Rory Chappell dies aged 55

2014-08-14 17:54
Tennis (File)

Johannesburg - Rory Chappell, considered one of South Africa's brightest tennis prospects in the 1970s and 1980s, has died suddenly in Johannesburg at the age of 55.

Chappell reached an ATP world ranking of 195. He burst onto the international tennis scene in 1977 as an 18-year-old when he lost narrowly to England number one Mark Cox in three closely contested sets at Wimbledon.

Previously he had achieved outstanding results in the Wimbledon junior event, and critics hailed him as a player with the talent to enter the top echelon of tennis players.

"Rory had a genuine power game and achieved a great deal during his years on the ATP circuit," said former South African top tenner and Gauteng Central general manager Mickey Styles, who was a contemporary of Chappell's during his playing career.

"But unfortunately, through various circumstances, he probably never achieved the heights his talent warranted. Now his premature death at the age of 55 has shocked everyone."

Chappell turned his attention to coaching after bowing out of tournament play at a premature age, and it was at the Rosebank Primary School, where he coached some of the youngsters, that he died.

A member of the school staff confirmed on Thursday that Chappell had died at the school - "but it was not while he was coaching".

A memorial service for Chappell will be held at the Rosebank Methodist Church on Monday at 11:00.

Read more on:    tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.