Rex Noel Hartwig (2 September 1929 – 30 December 2022) was an Australian tennis player.[3]

Rex Hartwig
Full nameRex Noel Hartwig
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1929-09-02)2 September 1929
Culcairn, New South Wales, Australia
Died30 December 2022(2022-12-30) (aged 93)[1]
Turned pro1950 (amateur tour)
Retired1962
PlaysRight-handed (1-handed backhand)
Singles
Career record172-70
Career titles14
Highest rankingNo. 5 (1954, Lance Tingay)[2]
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenF (1954)
French Open4R (1953, 1954)
WimbledonQF (1954)
US OpenF (1954)
Other tournaments
Other pro events
TOCRR (1958FH)
Doubles
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1954)
WimbledonW (1954, 1955)
US OpenW (1953)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenW (1953, 1954)
French OpenF (1954)
WimbledonQF (1954)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1953, 1955 )

Early life edit

Rex Hartwig was born on 2 September 1929 in Culcairn, New South Wales. Both parents played tennis and at age 10 he won a local tournament with his father. At 13, Hartwig began competing in afternoon competitions and took a job managing tennis courts in Albury. He formed a doubles team with Allan Kendall Jr. and won the NSW, Victorian and Australian Junior titles.[4][5]

Tennis career edit

Hartwig was ranked World No. 5 in both 1954 and 1955 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph.[2]

Wimbledon

He won the doubles in Wimbledon twice: in 1954 with Mervyn Rose and in 1955 with Lew Hoad.[6][7]

Australian Championships

In 1954 Hartwig was runner-up at the Australian championships to his Davis Cup teammate Mervyn Rose.

In 1953, he won the doubles with Rose and the mixed doubles with Julia Sampson Hayward.[8] In 1954 he again won the mixed doubles title in Melbourne, this time partnering Thelma Coyne Long.[9][10][11]

U.S. Championships

In 1953, he won the doubles title at the U.S. Championships with Mervyn Rose, defeating Gardnar Mulloy and Bill Talbert in the final that lasted 77 minutes.[12][13]

Playing singles, he made the final in 1954, defeating Tony Trabert and Ken Rosewall but losing in the final to Vic Seixas.[14]

Davis Cup

Hartwig was member of the Australian Davis Cup team in 1953, 1954 and 1955. In 1953, he played the doubles match with Lew Hoad in the challenge round against the USA and lost to Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert. This was Hartwig's only Davis Cup defeat. In 1954, he defeated Seixas in the challenge round that Australia lost to the U.S. In 1955, he made a significant contribution toward Australia's Cup win, playing 11 matches in six ties and winning all of them. He compiled a 12–1 win–loss record in the Davis Cup (6–0 singles, 6–1 doubles).[15][16][17]

Other tournaments

In March 1952 Hartwig won the South Australian Championships at Milton Courts, Adelaide defeating Ken McGregor in the semifinal and Rose in the final in a close five-set match.

In November 1954, Hartwig won the singles title at the New South Wales Championships in Sydney. He defeated Rosewall in the semifinal and Rose in the final in three straight sets.[18]

Professional

In November 1955, Hartwig turned professional by signing a contract with tennis promoter Jack Kramer for a fixed amount of $30,000 plus a percentage of the gate receipts of the professional tour.[19][20]

Playing style edit

Hartwig was known for his well-timed groundstrokes and his crisp and accurate volleys. Australian tennis player and coach Harry Hopman characterized Hartwig as a great stylist.[21]

Grand Slam finals edit

Singles (2 runners-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1954 Australian Championships Grass   Mervyn Rose 2–6, 6–0, 4–6, 2–6
Loss 1954 U.S. Championships Grass   Vic Seixas 6–3, 2–6, 4–6, 4–6

Doubles (4 titles – 1 runner-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1953 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Mervyn Rose   Lew Hoad
  Ken Rosewall
4–6, 5–7, 6–4, 5–7
Win 1953 U.S. Championships Grass   Mervyn Rose   Gardnar Mulloy
  Bill Talbert
6–4, 4–6, 6–2, 6–4
Win 1954 Australian Championships Grass   Mervyn Rose   Neale Fraser
  Clive Wilderspin
6–3, 6–4, 6–2
Win 1954 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Mervyn Rose   Vic Seixas
  Tony Trabert
6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4
Win 1955 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Lew Hoad   Neale Fraser
  Ken Rosewall
7–5, 6–4, 6–3

Mixed doubles (2 titles, 2 runners-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1953 Australian Championships Grass   Julia Sampson   Maureen Connolly
  Ham Richardson
6–4, 6–3
Loss 1953 U.S. Championships Grass   Julia Sampson   Doris Hart
  Vic Seixas
2–6, 6–4, 4–6
Win 1954 Australian Championships Grass   Thelma Coyne Long   Beryl Penrose
  John Bromwich
4–6, 6–1, 6–2
Loss 1954 French Championships Clay   Jacqueline Patorni   Maureen Connolly
  Lew Hoad
4–6, 3–6

References edit

  1. ^ "Tribute: Remembering Rex Hartwig". Tennis Australia. 31 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 426.
  3. ^ Harper, Jack (23 November 1954). "N.S.W. Tennis Title To Rex Hartwig in Three Sets". The Age.
  4. ^ "Rex Hartwig". Australian Tennis History. 16 March 2011.
  5. ^ Malcolm Brown. "Allan Kendall: Ace at tennis was smash on children's TV". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Men's Doubles Finals 1884–2008". Wimbledon Website. All England Lawn Tennis Club. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Rex Hartwig Inks Pro Tennis Pact". Sarasota Journal. 9 November 1955.
  8. ^ "Rose-Hartwig "Best In World Doubles"". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 30 January 1954. p. 11 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Men's Doubles Champions". Australian Open. Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on 10 March 2010.
  10. ^ "Mixed Doubles Champions". Australian Open. Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010.
  11. ^ "Hoad Criticized For Tennis Play". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 3 December 1954.
  12. ^ "Rose, Hartwig Win U.S. Doubles Tennis Title". Goulburn Evening Post. NSW. 24 August 1953. p. 3 Edition: Daily and Evening – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Champions – Men's Doubles Championships". US Open. United States Tennis Association.
  14. ^ "Champions – Men's Singles Championships". US Open. United States Tennis Association.
  15. ^ "Rex HARTWIG". Davis Cup Official Website. International Tennis Federation.
  16. ^ Talbert, William F. (5 September 1955). "Wanted: At Least Three Young Men". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  17. ^ Talbert, William F. (20 September 1954). "No Year For Kings". Sports Illustrated.
  18. ^ "N.S.W. Tennis Title To Rex Hartwig In Three Sets". The Age. 23 November 1954.
  19. ^ "Rex Hartwig Inks Pro Tennis Pact". Sarasota Journal. 9 November 1955. p. 7.
  20. ^ "Hopman Advised Me – Rex Hartwig". The Age. 10 November 1955. p. 12.
  21. ^ "Player Profiles – Rex Hartwig". Tennis Australia.

External links edit