General Donald Philip (Don)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Tregonning, a student of Melbourne coach Mick Sweetnam,[1] was a member of the international professional tennis community, reaching the mixed doubles semi finals of the 1953 Australian Open[2], playing twice in the quarter finals of doubles competitions at the Australian Open (1949, 1953) and reaching the quarter finals of the Wembley Professional Championships in 1953. Tregonning played in a famous 1953 Australian Open Round 1 match in which the umpire left the grounds to "go to (his) tea".

Tregonning is the former head-coach at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club (the then site of the Australian Open), Danish national coach, French national coach (Davis Cup)[3] and for 30 years he coached the Japanese national team and helped them to a 3-2 upset over Australia in the "Australian Davis Cup". His clientele included Wimbledon finalist Kurt Nielsen, Grand Slam competitor Elizabeth Peers-Little, Australian Open doubles finalist Cliff Letcher, Grand Slam competitor Greg Whitecross and "Australian Junior" finalists Bill Durham, Trevor Little, Sally Irvine. Tregonning became a member at Grace Park Tennis Club and joined the Mick Sweetnam School of Coaching. Sweetnam regarded Tregonning as more promissing than his other student seven time Grand Slam champion Mervyn Rose.

Tregonning married fellow Australian and nursing sister Claire Wendy Heskett at the Church of Our Lady, London. They have one daughter and four sons. All sons have continued on to become ATP ranked players and professional coaches. Claire Wendy Tregonning, née Heskett passed away in 2013.

In the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours (Australia), Tregonning received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

In 1948 Tregonning played in the Australian Open, losing to Jack Crawford in a four set Round 2 match. The same year he partnered Mervyn Rose in the Australian Open doubles competition again reaching Round 2. In 1949 Tregonning lost a Round 2 Australian Open match against Bill Sidwell, but partnering Rose was able to secure a spot in the quarter finals of the doubles competition. In the 1950 Australian Open Tregonning once again reached the second round, however, losing a first round doubles match in which he partnered Philip Brophy.

Tregonning received direct entry into the Men's Singles draw of the 1951 Wimbledon Championships but lost in the first round to Brazilian Armando Vieira. Tregonning partnered Peter Cawthorn in the Men's Doubles and reached the third round, including a first round win against Vieira and his partner Leon Norgarb. Partnering Rosemary Bulleid he reached the third round in the Mixed Doubles. Tregonning returned to Wimbledon in 1952, but was defeated in the first round of the Men's Singles by Douglas Scharenguivel. He again partnered Cawthorn in the doubles event, but they were defeated in the first round by Americans Irvin Dorfman and Grant Golden. He was, once again, more successful in the Mixed Doubles reaching the third round together with Gem Hoahing.

In 1953 Tregonning played at the Wembley Professional Championships, then the most prominent professional tennis tournament. He was able to secure a place in the quarter finals being defeated by fellow Australian tennis legend Frank Sedgman.

Tregonning was the runner-up at the 1954 English Professional Championships and 1955 Great Britain Professional Championships.

Australian Open match without an umpire[edit]
Tregonning played in a famous 1953 Australian Open Rd1 match in which the umpire left the grounds to "go to (his) tea," leaving the two players – Tregonning and fellow Australian Brian Tobin – without an umpire or any ball boys. Harold Cornish, the President of the Victorian Umpires Association, took over, although by this time most of the spectators had left with only eight spectators and three representatives of the press remaining.

In 1953 Tregonning travelled to England and partnered with Peter Cawthorn in organising and setting up a tennis school. In 1955 he was appointed Danish national coach, being tasked with preparing the Danish Davis Cup team. Among Tregonning's students was Kurt Nielsen who went on to play in the finals of 1955 Wimbledon competitions becoming the first Dane to play in a Men's singles final of a Grand Slam tournament.

Tregonning was head-professional at Fawkner Park Tennis Courts and for 20 years the head-coach at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, which was then the site of the Australian Open. In February 1956 he and five others founded the Professional Tennis Association of Victoria, which later changed its name to Tennis Coaches Australia Victoria, Inc. (TCAV) in 1973. On several occasions Tregonning managed Linton Cup and Wilson Cup teams, before turning to private school coaching at St. Catherine's, Methodist Ladies' College, Mount Scopus Memorial College and others.

The Australian Davis Cup team was under Tregonning's supervision in 1969, Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgeman being able to defend their title. When Harry Hopman was establishing his tennis academy in 1970 and later his International Tennis Camp Tregonning travelled to the United States to assist him in doing so and coaching at the academy and camp.

During his 30 years coaching the Japanese national team Tregonning coached Japanese Olympic quarter finalist Jun Kamiwazumi who would go on to play in the quarter finals of French Open mixed doubles competitions and Japanese player Toshiro Sakai who would go on to becoming a four time Asiad gold medalist and French Open doubles quarter finalist. Both players later beat the Australian Davis Cup team in the "Australian Davis Cup".

Students of Tregonning included Australian junior champion Cliff Letcher who would become a US Open doubles finalist and two time Australian Open doubles finalist and 1979 Australian Open boys' singles and doubles champion Greg Whitecross.

In the 1990s Tregonning took on coaching squads from the Philippines, Japan and China.

In 2010 Tregonning was inducted into the TCAV Hall of Fame with the status of Legend and Founding Member.

Tregonning has retired to coaching from his private court at his home in Templestowe, Melbourne.


Archive statistics 1948 - 1955

Tournament wins 1952 - Ferring-On-Sea (Amateur)
1952 - Moseley (Amateur)
1952 - Carmarthenshire Championships (Amateur)
1952 - Norfolk (Amateur)
1952 - Carlisle (Amateur)
1951 - Ferring-On-Sea (Amateur)
1951 - London Hard Courts (Amateur)

Tournaments British Professional Championships - 1955 Slazenger Professional - 1955 British Professional Championships - 1954 Slazenger Professional - 1954 Australian Open - 1953 Tasmanian Championships - 1953 Wembley Professional Championships - 1953 Wimbledon - 1952 Victorian Championships - 1952 New South Wales Championships - 1952 Queens Club Tournament - 1952 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1952 International Championships of Egypt-Alexandria - 1952 North of England Championships - 1952 Championships of Wales - 1952 Northumberland Championships - 1952 South of England Championships - 1952 Herga Club - 1952 Carlisle - 1952 Surrey - 1952 Shirley Park - 1952 Sutton Coldfield - 1952 Tally Ho! - 1952 Chapel Allerton - 1952 Moseley - 1952 Guildford Hardcourts - 1952 Royal South Yarra - 1952 Carmarthenshire Championships - 1952 Norfolk - 1952 Ferring-On-Sea - 1952 Roehampton Autumn Meeting - 1952 Wimbledon - 1951 Queens Club Tournament - 1951 German International Championships - 1951 Surrey Championships - 1951 Championships of Wales - 1951 Midland Counties Championships - 1951 British Covered Court Championships - 1951 Palace Hotel - 1951 Cumberland Hard Courts - 1951 London Hard Courts - 1951 Turkish International Championships (Turkey Open) - 1951 Surrey - 1951 Shirley Park - 1951 Ulster Championships - 1951 Guildford Hardcourts - 1951 Eastern Mediterranean Championships - 1951 Ferring-On-Sea - 1951 Australian Open - 1950 South Australian Championships - 1950 Victorian Championships - 1950 Victorian Hardcourt Championships - 1950 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1950 Australian Open - 1949 South Australian Championships - 1949 Victorian Championships - 1949 Australian Hard Courts Championship - 1949 Victorian Hardcourt Championships - 1949 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1949 Australian Open - 1948 New South Wales Championships - 1948

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