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Owen Davidson, Australian grasp of doubles tennis, dies at 79

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Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

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Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

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Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

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Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

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Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis participant who gained 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, together with eight with Billie Jean King, whereas establishing himself among the many most completed blended doubles gamers in historical past, died Could 12 at a care heart in Conroe, Texas. He was 79.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Isabel Suliga, his longtime pal and caretaker. Mr. Davidson lived close by within the Woodlands, a deliberate group north of Houston.

Outfitted with a sleek volley, highly effective overhand and devastating left-handed serve, Mr. Davidson emerged as some of the dominant doubles gamers of the Sixties and early ’70s. Whereas he by no means superior previous the semifinals of a significant singles match, he gained two Grand Slam titles in males’s doubles and 11 in blended doubles, greater than any participant however Doris Hart (who had 15 main titles in blended doubles) and Margaret Courtroom (who notched 21).

Mr. Davidson, who was referred to as “Davo,” was a part of a technology of powerhouse Australian gamers that included fellow Corridor of Famers Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Fred Stolle.

However he remained greatest identified for his partnership with an American, King, who gained 39 main titles and have become a pioneer for gender equality in tennis. In her 2021 autobiography, “All In,” King recalled that she traveled to Australia to play with Mr. Davidson and his countrymen partly as a result of they “have been open-minded about feminine accomplishment and didn’t thoughts coaching with me,” not like most American males.

Once they first began coaching collectively, working towards in Melbourne in 1964 in a two-on-one drill with Emerson, Mr. Davidson “despatched me across the court docket like a pinball,” she wrote. “After 5 minutes I assumed I used to be going to break down — and that was simply the primary day.

“I’ve all the time stated the Australian males made me No. 1,” she continued, “and people classes have been an vital a part of it.”

Mr. Davidson and King have been just about unstoppable, dropping within the finals of a Grand Slam match solely as soon as, towards Françoise Dürr and Jean-Claude Barclay on the 1968 French Open.

In all, they gained one French championship, three U.S. titles and 4 trophies at Wimbledon, the place their title victories included an epic 1971 overcome Courtroom and Riessen, 3-6, 6-2, 15-13.

“We’d been on the market a very long time,” King recalled in an interview with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, “and at 13-all, I stated to him, ‘Owen, let’s get out of right here.’ And so we did,” successful the subsequent two video games.

“How we obtained out of that one I’ll by no means know,” Tennis magazine quoted Mr. Davidson as saying.

In 1967, Mr. Davidson grew to become solely the third participant to ever win a calendar-year Grand Slam in blended doubles. He took the Australian title with Lesley Turner, a fellow Aussie, earlier than partnering with King to brush the French, Wimbledon and U.S. championships.

The considered a calendar-year Slam by no means crossed his thoughts, he stated, till tennis journalist Bud Collins walked as much as him earlier than the U.S. last at Forest Hills and informed him he wanted only one extra match. “I obtained a little bit nervous,” Mr. Davidson recalled many years later, telling the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t speak to King in regards to the achievement till they completed dispatching Rosie Casals and Stan Smith, 6-3, 6-2.

On a drizzly April day in 1968, Mr. Davidson was written into the tennis historical past books yet another time when he defeated John Clifton, a British novice, within the opening spherical of the British Laborious Courtroom Championships on the West Hants Membership in Bournemouth. It was the primary match of the Open Period, by which professionals are allowed to compete alongside amateurs, and inaugurated a brand new age for the game that Mr. Davidson had performed ever since he was 10, becoming a member of his father on journeys to tennis courts close to their house in Melbourne.

“I used to be form of hanging round,” he recalled, “and once they weren’t taking part in, I might wander onto the courts and begin hitting balls round. It turned out to be my sport.”

The older of two sons, Owen Keir Davidson was born in Melbourne on Oct. 4, 1943. He honed his recreation whereas working with Mervyn Rose and Harry Hopman, the longtime coach of Australia’s Davis Cup crew, and gained his first main championship in 1965, when he and Robyn Ebbern shared the Australian blended doubles title with Newcombe and Courtroom in a yr that the ultimate wasn’t performed.

In 1966, he partnered with Donna Floyd Fales to win the blended doubles title on the U.S. Championships. At Wimbledon, he upset the two-time defending champion Emerson, who slipped on the court docket and tore ligaments in his shoulder, to arrange a semifinals match towards Manuel Santana, the eventual champion.

Mr. Davidson was self-deprecating about his success within the match, noting that it got here towards an injured opponent. When a radio interviewer requested him earlier than the semifinals, “Simply who’s Owen Davidson?,” he replied, “Actually no one particular.” Then he took Santana to 5 units, taking part in what he described on the time as “the perfect aggressive tennis of my life.”

In 1972, he gained his first Grand Slam title in males’s doubles, partnering with Rosewall on the Australian Open, and almost gained his second earlier than he and Newcombe fell within the finals of the U.S. Open towards Cliff Drysdale and Roger Taylor. Mr. Davidson and Newcombe broke by the subsequent yr, successful a dramatic U.S. Open last over Laver and Rosewall, their boyhood idols, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Mr. Davidson additionally performed on Australia’s Davis Cup crew, coached the British crew from 1967 to 1970 and labored as the pinnacle professional at Wimbledon. In 1972 he moved to Texas, the place he grew to become the pinnacle professional on the Houston Racquet Membership and labored at venues together with the Woodlands Nation Membership and the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He additionally coached execs together with teenage prodigy Andrea Jaeger and Houston native Sammy Giammalva Jr.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame.

His first marriage, to Angie Davidson, led to divorce. In 1983, he married Arlene Covey. She died in 2014. Survivors embody a son from his first marriage, Cameron Davidson; and a brother.

Mr. Davidson was nonetheless giving classes three months earlier than his demise, in response to his pal Suliga, and competed in doubles tournaments lengthy after he gave up on singles within the mid-Seventies. “I don’t final as lengthy I used to final,” he informed the Chronicle in 2010, “however I can nonetheless hold in there with the youngsters fairly good.”

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