Athlete


Date Inducted: 10 Dec 1985
Sport: Tennis
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Hall Of Fame

Ken Rosewall AM MBE - Tennis

Ken Rosewall was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 as an Athlete Member for his contribution to the sport of tennis and was Elevated to "Legend of Australian Sport" in 2009.

In 1953, at the age of 18, Rosewall won the Australian and French Opens and climbed even further onto the world tennis stage when he teamed with 'twin' Lew Hoad to beat the United States 3-2 in the Davis Cup Challenge Round.

He clinched the Davis Cup victory, beating Vic Seixas in three sets in one of the most remarkable victories in Australian sport.

Rosewall won four Australian titles (1953, 1955, 1971 and 1972); two French (1953, 1968) and two U.S. titles (1956, 1970).

Claimed to be the greatest player never to win Wimbledon, Rosewall was runner up on four occasions - 1954, 1956, 1970 and 1974.

Rosewall turned pro in 1957 and succeeded America's Pancho Gonzales as World Pro Champion in the early 1960s.

Regarded as having the finest backhand in tennis, Rosewall beat Rod Laver in an epic WCT final in Dallas in 1972 and was the largest WCT money earner that year.

He was 39 when he played Jimmy Connors in the 1974 Wimbledon final.

By 1976, and at the age of 41, Rosewall was still winning WCT and Grand Prix tournaments.

He was awarded the MBE in 1971, and was one of the finest and most popular sportsmen in Australian sporting history.

Inspiration: "Play the game as well as you can - on and off the court"

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.