Neale Fraser

Neale Fraser

Class of 1984

Master Player

Career Achievements

Top Ranking     
World No. 1 (1959)

Grand Slam Results
19-time major champion, 13-time finalist

Davis Cup
Member of the Australian Davis Cup Team 1958-1963
Member of the Australian Championship Davis Cup team 1959-1962
Captain of the Australian Davis Cup Team 1970-1993
Overall Record 18-3
Singles Record 11-1
Doubles Record 7-2

Citizenship: AUS Born: October 3, 1933 in Melbourne, Australia Played: Left-handed

While the film footage has blurry distortion, the painstaking look on Neale Andrew Fraser's face is clear. In a rare video posted on YouTube of the 1960 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship, compatriots Fraser and Rod Laver play each point as though it was match point. Fraser keeps pounding his serve, keeps attacking and moving and hustling, driving a wicked forehand and smashing overheads off Laver lobs. It’s akin to a heavyweight boxing match taking place on the worn out grass at the All England Club.

Fraser never stopped charging until the match was finished and he had earned a 6-4, 3-6, 9-7, 7-5 victory, his second major singles title. He never diverted from that style of play, and on fast surfaces it seemed like he covered every inch of the court with his athleticism, quickness, and reach. His 6-foot-1 frame sprung to action on every ball and helped earn him three major singles titles: 1959 at the U.S. Nationals, 1960 at Wimbledon, and again at Forest Hills. After losing to American Alex Olmedo in the 1959 Australian final (1-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6), Fraser regrouped at the U.S. Nationals, winning his first major, payback over Olmedo, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. He was 2-1 in major finals against Laver, losing a mega-tussle in Australia in 1960 (7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-8, 6-8) and taking the 1960 U.S. 6-4, 6-4, 9-7. He was a finalist and semifinalist at Australia in 1957 and 1958, respectively, both times losing to Ashley Cooper in four sets. Fraser and Cooper would find common ground on the doubles court, though, teaming to win three major titles.

Fraser gravitated toward doubles, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience playing against the hard-driving left hander. By the time his career ended, he was one of only eight men in history to win all four majors in doubles. Fraser advanced to 25 major doubles finals, winning 16. Eleven titles came in men’s doubles and he won of five of seven chances in mixed doubles play. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw him win men's doubles titles at the Australian Championships (1957, 1958, 1962), the French Championships (1958, 1960, 1962), Wimbledon (1959, 1961), and the U.S. Nationals (1957, 1959, 1960). He won mixed doubles trophies at Australia (1956), Wimbledon (1962), and the U.S. (1958, 1959, 1960).

Fraser’s main doubles partner was fellow Aussie Roy Emerson. They won seven titles: 1962 Australian, 1960 and 1962 French, 1959 and 1961 Wimbledon, and 1959 and 1960 U.S. Nationals. On two other occasions they were finalists, at the 1960 Australian and 1959 French. Being a homegrown talent meant Fraser felt most comfortable on the fast courts in Down Under. He won his first doubles championship there alongside Lew Hoad in 1957 and with Cooper in 1958. Cooper was part of a French title (1958) and a U.S. Championship (1957) as well. Playing at Forest Hills provided Fraser with eight of his major titles. Three straight mixed doubles titles were garnered with partner Margaret Osborne DuPont in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Outside the majors, Fraser won the Italian Nationals Doubles Champion in 1957, 1959, 1961, and 1962.

To say that Fraser was a fixture with the Australian Davis Cup team would be putting it mildly. He was a team member from 1958 to 1963, earning four consecutive titles (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962). He was nearly perfect with an 11-1 singles mark and a 7-2 ledger in doubles. He succeeded Harry Hopman as the captain in 1970 and held that position until 1993. He guided the Aussies to four Davis Cup Championships (1973, 1977, 1983, 1986) and compiled a 49-19 record at the helm.  

Fraser was ranked in the world Top 10 from 1956-1962, holding No. 1 position in 1959-1960. In 2008 he was presented with the Philippe Chatrier Award for outstanding achievement in tennis, the highest award presented by the International Tennis Federation. He was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.

Grand Slam

Grand Slam Best Results

Titles

3 Singles | 11 Doubles | 5 Mixed Doubles

Singles
Australian Championships: F 1957, 1959, 1960
French Championships: SF 1959, 1962       
Wimbledon: W 1960
U.S. Championships: W 1959, 1960

Doubles
Australian Championships: W 1957, 1958, 1962
French Championships: W 1958, 1960, 1962
Wimbledon: W 1959, 1961
U.S.  Championships: W 1957, 1959, 1960

Mixed Doubles
Australian Championships: W 1956  
French Championships: QF 1954, 1959          
Wimbledon: W 1962
U.S.  Championships: W 1958, 1959, 1960