Kerry Melville

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Kerry Melville Reid MBE (née Melville; born 7 August 1947) is a former professional tennis player from Australia. During her 17-year career, Reid won one Grand Slam singles title and 26 other singles titles and was the runner-up in 40 singles tournaments. Reid was included in the year-end world top-ten rankings for 12 consecutive years (1968–1979)[citation needed]. She won at least one tournament annually from 1966 through 1979, except for 1975. Her career-high ranking was world No. 5 in 1971, behind Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, and Rosie Casals.

Kerry Melville
Kerry Melville 1970.jpg
Melville in 1970
Full nameKerry Melville Reid
Country (sports) Australia
Born (1947-08-07) 7 August 1947 (age 75)
Mosman, New South Wales
Height167 cm (5 ft 6 in)[1]
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career record236–104
Career titles22
Highest rankingNo. 7 (4 July 1976)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenW (1977Jan)
French OpenSF (1967)
WimbledonSF (1974)
US OpenF (1972)
Career record172–64
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1968, 1977Dec)
WimbledonW (1978)
US OpenF (1978)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1966)
French OpenQF (1969)
WimbledonQF (1977)
US OpenQF (1966)


Melville won 27 singles tournaments and was runner-up in 37 more between 1963 and 1979. Against Hall of Fame players, Melville beat Margaret Court three times, Billie Jean King eight times, Evonne Goolagong six times, Chris Evert twice, Martina Navratilova once, Rosie Casals 20 times, Francoise Durr 14 times, Nancy Richey eight times, Virgnia Wade four times, Tracy Austin three times, and Hana Mandlikova twice. Overall, Reid played 1,047 matches from 1962 to 1985, with a win-loss record of 737 to 310 (70.4% winning ratio).

In January 1977, Reid won her sole Grand Slam singles title when she defeated fellow Australian Dianne Fromholtz in the final of the Australian Open in two sets. Reid and Fromholtz were the only top-ten players who played the tournament. The previous week, Reid also defeated Fromholtz in the final of the New South Wales Open, where Reid and Fromholtz again were the only top-ten players who entered.

Melville began her Grand Slam tennis career in 1963 when she reached the third round of the Australian Championships. In 1966, she reached the semifinals of both the Australian Championships and the U.S. Championships, defeating Billie Jean King in the second round of the latter tournament. In 1967, Melville again reached the semifinals of the Australian Championships and reached the semifinals of the French Championships for the first and only time.

Melville was the women's singles runner-up at the 1970 Australian Open, losing to Margaret Court in the final in straight sets.[2] However, the Australian Tennis Federation banned Melville and fellow Australian Judy Tegart from playing the Australian Open in 1971 and 1972, owing to their roles in having started the Virginia Slims circuit. Melville was the singles runner-up at the US Open in 1972, losing to King after defeating Chris Evert in the semifinal in straight sets.

In 1972, Melville reached the final of the inaugural WTA Tour Championships, where she lost to Evert in two sets.[3] Reid reached the semi's at the 1973 season-ending Virginia Slims Championship. In 1977, Reid played in both season-ending championships, the Virginia Slims Championships and the Colgate Series Championships, respectively, each limited to the top eight players.[4] In 1978 and 1979, Reid was again among the eight who played in the year-end Colgate Series Championships.[5][6]

Reid capped her last year on the professional tour in 1979 by beating Navratilova for the first time in tournament play. Reid defeated Navratilova in a Family Circle Cup semifinal in two sets, then lost to Tracy Austin in the final. Reid also competed in the year-ending WTA Championships (limited to the year's top 8 players).

Melville Reid won the Australian Open women's doubles title twice, outright in 1968 and shared in December 1977. With Wendy Turnbull in 1978, Reid won the women's doubles title at Wimbledon, was the doubles runner-up at the US Open and the year-ending Colgate Series Championship, and won the doubles titles at the Virginia Slims of Seattle, the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia, the U.S. Indoor Championships, and the New South Wales Open.

Melville was a member of the Australian team that won the Federation Cup in 1968. She also helped Australia reach four consecutive Federation Cup finals from 1976 through 1979 on a variety of court surfaces. During that run, she beat several top players, including Rosemary Casals (1976 final on carpet), Wade (1977 semifinal on grass in Eastbourne just weeks before Wade's Wimbledon victory), Austin (1978 final in Melbourne on grass) and Hana Mandlíková (1979 semifinal on clay).

Reid was a member of the "Houston 9", the breakaway group led by Gladys Heldman in 1971 that formed the nucleus of the women's professional tennis tour.[7]

World TeamTennisEdit

Reid anchored a World TeamTennis team for each season of its inaugural incarnation (Boston Lobsters 1974–1976 and San Diego Friars 1977–1978). In 1977, Reid was undefeated in singles against both Martina Navratilova and Virginia Wade, defeating each three times.[citation needed] As of July 20, 1978, Reid had "won the most games of any woman ever in WTT in women's singles. ... I think part of it is she's always been on teams where she's had the sole singles role. ... it's a longevity record." (Julie Heldman commentary with Vic Braden, HBO "Phoenix Racquets vs. San Diego Friars (July 20, 1978)," 0.3:40 - 0:4:10 at

Personal lifeEdit

She married Grover "Raz" Reid, a Boston Lobsters teammate, on 27 April 1975 in Greenville, South Carolina.[8] Raz retired as a player in 1977 and coached Kerry during the remaining three years of her playing career. The Reids then retired to Raz's home state of South Carolina and raised two daughters.

Honours and awardsEdit

Reid was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1979. In 2014, she was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame.[9] Reid was among the "Original Nine" inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 17, 2021.[10][11]

Grand Slam tournament finalsEdit

Singles: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1970 Australian Open Grass   Margaret Court 3–6, 1–6
Loss 1972 US Open Grass   Billie Jean King 3–6, 5–7
Win 1977(J) Australian Open Grass   Dianne Fromholtz 7–5, 6–2

Women's doubles: 8 (3 titles, 5 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1968 Australian Championships Grass   Karen Krantzcke   Judy Tegart Dalton
  Lesley Turner
6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Loss 1970 Australian Open Grass   Karen Krantzcke   Margaret Court
  Judy Tegart Dalton
3–6, 1–6
Loss 1973 Australian Open Grass   Kerry Harris   Margaret Court
  Virginia Wade
4–6, 4–6
Loss 1974 Australian Open Grass   Kerry Harris   Evonne Goolagong
  Peggy Michel
5–7, 3–6
Loss 1977(J) Australian Open Grass   Betsy Nagelsen   Helen Gourlay
  Dianne Fromholtz
7–5, 1–6, 5–7
Win 1977(D) Australian Open Grass   Mona Guerrant   Evonne Goolagong
  Helen Gourlay
title shared,
final rained out
Win 1978 Wimbledon Grass   Wendy Turnbull   Mima Jaušovec
  Virginia Ruzici
4–6, 9–8(12–10), 6–3
Loss 1978 US Open Hard   Wendy Turnbull   Billie Jean King
  Martina Navratilova
6–7, 4–6

Grand Slam singles timelineEdit

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 19771 1978 1979 Career SR
Australian Open 3R 2R 3R SF SF 3R SF F A A SF SF 2R3 1R W SF A A 1 / 14
French Open A A A 1R SF 4R QF 1R2 2R 2R A A A A A A A 0 / 7
Wimbledon A A A 3R 3R 3R 2R 4R QF 3R QF SF 2R QF QF 4R 4R 0 / 14
US Open A A A SF 4R A 1R QF SF F QF QF QF 2R 4R 4R QF 0 / 13
SR 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 1 / 4 0 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 48
Year-end ranking 10 8 10 9 9

1 The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.
2,3 Melville did not play. Her opponent got a walkover.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bostic, Stephanie, ed. (1979). USTA Player Records 1978. United States Tennis Association (USTA). p. 235.
  2. ^ "Ashe wins Open". The Canberra Times. Vol. 44, no. 12, 530. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 28 January 1970. p. 32 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "Chris Saves Money For Slims Promoters". The Ledger. Boca Raton, United States. 16 October 1972.
  4. ^ "Evert seeded tops in Colgate". The Desert Sun. 29 October 1977. p. A14.
  5. ^ "1978 Palm Springs – Singles draw". International Tennis Federation (ITF).
  6. ^ Barry Lorge (30 December 1979). "Colgate tennis draws spotlight with cross-country move". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ "IWD: A Tribute to the Aussie trailblazers". Tennis Australia. 8 March 2016.
  8. ^ "For Evonne and Kerry a couple of love matches". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 42, no. 52. Australia. 28 May 1975. pp. 2–3 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Player profiles – Kery Reid". Tennis Australia.
  10. ^ "Original 9". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  11. ^ Pantic, Nina (17 July 2021). "Original 9, Van der Meer, Ivanišević, and Martínez Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved 29 March 2022.

External linksEdit