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Australian tennis player Owen Davidson, who won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, dies at 79


By The Associated Press

Australian tennis player Owen Davidson, who won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, has died. He was 79.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced Saturday that Davidson died on Friday. Longtime friend Isabel Suliga said he died in Conroe, Texas.

He won 11 major titles in mixed doubles and two in men’s doubles. Davidson teamed with Billie Jean King to win eight of his Grand Slam trophies in a career that spanned from the early 1960s to mid-1970s.

In 1967, Davidson became only the third player in tennis history to earn all four major mixed doubles titles in the same year, including three with King.

“Our hearts are broken, but we find peace in the lifetime of wonderful memories we shared with our friend Davo,” King said in a tweet.

Known for his strong lefty serve, Davidson won the 1972 Australian Open with Ken Rosewall and the 1973 U.S. Open with John Newcombe — when they beat Rod Laver and Rosewall.

In singles, he reached the 1966 semifinals of Wimbledon by upsetting two-time defending champion Roy Emerson. Davidson also reached the quarterfinals in singles at seven other majors — five times at the Australian Championships and twice at the U.S. Nationals, a precursor to the U.S. Open.

Davidson played in the first match of the Open Era, defeating John Clifton in the first round of the British Hard Court Championships on April 22, 1968.

Davidson and King combined to win four major titles at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open. In the 1971 Wimbledon finals, they outlasted Margaret Court and Marty Riessen 3-6, 6-2, 15-13. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010.

Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He was coached by Hall of Famer Mervyn Rose and worked with Davis Cup captain Harry Hopman as a member of the Australian Davis Cup team. Davidson coached the British Davis Cup team from 1967-70.

He is survived by his son Cameron and brother Trevor Davidson.


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