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Ashley Cooper (tennis)

Ashley John Cooper AO (born 15 September 1936) is a former tennis player from Australia who was recognised as the world's best amateur player during the years of 1957 and 1958[a].[3] Cooper won four singles and four doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments.

Ashley Cooper
AO
Ashley Cooper 1958.jpg
Ashley Cooper in 1958
Full nameAshley John Cooper
Country (sports) Australia
ResidenceAustralia
Born (1936-09-15) 15 September 1936 (age 83)
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro1959 (amateur tour from 1953)
Retired1962
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1991 (member page)
Singles
Career record414-223 (64.9%) [1]
Career titles27 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1957, Lance Tingay)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1957, 1958)
French OpenSF (1958)
WimbledonW (1958)
US OpenW (1958)
Other tournaments
TOCQF (1959)
Professional majors
US ProSF (1959, 1960)
Wembley ProQF (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962)
French ProSF (1962)
Doubles
Career record0–3
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1957)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1958)
French OpenW (1957, 1958)
WimbledonF (1958)
US OpenW (1957)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1957)

Playing careerEdit

Cooper won his first Grand Slam singles title at the 1957 Australian Championships where he defeated compatriot Neale Fraser in the final in four sets.[4][5]

Cooper played his best year in 1958, becoming one of only eleven men to win three of the four Grand Slam events in the same year. He successfully defended his Australian singles title after a straight-sets victory in the final against Malcolm Anderson.[4] In July he won his first Wimbledon title after beating Fraser in the final, and followed up with a first singles title at the U.S. Championships, again defeating Anderson in the final. Additionally Cooper was a semifinalist at the French Championship, losing to Luis Ayala in five sets.

The right-handed Cooper was the top ranked player in both 1957—when he was a Wimbledon and Forest Hills finalist, and Paris semi-finalist—and in 1958. Cooper played on the Australian Davis Cup team that won the cup in 1957, and were finalists in 1958. In January 1959, Cooper turned professional after signing a contract with Jack Kramer.[6][7][8]

Upon retiring as a player, Cooper has served as a tennis player development administrator with Tennis Queensland, where he has been based for nearly fifty years. He presently also sits on the Board of Directors for Tennis Australia.

HonoursEdit

Cooper was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1987 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.[9] In the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2007, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to tennis.[10]

In 2009 Cooper was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[11]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles: (4 titles, 2 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1957 Australian Championships Grass   Neale Fraser 6–3, 9–11, 6–4, 6–2
Loss 1957 Wimbledon Grass   Lew Hoad 2–6, 1–6, 2–6
Loss 1957 U.S. Championships Grass   Malcolm Anderson 8–10, 5–7, 4–6
Win 1958 Australian Championships (2) Grass   Malcolm Anderson 7–5, 6–3, 6–4
Win 1958 Wimbledon Grass   Neale Fraser 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 13–11
Win 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Malcolm Anderson 6–2, 3–6, 4–6, 10–8, 8–6

Doubles: (4 titles, 3 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1956 French Championships Clay   Lew Hoad   Don Candy
  Robert Perry
5–7, 3–6, 3–6
Loss 1957 Australian Championships Grass   Malcolm Anderson   Lew Hoad
  Neale Fraser
3–6, 6–8, 4–6
Win 1957 French Championships Clay   Malcolm Anderson   Don Candy
  Mervyn Rose
6–3, 6–0, 6–3
Win 1957 U.S. Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Gardnar Mulloy
  Budge Patty
4–6, 6–3, 9–7, 6–3
Win 1958 Australian Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Roy Emerson
  Robert Mark
7–5, 6–8, 3–6, 6–3, 7–5
Loss 1958 Wimbledon Grass   Neale Fraser   Sven Davidson
  Ulf Schmidt
4–6, 4–6, 6–8
Win 1958 French Championships Clay   Neale Fraser   Robert Howe
  Abe Segal
3–6, 8–6, 6–3, 7–5

Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(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)

SinglesEdit

Tournament 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 SR
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open QF QF QF W W A A A A A A A A A A 2 / 5
French Open 2R A SF SF SF A A A A A A A A A 2R 0 / 5
Wimbledon 4R 1R 4R F W A A A A A A A A A A 1 / 5
US Open 2R 3R QF F W A A A A A A A A A A 1 / 5
Strike Rate 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 1 / 4 3 / 4 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 4 / 20

Personal lifeEdit

Cooper married Helen Wood, Miss Australia 1957, on January 2, 1959. An estimated crowd of five thousand unruly people surrounded St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Brisbane to try to catch a glimpse of the couple[12].

NotesEdit

  1. ^ According to Lance Tingay

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ashley Cooper: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Ashley Cooper: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  4. ^ a b Paul Newman (20 September 2016). "From the archive: Ashley Cooper, Wimbledon's original marathon man". www.wimbledon.com. AELTC.
  5. ^ "Wimbledon Draws Archive – 1958 Gentlemen's Singles". www.wimbledon.com. AELTC. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Ashley Cooper, Helen Wood Will Wed Today". The News and Courier. Charleston, S.C. AP. 2 January 1959. p. 5B. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  7. ^ "ATP Player Profile". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Cooper Joins Kramer". The Canberra Times. 33 (9, 681). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 January 1959. p. 8. Retrieved 22 September 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Ashley Cooper AO". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  10. ^ It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia
  11. ^ "Mr Ashley Cooper AO". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Near-Riot Marks Cooper Wedding". New York Times. New York City. Associated Press. 3 January 1959. Retrieved 24 October 2018.

External linksEdit