Grand Slam tournament winner Ashley Cooper has died aged 83, Tennis
Australia announced on Friday, with Rod Laver hailing him as a "wonderful
The former Australian, Wimbledon and US singles titleholder, was part
of the golden era of Australian men's tennis in the 1950s, winning four
major singles titles and four in doubles.
Competing against fellow Australian greats Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken
Rosewall and Neale Fraser, Cooper won three of those singles titles in
1958, when he triumphed at Wimbledon and the Australian and USA
Tennis Australia said Cooper would be remembered as "a giant of the
game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator."
"Ashley was also the most humble of champions and a great family man," said Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.
"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
Laver led the tributes following the death of a man he described as a friend.
"So sad to hear of Ashley’s passing. He was a wonderful champion, on
and off the court. And what a backhand! So many cherished memories.
Farewell my friend," Laver wrote on Twitter.
Current women's world No 1 and Queensland native Ashleigh Barty
was among the current generation to hail Cooper's impact on the sport.
"Thank you for everything that you have done for our sport. My
thoughts are with your family and loved ones. Rest In Peace, Ashley,"
Barty said on Twitter.
Cooper was a star in his home country during his heyday and his
public profile rose even further when he married reigning Miss Australia
Helen Wood in 1959 at a ceremony that attracted thousands of fans.