Roy Stanley Emerson AC (born 3 November 1936) is an Australian former World number one tennis player who won 12 Major singles titles and 16 Grand Slam tournament men's doubles titles. He is the only male player to have completed a Career Grand Slam (winning titles at all four Grand Slam events) in both singles and doubles. His 28 major titles are an all-time record for a male amateur player. Emerson is the first male player to win each amateur major title at least twice in his career. He is one of only eight men to win all four majors in his career.[a]
|Full name||Roy Stanley Emerson|
|Residence||Newport Beach, California, U.S.|
|Born||3 November 1936|
Blackbutt, Queensland, Australia
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1982 (member page)|
|Career record||1325-380 (77.7%) |
|Career titles||110 |
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1964, Lance Tingay)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)|
|French Open||W (1963, 1967)|
|Wimbledon||W (1964, 1965)|
|US Open||W (1961, 1964)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1962, 1966, 1969)|
|French Open||W (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)|
|Wimbledon||W (1959, 1961, 1971)|
|US Open||W (1959, 1960, 1965, 1966)|
|Davis Cup||W (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)|
Emerson was the first male player to win 12 majors. He held the record of six Australian Open men's singles titles until 2019 when Novak Djokovic won his seventh title. Emerson won five of them consecutively (1963–67). His 12 major wins have since been surpassed. Emerson is one of only five tennis players all-time to win multiple slam sets in two disciplines, only matched by Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, Frank Sedgman and Serena Williams.
Emerson won his first Grand Slam tournament doubles title in 1959 at Wimbledon (partnering Neale Fraser). In 1961, he captured his first Grand Slam tournament singles title at the Australian Championships, beating compatriot Rod Laver in four sets in the final. Later that year, Emerson claimed his second major singles crown when he again beat Laver in the final of the US Championships.
Known as "Emmo" on the tour, the six-foot right-hander was known for training hard and always being ready for strenuous matches because of his outstanding level of fitness. He was primarily a serve-and-volley style player, but was also able to adapt to the rigours of slow courts, allowing him to enjoy success on all surfaces.
From 1963 to 1967, Emerson won five consecutive men's singles titles at the Australian Championships. His record of six Australian men's singles crowns was surpassed in 2019 by Novak Djokovic who won his record seventh.
1963 also saw Emerson capture his first French Championships singles title, beating Pierre Darmon in the final.
Emerson's first Wimbledon singles title came in 1964, with a final victory over Fred Stolle. Emerson won 55 consecutive matches during 1964 and finished the year with 109 victories out of 115 matches. He won three of the year's four Grand Slam events that year (failing to win only the French Open).
Emerson was the World No. 1 amateur player in 1964 and 1965 according to Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and in 1967 according to Rex Bellamy. In 1965, he successfully defended his Australian and Wimbledon singles crowns. He was the heavy favourite to win Wimbledon again in 1966, but during his fourth round match he skidded while chasing the ball and crashed into the umpire's stand, injuring his shoulder. He still finished the match, but was unable to win.
Emerson's last major singles title came at the French Championships in 1967 – the year before the open era began. His 12 major singles titles stood as a men's record until 2000, when it was surpassed by Pete Sampras. Emerson signed a professional contract with the National Tennis League in early April 1968.
Emerson had 10 straight victories in Grand Slam tournament finals in which he appeared, which remains an all-time record.
Emerson's final Grand Slam doubles title was won in 1971 at Wimbledon (partnering Laver). His 16 Grand Slam doubles crowns were won with five different partners. From 1960–1965, he won six consecutive French Open men's doubles titles. Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and tennis great, writes in his 1979 autobiography that "Emerson was the best doubles player of all the moderns, very possibly the best forehand court player of all time. He was so quick he could cover everything. He had the perfect doubles shot, a backhand that dipped over the net and came in at the server's feet as he moved to the net. Gene Mako and Johnny van Ryn could hit a shot like that sometimes, but never so often nor as proficiently as Emerson."
Emerson was also a member of a record eight Davis Cup winning teams between 1959 and 1967.
Emerson's 12 singles and 16 doubles titles make him one of the leading players in Grand Slam tournament history.
Emerson's last top-20 ranking was in 1973, primarily owing to his winning his 105th and final career title at the Pacific Coast Championships in San Francisco. He defeated Roscoe Tanner, Arthur Ashe, and Björn Borg in the last three rounds of that tournament. Emerson played just a few tournaments through 1977. His last appearance was in the Gstaad, Switzerland tournament in 1983.
Although he exited the tournament circuit, Emerson did not retire. In the late 1970s, he served as a player/coach for the Boston Lobsters in World Team Tennis (WTT). He mostly played doubles with the Lobsters and often teamed with fellow Australian Tony Roche. In the 1978 season, the last season under the original iteration of World Team Tennis, Roy coached the Lobsters to the Eastern Division Championship and into the WTT Finals against the Los Angeles Strings. The final Lobster team that Emerson coached consisted of Tony Roche, Mike Estep (for part of the season), and Emerson himself as the male players.
Emerson now resides in Newport Beach, California with his wife, Joy, and daughter, Heidi, and has a home in Gstaad where he holds a tennis clinic each summer. His son, Antony, was an All-American in tennis at Corona del Mar High School and the University of Southern California and played on the professional tour briefly. Roy and Antony won the United States Hard Court Father-and-Son title in 1978. Roy briefly coached promising juniors at East Lake Woodlands in Oldsmar, Florida.
Awards and honoursEdit
Emerson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986. The main court for the Suisse Open Gstaad, a tournament which Emerson won five times and where he played his last match as a professional, is named Roy Emerson Arena in his honour.
The Roy Emerson trophy, which is awarded to the male champion at the Brisbane International, is named in his honour. In 2009 Emerson was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. He was honoured during the 2013 Australian Open at the Australian Open Legends' Lunch.
In 2014 Brisbane named new courts in Milton at Frew Park after Roy Emerson. The same year at Blackbutt, the Roy Emerson Museum was opened by Roy Emerson. On the 18 January 2017 a Statue of Roy Emerson was unveiled at the Blackbutt Museum.
Place in historyEdit
In the Tennis Channel series "100 Greatest of All Time" in 2012, Emerson was ranked the 11th greatest male tennis player of all time, and the second highest rated Australian in the series, behind Rod Laver.
Grand Slam tournament finalsEdit
Singles: 15 (12 titles, 3 runners–up)Edit
|Win||1961||Australian Championships||Grass||Rod Laver||1–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4|
|Win||1961||US Championships||Grass||Rod Laver||7–5, 6–3, 6–2|
|Loss||1962||Australian Championships||Grass||Rod Laver||6–8, 6–0, 4–6, 4–6|
|Loss||1962||French Championships||Clay||Rod Laver||6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 7–9, 2–6|
|Loss||1962||US Championships||Grass||Rod Laver||2–6, 4–6, 7–5, 4–6|
|Win||1963||Australian Championships||Grass||Ken Fletcher||6–3, 6–3, 6–1|
|Win||1963||French Championships||Clay||Pierre Darmon||3–6, 6–1, 6–4, 6–4|
|Win||1964||Australian Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle||6–3, 6–4, 6–2|
|Win||1964||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle||6–4, 12–10, 4–6, 6–3|
|Win||1964||US Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle||6–2, 6–2, 6–4|
|Win||1965||Australian Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle||7–9, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–1|
|Win||1965||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle||6–2, 6–4, 6–4|
|Win||1966||Australian Championships||Grass||Arthur Ashe||6–4, 6–8, 6–2, 6–3|
|Win||1967||Australian Championships||Grass||Arthur Ashe||6–4, 6–1, 6–1|
|Win||1967||French Championships||Clay||Tony Roche||6–1, 6–4, 2–6, 6–2|
Doubles: 28 (16 titles, 12 runners–up)Edit
|Loss||1958||Australian Championships||Grass||Bob Mark|| Ashley Cooper
|5–7, 8–6, 6–3, 3–6, 5–7|
|Loss||1959||French Championships||Clay||Neale Fraser|| Nicola Pietrangeli
|3–6, 2–6, 12–14|
|Win||1959||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Rod Laver
|8–6, 6–3, 14–16, 9–7|
|Win||1959||US Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Earl Buchholz
|3–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5|
|Loss||1960||Australian Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Rod Laver
|6–1, 2–6, 4–6, 4–6|
|Win||1960||French Championships||Clay||Neale Fraser|| José Luis Arilla
|6–2, 8–10, 7–5, 6–4|
|Win||1960||US Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Rod Laver
|9–7, 6–2, 6–4|
|Loss||1961||Australian Championships||Grass||Marty Mulligan|| Rod Laver
|3–6, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9, 2–6|
|Win||1961||French Championships||Clay||Rod Laver|| Robert Howe
|3–6, 6–1, 6–1, 6–4|
|Win||1961||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Bob Hewitt
|6–4, 6–8, 6–4, 6–8, 8–6|
|Win||1962||Australian Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser|| Bob Hewitt
|4–6, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4, 11–9|
|Win||1962||French Championships||Clay||Neale Fraser|| Wilhelm Bungert
|6–3, 6–4, 7–5|
|Win||1963||French Championships||Clay||Manolo Santana|| Gordon Forbes
|6–2, 6–4, 6–4|
|Loss||1964||Australian Championships||Grass||Ken Fletcher|| Bob Hewitt
|4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4, 12–14|
|Win||1964||French Championships||Clay||Ken Fletcher|| John Newcombe
|7–5, 6–3, 3–6, 7–5|
|Loss||1964||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Ken Fletcher|| Bob Hewitt
|5–7, 9–11, 4–6|
|Loss||1965||Australian Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle|| John Newcombe
|6–3, 6–4, 11–13, 3–6, 4–6|
|Win||1965||French Championships||Clay||Fred Stolle|| Ken Fletcher
|6–8, 6–3, 8–6, 6–2|
|Win||1965||US Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle|| Frank Froehling
|6–4, 10–12, 7–5, 6–3|
|Win||1966||Australian Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle|| John Newcombe
|7–9, 6–3, 6–8, 14–12, 12–10|
|Win||1966||US Championships||Grass||Fred Stolle|| Clark Graebner
|6–4, 6–4, 6–4|
|Loss||1967||French Championships||Clay||Ken Fletcher|| John Newcombe
|3–6, 7–9, 10–12|
|Loss||1967||Wimbledon Championships||Grass||Ken Fletcher|| Bob Hewitt
|2–6, 3–6, 4–6|
|↓ Open Era ↓|
|Loss||1968||French Open||Clay||Rod Laver|| Ken Rosewall
|3–6, 4–6, 3–6|
|Win||1969||Australian Open||Grass||Rod Laver|| Ken Rosewall
|Loss||1969||French Open||Clay||Rod Laver|| John Newcombe
|6–4, 1–6, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6|
|Loss||1970||US Open||Grass||Rod Laver|| Pierre Barthès
|3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–7|
|Win||1971||Wimbledon||Grass||Rod Laver|| Arthur Ashe
|4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4|
Mixed Doubles: 2 (2 runners–up)Edit
|Loss||1956||Australian Championships||Grass||Mary Bevis Hawton|| Beryl Penrose
|Loss||1960||French Championships||Clay||Ann Haydon-Jones|| Maria Bueno
|6–1, 1–6, 2–6|
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
Open-era doubles titles (20)Edit
- "Roy Emerson". atpworldtour.com. Association of Tennis Professionals. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Roy Emerson: Career Match Record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
- "Novak Djokovic crushes Rafael Nadal to win record seventh Australian Open". Sky Sports. 27 January 2019.
- "Emerson likely to refuse pro. offer". The Canberra Times. 26 November 1964. p. 36 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Emerson demand 'right'". The Canberra Times. 2 December 1964. p. 30 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Emerson Wins in Pro Debut". The Canberra Times. 15 April 1968. p. 12 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Emerson will boss Lobsters". Bangor Daily News. 16 November 1976 – via Google News Archive.
- Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. p. 575. ISBN 978-0942257700.
- "Roy Emerson". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- It's an Honour: Australian Sports Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
- It's an Honour: Centenary Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
- Margie McDonald (22 November 2011). "Men will play for Roy Emerson trophy in Brisbane International". The Australian.
- "Mr Roy Emerson". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Grand day for Emerson". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 27 January 2013.
- "The Roy Emerson Tennis Centre". www.emersontennis.com.au. Emerson Tennis Centre.
- Tony Moore (21 March 2013). "Plan to honour Brisbane tennis greats". Brisbane Times.
- "Tennis legend Roy Emerson to be immortalised as a bronze statue". Tennis Australia. 5 February 2016.
- Grantlee Kieza (19 January 2017). "Tennis legend Roy Emerson treasures humble hometown start". The Courier Mail.
- World of Tennis Yearbook 1971 (1971), by John Barrett, London
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roy Emerson.|
- Roy Emerson at the Association of Tennis Professionals
- Roy Emerson at the International Tennis Federation
- Roy Emerson at the Davis Cup
- Roy Emerson at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
| Most career Grand Slam singles titles
30 January 1967 – 9 July 2000