Australian tennis great Cooper dies

Ross Houston
May 26, 2020

Tennis Australia announced that Cooper had passed away after battling with an illness for a long time.

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. "Our hearts go out to his wife Helen and his family, along with his wide and worldwide circle of friends, including so many of our tennis family", he added.

The Australian tennis great also guided his side to Davis Cup glory in 1957 before leading them to a final-round finish a year later. He was a wonderful champion, on and off the court.

Laver said Cooper was among a group of players including Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman and Lew Hoad who "ruled the world in tennis, a whole group from the 50s to the 70s". "So many cherished memories", Laver wrote "Farewell my friend", he added.

In 1958, Australia lost to the United States and Cooper attempted to withdraw from a professional contract signed with Jack Kramer as he "felt he owed" his country, according to Tennis Australia. He worked at Tennis Queensland, sat on the board of directors for Tennis Australia and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.

Tennis Australia said Cooper would be remembered as "a giant of the game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator". "Farewell my friend", the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) quoted Laver as saying.

"Ashley was also the most humble of champions and a great family man. I will miss him".

In blazing heat, a 30-year-old Newcombe downed Connors in four sets on the Kooyong grass to clinch his seventh and final Grand Slam singles crown, possibly his hardest-earned career triumph. He was a right-handed, serve-and volley player who was especially effective against left-handed opponents.

"We were 17 and chosen as promising juniors", Emerson said.

Other reports by iNewsToday