General Ashley John
Cooper
Male
Australia
1936-09-15
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
2020-05-22
Melbourne, Vic, Australia


About

Ashley John Cooper, one of the great Australians of Harry Hopman’s production line in the 1950s, was a serve-volleyer, renowned for playing solid tennis and his mental strength. In 1958 he was adjudged the world’s premier player.

As a junior the Victorian worked hard to develop his volley, which had been the weakest part of his game, and his physical conditioning. He possessed a superb backhand return of serve and was considered the smoothest player ever developed in Australia.

Cooper won the 1957 Australian Championships with a 6-3, 9-11, 6-4, 6-2 win over left-handed Neale Fraser before suffering a devastating 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 loss to Lew Hoad in the Wimbledon final. He also lost the US Championships to Malcolm Anderson 10-8, 7-5, 6-4.

Cooper bounced back the following year. Aged 21, the Melbourne-born right-hander won three grass-court majors at the Australian Championships (d. Anderson), Wimbledon (d. Fraser) and the US Championships (d. Anderson). He was also a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, where he lost to Luis Ayala 9-11, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

En route to the Wimbledon title, Cooper came up against local hope Bobby Wilson in the quarter-finals. The match stopped at 5-all in the fifth set when Queen Elizabeth II decided to move from Centre Court to watch proceedings on Court One. “The Queen came in, everyone stood up and we bowed,” Cooper recalled. “And then we continued to play and Bobby Wilson was shot to bits; he couldn’t handle it.”

Cooper progressed and in the third all-Australian final in as many years, he triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 13-11 over Fraser. He yielded seven sets in his seven matches and played a total of 322 games in all. This remains a record for any champion at the All England Club.

In a dominant Australian era, Cooper played in the 1957-58 Challenge Rounds against the United States. He won four major doubles titles, 1957-58 Roland Garros, 1957 US Championships and the 1958 Australian Championships.

Cooper was an Australian Davis Cup player as the team won the cup from '56 and '57, and finalists in '58.
He turned professional on 4 January 1959, joining Jack Kramer’s pros and give Pancho Gonzalez a new contender. He had married Helen Wood, the Miss Australia of 1957, only the week before.

In retirement, Cooper served as a Player Development Administrator with Tennis Queensland and he also sits on the Board of Directors at Tennis Australia. In 1991, Cooper was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In the 2007 Birthday Honours List of Queen Elizabeth II, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for “service to tennis through a range of organisations that administer and promote the sport, and as a player, coach and mentor to junior players.

Source: James Buddell



Media


Archive statistics 1952 - 1974
31
410
297


Tournament wins 1959 - Slazenger Professional (Professional)
1958 - North of England Championships (Open)
1958 - Gstaad (ATP)
1958 - Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships (Amateur)
1958 - Australian Hard Courts Championship (Amateur)
1958 - New South Wales Hard Court Championships (Amateur)
1958 - Manly Seaside Tournament (Open)
1958 - Queensland Championships (Amateur)
1958 - New South Wales Championships (Amateur)
1958 - Düsseldorf International Tournament ()
1958 - Albury Easter Tournament (Amateur)
1958 - US Open (Grandslam)
1958 - Wimbledon (Grandslam)
1958 - Australian Open (Grandslam)
1958 - Bastad (Open)
1957 - South West Districts VIC ()
1957 - Tasmanian Championships (Amateur)
1957 - Western Australia Championships (Open)
1957 - Australian Open (Grandslam)
1957 - Irish Championships (Amateur)
1957 - Auckland (ATP World Tour 250 series)
1957 - Australian Hard Courts Championship (Amateur)
1957 - Florence International (Amateur)
1957 - Queens Club Tournament (ATP)
1957 - Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship (Open)
1957 - New South Wales Championships (Amateur)
1956 - Australian Hard Courts Championship (Amateur)
1956 - Pacific Coast Championship (Amateur)
1956 - Glen Iris Invitation (Amateur)
1956 - Albury Easter Tournament (Amateur)
1956 - Queensland Championships (Amateur)


Tournaments Queensland Championships - 1974 Winfield Open - 1974 Hong Kong Open - 1973 Southwest Australia - 1972 Portschach Pros - 1963 Kitzbühel Pros - 1963 Adelaide Professional Championships - 1962 French Professional Championship - 1962 Cannes Pro Championships - 1962 Wembley Professional Championships - 1962 Kramer Cup - 1962 Geneva Professional Gold Trophy - 1962 Scheveningen Pros - 1962 Cava Dei Tirreni Professionals - 1962 Swedish Professional Championships - 1962 Italian International Professionals - 1961 London Indoor Professionals - 1961 Professional Clay Courts - 1961 Scandinavian Professional Championships - 1961 Austrian Professional Championships - 1961 Rio de Janeiro Pros - 1961 French Professional Championship - 1960 World Professional Tournament - 1960 World Professional Indoors - 1960 Japan Professional Championships - 1960 Australian Professionals - 1960 French Professional - Consolation - 1960 London Indoor Professionals - 1960 London Indoor Professionals Consolation - 1960 Pro Masters - 1959 French Professional Championship - 1959 World Professional Tournament - 1959 New South Wales Pro Championships - 1959 Slazenger Professional - 1959 London Professional Championships - 1959 Perth Professional Championships - 1959 Victorian Professional Championships - 1959 O'Keefe Professional - 1959 Kramer Tournament of Champions - 1959 San Francisco Pros - 1959 Australian Open - 1958 Wimbledon - 1958 South Australian Championships - 1958 Roland Garros - 1958 US Open - 1958 Victorian Championships - 1958 New South Wales Championships - 1958 Newport Casino Tournament - 1958 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1958 Queens Club Tournament - 1958 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1958 Queensland Championships - 1958 North of England Championships - 1958 International Club Matches - FRA - 1958 Australian Hard Courts Championship - 1958 Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships - 1958 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1958 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1958 Manly Seaside Tournament - 1958 Bastad - 1958 Gstaad - 1958 Albury Easter Tournament - 1958 Australian Open - 1957 Wimbledon - 1957 South Australian Championships - 1957 Roland Garros - 1957 US Open - 1957 Victorian Championships - 1957 New South Wales Championships - 1957 Newport Casino Tournament - 1957 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1957 US Clay Courts - 1957 Irish Championships - 1957 Queens Club Tournament - 1957 Italian International Championships - 1957 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1957 Queensland Championships - 1957 International Club Matches - FRA - 1957 Australian Hard Courts Championship - 1957 Tasmanian Championships - 1957 Pennsylvania Lawn Tennis Championship - 1957 Western Australia Championships - 1957 Kingston International Invitation - 1957 Florence International - 1957 South West Districts VIC - 1957 Australian Open - 1956 Wimbledon - 1956 South Australian Championships - 1956 Roland Garros - 1956 US Open - 1956 Victorian Championships - 1956 New South Wales Championships - 1956 Newport Casino Tournament - 1956 Pacific Coast Championship - 1956 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1956 Queens Club Tournament - 1956 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1956 Queensland Championships - 1956 Kent Championships - 1956 Southampton Invitation (Long Island) - 1956 Conde de Godo - 1956 Australian Hard Courts Championship - 1956 Gstaad - 1956 Travemünde International - 1956 International Club Matches - Belgium - 1956 South Australian b - 1956 Albury Easter Tournament - 1956 Glen Iris Invitation - 1956 Australian Open - 1955 Wimbledon - 1955 South Australian Championships - 1955 US Open - 1955 Victorian Championships - 1955 New South Wales Championships - 1955 Queens Club Tournament - 1955 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1955 Queensland Championships - 1955 Pan American Championships - 1955 Westchester - 1955 Interstate - 1955 Australian Open - 1954 Wimbledon - 1954 South Australian Championships - 1954 Roland Garros - 1954 US Open - 1954 Victorian Championships - 1954 New South Wales Championships - 1954 Nassau Bowl - 1954 Newport Casino Tournament - 1954 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1954 Queens Club Tournament - 1954 Queensland Championships - 1954 Kent Championships - 1954 Le Touquet - 1954 Western Australia Championships - 1954 New South Wales vs. Victoria - 1954 Roland Garros Consolation - 1954 South Australian Championships - 1953 New South Wales Championships - 1953 Queensland Championships - 1953 Tasmanian Championships - 1953 Victorian Championships - 1952

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