No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

Zverev could be banned

It has been asked on many an occasion over the past few weeks – what punishment will be handed down on those who break the Covid-19 safety regulations at a tournament?

US and French Opens to allow spectators

The decision by the USTA and FFT to allow a limited number of spectators to their respective events comes as a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the disastrous Adria Tour mini-series where the Covid-19 spiked followed the disregard of safety protocols.

Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...
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Four-time Grand Slam winner Ashley Cooper dies at 83

Four-time singles grand slam champion, Ashley Cooper, who was born on 15th September, 1936, died in Brisbane on 15th May after a long illness, aged 83.

Ashley was a giant of the game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator and he will be greatly missed Craig Tiley

In 1958 Cooper became one of the very few players to win three majors in the same year when collected the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. He had also won the Aussie Open in the previous year.

He matched those singles titles with a similar number in doubles, Australia 1958, France 1957 & 1958 and the US in 1957.

He then led Australian Davis Cup team to victory over the USA in the 1957 competition but then failed to retain the title the following year when the US gained revenge.

That loss affected him badly as he considered he had failed his country and was prepared to withdraw from a professional contract he had signed with Jack Kramer. Unfortunately his playing career did end the following year when he picked up a back injury in 1959.

As a result Cooper returned to Brisbane to run a business and work as an administrator in the sport first Tennis Queensland, where he was involved in moving the state’s main tennis facility from Milton — which hosted an Australian Open and three Davis Cup finals — to Tennyson, where Pat Rafter Arena is now the venue for the annual Brisbane built on the site of a disused power station, and then Tennis Australia.

“Ashley was a giant of the game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator and he will be greatly missed,” Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley following the news of his death.

“His contribution to the sport went far beyond his exploits on the tennis court. His rich legacy includes the magnificent Queensland Tennis Centre, a project he was passionate about, nurturing the development from the very beginning, and resulting in the return of world-class international tennis to Brisbane.

“Ashley was also the most humble of champions and a great family man. Our hearts go out to his wife Helen and his family, along with his wide and international circle of friends, including so many of our tennis family.

“On a personal note, Ash was instrumental in our family moving to Australia and for that we will be forever grateful. He was a very humble advisor and great supporter of our transformation of Australian tennis. I will miss him.”

The great Rod Laver was also quick to pay tribute via social media. “He was a wonderful champion, on and off the court. And what a backhand! So many cherished memories,” the two-time calendar Grand Slam winner wrote. “Farewell my friend.”

In addition, Laver said that Cooper had been one of the great Australians who “ruled the world in tennis, a whole group from the 50s to the 70s.” which included himself, Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad and Neale Fraser.

He married Helen Wood, the then reigning Miss Australia, in 1959, attracting some 3000 people to the wedding just to see the ‘golden couple’.

Throughout his life Cooper was honoured for the roles he played and in the Queen’s Birthday Honours Lis of 2007 was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his services to the sport.

He was also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.

A walking bridge giving visitors access to the Queensland Tennis Centre is named in his memory.



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