Norman Brookes

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Sir Norman Brookes
Norman Brookes 1919.jpg
Full name Norman Everard Brookes
Country (sports)  Australia
Born (1877-11-14)14 November 1877
St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Died 28 September 1968(1968-09-28) (aged 90)
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Retired 1928
Plays Left-handed (1-handed backhand)[1]
Int. Tennis HoF 1977 (member page)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1907, Karoly Mazak)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1911)
French Open 2R (1928)
Wimbledon W (1907, 1914)
US Open QF (1919)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1924)
Wimbledon W (1907, 1914)
US Open W (1919)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1907, 1908, 1909,1911, 1914, 1919)
Brookes and his wife, Mabel, in 1914
Norman Brookes

Sir Norman Everard Brookes (14 November 1877 – 28 September 1968) was an Australian World No. 1 tennis champion and later president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia.


Brookes was born in Melbourne, to a father, William Brookes, who had become rich from gold mining in the Bendigo area. He received a private education at Melbourne Grammar School. On leaving school, he went to work as a clerk at the Australian Paper Mills Co. Ltd where his father was managing director, and was on the board himself within eight years.

Brookes married 20-year-old Mabel Balcombe Emmerton, the daughter of Harry Emmerton, a solicitor, on 19 April 1911 at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne. They had three daughters.

During World War I he served as commissioner of the Australian branch of the British Red Cross in Egypt.

He died in South Yarra in 1968.

Tennis career[edit]

As a youth Brookes played regularly on the court of the family mansion in Queens Road, Melbourne and nearby, at the Lorne St courts, he studied the strokes and tactics of leading players and was coached by Wilberforce Eaves.[3]

Brookes was the first non-Briton and the first left-hander to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon.[4] He won the men's singles twice, first in 1907 and again in 1914. He also won the doubles in each of those years with New Zealander Anthony Wilding, whom he beat in the 1914 singles Final. He was a major figure in establishing the Australian Open (known as the Australasian Championship until 1927), which he won in 1911. Brookes is considered to have been a World No. 1 player in the 1900s.

Brookes played 39 Davis Cup matches for Australia/New Zealand and the Australian Davis Cup Team between 1905 and 1920.

In May 1914 he won the singles title at the Surrey Lawn Championships in Surbiton, defeating Gordon Lowe in the final in five sets.[5]

Brookes was instrumental in the development of Kooyong as a tennis centre. In 1926 he became the first president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, a post he held for the next 29 years until his retirement in June 1955.[6]

Australian rules football career[edit]

Brookes was also an Australian rules footballer in his youth, playing two matches for Victorian Football League club St Kilda Football Club in 1898, kicking two goals.[7]


Norman Brookes was knighted "in recognition of service to public service" in 1939.[8] Lady Brookes (C.B.E. in 1933) became Dame Mabel Brookes in 1955 for her work in charities and social causes.

The trophy for men's singles at the Australian Open, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour.[9]

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977.

In 1981 he was honoured on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post depicting a cartoon image by Tony Rafty.[10]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (3 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Opponent in final score
Runner-up 1905 Wimbledon United Kingdom Laurence Doherty 6–8, 2–6, 4–6
Winner 1907 Wimbledon United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Arthur Gore 6–4, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 1911 Australian Championships Australia Horace Rice 6–1, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1914 Wimbledon New Zealand Anthony Wilding 6–4, 6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 1919 Wimbledon Australia Gerald Patterson 3–6, 5–7, 2–6

Doubles: 4 (4 titles, 0 runners-up)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Partner Opponents in final Score
Winner 1907 Wimbledon New Zealand Tony Wilding United States Karl Behr
United States Beals Wright
6–4, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 1914 Wimbledon New Zealand Tony Wilding United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Herbert Roper Barrett
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Charles Dixon
6–1, 6–1, 5–7, 8–6
Winner 1919 US National Championships Australia Gerald Patterson United States Vincent Richards
United States Bill Tilden
8–6, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6, 6–2
Winner 1924 Australian Championships Australia James Anderson Australia Pat O'Hara Wood
Australia Gerald Patterson
6–2, 6–4, 6–3


  1. ^ Norman Brookes at Australian Open Tennis. Quote: "Brookes was the first left-handed player ever to claim the coveted grass court title."
  2. ^ Mazak, Karoly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 35.
  3. ^ W. H. Frederick. "Brookes, Sir Norman Everard (1877–1968)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 
  4. ^ "Norman Brookes - Tennis - Athlete & Administration". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. 
  5. ^ "Surrey County Championships – Brookes Wins Singles". The Age. 25 May 1914. 
  6. ^ "Sir Norman's Good-bye to Big Tennis". The Sydney Morning Herald. Jun 30, 1955. 
  7. ^ "Saints – True Sportsmen Pt. 1 – Sir Norman Brookes". St Kilda Football Club. Retrieved 4 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "It's an Honour". Australian Government. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Australian Open – Trophy Tour". Tennis Australia. 
  10. ^ "Caricature of Sir Norman Brookes, tennis player". Australian Stamp. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]