John Newcombe, Australian tennis player | Daily News


Sport-On this day: Born May 23, 1944

John Newcombe, Australian tennis player

John Newcombe
John Newcombe

MELBOURNE, Friday - Three of John Newcombe’s countrymen have won more Grand Slam singles titles but any doubts about his standing in Australian tennis are put to rest at the sport’s annual awards night.

The Newcombe Medal, awarded to the country’s best player each year, stands as a perennial tribute to the man with the handlebar moustache who won Wimbledon three times and was the last in a golden era of Australian men’s champions.

With a thumping serve and fierce forehand, Newcombe won the Australian Open and U.S. Open twice along with 17 Grand Slam doubles titles in the 1960s and 70s.

He also helped Australia win five Davis Cups.

But the man nicknamed “Newk” is much more than the breadth of his trophy cabinet to a country not short on sporting success.

To many Australians he remains the essence of what a sportsman should be: ultra-competitive, classy, and partial to a cold beer after a hard slog on court.

Emerging from the shadows of compatriots Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle, a clean-shaven Newcombe started slowly in the sepia-toned amateur era but burst into the spotlight by winning Wimbledon in 1967 in the year of its first colour broadcast.

Months later he had his second major when he beat Clark Graebner at the 1967 U.S. Nationals. – Agencies

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