John Newcombe

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John Newcombe
John Newcombe c1974.jpg
John Newcombe c. 1974
Country (sports) Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Residence Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Born (1944-05-23) 23 May 1944 (age 75)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1967 (amateur tour from 1960)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,062,408
Int. Tennis HoF 1986 (member page)
Career record552–198 (73.6%)
Career titles68 (including 34 listed by the ATP)
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1967, Lance Tingay ) [1]
No. 1 (3 June 1974) per 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
Career record333–115 (74.3%)
Career titles33
Highest rankingNo. 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) is a former tennis player from Australia who is one of the few men to have attained a world No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles. At the majors, he won seven singles titles and a former record 17 men's doubles titles. He also contributed to five Davis Cup titles for Australia during an age when Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the majors. [2] Tennis magazine rated him the 10th best male player of the period 1965–2005.



Newcombe played several sports as a boy before 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.

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

Grand Slam finals

Singles (7 titles, 3 runner-ups)

Loss1966 U.S. Championships Grass Flag of Australia (converted).svg Fred Stolle 6–4, 10–12, 3–6, 4–6
Win1967 Wimbledon Grass Flag of Germany.svg Wilhelm Bungert 6–2, 6–1, 6–1
Win1967U.S. ChampionshipsGrass Flag of the United States.svg Clark Graebner 6–4, 6–4, 8–6
Loss 1969 WimbledonGrass Flag of Australia (converted).svg Rod Laver 4–6, 7–5, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1970 WimbledonGrass Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ken Rosewall 5–7, 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1
Win 1971 WimbledonGrass Flag of the United States.svg Stan Smith 6–3, 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
Win 1973 Australian Open Grass Flag of New Zealand.svg Onny Parun 6–3, 6–7, 7–5, 6–1
Win 1973 US OpenGrass Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Jan Kodeš 6–4, 1–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3
Win 1975 Australian OpenGrass Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Connors 7–5, 3–6, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 1976 Australian Open Grass Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Edmondson 7–6, 3–6, 6–7, 1–6

Grand Slam performance timeline


(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament1960196119621963196419651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978SRW–LWin %
Australian Open 1R A QF QF QF SF SF SF A QF QF 3R QF W QF W F A QF A1 / 146–1476.7
French Open A 3R 3R 2R 2R QF 3R 4R A QF AAA 1R AA 1R AA1 / 716–1061.5
Wimbledon A 1R 2R 1R 1R 4R 3R W 4R F W W AA QF A 3R A 4R 2 / 1245–1180.4
US Open AAA 4R 3R A F W QF SF SF 1R 3R W SF AAAA0 / 645–983.3
Win–Loss0–10–25–35–45–410–314–420–27–218–413–28–24–212–112–36–07–33–13–14 / 26152–4477.6

Source: ITF [6]


See also

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  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". Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. "$1,418,000 goal for Newcombe and Roche". The Canberra Times . 4 January 1968. p. 26 via National Library of Australia.
  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. 24 June 1969. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  8. "The Awards". Tennis Australia.
  9. Fenton, Ben. (9 March 2001) Newcombe recalls Bush's brush with law. Retrieved on 2016-07-12.
  10. John Newcombe Estate & Country Club. (March 2008)
Preceded by
Ilie Năstase
world No. 1
3 June 1974 – 28 July 1974
Succeeded by
Jimmy Connors