John Newcombe

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John Newcombe
John Newcombe.jpg
John Newcombe at the 1965 Dutch Open
Country (sports)  Australia
Residence Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Born (1944-05-23) 23 May 1944 (age 71)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro 1960
Retired 1981
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,062,408
Int. Tennis HoF 1986 (member page)
Singles
Career record 429–136 (75.9%)
Career titles 68 (including 34 listed by the ATP)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1967, Lance Tingay)[1]
No. 1 (3 June 1974) by the ATP
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1973, 1975)
French Open QF (1965, 1969)
Wimbledon W (1967, 1970, 1971)
US Open W (1967, 1973)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals SF (1973, 1974)
WCT Finals W (1974)
Professional majors
Doubles
Career record 332–113
Career titles 33
Highest ranking No. 1 (1965)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1965, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1976)
French Open W (1967, 1969, 1973)
Wimbledon W (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974)
US Open W (1967, 1971, 1973)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1965)
French Open F (1965)
US Open W (1964)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1973)

John David Newcombe, AO, OBE (born 23 May 1944 in Sydney) is a former tennis player from Australia who won seven Grand Slam singles titles and an all-time record 17 doubles titles. He is one of the few men to have been ranked world No. 1 in both singles and doubles. He also contributed to five Davis Cup titles for Australia during an age when Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the Grand Slams.[2] Tennis Magazine ranked Newcombe the 10th best male player of the period 1965–2005.

Biography[edit]

A natural athlete, Newcombe played several sports as a boy until devoting himself to tennis. 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's powerful serve and volley was the backbone of his attacking game. He frequently came up with a second-serve ace. He was the top ranked amateur in the world in 1967 according to Lance Tingay, although Rex Bellamy ranked him second behind Roy Emerson. As a professional, Newcombe was the joint world No. 1 player in 1970 and 1971. 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 he 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.[3] 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 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.[4]

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

Newcombe was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and in 1986, his achievements were recognised with his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[5]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

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

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

Performance timeline[edit]

Singles[edit]

Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 1R A QF QF QF SF SF SF A QF QF 3R QF W QF W F QF A
French Open A 3R 3R A 2R QF 3R 4R A QF A A A 1R A A 1R A A
Wimbledon A 1R 2R 1R 1R 4R 3R W 4R F W W A A QF A 3R A 4R
U.S. Open A A A 4R A A F W QF SF SF 1R 3R W SF A A A A

Source: ITF[6]

Distinctions[edit]

  • Newcombe served as chairman of the International Tennis Players Association which formed in 1969.[7]
  • 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 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.[8]
  • 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.[9] 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.[10]

Notes[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". tennis.com. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "$1,418,000 goal for Newcombe and Roche.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 4 January 1968. p. 26. 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "John Newcombe AO OBE". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Player Details – John Newcombe". ITF. 
  7. ^ "Net Group to Discuss South African Ban". The Milwaukee Journal. Jun 24, 1969. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Awards". www.tennis.com.au. Tennis Australia. 
  9. ^ Newcombe recalls Bush's brush with law
  10. ^ John Newcombe Estate & Country Club

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Ilie Năstase
World No. 1
3 June 1974 – 28 July 1974
Succeeded by
Jimmy Connors