Neale Fraser is undoubtedly one of the most prominent names in the world of tennis, and is bound to be remembered for the years to come. Alongside with Rod Laver and Roy Emerson, Fraser remains among the greatest tennis players. Born in October 1933 in Melbourne, the 83 year old has had a sensational career, during which time, he set a series of records which are yet to be broken.
Fraser started playing tennis at the age of 11, and gradually attended the St. Kevin’s College, where he became the Captain of Tennis.
The Aussie rose to prominence in the years before the Open Era. According to the rankings given by The Daily Telegraph then, he was in the top 10 between 1956 and 1962, and was also the World No. 1 in 1959 and 1960.
His first major feat came in 1957, where he was the runner-up in Australian Championships after losing to Ashley Cooper. In the Wimbledon next year, he once again lost to Cooper in the final. In fact, it wasn’t until 1959 when he got his first break. He started his run in Melbourne where he once again, had to settle for the runner-up trophy after losing to Alex Olmedo.
Interestingly, he avenged this defeat in the US Open Championships later that year by defeating Olemdo in the final. In addition to this, he also won the doubles title there, partnered with Emerson, and mixed doubles title too, with Margaret Osbourne. By doing so, he became the only player to win the singles, doubles and mixed doubles crown at a Grand Slam, in a calendar year.
But achieving such a feat once wasn’t enough for the passionate Australian. So in the winter of 1960, he returned to New York and this time, he ensured that no one in the near future should be able to break his record. He won the US Championships by defeating Rod Laver in the final, while he won the doubles and mixed doubles titles with the same partners from previous season.
He also won the Wimbledon that season, defeating none other than Laver in the final.
His record of winning the three formats of a Grand Slam in a calendar year, consecutively, is a feat that no has been able to achieve as of yet. After that, he gradually faded from the scene and took position as the Captain of the Australian team in the Davis Cup. He held this position for 24 years and took the lads to four wins between 1973 and 1986.
Neale Fraser retired from the tour with three singles titles, 11 doubles titles and 5 mixed doubles titles, all of which came in Grand Slams.