The sport of tennis has evolved; from times when people would play the game by hand to the introduction of racquets all the way to the establishment of the grand slam tournaments that excite tennis fans across the globe. New Zealand too has had quite a role to play in the developments in the sport and here are some people with significant contributions on the same.
This right-handed player started playing professionally in 1975, and he retired eleven years later in 1986. During his career, he played at the Wimbledon finals as an unseeded participant. He also managed to walk away with three singles wins, thus ranking as number nineteen back in 1984. Also to his name are eight doubles wins which saw him grow to be one of the biggest names in the sport.
He practiced under the guidance of Tony Roche and Harry Hopman who were both qualified coaches, and he went ahead to become the third New Zealand player to get to the grand slam finals. He is also the last player to do so, based on the 2017 rankings.
When people speak of legends in the tennis sports industry in New Zealand, Parun’s name is one of those that come up. This right-handed player had quite a successful career, having turned pro in 1969. He had a thirteen year play period, after which he retired. In the year 1971 and the one that followed, Parun was able to play at the quarterfinals in Wimbledon. He then went ahead to play at the finals at the Australian Open in 1973, becoming one of the three New Zealanders ever to do so.
He also got to the quarterfinals in US Open in 1973 and the French Open in 1975. In the doubles category, he played alongside Dick Crealy in the French Open in 1974, and they walked away with the top prize. Also to his name are some wins owing to his participation in the Davis Cup up until the point of retirement. After his retirement, he focused on coaching people on ways to play the sport.
Anthony also went by the name Tony Wilding, and he was a professional tennis player who ranked first in New Zealand. He came upon his unfortunate demise during the First World War. As a boy, Tony was lucky to have a tennis court in his backyard, owing to his family’s wealth. As such, it was possible for him to work on his skills in the sport.
He started out his career by participating in the Canterbury championships where he excelled at the age of 17. From that point onward, he played as a professional, winning as many as eleven grand slam matches in his time. Six of the wins were in the singles division while the others were in the doubles category. He was the first player from New Zealand to ever score a grand slam win and the only to this day. Upon the genesis of the First World War, Tony enlisted and got killed in 1915, thus leaving a legacy behind. His name is on the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
These men have been the only players ever to grace the grand slam finals and are thus a show of how far New Zealanders can go concerning tennis, with hard work and determination in play.