Lew Hoad, handsome and powerfully built, epitomised the flair and romance of Australian tennis in that golden age. In the Davis Cup final of 1953 in Melbourne, he and Ken Rosewall defeated the Americans, Tony Trabert and Vic Seixas, against the odds. Both were only 19.
'Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor, our one and two, had gone pro,' Hoad recalls. 'We were just kids, thrown in against two great Americans who held three of the four major singles titles between them.'
Hoad, the son of a Sydney tramway engineer, won the Australian, French and Wimbledon titles in 1956. Ironically, Rosewall denied him the Grand Slam.
After winning Wimbledon again in 1957, Hoad turned professional, but back trouble ended his career at 26. By then he had married Jennifer Staley, the Australian women's No 2. In 1968 they migrated to Spain and built the tennis camp, between Marbella and Malaga, where they live today.
The Hoads' daughters, Jane and Sally, live in Bali and Madrid respectively; their son, Peter, at the tennis camp.
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