This Is Your Life: John Newcombe
This episode of This Is Your Life honours the career of Australian tennis great, John "Newk' Newcombe. Newcombe, famous for his handlebar moustache as much as his tennis prowess, won all his seven major single titles on grass. He won Wimbledon three times and the US Championships/Open twice, and was hugely successful in doubles with partner Tony Roche. Overall he won 26 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
In this clip, host Roger Climpson introduces two other tennis greats, Australian Ken Rosewall and American Jimmy Connors. Rosewall reached a record 35 Major finals, winning 23, including eight Grand Slam singles titles. He never won the Wimbledon title, but was runner-up on four occasions.
Newcombe and Connors were keen rivals but only faced off against each other in one Grand Slam final, the Australian Open in 1975. This was to be one of the greatest finals in history. Connors had dethroned Newcombe as the World No.1 and engaged in a lot of sledging in the media. As the game progressed, Connors thought it was only a matter of time before he wore down Newcombe, who at 30 years of age was eight years older. At one point, the overconfident Connors also deliberately double - faulted to pacify the largely Australian crowd who felt some bad line calls had been made against Newcombe. In the end, however, Newcombe prevailed, winning the championship in four sets.