Class of 2013
World No. 3 (1923)
Grand Slam Results
5-time major champion, 4-time finalist
Member of the Australian Davis Cup Team 1920-1923, 1925
Overall Record: 28-8
Singles Record: 20-7
Doubles Record: 8-1
The great Bill Tilden was never shy about speaking his mind. When asked to describe James Outram “J.O.” Anderson, he didn’t mince his words, describing Anderson as 'tall, ungainly, almost awkward, taciturn, grim, unsmiling, yet interesting and to a great majority of all who see him fascinating…[He] gives the impression of ruthlessness …which is so often belied by his charming smile and generous acknowledgment of his opponent's good shots.'
While not necessarily a ringing endorsement of his playing skills, Anderson didn’t need Tilden’s recommendation: He was a threat in both singles and doubles. Three years before compatriot Daphne Akhurst began her dominating run at the Australian Championships, the crafty Anderson won the first of his three Australian titles (1922, 1924, 1925).
In his homeland, Anderson was celebrated for his mascot, a large toy kangaroo which he brought on court. Anderson’s extraordinary quickness earned him the nickname “The Greyhound.” His hairstyle was distinct; Anderson parted it flat and straight down the middle of his head. He was known for his fierce forehand, launched flat and shoulder high, and mastered that shot to compensate for an average backhand. The 1922 and 1924 titles in Australia didn’t come easily, as Anderson needed five sets each time. All three trophies were won by defeating fellow countrymen -- 1922 over Gerald Patterson 6–0, 3–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2, 1924 over Richard Schlesinger, 6–3, 6–4, 3–6, 5–7, 6–3 and 1925 over Patterson again, 11-9, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Anderson was a two-time singles semifinalist at Wimbledon in 1922 and 1925.
Anderson was an accomplished doubles player, competing in six major finals and earning two championships. In 1922, he and English partner Randolph Lycett won the Wimbledon Gentlemen Doubles title over Aussies Pat O'Hara-Wood and Patterson, 3–6, 7–9, 6–4, 6–3, 11–9. Anderson teamed with Norman Brookes to win his nation’s doubles title in 1924 over Wood and Patterson in an All-Aussie final, 6–2, 6–4, 6–3. On four other occasions, 1919, 1922, 1925, and 1926, he played for the Australian doubles championship.
Anderson was a dedicated Davis Cup player. He was a member of the 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1925 teams, compiling a stellar 28-8 record, 20-7 coming in singles competition. He declined to play on the 1924 team because the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia refused to reimburse him for business losses incurred during his five-to-seven-month tours the three previous years. His 1920, 1922, and 1923 teams, all reached the Davis Cup final, each time losing to a United States team that was in the midst of winning seven straight Davis Cups.
As his career was winding down, he established J.O. Anderson & Co. Ltd and began operating a chain of sporting goods stores, but they weren’t particularly successful, so he turned his attention to becoming a tennis coach in Sydney.
Australian Championships: W 1922, 1924, 1925
Wimbledon: SF 1922, 1925
U.S. Nationals: SF 1921
Australian Championships: W 1924
Wimbledon: W 1922
U.S. Nationals: SF 1923