Born: 14/11/1877 Died: 28/9/1968
Australian Open 1911
Norman Brookes was one of the premier tactical thinkers of his era. Brookes was a shrewd businessman who rose to the rank of chairman of the Australasian Paper and Pulp Co. Ltd. and always gave his business commitments priority over his tennis career. Brookes began playing tennis against a brick wall at the age of eight and by 15 was champion of his school. He was good at other sports too. He represented his school at football, played first class cricket for St Kilda and played to a handicap of 2 in golf. Brookes, who played double handed off both sides, took some time to emerge as a great tennis player. At the age of 23 he was only ranked 4 in the state of Victoria. Two years later Brookes received coaching from Dr Wilberforce Eaves, who had achieved success in Britain and the United States. His game improved immensely and in 1905 Brookes made his first trip overseas. At Wimbledon he reached the challenge round, where he lost to Laurie Doherty. Two years later Brookes defeated Arthur Gore in the All comers final at Wimbledon and took the title by default in the challenge round as reigning champion Doherty had retired by this time. In 1911 Brookes made his debut in the Australian Open. After overcoming defending champion Rod Heath in the quarters and R.M.Rolland in the semis, Brookes thrashed former champion Horrie Rice in the final for the loss of only 6 games. In 1914 Brookes won his second Wimbledon title, beating defending champion Anthony Wilding in the challenge round in straight sets. He had to wait until 1919 to defend his title. The 41 year old Brookes was blown away by the more youthful Gerald Patterson in the challenge round. At the US Open that year Brookes made it to the quarters before losing to Bill Tilden. In 1924 Brookes made it through to the fourth round of Wimbledon at the age of 46, beating the previous year’s runner up Frank Hunter. Brookes became head of the L.T.A.A. in 1926 and held the post until 1955. Brookes was knighted in 1939, the only Grand Slam champion to receive a knighthood for services to tennis. Brookes died in 1968 at the age of 90.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: L.Doherty 0-1, O.Froitzheim 1-0, A.Gore 3-0, R.Heath 1-0, G.Patterson 0-1, H.Rice 1-0, B.Tilden 0-1, A.Wilding 2-0
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WIMBLEDON ARCHIVE U. S. OPEN ARCHIVE