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Roy Stanley Emerson AC (born 3 November 1936) is an Australian former World Number One tennis player who won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and 2 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. He has 28 Grand Slam 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 the all-time record for a male player. Emerson is the first male player to win each of the four major titles at least twice in his career. He is one of only eight men to win all four majors in his career. The others are Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Roy Emerson
AC
Roy Emerson 2011.jpg
Full nameRoy Stanley Emerson
Country (sports)Australia Australia
ResidenceNewport Beach, California, U.S.
Born (1936-11-03) 3 November 1936 (age 83)
Blackbutt, Queensland, Australia
Height183 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Turned pro1953
Retired1983
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1982 (member page)
Singles
Career record1325-380 (77.7%) [2]
Career titles110 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1964, Lance Tingay)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)
French OpenW (1963, 1967)
WimbledonW (1964, 1965)
US OpenW (1961, 1964)
Doubles
Career record204–64
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1962, 1966, 1969)
French OpenW (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
WimbledonW (1959, 1961, 1971)
US OpenW (1959, 1960, 1965, 1966)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)

Emerson was the first male player to win 12 Majors. He held that record for 30 years until it was passed by Pete Sampras in 2000. He also 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). Emerson is one of only five tennis players all-time to win multiple slam sets in two disciplines, only matched by Frank Sedgman, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams.

BiographyEdit

Emerson was born on a farm in Blackbutt, Queensland. His family later moved to Brisbane and he received better tennis instruction after attending Brisbane Grammar School and Ipswich Grammar School.

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.[4]

 
Roy Emerson at the 1963 Dutch International Tennis Championships in Hilversum.

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).

During his amateur career Emerson received several offers to turn professional, including an £38,000 offer made at the end of 1964 by Jack Kramer, but declined and opted to remain an amateur.[5][6]

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.[7]

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.

 
Roy Emerson in 1969

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).[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.

In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal,[11] and in 2001 received the Centenary Medal.[12]

The Roy Emerson trophy, which is awarded to the male champion at the Brisbane International, is named in his honour.[13] In 2009 Emerson was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[14] He was honoured during the 2013 Australian Open at the Australian Open Legends' Lunch.[15]

In 2014 Brisbane named new courts in Milton at Frew Park after Roy Emerson.[16][17] 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.[18][19]

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

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
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

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1958 Australian Championships Grass   Bob Mark   Ashley Cooper
  Neale Fraser
5–7, 8–6, 6–3, 3–6, 5–7
Loss 1959 French Championships Clay   Neale Fraser   Nicola Pietrangeli
  Orlando Sirola
3–6, 2–6, 12–14
Win 1959 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Rod Laver
  Robert Mark
8–6, 6–3, 14–16, 9–7
Win 1959 US Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Earl Buchholz
  Alex Olmedo
3–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5
Loss 1960 Australian Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Rod Laver
  Robert Mark
6–1, 2–6, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1960 French Championships Clay   Neale Fraser   José Luis Arilla
  Andrés Gimeno
6–2, 8–10, 7–5, 6–4
Win 1960 US Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Rod Laver
  Robert Mark
9–7, 6–2, 6–4
Loss 1961 Australian Championships Grass   Marty Mulligan   Rod Laver
  Robert Mark
3–6, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9, 2–6
Win 1961 French Championships Clay   Rod Laver   Robert Howe
  Robert Mark
3–6, 6–1, 6–1, 6–4
Win 1961 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Bob Hewitt
  Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–8, 6–4, 6–8, 8–6
Win 1962 Australian Championships Grass   Neale Fraser   Bob Hewitt
  Fred Stolle
4–6, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4, 11–9
Win 1962 French Championships Clay   Neale Fraser   Wilhelm Bungert
  Christian Kuhnke
6–3, 6–4, 7–5
Win 1963 French Championships Clay   Manolo Santana   Gordon Forbes
  Abe Segal
6–2, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1964 Australian Championships Grass   Ken Fletcher   Bob Hewitt
  Fred Stolle
4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4, 12–14
Win 1964 French Championships Clay   Ken Fletcher   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
7–5, 6–3, 3–6, 7–5
Loss 1964 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Ken Fletcher   Bob Hewitt
  Fred Stolle
5–7, 9–11, 4–6
Loss 1965 Australian Championships Grass   Fred Stolle   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
6–3, 6–4, 11–13, 3–6, 4–6
Win 1965 French Championships Clay   Fred Stolle   Ken Fletcher
  Bob Hewitt
6–8, 6–3, 8–6, 6–2
Win 1965 US Championships Grass   Fred Stolle   Frank Froehling
  Charles Pasarell
6–4, 10–12, 7–5, 6–3
Win 1966 Australian Championships Grass   Fred Stolle   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
7–9, 6–3, 6–8, 14–12, 12–10
Win 1966 US Championships Grass   Fred Stolle   Clark Graebner
  Dennis Ralston
6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1967 French Championships Clay   Ken Fletcher   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
3–6, 7–9, 10–12
Loss 1967 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Ken Fletcher   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
2–6, 3–6, 4–6
↓ Open Era ↓
Loss 1968 French Open Clay   Rod Laver   Ken Rosewall
  Fred Stolle
3–6, 4–6, 3–6
Win 1969 Australian Open Grass   Rod Laver   Ken Rosewall
  Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–4
Loss 1969 French Open Clay   Rod Laver   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
6–4, 1–6, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6
Loss 1970 US Open Grass   Rod Laver   Pierre Barthès
  Nikola Pilić
3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–7
Win 1971 Wimbledon Grass   Rod Laver   Arthur Ashe
  Dennis Ralston
4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4

Mixed Doubles: 2 (2 runners–up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1956 Australian Championships Grass   Mary Bevis Hawton   Beryl Penrose
  Neale Fraser
2–6, 4–6
Loss 1960 French Championships Clay   Ann Haydon-Jones   Maria Bueno
  Robert Howe
6–1, 1–6, 2–6

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 1969 1970 1971 1972 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open 1R 2R 2R A QF QF SF W F W W W W W A 3R A QF A 6 / 15 46–9 83.6
French Open 1R A A 3R A QF 3R QF F W QF SF QF W QF 4R A A A 2 / 13 43–11 82.9
Wimbledon 2R A 3R 4R A SF QF QF 4R QF W W QF 4R 4R 4R QF 4R A 2 / 16 60–14 81.1
US Open 3R A QF 4R A QF 3R W F 4R W QF SF QF 4R QF 4R A 2R 2 / 16 60–14 81.1
Win–Loss 3–4 0–1 7–3 8–3 2–1 14–4 10–4 19–2 18–4 18–2 22–1 20–2 18–3 18–2 9–3 11–4 7–2 5–2 0–1 12 / 60 209–48 81.3

Open-era doubles titles (20)Edit

No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
1. 1968 Bournemouth, England Grass   Rod Laver   Andrés Gimeno
  Pancho Gonzales
8–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
2. 1969 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass   Rod Laver   Ken Rosewall
  Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–4
3. 1969 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i)   Rod Laver   Andrés Gimeno
  Fred Stolle
6–4, 6–2
4. 1970 Boston, US Hard   Rod Laver   Ismail El Shafei
  Torben Ulrich
6–1, 7–6
5. 1971 Wimbledon, London Grass   Rod Laver   Arthur Ashe
  Dennis Ralston
4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4
6. 1971 Quebec WCT, Canada Indoor   Rod Laver   Tom Okker
  Marty Riessen
7–6, 6–3
7. 1971 Boston WCT, US Hard   Rod Laver   Tom Okker
  Marty Riessen
6–4, 6–4
8. 1971 Berkeley, US Hard   Rod Laver   Ken Rosewall
  Fred Stolle
6–3, 6–3
9. 1971 Vancouver WCT, Canada Outdoor   Rod Laver   John Alexander
  Phil Dent
6–3, 7–6
10. 1972 Houston WCT, US Clay   Rod Laver   Ken Rosewall
  Fred Stolle
6–4, 7–6
11. 1972 Las Vegas WCT, US Hard   Rod Laver   John Newcombe
  Tony Roche
7–6, 1–6, 6–2
12. 1972 Rotterdam WCT, Netherlands Carpet   John Newcombe   Arthur Ashe
  Robert Lutz
6–2, 6–3
13. 1973 Miami WCT, US Hard   Rod Laver   Terry Addison
  Colin Dibley
6–4, 6–4
14. 1973 La Costa WCT, US Hard   Rod Laver   Nikola Pilić
  Allan Stone
6–7, 6–3, 6–4
15. 1973 Richmond WCT, US Carpet   Rod Laver   Terry Addison
  Colin Dibley
3–6, 6–3, 6–4
16. 1973 Atlanta WCT, US Clay   Rod Laver   Robert Maud
  Andrew Pattison
7–6, 6–3
17. 1973 Gothenburg WCT, Sweden Carpet   Rod Laver   Nikola Pilić
  Allan Stone
6–7, 6–4, 6–1
18. 1973 San Francisco, US Carpet   Stan Smith   Ove Nils Bengtson
  Jim McManus
6–2, 6–1
19. 1974 Las Vegas, Nevada, US Hard   Rod Laver   Frew McMillan
  John Newcombe
6–7, 6–4, 6–4
20. 1975 Denver WCT, US Carpet   Rod Laver   Bob Carmichael
  Allan Stone
6–2, 3–6, 7–5

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Roy Emerson". atpworldtour.com. Association of Tennis Professionals. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Roy Emerson: Career Match Record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  3. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  4. ^ "Novak Djokovic crushes Rafael Nadal to win record seventh Australian Open". Sky Sports. 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Emerson likely to refuse pro. offer". The Canberra Times. 26 November 1964. p. 36 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Emerson demand 'right'". The Canberra Times. 2 December 1964. p. 30 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Emerson Wins in Pro Debut". The Canberra Times. 15 April 1968. p. 12 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Emerson will boss Lobsters". Bangor Daily News. 16 November 1976 – via Google News Archive.
  9. ^ Bud Collins (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. p. 575. ISBN 978-0942257700.
  10. ^ "Roy Emerson". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  11. ^ It's an Honour: Australian Sports Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  12. ^ It's an Honour: Centenary Medal. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  13. ^ Margie McDonald (22 November 2011). "Men will play for Roy Emerson trophy in Brisbane International". The Australian.
  14. ^ "Mr Roy Emerson". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Grand day for Emerson". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 27 January 2013.
  16. ^ "The Roy Emerson Tennis Centre". www.emersontennis.com.au. Emerson Tennis Centre.
  17. ^ Tony Moore (21 March 2013). "Plan to honour Brisbane tennis greats". Brisbane Times.
  18. ^ "Tennis legend Roy Emerson to be immortalised as a bronze statue". Tennis Australia. 5 February 2016.
  19. ^ Grantlee Kieza (19 January 2017). "Tennis legend Roy Emerson treasures humble hometown start". The Courier Mail.

SourcesEdit

  • World of Tennis Yearbook 1971 (1971), by John Barrett, London

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit