Roy Emerson

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Roy Emerson
Roy Emerson 2011.jpg
Full name Roy Stanley Emerson
Country (sports)  Australia
Residence Newport Beach, California
Born (1936-11-03) 3 November 1936 (age 78)
Blackbutt, Queensland, Australia
Height 6 ft (183 cm)[1]
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1953)
Retired 1983
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1982 (member page)
Singles
Career record 397–156
Highest ranking No. 1 (1964, Lance Tingay)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)
French Open W (1963, 1967)
Wimbledon W (1964, 1965)
US Open W (1961, 1964)
Doubles
Career record 204–65
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1962, 1966, 1969)
French Open W (1960, 1961,1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
Wimbledon W (1959, 1961, 1971)
US Open W (1959, 1960, 1965, 1966)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)

Roy Stanley Emerson (born 3 November 1936) is an Australian former number one tennis player who won 12 Major singles titles and 16 Grand Slam tournament men's doubles titles. He is the only male player to have completed a Career Grand Slam (winning titles at all four Grand Slam events) in both singles and doubles. His 28 Major titles are an all-time record for a male amateur player. Roy Emerson is the first male player to win each amateur Major title at least twice in his career. He is one of only seven men to win all four Majors in his career.[a] He was the first male player to win 12 Majors. He is the only male player to win 6 Australian Championships and five of them consecutive (1963-67). His 12 wins have since been surpassed. Emerson is only one of five tennis players all-time to win multiple slam sets in two disciplines, only matched by Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, Frank Sedgman and Serena Williams.

Biography[edit]

Emerson was born on a farm in Blackbutt, Queensland. His family later moved to Brisbane and he received better tennis instruction after attending Brisbane Grammar School and Ipswich Grammar School.

Emerson won his first Grand Slam tournament doubles title in 1959 at Wimbledon (partnering Neale Fraser). In 1961, he captured his first Grand Slam tournament singles title at the Australian Championships, beating compatriot Rod Laver in four sets in the final. Later that year, Emerson claimed his second Major singles crown when he again beat Laver in the final of the US Championships.

Affectionately known as "Emmo" on the tour, the six-foot right-hander was known for training hard and always being ready for strenuous matches because of his outstanding level of fitness. He was primarily a serve-and-volley style player, but was also able to adapt to the rigours of slow courts, allowing him to enjoy success on all surfaces.

From 1963 to 1967, Emerson won five consecutive men's singles titles at the Australian Championships. His six Australian singles crowns are a record for a male player.[3]

Roy Emerson at the 1963 Dutch International Tennis Championships in Hilversum.

1963 also saw Emerson capture his first French Championships singles title, beating Pierre Darmon in the final.

Emerson's first Wimbledon singles title came in 1964, with a final victory over Fred Stolle. Emerson won 55 consecutive matches during 1964 and finished the year with 109 victories out of 115 matches. He won three of the year's four Grand Slam events that year (failing to win only the French Open).

During his amateur career Emerson received several offers to turn professional, including an £38,000 offer made at the end of 1964 by Jack Kramer, but declined and opted to remain an amateur.[4][5]

Emerson was the World No. 1 amateur player in 1964 and 1965 according to Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and in 1967 according to Rex Bellamy. In 1965, he successfully defended his Australian and Wimbledon singles crowns. He was the heavy favourite to win Wimbledon again in 1966, but during his fourth round match he skidded while chasing the ball and crashed into the umpire's stand, injuring his shoulder. He still finished the match, but was unable to win.

Emerson's last Major singles title came at the French Championships in 1967 – the year before the open era began. His 12 Major singles titles stood as a men's record until 2000, when it was surpassed by Pete Sampras. Emerson signed a professional contract with the National Tennis League in early April 1968.[6]

Emerson had 10 straight victories in Grand Slam tournament finals (the last ten in which he participated), which remains an all-time record.

Emerson's final Grand Slam doubles title was won in 1971 at Wimbledon (partnering Laver). His 16 Grand Slam doubles crowns were won with five different partners. From 1960–1965, he won six consecutive French Open men's doubles titles. Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and tennis great, writes in his 1979 autobiography that "Emerson was the best doubles player of all the moderns, very possibly the best forehand court player of all time. He was so quick he could cover everything. He had the perfect doubles shot, a backhand that dipped over the net and came in at the server's feet as he moved to the net. Gene Mako and Johnny van Ryn could hit a shot like that sometimes, but never so often nor as proficiently as Emerson."

Emerson was also a member of a record eight Davis Cup winning teams between 1959 and 1967.

Emerson's 12 singles and 16 doubles titles make him one of the leading players in Grand Slam tournament history.

Emerson's last top-20 ranking was in 1973, primarily owing to his winning his 105th and final career title at the Pacific Coast Championships in San Francisco. He defeated Roscoe Tanner, Arthur Ashe, and Björn Borg in the last three rounds of that tournament. Emerson played just a few tournaments through 1977. His last appearance was in the Gstaad, Switzerland tournament in 1983.

Roy Emerson in 1969

Although he exited the tournament circuit, Emerson did not retire. In the late 1970s, he served as a player/coach for the Boston Lobsters in World Team Tennis (WTT).[7] He mostly played doubles with the Lobsters and often teamed with fellow Australian Tony Roche. In the 1978 season, the last season under the original iteration of World Team Tennis, Roy coached the Lobsters to the Eastern Division Championship and into the WTT Finals against the Los Angeles Strings.[8] While the Lobsters were the favourites to win the championship that year, their young star, Martina Navratilova, was forced to miss the first two matches of the best-of-five finals with a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery to remove calcium deposits.[9] As a result, Chris Evert easily dominated Navratilova's replacement, Anne Smith, in women's singles taking the set in the first match, 6–2,[10] and the set in the second match 6–0.[11] Led by Evert and Ilie Năstase, the Strings won the first two matches on the Lobsters' home court. Navratilova returned to the lineup for the third match and led the Lobsters to victory.[12] However, Evert and Ann Kiyomura dominated the final set of women's doubles in the fourth match to erase a Lobsters lead and give the Strings the title.[13]

The final Lobster team that Emerson coached consisted of Tony Roche, Mike Estep (for part of the season), and Emerson himself as the male players. When Estep got hurt, he was replaced by the Australian player Dale Collings, who at the time, along with Colin Dibley, was reputed to have the fastest serve in professional tennis. The women on the team were headed by Navratilova and included Terry Holladay, Anne Smith and Una Keyes, who was a local New England amateur champion. Following the 1978 season, Lobsters owner Robert Kraft announced that the franchise would fold.[14] They were one of eight WTT franchises to fold out of a total of 10 in the entire league and left only the San Francisco Golden Gaters and the Phoenix Racquets prepared to participate in the 1979 season. A few weeks after most of the franchises announced they were folding, WTT announced the creation of three new expansion franchises in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Diego and said that there would be five more expansion franchises chosen from a pool of candidates.[15] Things did not work out, and WTT suspended operations of the league in March 1979.[16] It later was resurrected by Billie Jean King with a lesser season and an emphasis on younger up and coming players.[citation needed]

Emerson now resides in Newport Beach, California with his wife, Joy, and daughter, Heidi, and has a home in Gstaad where he holds a tennis clinic each summer. His son, Anthony, was an All-American in tennis at Corona del Mar High School and the University of Southern California and played on the professional tour briefly. Roy and Antony won the United States Hard Court Father-and-Son title in 1978. Roy briefly coached promising juniors at East Lake Woodlands in Oldsmar, Florida. His students included Pat Cash, Kim Warwick, and Derek Damico.

Honours[edit]

Emerson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986.[17] The main court for the Suisse Open Gstaad, a tournament which Emerson won five times and where he played his last match as a professional, is named "Roy Emerson Arena" in his honour.

In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal,[18] and in 2001 received the Centenary Medal.[19]

The Roy Emerson trophy, which is awarded to the male champion at the Brisbane International, is named in his honour.[20] In 2009 Emerson was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[21] He was honoured during the 2013 Australian Open at the Australian Open Legends' Lunch.[22]

In 2014 Brisbane named new Courts in Milton at Frew Park after Roy Emerson.[23][24]

Grand Slam tournament finals[edit]

Singles: 15 (12 titles, 3 runners–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1961 Australian Championships Grass Australia Rod Laver 1–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Winner 1961 US Championships Grass Australia Rod Laver 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1962 Australian Championships Grass Australia Rod Laver 6–8, 6–0, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1962 French Championships Clay Australia Rod Laver 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 7–9, 2–6
Runner-up 1962 US Championships Grass Australia Rod Laver 2–6, 4–6, 7–5, 4–6
Winner 1963 Australian Championships Grass Australia Ken Fletcher 6–3, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 1963 French Championships Clay France Pierre Darmon 3–6, 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1964 Australian Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 6–3, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 1964 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 6–4, 12–10, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 1964 US Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 6–2, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 1965 Australian Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 7–9, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–1
Winner 1965 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle 6–2, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1966 Australian Championships Grass United States Arthur Ashe 6–4, 6–8, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 1967 Australian Championships Grass United States Arthur Ashe 6–4, 6–1, 6–1
Winner 1967 French Championships Clay Australia Tony Roche 6–1, 6–4, 2–6, 6–2

Doubles: 30 (16 titles, 14 runners–up)[edit]

Doubles: 28 (16 titles, 12 runners–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1958 Australian Championships Grass Australia Robert Mark Australia Ashley Cooper
Australia Neale Fraser
5–7, 8–6, 6–3, 3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 1959 French Championships Clay Australia Neale Fraser Italy Nicola Pietrangeli
Italy Orlando Sirola
3–6, 2–6, 12–14
Winner 1959 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Rod Laver
Australia Robert Mark
8–6, 6–3, 14–16, 9–7
Winner 1959 US Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser United States Earl Buchholz
United States Alex Olmedo
3–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 1960 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Rod Laver
Australia Robert Mark
6–1, 2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Winner 1960 French Championships Clay Australia Neale Fraser Spain Jose-Luis Arilla
Spain Andrés Gimeno
6–2, 8–10, 7–5, 6–4
Winner 1960 US Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Rod Laver
Australia Robert Mark
9–7, 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1961 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marty Mulligan Australia Rod Laver
Australia Robert Mark
3–6, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9, 2–6
Winner 1961 French Championships Clay Australia Rod Laver Australia Robert Howe
Australia Robert Mark
3–6, 6–1, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 1961 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Bob Hewitt
Australia Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–8, 6–4, 6–8, 8–6
Winner 1962 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser Australia Bob Hewitt
Australia Fred Stolle
4–6, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4, 11–9
Winner 1962 French Championships Clay Australia Neale Fraser West Germany Wilhelm Bungert
West Germany Christian Kuhnke
6–3, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 1963 French Championships Clay Spain Manolo Santana South Africa Gordon Forbes
South Africa Abe Segal
6–2, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1964 Australian Championships Grass Australia Ken Fletcher Australia Bob Hewitt
Australia Fred Stolle
4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4, 12–14
Winner 1964 French Championships Clay Australia Ken Fletcher Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
7–5, 6–3, 3–6, 7–5
Runner-up 1964 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Ken Fletcher Australia Bob Hewitt
Australia Fred Stolle
5–7, 9–11, 4–6
Runner-up 1965 Australian Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
6–3, 6–4, 11–13, 3–6, 4–6
Winner 1965 French Championships Clay Australia Fred Stolle Australia Ken Fletcher
Australia Bob Hewitt
6–8, 6–3, 8–6, 6–2
Winner 1965 US Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle United States Frank Froehling
United States Charles Pasarell
6–4, 10–12, 7–5, 6–3
Winner 1966 Australian Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
7–9, 6–3, 6–8, 14–12, 12–10
Winner 1966 US Championships Grass Australia Fred Stolle United States Clark Graebner
United States Dennis Ralston
6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1967 French Championships Clay Australia Ken Fletcher Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
3–6, 7–9, 10–12
Runner-up 1967 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Ken Fletcher Australia Bob Hewitt
Australia Frew McMillan
2–6, 3–6, 4–6
↓ Open Era ↓
Runner-up 1968 French Open Clay Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
3–6, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 1969 Australian Open Grass Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1969 French Open Clay Australia Rod Laver Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
6–4, 1–6, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1970 US Open Grass Australia Rod Laver France Pierre Barthès
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić
3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–7
Winner 1971 Wimbledon Grass Australia Rod Laver United States Arthur Ashe
United States Dennis Ralston
4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4

Mixed Doubles: 2 (2 runners–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1956 Australian Championships (1/1) Grass Australia Mary Bevis Hawton Australia Beryl Penrose
Australia Neale Fraser
2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1960 French Championships (1/1) Clay United Kingdom Ann Haydon Jones Brazil Maria Bueno
Australia Robert Howe
6–1, 1–6, 2–6

Performance timeline[edit]

Singles[edit]

Tournament 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian 1R 2R 2R A QF QF SF W F W W W W W A 3R A QF
French 1R A A 3R A QF 3R QF F W QF SF QF W QF 4R A A
Wimbledon 2R A 3R 4R A SF QF QF 4R QF W W QF 4R 4R 4R QF 4R
US 3R A QF 4R A QF 3R W F 4R W QF SF QF 4R QF 4R

Open-era doubles titles (20)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
1. 1968 Bournemouth, England Grass Australia Rod Laver Spain Andrés Gimeno
United States Pancho Gonzales
8–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
2. 1969 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–4
3. 1969 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) Australia Rod Laver Spain Andrés Gimeno
Australia Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–2
4. 1970 Boston, US Hard Australia Rod Laver United Arab Republic Ismail El Shafei
Denmark Torben Ulrich
6–1, 7–6
5. 1971 Wimbledon, London Grass Australia Rod Laver United States Arthur Ashe
United States Dennis Ralston
4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4
6. 1971 Quebec WCT, Canada Indoor Australia Rod Laver Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
7–6, 6–3
7. 1971 Boston WCT, US Hard Australia Rod Laver Netherlands Tom Okker
United States Marty Riessen
6–4, 6–4
8. 1971 Berkeley, US Hard Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
6–3, 6–3
9. 1971 Vancouver WCT, Canada Outdoor Australia Rod Laver Australia John Alexander
Australia Phil Dent
6–3, 7–6
10. 1972 Houston WCT, US Clay Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
6–4, 7–6
11. 1972 Las Vegas WCT, US Hard Australia Rod Laver Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
7–6, 1–6, 6–2
12. 1972 Rotterdam WCT, Netherlands Carpet Australia John Newcombe United States Arthur Ashe
United States Robert Lutz
6–2, 6–3
13. 1973 Miami WCT, US Hard Australia Rod Laver Australia Terry Addison
Australia Colin Dibley
6–4, 6–4
14. 1973 La Costa WCT, US Hard Australia Rod Laver Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić
Australia Allan Stone
6–7, 6–3, 6–4
15. 1973 Richmond WCT, US Carpet Australia Rod Laver Australia Terry Addison
Australia Colin Dibley
3–6, 6–3, 6–4
16. 1973 Atlanta WCT, US Clay Australia Rod Laver South Africa Robert Maud
Rhodesia Andrew Pattison
7–6, 6–3
17. 1973 Gothenburg WCT, Sweden Carpet Australia Rod Laver Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić
Australia Allan Stone
6–7, 6–4, 6–1
18. 1973 San Francisco, US Carpet United States Stan Smith Sweden Ove Nils Bengtson
United States Jim McManus
6–2, 6–1
19. 1974 Las Vegas, Nevada, US Hard Australia Rod Laver South Africa Frew McMillan
Australia John Newcombe
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
20. 1975 Denver WCT, US Carpet Australia Rod Laver Australia Bob Carmichael
Australia Allan Stone
6–2, 3–6, 7–5

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roy Emerson". atpworldtour.com. Association of Tennis Professionals. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  2. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  3. ^ "Australian Open results archive". Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Emerson likely to refuse pro. offer.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 26 November 1964. p. 36. 
  5. ^ "Emerson demand 'right'.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 2 December 1964. p. 30. 
  6. ^ "Emerson Wins in Pro Debut.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 15 April 1968. p. 12. 
  7. ^ "Emerson will boss Lobsters". Bangor Daily News. 16 November 1976. 
  8. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 575. ISBN 978-0942257700. 
  9. ^ "Teenager Aids Lobsters Upset". Lewiston Evening Journal. 19 September 1978. p. 22. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "LA Strings Top Lobsters, 24–21". The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut). 14 September 1989. p. 53. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Evert's Wins Pace Strings in Playoff". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. 17 September 1978. p. 10B. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Teenager Aids Lobsters Upset". Lewiston Evening Journal. 19 September 1978. p. 22. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Strings Win WTT Championship". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). 22 September 1978. p. 1D. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Kirshenbaum, Jerry (6 November 1978). "A Question of Resolve". Sports Illustrated. 
  15. ^ "Struggling WTT Adds Three New Franchises". The San Bernardino County Sun. 1 December 1978. p. 65. 
  16. ^ Crossley, Andy (1 April 2011). "1974-1978 Los Angeles Strings". Fun While It Lasted. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Roy Emerson". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  18. ^ It's an Honour: Australian Sports Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  19. ^ It's an Honour: Centenary Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  20. ^ Margie McDonald (22 November 2011). "Men will play for Roy Emerson trophy in Brisbane International". www.theaustralian.com.au. The Australian. 
  21. ^ "Mr Roy Emerson". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Grand day for Emerson". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 27 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Roy Emerson Tennis Centre". www.emersontennis.com.au. Emerson Tennis Centre. 
  24. ^ Tony Moore (21 March 2013). "Plan to honour Brisbane tennis greats". www.brisbanetimes.com.au. Brisbane Times. 

Sources[edit]

  • World of Tennis Yearbook 1971 (1971), by John Barrett, London

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Records
Preceded by
United States Bill Tilden
Most career Grand Slam singles titles
30 January 1967 – 26 June 2000
Succeeded by
United States Pete Sampras