Drysdale to develop the John Newcombe Estate & Country Club in New Braunfels, Texas.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 428.
  2. ^ Tignor, Steve (6 December 2013). "40 Years Ago: Look Out, Cleveland". Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ "The Star Press (Muncie), 14 November 1967".
  4. ^ "Around the World..." World Tennis. Vol. 15, no. 9. New York. February 1968. p. 65.
  5. ^ "The Baltimore Sun, 12 September 1967".
  6. ^ a b c Barrett, John, ed. (1990). World Of Tennis. London: Collins Willow. pp. 235–237. ISBN 9780002183550.
  7. ^ Muscles, Ken Rosewall as told to Richard Naughton, 2012, p.208
  8. ^ a b Collins & Hollander (1997), p. 651
  9. ^ "Around the world..." World Tennis. Vol. 18, no. 10. New York. March 1971. p. 75.
  10. ^ "Around the world..." World Tennis. Vol. 18, no. 9. New York. February 1971. p. 62.
  11. ^ The Times (London), 31 December 1971, p. 5
  12. ^ "Around the world..." World Tennis. Vol. 19, no. 10. New York. March 1972. p. 72.
  13. ^ The Times (London), 20 November 1971, p. 16
  14. ^ "Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 19 December 1971".
  15. ^ Quidet, Christian (1989). La Fabuleuse Histoire du Tennis (in French). Paris: Nathan. p. 772. ISBN 9782092864388.
  16. ^ "$1,418,000 goal for Newcombe and Roche". The Canberra Times. 4 January 1968. p. 26 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "With the US Open underway, a look at end of 'shamateur' tennis - Wilmington News Journal". 29 August 2017.
  18. ^ In his 1979 autobiography, Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
  19. ^ "John Newcombe". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Player Details – John Newcombe". ITF.
  21. ^ "Net Group to Discuss South African Ban". The Milwaukee Journal. 24 June 1969. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  22. ^ UK list:"No. 47549". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1978. p. 6248.
  23. ^ "THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY 1989 HONOURS". Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. Special. No. S192. Australia. 12 June 1989. p. 2. Retrieved 29 August 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ "The Awards". Tennis Australia.
  25. ^ Fenton, Ben. (9 March 2001) Newcombe recalls Bush's brush with law. Retrieved on 2016-07-12.
  26. ^ John Newcombe Estate & Country Club. (March 2008)


External links[edit]

Preceded by world No. 1
3 June 1974 – 28 July 1974
Succeeded by