Lew Hoad


Born: 23/11/1934 Died: 3/7/1994

Australian Open 1956

French Open 1956

Wimbledon 1956,1957

(US Pro Tournament of Champions 1959)

(Australian Pro Tournament of Champions 1958)

Lew Hoad was the school athletics champion. He boxed and played rugby and table tennis, where he was runner up in the Australian Junior Table Tennis championships. He quit the game to concentrate on tennis and there seemed no limit to his natural talent. He had very strong wrists. However, though Hoad was very talented he was also erratic. He found it difficult to psyche himself up for minor tournaments and lower ranking players. Hoad made his Grand Slam debut at the 1951 Australian Open, where he lost in the second round to Frank Sedgman in straight sets. At the 1952 US Open Hoad beat Art Larsen in the fourth round in straight sets before losing in straight sets to Sedgman in the quarters. After reaching the quarters of the 1953 French Open Hoad lost to Vic Seixas 9-7 in the fifth set in the Wimbledon quarters. At the US Open he beat Gar Mulloy in straight sets in the quarters before losing to Seixas in straight sets in the semis. At Wimbledon 1954 Hoad beat Mulloy in the fourth round before losing in straight sets to Jaroslav Drobny in the quarters. At the US Open he lost in the quarters to Ham Richardson in five sets. An the 1955 Australian Hoad beat Seixas in four sets in the quarters and Rex Hartwig in the semis in straight sets before losing to Rosewall in straight sets in the final. At Wimbledon he lost in quarters to Budge Patty in straight sets. At the US Open Hoad beat Larsen in straight sets in the fourth round and Sammy Giammalva in four sets in the quarters before losing in the semis to Tony Trabert in straight sets. At the 1956 Australian Hoad faced Merv Rose in the quarters. Underdog Rose served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set but Hoad hit out, his shots found the court and he went on to take the set 9-7. In the semis Hoad took apart the powerful Fraser serve and dropped just 5 games. He beat Rosewall in the final in four sets and was on top form in every department of his game. At the French Hoad lost just four games to Nicola Pietrangeli in the quarters before easily beating G.Merlo in the semis and Sven Davidson in the final. At Wimbledon he beat Mal Anderson in four sets in the quarters, Ham Richardson in four sets in the semis and Rosewall in four sets in the final. Going for the Grand Slam at the US Open, Hoad beat Roy Emerson in the quarters in straight sets and Fraser in the semis in straight sets but lost to Rosewall in the final in four sets. At the 1957 Australian Hoad came from two sets to love down to beat Mike Green in the quarters but was plagued by injury in the semi and went down to Fraser in four sets. At Wimbledon Hoad beat Emerson in the fourth round, Rose in four sets in the quarters, Davidson in straight sets in the semis and dropped just five games in demolishing Ashley Cooper in the final. Then Hoad turned professional. He lost the 1958 World Championship Series to Pancho Gonzales by the narrow margin of 51 matches to 36. The 1959 World Championship Series was played out between Gonzales, Hoad, Ashley Cooper and Mal Anderson. Despite a 15-13 record against Gonzales, Hoad (unlike Gonzales) lost a few matches to Cooper and Anderson, which meant he just missed out on first place. Then Hoad was plagued by back problems and his appearances in pro events became fewer. Hoad did return briefly when Open tennis came in 1968 but he was a shadow of his former self. He played his last Grand Slam event at Wimbledon 1972, when he lost in the opening round to Jurgen Fassbender in four sets. Hoad then set up a tennis academy at his home in Spain. He died of leukaemia in 1994 aged 59. Although Hoad won four Grand Slam titles over a period of just 18 months and never won a pro slam, he was just two sets away from winning the Grand Slam. Only Jack Crawford ever got as close in a failed attempt to win the Grand Slam (in 1933, before the concept of the Slam existed). Hoad's star shone briefly before fading, yet for a short period it shone very brightly, which is the reason he is rated more highly than other players with four Grand/Pro Slam titles.


HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: M.Anderson 1-0, A.Cooper 1-0, S.Davidson 2-0, J.Drobny 0-2, R.Emerson 2-0, N.Fraser 2-1, A.Larsen 3-0, B.Patty 0-1, N.Pietrangeli 1-0, M.Rose 2-0, K.Rosewall 2-2, F.Sedgman 0-2, V.Seixas 1-3, T.Trabert 0-1

PRO SLAM HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Gimeno 2-2, P.Gonzales 2-3, J.Kramer 0-1, A.Olmedo 1-0, F.Parker 1-0, B.Riggs 1-0, M.Rose 1-0, K.Rosewall 0-9, F.Sedgman 0-1, P.Segura 3-2, T.Trabert 5-0

Lew Hoad's Grand Slam record
Lew Hoad's Pro Slam record

The Professional Tennis Archive