Norman Brookes: Australia's first tennis champion

Norman Brookes: Australia's first tennis champion
Peter Luck Productions
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This clip is from Bicentennial Minutes, a series of 60-second snapshots of Australian history produced in 1988 to mark 200 years since the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney in 1788.

This episode features Australian tennis great Norman Brookes who won the Davis Cup for Australia in 1907. He was part of the Australasian Davis Cup team that won the title on six occasions and is considered to have been the world No.1 player in the 1900s.

Known as ‘The Wizard’, and always attired in long sleeves and cloth cap, Brookes’ controlled speed in ground shots and aggressive net attack took him to the top of international tennis. He was the first non-British player to win the Wimbledon singles and doubles titles in 1907 and again in 1914 (he was runner-up in the singles in 1905 and 1919).

After his active playing career Brookes became president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia and was knighted in 1939.

This Bicentennial Minutes clip is a wonderful example of the use of archival footage to tell a compelling story. At just a minute in length, this clip offers an effective vignette of the career of one of Australia's tennis pioneers. Peter Luck's narration is concise and engaging.