FAMOUS TENNIS PLAYER

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Norman Brookes

Sir Norman Everard Brookes (14 November 1877 – 28 September 1968) was an Australian tennis player. During his career he won three Grand Slam singles titles, Wimbledon in 1907 and 1914 and the Australasian Championships in 1911. Brookes was part of the Australasian Davis Cup team that won the title on six occasions. The Australian Open men's singles trophy, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour. After his active playing career Brookes became president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia. Early life Brookes was born in the St Kilda suburb of Melbourne as the youngest son to Catherine Margaret (née Robinson) and William Brookes. His father, an English immigrant who emigrated to Australia in 1852 had become rich from gold mining in the Bendigo area. His older brothers, Herbert and Harold, were prominent businessmen. Brookes received a private education at Melbourne Grammar School where he matriculated in 1895. As a schoolboy he excelled in cricket, Australian football and tennis. On leaving school, he went to work as a clerk at Australian Paper Mills, where his father was managing director, and was on the board himself within eight years. As a youth Brookes played regularly on the court of the family mansion in Queens Road, Melbourne and nearby, at the Lorne St courts, he studied the strokes and tactics of leading players and was coached by Wilberforce Eaves. In 1896 he became a regular player at the Royal South Yarra Tennis Club. During World War I he served as commissioner of the Australian Red Cross in Egypt. Tennis career In 1907 Brookes became the first non- British player and the first left-hander to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon after a straight sets victory in the final against 39-year old Arthur Gore. Brookes intended to defend his Wimbledon title as late as February 1908 but in April cancelled his plans to travel to England due to the ill health of his father (who died in 1910) which meant that Brookes had to spend more time at his father's company Australian Paper Mills. He gave priority to his business endeavors during this time and would not return to Wimbledon until 1914 when he again won the singles title, this time against the title holder Anthony Wilding with whom he also won the Wimbledon doubles title in 1907 and 1914. During these years he also skipped most Australasian Championships.

 

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