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John Newcombe Rawlings Tie Breaker Add
John Newcombe Rawlings Special racket
John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall slazenger challenge racket
John Newcombe Rawlings Tie Breaker Model, higher resolution picture of 2 models
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John Newcombe Rawlings Tie Breaker Model photo showing details of racket sections
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When John Newcombe and Tony Roche, an Australian pair, won the Wimbledon doubles of 1965, it was the start not only of an extraordinary string of major titles for Newcombe but also for the two of them as a unit.
Two years earlier, though, Newcombe, at 19, attracted international attention as one of the youngest Aussies ever to play Davis Cup. He was selected for the finale to play singles against the U.S. Though beaten by both Dennis Ralston and Chuck McKinley during a 3-2 U.S. victory, Newcombe served notice that he was a player to reckon with when he pushed Wimbledon champion McKinley to four hard sets in the decisive fifth match.
Newcombe and the left-handed Roche, one of the great doubles teams in history, won five Wimbledons together, a modern record (topped only by the English Doherty brothers, who won eight between 1897 and 1905, and the English Renshaw brothers, who won seven between 1880 and 1889). Newcombe and Roche also won the U.S. in 1967, the French in 1967 and 1969, and the Australian in 1965, 1967, 1971 and 1976, standing as one of only four teams to win all the Big Four titles during a career and leading all teams with 12 majors. Their three successive Wimbledons, 1968, 1969 and 1970, topped by countrymen Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge's four straight from 1993 through 1996, enabled them to set a tourney record of 18 straight doubles match wins, eclipsed by the Woodies' 24.
It was in singles, though, that Newcombe made his name. He and Rod Laver are the only players to win the men's singles at Forest Hills and Wimbledon as amateurs and pros. Newcombe was the last amateur champion at Wimbledon in 1967, and repeated in 1970 and 1971 during the open era.
In all Newcombe, a 6-foot, 170-pound right-hander, won 25 major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles to stand second behind Roy Emerson (28) in the list of all-time male championships.
John David Newcombe was born May 23, 1944, in Sydney, and was more interested in other sports as a youngster. Not until he was 17 did a career in tennis appeal to him. But he was powerful, athletic and extremely competitive, and Australian Davis Cup Captain Harry Hopman was glad when Newcombe turned his full attention to tennis. Newcombe helped Hopman win four Cups, 1964-67, and then returned to Cup play in 1973, when all pros were reinstated, to be part of perhaps the strongest team ever, alongside Ken Rosewall and Mal Anderson. In the finale that year Newcombe and Laver were overpowering. Both beat Stan Smith and Tom Gorman in singles, and teamed in crushing Smith and van Dillen in the doubles during a 5-0 Australian victory that ended five-year possession of Cup by the U.S.
Newcombe also played in the World 1970, the inaugural of the since disbanded team match between the Aussies and the U.S., helped win five of those Cups for his country.
Newcombe's serve, forehand and volley were the backbone of his attacking game, was at its best on grass. His heavy serve was possibly the best of his era. Grass was the setting for his foremost singles wins, the three Wimbledon plus two U.S. Championships at Forest Hi 1967 and 1973. "You're only as good as: second serve and first volley," was the motto of this intelligent, fun-loving Aussie, and he lived up to it.
Newcombe regretted missing successive Wimbledons of 1972 and 1973 when he felt he might have added to his string. In 1972 he was a member of the World Championship Tennis pro troupe that was banned because of the quarrels between its leader, Lamar Hunt, and the International Tennis Federation. In 1973 Newcombe a member of the players union, Association Tennis Pros, which boycotted Wimbledon in another dispute with the ITF. The following year stretched his Wimbledon match win streak to 18 before losing to Rosewall in the quarter-finals. That year Newcombe won the World Championship Tennis singles over an adolescent Bjorn Borg, 17.
Newcombe felt, "I'm at my best in a five-set match, especially if I get behind. My adrenaline starts pumping." This was evident in two of his outstanding triumphs, both over Stan Smith, a strong rival for world supremacy in the 1970s. Newcombe beat Smith, 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the 1971 Wimbledon title match, and 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, during the 1973 Davis Cup finale, rating the latter as his finest performance.
In 1967 he was the No. 1 amateur in the world, and in 1970 and 1971 No. 1 of all. He was one of the first to sign a contract to play World Team Tennis (with Houston) in 1974, his presence helping give the new league credibility, although he played just that one season. His best pro season was 1971, when he won five of 19 singles tourneys on a 53-14 match record.
He totaled 73 pro titles, 32 in singles, 41 in doubles, and won $1,062,408. Newcombe was named to the Hall of Fame, along with Roche, in 1986. He is married to former German player Angelika Pfannenburg and was appointed Australian Davis Cup captain in 1995.
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