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Lew Hoad

1934 – 1994

Lew Hoad (1934-1994), tennis champion, was born in Sydney. He played his first Davis Cup competition in 1952 and helped the Australian team to victory with a thrilling win over Tony Trabert. This photograph shows him playing in the Davis Cup at White City in 1954. In 1956, he won the Wimbledon, French and Australian singles titles, but was prevented from winning the Grand Slam by his compatriot and 'tennis twin' Ken Rosewall in the final of the US Open. He won the Wimbledon doubles titles in 1953, 1955 and 1956 and the singles title again in 1957. Between 1953 and 1956 he won 13 Grand Slam titles, 10 out of 12 Davis Cup singles for Australia and seven out of nine doubles. When he turned professional he became a successful coach, operating the famous Lew Hoad's Campo de Tenis village on Spain's Costa del Sol. In a 1999 article naming the Sportsman of the Century for England's Guardian newspaper, Frank Keating described Hoad's complete absence of 'gamesmanship, meanness or sly endeavour' commenting that 'his generosity was as genial as his immense talent.' Hoad, he wrote, 'lit up with warmth the whole world . . . [he] was the very best player at tennis as well, simultaneously, as the very best sportsman at sportsmanship'.

Updated 2019