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John Newcombe and family
, 1973

by Lewis Morley

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.2 cm x 30.5 cm, image: 32.2 cm x 29.1 cm)

John Newcombe (b. 1944) won his first major tennis honours as a twenty-three year old, taking 1967's Wimbledon and US Open singles crowns and finishing the year as the world's number one player. He would go on to win two further Wimbledons (1970 and 1971), another US Open (1973) and two Australian Opens (1973 and 1975), and he was world number one again in 1970 and 1971. Apart from his flirty smile and sexy moustache, off the court Newcombe was known for enjoying and inciting beer-fuelled hijinks (his drinking bout with George Bush Jr. led to the future president's arrest for drunk driving). In 1994 he assumed the captaincy of Australia's Davis Cup team in partnership with Tony Roche, and became a mentor to a new generation of Australian players like Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. Having led the team to victory in 1999 against France, Newcombe stepped down from the captaincy. He continues to work as a commentator and after-dinner speaker.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.47