Cliff Drysdale has an impressive resume as a tennis player, commentator, director and stadium designer. One of the first players to ever use a two-handed backhand, his 33 singles titles rank him among the top 50 players of all time. During the height of his playing days, he held the national singles championships of Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa. Mr. Drysdale played a major role in the development of professional tennis by being elected to serve as the first president of the ATP in 1972-73, and was a player representative on the Men’s Tennis Council from 1974-81. He also served four years on the National Executive Committee of the United States Tennis Association and six years on the National Board of the United States Professional Tennis Association.
Cliff Drysdale went from making the shots to calling them as the game’s preeminent tennis announcer on ABC Sports and the ESPN network. In both 1982 and 1991, his work earned him the title of “Best Tennis Commentator” in a poll of Tennis magazine readers.
In the history of tennis, only twelve people have won a personal Grand Slam. Australian Owen Davidson is one of them. His 15-year career is highlighted by 12 Grand Slam titles.
His partnership with Leslie Turner and Billie Jean King produced the personal Grand Slam in 1967, as Davidson captured the Australian, French, U.S. Open and Wimbledon championships. “Davo” went on to win the Australian Open doubles with Ken Rosewall in 1972, and the U.S. Open doubles with John Newcombe in 1973. Davidson won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open four times each. His four Wimbledon conquests captured him the title as male player with the most mixed doubles crowns at the All England Club. He is one of five men who have won the U.S. Open mixed doubles tournament four times.
Davidson was a valued member of five championship Australian Davis Cup teams from 1962-1967. Although doubles is his forte, he also plays an impressive singles game. A career highlight came in 1966 at the Wimbledon semi-finals, when he narrowly lost a thrilling five-set match to, eventual champion, Manolo Santana.