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Roy Emerson

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Roy Emerson

Roy Emerson
Full name Roy Stanley Emerson
Country (sports)  Australia
Residence Newport Beach, California
Born (1936-11-03) 3 November 1936
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
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
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.[1] 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.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Honours 2
  • Grand Slam tournament finals 3
    • Singles: 15 (12 titles, 3 runners–up) 3.1
    • Doubles: 30 (16 titles, 14 runners–up) 3.2
      • Doubles: 28 (16 titles, 12 runners–up) 3.2.1
      • Mixed Doubles: 2 (2 runners–up) 3.2.2
  • Performance timeline 4
    • Singles 4.1
  • Open-era doubles titles (20) 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
    • Sources 7.1
  • See also 8
  • External links 9

Biography

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 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.

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

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

Singles: 15 (12 titles, 3 runners–up)

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

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

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

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

Mixed Doubles: 2 (2 runners–up)

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

Performance timeline

Singles

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)

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

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Roy Emerson". atpworldtour.com.  
  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.".  
  5. ^ "Emerson demand 'right'.".  
  6. ^ "Emerson Wins in Pro Debut.".  
  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.  
  9. ^ "Teenager Aids Lobsters Upset".  
  10. ^ "LA Strings Top Lobsters, 24–21".  
  11. ^ "Evert's Wins Pace Strings in Playoff".  
  12. ^ "Teenager Aids Lobsters Upset".  
  13. ^ "Strings Win WTT Championship".  
  14. ^ Kirshenbaum, Jerry (6 November 1978). "A Question of Resolve".  
  15. ^ "Struggling WTT Adds Three New Franchises".  
  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

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

See also

External links

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